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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > Broken head bolts, too!?!



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      03-17-2010, 10:12 AM   #23
AlanAZ
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If I'm keeping this car long-term, I have 64K mls, is it advisable to replace all the AL head bolts now?

I don't have any oil leak, and it only goes through a few oz of oil between changes. It does consume some coolant on a regular basis.
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      03-17-2010, 10:58 AM   #24
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If I'm keeping this car long-term, I have 64K mls, is it advisable to replace all the AL head bolts now?

I don't have any oil leak, and it only goes through a few oz of oil between changes. It does consume some coolant on a regular basis.
Don't change ANY headbolts if they are not broken. Could cause leaks. I would try to figure out where you are leaking coolant first. Hose? Thermostat?waterpum?
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      03-17-2010, 01:16 PM   #25
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I would try to figure out where you are leaking coolant first. Hose? Thermostat?waterpum?
Pretty sure it's not leaking in the engine - no symptoms relating to head gasket. Probably a small crack in one of the plastic components, I'll have it pressure tested next week.

What about the exterior bolts (not under valve cover)? Not a good idea to replace these? There's no gasket under those.
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      03-17-2010, 08:08 PM   #26
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Rule of thumb, don't replace or remove any bolts unless they are broken or you are changing something ie: waterpump.
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      03-20-2010, 10:39 PM   #27
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This happened to me too. Is there a TIS on this? I want to show them that this is a known problem/issue. Luckily I am still under warranty by 3 weeks and 1000 miles!
Update: I showed them most of the posts on this thread and my pics. The SA even said he has heard of this problem. However, they just replaced the bolt. At least it is documented. When the time comes to change the valve cover gasket and if I see any bolts broken I am going to take pics and make them fix ALL head bolts. Oh well.
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      03-24-2010, 12:49 AM   #28
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Pretty sure it's not leaking in the engine - no symptoms relating to head gasket. Probably a small crack in one of the plastic components, I'll have it pressure tested next week.

What about the exterior bolts (not under valve cover)? Not a good idea to replace these? There's no gasket under those.
Yes, luckily the bolt that broke on mine was not near the cooling passages, so no coolant leaked out.
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      04-28-2010, 05:50 PM   #29
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Would you know the part # on that particular bolt? How much did they charge you?
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      04-29-2010, 08:23 AM   #30
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Here is my invoice concerning the head-bolt. It lists the part number. Cost (warranty, no charge) If you have this fixed or anyone has this fixed outside the warranty please let us know how much did it cost. Thank you.
Attached Images
File Type: pdf BMW headbolt receipt.pdf (128.1 KB, 736 views)

Last edited by Chriztofor; 04-29-2010 at 09:39 AM.
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      04-29-2010, 11:11 PM   #31
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Here is my invoice concerning the head-bolt. It lists the part number. Cost (warranty, no charge) If you have this fixed or anyone has this fixed outside the warranty please let us know how much did it cost. Thank you.
Thanks, I just placed the order from tischer (each bolt is $4.42).

I'll be taking it to an indie shop to have the bolt replaced.
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      05-25-2010, 04:03 PM   #32
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Thanks, I just placed the order from tischer (each bolt is $4.42).

I'll be taking it to an indie shop to have the bolt replaced.

Update: Total $ 403.07

2hrs Labor @ $80/hr = $160

1 cylinder head bolt = $0 (I bought it from tischer ^^)

1 serp. belt tens. = $ 95.46

1 serp belt = $45.94

1hr labor = $80 (to replace serpentine belt and tensioner)

1 freight = $10

sales tax =11.67 (@ 8.25%)


So far no leaks on my driveway.
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      05-25-2010, 04:32 PM   #33
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^ thanks for the update. That price would have been double if you took it to a dealer. No leaks for me either.
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      07-15-2010, 04:22 PM   #34
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I just bought my 06 325i and noticed some oil arouind the filter housing and down the motor. I figured it was from oil changes when I bought the car. I got the car cheap and now I know why. I kept loosing oil and had oil in the driveway. upon close inspection I noticed that the head of that same bolt as in the pic had the head missing. I ran the car and noticed oil seeping out of the threads. Went to the dealer and bought a new bolt. car was out of warranty.
One thing you have to make sure is that there is absolutly no oil in the bolt hole as the oil will not compress and you will break the new bolt. aslo try to get out as much oil between the gasket and the bolt if u could with compressed air. Did this repair 3 weeks ago and all is well. we shall see for how long. Broken head bolts are no joke. lukily that bolt is no where near the cylinders nor the cooling channels as that would mean a complete strip down.
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      07-15-2010, 04:26 PM   #35
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JBE9006. Was your serp belt tensioner screwed up from the oil? I had oil all over my belts. After I washed them off with degreser I now have noise which sounds like a tensioner or alternator bearing or something along those lines. havent had time to check it out.
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      07-15-2010, 06:42 PM   #36
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I'm pretty sure it got messed because of the oil. It was soaked in oil.

When I had the bolt replaced I asked the mechanic to go ahead and replace the belt since it looked pretty bad. I remember that before changing the tensioner it made a rattling sound when I revved the engine. (For a moment I thought it was the engine that was messed up). Fortunately it was just the tensioner.

So far no leaks
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      07-15-2010, 08:28 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polonez69 View Post
I just bought my 06 325i and noticed some oil arouind the filter housing and down the motor. I figured it was from oil changes when I bought the car. I got the car cheap and now I know why. I kept loosing oil and had oil in the driveway. upon close inspection I noticed that the head of that same bolt as in the pic had the head missing. I ran the car and noticed oil seeping out of the threads. Went to the dealer and bought a new bolt. car was out of warranty.
One thing you have to make sure is that there is absolutly no oil in the bolt hole as the oil will not compress and you will break the new bolt. aslo try to get out as much oil between the gasket and the bolt if u could with compressed air. Did this repair 3 weeks ago and all is well. we shall see for how long. Broken head bolts are no joke. lukily that bolt is no where near the cylinders nor the cooling channels as that would mean a complete strip down.
Sounds like you are upset about getting the car cheap and all you had to do was to replace one head bolt that solved your leak. Doesn't sound so bad; count your blessings.
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      07-16-2010, 04:49 PM   #38
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Sounds like you are upset about getting the car cheap and all you had to do was to replace one head bolt that solved your leak. Doesn't sound so bad; count your blessings.
Actually im not upset at all. I consider myself lucky that I didnt have milk in my crank case or rad. its just that I know why the guy was so desperate to get rid of it. Dealer probably quoted him for a new head gasket job.

I have never before seen head bolts break off on their own. that jsut shouldnt happen and could cause major problems for people that dont know much about the motors.
All in all I love the car.

PS I should have changed the Serp belt when I cleaned up the motor. The oil screwed it up and it snapped last night :P lol
no big deal though. Thank god the water pump is electric now
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      01-04-2011, 02:18 PM   #39
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The issue is the Magnesium/Aluminum block. You can't use traditional steel bolts with magnesium, because mag has a harmful reaction with steel. So BMW has to use aluminum bolts which are not as strong (obviously). At least the bolt that broke wasn't buried under the valvetrain - THAT would have been a lot harder to replace (have to pull the head).

But I suspect those bolts are much bigger/stronger than the one on next to the oil filter housing that broke.
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      01-04-2011, 10:24 PM   #40
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Here is my invoice concerning the head-bolt. It lists the part number. Cost (warranty, no charge) If you have this fixed or anyone has this fixed outside the warranty please let us know how much did it cost. Thank you.
OMG, I am so glad I read this thread. I not only have the same car as you, but the same problem and the same dealer. Mine is CPO until May. Just went out and looked at my car and there is just a hole where that bolt should be! Looks like mine broke off farther down, I can bearly see the bolt so I didn't even notice that a bolt should have been there. Not only that, but I now see an oil seep around the oil filter housing. Must have been cleaned up by the dealer before I bought it. Will be making an appointment soon.
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      01-04-2011, 10:43 PM   #41
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OMG, I am so glad I read this thread. I not only have the same car as you, but the same problem and the same dealer. Mine is CPO until May. Just went out and looked at my car and there is just a hole where that bolt should be! Looks like mine broke off farther down, I can bearly see the bolt so I didn't even notice that a bolt should have been there. Not only that, but I now see an oil seep around the oil filter housing. Must have been cleaned up by the dealer before I bought it. Will be making an appointment soon.
Don't you love this forum?! Good luck and post an update.
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      01-04-2011, 11:07 PM   #42
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Don't you love this forum?! Good luck and post an update.
Love it; it's my new addiction. I guess I have to thank mike-y for the bump on this one, or I would have missed reading about it. I bought my car used at the dealer and it had left over CPO from previous owner. I'm sure the dealer saw this problem and sold it to me this way and was probably hoping I didn't notice until warrantee was over. Since there was oil seeping, they had to have seen it. Jan 17 appointment, I'll post an update.
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      01-05-2011, 12:30 PM   #43
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Broken Valve Cover Bolts - Me too

I took my 2006 E90 325I with 49,000 miles to my independent guy (Thomas at Buckhead Imports, Atlanta) for an oil change and to check what I thought was a gasket leak. Turns out my valve cover bolts are broken. He reached right in and was able to pull one out. He said that it was because of the bolt composition - aluminum and magnesium. He also said that BMW is not acknowledging that there is a problem even though he has seen several cases of it happening.

I drove straight over to Nalley BMW in Decatur, GA to discuss this with them. My service advisor was in "the middle of paperwork" and could not come out to talk with me. I had to speak to him on the phone while standing 25 feet from him. He stated that he did not know of a problem and that since I was out of warranty there was nothing they would do.

I will be calling BMW NA to discuss this problem with them. Has anyone had success with non-warranty repairs and getting BMW to take any responsibility? I will also be sending a letter to Mr. Nalley letting him know how much I appreciated the personal service and that there was no way I would be using Nalley for repairs or purchases after my experience there this morning.

BTW My mechanic says that you need to replace all the bolts so that you do not run the danger of cracking any others when you torque the new ones, and to minimize the risk of having more cracks down the line.

Any advice on dealing with BMW NA is appreciated.

Thanks!
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      01-05-2011, 01:08 PM   #44
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I wouldn't put bolts in it unless they are BMW approved. There are reasons the bolts aren't steel besides weight.
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