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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 650i is stored for the winter and I check it most weeks, mostly to empty any mousetraps. 馃槒

I now have a 2 ft diameter oil patch around my front left tire 馃槦

Although I didn't notice anything when I put it away last fall it certainly could've already been occuring and the patch may just now be visible.

And the belly pan certainly makes it difficult to know where the oil is coming from.

Any ideas what may be going on?

And for a future concern, it's a 2 hour drive to my mechanic. How will I know if it is safe to drive or if I need to trailer it. Definitely don't want a major failure on the way.

TIA
 

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A little oil can go a long way to make a big stain. The alternator bracket seal would have been my 1st guess, the 2nd would be the vacuum pump o-ring leak. With the belly pan, oil can drift either way, making it hard to locate an oil leak. Remove the belly pan, then let the engine run, with a cardboard box beneath the car. This will help determine at least what area under the engine, the leak is coming from. Check the oil level, & top the oil off if needed. If you see only a small loss of oil under the car, it is probably safe to drive it to your mechanic. If you see of running out from under the engine, turn the engine off, & call your mechanic. If you leave the front belly pan cover off, you will here air fluttering beneath the car from the air getting trapped on the 2nd panel under the car while driving the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It kept leaking all winter so knowing that catastrophic oil failures can happen, decided to have it hauled up to my mechanic just to be safe. (Thanks AAA)

He got to it on Monday and says he can't find anything so now has it sitting off to the side of his shop with the belly pan off to hopefully figure out where it is coming from.

Very strange.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oil collects under the belly pan, & leaks which ever way the low point is on the pan. It might be one of those leaks that the engine needs to be warm to leak. A smoke test should find the leak.
Or in this case would be the opposite? The freezing temperatures throughout the winter caused gaps to occur which have now resealed?
 

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That could be, I think I wasn't tightening my oil filter cover to specs, in fear of breaking something, and was getting a pretty good sized leak from it. maybe the filter cover has different expansion rate than the oil filter chamber on the block.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, after sitting for a week there was not a drop of oil so they drove it and put it back on the hoist and still nothing. His theory is there was oil on top of a reinforcement plate from before the alternator bracket was fixed that finally made its way to the floor. As that repair was done last June, that seems rather unlikely but as the leak seems to have stopped after I put the oil dry down, it may be the only explanation.
 

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That very well could be. That plate is shaped so it will hold some oil. That is the problem with letting someone else work on your car. They don't have time to do the extra steps like clean out all the grunge caused by an oil leak. BMW had fixed my valve covers under warranty, but never cleaned up the block when doing it. When I tore down my engine for cooling system and injector service, lots of gunk in there from the valve cover leaks. And the Alt bracket. Took me a few extra days of cleaning, that the guy your paying to fix problem could likely never pass those charges on to you. Who would pay for that? They would think they are being robbed blind when they started comparing what others paid.
 

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Our cars can leak some days, then stop for a few more. I wish that the heat trapped under the hood, didn't attack our seals & gaskets so bad. There is no way a valve cover gasket should fail at 50 k miles, but this does increase money on the backside of the warranty when it expires. My F150 now has 245k miles on it & it still has the factory gaskets on it, but it is not a German made vehicle.
 
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