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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 08-16-2014, 03:46 PM
jrapo jrapo is online now
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Mein Auto: 2007 X3 3.0si
2007 X3 slight oil leak advice

I bought my 2007 X3 two and a half years ago with 58K miles. I have repair records since new and it never had any major repairs/failures. It now has 93K miles. My experience has been outstanding and it drives great and has been super reliable. It's a loaded one with 18" sport wheels, NAV and pretty much everything. Everything works as new (including the sunroof). Since I bought it I changed all the fluids (transfer case, diffs, transmission, brake, coolant) and regularly change oil at 7-8K intervals. I also replaced the serpentine belt and pully/tensioner mechanism 6 months ago as apparently it was about to fall off the engine. Regarding true repairs, only the windshield washer pump broke! As you can see, 93K mostly trouble free miles and it still drives like new. I've owned dozens of cars in my life and rate this one as one of the best I've ever owned!

So I brought it in for an oil change today at the BMW dealer here in Atlanta and he tells me there is slight oil leakage at the "Cylinder Head Cover Gasket" and also at the "Oil Filter Housing Gasket". Now mind you, I go 8K miles between oil changes without ever being low on oil, so it's not losing much oil. There's never a drip on the ground. They quoted $990 to repair the first one and $725 to repair the second one. I got the car back and told them I'd get back to them if I wanted the repair done. When I look at the engine from the top, there is a bit of oil grime around the cylinder head gaskets on top of the block, but it looks very minor to my eye. I can't see the oil filter housing from above, so no comment on that one. I'm not a DIY'er, so if I get this done it will be at the dealer or a local indy, of which there are many good ones to choose from.

So my questions:
1. How big a deal is it to fix these two leaks? Is one more critical than the other?
2. How long can I just ignore this before it truly becomes a problem?
3. What would be a fair indy repair cost for these?
4. If I get this work done, what other parts should I be proactively replacing while a mechanic is under the hood repairing one or both of these leaks?

Thanks for all your help!
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  #2  
Old 08-16-2014, 04:10 PM
Frenchx3 Frenchx3 is online now
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Mein Auto: 2005 X3
The two leaks you have are very common. I have done both on mine. The valve cover gasket is much easier the oil filter housing gasket. The vcg is about 1 hour and the ofhg is 3 to 4 hours because you have to pull the air intake shrowd, cooling fan, serpentine belt and the altenator before you can get the oil filter housing. It's not hard just really time consuming. Take it to an indy thst is familiar with it... they'll give you a better price. Yoy need to get it done.... it does get worse if you leave it.

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  #3  
Old 08-16-2014, 08:39 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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1 and 2 already answered well.

3. VCG replacement - not often done in isolation as good time to do plugs and coils if deemed at all necessary. Otherwise it would cost a bit less than the OFHG job.
Parts cost for this much higher that OFHG (which is maybe maybe < $10).
So figure somewhere between $300 and $600 at an indy, depending on what other parts are replaced at the same time.

OFHG replacement - should be around $400 at a trusted indy.

4. as referenced above
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  #4  
Old 08-17-2014, 06:56 AM
jrapo jrapo is online now
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Thanks guys. as a matter of normal maintenance, should I be replacing plugs and coils at this stage (7 years old, 93K)? The car runs fine, no stumbles, no codes, etc.

Also, I have owned cars that have had slight signs of valve cover leakage and they have run for years with no issues/problems before I either repaired it or sold the car. Is it different on the BMW or generally the same level of urgency?

the oil housing gasket leak concerns me more for some reason, primarily because I assume it is lower on block and may be subject to causing more damage/leaking as a result. Is this a realistic view?

The car has become a 3rd car in my family now and won't be driven much. I think 6-8K miles a year with much of it on the highway for longer road trips.
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  #5  
Old 08-17-2014, 07:01 AM
jrapo jrapo is online now
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I guess what I'm getting to is if these leaks just appeared in the last 6 months, can I continue driving the car for another 1-2 years (roughly 15K miles) not fixing the leaks without being overly concerned? I assume the answer is yes unless I see concerning visible signs of a bigger leak like drips of oil on the ground or the smell of burning oil as it drips on the manifold or exhaust?

I don't want to completely ignore the issue but I'd rather wait a bit longer until the car needs other repairs then do it all at the same time.
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  #6  
Old 08-17-2014, 07:44 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is online now
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fire etc

a series of drips from the valve cover onto the exhaust have caused the stinky interior syndrome and some have started fires ......the fires are a small risk......you can snake under the x and see if the leak has come down and slinkyed onto your exhaust lower area etc

busted valve cover studs have been an issue on many of the bmw engine valve covers ....the ones with busted studs leak more....the studs are easy to replace

the other side of the engine runs cooler but the oil tower leaks get all over that side after a while

a budget constrained person would do valve cover first .....look up the bavauto.com video on this diy and get stuck in .... a simple job

an indy ~ 650 for both jobs ....neither are difficult
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  #7  
Old 08-18-2014, 07:26 PM
jrapo jrapo is online now
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I got an indy quote for about $1,000 for both jobs and then only another $180 to change out all the spark plugs. Seems fair and much less than the $1,700 (oil leak repairs only) from the dealer. I'll get it done in a couple months and hope that's all for repairs for a while!

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  #8  
Old 08-23-2014, 03:14 AM
MADBMWX3 MADBMWX3 is offline
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Love my X3, but when they break down they are very expensive to repair.
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  #9  
Old 08-24-2014, 05:10 PM
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legalfee legalfee is offline
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I've already had the valve cover gaskets replaced so I guess it's probably the oil filter housing that my leak is coming from. Oh and my SAV is a 2004 2.5 with 120K miles.
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  #10  
Old 08-25-2014, 11:39 AM
DangermouseX3 DangermouseX3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrapo View Post
Thanks guys. as a matter of normal maintenance, should I be replacing plugs and coils at this stage (7 years old, 93K)? The car runs fine, no stumbles, no codes, etc.


the oil housing gasket leak concerns me more for some reason, primarily because I assume it is lower on block and may be subject to causing more damage/leaking as a result. Is this a realistic view?
The OFHG is actually higher up on the engine than the VCG. It is held on by three bolts, but one of them is inaccessible unless you remove the alternator or the inlet manifold.

I did both myself, but have used German Motor Works on Buford Hwy for a couple of jobs if you want the name of an indy.

pm me if you want a second opinion on whether your leak is bad. I'd love to see another X3 (I'm northside OTP)
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