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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 09-09-2004, 01:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I noticed this morning that they were tiny ( quarter & nickle sized) spots of oil under the front of the car. Never seen this before and the car was sitting for full day and night. When I looked under the car (see pics below) I noticed some parts of the under carriage were saturated with wet oil that came right off on my finger tips. I have no idea what I'm looking at used (see pics) nor whether I should call a BMW mechanic.

Has anyone experienced this before?

My car is a 1995 318i. I'm due in about 20-30 days for oil servicing.

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Old 09-09-2004, 01:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 09-09-2004, 01:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Might want 2 take a quick look under the hood 2 see if u can trace the source of the leak. Looks quite dark so i'm guessing its engine oil and not power steering fluid. I've had a valve cover gasket leak bad before, but u really need 2 find out where the leak starts...
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Old 09-09-2004, 02:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Problem! And I'm no mechanic

I would check hoses first, then check around the oil pan

If the car is smoking from the exhaust then you really have a problem

Sorry I cant help more but good luck

J...
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Old 09-09-2004, 04:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you can get underneath the car, then spray it with a cleaner to get all of the oil off and then turn the car on and let it run for about 30 mins (assuming your cooling system works well) or you can leave it off but it usually takes longer. And watch for the first signs of oil coming down, then it is easy to trace. When it is covered with oil like that it is almost impossible to tell where it is coming from.
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Old 09-09-2004, 04:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Negetive on the oil theory.... if that is sitting directly on your power steering rack.. I'd venture to say that is power steering fluid coming from one of your power steering lines... either the one from the pump to the rack.. or from the rack to the container.. or from the container to the pump. Its one of the three.. very common problem with E36s...

Just an idea...

Les
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Old 09-09-2004, 07:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally posted by 97alpineM3@Sep 9 2004, 05:09 PM
Negetive on the oil theory.... if that is sitting directly on your power steering rack.. I'd venture to say that is power steering fluid coming from one of your power steering lines... either the one from the pump to the rack.. or from the rack to the container.. or from the container to the pump. Its one of the three.. very common problem with E36s...

Just an idea...

Les
How much am I looking to pay for that?
Power steering fluid leaking sounds more expensive to fix than an oil leak.

Thanks ya'll.
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Old 09-09-2004, 07:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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a powersteering leak isnt THAT horrible.. you can live with it and refill the resevoir when it gets low. at least until you can afford to fix it. and if its the lines im assuming its not expensive to fix.
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