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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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Old 12-29-2012, 05:42 AM
Beltane's Avatar
Beltane Beltane is offline
Location: Beautiful Small Town New Hampshire
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 308
Mein Auto: 2003 325xi 5-spd
Where is all the oil going?????

Hello Folks,

I have a 2003 325xi that just turned over 165K (I’ve had the car since 40K purchased in 2005). All is well with the car except that I seem to be going through quite a bit of oil. I usually have to add a quart every 800 miles or so – about every two weeks with the 80 miles a day or so I drive to work. This has been going on for about 6 months – but now seems to be getting worse. I don't smell any oil or antifreeze burning.

I questioned my indy non-BMW specific mechanic about this and he said there was a slow leak in the oil filter housing gasket. At home I park the same place and my car shows no evidence of leaking anything – same situation at work. From reading this forum I know that these engines will use more oil as they get older, but I wanted to check that this sounds normal to everyone here.

I wanted to get the thoughts with the experts here that a ‘slow’ leak in the oil filter housing gasket was the possible cause of my missing oil. I have no problem having the mechanic change out the gasket for me, but there are a couple of other repairs I need to do as well and I just wanted to prioritize things. I love the car and I plan on it seeing 200K.

Just to answer some of the questions I know I'm going to get asked:
-Indy mechanic quoted $300 for changing out the gasket
-I'm 9 months pregnant and live in NH without a heated garage so the chance of me doing any repairs myself for the foreseeable future is nil. (Although I have really enjoyed fixing small things myself and learning how the car worked in the past thanks to this forum).

Happy New Year to everyone.


2003 325xi 5-speed & 2009 Massey 1540 HST
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