Oil Filter Housing Gasket Replacement Service & Cost

What is the Oil Filter Housing Gasket all about?

Oil is vital for a running engine; it must have the right viscosity and be changed on a regular basis. As the oil passes through your engine, it picks up debris and particles. If left unchecked, the debris will cause serious damage to your engine. The solution is an oil filter – it does exactly what the name implies: it filters the oil and removes particulates before they have a chance to damage engine components.

Depending on the make and model you drive, you may have an internal or an external oil filter. External filters are the most common in the US, and are primarily used on American cars and Asian imports. However, many European imports use internal filters. External filters are mounted under the engine, located near the front of the bottom. Most internal filters are installed into a sealed housing at the top of the engine.

Both external and internal filters attach to the housing, which mounts to the engine and requires a gasket to keep engine oil from leaking out around it. Over time, this gasket will become brittle and crack, allowing oil to leak out.

Finding the Housing

On inline six-cylinder engines like the N54 and N55 found in models like the F30 335i this is on top of the engine at the front. (Look for the big black plastic cap.) If you’ve got an oil filter housing gasket leaking you may see oil seeping from where the housing meets the cylinder head. It might also be on the black rubber coolant hose that runs underneath.


Replacing a Leaking BMW Oil Filter Housing Gasket

As with every BMW repair, the size of the job depends on exactly what model car and engine you have. In general terms though, the job goes like this:

  • Remove some of the engine coolant (because you’ll be taking off a hose and don’t want to make a big mess)
  • Remove the engine cover
  • Remove the intake manifold
  • Disconnect the oil cooler lines
  • Take the oil cooler housing off the filter housing. (There’s a gasket between these two. While it might not be leaking now this is a good time to replace it because gaskets are not very expensive.)
  • Pull the oil filter housing from the cylinder head
  • Remove the two gaskets and clean all the surfaces thoroughly. (Forget to clean and you’ll be doing the job again very soon!)
  • Replace the ‘O’ rings on the oil cooler lines, (for the same reason — they’re not expensive.)
  • Reassemble the filter housing and mount it back on the engine. Note that the bolts are aluminum and stretch when torqued down. It’s prudent to replace them.
  • Put everything else back — intake manifold, oil lines, coolant hose and cover — and top up the coolant

When we’ve done a BMW repair like this we always finish by bringing the engine up to temperature and checking carefully for any signs of a gasket leak.

How can we help?

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