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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 10-08-2012, 04:50 PM
Matt_N Matt_N is offline
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Oil Leak Help

Need some help identifying an oil leak. I've searched a considerable amount on the site but haven't been able to find similar pictures and I'm unfamiliar with some of the descriptions of typical leak spots. Any help is much appreciated.

The picture is of the driver side of the motor.
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2012, 06:50 PM
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smolck smolck is offline
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Looks like the leak is coming from (in order of likelyhood) either the oil filter housing gasket (very common), VANOS oil supply hose (common), oil separator or hoses (very common), and oil pan gasket (very common).

Also, look at the circle in the pic below, I am pretty sure that hole should have a bolt in it, if it is missing, then that would be your leak.
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Last edited by smolck; 10-08-2012 at 06:52 PM.
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  #3  
Old 10-08-2012, 07:45 PM
Matt_N Matt_N is offline
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It looks like everything above the alternator is dry. I took out the air filter housing and took a picture from above and you can see that it's covered in oil. There are three places that are threaded for bolts, could the motor be missing that many?!... Seems very strange to me.
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  #4  
Old 10-08-2012, 08:10 PM
Matt_N Matt_N is offline
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Another picture. This seems to be the highest area of the motor that has oil on it. What are these threaded holes for?
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  #5  
Old 10-08-2012, 08:36 PM
Matt_N Matt_N is offline
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Wiped it down and then watched it leak after it warmed up.
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  #6  
Old 10-09-2012, 12:45 AM
stickbuilder stickbuilder is offline
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I'd bet on the oil filter housing gasket. It tends to leak and migrate to that exact place. Go for it. It is not that difficult, just be methodical in the way you do things. Use a piece of cardboard with 6 holes punched in it to keep the 6 bolts from the OFH in their correct location.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:10 AM
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How many missing/wrong bolts? How many brain surgeons and rocket scientists have worked on it in the past?
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:51 AM
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smolck smolck is offline
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Yea, after looking at the other pics the OFHG is 100% for sure leaking. It is a $6 part and AlboBMW did an awesome DIY writeup on the process. It is quite easy. Still think you need to make sure those pan bolts get replaced too.
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  #9  
Old 10-09-2012, 06:56 AM
Matt_N Matt_N is offline
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But it should just have the single vertical bolt in the pan right? The other empty spots are for some bolt on accessory that wasn't included on my model?
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