I have a 2003 BMW 325i. I bought it brand new and have maintained it in fair condition. Recently it’s been leaking oil, they said it’s the intake manifold and housing and quoted me at $950. Should i fix it and keep it a few more years or sell it without fixing? I am frustrated with the car since i became a mother a year ago and is very small and struggle every time i put the car seat in the back seat and stroller in the trunk.
All I can say is that the car is most likely going to become a major money pit in the years to come.
German cars are not generally known for their reliability. They are known for their LACK of reliability. I happen to like German cars, but I, as a professional, realize that they aren’t the best cars, from a reliability standpoint.
There are far more practical vehicles for Mom’s…If the leak is not too noticeable, now might be a good time to sell it or trade it in…If the leak is obvious, then it will make the car hard to sell;;How many miles on the car? That will set it’s value more than the oil leak…
I’d trade it in or sell it to someone that doesn’t have small kids. Get a more practical car to save your back getting your baby in and out.
Btw, congrats on becoming a mom.
If it’s not too much trouble, you could go back to the repair people to ask if the bolts holding the manifold/housing could be tightened if they have worked loose over time or if the gasket has shrunk. It’s not impossible that this could help for little money. A little leaking oil is something that can be lived with. We have one very old car that leaks a little oil now and then. I just use a piece of cardboard on the garage floor. A lot of oil is another matter; needs to be repaired.
I don’t know BMWs and so that is why I have a hard time understanding how an intake manifold on an inline four or six would leak oil.
Watch your oil level more frequently so it does not get too low.
I agree w/others here, for your purposes, it’s time for a trade. Cars of that vintage can quickly become expensive to maintain. And BMW’s deal up more expensive repair bills than equivalent year Corollas I’d guess. These older BMW’s are very nice cars, good styling, nice looking if well maintained, and when they are working well, have excellent performance; but these kinds of cars are more for folks who just enjoy keeping their BMW on the road for as long as possible. For your purposes, you probably do better with a newer car.
There is no oil in your intake manifold. What is almost certainly leaking is the gasket between the engine block and the oil filter bracket. I am surprised you made it this far. Every e46 BMW has to have that gasket replaced at about 7 years of age. A second possibility is the pressed-in plug in the back of the oil filter housing, but since your gasket is overdue, I would bet $$$ that is the problem.
Any mechanic familiar with BMWs would have diagnosed this correctly the moment he saw that the oil was coming from the front driver side of the engine. I don’t know what the flat rate hours are for this job, but I have replaced that gasket on both of my e46s myself, and it is about a 4 hour job for an amateur who is in no particular hurry.
Now the bad news. If you have not replace all of the plastic and rubber components in your cooling system yet, you are about to have much bigger problems than an oil leak. I have replaced the entire cooling systems in both my 2004 e46s. The parts alone, on line, were $600 for the stick shift car and $750 for the automatic. With shop markup, the parts would have been about $1000 and the labor another $1000.
My wife LOVES her 2004 330i. I tease that if she were given a choice between giving up me or that car, she would pack my bags for me. Since I do all my own work, I will continue to fix that car so long as I can, whatever it costs.
In your case, however, if you have not already invested in a new cooling system, I suggest to you that now would be a really good time to go car shopping and get that kid-friendly car you want.
I appreciate all the responses.
Caddyman, the car has 148k miles on it.
It looks I’ll be selling my car.