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      01-25-2015, 09:22 AM   #1
2tonik
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Please Help! Oil seepage on engine post-VANOS bolt repair

Can you guys help me identify what's going on here? I got the VANOS bolts recall work done a few months ago. I only drive the 128i a few times per week; about 500 miles per month. I just noticed an oil smell coming into the cabin.

Yesterday I opened the hood and saw oil residue on the exhaust side of the engine, above the exhaust manifold, along where it seems that the valve train mounts to the head. The oil on the flange/gasket looking section seems to be dry. The apparatus in the second picture with the single arrow had "wet" (fresh) looking oil on its surface. Perhaps this is where the seepage is originating. I don't see any oil dripping below this area, nor are there any spots of oil of the ground underneath where the car is parked.

Could this issue be related to the VANOS bolts repair? (Do the techs remove the top of the engine to do the repair?)

Forgive my mechanical ignorance - I don't wrench and just have a basic understanding of engine architecture. I am crushed - I keep the car spotless and in perfect running order. I don't want oil smell permanently embedding itself in the interior. I've cleaned off the existing oil seen in the pics and I'm going take the car for a few drives to see if the oil continues to seep.

I have an dealer appointment to get this looked at.
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Last edited by 2tonik; 01-25-2015 at 09:38 AM.
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      01-25-2015, 10:35 AM   #2
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Any time a problem pops up with your car, look at the last thing that was worked on: your vanos recall...of course that's your problem, the "mechanic" who worked on your car did a hurried, crappy job on your recall.

Insist that the dealer remove the cover, inspect it for cracks, thoroughly clean the gasket surfaces, and replace it with a new gasket.
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      01-25-2015, 10:53 AM   #3
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I have oil residue there because i spilled a bit of oil when doing a change. However the valve cover gasket seems to fail frequently on these cars so i wouldn't be surprised if it were that.

Go back to the stealer and make them make it right.
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      01-25-2015, 11:19 AM   #4
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Blacksport - thanx, and another question -

What's that assembly in the second picture, the pic that contains a single white arrow? I can't ID it on any N52 engine parts diagram I've looked at. That may be the originating point of the leak.
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      01-25-2015, 11:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tonik View Post
What's that assembly in the second picture, the pic that contains a single white arrow? I can't ID it on any N52 engine parts diagram I've looked at. That may be the originating point of the leak.
Looks like:

Cover lid, 11727511542

http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...35&hg=11&fg=15

No idea what it's covering, though.
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      01-25-2015, 11:40 AM   #6
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Thanx, Suprgnat. I had only looked at getbmwparts's site. That part isn't shown (or isn't very obvious) in their illustration.

Well, I expect the dealer should fix this issue as it appears that the valve cover does have to come off in order to replace the VANOS bolts. I wonder if they re-used the original gasket, got a defective one, or damaged it/didn't properly reassemble during the repair.

Another trip to the dealer with the attendant hassle of dropping off the car, waiting, and picking it up. It's not my daily, so I'll survive.

I hate smelling oil inside the cockpit of the car.
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Last edited by 2tonik; 01-25-2015 at 12:02 PM.
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      01-25-2015, 12:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tonik View Post
Thanx, Suprgnat. I had only looked at getbmwparts's site. That part isn't shown (or isn't very obvious) in their illustration.
I checked on my SULEV and where that cover would be on mine is occupied by a valve for the emissions air pump, Item 8, Valve, 11727557909.

http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...00&hg=11&fg=50
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      01-25-2015, 12:14 PM   #8
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I wonder if that assembly has to be disassembled to do the VANOS bolts repair. It appears to be a separate area from the valve cover/head junction, in other words, did the oil leak from that area, or seep down from the valve cover gasket area and cover this surface?
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      01-25-2015, 08:22 PM   #9
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Best way to look for the leak is to clean those areas, let the car idle for a few minutes then re-check. If nothing there, then drive the car for a few minutes and re-check.

Did they actually replace the VANOS or no? I believe what they do is pull the cover off, check the VANOS and the bolts then determine if it needs to be worked on or not. If they did work on it then it would be a day or 2 before your car would be ready, if not then it would have been ready that day in a couple hours or less.

Either way, the service person probably put back on the same gasket and/or the "lip" the gasket sits on was dirty so oil could seep through, causing this.
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      01-25-2015, 11:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vigilante375 View Post
Best way to look for the leak is to clean those areas, let the car idle for a few minutes then re-check. If nothing there, then drive the car for a few minutes and re-check.

Did they actually replace the VANOS or no? I believe what they do is pull the cover off, check the VANOS and the bolts then determine if it needs to be worked on or not. If they did work on it then it would be a day or 2 before your car would be ready, if not then it would have been ready that day in a couple hours or less.

Either way, the service person probably put back on the same gasket and/or the "lip" the gasket sits on was dirty so oil could seep through, causing this.
+1 Clean then recheck. Keep an eye on oil level.
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      01-26-2015, 08:33 AM   #11
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Cleaned the "soiled" areas off, then drove about 60 miles yesterday. First 40 miles yielded no oil smell. Then the smell came back. Inspected engine. Although I apparently missed some oil at the number 1 cylinder during my cleaning effort, there was what was obviously "fresh" oil in that area in addition to previously accumulated oil. The seepage continues.

The total volume of what's leaked seems to be less than a half a shot glass, but it's still a problem both mechanically and subjectively. I'll park the car til it goes back to BMW service.h
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