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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 03-20-2005, 12:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My '97 318is with 102k suddenly started leaking motor oil. It is leaking from the right side of the engine at about the level of the bottom timing chain cover.
Has anyone had this problem and if so, is the fix expensive? I change oil and filters and that is about the limit of my mechanical ability. Thanks for any info.

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Old 03-21-2005, 09:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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is the leak between the oil pan and the bottom of the engine?
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Old 03-21-2005, 06:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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although i don't know any exact prices i can imagine that either a pan gasket or a timing cover gasket would be pricey. sometimes with pan gaskets the sub fram has to be dropped but since you have a 4cyl it might not have to be dropped. and with timing covers pretty much everything on the front of the engine obviously would have to come off: belts.pullies,fan shroud,and maybe even the water pump. i think a couple of the bolts on that water pump are also used to hold the timing cover on, if memory serves correctly. and the valve cover might have to come off too.
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Old 03-21-2005, 06:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by CiscoKid@Mar 21 2005, 09:26 AM
is the leak between the oil pan and the bottom of the engine?
[snapback]315613[/snapback]
Thanks for the interest. I went to a recommended euro mechanic today. He said it is the head gasket which is common at 90+k on the 318s. He said not to worry, but if I really want to fix it, it is about $1100.
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Old 03-21-2005, 06:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by bryan1970@Mar 21 2005, 06:11 PM
although i don't know any exact prices i can imagine that either a pan gasket or a timing cover gasket would be pricey. sometimes with pan gaskets the sub fram has to be dropped but since you have a 4cyl it might not have to be dropped. and with timing covers pretty much everything on the front of the engine obviously would have to come off: belts.pullies,fan shroud,and maybe even the water pump. i think a couple of the bolts on that water pump are also used to hold the timing cover on, if memory serves correctly. and the valve cover might have to come off too.
[snapback]315929[/snapback]
Thanks for the interest. I went to a recommended euro mechanic today. He said it is the head gasket which is common at 90+k on the 318s. He said not to worry, but if I really want to fix it, it is about $1100.
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Old 03-21-2005, 10:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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yeah i guess if it just leaking a little bit of oil you would be okay for a while. as long as no coolant is leking into the cylinders or the opposite:compression going into the cooling system , you'd be okay for a while. just take it easy on the engine. but the bad thing is that it won't get better as time goes on. and it is a possibility that down the road it could get to the point where coolant starts leaking.
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Old 03-21-2005, 11:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ya my head gasket has been leaking for the last 50k or so, a really long time. I can't afford the fix so I drive it as is.
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Old 03-21-2005, 11:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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$1100 !!!! :S Wow. I am guessing the one in mine has been replaced (at least I hope). I have 172k and counting.

I wonder if it is a very complicated job. The part itself is around $200. Anyhow, be careful with that. Like someone said already, you don't want coolant filtering in there.
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Old 03-21-2005, 11:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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well all though the head gasket isnt cheap to fix, 1100 sounds expensive to me. all in all, just make sure they do it right so there is no problems in the near future.
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Old 03-22-2005, 04:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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wow 1100 just to change the gaskets?? that's pretty much waayyyyy too expensive...

is there anyone here in the post who can help louellette and i (same problem) solve this problem by diy?? i just need to know how to open the whole thing and change the gaskets... i want to get rid of the oil leak...
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Old 03-22-2005, 06:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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it definatly takes quite a bit of mechanical ability. and you need a couple specialt tools too. as far as opening it up just take the valve cover off and you can get an idea at what all needs to come off. but it may be dificult to keep the cams from turning after the chain is taken off with out the BMW tools
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Old 03-23-2005, 09:34 AM   #12 (permalink)
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i bleieve there is a cam locking position, where something can be placed to stop the cam from moving
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Old 03-23-2005, 11:29 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by PR325is@Mar 22 2005, 05:00 PM
wow 1100 just to change the gaskets?? that's pretty much waayyyyy too expensive...

is there anyone here in the post who can help louellette and i (same problem) solve this problem by diy?? i just need to know how to open the whole thing and change the gaskets... i want to get rid of the oil leak...
[snapback]316541[/snapback]

a DIY would be nice, however its such a huge job and so involved that i dont personally wanna post one.
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