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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > DIY Guides > DIY - Your Oil filter housing gasket is leaking.



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DIY - Your Oil filter housing gasket is leaking.
Is that my Head Gasket?
Published by allmotorh22
01-14-2011
DIY - Your Oil filter housing gasket is leaking.

Is that oil coming from my head gasket?

No, it's most likely not your head gasket leaking, it may just be your oil filter housing gasket. (an oil leak seen under your intake manifold following the head gasket going all the way around the front part of your block but stopping at the AC condenser, can also be identified as a thick oily dirt build up in those areas.)

Wouldn't it be nice to find out it was just a $20 gasket rather than a $2000 engine rebuild?

Well here's how you do it, and when you see the condition of your old gasket you'll think: "WTF... Why didn't BMW mention this in their lifetime maintenance program?"



Tools:
Small mirror
8mm box end wrench (ratcheting or regular)
large box end wrench (for leverage)
metal pick (like a dental pick)
brake cleaner
shop towels
zip tie
New Gasket (part 11427537293)


step 1: identify if you have this leak (oil/dirt under the metal neck of the coolant pass through)

step 2: Unplug oil pressure switch (brown w/black plug on housing) Take out intake air box and drain coolant. (look for coolant diy)
*you may notice black particles in your coolant. this is from the deteriorated gasket.

step 3: Identify and remove the three bolts holding on the filter housing. (look at the pictures, use a large box end wrench to give you leverage as seen in pictures 6 and 7. zip tie the freed housing to the intake manifold)

step 4: use a metal pick to take out the old gasket. (Mine was totally flattened out stuck and deteriorating into the coolant system)

step 5: block all passages with shop towels, clean all mounting surfaces with brake cleaner.

step 6: remove all shop towels and position new gasket.

step 7: re-install housing and torque all 3 bolts in a criss cross pattern till they stop (use no leverage).

STEP 8: reinstall intake air box, refill and bleed coolant.

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  #1  
By Casca on 01-15-2011, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Well here's how you do it, and when you see the condition of your old gasket you'll think: "WTF... Why didn't BMW mention this in their lifetime maintenance program?"
Nice write up and no doubt it will be useful for some that have leaks (although they may want to try loosening the hardware and retorquing it, clean it and inspect after XX miles/time if they feel lazy or have difficulty getting the new gasket), but this is not really a wear part and there is no reason why BMW would give it a second thought for the maintenance program. It's one of those "if it an't broke, don't fix it" parts.
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  #2  
By allmotorh22 on 01-17-2011, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casca View Post
Nice write up and no doubt it will be useful for some that have leaks (although they may want to try loosening the hardware and retorquing it, clean it and inspect after XX miles/time if they feel lazy or have difficulty getting the new gasket), but this is not really a wear part and there is no reason why BMW would give it a second thought for the maintenance program. It's one of those "if it an't broke, don't fix it" parts.
Thanks... Well, the reason why I would recommend replacing it out of warranty (at least before 100k miles) because apparently the gasket deteriorates and chunks into the cooling system. (possibly clogging up your thermostat)

If you do a coolant change and see black chunks in the fluid, change this gasket.

btw, this gasket will not last forever, its made of rubber. Mine @ 100k was totally flat and squared into the grooves when the new gasket was diamond shaped and almost an 1/8th of an inch thicker.
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  #3  
By jlE90 on 02-05-2011, 03:29 AM
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mines went out at 60k cost me $430 to do it at a shop, not BMW dealer, if i found this thread i should would of took at shot at it BTW the gasket is around 30$ at the stealership
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  #4  
By applebimmer on 02-10-2011, 11:49 AM
Thanks Dude!
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  #5  
By bumere90 on 02-11-2011, 03:40 PM
Great work!!!! Thanks for the DIY.
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  #6  
By jzchen on 02-12-2011, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlE90 View Post
mines went out at 60k cost me $430 to do it at a shop, not BMW dealer, if i found this thread i should would of took at shot at it BTW the gasket is around 30$ at the stealership
Looks easy from the DIY, but at least on the N54 it isn't as simple as just removing air housing, draining the coolant, and removing the housing. Be sure you protect the alternator from any fluids!

One bolt of the oil filter housing is under the intake manifold, and it is not short. You have to move the intake manifold to get at it, well, at least on the N54. (The curvature of the manifold may be a little better on the N52/N51 engine.) This requires removal of the microfilter housing, air intake, left charge air duct, and unbolting the intake manifold, at the least. (I actually removed the throttle body, but I'm not sure if this is necessary because I didn't try it without removing it.) This is a decent amount of work. Don't feel so bad. (My family is wondering if the car will start after I'm done. I'm trying to retrofit a Dinan oil cooler into it and it requires changing the housing.)
Last edited by jzchen; 02-12-2011 at 12:52 PM.
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  #7  
By s2kman on 02-22-2011, 09:52 AM
Got the same problem.
After I drained coolant I tried to disconnect coolant pipe from the housing.
When doing that I lost some o-ring that snapped out of the pipe... the rubber gasket is still in there but I definitely saw something dropped but cannot find it...
Does anybody have that pipe part # or something so I can call a dealer and figure out what was that?

thanks
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  #8  
By jzchen on 02-25-2011, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s2kman View Post
Got the same problem.
After I drained coolant I tried to disconnect coolant pipe from the housing.
When doing that I lost some o-ring that snapped out of the pipe... the rubber gasket is still in there but I definitely saw something dropped but cannot find it...
Does anybody have that pipe part # or something so I can call a dealer and figure out what was that?

thanks
You mean the big hose connected directly to the oil filter housing? There was no gasket as I remember, just the metal "ring/clip" that held the hose in place. If the metal ring/clip is still there I think you're ready to just put it back.
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  #9  
By ceenik on 03-09-2011, 04:49 PM
wow this is so helpful!!!!!!!! bless you!
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  #10  
By Stangorang on 03-10-2011, 07:21 PM
Never realized this was common. Just had it replaced under warranty.
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  #11  
By sneaks on 03-22-2011, 03:07 PM
You would think the gasket material chosen to fit this application would be compatible with the coolant used in the system. This car was designed around 2005 and I would hope this kind of testing is done. OEM coolant suppliers provide this to manufactures. Use this material for gaskets.... avoid any contact with x metals.....
Is it possible the factory fill coolant was replaced with an incorrect type to create this gasket issue?
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  #12  
By mruiz929 on 03-25-2011, 08:34 PM
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N54Bolt Torque specs

Very informative and easy to follow. Wanted to see if you guys knew the torque setting for the bolts that secure the oil thermostat housing to the oil filter housing? I am getting a leak in between there and have bought the seal it needs. Every morning when i start it up i get seapage and goes away after a while, but is always wet when i clean it off. I bought the seal that was $18 and the 2 o rings that secure the engine oil cooler lines to the oil thermostat housing (looks like they are a little wet too). Does anyone know the torque for the 3 bolts holding the oil thermostat housing to oil filter housing, the bolt holding the 2 oil cooler lines to the oil thermostat housing and if you guys recommend coating the seal with anything besides oil when installing? thanks and i hope someone can give me some direction. My vehicle is a late 07 335 and has an engine oil cooler.
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  #13  
By mruiz929 on 03-25-2011, 08:36 PM
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do you know the torque specs on the bolts?
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  #14  
By lostomni on 03-28-2011, 12:33 AM
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Man I am glad i saw this-
I have this leak also. I was trying to find the cause of the build up of grime on the front of my block.. then i took a mirror and wouldn't you know it, all grimed up under the coolant hose just like you said. there was some fresh oil, but mostly thick grime. The nice thing is my car uses/loses very little oil, id say 1/4qt every 5k (knock on wood), so I now its not leaking a ton. Now I have to find a weekend to do this. Ordering the gasket now, is there anyone in SoCal that wants/can help : ) Mr.5? lol
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  #15  
By jzchen on 03-28-2011, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostomni View Post
Man I am glad i saw this-
I have this leak also. I was trying to find the cause of the build up of grime on the front of my block.. then i took a mirror and wouldn't you know it, all grimed up under the coolant hose just like you said. there was some fresh oil, but mostly thick grime. The nice thing is my car uses/loses very little oil, id say 1/4qt every 5k (knock on wood), so I now its not leaking a ton. Now I have to find a weekend to do this. Ordering the gasket now, is there anyone in SoCal that wants/can help : ) Mr.5? lol
I'm in SoCal. How far are you from me? Still a question on torq because originally told 22Nm and now told 19Nm... I used 22Nm when I retrofitted...
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  #16  
By Z3shahzad on 04-14-2011, 02:35 PM
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I was going to attemp this. Can anyone point out the three bolts in the picture? I think I have 2 found but not sure. Thank you.
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  #17  
By allmotorh22 on 05-04-2011, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z3shahzad View Post
I was going to attemp this. Can anyone point out the three bolts in the picture? I think I have 2 found but not sure. Thank you.
people, make your lives easier and leave the manifold bolts alone and leave the coolant hose connected to the oil filter housing.

here you go:
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  #18  
By Tmaccus on 05-18-2011, 06:46 PM
Do I need to drain the oil also?
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  #19  
By Zoraster on 08-13-2011, 12:56 PM
Attempting this but cannot get bolts to budge. So frustrating.
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  #20  
By Rotorocious on 08-21-2011, 12:23 PM
Would draining the oil be helpful? I may just wait until my next oil change to do this all at once
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  #21  
By Synergy on 08-25-2011, 12:07 PM
for those who don't know if you need this done or not, i posted pictures of my engine here:

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=512950

if your engine looks like this, you need this done
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