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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 06-15-2008, 05:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Smoke and burning smell from middle heater vents.

I have a 2001 520I Petrol - Auto. After driving for about 15 mins and only when I slow down or stop a buring smell and sometimes smoke come through the middle heater vents. It smells like buring oil. No signs of leakage. Any advise on what it migh be or how to fix
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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look closely at your exhaust manifold/s and exhaust pipe... it's only in that region where temps are hot enough for u to smell "burnt oil"
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Old 06-16-2008, 04:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice. I have checked as much of the exhaust manifolds as I can see but I can#t find any sign of a leak. However I did notice that there is still some staining left over from a leave on the power steering oil cylinder but its not so hot in that area.
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Old 06-16-2008, 05:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have a 2001 520I Petrol - Auto. After driving for about 15 mins and only when I slow down or stop a buring smell and sometimes smoke come through the middle heater vents. It smells like buring oil. No signs of leakage. Any advise on what it migh be or how to fix
Hi! HANDJ, I had the same problem about 3 months ago, & I found a small amount of seepage of engine oil coming from the back of the valve cover right onto the exhaust manifold, burning very close to the firewall. Which is where the vents are located! Replaced the valve cover gasket & the problem was solved.....
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Old 06-17-2008, 01:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks Johnny,

I did suggest this to the local repair shop but they could not see a leak so they are reluctant to do this. I can see a small drip of oil onto what I call a heat shield just where you described. I will get a valve cover gasket from the BMW dealer and I will have it fitted. Was it a big job? Expensive? My wife is keeping tabs on how mush I spend on this hobby car as she calls it. I just love the car and want it running perfect.
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks Johnny,

I did suggest this to the local repair shop but they could not see a leak so they are reluctant to do this. I can see a small drip of oil onto what I call a heat shield just where you described. I will get a valve cover gasket from the BMW dealer and I will have it fitted. Was it a big job? Expensive? My wife is keeping tabs on how mush I spend on this hobby car as she calls it. I just love the car and want it running perfect.
No, it was not hard to do, & cheap, the cost of the gasket, it took me about 1 hour.... but I had this DIY to follow, the 2.8 & the 2.0 Are somewhat a like they are both inline...............Here is the DIY FOR THE INLINE 6.........
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Old 11-05-2008, 06:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i had the same problem.. gasket under the valves cover, the oil was leaking on the manifold
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Same Problem

Small leak at the back of the valve cover gasket dripped onto the exhaust and caused a burning smell and a little smoke. Neglected it for awhile and the little bit of smell and smoke got worse. What a surprise. Bought the gasket, including the spark plug gaskets at Advance Auto parts and replaced it yesterday.

The gaskets were $34 and a tube of Permatex was $3. Add less than an hour of my time and... VOILA!

Followed the Pelican Parts instructions to the letter and took my time.

The local chain store quoted me $120 for parts plus 2.5 hours for labor. I won't mention their name, but it starts with Pep and ends with Boys.

I didn't go to the BMW dealer for a quote for obvious reasons.
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