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dawg1 07-12-2011 03:31 PM

645ci Oil Leak help - have pic
Just started seeing a few drops of oil on garage floor. I looked at engine and if standing at the front looking down at engine, it appears to be coming from the front of the motor towards the left. I found a couple of wires that looked coated with oil. Can someone tell me if there is a common leaking component in this area? Also fair price to fix if anyone has an idea (?). Thanks.

HerbP 07-12-2011 05:21 PM

Either your valve cover gasket, or timing cover gaskets are starting to leak! I would go ahead & change both of them, to be on the safe side!

the6dude 07-12-2011 08:11 PM

In addition...

Looks like that may be right under your vacuum pump which is prone to leaking. Also your oil pressure switch is located in that area as well. Pretty much right under the vacuum pump on the block. I had both of these leaks. If you unplug the cable to the oil pressure switch you'll be able to tell if its leaking because oil will seep out of the plastic loom covering the wires. Hope this helps.

the6dude 07-12-2011 08:22 PM

The vacuum pump will cost you about $450 and the oil pressure switch about $6, parts only at or You can do both of these yourself pretty easily. Expect to pay at least $1000 and $400 at the stealership. I haven't replaced the valve cover gasket but from what I understand they are time consuming but doable. HerbP can give you more details on that, I think he's replaced just about every gasket on the 6er :thumbup:

the6dude 07-14-2011 10:08 PM

Any update?

All-Or-Nothing 07-14-2011 10:55 PM

It looks like the vacuum pump

Here it is for $375

All-Or-Nothing 07-15-2011 06:45 AM

Only $344 on

HerbP 07-15-2011 08:28 AM

If the vacuum is working fine, do not change it. There is a o-ring on it, that can be replaced a lot cheaper. I say if you change the valve cover gaskets, change the timing cover gaskets while you are that far. You will have to remove the vacuum pump, to get to the passenger side timing cover off. The valve cover gaskets are a PITA, but doable. OEM valve cover gasket's are 80.00 each, aftermarket can be found for 40.00 each. Timing cover gaskets are 13.00 each. Dealer will charge from 800 to 1200 labor for valve cover gaskets. Timing cover gasket labor while changing valve cover gasket, around an additional 500.00.

I can not stand oil leaks, so I did all of mine. I don't really want to pay the dealer 1800.00, for work that I can do!

Hope this might help!

dawg1 07-17-2011 02:02 PM

thanks for the comments. I rubbed my hand underneath that pump (around those wires) and saw fresh oil so it must be coming from that (?). Is the oil sending unit under that too? I don't want to change all those other gaskets unless absolutely necessary - car has 38k miles. Where's the oring that leaks? Is that pump easy to remove? What should I try first?

HerbP 07-17-2011 02:09 PM

If the wire loom for the oil sensor is leaking, change that 1st. Around 12.00 to 15.00 at your local BMW dealer. The vacuum pump is around 20 to 60 minutes to remove, based on your skill level. You will need female torx sockets to remove the bolts. l will post a link for the removal. Get some engine cleaner & remove all oil possible, to make sure you can watch the oil leak.

Good Luck!

dawg1 07-17-2011 02:43 PM

Thanks for the link. Just to clarify, I do have to remove that vacuum pump to get to the oil switch right?

dawg1 07-17-2011 03:25 PM

Update: car now pouring oil- huge puddle in garage?! I cleaned the motor and the oil is coming out the top of the vacuum pump where that tube enters the top. So does that pump need replacing? Was that part involved in that recall?

HerbP 07-17-2011 05:00 PM

Have you had your brake recall done? Do not drive it like that. Sounds like your check valve in the vacuum system might have gone bad.

dawg1 07-17-2011 05:47 PM

Here are some more pics. The first shows how much oil I now have leaking -- went from no leaks, to a few drops, now to this. The second pic shows the obvious leak (unless I have 2 that developed at the same time??). I did have a recall done about 2 months ago -- it had something to do with that vac pump I think. I've checked my oil level -- still good and no warning lights are on. So does that pump need replacing or is the connection at the hose just too loose? (forgive my dumb questions)

dawg1 07-17-2011 06:02 PM

another thing to mention maybe is that in between the few drops of oil and the large puddle, I did have an oil change -- wonder if that puddle was from a spill of oil or something along those lines (?). Just drove car for a bit and don't see any puddle or drips that would resemble such a puddle

the6dude 07-17-2011 06:45 PM

First check the oil pressure switch. It is located under the vacuum pump on the block. You DO NOT have to remove the vacuum pump to get to it. I used a larger deep socket that fit right over the switch once the connector was unpluged. It came right out. You will know if its the cause of your leak because as soon as you unplug the connector more oil will leak out and the wire loom will be full of oil. This is the cheaper repair and should take less than a hour. I took me about that long start to finsh and cleaning all the oil off the engine and belts. I can maybe take pictures tomorrow if you need them. Here is the TIS for the oil pressure switch.

Once the oil pressure switch is replaced and if that doesnt fix your problem move on to the vacuum pump. Like HerbP said the seal is what normally goes bad but I just replaced the entire unit. That should also take less than a hour. Good luck!

dawg1 07-17-2011 06:49 PM

6dude, are you thinking I may have 2 leaks -- second being from the oil switch? What about that oil in the last pic on top of the vac pump?

the6dude 07-17-2011 07:00 PM

I just took a few pics I'll post shortly. I don't think you pump is leaking from the top. It typically leaks from the rubber o ring seal.

dawg1 07-17-2011 07:13 PM

ok, thanks for any pics. i don't understand about the oil on top of that pump though. i cleaned that pump, drove the car around and then could see the new oil there. did you see the top of vac pic a couple of posts up?

the6dude 07-17-2011 07:26 PM

3 Attachment(s)
OK, take a look at the first pic (696) it shows the wiring loom below the vacuum pump that connects to the oil pressure switch. Oil will seep out of this from the oil pressure switch when it goes bad. It makes it very difficult to determine exactly where the leak is coming from:confused:. The other two pictures will give you a pretty good idea where the oil pressure switch is located. It's right under the vacuum pump. Like I said earlier I would replace this switch first then the vacuum pump.

As for your pic...I think if you just had an oil change that may just be oil that spilled from the oil change. The leaks I had where from the vacuum pump seal and the oil pressure switch.

Hope this helps!

the6dude 07-29-2011 03:59 PM

Any update Dawg1???????????

Bmwaudivwdude 08-20-2011 12:19 AM

It is hard to tell where your leak is until you clean up the oil. Take a can of brake cleaner spray and spray it on the engine to clean up all the oil. Brake cleaner works wonders and will clean your engine without leaving any residue. Then crank the car, let it run, and check for leaks. After I did this I found it was my valve covers leaking.

bigtyme562 11-05-2011 05:26 PM

I might have the same issue. I had an oil change done and a few days later I noticed the leaking. it looks like it could be the oil pressure switch. Can the oil pressure switch be changed without removing the vacuum pump? Any DIY links would be great as I might need to change both.

the6dude 11-05-2011 05:51 PM

Yep! The oil pressure switch can be changed without removing the vacuum pump. I replaced mine in about 30 minutes.

bigtyme562 11-05-2011 07:41 PM

thanks "the6dude"
if you dont mind could you go over the steps. I looked over the TIS link you provided and it helps but its not clear to me.
Would I need to release the sliver connector then pull off with my hand, then use a wrench that will fit and remove the oil pressure switch. Once removed replace with new one and tighten. lastly connect the plug and reconnect the silver connector?
Over all can this be done without removing any items surrounding and basically use hand to squeeze in?

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