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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 02-11-2009, 06:17 PM
Blue Monk Blue Monk is offline
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I've got an oil leak...somewhere

I noticed a small puddle this morning and checked the oil level. It was at the min so I added a quart. This is what I found when I checked underneath:

Any idea what could be going on?
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  #2  
Old 02-11-2009, 09:21 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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In your first pic., it looks like the plastic shield underneath the radiator is broken up.

The metal shield beneath the oil pan looks O.K. though.

If there is no other evidence of a foreign object having damaged some lower oil-carrying component,
the Crankcase Ventilation Valve, a.k.a. Oil Separator or BMW's version of a PCV is a likely suspect.

Hopefully it's just a connecting hose, such as the one at the lower part of the dipstick.
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  #3  
Old 02-12-2009, 05:56 AM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Another place to check is, looking from the top of the engine, pass. side, look for any traces of oil on the metal shields above the exhaust maniful. Valve cover gasket and/or the grommets are known to fail anywhere after 60k miles on M52 engines. Here's how my e46 looked:





At that point, the leak was so small that the oil wasn't dripping to the floor, it just burned on the shield.(And a horrid burning smell get in the cabin as well, that scared the heck out of me, smells like transmission burning! ) some time later I started seeing some drops on the ground.
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  #4  
Old 02-27-2009, 03:12 AM
Blue Monk Blue Monk is offline
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I had that same valve cover gasket replaced last year. One indy mechanic told me it was the oil filter housing. Took it to the dealership and they're telling me it is the oil separator plus four other hoses. Grand total $750.41. Ouch. The separator makes more sense seeing how they actually showed me where the leaking is.
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  #5  
Old 02-27-2009, 10:20 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Monk View Post
Took it to the dealership and they're telling me it is the oil separator plus four other hoses. Grand total $750.41. Ouch.
Sounds right. From other recent posts, $186 in parts + labor.

If a clogged oil separator isn't dealt with in a timely fashion, it can cause real problems and a labor bill in the $1,100 range.
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  #6  
Old 02-27-2009, 10:27 AM
Blue Monk Blue Monk is offline
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Yep, parts are cheap, but the labor is 5 hours.
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  #7  
Old 03-02-2009, 07:47 AM
teamfalcon teamfalcon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X3-terrestrial View Post
Another place to check is, looking from the top of the engine, pass. side, look for any traces of oil on the metal shields above the exhaust maniful. Valve cover gasket and/or the grommets are known to fail anywhere after 60k miles on M52 engines. Here's how my e46 looked:





At that point, the leak was so small that the oil wasn't dripping to the floor, it just burned on the shield.(And a horrid burning smell get in the cabin as well, that scared the heck out of me, smells like transmission burning! ) some time later I started seeing some drops on the ground.
I have the exact same problem, maybe a little worse. Here is the picture I took yesterday.

From the passengers side, from top I lowered the camera and took this side picture. (No oil stains in my garage):


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  #8  
Old 03-02-2009, 09:59 AM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Sorry to be so cynical, but this tells me that unless I have a full garage at home, never to own a BMW out of warranty.

Glad they offer 4 years trouble free initially.
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  #9  
Old 03-02-2009, 12:18 PM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Kind of hard to tell if is the valve cover gasket from that picture. It looks like the side of the oil pan? Do you have more pics?
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  #10  
Old 03-03-2009, 09:42 AM
rs6655 rs6655 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
Sorry to be so cynical, but this tells me that unless I have a full garage at home, never to own a BMW out of warranty.

Not cynical, just smart. The military recognizes it too which is why everywhere I was ever stationed had auto craft shops to work on your car in.

If one cannot work on their own car for whatever reason they had better keep getting new ones or set-aside a fund for repairs.

I've always worked on my own and have rebuilt or repaired everything from voltage regulators, generators/alternators starters to complete engines and manual transmissions. I've never paid for an oil change or brake job and only one clutch job (I was on the road when that one failed). The amount of money I've saved over the years in incalculable. It really pays to get a book and do everything you can yourself.

Last edited by rs6655; 03-03-2009 at 09:51 AM. Reason: sp
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  #11  
Old 03-03-2009, 09:44 AM
rs6655 rs6655 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teamfalcon View Post
I have the exact same problem, maybe a little worse. Here is the picture I took yesterday.

From the passengers side, from top I lowered the camera and took this side picture. (No oil stains in my garage):


My advice is to get it up on ramps and start pulling covers and plates until you can see where it's coming from.
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  #12  
Old 03-03-2009, 09:50 AM
rs6655 rs6655 is offline
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Bentley Manual

While I'm on the subject I emailed Bentley Publishing. They haven't got an X3 manual in the works but one is planned. What that means as far as how long before we see one I have no idea. In the meantime they suggested using BMW TIS.
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  #13  
Old 03-03-2009, 12:37 PM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Originally Posted by rs6655 View Post
In the meantime they suggested using BMW TIS.
Ha! and pay $250.00 for a 30-day subscription?
We should all pitch-in, get the access and print all the X3 related SIB's!!
I'm a DIYer myself too.
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  #14  
Old 03-03-2009, 01:40 PM
rs6655 rs6655 is offline
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Originally Posted by X3-terrestrial View Post
Ha! and pay $250.00 for a 30-day subscription?
We should all pitch-in, get the access and print all the X3 related SIB's!!
I'm a DIYer myself too.
I'll probably just do a 24hr and print all the stuff I think I'll need before the book comes out.
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  #15  
Old 11-06-2013, 01:19 PM
neosimago neosimago is offline
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Hello Brother,

My 2006 X3 has a similar issue of a leak, but I haven't seen the puddle yet.
It just looks like your fourth picture where it seems to be leaking from a seal somewhere.
Can you tell me how you've addressed this situation and update us on your challenges?
So far, I'm just keeping a watch on the oil level and filling it when it gets low.

Thanks!
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  #16  
Old 11-07-2013, 04:20 AM
jlex jlex is offline
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The problem with oil leaks is oil will creep given a little time which makes it hard to tell where it originated. Best thing to do is to wash all the oil off first using engine degreaser.
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  #17  
Old 11-07-2013, 09:45 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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change this stuff at 60-80k miles

for a few hundred $$$$ you can change the valve cover gaskets, CCV bag pipes and valve plus the oil tower single gasket and be done with loads of where's that oil leak/what's that blue smoke/what's that smell of oil burning from the passenger side of the engine head scratching ......reducing all the site tribal wisdom puts doing this in the 5 year or ~50-70 K mile range.....also .....while in there doing the oil tower and CCV stuff change $10 worth of vac hose at rear of the 54 engine inlet manifold plus the line to the vac accumulator and save some what's that lean code head aches plus change the intake boot....this stuff should be in the routine level 2 ish PM
best to slay these mini dragons all in one swoop
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  #18  
Old 11-07-2013, 01:21 PM
jlex jlex is offline
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Well said. My 90,000 mile X3 was an oily mess before I replaced the valve cover gasket & the oil housing gasket. I've had the metal skid plate off a few times since then & it's so clean you could eat off it. Luckily, these aren't emergency repairs so you can pick nice days to work on it & take your time.
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