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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Mon, Jun-16-2008, 08:05:38 AM   #1
HareRee
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Default Help Oil Leak on passenger side of oil pan.

My car consumes about 1 litre every 1200 miles. I had the car inspected by my local dealership b4 I purchased it and they didn't find anything major. I also had a compression test done and it passed. The SA did mention that my valve cover gasket is seeping and my power steering hose is leaking, but nothing major.

I took it to an indy shop a few months after purchasing the car to get my fan bets replaced. I asked them to look for oil leaks b/c I wanted a second opinion on my car's consumption of oil. And they said everything was fine.

So I was extremely surprised to find this today.



At first I thought maybe it was just the pan gasket but then I noticed oil to the left of the pan and above it as well. Can anyone tell me what the oil covered item to the left of the oil pan is ( in the center of the above photo)



Also does can someone tell me what the black canister is in the middle of this pic?

I thought maybe the leak could be the Constant Pressure Valve but I don't really see a trail of oil coming form the back of the headers. Any suggestions. I don't think it's just Power Steering fluid but I could be wrong.

Nothing looked like it was dripping oil but 1 litre every 1000 miles seems a bit much. Although I do understand that many M3's burn oil, I just want to make sure I'm not leaking as well.

Last edited by HareRee; Tue, Jun-17-2008 at 01:21:31 AM.
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Old Mon, Jun-16-2008, 09:18:07 AM   #2
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Pressure accumulator.

Try new crush washers on the banjo bolt.. clean everything then check it every couple days to see if you have any other leaks.
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Old Mon, Jun-16-2008, 06:54:45 PM   #3
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Pressure accumulator?

Is that the black canister thing in the second photo? I'm not sure what your are talking about.
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Old Mon, Jun-16-2008, 10:58:05 PM   #4
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I just got a leak fixed just recently. It turned out to be the constant pressure valve right by cylinder 6 on the passenger side. My mechanic thought it was the oil pan gasket but thanks to the forum I told the mechanic that I thought it was the valve and it turns out that it was. Good luck on resolving your issue. oh and I had about 70k miles on the clock when it was found during an inspection.
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Old Mon, Jun-16-2008, 11:44:33 PM   #5
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Yea, I thought about the constant pressure valve but I didn't see much oil coming from the back of the headers. Didn't see any oil to the left of the pressure accumulator when you are looking at it from the passenger side of the block (pic #2).

Yea I'm at 60k and I found this while I was doing my inspection 2.

Hopefully it's just the hose/banjo fittings and nothing major.
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Old Tue, Jun-17-2008, 02:26:16 AM   #6
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I'm trying to get my bearings straight...

Last time I changed my oil I suspected a leak at the drain plug (notice the oil on the plug), but upon further inpection noticed the oil pan was damp on the passenger side of the drain plug, with another drip of oil appearing above the oil pan. Don't know where it came from as of yet. Did it look like this?

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Old Tue, Jun-17-2008, 02:33:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HareRee View Post
Pressure accumulator?

Is that the black canister thing in the second photo? I'm not sure what your are talking about.
Yes, that item is called a Pressure Accumulator (AKA Vanos Accumulator). Its a nitrogen filled high pressure unit that feeds oil to the VANOS unit upon starting the engine. You can locate the line if you look at the VANOS unit, its right in front top of the engine. Mine leaked from there as well, pretty severe actually. I, too, though it was from a constant pressure valve, but if you look at the location of that valve and how its positioned, it shouldn't effect any area in front of the engine.

My advice, Just take it apart and reassemble it. It worked like a charm for me and its worth to give it a shot. Its very easy to do.
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Old Tue, Jun-17-2008, 04:32:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw loe View Post
Yes, that item is called a Pressure Accumulator (AKA Vanos Accumulator). Its a nitrogen filled high pressure unit that feeds oil to the VANOS unit upon starting the engine. You can locate the line if you look at the VANOS unit, its right in front top of the engine. Mine leaked from there as well, pretty severe actually. I, too, though it was from a constant pressure valve, but if you look at the location of that valve and how its positioned, it shouldn't effect any area in front of the engine.

My advice, Just take it apart and reassemble it. It worked like a charm for me and its worth to give it a shot. Its very easy to do.
Ditto.

Get all new crush washers #10 in the diagram below, you can replace the new banjo bolts if you want.

09 HOLLOW BOLT 2 07119905175 $2.85
10 GASKET RING A10X13,5-CU 4 07119963072 $0.17
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Old Tue, Jun-17-2008, 08:45:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
I'm trying to get my bearings straight...

Last time I changed my oil I suspected a leak at the drain plug (notice the oil on the plug), but upon further inpection noticed the oil pan was damp on the passenger side of the drain plug, with another drip of oil appearing above the oil pan. Don't know where it came from as of yet. Did it look like this?
Nope my drain plug was clean. The only place there is oil is on the front-passenger corner area of the oil pan around the pressure accumulator. That could be the constant pressure valve that everyone talks about, since its further back on the block and on the passenger side.

Quote:
Yes, that item is called a Pressure Accumulator (AKA Vanos Accumulator). Its a nitrogen filled high pressure unit that feeds oil to the VANOS unit upon starting the engine. You can locate the line if you look at the VANOS unit, its right in front top of the engine. Mine leaked from there as well, pretty severe actually. I, too, though it was from a constant pressure valve, but if you look at the location of that valve and how its positioned, it shouldn't effect any area in front of the engine.

My advice, Just take it apart and reassemble it. It worked like a charm for me and its worth to give it a shot. Its very easy to do.
I can't really see where the line goes from the view I have in the second picture. I saw the diagram on realoem but it appears to connect somewhere near the front of the block, like mid way up behind the fan. Do you have a pic of the line on top of the engine?

Did you have to replace the entire line or just the ends? Also, do I have to drain the oil b4 I attempt to take it apart? I've read that the vanos is something I shouldn't attempt to mess with. Nitrogen -- sounds crazy.. Is it pressurized? Is there anything special that I'd need to do before I disconnect the line?
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Old Tue, Jun-17-2008, 02:35:12 PM   #10
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Nothing special, though a little bit of oil might spill out at each ends because there's oil in that line, nothing that will explode and gush out. You don't have to replace the line unless its leaking itself, just the part #'s listed above by member: Tonester

I can get a picture later this evening, but if you look at the front of your engine right behind the fan/fan shroud, you'll see a black thin metal line that runs down from the VANOS unit and dissapears down into the engine externally.
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Discussing Help Oil Leak on passenger side of oil pan. in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)