BMW vehicles require frequent care to maintain their incredible drive and quality. Failure to do so can cause owners to miss issues that need addressing. A common problem seen in BMWs is the wear and breakdown of the alternator bracket seal. This seal can naturally corrode and break, leading to oil leaks. Let’s discuss the common signs of this problem and give you some advice on what to do if you experience a bracket seal failure.
The alternator is an integral part of any car’s engine. It basically works in tandem with your battery to maintain the flow of electricity to the components in your vehicle that need power. The alternator naturally needs a designated place within the engine and uses brackets to hold it in place. It also has rubber seals to keep lubrication in its proper place. When one of these seals breaks, it can lead to a minor oil leak. If left without repair, this leak can cause bigger, more costly problems in the future.
Some older BMWs seem to be more prone to engine leaks, such as the E65 and E70. While there are many causes of engine leaks, the alternator bracket seal can be the cause.
The alternator bracket seal can deteriorate or corrode without your knowledge. However, there are some easy signs to spot that will alert you to the need for professional service. Below are some of the most common symptoms that the bracket seal is failing:
This sign is easy to spot, as you can simply look in your rear view mirror. If you see blue smoke coming from your tailpipe on acceleration, you can suspect that oil is leaking in the engine and is burning, causing the appearance of bluish-smoke from your car’s exhaust.
This sign will accompany the bluish-colored smoke emissions from your tailpipe. This symptom is hard to ignore, as burning oil has a distinct smell, and it is definitely not a part of your normal driving experience.
One of the most obvious signs of any leak is a stain under your car where it is parked. If you suspect a problem but aren’t sure if it’s happening, you can put a piece of cardboard or even newspaper under your engine when you park it at night. In the morning, before you start your engine, if there is oil or any kind of wet spot, you can take note of the color, scent, and viscosity. If you’re phone savvy, take a picture of the droplets or puddle and bring it to your trusted BMW mechanic. Early detection can save you money on bigger repairs that could’ve been prevented.
While it may seem like an easy thing to replace, the alternator bracket seal is in a tricky spot. Getting to this piece will take specialized tools and will require disassembly of engine parts to get to the culprit of the problem. You will have to remove the engine mount, which is far more in-depth than a simple replacement of a worn seal.
It is best practice to take your BMW to an experienced technician who is qualified to work on high-performance vehicles like yours. Certified BMW mechanics have the tools and expertise to quickly and efficiently repair alternator bracket seals. They will also be able to inspect other components as they disassemble, repair, and put your engine back together post-repair.
If you undertake this task on your own, consult detailed instructions you trust, and make sure to follow it exactly to prevent improper engine reassembly, which could lead to a potential disaster.
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