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View Full Version : Leaking oil/fluids, but which one, HELP!


Soldo
06-18-2003, 04:34 AM
Hey guys, lemme setup the situation as much as i can!
about a month ago, my coolant started leakin a LITTLE, however i noticed NO LOSS in coolant, and it only leaked when the car got hot (driving around with the revs up!) i thought it might be the part on the car thats made of plastic thats known to crack and result in leaks, but it didn't look like it leaks from there. SOOOOOOO about a week ago i did an oil change, and i switched over to CASTROL HIGHER MILAGE oil, and i changed it and everything was good, oddly enough, no coolant leaks either!
BUT NOW, just recently, like a day or two after the oil change it began leaking some kinda OIL, not sure what it is exactly, don't think its the engine oil, and i poped the hood and my power steering cap (the whole power steering unit actually) is all greased and covered in oil, but thats not where the drips are coming from (dunno if the leak is falling on something else than ending up in a different spot though)!!
NOW, with all that in mind, my question is, WHAT COULD BE LEAKING?!
i know its some kind of oil, and my dad said it might be the TRANSMISSION oil, but i'm not too sure, is it something i should be worried about?!
Please help soon, i have to figure this stuff out before this weekend (full weekend of racing!!)
Thanks guys!

greekthang
06-18-2003, 05:15 PM
Originally posted by SOLDOMATIC 325i
Hey guys, lemme setup the situation as much as i can!
about a month ago, my coolant started leakin a LITTLE, however i noticed NO LOSS in coolant, and it only leaked when the car got hot (driving around with the revs up!) i thought it might be the part on the car thats made of plastic thats known to crack and result in leaks, but it didn't look like it leaks from there. SOOOOOOO about a week ago i did an oil change, and i switched over to CASTROL HIGHER MILAGE oil, and i changed it and everything was good, oddly enough, no coolant leaks either!
BUT NOW, just recently, like a day or two after the oil change it began leaking some kinda OIL, not sure what it is exactly, don't think its the engine oil, and i poped the hood and my power steering cap (the whole power steering unit actually) is all greased and covered in oil, but thats not where the drips are coming from (dunno if the leak is falling on something else than ending up in a different spot though)!!
NOW, with all that in mind, my question is, WHAT COULD BE LEAKING?!
i know its some kind of oil, and my dad said it might be the TRANSMISSION oil, but i'm not too sure, is it something i should be worried about?!
Please help soon, i have to figure this stuff out before this weekend (full weekend of racing!!)
Thanks guys!


You best beat is to engine wash and wash the enderside of your car. You can't isolate a leak if the is oil everywhere. then keep an eyes on it from there. I don't think its the tranny. I have a leak in my oil pan but no use changing it now. Engine swap next year. Also as a result of me switching over to synthetic the gaskets in the oil pan tends to fail cause leaks. I would go racing pal. Oils are crutial when racing and if you have a leak get it fixed first befor you do anything on the track *no-no*

Soldo
06-18-2003, 07:03 PM
ya i know!
but i don't think its an OIL leak!!
just doesn't seem like it, and how would i fix an oil leak?!
Also, i didn't notice ANY oil loss yet either!
Could it be the oil that a switched over too!?!
(Castrol HIGHER MILEAGE oil + Oil treatment, to reduce noisy lifters!)
Please help guys!

MP328
06-18-2003, 08:34 PM
ok stupid question but did use ur a/c maybe and it's just water under the car??

dont kill me for asking that. i go with the simple things first.

Soldo
06-18-2003, 09:02 PM
no i did not use the ac, never use, just drive with the windows down!!
hehehe, i know the diff between water and oil!!
or do i?!
ya its oil, i think maybe engine oil actually!

Soldo
06-19-2003, 03:17 AM
help?

djcontra
06-19-2003, 02:30 PM
Check to make sure your brake lines or parts aren't leaking.
They use a kind of oil that looks very different than engine oil.
Also sometimes the hoses in the engine bay get pinholes and you might be able to see stuff squirting out when the engine is hot or running. But definately hose everything down before checking.

greekthang
06-19-2003, 02:45 PM
Originally posted by djcontra
Check to make sure your brake lines or parts aren't leaking.
They use a kind of oil that looks very different than engine oil.
Also sometimes the hoses in the engine bay get pinholes and you might be able to see stuff squirting out when the engine is hot or running. But definately hose everything down before checking.

Well if it is a brake line leak then your clutch and brakes would be acting weird. Spongey brakes and unpredictable clutch pressure feel. Check you engine oil pal. My guess is its that. It doesnít have to be a huge leak. Just a very small on and it is usually the pan gasket. Thatís whats leaking on mine. Pan on the side of the engine block.*th-up*

greekthang
06-19-2003, 02:48 PM
Originally posted by greekthang
Well if it is a brake line leak then your clutch and brakes would be acting weird. Spongey brakes and unpredictable clutch pressure feel. Check you engine oil pal. My guess is its that. It doesnít have to be a huge leak. Just a very small on and it is usually the pan gasket. Thatís whats leaking on mine. Pan on the side of the engine block. It may not be leaking alot but over time as it accumulates on the pan it may seem like it is leaking alot but in fact it could be a very small drip. Change are thats what is is because of the different change in oil as well. Once you switch to another brand it will most likely leak through the gaskets.*th-up*

maverick
06-19-2003, 04:38 PM
#1 get you hands dirty
#2 check what color the oil is on your hand now
#3 if its red or redish (depending on last time your changed the power steering fluid)it is ATF oil responsible for you P/S

im sure you know what dirty eng. oil looks like
sooo....

and if its brake fluid generally its a little clearer then motor oil (when new)

any other questions feel free to ask
oh yea ATF oil is REAL bad for asphalt driveway worse then regular oil so I suggest you put something under the car until its fixed
good luck

Soldo
06-19-2003, 07:17 PM
thanks guys, maverick, it does seem almost CLEANER than motor oil!!
so where do i check?!

maverick
06-19-2003, 07:27 PM
you'll have to check one more thing cause im not 100% does the E36 use power steering fluid (gold kind of color) or ATF fluid which is the red stuff (sorry for the color association) Ill assume you know which is which but some people dont, so to save time....

let me know that then I can possibly rhym off a couple spots

Furious
06-19-2003, 10:11 PM
id check the power steering again. check from the underside. mine has a small leak and from what i hear. the power steering leaks quite often (well relitive to everything else except the coolant)