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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 09-24-2008, 11:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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ligt brown goop on oil cap! :(

So on my 92 325i with 216xxx miles, i went to add some oil to my engine and i noticed a little bit of beige colored goop on the oil cap and on the inside of the crankcase. Now in addition to this i have had a very small, but noticeable coolant disappearing act. About 1/4 of the expansion tank will be gone every 10-12 days.

My first thought was crap, blown head gasket. But there is no goop on the dipstick and I have never overheated the car. What do you guys think? I am planning on adding some seafoam and doing a oil change to sea if that helps.
Anybody have an idea?
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Old 09-25-2008, 02:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Normally that would indicate, coolant mixing with the oil (head gasket) it wont always show on the dipstick,or you may have a crack in the head allowing coolant in that way thus no sign on the dip stick, you could try the seafoam route, but I do think you have a head problem somewhere.
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Normally that would indicate, coolant mixing with the oil (head gasket) it wont always show on the dipstick,or you may have a crack in the head allowing coolant in that way thus no sign on the dip stick, you could try the seafoam route, but I do think you have a head problem somewhere.
But i don't think you can get random cracks in the head can you? Do head gaskets get old and crack?
Like I said before, I have never had the engine overheat to make it fail.
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Head gaskets just wear out over time, due to engine pressure, expansion and contraction, normally they go across the pots (piston to piston) allowing coolant in which I think maybe the problem, as for heads cracking yes they sometimes do, normally after over heating, but as you say yours hasent.

So we are back to the gasket, if you believe it may not be the gasket, you can keep driving it until it goes fully, this will cause overheating,so keep an eye on your temp,it will also fill the whole coolant system with what I call mayo which is a pain to flush out after a fix, also you will get lack of power and white smoke out of the tail pipe.

So to sum up, you can still drive it but keep an eye on everything esp the MAYO dont let it get to bad.
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Old 09-25-2008, 07:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Pull all the plugs, and Do a compression test on all the cylinders. Do one hot and one cold. Might even want to depressurize the cooling system or drain.*Fall time, good time to change coolant before winter.
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Old 09-25-2008, 10:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Mybe Intake man. Is there an oil return on that engine at the manifold?
ps what engine is it? Sorry just getting to know my way around BMW'S.
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Some light brown goop under the cap by itself is not a problem as all engines have some moisture in them and it has to condense somewhere, BUT when it is combined with an engine loosing significant amounts of coolant that means you have a leak from the cooling system into the crankcase...big problem...It could be coming from the head gasket or many other areas.
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm gonna do a leak down test to be sure. i'll keep everyone informed.
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by cjscopp View Post
Some light brown goop under the cap by itself is not a problem as all engines have some moisture in them and it has to condense somewhere, BUT when it is combined with an engine loosing significant amounts of coolant that means you have a leak from the cooling system into the crankcase...big problem...It could be coming from the head gasket or many other areas.
Condensation.......
I agree with cjscopp, bimmerguy82, I had this same light brown goop under my oil cap too & @ only 84,000 on my 97' 2 years ago. I just cleaned it off & it has not come back yet.......I have no coolant issues either!
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Condensation.......
I agree with cjscopp, bimmerguy82, I had this same light brown goop under my oil cap too & @ only 84,000 on my 97' 2 years ago. I just cleaned it off & it has not come back yet.......I have no coolant issues either!
johnny,
This could be true. I have had this coolant issue for a few months now, and I think it might be leaking under pressure when I drive. This new issue with the brown goop could just be a timing coincidence along with the coolant issue. My oil cap gasket is all broken down as well, so it could be from condensation. I'll let you guys know later. Thanks.
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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so i ran some seafoam through the oil and changed it. looks good so far but i'll have to keep an eye on it. pretty sure at this point it's not the headgasket, but time will tell.
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:05 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Im, Glad its not the head gasket, thats good news, but in your opening post you did mention your are losing coolant, Have you found the problem yet?
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:57 AM   #13 (permalink)
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it's the headgasket man, I dealt with this same exact problem for 2 years before I traded in the bimmer. I did a pressure test and everything, changed everything coolant related except the headgasket, because i didn't want to mess with it. The car never overheated either, just started loosing coolant randomly and would vary randomly from running normal to losing coolant here and there, very hard to pinpoint, the only thing I didn't replace was the headgasket so I'm 99% sure that's your issue.
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:29 PM   #14 (permalink)
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it's the headgasket man, I dealt with this same exact problem for 2 years before I traded in the bimmer. I did a pressure test and everything, changed everything coolant related except the headgasket, because i didn't want to mess with it. The car never overheated either, just started loosing coolant randomly and would vary randomly from running normal to losing coolant here and there, very hard to pinpoint, the only thing I didn't replace was the headgasket so I'm 99% sure that's your issue.
well either way if this car can last me 6 more months without dying i'll be happy. I'm getting a ZHP by then.
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