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  DIY - Your Oil filter housing gasket is leaking.
Is that my Head Gasket?
allmotorh22
01-14-2011
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...
  #44  
By revlimit on 01-08-2012, 02:41 AM
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Another thing I failed to mention is that if you removed the coolant return house, (the one with 2 9mm bolts) I suggest replacing the o-ring or else you might coolant leak issues. My o-ring was harden and broke in half.
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  #45  
By 335i101 on 01-14-2012, 06:49 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jzchen
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.)
I did it this project today. When I picked up the parts at the dealership they sold me the gaskets for the manifold as well.

By the end of the project I was tired, sore from being hinged over and ready to be done. So I skipped putting on the new intake manifold gaskets. (place the we're 50.00 bucks so I am going to return them)

I drove the car, all seems ok?? What I any potential problems could I have from this??
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  #46  
By 335i101 on 01-14-2012, 06:50 PM
Also I broke the tabs on this thing....
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  #47  
By 335i101 on 01-14-2012, 06:51 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by 335i101
Also I broke the tabs on this thing....
Oops, my pik didn't work, anyway it is the back of the engine and plugs into the intake, has an orange wire plugging into it.....

I duct taped it together...any other less-ghetto options??
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  #48  
By Gunn353 on 02-06-2012, 06:16 PM
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Finally got around to doing this today. It took me exactly 1 Hour and 23 Minutes. Follow the instructions and everything should go smoothly.

Notes:
-You don't need to drain the coolant.
-You don't need to take out the airbox - just the piece that mounts onto the front with 2 hex/torcx/star screws.
-You don't need to remove the intake manifold.
-IF you choose NOT to take these things off (like I did) I recommend using a ratcheting 8mm box-end wrench. using a normal box end wrench will take forever unless you remove at least the intake manifold.

Again, following the original DIY is still the best way to do this, but it can easily be done within a couple hours without removing anything but the housing itself....and the front piece of the air box.

Thank you all for your suggestions and for the original post, it helped a TON!
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  #49  
By be-em-veh-808 on 02-26-2012, 04:03 PM
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For a pro --- e.g. indie shop or dealer, it should be a 90 min job max.

For me --- it took me ~ 2 hrs because I did not have the best tools. Part itself was $15 (with tax and shipping).

If the dealer takes 4.5 hrs --- then they are spending 3 hrs picking their noses. I did this job yesterday afternoon. Now, if they also drain and power flush your radiator/cooling system, then may be add an extra hr.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmer_335 View Post
I've oil filter housing leak... dealer qouted me $30 for parts and $650 in labor (4.5 hrs)... does it take that long?
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  #50  
By be-em-veh-808 on 02-26-2012, 04:10 PM
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Completely agree with the "DONT'S" listed by Gunn.

The 8 mm box wrench is the right tool --- or 5/16 in would also work. I did not have a ratcheting tool, so it did take forever --- that's why it took me 2 hrs. But, it is doable --- just need to be patient and persistent.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunn353 View Post
Finally got around to doing this today. It took me exactly 1 Hour and 23 Minutes. Follow the instructions and everything should go smoothly.

Notes:
-You don't need to drain the coolant.
-You don't need to take out the airbox - just the piece that mounts onto the front with 2 hex/torcx/star screws.
-You don't need to remove the intake manifold.
-IF you choose NOT to take these things off (like I did) I recommend using a ratcheting 8mm box-end wrench. using a normal box end wrench will take forever unless you remove at least the intake manifold.

Again, following the original DIY is still the best way to do this, but it can easily be done within a couple hours without removing anything but the housing itself....and the front piece of the air box.

Thank you all for your suggestions and for the original post, it helped a TON!
Adding engine: N52
Last edited by be-em-veh-808; 02-29-2012 at 02:17 PM. Reason: Adding engine N52
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  #51  
By therealm3 on 02-27-2012, 03:44 PM
having done this myself on my N54 with oil cooler, I think listing the type of motor you did the replacement on would be helpful to others, because it took me 4 hours to do this and I can see it taking longer if you are extra careful and want to also clean the motor a bit while you are in there. Looking at my wife's N52 E91, I can say it would be significantly faster than the N54 as noted in posts above.
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  #52  
By pracklam on 03-03-2012, 09:56 PM
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Just changed the oil filter housing gasket on my N52. At the last service, the dealer mentioned my gasket was starting to seep. Part was $16.47 including tax at the dealer.

I did remove the air box but did not drain the coolant or remove the radiator hose. I loosened the bolt under the manifold and the front lower bolt using an 8mm box wrench. Once the bolt under the manifold was loose, I used a 1/4" drive wobble extension and a swivel joint. In preperation for separating the filter housing from the block, I covered the belt, pulleys, and alternator with aluminum foil to protect them from coolant and oil.

When all bolts are out, have a small rag handy and plug the coolant hole in the block as you remove the filter housing. I didn't know quite what to expect so I lost maybe a half quart to a quart of coolant before I fumbled around and stuffed the rag in the coolant hole. You will most likely get a small amount of coolant that splashes into the oil passage, but I assume this will evaporate once the engine is hot. If I did this again, I would stop the coolant flow with the rag, then try to capture most all of the coolant after removing the rag. Either way, you will need to let the coolant drain down so that it is below the coolant hole on the block.

With the rag removed, you can now clean the mating surface on the block and the housing. Not much of the the black rubber gasket was stuck to the block mating surface. I used brake cleaner to get most of it and then used 600 grit sandpaper to remove the last remnants.

Now that both mating surfaces are clean, insert the new gasket and reinstall the bolts. I tightened the bolts evenly in a criss cross pattern. I didn't use a torque wrench, but just snugged then down tight until I couldn't turn anymore.

I then topped off the coolant so that the float showed full and bled the system per procedure. To bleed, you push the ignition button without starting, turn heater temp to 84 degrees, put fan on low and hold down gas pedal for 10 seconds. You should hear the electric water pump turn on. It will cycle for several minutes. I test drove it around the block several times to get it to temperature and did a visual check for leaks. I'll keep an eye on coolant for the next few days and top off if required.
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  #53  
By ENINTY on 03-03-2012, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pracklam View Post
Just changed the oil filter housing gasket on my N52. At the last service, the dealer mentioned my gasket was starting to seep. Part was $16.47 including tax at the dealer.

I did remove the air box but did not drain the coolant or remove the radiator hose. I loosened the bolt under the manifold and the front lower bolt using an 8mm box wrench. Once the bolt under the manifold was loose, I used a 1/4" drive wobble extension and a swivel joint. In preperation for separating the filter housing from the block, I covered the belt, pulleys, and alternator with aluminum foil to protect them from coolant and oil.

When all bolts are out, have a small rag handy and plug the coolant hole in the block as you remove the filter housing. I didn't know quite what to expect so I lost maybe a half quart to a quart of coolant before I fumbled around and stuffed the rag in the coolant hole. You will most likely get a small amount of coolant that splashes into the oil passage, but I assume this will evaporate once the engine is hot. If I did this again, I would stop the coolant flow with the rag, then try to capture most all of the coolant after removing the rag. Either way, you will need to let the coolant drain down so that it is below the coolant hole on the block.

With the rag removed, you can now clean the mating surface on the block and the housing. Not much of the the black rubber gasket was stuck to the block mating surface. I used brake cleaner to get most of it and then used 600 grit sandpaper to remove the last remnants.

Now that both mating surfaces are clean, insert the new gasket and reinstall the bolts. I tightened the bolts evenly in a criss cross pattern. I didn't use a torque wrench, but just snugged then down tight until I couldn't turn anymore.

I then topped off the coolant so that the float showed full and bled the system per procedure. To bleed, you push the ignition button without starting, turn heater temp to 84 degrees, put fan on low and hold down gas pedal for 10 seconds. You should hear the electric water pump turn on. It will cycle for several minutes. I test drove it around the block several times to get it to temperature and did a visual check for leaks. I'll keep an eye on coolant for the next few days and top off if required.
So why not just drain two or so quarts out of the cooling system and avoid the mess? You have to bleed the system anyway. Not sure why people are so reluctant to drain some of the coolant out to avoid spilling it all over the front of the engine. Draining and refilling coolant from an E90 is so easy it makes no sense not to do it for the oil filter housing gasket replacement procedure.
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  #54  
By pracklam on 03-04-2012, 09:09 AM
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Very good point ENINTY. I would definitely recommend draining a quart or two of coolant prior to removing the filter housing.
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  #55  
By Meeni on 06-23-2012, 03:12 PM
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I am in the middle of doing this, HELP!

I'm struggling with the lower bolt, behind the intake pipes. It is torqued like a gorilla, I am really having a hard time removing it with a 8mm 12 pan box wrench. If I continue what I am doing, I'll just strip the bolt head.

Anybody have an idea?
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  #56  
By pracklam on 06-24-2012, 08:13 AM
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Meeni, I used an 8mm box wrench and used a bigger box wrench to get more leverage as mentioned in the original post. The bolt was tight, but after a few attempts it cracked loose. After loosened, I used a 1/4" drive 8mm socket and a combination of 12" wobble extension and swivel to back the bolt all the way out. If you are still having problems, you might spray on some penetrating oil and let sit for several hours. Worst case you may need to get a 1/4" drive torx socket. I have a 3/8" drive torx socket set, but the diameter of the socket was too large and couldn't get the socket straight on the bolt.
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  #57  
By Meeni on 06-24-2012, 04:58 PM
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Ok, I finished that job but it turned out to be a lot more problematic than this DIY indicated, because of unexpected problems.

The 8mm box wrench works fine for the bolts, if they are torqued to spec and not jammed. One of mine was jammed, and the little wiggle present with the 8mm on the E10 bolt resulted in stripping the bolt head quite badly. I had to go buy a E10 bit, and remove the intake manifold to get enough clearance to use it. If the DIY had worked, I would have completed the job in 10 minutes tops. With intake removal (actually you just have to unbolt it enough to move it around without removing it completely, otherwise you have to remove the injection rail as well, I had stripped enough of that car already) and the extra time spent shopping it took several hours...

If you decide not to flush the coolant, expect to loose around 1.5/2 qt of coolant. It made a mess everywhere and I am glad I covered the alternator with plastic bags. Just flush the coolant.
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  #58  
By Travisty on 06-30-2012, 04:44 PM
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I just finished replacing the oil filter housing gasket. This DIY was right on. MY only real issue was the bolt behind the intake. I had to use a not ratcheting 8mm to break loose the bolt as the ratcheting version did not have enough room to grab. It was tricky because there is very little room and if the bolt is not positioned right to start off you can't get the wrench on it.

I did take out the air filter box so I had room to move the housing around to clean. I wasn't able to get the coolant hose off the housing or it would have been much easier to clean everything.

I'm surprised the Bentley manual did not have this as a DIY.
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  #59  
By MrQuickR1 on 07-09-2012, 08:04 AM
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This may sound like a big bonehead question but I have to ask as I am hunting down issues with my car for the last 7 months.
I have this leak, I figured I will flush the coolant and do this at the same time and change the oil as well.
I was just curious that since this leaks, could it interfere with engine performance at all? I know with a valve cover leak, you get bad vacuum leaks, I assume the filter housing is pressured and not under vacuum?
Just curiosity, I have small idle glitches here and there.
It is going to the dealer tomorrow to have the fuel system checked cause it feels like the pressure regulator or pump are on the way out.

This housing gasket really does not look that hard to do.
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  #60  
By Meeni on 07-12-2012, 09:42 PM
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You risk oil contamination by coolant, or coolant system contamination with oil (that may eventually clog your coolant passages). Also, the leak comes from the gasket deteriorating. Usually, it sends unhealthy amounts of particles to your water pump when it deteriorates into the coolant, and might participate to its death.

No relations to idle issues, everything is under pressure (oil and water) and does not communicate with the vacuum chambers.
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  #61  
By MrQuickR1 on 07-13-2012, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meeni View Post
You risk oil contamination by coolant, or coolant system contamination with oil (that may eventually clog your coolant passages). Also, the leak comes from the gasket deteriorating. Usually, it sends unhealthy amounts of particles to your water pump when it deteriorates into the coolant, and might participate to its death.

No relations to idle issues, everything is under pressure (oil and water) and does not communicate with the vacuum chambers.
Thank you! The dealer found everything to be in spec. A very detailed diagnostic. So I am back to square one on that situation.
After I get back from S Fl. I plan to change out the gasket, oil, coolant, steering and diff. fluids.
This post has certainly been a huge help. Thanks
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  #62  
By MrQuickR1 on 08-19-2012, 02:20 PM
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This DIY is straight forward. Anyone with half of mechanical ability can do this.
I changed out the gasket, didn't look too bad but was leaking.
Since the car was already on stands I went ahead and changed out the oil/filter, coolant, steering fluid, and differential fluid.
I had to wait for a buddy to come over with a 14 mm allen socket since I didn't have any on hand so that took an hour away from the car, so while waiting, I changed my son's oil on his car.
I have to say it all went smooth and easy, thanks to the DIY's on here. The only issue I had was getting the banjo bolt to screw back in on the steering column, It was tight and had to be on a slight angle to get it started.

I feel so much better now that this is all out of the way. Next in line is the brake fluid and change out the front rotors and pads.

Driveway really looked red neck yesterday lol.
All took ~5 hours to complete.
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  #63  
By hewmanbing on 09-09-2012, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allmotorh22 View Post
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:
Attachment 519426
OK nice write up and all, but seriously you are missing the point that there is more than one configuration of this. Some people have a thermostat housing bolted to the front of the oil filter housing so you have to get that off and replace the gasket. Another bolt is directly under the intake manifold with about 3/8" clearance.. barely enough to even get a wrench under. So the intake manifold has to be moved out of the way as well.

edit: and for that matter, for those who are spouting off about this car being the easiest to drain coolant from, I'm guessing you don't have manual trannys, where you have to remove the intercooler to get at the plug
Last edited by hewmanbing; 09-09-2012 at 12:35 PM.
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  #64  
By TheTal0n on 10-08-2012, 11:59 PM
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How many of you used gasket sealer? Is it a necessary?

I was also going to just drain my coolant by turning the blue cap underneath the radiator, How much should be expected to poor out..? most of it?

much appreciated!
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  #65  
By AlanAZ on 10-09-2012, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTal0n View Post
How many of you used gasket sealer? Is it a necessary?

I was also going to just drain my coolant by turning the blue cap underneath the radiator, How much should be expected to poor out..? most of it?
I coated the new gasket with engine oil before installing for a better seal.

I cut the top off a harder plastic (Arrowhead) clean 1 gal water container, and notched it so I could undo the drain plug with large flat-blade screwdriver, and half filled it with coolant (1/2 gal -- the system takes about 2 gals), and put the plug back in. This was enough so I didn't spill coolant removing the gasket.

Before I put the oil filter back into the housing, I poured a little new oil into the area where I removed it on the de-install to prime it. I also scheduled to do it a couple of days before a regular oil change.

There another tread if you haven't seen it: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=632565
Last edited by AlanAZ; 10-09-2012 at 10:53 AM.
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