Please read this post it could save your engine.
I would like to begin by apologizing as this post is quite long however I will post a cliff notes version at the end and if you are so inclined you may read my adventure please review.
It begins with the seemingly uneventful; I was experiencing the common oil filter housing/ oil cooler housing leak. I was not tremendously concerned as it was more of a seeping than a true leak I believed so I let it persist as I was NOT going pay a dealer almost 1k for the repair I knew I could do especially when the part was only $15. Well waiting was a huge mistake.
I was informed of the oil leak by the dealer in August when I went in for a coolant flush, which was my ah hah moment as I realized why I was adding a quart once a month and why I occasionally smelled burning oil(very occasionally and no smoke, again why I wasnít concerned). So I decided this would be a good project to take on during Christmas break a 1 quart a month oil leak is not a big deal.
Well at the end of October my Serpentine belt shredded and I immediately did some research and it seemed as a few people had the issue of the sub frame hitting the P/S pulley and damaging the belt causing it to shred. This was not the cause of my accident I thoroughly examined the P/S pulley and it had absolutely no damage.
That belt shredding caused another issue that I did not realize until yesterday. When our belts get wrapped around the crank pulley they damage the crank seal and in a worst case scenario can be sucked up into your engine causing you to lose your engine. The belt shredding was my wake up call to address the oil leak. I did the oil filter housing gasket swap and put a new belt on however oil still leaked and I was shocked I couldnít believe it.
I had a buddy do the walnut blasting on my intake valves and asked him to change the gasket again as it appeared it was still leaking so he did and he cleaned the engine up very nicely so we could actually see if the oil leak had truly go away. Well after the car warmed up there was still a solid bit of oil dripping on the ground however it was not coming from anywhere near the oil filter housing. We realized that oil was leaking from the front crank seal/front main seal.
So we decide itís best that I take it to a mechanic to have the seal replaced and I am absolutely freaking out because I have read about peoples belts damaging their crank seal and getting pulled into the engine requiring a completely new engine. As I am locating the parts (I recommend Phil at Revees he is a sponsor here I believe) I am told by Phil that a special glue and primer are required. He can get the glue but the primer Loctite 171000 is not available in the US he would have to have it shipped from Germany. Iím like I need this issue addressed ASAP so I call Loctite and after I get bounced to 10 different people I finally get and compound analyst who tells me there is no direct conversion available anywhere however he recommends a possible alternative as they have similar activating structures which is Loctite 7649.
On Friday I take everything to the mechanic to have the seals swapped out which sounds like a straightforward process, however the mechanic ends up spending about 10 hours to do it because itís nearly impossible to remove the seal after it has been damaged. And the whole time I am hoping there are not pieces of my belt in the engine which after looking at the damaged seal I see how it is completely possible. Finally I get some good news the mechanic fishes up a camera and we rotate the crank and I see nothing on the timing chain I am relieved to say the least. And after a couple hundred miles of driving no oil leaking!!
I put off address my oil filter housing leaking and that compounded into an issue that could have caused me to lose my engine please learn from my mistake and take care of this ASAP it truly is an issue that needs to be addressed very quickly.
I will post of a DIY for the oil filter housing gasket for the 335i it is a bit different than a 328i next time I have a chance.