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cj2005645 02-08-2012 11:03 AM

Oil leaks on 2005 645
Oil leak help: I'm looking for similar experiences or suggestions. I have a 2005 645. In the last several months, I've replaced the valve cover gaskets, the lower oil pan gasket, the oil pump and pressure switch. Today I learned that oil is leaking from the upper timing covers and perhaps the valve covers themselves need to be replaced if they are warped. I'm also concerned that the lower timing covers will go since it's about the only place left that could leak.

I'm currently at about $5000 and it could double if all this works needs to be done.

Anyone encountered something similar?

What constitutes a lemon?

I'm open to any suggestions. Thanks in advance.

HerbP 02-08-2012 01:47 PM

This is very common for a BMW of this age. Whoever changed your valve cover gaskets, should have changed the upper timing cover gaskets at the same time. Parts for the upper timing cover gaskets is only 25.00, & the labor would probably have been an extra 500.00. The lower timing cover gaskets usually do well. Chances are that your alternator o-ring is leaking, & it has been missed. Dealer's usually charge around 700.00 for the labor on this. The o-ring is only around 3.00. If you remove the lower plastic panel, you can inspect the alternator o-ring with a flashlight. Here is a couple of pics.

ammobmw 02-08-2012 02:09 PM

cj, how many miles does your 645 have?

cj2005645 02-08-2012 10:36 PM

This is very helpful. Unfortunately when they did the valve cover gaskets, they did not do the upper timing gasket. I'm disappointed because I really like the people that did the work but it is getting sooo expensive now that they have to go in again...and again...and again.

cj2005645 02-08-2012 10:38 PM

This car has 69,000 miles on it.

ammobmw 02-09-2012 05:24 AM

Man...She's young.

ammobmw 02-09-2012 05:31 AM

I would also strongly suggest getting a second opinion, I know those guys are great but $$ .... need I say more?. Also consider an Independent Tech.

bringmewomen 02-09-2012 12:51 PM

@Cj2005645, got the same car and had the same problem, mine had 70,000ish miles at the time, got 75,000ish on it now. Cost me a little over $5,000, the first time he quoted me 5,000, came home it was still leaking, second time charged another 500ish... feel like i got ripped off, take it to a reputable BMW mechanic. I don't got my first repair order, but the second one they repaired
- Gasket price - $1.27
-Oil Filter Cover -$35.05
-Ear Clamp - $2.75
-Pentosin Hydraulic Fluid - $22.95
Total of parts came to 72.47
Labor was 514.69

idk how to attach the pictures, just joined bimmerfest

The picture is the broken alternator seal that he gave me, and said this is what was causing the leak.

Good Luck !

cj2005645 02-09-2012 12:56 PM

I'm learning a lot in the last 24 hours. The dealership just called and confirmed what the independent shop told me: after replacing the valve cover gaskets and the lower oil pan gasket, now it's the upper timing cover ($2500). Where it get's scary is what could happen but hasn't yet. If the lower timing cover goes, that's $7500 and basically forces them to redo both the upper timing and valve covers again (where I spent the first $50000.

The good news is that the place that has worked on it already seems willing to give me a severely discounted rate.

I'm ready to trade this sucker for a Ford Focus or a Prius!

Thanks to all of you for your help.

HerbP 02-09-2012 03:24 PM

Oil cover gasket start failing around 50k miles. You might have gotten this car at a good price, but these toys are expensive to maintain. If you can do the work yourself, it gets a lot cheaper! Keep your mechanic accountable for his mistakes!

Good luck!

tampamark 02-09-2012 03:36 PM

Herb has it right, we have seen a lot more of this of late. As these cars have dropped in price and people are picking them up they are finding the pitfalls of German Engineering and high end vehicles.

Holding your mechanic accountable is easy to say but hard to do. They have the upper hand, if you get your car home and it starts leaking again they can just say it is another gasket and you had 2 problems. Believe me I know. You can never go there again, but to make them repair the second one and rebate you the misdiagnosed original cost is virtually impossible. It all depends on the owner I suppose.

I feel for the OP, but the statement about a Lemon Law struck me the most. On a 7 year old car?

HerbP 02-09-2012 05:18 PM


Originally Posted by tampamark (Post 6621410)
I feel for the OP, but the statement about a Lemon Law struck me the most. On a 7 year old car?

I thought the same thing?:dunno:

petadakilla13 02-12-2012 07:10 AM

wow sorry to hear about the nightmare, do the 650s have these oil leaking problems such as that PITA alternator o-ring problem? If they don't I say trade in the 645 for a 650

houbmw-cm 02-14-2012 07:55 AM

My 650 has the same issue. The task itself does not look to major to repair. I purchased my car for pretty cheap knowing that I would have to pick up the difference in doing my own repairs. I can afford the repairs from the dealer, but can't justify the actual costs of them. I prefer to do the work myself anyway. I'm going to do the Cylinder Head Cover Gasket, The upper Timing Chain Gasket and the alternator bracket O-Ring (looks nothing like an O or ring for that matter) this weekend.

HerbP 02-14-2012 07:44 PM

You are in for a bad weekend! :mad::mad::mad: Make sure that you have both male & female Torx sets.

Good Luck!

Medicus 11-01-2012 02:31 AM

I was thinking that I just had the valve cover gasket leaking down on to the alternator but after this thread I think that my alternator gasket is bad too. When I put the dye through the alternator was covered with oil just from running it for about 5 minutes. Does this sound like a common symptom? Also is it a fairly easy fix

HerbP 11-01-2012 11:06 AM

The alternator o-ring replacement is around a 6 to 8 hour repair. The motor mount on the driver side must be removed, the alternator removed, the alternator bracket must be removed, power steering must be dropped, & the radiator cooling fan needs to be removed. Once you get to the o-ring, put some ATV back around the o-ring, or you might get to replace it again!

This job ain't fun!

Medicus 11-01-2012 11:55 AM

Thanks for the help. It is looking like I have a very log weekend coming up since valve cover gaskets and timing cover gaskets are due for changing also

houbmw-cm 11-02-2012 06:33 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I've done this particular job, and HerbP was very helpful in the process. He is not kidding when he says PITA. If you plan on doing the Cylinder Head Cover Gasket as well, consider getting some of the o-rings for the Fuel Injectors. When you pull them out some may need replacing and some may get lost. I was putting my car back together on a Sunday morning and had to wait till Monday to get the parts, then I didn't have time to finish until the next weekend. My car had some oil lines that didn't seem to show up on the diagrams. Discovered they were simply oil cooling lines. I believe these are in the models made for the gulf cost area, and you may not have the same lines. Here is the Thread whe HerbP helped walk me through the process.

I have a number of pictures if you would like me to post some let me know. My car ended up being apart for 2 weeks (3 weekends) due to needing something from the Dealer and not realizing it until the dealer was closed, DOH! it shoudl not take that long I just was not prepared, and wanetd to complete several things at once.

There is a Coolant line that attaches to the Fan Cowl above the Transmission oil coolant lines, you may or may not have these. This one caused me some headache as there are multiple clips to remove the coolant hoses. I managed to not get them quite right and it took me a while to track down the coolant leak after I got the car back together. Once back together, there is limited space availble for putting it back together correctly, grin. Here is a picture. i'm only posting this because it was not something I anticipated when putting it back together the clips just seemed to fit, but it wasn't grin. Good luck.

Oh One more thing. When picking up the O-Ring for the Alternator bracket, there were two options, not just one for my car. It was less than $5.00 for both, I woudl go ahead and get both if they offer you two options. The one they said it should be at the dealer was nto the one it actually was.

Medicus 11-03-2012 02:39 AM

Hey guys I started working on the vehicle today my plans were to do the valve cover gaskets, timing cover gasket, and the alternator bracket gasket. As of right now I have worked on the vehicle for approximately 3 hours and have Been able to take off the driver side valve cover gasket and started working on the timing cover gasket. I have been running into a problem locating an easy way to get out the fifth bolt on the timing cover gasket. It appears that the bolt is located behind the alternator bracket. Is there an easy way to get this out without removing the alternator bracket or do I need to remove the alternator bracket in order to get out the last bolt on the timing cover. It seems like I am doing something wrong because everywhere I see it only calls for approximately 2 hours to replace the timing cover gaskets. I think what I am going to do tomorrow is start working on the alternator bracket to completely free up that area and see if I can get to the bolt on the timing cover gasket easier. Any advice would be helpful thanks.

Medicus 11-07-2012 09:50 PM

When you did the alternator bracket did you have to lift the motor in order to get to the rear bolt on the power steering? I attempted to do this over the weekend but was running out of time to try and get the power steering dropped. I could not even see the rear bolt let alone get access to it. Any suggestions?

houbmw-cm 11-08-2012 04:21 AM

Yes. To get to the Alternator Bracket you will have to remove the Motor mount. Look the thread mentioned above in #19. I used a jack to hold the engine up for me. It actually wasn't as bad as I had thought it would be. Once you get the motor mount out there is quite a bit more room as well.

Good luck,


greco2000 11-08-2012 03:42 PM

Oil leaks are a nightmare and an Unfortunate common problem with these BMW's. My 745i was plagued with them and its never a Cheap quick fix. Everything from valve covers, crank case vent valves, timing case covers, alternator gasket etc etc. You can get a good deal on an older car, but in my opinion, it isn't worth the hassle. I swore I would never buy an older BMW again outside of CPO. When the leak start... Run for the hills!!!!

vegas645 01-18-2013 03:51 PM

I recently had the valve cover and upper timing cover gaskets replaced due to leaks. aFter 1 week I noticed I still have a leak in the same area as before. Took it back to the Indy and they said the leak is coming from the alternator bracket gasket which is is the same area as the other gaskets. It is a $6 part and a 10 hour job!! I asked him if this is something that could have been done when doing the other work thus costing less on labor and he said no that it would have been a separate job.

The quote was for $1,000 at 10 hours labor.

My question is this, should I press this shop for not catching this leak thus keeping the cost down by doing it at the same time or are they correct in that it would not have made a difference in labor hours? Also, I see figures of $500 to $700 in this thread for this job, is $1000 too much?

Thanksfor the help.

Medicus 01-19-2013 11:28 PM

There is no way that they would have been able to tell that it was leaking. I personally changed my valve cover gaskets and timing gaskets and then I found out that the alternator bracket gasket was leaking as well. Due to the angle of the valve covers all the oil usually is leaking in the same spot. My alternator gasket was shooting straight up on to the valve cover gasket. This job is lets say worth the $1000 if you have the money. I did it with a buddy and it took us 5 hours. The amount of parts that need taken off and the amount tools required is mind blowing. I filled up around 25 feet of tables tightly packed with parts and even had to call up a buddy because he has small hands. You can try to see if he will work out a deal on the price since you just did work there, also check I believe that it only calls for 7 hours according to bmw. You might also want to check the oil pressure switch and vacuum pump for leaks. After I did all my work I found out that both gaskets (one only available online) were leaking on the vacuum pump and the pressure switch was leaking. From my experience everything on my car went bad within 2 weeks and needed replaced. I guess thats what I get for buying a low milage 7 year old vehicle. Unless you have access to a lift I would not even consider trying to replace the alternator gasket yourself.

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