Car Problem Reports

BMW Z3 Oil Leaks From Lower Engine Area

BMW Z3 Problem
13 Reports
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Model Years Affected: 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002

Engine Affected: 1.9L 4 Cylinder

Average Mileage: 75,333 mi (13,000 mi - 160,000 mi)


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.

  • , , 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.

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  • , , 160,000 mi

    Still ongoing

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  • , , 69,000 mi

    Valve cover gasket leak. Repair was quick, $260.

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  • , , 1.9L 4 Cylinder, 85,000 mi

    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.

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  • , , 60,000 mi

    Valve cover gasket leaking; needed replacement

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  • , , 110,000 mi

    oil leak near back of engine due to failing valve cover gasket

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