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oil leak when cold

Discussion in 'E36 (1992-1999)' started by joed330i, Oct 4, 2010.

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    joed330i

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    1996 328i (160k miles) leaks oil during start-up when the engine is cold then stops when engine is warm.
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    steven s

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    I used to have that problem and it was the oil filter housing.

    Edit: Same year, same motor, more miles.
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    joed330i

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    thanks Steven
    I thought of this , but I don't see any oil around the oil filter housing.

    jagman212000 guest

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    Cam Cover

    I have seen the cam cover leak when cold and after sitting for a few days. The leak would then stop after the engine warmed. Is the oil at the front or rear of the engine?

    Bimmerdude3 guest

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    Best thing would be to work with the tracing method and follow it to its source.

    My guess is that it is probably a worn gasket that may become plyable when heat is applied, maybe? I cant think of any other scenario that might cause that. Warm oil is thinner than cold oil seems like it would make it leak more if it were a broken piece / "hole"

    P.S. if its a head gasket and you decide to pitch the car let me know! =)
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    mooseheadm5

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    You need to be more specific. I could give you every single oriface from which your motor can leak oil, but that would be silly. Tell us where you think it is leaking from and we can tell you what we think it is.
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    Raphaellacerda 98 318i “why don’t I have a steering tilt?”

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    Revive this old thread ..... Same issue here, my 318 is at BMW right and they are trying to figure out where this mystery oil leak is coming from. Oil filter gasket replaced, oil leaked very heavy one cold morning tech cleaned it up and suspected that it was the lower timing belt gasket .... But here's the thing it's not leaking anymore so both the tech and foreman are perplexed of where this leak is coming from !

    Any thoughts ? Car has 132k
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    steven s

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    Need to clean the area well. I sprayed simple green and used a high pressure hose from one of those hand held places. The next day it was clear where the leak was. And a bright light.
    Did they also replace the o-rings and bushing in the filter housing?

    As soon as it got cold that's when I noticed the oil filter housing leak.
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    Raphaellacerda 98 318i “why don’t I have a steering tilt?”

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    Yeah the whole shabang ,,,, all at the dealer
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    MGarrison

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    Raphael, you might also email Mike Miller for ideas, see his Tech Talk column in the Roundel.
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    steven s

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    My money is still on the oil filter housing.
    Changing the gasket alone is not enough.

    There are 2 o-rings and a bushing that need to be replaced.
    Look at the photos in the pdf below.

    Attached Files:

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    charlson89

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    I would add dye to the engine oil and let the leak come back and check with a black light as where it is coming from.
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    Raphaellacerda 98 318i “why don’t I have a steering tilt?”

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    Sorry for the delay guys, Ended up being what Steve said. Like I mentioned before BMW replaced the gasket but the tech said that the gasket had folded a but during installation so that why it started to leak again, why they did not first check that is beyond my comprehension. The best thing is that I got a 2014 328 Xi as a loaner for a week!

    At least it was done right this time. :rolleyes:
    Ken.S.330 and MGarrison like this.
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    steven s

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    Careless and in a rush to knock it out.
    You pay someone to do a job once!
    At least they didn't say the leak was coming from somewhere else.

    That is why I use a very light coating of gasket sealer.
    Very light from a spray. Just enough to hold it in place.

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