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.Google+
Car Problem Reports
BMW Z3 Oil Leaks From Lower Engine Area
BMW Z3 Problem
Engine Affected: 1.9L 4 Cylinder
Average Mileage: 75,333 mi (13,000 mi - 160,000 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.
Visitor, 1996 BMW Z3, 160,000 mi
Visitor, 2001 BMW Z3, 69,000 mi
Valve cover gasket leak. Repair was quick, $260.
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