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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #1  
Old 05-05-2012, 06:03 PM
trader37 trader37 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 BMW X3 2.5 MT
Help! Oil leaks galore :( Vanos hose, valve cover, oil filter housing

I took my 2004 X3 2.5 MT in for an oil change. It's now got 118,000 miles on it. Turns out I've got some oil leaks...

I went in today and I paid $50 to get them to wash the engine and put some dye in it and so far they've found that the Vanos hose ($150), oil filter house (engine side) ($300), and valve cover gasket ($280) are leaking. They want me to come back after a week so they can figure out what else is leaking after the trace the dye.

SO FAR they are estimating it's $720+tax for the above for parts and labour. This seems a little high and I'm not sure i'm comfortable doing it myself. I've priced out the parts at $100. I don't have a torque wrench (Vanos hoses) and I'm not that used to working on cars. I can change oil but I've never done anything big.

Am I getting ripped off with the pricing? If they're ripping it apart, should I be getting them to do something else to it as well since they're down there so I can save some labour and headache going forward?

I think I'd like to keep the vehicle for a little while longer so it's probably a good idea to do the repairs...
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  #2  
Old 05-06-2012, 11:01 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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Mein Auto: 2004 X3 2.5i
Don't know about the Vanos hose replacement, but those look like reasonable charges for O.F.H. gasket and V.C. gasket, assuming it's an indy shop.

For dealer comparison, see:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...5&postcount=11

Either one of those jobs can morph into something bigger though.

They could find the O.F. housing itself needs replacing, and may be able to see that the crankcase vent valve hoses need attention too.

For the V.C.G., it's a good time to do the spark plugs if needed, and make sure that there are no other oil leaks in that area from seals and gaskets other than the V.C.G. itself.
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  #3  
Old 09-19-2012, 12:45 PM
MichiganApril MichiganApril is offline
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Hey guys,
MichiganApril here--
posting partly because I've run into an oil issue as well.
NOT BAD...but just want a little pricing advice.

I notice a SMALL leak (we're talking a few-10 drops) of oil from the front middle area of the car,
on the cement in our garage.
Noticing this as I do-- check oil and such: come up with a 1/2 quart low on oil within a
5,000 mile span--
Soo, bringing it into the bmw dealership, i ask the ALWAYS friendly, courteous Matt Eckels, (absolutely no sarcism intended)
to look under the engine...
he's got his flash light and shows exactly where under the mid-to-driver-side area of the engine where it's leaking,
and it does have quite a bit of oil on the head and such...
So, he quoted about 400.00 for oil filter housing gasket/o-ring ...parts and labor.
is this HIGH for an x3?
i also was quoted by an indy- foreign car mechanic only- that it would be about 330, parts and labor...

Just askin' you all cuz i don't wanna be taken for a ride, and find out i was jacked...
the indy guy said that it was an "easier" job in comparison to a sedan oil housing gasket...for some reason.

hoping this feed doesn't die!
-thanks,
april


p.s: OH! i just forgot...is the valve cover gasket the same as a HOUSING gasket?? just wondering!

Last edited by MichiganApril; 09-19-2012 at 01:08 PM.
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  #4  
Old 09-19-2012, 01:25 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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Mein Auto: 2004 X3 2.5i
At 60K miles last year my Oil Filter Housing Gasket gave out suddenly big time.

Receipt from indy shop shows 2.8 hrs. for remove and replace.
That came to just under $300 (259 labor, 14 part, 25 shop supplies) + tax.

So $400 at a dealer isn't bad, if you appreciate the more comfortable surroundings, coffee and snacks, etc.

I would imagine it is easier on the X3 than a 3 series sedan because more working space.
Air filter box and intake boot/MAF would need to come out, and maybe a few other bits.

The valve cover gasket is a quite separate issue, and the one that normally goes first with the M54 engine.
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  #5  
Old 09-19-2012, 03:09 PM
MichiganApril MichiganApril is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supercourse View Post
At 60K miles last year my Oil Filter Housing Gasket gave out suddenly big time.

Receipt from indy shop shows 2.8 hrs. for remove and replace.
That came to just under $300 (259 labor, 14 part, 25 shop supplies) + tax.

So $400 at a dealer isn't bad, if you appreciate the more comfortable surroundings, coffee and snacks, etc.

I would imagine it is easier on the X3 than a 3 series sedan because more working space.
Air filter box and intake boot/MAF would need to come out, and maybe a few other bits.

The valve cover gasket is a quite separate issue, and the one that normally goes first with the M54 engine.

Ok! thanks for the input supercourse!
and the indy shop here in town (traverse city, mi) quoted me 330- so i shouldn't be too shy of the mark, to use them for the repair?
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  #6  
Old 09-19-2012, 08:13 PM
lat711 lat711 is offline
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that's odd

I took my x3 in for an oil change and I received the same list. my prices are higher but suggested repairs are the same. he said my valve cover gaskets are starting to leak ($454). the oil filter housing is starting to leak ($796). both front control arm bushings ($450). brake fluid flush ($125). alternator belt both drive belts and inspect tensioner ($200). all this was before I had the white smoke from. the exhaust. I didn't have a problem before he touched it, now I'm afraid to drive it. oh he said the smoke is the PVC valve. this is why women drive a car till something breaks because when we take for maintenance mechanics treat us like we're stupid. I've yet to find an honest one.
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  #7  
Old 09-20-2012, 06:53 PM
bostongrun bostongrun is offline
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I really doubt all those would leak at once or at all until you have at least 200k

I wasted a lot of time chasing down an oil leak near the filter housing after an oil change turned out to be the large o ring for the filter cap itself was leaking due to overtightening the plastic filter cap thus distorting the o ring causing a leak at about the 11 oclock poisition facing the windshield. Sometimes aftermarket filters like Fram have too skinny of an o ring also causing poor sealing. I went through all the trouble of removing the alternator and the replacing the filter housing gasket twice only to discover it was the o ring itself. Pressurized oil is very viscous and if there is a tiny opening it'll get it. I felt like a real dumb ass luckily I did myself and only wasted my time not my money.

There were quite a few problems with leaky oil filter housing gaskets on the earlier m50 engines but the problem was solved in about 96 or 97. I have not heard anything about it on these motors I thought amore robust gasket fixed the problem. In terms of the Vanos Line if you can turn a 17mm wrench tight and then a 1/4 turn you can do it yourself I have fixed a nubler of these oil leaks but merely tightening the crush washer on the bango bolt a quarter turn. Anytime you go to the dealer they are going to try to get you for a grand. The comfession of a service manager friend of mine. They are going to replace everthing in the vecinity rationalizing that dont want you to coming back. I find it hard to believe that the Vanos Line, Oil Filter gasket and Oil filter Hosuing all were leaking at the same time unless the car had 200,000 and had only five oil changes in it's entire life. All three of these thins are very ez Vanos Line 1/2 hour, Valve cover gasket less than an hour and the Oil Filter Housing is just remove the alternator then eight 12mm bolts and that's it I can do it in less than an hour and half. These dealers love these kind of fixes because they can be done by a low level $12 an hour junior tech yet they can bill out $120 an hour.

If you have been using Fram oil filters not BMW or WIX you might have a build up of melted plastic from the ends of the Fram filter building up where the filter makes contact with bottom of the filter housing it looks like laquered flower petals actually its filter material that has melted an welded itself to the bottom of your filter housing. It can accumulate to the point where you can clamp down the big plastic cap on top. If you have problems tightening your filter you may have this problem. If you do have you can remove the washer in the bottom of cannister and scrap the build up with a screw driver dont do it in the car because you dont want that melted plastic clogging an oil galley. On another forum a guy said he had a problem with overheating an discoverd a broken piece of a Fram filter had clogged an oil passage in the head and overheated a camshaft bearing ouch.
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  #8  
Old 09-20-2012, 08:00 PM
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Dominic49 Dominic49 is offline
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oil filter housing gaskets are avery common failure on the m54 we probably change 20 a week at the dealer vanos hoses leak too but not quite as often valve cover gaskets are on the schedule at right around 100k also

my list of things changed at 100k was sort of long but very common

water pump
theromostat
hoses
expansion tank
belts
valve cover gasket
spark plugs
02 sensors
oil filter housing gasket
oil and filter change since the housing was off
vanos hose
crank case evac system
throttle body boot
air filter
micro filter
diff fluid
trans fluid
transfercase fluid
battery

next things i can foresee failing are DMTL pump, washer pump, and voltage regulator

but this was not at all unexpected when i purchased my car a year ago. BMWs will run forever if you do proactive care not just reactive. (it just so happens the list of proactive parts is long)
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  #9  
Old 09-23-2012, 10:25 AM
MichiganApril MichiganApril is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominic49 View Post
oil filter housing gaskets are avery common failure on the m54 we probably change 20 a week at the dealer vanos hoses leak too but not quite as often valve cover gaskets are on the schedule at right around 100k also

my list of things changed at 100k was sort of long but very common

water pump
theromostat
hoses
expansion tank
belts
valve cover gasket
spark plugs
02 sensors
oil filter housing gasket
oil and filter change since the housing was off
vanos hose
crank case evac system
throttle body boot
air filter
micro filter
diff fluid
trans fluid
transfercase fluid
battery

next things i can foresee failing are DMTL pump, washer pump, and voltage regulator

but this was not at all unexpected when i purchased my car a year ago. BMWs will run forever if you do proactive care not just reactive. (it just so happens the list of proactive parts is long)

WHOA!! did you have ALL THIS done at 100,000?
that seems quite EXTENSIVE! also, price-wise, what were you lookin' at to do all this?
I'm just over 108,000 right now, and i know that this 100K check will be next, and I just don't want to be shocked at the price when they give it to me!
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  #10  
Old 09-23-2012, 12:07 PM
trader37 trader37 is offline
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I just checked all the parts required and the part cost is less than $100. I'm not sure if I'm going to do the repairs myself but I found a bit of a DIY with part pictures on Pelican's web site for anyone that's interested:
http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/tech...Vanos-Line.htm
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  #11  
Old 09-27-2012, 05:24 PM
MichiganApril MichiganApril is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 BMW x3 2.5
Oil filter housing gasket completed on my 04' x3!

here's the pricing breakdown: (and other stuff was done as well, as we saw it needing doing.

1. R/R oil filter housing: 297.5 (labor costs)
2. Gasket: 9.45
3. Oil service labor: 15.00
4. oil filter kit: 12.76
5. full synthetic oil: 87.50
6. multi-rib belt: 41.25
7. tire rotation: 25.5
8. r/r turn signal: 4.90

So, altogether, i left the Indy shop 531.45 LESS in my bank account
But i'm SUPER glad i got that belt AND THE OIL changed! Because, as i requested,
they had a sample of what the current oil looked like, and what it's SUPPOSE to look like for me....... needless to say, it looked like thick black coffee!! and my car still said "6000" more miles to go till NEXT OIL CHANGE!!

This whole 14,000 miles for oil changes is RIDICULOUS!! And can SOMEBODY tell me why it was 87.50 bucks for OIL!!! i use to do the oil changes on my subaru and it was like 25 bucks for a jug of oil!! ridiculous...but at least all things were attended to, and I'm driving more confidently now i don't have a smallish oil leak.
They ALSO charged me to DEGREASE the engine (where all the oil was getting everything dirty).
But I am happy with how thoughough of a job they did. I didn't know the serpentine belt was really in need of replacing!

My husband says it doesn't really matter that the oil looked that bad....which i really disagree...i dont' know where his logic is coming from. If the oil is suppose to look like HONEY and it looks like TAR only after driving 7,000 miles with it, that's just not good.

*mental note* for now on= do oil changes every 7,000 at most!
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  #12  
Old 09-27-2012, 08:05 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichiganApril View Post
....And can SOMEBODY tell me why it was 87.50 bucks for OIL!!! .........
My husband says it doesn't really matter that the oil looked that bad....which i really disagree...
Looks like 7 qts. @$12.50 /qt.

If they used genuine BMW oil, that is in the highest price range that I have seen.

But if they used something like Mobil1 0W40 it's never going to be the same price as in the discount auto parts store.
Still quite a markup, but not unusual.
Might include disposal costs, environmental levy, etc.

The blackness of oil is not meant to be a conclusive indicator of its remaining life.
Byproducts of combustion will do that.
The important properties of the oil could still be intact, but changing every 7K to 10K miles is a good plan.
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  #13  
Old 09-28-2012, 12:32 PM
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Dominic49 Dominic49 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichiganApril View Post
WHOA!! did you have ALL THIS done at 100,000?
that seems quite EXTENSIVE! also, price-wise, what were you lookin' at to do all this?
I'm just over 108,000 right now, and i know that this 100K check will be next, and I just don't want to be shocked at the price when they give it to me!
iirc, i'd have to go through my receipts though, it was around ~600 in parts and 8 hours of my time (add in 200-250 for tools if you are starting without.)
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  #14  
Old 10-06-2012, 06:49 AM
MichiganApril MichiganApril is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supercourse View Post
Looks like 7 qts. @$12.50 /qt.

If they used genuine BMW oil, that is in the highest price range that I have seen.

But if they used something like Mobil1 0W40 it's never going to be the same price as in the discount auto parts store.
Still quite a markup, but not unusual.
Might include disposal costs, environmental levy, etc.

The blackness of oil is not meant to be a conclusive indicator of its remaining life.
Byproducts of combustion will do that.
The important properties of the oil could still be intact, but changing every 7K to 10K miles is a good plan.
Supercourse-
YES, they used all bmw quality parts, and the oil was what they were suppose to use.
i was shocked, cuz it came out to being HIGHER than what i paid at the dealership last time for my oil change- like a 25$ difference. (the guy on the phone actually said they'll be sending a "coupon" my way for 20 bucks off the NEXT oil change I get, so i guess they're throwin' me a bone or something)
But as for the COLOR of the oil not being an indicator-- REALLY?
cuz it seems to me, something that dark/thick in the engine isn't generally a good thing-- but i see what you mean, as for the oil actually doing it's JOB...probably still works, but I don't think it's working as BEST as it could if it's that nasty.

*keeping fingers crossed* PLEASE no MORE jobs for a while!!! (gotta build up my "fixing the bmw" account again!!)
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  #15  
Old 12-20-2013, 08:05 PM
karl_burns karl_burns is offline
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THANKS Dominic!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominic49 View Post
oil filter housing gaskets are avery common failure on the m54 we probably change 20 a week at the dealer vanos hoses leak too but not quite as often valve cover gaskets are on the schedule at right around 100k also

my list of things changed at 100k was sort of long but very common

water pump
theromostat
hoses
expansion tank
belts
valve cover gasket
spark plugs
02 sensors
oil filter housing gasket
oil and filter change since the housing was off
vanos hose
crank case evac system
throttle body boot
air filter
micro filter
diff fluid
trans fluid
transfercase fluid
battery

next things i can foresee failing are DMTL pump, washer pump, and voltage regulator

but this was not at all unexpected when i purchased my car a year ago. BMWs will run forever if you do proactive care not just reactive. (it just so happens the list of proactive parts is long)
Thanks Dominic. I created a post because I couldn't find a good list of things to insure are replaced when crossing the 100K mileage mark. This is a great list. Some of these I didn't replace on my Chevy p/u or Ford Explorer, so this is the kind of advice I can use.
Karl
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