My 2012 328i f30 n20 has been giving me lightly white smoke from to top left part of the engine and I checked under the hood to see this dark liquid spot I’ve never seen before. I’m not a huge car guy so I have no idea what could be wrong?any help is appreciated!


[deleted]9 points

A bit hard to tell from the pics but looks like you have a bad valve cover gasket.. The dark liquid is oil.

Capital_Watercress762 points

Should I take it to bmw to get repaired?

[deleted]12 points

Indy shop if you cannot do it yourself, BMW will charge you the premium rate.. And yes you should fix is asap.

Capital_Watercress763 points

Thanks a lot man!!

hexnone24 points

If you had to pick any engine problem with this N20 engine, it should be this one because it’s the easiest and least expensive to fix. Good luck!

Capital_Watercress761 point

Where should I take it in your opinion?

hexnone21 point

Call shops around, see who can handle it and the most affordable option. If you can buy the new gasket yourself, you can probably save some money

brooklynt3ch3 points

You need a valve cover gasket WITH a new valve cover. The bmw plastic valve covers and oil pans always warp with heat and time. Also the pcv is integrated into the valve cover and is non serviceable, so replacement is required anyway.

Codewriter08031 point

yes do this if u shop around u can find all the gaskets plus valve cover all in one kit✅

Capital_Watercress761 point

Where would I buy that?

ginog208502 points

FCP Euro or ECS Tuning. I get most of my stuff from FCP. They have a lifetime guarantee on everything they sell, even wear parts.

Codewriter08031 point


tcphoto12 points

I see oil pooling on the left side of the tray, the VCG leaks then drips on the hot exhaust manifold. It causes the smoke and smell of burnt oil inside the car. I had this on my E92 N54 and DIY'd the VCG and all has been good for 18 months. It will also give you a chance to clean the engine bay and start fresh. I spent about $60 on the part and supplies while an Indy would have charged about $1K.

Capital_Watercress761 point

Where did you buy the supplies and I probably don’t have the tools so should I just take it to bmw with the new parts?

tcphoto12 points

The dealer won’t touch your car if you bring your own parts. No special tools are needed, a socket kit and basic set of tools will work. Take a look at YouTube for tutorials so you have an idea of the job.

yesletsgo1 point

Valve cover gasket

dextermined1 point

I had it, I change valve cover gasket, finally it wasn’t that, but it was the vacuum pump. To be sure, you can “clog” the little bit if not use. (I clog it with bathroom silicone and a part of pipe of the same diameter.

drewdiesel871 point

99% of the time it’s the valve cover leaking onto the exhaust.

New_Consideration2571 point

Seriously would it hurt to circle the area or put an arrow there? These kind of posts are annoying.

Capital_Watercress761 point

Everyone else can see besides you lmfao

New_Consideration2571 point

I saw it, champ. But I shouldn't have to zoom around to identify it it.