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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 12-16-2004, 11:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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So i woke this morning to go to school, and found a puddle of oil under the car ghead

It was about 6" diameter and i sure is engine oil 'cause when i started the car i saw some tiny drips coming from front mid-lower section of the block.
What could it be? i was thinking maybe its the oil pan gasket but i'm not sure?

can anyone me?

PS. and yeah its not my day, i'm failing Pre-calculus and my finals cross with my flight.
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Old 12-16-2004, 11:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hmm..Sucks,,Keep an eye on that oil...
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Old 12-16-2004, 12:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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can you see any visible leak on the engine? maybe the profile gasket? or the oil pan gasket?
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Old 12-16-2004, 01:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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could be front main seal. when that really lets go, get ready for a nice mess.

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Old 12-16-2004, 03:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Did you just have your oil changed?....I know it sounds simple but did you check the plug? I have heard jiffy lube type horror stories about plugs being so loose they have almost fallen out....
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Old 12-16-2004, 04:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What is the difference between the profile gasket and the oil pan gasket?
The leak is in front of the engine block almost in the middle and the mid-low part of it is kinda soaked in oil (no sludge).
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Old 12-16-2004, 04:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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And also, what is the main seal?

I haven't done an oil change (i was thinking of swithcing tomorrow from regular oil to syntetic blend oil, but i guess thats out of the picture since the syntec oil would unplug more clogs an cause other leaks)
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Old 12-16-2004, 04:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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and yes, i do change the oil every 3000 mi. just so you know
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Old 12-16-2004, 04:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hmm..Good man..
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Old 12-16-2004, 04:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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plz guys, what's the difference between profile gasket, oil pan gasket, and main seal? all these terms are driving me crazy

sorry... i'm just concerned about my precious baby
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Old 12-16-2004, 05:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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no idea what the "profile gasket" is...as i'm still learning Bimmer terms.

oil pan gasket is found between the pan and the block.

main seal is the seal that the crankshaft sits in...it can be accessed by removing all the pulleys (including the big one attached to the crank) and then using a removal tool to get the seal out. not a fun job. and I haven't done this on a Bimmer, but the procedure is pretty much the same on all cars.

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Old 12-16-2004, 05:32 PM   #12 (permalink)
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And how hard is to change the oil pan gasket? to me, it seems like i would have to remove the steering rack Or could i work around it?
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Old 12-16-2004, 05:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Gotta drop the rack for that one.
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Old 12-16-2004, 07:42 PM   #14 (permalink)
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yep you gotta drop it to get it out.
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Old 12-17-2004, 03:57 AM   #15 (permalink)
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There's also a rear main seal as well that can only be accessed with the tranny out, but it sounds like your leak is in the front of the engine.

Just clean it real well with some no-residue degreaser and watch it to see exactly where it's leaking.
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