Valve cover gasket leaks are common after 60,000 miles. Symptoms will include oil drips under the vehicle and burning oil smell from the engine compartment.
Car Problem Reports
BMW Z3 Oil Leaks From Lower Engine Area
BMW Z3 Problem
Engine Affected: 1.9L 4 Cylinder
Average Mileage: 69,600 mi (13,000 mi - 110,000 mi)
Visitor, 1998 BMW Z3, 1.9L 4 Cylinder, 13,000 mi
Had the severe coolant leak repaired and the shop that did the work mentioned the leak. will order and replace. Notice some drips of oil around 70-90K miles.
I have had the same issue, I have changed the valve cover gasket, but still had the same issue, due to bolts stripping out.
I have since added thread inserts, and will change the gasket again this morning, since I lose about a quart a week.
I now have over 97,000 miles on the car, and drive downtown to Houston everyday, so if I can get this car to make it a few more years, I will try and nurse it along as long as possible.
Also, I just pulled the last valve cover gasket I installed and found that it was NOT leaking, since I placed a small amount of silicone on the top and bottom of the gasket, to hold it in place. The gasket remained intact, so I will need to look for another source of the oil leak.
My first thought is the rear seal, and or the oil sending unit, but when I stop at a red light in town, I smell burnt oil through the AC vents, so it has to be dripping on the exhaust manifold at some point. That was why I thought it leaked on the rear of the valve cover gasket, which ends up behind the engine, and seemed to be my source of the dripping oil.
I have a large puddle of oil every time I leave home and work, so I know it has to be one of the aforementioned issues, unless someone knows one that has not been mentioned.
Visitor, 2001 BMW Z3, 60,000 mi
Valve cover gasket leaking; needed replacement
Visitor, 1999 BMW Z3, 110,000 mi
oil leak near back of engine due to failing valve cover gasket