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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > NA Engine (non-turbo) / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications > Valve cover gasket leak



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      01-07-2010, 02:23 PM   #23
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06 330i, just noticed this Monday that oil was leaking from the engine. Brought the car in Wednesday and dealer confirmed oil leaking through valve cover as a result of broken bolts. Brought the car in at 9:30 AM and it was fixed by 1:30PM. It did not take 6-7 hours as was quoted by other dealers posted by others. Work was covered under CPO warranty and car was at 54K miles.

I'm totally surprised that these bolts break this early or even breaking at all. I've never seen this happened on any Japanese cars I've owned. If this was a common wear and tear item, it would have fall under the Maintenance plan such as oil change, brake pads, etc. and not under warranty.
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      01-07-2010, 02:57 PM   #24
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The bolts breaking probably has more to do with those with the N52 engine, and not N52KP/N51 since they use aluminum bolts in the N52 and steel in the others. They have to use aluminum on the N52 because the VC is Magnesium, and using steel would promote galvanic corrosion because of the dissimilar metals.

So people with the 328's should not be having this issue...but it appears they are still getting leak, so that must be a different issue all together.
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      01-08-2010, 10:53 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raceyBMW View Post
They have to use aluminum on the N52 because the VC is Magnesium, and using steel would promote galvanic corrosion because of the dissimilar metals.
you sir, are awesome
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      01-11-2010, 03:41 PM   #26
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Every bimmer I've seen had problems with valve cover gaskets. Now the bolts breaking is definitely different issue but a small leak from a oil soaked gasket is actually very common especially if you let the car sit for long periods of time. The straight sixes are mounted at an angle so the oil pools in the corner and oversaturates the gasket. You can see this by just looking at the side of the engine. You'll see an small black stain along the bottom of the valve cover. Not sure why the bolts are breaking other than they may be low quality.

My friend's E39 540 also has a leaky VCG for the same reason. The V8's cylinder banks are also at an angle so oil will pool in those as well. My car looses about 1qt every 8000 mi which is very acceptable. If it leaks a qt every 3000 mi or less, I'd be worried.
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      05-05-2010, 06:52 PM   #27
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So still no DIY for E90 Valve cover gasket?? Ive done E36 and E46 but everyone is making the E90 to sound like its completely different. Has anyone done a Valve cover gasket them selves yet?
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      05-06-2010, 12:06 AM   #28
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Just did mine today. Royal pain in the ass. Seriously. Dont have a DIY but here is the jist of what i did.

Tools:
3/8 rachet
reverse torx socket set. Need about 3 different sizes so buy a set.
torx socket set need 2 sizes
screwdriver
10mm socket
6 and 3 inch extentions
swivel attachment
valve cover gasket
new valve cover bolts
Beer

*plan for around 4 hours
*Remove bmw engine cover
*Remove all plastic by the microfilter including the base
*remove the passager side strut bar
*locate the 6 coils packs
*pull up on the black tabs on the coils to release the wires
*pull the coil packs out
*unbolt the black wire holder, then remove it completly from the wires and move the wires to the side.
*remember where the grounding strap goes, there is only 1
*you do not need to remove the spark plugs
*unbolt and remove the round valvetronic thing(lol) in the middle of the valve cover 2 bolts on top 1 bolt below
*unsnap the crackcase vent hose on the back side of the cover
*unbolt then unsnap all the fuel injector wiring and move to the side
*remove all the valve cover bolts..rear ones are a royal pain in the ass
*drink some beers and be proud you are almost there
*wiggle the valve cover out--another royal pain in the ass
*Drink more beers to cure frustration
*remove old gasket
*clean off the valve cover and the head where the valve cover sits
*put the 2 piece valve cover on
*put all the junk back together using 89 in tq
*job well done
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      05-06-2010, 03:26 AM   #29
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Damn, just went to the dealer today and have the same problem. they quoted me 900ish. This is really steep for a stupid valve cover
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      05-18-2010, 09:31 PM   #30
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Great... I am going to try and tackle this tomorrow. What were your Torque specs on the bolts? Were the rear bolts more difficult to remove then put back or both?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhondas2 View Post
Just did mine today. Royal pain in the ass. Seriously. Dont have a DIY but here is the jist of what i did.

Tools:
3/8 rachet
reverse torx socket set. Need about 3 different sizes so buy a set.
torx socket set need 2 sizes
screwdriver
10mm socket
6 and 3 inch extentions
swivel attachment
valve cover gasket
new valve cover bolts
Beer

*plan for around 4 hours
*Remove bmw engine cover
*Remove all plastic by the microfilter including the base
*remove the passager side strut bar
*locate the 6 coils packs
*pull up on the black tabs on the coils to release the wires
*pull the coil packs out
*unbolt the black wire holder, then remove it completly from the wires and move the wires to the side.
*remember where the grounding strap goes, there is only 1
*you do not need to remove the spark plugs
*unbolt and remove the round valvetronic thing(lol) in the middle of the valve cover 2 bolts on top 1 bolt below
*unsnap the crackcase vent hose on the back side of the cover
*unbolt then unsnap all the fuel injector wiring and move to the side
*remove all the valve cover bolts..rear ones are a royal pain in the ass
*drink some beers and be proud you are almost there
*wiggle the valve cover out--another royal pain in the ass
*Drink more beers to cure frustration
*remove old gasket
*clean off the valve cover and the head where the valve cover sits
*put the 2 piece valve cover on
*put all the junk back together using 89 in tq
*job well done
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      05-18-2010, 09:37 PM   #31
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Is that 89 In lbs of torque?

So 7.4 ft. lbs?

also did you use any Sealant anywhere?
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      05-19-2010, 01:31 AM   #32
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Good luck! I just learned I have 2 broken bolts and the leak is getting worse. Book time is 5 hrs so for those who do it in 4, you'd be making money if you worked at a BMW shop! Lol!
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      05-19-2010, 04:57 AM   #33
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how did you guys diagnose this problem? Consistent low-oil indicator?

Im getting a bit scared since I have a 330i with near 60k miles. Hope mine isn't due anytime soon. :knockonwood:
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      05-19-2010, 07:09 AM   #34
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Any co-relation to having the head replaced to fix the ticking? I wonder whether the original bolts were not replaced but re-used when the heads were swapped or may be they were not torqued properly. It would be interesting to see a poll on this.
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      05-19-2010, 01:11 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lux.sh View Post
how did you guys diagnose this problem? Consistent low-oil indicator?

Im getting a bit scared since I have a 330i with near 60k miles. Hope mine isn't due anytime soon. :knockonwood:
You can see oil seeping from the valcover gap. A little seepage is normal because the engine is canted slightly. The oil collects to one side and saturates the gasket. If you see marks of oil running down the side, that's too much.
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      05-19-2010, 04:16 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosport70 View Post
Any co-relation to having the head replaced to fix the ticking? I wonder whether the original bolts were not replaced but re-used when the heads were swapped or may be they were not torqued properly. It would be interesting to see a poll on this.
I agree with this possibility since most techs don't take their time on sensitive stuff like making sure the head is nice and cleaned from any residues of oil and leftover from the original gasket
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      05-20-2010, 12:11 AM   #37
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Just changed my VCG today... It definitely is a PITA, but if you have the right tools and patience its doable. One bolt in the front lower bottom corner was completely missing and the bolt next to it was broken in half.

If you are in the San Diego area and do not want to pay the dealer to do a Valve cover Gasket job I am sure my brother would be up for it for a lot less then they would charge.
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      05-20-2010, 12:46 AM   #38
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you lazy asses... you guys all did this and didn't post a DIY??

where did all the love go in E90POST!!
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      05-22-2010, 07:56 PM   #39
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My car has had this leak for a while now too. i have 56k miles but i saw the leak and it wasn't that bad so im just waiting till i have time to fix it. but totally bummed to find out that its leaking this early. but its been a great 4 years and not a single engine issue so what ever.
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      05-26-2010, 04:39 PM   #40
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if its your first time, give yourself 4-5 hours... A lot of things need to be removed to get the engine cover off and even after that, you have to play with it to wedge it out. Its tucked deep
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      05-26-2010, 04:55 PM   #41
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58 k before started leaking.... yeah for cpo!
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      05-26-2010, 07:09 PM   #42
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Hi Guys,

I was just wondering what the emission warranty is for US cars.

5 years/50K miles ?

IF you look in the details of whats covered, I betcha the VC is covered. Sometimes you might have to get a shop to fail-test your car in order to get the dealer to do it for free. But its worth it, seeing how much this repair costs. Just thought I would toss this out there bc most people forget about the federal emission warranty.
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      06-18-2010, 02:42 PM   #43
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Cool

I have a 2006 330i sport with mere 26k miles. I noticed the burning smell and a bit smoke out of the hood a couple times after I drove home. When I checked under the hood I saw a drop of oil on a hot metal component outside the lower engine area, and some wet and muddy surface under the valve cover gasket.

I don't think it's urgent to fix. But I quoted from two nearby dealers. They came back to about $1,000 and $1,100 with about 7 hours labor. Car is out of warranty for a year. I think I will have a good inde european car shop do it -- they quoted $300 with 3 hr labor, and good comments about them are out there on the web.

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Damn, just went to the dealer today and have the same problem. they quoted me 900ish. This is really steep for a stupid valve cover
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      06-20-2010, 11:24 PM   #44
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the other thing I have realized is that earlier 325s sometimes have an issue with the valvetronic motor not being calibrated correctly due to you removing it from its mount. A simple tick of the keys on a GT1 usually cures the issue, as it goes through its full throw to learn its full close and open positions again.
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