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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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      10-28-2008, 09:48 AM   #1
anthony_h
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Valve cover gasket leak

My car has been burning a lot of oil lately. I went through a quart in 4 weeks and 400 kms (250 miles)
The dealership says it's a valve cover gasket leak and will cost $800 to fix
my car has 95000 kms so I'm out of warranty.

Is this something I can do myself. The parts only cost $100.

I'm also surprised that a BMW that's not been driven very hard has this kind of leak after 3.5 year and 100000 kms!!!

Also, the dealer diagnosed this issue by simply looking in the engine bay. Is there any way for me to confirm this before I do the job myself?
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      10-28-2008, 11:33 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anthony_h View Post
My car has been burning a lot of oil lately. I went through a quart in 4 weeks and 400 kms (250 miles)
The dealership says it's a valve cover gasket leak and will cost $800 to fix
my car has 95000 kms so I'm out of warranty.

Is this something I can do myself. The parts only cost $100.

I'm also surprised that a BMW that's not been driven very hard has this kind of leak after 3.5 year and 100000 kms!!!

Also, the dealer diagnosed this issue by simply looking in the engine bay. Is there any way for me to confirm this before I do the job myself?
Valve cover gaskets tend to leak fairly often. I wouldn't worry about it too much.

The best way to identify the leak is to take off the plastic cover with the BMW badge on it and look around the engine for oil. To see the back, you will likely need some good lighting and something like a dentist's mirror or a mirror on a stick.

It should be quite easy to change by yourself as long as you have the right tools for the job.

You will need to have a good torque wrench. You need to have appropriate tools to make sure that the gasket surface is good and clean. I would do it myself since I have the right tools.
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      10-28-2008, 02:08 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.

I don't mind investing in the right tools so I guess I'll be doing this myself.
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      10-28-2008, 02:59 PM   #4
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Valve Cover Gasket

My car was diagnosed with the same problem when I took it to my independant mechanic for a bi-annual oil change. The car (valvetronic motor) was still in warranty and the parts for the repair consisted of the gasket plus some non-resuable bolts, with the remainder being the labor cost.
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      10-29-2008, 11:07 AM   #5
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yeah same here. the parts are simply the gasket and a dozen or so aluminum bolts
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      10-29-2008, 02:18 PM   #6
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make sure to look up the torque specs for those aluminum bolts as I'd imagine they don't take much torque at all... probably like 9 ft-lbs if that.

Also, make sure to torque slowly and in the proper sequence.
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      10-30-2008, 10:46 PM   #7
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the n52 motor valve cover gasket is not a big job but its not an easy job, remove microfilter housing, remove engine cover, remove bolts, remove ignition coil, remove harness on oneside, but the key is to remove the valvetronic motor, even with the valvtronic removed, its not easy to get the valvecover off (you got to play around with it) because the valvetronic motor houshing takes alot space in the valvecover, once you have it of, makesure put some silicone on your new gasket so they stick to the valvecover, that way gasket wont fall off when u put everything back in, if you want the bmw repair instructions, sent me your email. i can sent it to you. good luck
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      01-06-2009, 11:58 AM   #8
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On 12/30/2008 and 60,243 miles on the odometer, I brought my car in for service (according to the service interval indicator of course) and was told afterward that I have essentially the same problem, an oil leak, but it's because one of the valve cover bolts is almost completely broken off...most likely due to expanding and contracting.

Here's the breakdown:
Hours for the job: 6.00
Labor: $737.10
Parts: $104.42
TOTAL: $849.87 (including tax)

Parts: Profile-gasket, set of aluminum screws, gasket.

I did not have this taken care of at that time because while I was getting the original service done, I had to have a front-end brake service and fluid flush plus a wheel alignment...all for a total of $924.33! After that I wasn't in the mood to spend another $850.00 as you can imagine.
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      01-07-2009, 03:17 PM   #9
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Diy if someone does it. this is good info.
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      04-01-2009, 07:33 PM   #10
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+1 DIY FTW
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      04-01-2009, 10:54 PM   #11
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i just had mine done under warranty, and my car had to be kept overnight, cause it was a bit of a long-ass job. I'm N54.
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      08-27-2009, 08:18 PM   #12
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I'm considering doing this diy. I've asked sl0westz for the instructions he has. If I can get those, I'll do it and try to take some pics along the way so I can share. Yikes, do I really want to tackle this one?!?!
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      08-28-2009, 11:39 AM   #13
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we have confidence in you, *cheers*

go for it
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      08-28-2009, 08:36 PM   #14
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I would just add oil until it is one quart a 500 miles.
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      09-10-2009, 03:50 PM   #15
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I know I'm a little late to jump in on this but here goes, As was mentioned before its not a complicated job but it isn't easy. As well as getting the V/C off getting it back on without snagging the gasket on all the valvetronic stuff is a pain and if it slips even just a little bit it will cause a horrible leak. Those aluminum bolts are also torque angle bolts they're not just a spec (i.e. 10 Nm) so make sure they're replaced and that you have something that can measure torque angle as well as torque.
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      12-14-2009, 02:34 PM   #16
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looks like the same is happening to me. '07 e92 328xi, ~45k miles.

i'll probably take it in to the dealer, but i don't trust those guys for even an oil change. does anyone know where i can order the VGC kit in its entirety?
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      12-15-2009, 10:57 AM   #17
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I got the dealership to change my gasket a couple ago and this morning, just I park the car, I get the low oil warning.
Does the engine really burn a quart per 1000 km ??
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      12-24-2009, 02:21 PM   #18
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i have a 06 325i with 73k miles. My car wouldnt start because of the leak, so they had to replace gasket valve sensor and motor all costing around $4000. luckily advsior covered under warranty because i paid 1500 for them to trouble shoot and change the gasket only and coming up there to pick my car up and it didnt even start lol. so they had to redo it and change the motor and sensor. my car has 90k and drives like its brand new.
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      12-24-2009, 03:40 PM   #19
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mine was leaking and i just got mine fixed. i have about 65k miles. i'm suspecting that it was leaking before i ran out of warranty, but the dealer never identified it all the times i brought it in for scheduled service. i'm basing this on that amount of gunk this created outside the motor, you could tell it had been happening for a while.
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      12-24-2009, 07:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
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mine was leaking and i just got mine fixed. i have about 65k miles
How much did it cost you?
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      12-24-2009, 08:31 PM   #21
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Hey, check out this web site. It's reporting $245 max to replace the valve cover gasket. Have you shopped around for the price?

http://repairpal.com/
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      12-25-2009, 02:30 PM   #22
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estimate results info

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neutrino45 View Post
Hey, check out this web site. It's reporting $245 max to replace the valve cover gasket. Have you shopped around for the price? http://repairpal.com/
Hello, I just wanted to clear up a few things up about the estimate you quoted from RepairPal.

1.Our labor rates vary depending on where you live in the U.S., so the estimate provided is dependent on location.
(e.g. San Francisco, CA labor rate will be much higher than Topeka KS)
This is why we ask for your zip code when providing an estimate.
2. The original post is from anthony h in Canada, so the $800 quoted is around $760 U.S. Not as big a difference as it used to be!
3. I believe our part price might be on the low side because it only includes the valve cover gasket, and you may need to replace the aluminum screws, which can be another $40 or so. I'll look into this Monday and adjust the parts price accordingly.

All in all, the $800 quote is quite high, and anthony h will find a better price if he were to shop around, and especially if he were to replace it himself.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Bret
Team RepairPal

http://repairpal.com/
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