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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > Intermittent oil/burning smell



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      10-18-2011, 04:04 PM   #1
slpymnky
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Intermittent oil/burning smell

I have a 2006 330i with about 53K miles on it. I got the oil changed around 47K miles and right after I got into the car, I noticed a strong oil smell. I immediately went back inside and got my SA to come out and take a look. His immediate reaction was "Oh your valve cover gasket is cracked and leaking oil." to which I said that that smell was NEVER there before. He took the car in the back and cleaned the engine bay and said the smell would die down a bit but I would need to replace the gasket within a couple of months.

The smell went away for the most part. However, every few days for a minute or two, I can smell some sort of oil or burning smell from inside the car. It goes away and I have constantly been checking the oil and it is at the max level. What could this possibly be? It seems that if this were an actual leak, the oil level would have dropped by now and that's why I haven't taken it in, but it is starting to concern me.
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      10-18-2011, 04:10 PM   #2
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probably poured some on your exhaust manifold in hopes you would get some work done.
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      10-18-2011, 04:12 PM   #3
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remove the engine cover and inspect the valve cover gasket.

check the filter housing gasket area and the housing itself to see that it is not cracked. (not likely to cause a burning smell though)
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      10-18-2011, 04:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike3000fl View Post
probably poured some on your exhaust manifold in hopes you would get some work done.
That's what I thought, but I got the oil change in mid-March.

And if it were an oil leak, wouldn't the oil level have dropped in 7 months?
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      10-18-2011, 04:25 PM   #5
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in all seriousness, take a look around under there... remove the plastic engine cover. the other poster mentioned typical places on our cars where they will leak.

you should have noticed some oil loss by now, heck my oil level drops in 7 months even without a leak.

i sometimes smell burning, but that's my power seat motor going bad. it stinks.
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      10-18-2011, 05:22 PM   #6
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Also check the oil filter housing gasket
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      10-19-2011, 09:19 PM   #7
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I can almost promise you it's broken valve cover bolts letting the valve cover leak onto the exhaust manifold. It's probably the most common problem with these cars. Some people recommend replacing the gasket and installing new bolts. Dealer will want close to 1000 bux to do it. I (and others) have had success replacing just the broken bolts. It took me a little over an hour and $40 for a complete set of new bolts though I only replaced the broken ones. Problem has been solved for over a year now...
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      10-20-2011, 10:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian_TII View Post
I can almost promise you it's broken valve cover bolts letting the valve cover leak onto the exhaust manifold. It's probably the most common problem with these cars. Some people recommend replacing the gasket and installing new bolts. Dealer will want close to 1000 bux to do it. I (and others) have had success replacing just the broken bolts. It took me a little over an hour and $40 for a complete set of new bolts though I only replaced the broken ones. Problem has been solved for over a year now...
Oh that's great news. Do you have a link to a place that would show me how to do this? And where did you buy the bolts from?
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      10-23-2011, 06:07 PM   #9
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......and what do you mean by "BROKEN" ? If the threads are stripped do you have to retap the head or are the bolts the only thing that is effected ?
I have this same leak...thanks.. Peabody
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      10-25-2011, 10:20 AM   #10
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No the threads don't strip the bolt sheers in two pieces. BMW had a the torque specs to high when the built the cars. They have since revised the torque specs for the bolts. The the bolts sheer, they saturate the gasket and it swells which damages it.
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