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Slight burning smell 2006 330i

slpymnky2010-08-17 22:13:26 +0000 #1
I have a 2006 330i. When I get out of the car, there is a slight burning smell. It's not a very strong smell but you can notice it. I checked the coolant and it's fine and there aren't any leaks. The car isn't throwing any warning signs. I also can't pinpoint exactly where the smell is coming from. The biggest thing is that I am driving home (1100 miles) in a couple of weeks so I don't want something to go wrong on the drive back.

I don't know any good 3rd party repair shops up here because I am only here for the summer and I called the BMW dealership and they want either $125 to diagnose it or I can just opt for them to fix whatever it is and I don't get to have a say in whether it gets fixed or not but I save on the $125 diagnostic fee. Sounds a little fishy to me.

Is this something I need to be worried about or is it normal? If I should get it checked out, what should I tell the dealer so I don't get ripped off?
express7052010-08-17 22:22:12 +0000 #2
did you run over a bag? what does it smell like?
slpymnky2010-08-17 22:32:44 +0000 #3
I don't think there is a bag stuck underneath it. I looked underneath the car and didn't see anything. It's a hard to describe smell. It's not really foul it's just a slight burning smell. The car has 43K miles on it if that helps. I also haven't changed the oil since the last service though I intended to change it halfway between the factory services. It's been 8K miles since the last service.

Any ideas on what this could be and if it's serious? Thanks in advance.
slpymnky2010-08-17 22:52:16 +0000 #4
Bump. I tried to pinpoint the smell and it is strongest in the middle of the car when standing outside. You can get whiffs of it behind the car. I think that it must be something dripping onto the exhaust in the middle of the car. Do you think it's an oil leak? If so, is there a common problem that this could be?

Any help is much needed and appreciated. I want to be as educated as possible on the issue so I don't waste money at the dealership.
Barbera3352010-08-17 23:52:29 +0000 #5
Quote:

Originally Posted by slpymnky

Bump. I tried to pinpoint the smell and it is strongest in the middle of the car when standing outside. You can get whiffs of it behind the car. I think that it must be something dripping onto the exhaust in the middle of the car. Do you think it's an oil leak? If so, is there a common problem that this could be?

Any help is much needed and appreciated. I want to be as educated as possible on the issue so I don't waste money at the dealership.

Check your valve cover gasket, they tend to leak drips of oil onto the exhaust manifold and create a very light burning smell. It is especially common on the 06 325s and 330s.
slpymnky2010-08-17 23:18:59 +0000 #6
Quote:

Originally Posted by Barbera335

Check your valve cover gasket, they tend to leak drips of oil onto the exhaust manifold and create a very light burning smell. It is especially common on the 06 325s and 330s.

Thanks. How serious is this? Like I said, I have an 1100 mile drive in a couple of weeks and would rather wait until after the drive to fix it at my usual dealership, but I also don't want to break down in the middle of nowhere.
Barbera3352010-08-18 00:52:01 +0000 #7
You won't breakdown, but oil dripping onto the exhaust manifold does pose a small fire risk although I've never heard of it happening on a BMW. I think you should be fine on your trip as long as your oil level is ok but for peace of mind I would probably replace the gasket first. Assuming that is infact your leak. Using a flashlight shine down in between the engine and the right strut tower and see if you can spot oil or an oil residue between the valve cover and the head. This would indicate a leak. If the engnie is cold you can rub your hand on the manifold and upper edge of the cylinder head as well to check for oil.

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