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      09-18-2012, 06:32 AM   #1
e36mmm
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N54 335i - Oil Filter Housing has a Leak! WTF?

Hey guys,

Luckily without any further damage, I have noticed a very small leak of oil on top of the oil filter housing last week when I was topping up my washer fluid. I cleaned the area first thing to not stain the unit with oil marks and to see if it would re-occur. After the clean up and four days after, I took it out today for a 15 minute drive to monitor any sign of leaking. As I arrived back home and let the engine cool down, I popped the bonnet to see if there were any more oil leak coming through and ...... there it was!

First problem I've come across since I bought it 15 months ago. It appears to be a common problem with all e9x. My dealer quoted me $460 for two hour inspection of the unit! PLUS brand new oil filter housing of about $350+ which will total up to $800+. What a joke!!

If it is the seal inside that went bad, which I'm hoping it is, I'll consider myself lucky because this piece costs $20-$30 at the dealer. I can not see any leaks on the bottom of the unit nor on any other parts of the engine. I've arranged a bmw specialist to have a look at the leak tomorrow and if it's what he's assuming it to be (oil filter housing seal) it's going to cost me a quarter of what the dealer is quoting including labour. Fingers crossed!

I took this photo right after that short drive of monitoring the leak to show where the oil has leaked from the housing and how much it has leaked. The leak appears to be running from the gap, where two halves of the oil filter housing on top lock into one another and the oil runs towards the area where you see tiny drip of oil. Doesn't run towards anywhere else that I can see.

It's only a little bit of a spill but damn the car's only on 75000 kms and I've heard some owners had to change the seal at even lower kilometres such as 25,000-55,000kms! Such a damn shame! Beware of this problem e9x owners and future buyers.

I'll post updates tomorrow and for the mean time, feel free to share your thoughts on this matter.

Kind Regards,

Boris

[IMG][/IMG]

Last edited by e36mmm; 09-18-2012 at 06:41 AM.
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      09-18-2012, 07:38 AM   #2
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I might have to take a quick look at mine first thing tomorrow morning. Thanks for the heads up!
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      09-18-2012, 08:51 AM   #3
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i have the same proplem...
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      09-18-2012, 05:39 PM   #4
DR-JEKL
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I noticed a small amount of oil in this area (similiar to yours) after picking up the car. I have washed it out and it doesn't appear to have come back, but having said that I haven't driven the car much either.

Please update us on what you find
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      09-18-2012, 06:13 PM   #5
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Thanks for the heads up E36 , will check mine out as well

:t humbsup:
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      09-18-2012, 06:37 PM   #6
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is that 3 or 4 drops of oil?
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      09-18-2012, 11:23 PM   #7
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Your welcome guys. I got it checked out today. The seal inside is going to get replaced next Wednesday. Not going to cost me much. Check this every week just to be safe and make sure there are no leaks toward the alternator right below it. Mine appears to be a very small leak but I can see that the alternator has a bit of oil on the outer edges, not directly towards the internals of the alternator. Bmw dealer wanted to change the whole unit for a costly price which I think is unnecessary and a rip off. If anyone in Melbourne needs this done for a cheap price I can refer a healthy and honest bmw specialist that would do it for peanuts.

Last edited by e36mmm; 09-19-2012 at 08:33 AM.
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      09-18-2012, 11:56 PM   #8
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Had the same Problem. It was covered by the extended warranty (cost about $800) but BMW charged one hour labour to "clean" the excess oil. Picked up the car but the engine wasn't as clean as I thought it would be. (didn't check it on the same day as they were waiting for me to close) Complained about it to the service manager the next day and demanded a compensation. Walked away with a free oil change and a loan car for the day!
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      09-19-2012, 08:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMJ View Post
i have the same proplem...
Have or had? Get it checked out asap and get it sorted. It's not a serious issue but can get serious if you just leave it like that and drive it around acting like it's all good in the hood.
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      09-19-2012, 08:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pavo335 View Post
is that 3 or 4 drops of oil?
3.35 drops
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      09-19-2012, 08:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MO3 View Post
Had the same Problem. It was covered by the extended warranty (cost about $800) but BMW charged one hour labour to "clean" the excess oil. Picked up the car but the engine wasn't as clean as I thought it would be. (didn't check it on the same day as they were waiting for me to close) Complained about it to the service manager the next day and demanded a compensation. Walked away with a free oil change and a loan car for the day!
Do you remember the mileage of the car when this happened? Apparently it happens every 75000-80000 kms. I'm assuming mine hit the spot lol.
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      09-19-2012, 08:46 AM   #12
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~66000 kms
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      09-19-2012, 09:13 AM   #13
e36mmm
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Cool. I'm assuming they changed the whole oil filter housing and not only the gasket/seal. Is the replaced unit same in design or redesigned?
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      09-19-2012, 04:49 PM   #14
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My ride had just been serviced by bmw melb by the prior owner, I had presumed that it could of been a bit of spillage.

I haven't had the oil filter gasket off (I presume under the plastic threaded cap there is a rubber type o ring seal?) can this just be as simple as a seal issue ($5 part?)
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      09-19-2012, 07:07 PM   #15
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that was my thought, replace the rubber o ring
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      09-19-2012, 09:00 PM   #16
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Let us know if the O-ring fixes the issues.
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      09-20-2012, 02:00 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DR-JEKL View Post
My ride had just been serviced by bmw melb by the prior owner, I had presumed that it could of been a bit of spillage.

I haven't had the oil filter gasket off (I presume under the plastic threaded cap there is a rubber type o ring seal?) can this just be as simple as a seal issue ($5 part?)
Hope I understood it correctly, You're talking about the o ring located on the bottom of the plastic cap which is on the oil filter cap itself right? Not in between the actual aluminium housing which keeps the two parts of housing in alignment and intact. It's a very cheap item, either the o ring or the gasket. I've been told the leak is usually because the seal or gasket as some people call it, located inside the housing gets old and thins out, thanks to very high operating temperature of the engine, causing the two housing parts to expand and leak oil. I doubt the leak will be caused by the o ring that is easily accessible if you remove the plastic cap that holds the actual filter. I've heard similar things about what you said but I will confirm your question when I ask my specialist upcoming Wednesday to get this problem bloody fixed. This goes for all auto tranny 335i owners. If you want to push the car hard, let the car do that itself in auto mode. Don't grab paddles and play up and down. I sometimes use my paddles and drop down two gear to get the exhaust pop noise around 5500 rpm but I found out this exhaust pop sensation cuts the fuel for a split second and releases the fuel again when you grab next gear. Sounds terrific especially if you got the roof down but no more Under high operating temperatures of this engine, I thought this could've triggered the rubber gasket inside the housing to wear out quicker than normal. This I'm not doing anymore for the reliability of the engine and tranny in the long run. Hope it makes sense guys.

Last edited by e36mmm; 09-20-2012 at 02:19 AM.
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      09-20-2012, 02:01 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _ink View Post
Let us know if the O-ring fixes the issues.
I will find out on Wednesday 26th and let you know but I doubt it's that o ring that causes the issue. It's the gasket in between the two parted housing that causes the leak Im experiencing. Unless the housing has damage, no point paying 800 from the dealer to get the whole thing changed (this goes for fussy owners like me that like to take care of the problem by replacing the whole unit lol, please don't waste that much money on replacing the whole housing unit when you can solve the problem by paying 20 dollars for a new gasket and 100 bucks or so for labour and clean up) Paying 20 dollar for the gasket should be the solution. If anyone else is experiencing the same problem, also check your coolant to see any signs of black rubberish seal mixed into the coolant as some people experienced in U.S but that's more like a head gasket failure which isn't the case here. Just check to make sure it's nice and clear. If you can't see the inside, dip your finger and it should just look like clear water. Thank god no issues there. From my perspective the engine is reliable, but some rubber parts were specifically designed cheaply to increase maintenance costs and able the dealers to make additional $$$. Don't fall for it.

Last edited by e36mmm; 09-20-2012 at 02:12 AM.
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      09-20-2012, 02:18 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pavo335 View Post
that was my thought, replace the rubber o ring
same here! used an aftermarket oil filter and used the new o ring that came with it. started to seep around 3k then i took it to the dealership thinking it was the housing. They charged me 5.80 for the new ring and i was off and away.
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      09-20-2012, 02:22 AM   #20
e36mmm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DR-JEKL View Post
My ride had just been serviced by bmw melb by the prior owner, I had presumed that it could of been a bit of spillage.

I haven't had the oil filter gasket off (I presume under the plastic threaded cap there is a rubber type o ring seal?) can this just be as simple as a seal issue ($5 part?)
This is what you were referring to, right?

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      09-20-2012, 02:25 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~XxTeexX~ View Post
same here! used an aftermarket oil filter and used the new o ring that came with it. started to seep around 3k then i took it to the dealership thinking it was the housing. They charged me 5.80 for the new ring and i was off and away.
Interesting!! lol nice and easy fix. Did yours leak from the housing like mine in the first post where I have a pic of the leak? I'll laugh if the o-ring fixes the leak but I'm sure the seal/gasket needs replacement.
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      09-20-2012, 03:08 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e36mmm View Post
Interesting!! lol nice and easy fix. Did yours leak from the housing like mine in the first post where I have a pic of the leak? I'll laugh if the o-ring fixes the leak but I'm sure the seal/gasket needs replacement.
exact same spot as your, I used to be a tech/mechanic and this is the first instant ive seen that filter cap leak due to a non oem o ring , had ive known i would of just fixed it myself instead of wasting time at the dealership.


Who changed your oil last and did you use the oem filter?
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