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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 01-28-2013, 06:32 AM
eagledawkins eagledawkins is offline
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Location: Florida
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 325xi
Question engine smell

I have an '04 325xi with +150,000 miles. Running great with regular maintenance. However, lately there is an odor coming from the engine compartment, at least that is where it is the strongest. It occurs after driving for about 10-15 minutes. It's more annoying than noxious, but has me a bit anxious. My mechanic couldn't find a problem. I have noticed that the engine hood fire suppression liner has shrunk, lost one or two attachments, and lays on the engine block a bit. Would this cause the smell in the car? Is there any harm in driving a few days without the liner in place?
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  #2  
Old 01-28-2013, 06:38 AM
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rgk330i rgk330i is offline
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I'd guess a little oil leak from the valve cover gasket onto the exhaust manifold. Everybody gets it.

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Old 01-28-2013, 06:59 AM
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halltristan halltristan is offline
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Mein Auto: 325i and X3
Might be water under the hood cowl. Is it a musty smell? Is the black part under your wipers cracked? And When did you replace your cabin filter last?
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Last edited by halltristan; 01-28-2013 at 07:01 AM.
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  #4  
Old 01-28-2013, 07:09 AM
eagledawkins eagledawkins is offline
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Just had the cabin filter changed last week which has eliminated the locker room smell we had going on. The smell is more of a 'mechanical' smell for lack of a better description. Less like oil, but definitely something else.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:13 AM
eagledawkins eagledawkins is offline
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Thanks. I'll have my mechanic check the exhaust manifold area.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:47 AM
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halltristan halltristan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eagledawkins View Post
Just had the cabin filter changed last week which has eliminated the locker room smell we had going on. The smell is more of a 'mechanical' smell for lack of a better description. Less like oil, but definitely something else.
Check this out: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1334705

Is your hood cowl cracked like that?
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:48 AM
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catso catso is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 323i, 1988 528e
The oil filter housing gasket is a common oil leak problem and difficult to see since it's on the bottom of the driver's side of the engine. An easy and cheap DIY.
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