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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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Old 02-13-2011, 01:20 PM
CT7er CT7er is offline
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Mein Auto: 2010 F02 Individual
1995 318is -- Oil leak

My wife's 1995 318is has recently developed a small oil leak (the first engine-related issue it has had). The car has only 59,000 miles and is otherwise in almost perfect condition (garage kept). Upon inspection by my BMW service center, they informed me that the head gasket appears to be leaking in a few spots (no milky substance), and they recommend replacement of the head gasket and, based on their maintenance guidelines, replacement of the front crank seal , timing cover gasket, oil pan gasket and maybe coils. They are quoting $3,800 for the work ($3,100 labor, $700 parts -- without coils), without opening anything on the engine. The dripping amounts to only a few drops per day without having to add oil during the four months since the problem developed. Is this overkill on the part of the service center or is there something I'm missing here? Any help/comments would be appreciated.

Also, I fear that I may have inadvertently tipped the scales in this direction by mentioning to the service rep that we might be in the market for a new 328i.

Last edited by CT7er; 02-13-2011 at 01:24 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2011, 04:22 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Mein Auto: 1995 318is / 1993 325is
RUN, do not walk, to another shop, preferably an independent specializing in BMWs, and have them check the engine. 59k miles is nothing for the M42/M44 engine (mine has 229k). A few tiny drips of oil is nothing to worry about and it is highly unlikely the head gasket is leaking, certainly not leaking in the sense it makes the car at risk of breakdown.

Long story short, they don't call them "stealerships" for nothing. They are trying to do a major ripoff on you. For example, all the bits you listed (gaskets and seals), even top-tier parts, cost about 1/3 what they quoted.
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:10 AM
CT7er CT7er is offline
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Thank you, hornhospital, for your common sense reply. I am planning to have an independent look at it right away.
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:16 AM
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ethereal45 ethereal45 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 328i
Quote:
Originally Posted by CT7er View Post
Thank you, hornhospital, for your common sense reply. I am planning to have an independent look at it right away.
Those repairs make no sense in combation.....your head gasket is leaking so they need to replace the oil pan gasket too?
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