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E36 General discussion and technical help for (E36) 1992-1999 3 series cars. 318, 323, 325, 328.

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Old 05-09-2006, 04:27 AM   #1
chazno5
 
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A bit worried, there's a very faint oil smell...

Hi,

Firstly I got to apologise, this is quite a long thread. But if anybody can offer some advice I would be very grateful. I am in my beloved month 6 now of owning a BMW, but something maybe terrible, maybe not has happened.... The other week I had to race home from work to see if my daughter was okay as she had bumped her head quite hard at nursery. Luckily she was okay. That is the main thing... Only thing is though while racing home I did thrash my Beemer rather harder than what I normally would of done. (I was trying to get home quick). I accelerated very hard in first and second gear but my Beemer caught me out and flew up to high revs much faster than I was expecting taking my Beemer just 200 revs shy of the red line.

Okay, you are saying whats wrong with that, well my Beemer flew trough the gears very fast, but as I then slammed her into 3rd I suddenly noticed a slight oil vapour smell enter my cabin!!

Seconds later I was slowing down anyway to come off this main road into my junction and the oil vapour smell seem to pass..

Until this morning (1 week later). I was just driving my Beemer quite civilised and not hard at all, I do drive my BMW gently most of the time anyway, only occasional driving it fairly hard. (Aren’t BMW's supposed to be driven a bit hard sometimes?) Anyway, I turned on my heating to let some warm air in through the air vents, as I approached some slow moving traffic. Everything was fine for about ten minutes until I could suddenly detect a very faint, but oil vapour smell entering my cabin again..

O know!!! It is so faint, I even wondered if I was imagining it, but it definitely was there very slightly. I am worried now, Have a ruined my engine driving my Beemer rather hard last week or is it just something which may just pass in a week or two... My Beemer is only a 320, it is low mileage 77,000 miles, but it is 1992. However apart from this new tiny, very occasional oil vapour smell in mint condition throughout.

I must add that I have only smelt this new very faint oil vapour smell twice in the last 200 miles I have driven. Am I being an idiot and a perfectionist or am I right to be a bit worried? If anybody has experienced this or may know what this is likely to be I would be grateful to hear from. Otherwise it looks like I may need to get saving some large amounts of cash and then do the dreaded thing and book my Beemer into my local BMW Specialist... Going by how much my last service cost I am fearful
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Old 05-09-2006, 05:51 AM   #2
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Based on the year of your car (mileage unknown) I suspect you might have small oil leakage somewhere and your recent thrashing might have just amplified it. It's probably a small valve cover leak or something minor but worth examining to prevent bigger issues. (no leak is worth overlooking) Fact of life: "leaks do not fix themselves" get it fixed for peace of mind.
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Old 05-09-2006, 09:07 AM   #3
Rooz

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I agree with c1apton, I am not familiar with your 320 since we don't see them here, but as any other car of it's age, leaks are possible. Adn true getting it fixed might be costy, but it's better to be safe now than sorry later
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Old 05-09-2006, 11:28 AM   #4
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bimmer engines arent shy to running hard. every so often i bring her to redline as well (but never past) and well kept bimmers will do it without a problem.

they say, drive em hard, and keep em maintained, and you will have a friend for life.

but definatly see if there is anything at all leaking, that way you can be more in tune with your bimmer as well in my last bimmer i had a leak at the oil pan; small leak, and i was going to fix it, but until i did it only made a mess as long as i kept the oil level up.
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Old 05-09-2006, 11:40 AM   #5
scrichy84

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Is it a burnt oil smell or an unburnt oil smell. I have a 95' 325i and I had an unburnt oil smell. The first leak was out the bottom of my dipstick where it goes into the oil pan. The second was just vapor coming off of the valve cover. There is a hose that takes it somewhere, it had been eaten by years of motor oil vapor, and had a big hole in it. It was sending it straight in through the vents.

If it's a burnt smell, it could be an oil leak out the valve cover leaking onto your exhaust. If you've never changed your valve cover gasket, the rubber gets really hard and could have started leaking.

Hope I helped, it is probably a bit different on the 320, but just a few things to keep in mind.
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Old 05-09-2006, 01:46 PM   #6
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check your oil level, see if it has dropped, if it hasnt, i really wouldnt worry about it.. twice in 200 miles? dont you think if you had a leak it would occur more often? its ok that your paranoid, check it out just to make sure, but honestly i dont think this is as bad as it sounds

secondly, does it only happen if your heater is on? if it does, it may have somethign to do with your heater core(even though that is the cooling system)
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Old 05-09-2006, 03:50 PM   #7
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it may also be possible that you might be behind a car with an oil leak, I know that happens to me occasionally. I end up going over my car just to find nothing wrong
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Old 05-10-2006, 11:27 AM   #8
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I cant belive im the first person to notice that he wrote "Beemer" like 8 times. For the record man its Bimmer.
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Old 05-10-2006, 11:32 AM   #9
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i noticed. . .
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Old 05-10-2006, 12:33 PM   #10
Rooz

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I cant belive im the first person to notice that he wrote "Beemer" like 8 times. For the record man its Bimmer.
He's from England Mate.. It's quite allllright
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Originally Posted by Gregg
Umnitza now provides a mechanic to install all parts ordered right in the box! It's their new "Total customer service program" that will eliminate all the haters and keep incompetents from breaking **** and blaming the vendor! When you are all set simply call INS and they will pick him up free of charge.
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Old 05-23-2006, 12:30 PM   #11
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I noticed but I think the whole beamer/beemer/bimmer thing is just semantics and doesn't add anything to the conversation.
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Old 05-23-2006, 01:12 PM   #12
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^^Yeah. Anywheres i called it beemer too. But since you all(American) call it bimmer. I follow
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Old 05-23-2006, 01:17 PM   #13
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I got tired of correcting people. Now people try to correct me when I say bimmer.
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