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  7. BMW 3 Series Oil Leak: 5 Causes and Solutions

BMW 3 Series Oil Leak: 5 Causes and Solutions

BMW 3 Series Oil Leak

BMW 3 Series Oil Leak: 5 Causes and Solutions

BMW 3 oil leakage can be caused by several reasons. But, don’t panic. Some fluids coming from the BMW engine are normal. For example, it can be just moisture because of the AC condensation. On the other hand, it can be problematic if your BMW 3 loses any elemental fluid.

The main cause of oil leaks in any car is the degradation and hardening of seals and gaskets with time. This is a common problem with all cars, but it is more pronounced in the case of the BMW 3. Other common causes include leaks in the oil filter housing gasket, compromised drain plug, damaged oil pan gasket, and untightened oil filler cap.

In this guide, we will discuss how you can differentiate between simple fluid and engine oil and the causes and solutions to fix oil leaks in BMW 3 series.

Is Oil Leak A Major Problem In BMW 3?

Even a small amount of oil leaking from your BMW 3 can be problematic. It can result in the engine being overworked, eventually leading to complete failure. So, it is important to take care of the oil leak problem as soon as you notice it.

How Do You Differentiate Between Engine Oil And Other Fluids?

If you are not sure whether the fluid coming out from your car is oil or any other fluid, here are a few things that can help you out.

First of all, check the color of the fluid as it is usually dark brown or black. Another way to differentiate is by smell. Engine oil has a distinct smell which is quite different from other fluids in the car. You can also touch the fluid to see if it’s slippery or not. If it is slippery, then it is obviously an oil leak. 

5 Causes & Solutions Of Oil Leak In BMW 3 Series

Several reasons can cause the BMW 3 Series oil leak issue. You can fix some of these issues. However, few of them may require extensive repair. The reason could be BMW 3 series age, driving habits, the oil you may use, and how often you change your engine oil.

1. Degrading And Hardening Of Seals & Gaskets

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Problem: One of the main reasons for BMW 3 series oil leaks is the degrading and hardening of seals and gaskets with time. It includes a valve cover gasket, timing cover gasket, oil pan shaft, or front crankshaft seal. When any of these gaskets starts wearing out or aging, it will allow the oil to leak.

Solution: There are temporary solutions to fix the hardening seals and gaskets like patching or cleaning them. However, if you need to replace it, you have to replace it entirely.

2. Worn Out Oil Filter Housing Gasket

worn oil filter
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Problem: The oil filter is an important part of the engine that keeps the oil clean. It is located on the side of the engine block. The oil filter housing gasket can start leaking over time, and it will cause oil to drip mostly on vehicles with over 60,000 miles.

Solution: The solution is to replace the oil filter housing gasket as soon as you notice it. However, you need to remove the front suspension to replace the filter housing gasket.

3. Loose Oil Filler Cap

topping up engine oil
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Problem: It is one of the most common reasons for oil leaking as most people don’t realize that the oil filler cap needs to be tight. Sometimes if an inexperienced auto mechanic deals with your BMW 3, they may not tighten the oil filler cap.

Solution: The solution to this problem is quite simple, you need to check if the oil filler cap is tight or not. If it is not, then you need to tighten it.

4. Damaged Oil Pan Gasket

oil leak
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Problem: If you find oil dripping from the bottom of your BMW 3, it is most likely because of a damaged oil pan gasket. It happens mostly in the case of an accident or when you are trying to run over a road with debris. The oil pan gasket seals the oil pan to the bottom of the engine, and it is quite vulnerable to damage.

Solution: You should always try to keep your BMW as high off the ground as possible. In addition, you should avoid road obstacles and be more cautious on the road. However, you need to replace oil pan gaskets if they are damaged.

5. Worn Out Drain Plug

checking bmw oil levels
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Problem: The oil drain plug is located at the bottom of the oil pan. It can become loose over time, and it will cause oil to drip. The engine oil is removed from the BMW 3, where the drain plug is located to replace the oil. In this case, the drain plug can’t fit back.

Solution: With time, the drain plug can become loose. You need to check the oil drain plug if it is tight. If it is not, you need to tighten it immediately. If the issue continues, you should replace your drain plug to avoid further oil leaks.

Final Thoughts

bmw 3 series
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Owning a BMW 3 is a privilege and driving such an amazing car is like a dream comes true. However, the most well-designed vehicles can also have some problems. But, BMW 3 Series oil leak is a common issue reported by several owners.

You can use this article as a guide to locate the root cause of the oil leak. If you are good with tools and know a thing or two about cars, fixing the issue will be quite easy. Otherwise, we suggest that you take your BMW 3 to a certified mechanic to get things fixed ASAP.


Are oil leaks common in BMW 3 Series?

Like any other vehicle, BMW also faces oil leak issues. However, it is important to keep an eye on oil leaks as they can damage your car and reduce its performance.

What are the symptoms of an oil leak in a BMW 3?

The most common symptom of an oil leak is a low oil level. In addition, you may notice oil stains on the ground where you park your car. Moreover, your check engine light may turn on or notice a burning oil smell.

When can an oil leak occur in a BMW 3?

Although there isn’t a fixed number, you can expect some sort of oil leak to pop up if your car has more than 60,000 miles on the odometer.

How much does it cost to fix oil leaks in a BMW?

The cost of fixing oil leaks in BMW depends on the type and location of the leaks. However, it can cost you anywhere from $400 to $500.