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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so for a few months, from time to time I had a little bit of white smoke coming from the hood and it smelled like oil. Last saturday I changed the valve cover gasket and the gormets too. The old gasket was hard like if it was all plastic. Anyway it was time to be done. Since then, sometimes I had a feeling like if I was smelling oil but I thought maybe it will go away in a few days. Today I was driving and when I was on a red light, I started smelling oil and I saw a really small cloud of smoke (I don't know if I can say that in english :p) coming from under the hood. I wasn't able to open the hood to see where it was coming from because I was on a red light and when I continued to drive (for about 15minutes) I didn't have the smoke again.

Now I am wondering where the other place that the oil may be leaking. I checked quickly and it seems that I have a leak close to 1 first coil (I didn't remove the cover but there was some oil (maybe not oil)).

Any idea?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Probably just residual oil burning off. Wait a few weeks and the problem should disappear, as long as you installed the replacement valve cover correctly.
I cleaned up the engine bay and I still have an oil smell in the car when I drive for a few minutes. Also, the oil burn A LOT more than before. I was really wondering why is that. Then, while I was shopping on pelicanparts, I decided to buy another set gaskets and do the job again. I realised that there are 2 differents type of gasket for the year I have depending when the car was produced(Before August and from september). Where I bought the gasket the first time, it didn't ask me so I guess they sent me the wrong one. Now that I know that, I took a really hard look at the valve cover and there is a few place that I can see it's not sealed perfectly.

Now I just have to wait for the new valve cover gasket but I wanted to post anyway because maybe someone had the same problem.
 

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I cleaned up the engine bay and I still have an oil smell in the car when I drive for a few minutes. Also, the oil burn A LOT more than before. I was really wondering why is that. Then, while I was shopping on pelicanparts, I decided to buy another set gaskets and do the job again. I realised that there are 2 differents type of gasket for the year I have depending when the car was produced(Before August and from september). Where I bought the gasket the first time, it didn't ask me so I guess they sent me the wrong one. Now that I know that, I took a really hard look at the valve cover and there is a few place that I can see it's not sealed perfectly.

Now I just have to wait for the new valve cover gasket but I wanted to post anyway because maybe someone had the same problem.
Did you use RTV around the half moon areas of the head? Look up E46 valve cover gasket install on youtube to see the areas where you have to install the RTV. There are also several DIY's on this site if you search, as well as llnks in the Wiki at the top of the page. Go slow with the new gasket install and you should be fine. Remember, do not over torque the bolts for the valve cover gasket or you will cause leaks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Did you use RTV around the half moon areas of the head? Look up E46 valve cover gasket install on youtube to see the areas where you have to install the RTV. There are also several DIY's on this site if you search, as well as llnks in the Wiki at the top of the page. Go slow with the new gasket install and you should be fine. Remember, do not over torque the bolts for the valve cover gasket or you will cause leaks.
I did follow one of the DIY but it didn't say anything about the corners area. Thank you for the tip, I will do that next time. :)
 

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I did follow one of the DIY but it didn't say anything about the corners area. Thank you for the tip, I will do that next time. :)
No problem! Everything is a learning experience. I can't begin to count the mistakes I made when I started wrenching. I would be very embarrassed to list them all. Research is crucial, and a willingness to try anything. I suggest you come here for advice before you start a project, as there are many members with a lot of experience. Good luck with you valve cover replacement, and you will see how much faster it goes the second time. Be careful using the rtv as you don't want to get it in the engine. Try cleaning the mating surfaces of the head with alcohol on a rag to get good adhesion with the rtv, and use the right type. Make sure ALL of the old gasket is cleaned off too so you get a good seal. Good luck!
 
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