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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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  #1  
Old 01-24-2013, 10:20 AM
mlandry1 mlandry1 is offline
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Location: toronto
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 28
Mein Auto: 2001 325i
bad smell

just a little about my problem(e46 2001 325i) after taking long drives anything over 45 minutes there is a distinct burning smell (although hard to describe). The Valve cover casket and oil seperator were replaced just last year so I am ruling this out. There is no visible smoke coming from engine.....this smell has been noticeable for about 6 months now and I realize I can't ignore it much longer. I am in the dead of winter right now and will have to wait a couple of months b4 doing any work If anyone has any ideas as to what my problem might be I would appreciate any help thxs
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  #2  
Old 01-24-2013, 11:45 AM
SixPotPsyco SixPotPsyco is offline
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Location: Great Yarmouth, UK
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 14
Mein Auto: 320i se
Hi. I have heard the most common cause of a burning smell is oil leaking from the rocker cover. I wouldnt rule this out even though you say it was done. I have the same problem. On a long drive after stopping the front of the car really pongs of burning oil and I do have to top up about a half litre every 6 weeks. Im assuming a leak somewhere, and as Ive got no oil stains on the drive where I park I guess its seeping out somewhere onto something hot and burning off. From the info Ive read on here seems its most likely a leak around the top of the engine. Like yourself got bad weather here at moment, 6-8 inches of snow and minus 10 most nights.....its the UK lol so finding the time to get it sorted is tough right now. I would advise investigating this and if your topping up the oil like me then its certainly a leak somewhere. Dont ever assume a new part can be ruled out of any fault finding procedure. Also keep on searching the forums.....this site is invaluable for great advice. Good luck and keep us updated.

Last edited by SixPotPsyco; 01-24-2013 at 11:53 AM.
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  #3  
Old 01-24-2013, 03:21 PM
JKRIT JKRIT is online now
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Location: Hollis, NH
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 469
Mein Auto: '03 525i
+1 on valve cover gasket. I had one leak only 8 months after installing it during a vanos rebuild. Bad brand, I guess, although I can't remember which. When the engine is not too hot, feel for oil on the head above exhaust manifold ports 4-6.
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  #4  
Old 01-24-2013, 05:38 PM
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Solidjake Solidjake is offline
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Location: NYC
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 17,674
Mein Auto: 2002 330i
Double check the VCG for sure. It can leak with the slightest gap.
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  #5  
Old 01-24-2013, 10:09 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 20,534
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solidjake View Post
Double check the VCG for sure. It can leak with the slightest gap.
Generally it's oil seeping onto the hot exhaust.

Look there first (passenger side of the engine).
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Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #6  
Old 01-27-2013, 02:27 PM
mlandry1 mlandry1 is offline
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Location: toronto
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
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Mein Auto: 2001 325i
thank you all for quick response soon as weather warms up a bit will check out oil problems will keep all updated thanks again
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