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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, Nov-15-2010, 05:39:35 PM   #11
BimminLSB///M3
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The dealer has diagnosed my oil leak coming from the head gasket. They want $4200 to do this repair. I got him down to $3600 but am waiting on it. The mechanic showed me with a flashlight where there was oil at the top of the driver side of engine. I am also looking for feedback. Can I just try tightening the head bolts? What else could be this high up on the front of engine?
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Old Mon, Nov-15-2010, 06:24:00 PM   #12
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You could see the oil leak from above? I see the pic in the first post.

Like someone else suggested, you should try to get a second opinion. Isn't it like 30 hours to R&R the head?
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Old Mon, Nov-15-2010, 06:42:00 PM   #13
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I've seen a lot of posts saying the O-rings on the vanos solenoid pack sealing plate leaked on their cars, did you check that out?

http://m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=292233
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Old Mon, Nov-15-2010, 06:53:59 PM   #14
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OP, I had an oil leak that sounds almost exactly like what you are experiencing. It was coming from a bolt high up on the front passenger side of the engine block. Dealer fixed under CPO by replacing the bolt and topping off the oil. No problems since.

I really think this may be what you have. I'm not sure what the total was since it was cpo'd, but I know it was under a $1000
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Old Mon, Nov-15-2010, 07:04:08 PM   #15
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Yes, the first few pics show that the oil is coming from around the vanos unit. Yes, the high labor cost's show that they are charging for 30+ hours for head gasket which is why I am holding off.

Nikolai, thank you for referring me to the very informative posts. Although, I hadn't read about many people saying that oil was leaking between the vanos solenoid and vanos, it seems very possible. The oil is leaking right around this area. If I take my vanos solenoid out will I be able to tell that this is where the oil is coming from? What would I look for specifically? Thanks to anyone else that can help with this. I need to rule everything out before I let them pull me head..
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Old Mon, Nov-15-2010, 07:09:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wile.E.Coyote View Post
OP, I had an oil leak that sounds almost exactly like what you are experiencing. It was coming from a bolt high up on the front passenger side of the engine block. Dealer fixed under CPO by replacing the bolt and topping off the oil. No problems since.

I really think this may be what you have. I'm not sure what the total was since it was cpo'd, but I know it was under a $1000
Could it be the freeze plug or the CPV? If it is the CPV (constant pressure valve) I have already ruled it out. Is it possible for you to check your records to see what the bolt was? This could really help me out. Thanks!
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Old Mon, Nov-15-2010, 08:14:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimminLSB///M3 View Post
Could it be the freeze plug or the CPV? If it is the CPV (constant pressure valve) I have already ruled it out. Is it possible for you to check your records to see what the bolt was? This could really help me out. Thanks!
I doubt he means the CPV as that's at the back of the engine, but he might mean the timing chain tensioner which looks like a giant bolt.

My vanos plate was not leaking at all when I took it out recently, but I guess you'd look for cracked or mis-shapen seals.
BTW in the Vanos diagram you can see a round plug thing on the head, is that the freeze plug? I never paid attention to it. I guess I'll look at my pictures when I get home tonight.
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...93&hg=11&fg=15
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Old Mon, Nov-15-2010, 10:35:32 PM   #18
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why dont you clean off oil dry everyting off, get an oil change and see from where the fresh oil starts to leak from. keep an eye on it daily and this should tell you where its coming from exactly.. simply because your old oil got everywhere and makes you think of many other irrelevant places
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Old Tue, Nov-16-2010, 04:50:58 PM   #19
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I have cleaned up the oil as much as possible. However, I cannot see the source of the leak without taking more things apart. I have attached new pictures where the BMW tech had showed me signs of oil. He said this is just below the head gasket (pictures are from drivers side of engine just below vanos). I'm not sure why he ruled out the vanos and said the head gasket is leaking with certainty. You can't actually see the head gasket without taking things apart, which he did not do. Also, this does look like oil residue, correct? It looks dried up, not wet but maybe the heat dries it fast. It only leaks when the engine is running, but I have yet to see wet oil in this area, only wet oil dripping down the front of the pan. Please give me more feedback on how to tell if it is the Vanos versus the head gasket. Thanks!







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Mods: 19" CSL Wheels, CSL Brake Kit, RE RSM's, 35% Tint , Hardwired V1, Alarm, Bluetooth, Black Grills, Painted Reflectors.
Next Mods: SS Race Exhaust, Suspension.

Last edited by BimminLSB///M3; Tue, Nov-16-2010 at 04:58:52 PM.
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Old Wed, Nov-17-2010, 03:06:56 AM   #20
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if you look at screw number 9, that looks like the screw in your picture, which sits right below where the vanos connects to head.


below, you will see where the vanos meets the head where a gasket sits in between, if you ask me, that is where it looks like oil is seeping down from toward that screw and on down to plastic cover.


its probably a good idea to remove you vanos solenoid so that you can take a better look of where the vanos unit meets the head below. very easy removal.
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Discussing Oil Leak and it's not the CPV 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)