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Old 08-28-2013, 05:42 AM   #1
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Default oil leak

Hey guys so I just noticed a good amount of oil leaking from my 97 ti but I am not quite sure what the exact diagnosis is. I do not believe it is a bad head gasket because the top of the engine is clean and there is no sign of oil near the top of the engine. Its underneath that is a problem. Underneath is a mess of grease and oil, not just in one concentrated spot but spread around to almost the whole front of the bottom of the car. The oil pan, near the underside of the radiator, by the ac lines, and just seems like everywhere. Because of it being everywhere I am thinking that it isnt just a dripping leak but a kind of spraying? I am not sure. Maybe just a hole in a hose, or a bad clamp somewhere...what else could be causing this? If anyone has some information or similar problems on their car in the past I would really appreciate your input! Thanks guys
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:52 AM   #2
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Valve cover gasket leak is the most likely to soak the ac lines. Also check the oil stand gasket. Are you certain it is engine oil? Could it be power steering?
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:57 AM   #3
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Quote:
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Valve cover gasket leak is the most likely to soak the ac lines. Also check the oil stand gasket. Are you certain it is engine oil? Could it be power steering?
Alright I will give those a check. I am pretty sure it is oil because of the thickness and color, is there a specific way to determine between motor oil and power steering? How much do you think these gasket problems would set me back? Thanks for your input, much appreciated
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjreed92 View Post
Alright I will give those a check. I am pretty sure it is oil because of the thickness and color, is there a specific way to determine between motor oil and power steering? How much do you think these gasket problems would set me back? Thanks for your input, much appreciated
The power steering generally leaks around the reservoir and runs down the lines.

None of these leaks are very expensive to fix if you can turn your own wrenches.
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:37 PM   #5
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If you haven't done it recently, you may consider changing you crankcase vent valve (item #16 in this diagram http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...62&hg=11&fg=15
)
I have found that if I have a rash of leaks, that valve is on its' way out.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Entropyman View Post
If you haven't done it recently, you may consider changing you crankcase vent valve (item #16 in this diagram http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...62&hg=11&fg=15
)
I have found that if I have a rash of leaks, that valve is on its' way out.
Alright, thanks for the link it helps a lot! I am not sure if it has been replaced recently, most likely not since it didn't seem, like the guy I bought it from was keeping it in good shape hence the leak. I am going to have a mechanic look at it today and diagnoise it and then see of it is a good DIY project for me or not. Thanks for the input!
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:09 PM   #7
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Well I brought my ti into a bmw mechanic and found out what it wrong...not a fun way to end a long work day haha.
Oil housing filter needs to be replaced
Possibly the oil pan as well
Radiator hoses need replacing
Power steering hoses need replacing
Transmission hoses need replacing

The whole bottom side of the front end needs to be cleaned up since all these fluids have been spraying around underneath for who knows how long since the previous owner didn't mention any of these problems when I asked.

The estimated cost for the mechanic to fix these is around 1,000

I am new to the working on cars thing so I don't know how smart it would be for me to try and fix these myself. I know there was a link about replacing the oil housing filter, but I am not sure about the hoses. I don't have access to any special bmw tools so I don't even know if I could do this myself if I wanted.

I think that since I just bought the car I think it would be a smarter decision to first let the mechanic do all the fixes, then I will know what has been done and in the future when something needs fixing I should do it myself and shouldn't have any suprises to more problems.

What do you guys think? Does the mechanics estimate sound about fair? Are all these problems something a new car guy like me should try and tackle? Any advice is appreciated! Thanks guys
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Old 08-30-2013, 08:38 PM   #8
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The quote sounds reasonable but none of that (except the oil pan gasket) is terribly difficult. If it were me I would pick off the leaks one by one. The most important of which (and easiest) would be the radiator hoses. If you do not know when the cooling system was last addressed you will want to consider a new water pump, thermostat, and the plastic fittings on the block and head.

The radiator hoses are cheap and easy though, start there. Buy an upper and lower hose, a gallon of distilled water, and a gallon of OE BMW coolant and have at it. All you will need is a screw driver.

That is a long list and it is easy to get overwhelmed but just prioritize and pick them off one by one. We are here to help.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cjreed92 View Post
Well I brought my ti into a bmw mechanic and found out what it wrong...not a fun way to end a long work day haha.
Oil housing filter needs to be replaced
Possibly the oil pan as well
Radiator hoses need replacing
Power steering hoses need replacing
Transmission hoses need replacing

The whole bottom side of the front end needs to be cleaned up since all these fluids have been spraying around underneath for who knows how long since the previous owner didn't mention any of these problems when I asked.

The estimated cost for the mechanic to fix these is around 1,000

I am new to the working on cars thing so I don't know how smart it would be for me to try and fix these myself. I know there was a link about replacing the oil housing filter, but I am not sure about the hoses. I don't have access to any special bmw tools so I don't even know if I could do this myself if I wanted.

I think that since I just bought the car I think it would be a smarter decision to first let the mechanic do all the fixes, then I will know what has been done and in the future when something needs fixing I should do it myself and shouldn't have any suprises to more problems.

What do you guys think? Does the mechanics estimate sound about fair? Are all these problems something a new car guy like me should try and tackle? Any advice is appreciated! Thanks guys
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerBum View Post
The quote sounds reasonable but none of that (except the oil pan gasket) is terribly difficult. If it were me I would pick off the leaks one by one. The most important of which (and easiest) would be the radiator hoses. If you do not know when the cooling system was last addressed you will want to consider a new water pump, thermostat, and the plastic fittings on the block and head.

The radiator hoses are cheap and easy though, start there. Buy an upper and lower hose, a gallon of distilled water, and a gallon of OE BMW coolant and have at it. All you will need is a screw driver.

That is a long list and it is easy to get overwhelmed but just prioritize and pick them off one by one. We are here to help.
I agree and at the same time check with another mechanic, I would tackle the oil leak first and then the rest. There is a BMW specialist in Orange http://www.westcoast-autobahn.com
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:04 AM   #10
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okay so I am thinking of doing all these fixes myself with the help of a mechanic friend. We are looking for the correct parts for all of these fixes and we are finding it difficult to locate all these parts needed. Does anyone have a good parts website or suggested places to find these parts. Specifically the auto. transmission cooler lines, the oil filter housing and the power steering lines.
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Old 09-01-2013, 04:33 PM   #11
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http://www.realoem.com/bmw/
This will give you part numbers so you can search other parts websites.
http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/index.htm
Good general go-to.
http://www.rockauto.com/
I try here as well, they can get stuff to me quicker than Pelican
http://www.bimmerbum.com/
Has some good deals on parts, is a site supporter and all around decent guy.
http://www.getbmwparts.com/
Decent prices on BMW dealer parts. Shipping is kind of steep though.
That should get you started.
On edit, it looks like you may be in CA, Pelican should be able to get stuff to you pretty quick since they are also in CA.
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:29 AM   #12
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I bet if you do the oil filter housing gasket first you will see a lot less stains on your driveway. Here are the directions:

http://www.318ti.org/forum/showthrea...housing+gasket
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:43 PM   #13
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Thank you for the website recommendations, they help alot, and thanks for the link for the oil housing tutorial that will for sure come in handy for me. I appreciate the help and will keep posting questions when I run into them and keep you updated on progress!
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:28 AM   #14
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I can source everything for you. Give me a call if I can help.

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Old 09-16-2013, 10:27 PM   #15
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Well I got my oil housing filter replaced and also my power steering lines, since those were bad as well, and it seemed like my leak was gone. But then I realized I was just wishing it was and in reality it was still there, only when the car was on though so it has to be a part where the oil comes under pressure, could this be the bottom oil pan gasket??

Furthermore:
A couple days later, after replacing my oild housing filter, I was going to take the car out. As I was heading down the street at normal speeds I noticed my temp gauge moving to the right, past the middle. This was unsettling to me since it was happening so fast and a began to smell coolant burning. I turned the car around and it was getting closer to the red zone so I pulled over and turned the car off. I was only about .5 miles out from home so I sat and waited for half hour for it to cool. I started it back up and got it home and started my investigation. I let the car sit over night to make sure it was completly cooled down before checking coolant levels. Low and behold my coolant was exteremly low, not empty but low. I put some extra coolant in that I had and turned the car on and let it idle so I could check for leaks. I didn't notice any leaking, besides my oil which im still dissapointed about, so I was really confused to how my coolant dissapeared. I could still smell burning coolant but couldnt figure out why. Then after about 20 min of idle, the temp gauge still in the middle, I started seeing white smoke coming from around the fire wall near the driver side. I turned the car off let the smoke clear and saw that a hose popped off from where it was supposed to be connected. Further research led me to believe that these hoses went to the heater core. So my diagnosis of the problem of my overheating engine and burning coolant comes down to this hose not being connected, am I right? I could smell coolant because these hoses transport coolat to the heater core but because of the disconnection it was escaping, lowering my coolant levels as well as letting me be able to smell it? If this is the case I would be much more happy because it seems like an easy fix. And if it is the problem then should I connect the hose myself, drain all the old ccolant and refill/bleed the system, or can I just add more coolant to the radiator till its back to full?

I could be completly wrong and this could not be the problem at all and that why I am asking you guys for your expertise. Let me know what you think, thanks!!!
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