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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 11-27-2004, 01:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Greetings everyone,

I have another leak problem in my 1996 328I. If you open the engine bay and look straight down from the front of the alternator, there is a blackish fluid on the ground in that area. I cant determine what type of fluid is leaking. It's not under the engine, so it cant be oil. It's not under the radiator , so it cant be coolant.

I'm thinking it's a hose leak.......
What is directly below the alternator (i see another part with a pulley on it)?
Could that be leaking this blackish fluid? What types of hoses run under this pulley that is below the alternator?


Thanks everyone!
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Old 11-27-2004, 02:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by uclabruins1996@Nov 27 2004, 01:09 PM
Greetings everyone,

I have another leak problem in my 1996 328I. If you open the engine bay and look straight down from the front of the alternator, there is a blackish fluid on the ground in that area. I cant determine what type of fluid is leaking. It's not under the engine, so it cant be oil. It's not under the radiator , so it cant be coolant.

I'm thinking it's a hose leak.......
What is directly below the alternator (i see another part with a pulley on it)?
Could that be leaking this blackish fluid? What types of hoses run under this pulley that is below the alternator?


Thanks everyone!
[snapback]238407[/snapback]

used sounds like the leak I had...power steering fluid...the container is a black "coal stove" looking thing under the alternator...It must be that...
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Old 11-28-2004, 09:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally posted by Delmarco+Nov 27 2004, 02:25 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Delmarco @ Nov 27 2004, 02:25 PM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-uclabruins1996@Nov 27 2004, 01:09 PM
Greetings everyone,

I have another leak problem in my 1996 328I. If you open the engine bay and look straight down from the front of the alternator, there is a blackish fluid on the ground in that area. I cant determine what type of fluid is leaking. It's not under the engine, so it cant be oil. It's not under the radiator , so it cant be coolant.

I'm thinking it's a hose leak.......
What is directly below the alternator (i see another part with a pulley on it)?
Could that be leaking this blackish fluid? What types of hoses run under this pulley that is below the alternator?


Thanks everyone!
[snapback]238407[/snapback]

used sounds like the leak I had...power steering fluid...the container is a black "coal stove" looking thing under the alternator...It must be that...
[snapback]238440[/snapback]
[/b][/quote]

The thing under the alternator has a pulley, which is connected to the alternator by a belt. Is that the power steering? Where is the power steering resevior located? Isnt powersteering fluid suppose to be reddish?


Thanks
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Old 11-28-2004, 09:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by uclabruins1996+Nov 28 2004, 09:42 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(uclabruins1996 @ Nov 28 2004, 09:42 AM)</div><div class='quotemain'>
Quote:
Originally posted by Delmarco@Nov 27 2004, 02:25 PM
<!--QuoteBegin-uclabruins1996
Quote:
@Nov 27 2004, 01:09 PM
Greetings everyone,

I have another leak problem in my 1996 328I. If you open the engine bay and look straight down from the front of the alternator, there is a blackish fluid on the ground in that area. I cant determine what type of fluid is leaking. It's not under the engine, so it cant be oil. It's not under the radiator , so it cant be coolant.

I'm thinking it's a hose leak.......
What is directly below the alternator (i see another part with a pulley on it)?
Could that be leaking this blackish fluid? What types of hoses run under this pulley that is below the alternator?


Thanks everyone!
[snapback]238407[/snapback]



used sounds like the leak I had...power steering fluid...the container is a black "coal stove" looking thing under the alternator...It must be that...
[snapback]238440[/snapback]
The thing under the alternator has a pulley, which is connected to the alternator by a belt. Is that the power steering? Where is the power steering resevior located? Isnt powersteering fluid suppose to be reddish?


Thanks
[snapback]238825[/snapback]
[/b][/quote]

What is the thing? If it looks like a little "black coal stove" then that is it. If the fluid is black...it could mean that the fluid is dirty as well. PS fluid looks black when its on the pavement and when your undercarraige is saturated with it. Only when you rub it between your fingers or on a white terry cloth does it show its reddish brown/carmel color. I could also be oil if its black and very slick...and could be leaking from you oil pan which is somewhere beneath the engine and alternator...but I doubt it.
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Old 11-28-2004, 11:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The power steering fluid is ATF fluid... BMWs dont use power steering fluid... it is usually a dark color... the resevoir is directly below your intake manifold ... and to the right a little. There are two hoses that use hydralic fittings coming from the bottom of the container... that is most likely your problem area to look at... clean it off really good.. and then have a good look at it after a day of driving or something of the sort. If it looks like the fluid is coming from that area... merely replace the fitting connecting the line to the container.. and it should fix your problem.

Good Luck,

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Old 11-28-2004, 04:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ive never had a leaking problem on mine...
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Old 11-28-2004, 06:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Here are pictures of the fluid.


Les,
I will perform the said tasks. Hopefully I will be able to determine the orgin of the fluid....

Thanks for the input everyone!!
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Old 11-28-2004, 06:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Your power steering fluid can turn dark grey or even black from contaminants entering the system via a worn seal or hose - check your reservoir, mine was dark grey with particulate matter at 95k miles.

The location does seem to suggest a power steering leak. Clean the area really well with a degreaser and check exactly where the fluid seems to be coming from.
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