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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 04-04-2005, 09:15 AM
Brix_328i Brix_328i is offline
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Mein Auto: 1996 BMW 328i
Coolant in Oil!!

Hi Folks,
I was losing coolant at regular intervals and recently I noticed that the oil is a milky mixture now. THat means coolant is seeping into the oil.
I was told that this could be becasue of a blown head gasket. Is there any other reason why this can happen? Like cracked cylinder head or something.
I dont want to take it to a dealer. They always rip off...
Any suggestions for repair? How much does it usually cost to get the head gasket replaced? And in the worst case, how much does it cost to get the cylinder head replaced?
thanks.
1996 BMW 328i
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  #2  
Old 04-04-2005, 10:48 AM
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LmtdSlip LmtdSlip is offline
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It could be a crak but most likely is a shot head gasket.

If it hasnt overheated than you are probably still ok with just replacing the head gasket. You may need to have the surfaces refinished as the heat can affect the surface which magnifies the problem.

If you intend to have it fixed do it sooner rather than later as it will only get worse and your car will start to overheat and possibly cause much worse damage.
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Old 04-04-2005, 10:53 AM
Brix_328i Brix_328i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LmtdSlip
It could be a crak but most likely is a shot head gasket.

If it hasnt overheated than you are probably still ok with just replacing the head gasket. You may need to have the surfaces refinished as the heat can affect the surface which magnifies the problem.

If you intend to have it fixed do it sooner rather than later as it will only get worse and your car will start to overheat and possibly cause much worse damage.
Hey,
thanks for your reply. The engine has not started over heating yet. The temperature guage never crossed the middle line.

I am not driving the car till I get it fixed. Could you please elaborate what you mean by 'getting the surfaces finished' ?

Also, could a valve gasket leak result in similar symptoms (coolant loss)?

How much would it cost me approx. to replace the gasket?

Thanks again
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Old 04-04-2005, 12:18 PM
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LmtdSlip LmtdSlip is offline
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No, a valve cover gasket would not result in this type of leak.

The falt surfaces where the cylinder head and the block mate will possibly have to be machined flat. Excessive heat can cause these to become "warped" and when reseated may not make a good seal if they arent nice and flat. I am not certain if this is done as a matter of course or only if they are actually warped.

As for price I am not certain. And others here on the board may be able to give you a better idea of cost and what is involved.

Sorry to hear of your problem and good luck with it.
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Old 04-04-2005, 12:46 PM
Brix_328i Brix_328i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LmtdSlip
No, a valve cover gasket would not result in this type of leak.

The falt surfaces where the cylinder head and the block mate will possibly have to be machined flat. Excessive heat can cause these to become "warped" and when reseated may not make a good seal if they arent nice and flat. I am not certain if this is done as a matter of course or only if they are actually warped.

As for price I am not certain. And others here on the board may be able to give you a better idea of cost and what is involved.

Sorry to hear of your problem and good luck with it.
Okay,
I'll ask my mechanic if he would actually be machining the surface as part of the procedure or not.
If the problem was a cracked cylinder head, the engine should have over heated, right?
I hope its just the gasket.
Thanks for the info...
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