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Old 11-15-2012, 06:50 PM
Sobek Sobek is offline
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Location: Queensland, Australia
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 25
Mein Auto: 1996 BMW 730iL
I had an oil leak that was dripping off the bell housing on my car when I bought it. Turned out to just be a loose and leaking power steering fluid hose... The fix was as simple as a new hose clamp. It could also be leaking a bit from the oil filter housing, they do that sometimes. Most mechanics who don't know these cars would try and tell you it's the rear main seal which is just nonsense - that's a big and expensive job and it's something that almost NEVER occurs on these cars. Most likely it's a small and simple leak somewhere that won't give you any headaches.

Another thing to look at is the valve cover gaskets - they're one of the most common oil leaks on these cars. It shouldn't leak down to the bell housing because of its location on the car, but I'm just mentioning it because if the owner hasn't had these gaskets replaced, it's almost certainly going to need it. It's not a huge deal - they just leak a tiny bit of oil into the spark plug wells which can foul the plugs, deteriorate the spark plug rubber coil boots or in the worst case scenario, cause some smokey starts as it burns off the oil that snuck through past the spark plugs.

Again, nothing that's really a big deal. I'd be more concerned about front end suspension components - they're more tricky to get sorted out and potentially a lot more expensive. Give it a drive and feel for any shimmy's or vibrations around 50 to 60mph. Also listen for clunky noises when going over bumpy surfaces or clunks as you turn the steering wheel from side to side at slow speeds. As far as the AC goes, if it's maintained well like any normal car, it should function perfectly. There's a chance it may need a slightly more frequent re-gassing than other cars (common with the E38's) but if it's working good now, most likely it will stay that way so long as you maintain it normally.

Shouldn't give you too much trouble

Last edited by Sobek; 11-15-2012 at 06:51 PM.
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