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MrPig 07-02-2013 12:34 PM

Need help tracking down oil leak
I have a weird leak going on. Droplets are collecting on the a/c condenser (the bracket underneath) and the power steering pulley. Since buying the car last year I've replaced the following trying to eliminate the leak:

Valve cover gasket (twice)
Rocker plugs (those half moon plugs, all 4)
Oil control valve gasket
Both oil cooler pipes (those actually leaked pretty bad)'
At least 2 oil filter gaskets (and new filters along with them)

It's definitely not the oil pan gasket or the sensor (the one right under the filter area). That area is clean after washing the underside of the engine.

I'm suspecting that it's the front main seal, but before I go in there and replace it (the timing belt is 6 months old and barely has any km on it) I was wondering if I was missing something.

Appreciate the help.

frankie591 07-02-2013 02:25 PM

did you replace the cam seal and o-ring when you did the timing belt?

MrPig 07-02-2013 02:26 PM

No (was lazy) and now I suspect I'm paying for it. Poop. Live and learn, I guess.

TSI 07-02-2013 04:17 PM

Yeah, sounds like cam seal. Have the same problem.

MrPig 07-04-2013 08:31 PM

For those interested, it was indeed the camshaft seal/o-ring. Gave me the opportunity to replace the control arm ball joins and bushings so wasn't a total loss. Now I have some electrical gremlins, but I'll take that over fluids leaking any day.

TSI 07-04-2013 09:03 PM

Good stuff!
What gremlins do you have?

MrPig 07-04-2013 09:06 PM

Oil level low (it isn't, I checked) and low beam failure (it didn't, but I've had that ever since I did an HID conversion. Shows up shortly after I start driving but the low beams remain on) on the check control panel. At some point the ABS failure light turned on and then turned off after a little bit. Nothing serious, nor pressing.

TSI 07-04-2013 09:13 PM

How high is your oil level? If it's less than 1/2 between the two marks, it will trip the sensor in my experience. Sensors also can go bad, although not common.

For the light warning, do you have DRLs? The current difference with HIDs trips the sensor. If so, just order a US headlight relay and replace yours. It will trick the system into thinking your lights are fine.

For your ABS, does the system still work? The relay has a notoriously brittle connection in it, causes 90% of E30 abs problems.

MrPig 07-04-2013 09:17 PM

Oil level is at the top notch, chances are the sensor is bad; the top one, if memory serves, not the one by the oil filter.

I do have DRLs and have been looking for a way to disable them. I hate how BMW patch-worked the CDN cars' DRL by having everything on. I will look into getting a US relay.

As far as I can tell the (ABS) system works, I can't recall ever having to use it since the car is generally only driven on warm, sunny days and I don't slam on the brakes.

Robb 07-04-2013 09:21 PM

Just put some dye color in your oil and see where its leaking from after you start the car.

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