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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > N55 Oil Filter Housing Gasket ; Do It!



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      10-22-2014, 08:46 AM   #1
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N55 Oil Filter Housing Gasket ; Do It!

Heads up mine was leaking on my 2011 335i @ 70K miles ; tech at BMW dealership reported that oil had leaked past the gasket into the cooling system and contaminated the coolant! The gasket was replaced and the complete cooling system had to be flushed with detergent, then water then refilled with antifreeze.... Adviser said job was quoted @ $1200 but adjusted to $500 due to BMW goodwill. Now warrantied for 2 years / unlimited miles. My advice is to N55 owners is to preventive replace! Don't wait for cross contamination!!
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      10-22-2014, 08:52 AM   #2
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My advice... if it ain't broke, don't fix it...
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      10-22-2014, 09:19 AM   #3
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Your engine must have been assembled on a Monday.
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      10-22-2014, 02:35 PM   #4
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N55 oil filter housing gasket

It may not be broke but my point is spending a little now will SAVE you MEGA $$ later.... DUH
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      10-22-2014, 04:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomas88162 View Post
Your engine must have been assembled on a Monday.
It has nothing to do with how the engine is assembled or what day it was assembled. I did the replacement of the rubber gasket on my oil filter housing two weeks ago (BTW, one of the bolts is very difficult to get to and I had to buy a 1/4 inch drive star socket with a universal joint to get at it). Once I had the manifold off, the gasket looked as if it had melted in place and was spreading out towards the passages. Basically, BMW's supplier used an inferior material that degrades over time. This is why they leak and I don't think there is anything you can do to prevent it. We drive $40k ticking time bombs ...

I know some forum members theorize that the gasket material can break away and ruin the coolant pump. That's not a bad theory and is even more reason to fix this oil leak before more havoc is wreaked.
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      10-22-2014, 05:08 PM   #6
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How difficult is this DIY compared to the N54?
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      10-22-2014, 06:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjleamy View Post
It has nothing to do with how the engine is assembled or what day it was assembled. I did the replacement of the rubber gasket on my oil filter housing two weeks ago (BTW, one of the bolts is very difficult to get to and I had to buy a 1/4 inch drive star socket with a universal joint to get at it). Once I had the manifold off, the gasket looked as if it had melted in place and was spreading out towards the passages. Basically, BMW's supplier used an inferior material that degrades over time. This is why they leak and I don't think there is anything you can do to prevent it. We drive $40k ticking time bombs ...

I know some forum members theorize that the gasket material can break away and ruin the coolant pump. That's not a bad theory and is even more reason to fix this oil leak before more havoc is wreaked.
It was sort of a joke, but actually the torque applied to the does have an affect on the longevity of the gasket. As well as temperature, of course. Although they do get pretty brittle, some don't actually fall apart as badly as others seem to.
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      10-22-2014, 06:03 PM   #8
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How difficult is this DIY compared to the N54?
I imagine it cannot be much different. You remove the oil filter housing and pry off then slap on another gasket..
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      10-22-2014, 06:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomas88162 View Post
I imagine it cannot be much different. You remove the oil filter housing and pry off then slap on another gasket..
The difficulty isn't one of replacing the actual gasket, but rather one of gaining access to the housing bolts. Dat intake manifold. On the N54, you basically have to remove the intake manifold to get access to one of the OFH bolts. So the question was really - does the N55 have the same issue?
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      10-22-2014, 08:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgrosse View Post
.... Adviser said job was quoted @ $1200 but adjusted to $500 due to BMW goodwill. Now warrantied for 2 years / unlimited miles. My advice is to N55 owners is to preventive replace! Don't wait for cross contamination!!
Be advised that the warranty is on the part only. If i remember correctly $15. The labor is out of pocket!
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      10-24-2014, 10:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NGEE View Post
The difficulty isn't one of replacing the actual gasket, but rather one of gaining access to the housing bolts. Dat intake manifold. On the N54, you basically have to remove the intake manifold to get access to one of the OFH bolts. So the question was really - does the N55 have the same issue?
It is possible. My N55 is about to hit 40k and the oil filter housing gasket was just replaced under warranty while the VANOS recall work was being done. The service notes say that it was "leaking badly".
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      03-03-2017, 10:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
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It is possible. My N55 is about to hit 40k and the oil filter housing gasket was just replaced under warranty while the VANOS recall work was being done. The service notes say that it was "leaking badly".
BMW Of Westchester quoted me $1303.09 to replace the one OFH gasket (I do not have the extra oil cooler) on my 2011 335i XDrive N55!

As I was researching how to DIY this I came across this video and two things occurred to me.

1. Once the housing opens coolant and oil spills out! Is there a risk of cross contamination there? Are people DIYing this with a coolant flush and oil change at the same time?

2. Because the coolant is exposed are we required to bleed and refill coolant after the DIY?

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Last edited by delmarco; 03-03-2017 at 11:21 AM.
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      03-03-2017, 12:16 PM   #13
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Yes, contamination can occur, but it's minimal. best to do this service while also doing an oil change. Bleeeding the cooling system would be another best practice. When all buttoned back up just run the electronic procedure. Turn car to on position, put heat to full, hold down gas for 10 seconds, and let the electronic pump do its thing for roughly 10minutes (dont open/close doors as it will interrupt the bleed process).
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      03-08-2017, 02:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjleamy View Post
It has nothing to do with how the engine is assembled or what day it was assembled. I did the replacement of the rubber gasket on my oil filter housing two weeks ago (BTW, one of the bolts is very difficult to get to and I had to buy a 1/4 inch drive star socket with a universal joint to get at it). Once I had the manifold off, the gasket looked as if it had melted in place and was spreading out towards the passages. Basically, BMW's supplier used an inferior material that degrades over time. This is why they leak and I don't think there is anything you can do to prevent it. We drive $40k ticking time bombs ...

I know some forum members theorize that the gasket material can break away and ruin the coolant pump. That's not a bad theory and is even more reason to fix this oil leak before more havoc is wreaked.
I had to do my gasket 2nd time after 10 months.
But this time on top of our inferior gasket I put permatex Ultra copper gasket maker.
Just follow the instructions on tube.
2.5 years.... No issues.
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      03-29-2017, 11:08 AM   #15
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My Filter housing is icky with white spots all over. Agouls I just go ahead and spend the extra money replacing the filter body?




Now I noticed a new filter housing comes with the gasket already installed...does that make this DIY easier?
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      04-13-2017, 11:44 AM   #16
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NO when parts are replaced at ANY BMW dealer they are warranteed minimum 2 years unlimited mileage parts AND labor
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      04-20-2017, 04:55 PM   #17
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The white stuff is just unsealed alloy surface corrosion. Hit it with some scotchbrite if you really must.

All that has been said already in this thread is true. The gasket appears to melt and fill the channels of the casting, so the gasket is no longer tall enough to be a gasket. Only use genuine gaskets for this job, not worth mucking around with aftermarket ones.

N54/N55 dont forget to replace the two small orings for your oil cooler line connection.

Cross contamination is possible if left unfixed for a long time. During repair, some slight cross contamination is possible but it's negligible if you take precautions. I wouldnt flush the cooling system but i would change the oil.
- Remove the oil filter and suck out all remaining oil in the housing
- Open the coolant cap to relieve any pressure
- Remove the serpentine belt and cover your toothed pulleys. Buy a new belt if you see flat spots, melted rubber on the flat idler pulleys or other signs of wear due to oil contamination
- Inspect top coolant hose and the smaller one beneath the housing held by two 10mm bolts (the Mickey Mouse one). Buy new hoses if you see any swollen rubber
- Remove the top coolant hose (big one) to allow most of the coolant to escape from the housing.
- N54/N55 you must elevate or remove the intake manifold to access one bolt. I usually just elevate and use a skinny wobbly extension.
- The second difficult bolt is the one pointing downwards near the Mickey Mouse coolant hose connection to the head. If your hose is not swollen, id suggest using a 12pt 8mm spanner carefully to remove the bolt. Alternatively, remove the Mickey Mouse connection and use normal etorx sockets.
- Slacken all bolts before removing housing from vehicle
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      01-15-2019, 09:11 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarco View Post
BMW Of Westchester quoted me $1303.09 to replace the one OFH gasket (I do not have the extra oil cooler) on my 2011 335i XDrive N55!

As I was researching how to DIY this I came across this video and two things occurred to me.

1. Once the housing opens coolant and oil spills out! Is there a risk of cross contamination there? Are people DIYing this with a coolant flush and oil change at the same time?

2. Because the coolant is exposed are we required to bleed and refill coolant after the DIY?

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      01-15-2019, 04:49 PM   #19
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Folks if you work on cars this is an easy DIY, I have done it 3 times, the first time I did not torque the bolts correctly and did not change the second seal which is on the OFH, there is one between the block and the OFH and a second between two parts of the OFH. You need to do both since they both go bad at the same time.

I always changed my gasket when I did the oil change and never had an issue with Coolant leaking out. One of the way to know your OFH is leaking besides the fact you have oil all over the front of your motor you will see oil in the coolant reservoir.
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      01-15-2019, 04:57 PM   #20
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Just did mine two weeks ago. That 3rd bolt under the intake manifold is a pain to get to, but if you loosen the intake manifold, you can get a 1/4" drive torx socket on it.

Also - some people have trouble with the bolt on the underside front near the coolant hose. If you buy a closed end /box torx wrench, it is easy. You can leave the coolant hose in place and not worry about replacing it.
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      01-29-2019, 10:33 AM   #21
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Another helpful video:

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      01-31-2019, 09:09 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by robthewrench View Post
closed end /box torx wrench, it is easy.
Can i have a picture please?
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