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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-07-2013, 01:53 PM
wschwisow wschwisow is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 325i
Mystery oil leak - any ideas?

Hey all,

I have a 95 325is that is leaking oil and I can't figure out where from. I posted a video on youtube showing where all the oil is ending up. I'm thinking maybe the fan is shooting it everywhere, but I can't find a location. I cleaned everything up first and then drove it to get a better idea, but it seems to be everywhere on the passenger front end. Any ideas?

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  #2  
Old 12-07-2013, 02:19 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Location: Seattle, WA
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328is
Hmmm... That's a lot of oil in some unusual places. First thing I'd do would be to check the seal at the oil filter housing, particularly for the cap. And I'd also take a close look at the VANOS oil line.
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  #3  
Old 12-07-2013, 02:29 PM
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drive by72 drive by72 is offline
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Strange indeed.

Carb clean everything off, including underneath. Start car with it raised and with a good flashlight, look very closely at all seals. Valve cover gasket near the vanos, vanos oil pressure line, and the oil filter housing area.

My vanos oil pressure line had a small seep at the crimp from rubber to metal, that leak drove me nuts for months. It wouldnt cover the passenger wheel well but it did get in the fan and in the fireproofing, and kidney cover.

Best of luck and let us knlw
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  #4  
Old 12-07-2013, 02:42 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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I think the oil is getting blown up on the under-hood insulation from where ever it's leaking, then running down through the fibers onto the front firewall/radiator support. There's nothing ahead of the radiator to leak oil into that area.
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  #5  
Old 12-07-2013, 03:45 PM
Normdude Normdude is offline
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They sell a dye you can use to find it
Clean everything, put the dye in the oil, and shine a black light and you'll see where it's coming from
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  #6  
Old 12-07-2013, 08:51 PM
hnaz hnaz is offline
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Check the oil filter housing. I am willing to bet that is one of the main places. Then the breather hose. Then maybe the VANOS oil line.
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  #7  
Old 12-15-2013, 02:16 PM
JayMac JayMac is offline
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Clean it again. Stuff shop towels everywhere except the exhaust. Short drive check to see which ones are wet with oil. I have had vanos leak, engine cover, oil filter.
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  #8  
Old 12-15-2013, 04:41 PM
wschwisow wschwisow is offline
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I'll give it a shot. Thanks.
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  #9  
Old 12-15-2013, 04:49 PM
JayMac JayMac is offline
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I hate oil leaks! Good luck
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  #10  
Old 12-15-2013, 07:18 PM
outlander108 outlander108 is offline
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Mein Auto: bmw 325IS E36
last time i had oil on that part of the car was from the oil filter housing...if you changed your oil filter recently make sure you use 2 copper washers instead of one and make sure the oil housing is really tight...
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  #11  
Old 12-17-2013, 03:43 AM
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bimmer claus bimmer claus is offline
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Isn't there an oil return on the side of the block or something along those lines as well. I remember reading a post a while back similar to this and it was something on the side of the block. I'll try searching to find it for you.
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  #12  
Old 12-17-2013, 08:43 AM
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B1MM3R B1MM3R is offline
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Is there any oil on the fan? Could be leaking from valve cover, hitting the fan and throwing it everywhere.
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