Valve Stems, Valve Cover, Timing Cover, Valley Pan, Rear Cover, etc...All Leaking - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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X5 E70 (2007 - 2013)
E70 BMW X5 produced between 2007 and 2013. Discuss the E70 X5 with other BMW owners here.

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  #1  
Old 01-15-2019, 05:07 PM
BabyUnicornTaco BabyUnicornTaco is online now
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Valve Stems, Valve Cover, Timing Cover, Valley Pan, Rear Cover, etc...All Leaking

Well, I made it 153,000 miles and it finally came. 7,000 mile oil change intervals, mostly highway driving for the last 60,000 miles. Hopefully this post can be informative and help with others who encounter this. It is not normal for these seals to last this long but they all have started to fail. My valve stems seals, valve cover gaskets, timing case cover gaskets, oil cooler gasket, rear cover, transfer pipe, etc., are all leaking. Only the oil cooler gasket has ever been replaced at 82,000 miles. These usually do not fail all at once but now I am faced with the big decision. I either replace the external leaks and try to ride it as far as I can before valve stem seals and transfer pipe completely blow or do everything. Luckily I have a good relationship with my Indy shop and a brother in law who is a euro mechanic. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a good relationship with a good local Indy shop. One of the guys I speak to often that works there said he saw my car come in and took personal responsibility to look it over. Peace of mind means a lot. He is assembling an estimate for external leaks and an estimate that covers everything. The decision is whether to try to get away cheaper repairs and ride as long as possible or have it all done and have a nice clean engine that drives as new and is good for indefinite miles. I lean toward having it all done. The coolant leaks are not bad yet but they will be. The oil leaks have begun to drip all around. I made a good run but the time has come to address it. Many owners I read about have one failure, replace it, and then see another failure months later. I am interested in hearing about other accounts that are similar or any advice. Since I have a good relationship with these guys, I plan on having them photo document the steps so I can relay this information. I'm sure I left something out but if my hardship helps someone else then thats great. Others may try a magic bottle of engine sealer and try to sell it but that just isn't the right thing to do. I have a beer in hand as I wrap my head around the days of labor but the renewed driving happens that follows. This may have a drawn out conclusion but the diagnosis was made today. This shop pulls out the engine and hand cleans. My father in law had the same thing done with his 550i (same engine) and it still is leak free.
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Old 01-15-2019, 06:50 PM
BabyUnicornTaco BabyUnicornTaco is online now
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To add some info, at the same time I noticed oil leaks I had an occasional puff of white smoke from the tailpipe. This usually points toward valve stem seals failing but I also wondered if oil was passing through to combustion due to the leaking valve covers. May not matter either way but it began at the same time. This will be a fun ride. Also, the front weep hole that signifies a leaking transfer pipe was not dripping but they found it was wet inside and the valley pan had some coolant. This could get much worse soon. I'll continue to drive this X5 as I decide the decisive action.
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:46 AM
B4_685 B4_685 is offline
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Originally Posted by BabyUnicornTaco View Post
To add some info, at the same time I noticed oil leaks I had an occasional puff of white smoke from the tailpipe. This usually points toward valve stem seals failing but I also wondered if oil was passing through to combustion due to the leaking valve covers. May not matter either way but it began at the same time. This will be a fun ride. Also, the front weep hole that signifies a leaking transfer pipe was not dripping but they found it was wet inside and the valley pan had some coolant. This could get much worse soon. I'll continue to drive this X5 as I decide the decisive action.


I hear you man - done just short of 100,000 kms and all sorts a weird leaks and intermittent smoke issues are plaguing my ride - just had a coil randomly die after replacing a turbo, coolant tank and the coolant y pipe for the heads. Had to put new air suspension bags in and trying to figure out how to repair the drivers comfort access handle


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Old 01-16-2019, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by B4_685 View Post
I hear you man - done just short of 100,000 kms and all sorts a weird leaks and intermittent smoke issues are plaguing my ride - just had a coil randomly die after replacing a turbo, coolant tank and the coolant y pipe for the heads. Had to put new air suspension bags in and trying to figure out how to repair the drivers comfort access handle


N63 E70 X5 2012
On the dark side it sucks that this will be a big bill but on the bright side I won't have to keep going back in for gaskets and they can clean out all the buildup. Still hurts the pocket but I'm lucky to have made it over 150,000. I do have some calls to make to fully decide on the work. Some places offer a 12 month warranty while others offer 48 months.
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Old 01-17-2019, 03:31 PM
BabyUnicornTaco BabyUnicornTaco is online now
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Valve Stems, Valve Cover, Timing Cover, Valley Pan, Rear Cover, etc...All Leaking

I heard there is a left, right, and lower timing cover on the N62. Anyone know if the lower timing cover gasket is prone to leaking? One shop told me it was a 32 hour job for that.

Also, when the engine is "suspended" to do this work, is the rear cover accessible for a quick installation? Mine still has the coolant leak from it down the transmission bell housing.

Lastly, can the engine carbon build up, sludge, etc be cleaned up equally as well when using AGA tools as opposed to removing cam covers when completing the valve stem seals?

Thanks for any info. I want the best job done.


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Old 01-23-2019, 02:34 PM
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First estimate is back............$8,500 to fix it all!
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Old 01-23-2019, 02:48 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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Ouch. How many more estimates do you have coming? You leaning towards fixing or bailing?
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Old 01-23-2019, 03:11 PM
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Ouch. How many more estimates do you have coming? You leaning towards fixing or bailing?
One more estimate is on the way. Once I have that back I will ask my brother in law to throw an estimate together for his shop in Myrtle Beach. My shop made 3 estimates. One for coolant leaks, one for oil leaks, and one for all of it including valve stem seals. Right now my biggest issue is the oil cooler/alternator bracket seal leak and the passenger side upper timing cover. I believe I will stick with this vehicle as I know everything about it. I can also probably have them do some other repairs included for free. I know my rear cover is leaking coolant but I don't know how bad it is. It was only a couple drips here and there before the Valley Pan leaked. I may leave that rear cover out for now since the valley pan leak may be adding to it and I am not saving much labor on that. That would knock it down $1,100. From numerous thread options I see several options but not many are good.

1. Shell out all of the money and drive an X5 that feels new.
2. Buy a spare car and do as much as possible myself.
3. Complete the oil cooler gasket, valve cover gaskets, timing cover gaskets, and transfer pipe myself, then wait until Valve Stems completely fail.
4. Permatex the heck out of the leaking areas.
5. Pour snake oil in and hope for the best.
6. Wait for the fender bender that totals it.

I am leaning toward 1, 2 or 3. With every option possible on this X5, I don't know what I would find that would be as fun and useful.
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Old 01-23-2019, 06:37 PM
B4_685 B4_685 is offline
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Originally Posted by BabyUnicornTaco View Post
First estimate is back............$8,500 to fix it all!
Ouch - still cheaper than they quoted me just to do the valve stem seals; $13,700
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:39 PM
chitown312 chitown312 is offline
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It sounds like potentially a lot of money with no guarantee that one of the issues won't reoccur or some other item of significant value breaks. I can understand how the fix could be cheaper than refreshing the car with a newer one but careful you don't fall down that rabbit hole were maintenance out weights depreciation of a younger model.

I too bought an older car and am playing the game of risk(committing to repair costs) with a Carmax warranty. I've had the car for one year now and will eventually trade up once I find a sweat spot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyUnicornTaco View Post
One more estimate is on the way. Once I have that back I will ask my brother in law to throw an estimate together for his shop in Myrtle Beach. My shop made 3 estimates. One for coolant leaks, one for oil leaks, and one for all of it including valve stem seals. Right now my biggest issue is the oil cooler/alternator bracket seal leak and the passenger side upper timing cover. I believe I will stick with this vehicle as I know everything about it. I can also probably have them do some other repairs included for free. I know my rear cover is leaking coolant but I don't know how bad it is. It was only a couple drips here and there before the Valley Pan leaked. I may leave that rear cover out for now since the valley pan leak may be adding to it and I am not saving much labor on that. That would knock it down $1,100. From numerous thread options I see several options but not many are good.

1. Shell out all of the money and drive an X5 that feels new.
2. Buy a spare car and do as much as possible myself.
3. Complete the oil cooler gasket, valve cover gaskets, timing cover gaskets, and transfer pipe myself, then wait until Valve Stems completely fail.
4. Permatex the heck out of the leaking areas.
5. Pour snake oil in and hope for the best.
6. Wait for the fender bender that totals it.

I am leaning toward 1, 2 or 3. With every option possible on this X5, I don't know what I would find that would be as fun and useful.
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Old 01-24-2019, 05:03 AM
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New unexpected quote for all work except for the rear cover. $2,700 using the AGA tools. Independent BMW master tech.


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Old 01-24-2019, 05:27 AM
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for 2700 Id say just go ahead and fix it... for much more Id see what a much newer truck would run you. Dont forget all the other components now also have 160k on them and will likely also start needing replacemnt.
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Old 01-24-2019, 06:00 AM
BabyUnicornTaco BabyUnicornTaco is online now
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for 2700 Id say just go ahead and fix it... for much more Id see what a much newer truck would run you. Dont forget all the other components now also have 160k on them and will likely also start needing replacemnt.
That seems to be my thoughts on this too. I see $2700 as a fair price. The only area I could save a little more on is if I do the oil cooler/alternator bracket, but that is probably not worthwhile. I can then do the rear cover some other time. This would renew the internal components which is the part that I don't want to do. I don't mind working on the things that I can see and get to. The bottom timing cover and oil pan seals don't often fail on these.
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Old 01-24-2019, 06:07 AM
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The only downfall from my understanding is that the engine does not get the nice cleaning when the AGA tools are used since the heads stay on.
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Old 01-24-2019, 06:44 AM
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Its still got 160k... I dont like putting large chunks of cash into my daily cars.. bc I like to swap them anyway so i try sell before i fix anything major... my last x5 got backed into at 79k miles... (wifes truck)was starting to prb need suspension components (some light body wrk) and tires. The rest of the truck was impeccable w my folder of over 6k in repairs. I sold the truck and put the 5k I was about to dump into it towards a newer truck w less than half the miles.
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Old 01-24-2019, 06:51 AM
BabyUnicornTaco BabyUnicornTaco is online now
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It would be hard to sell mine in the current condition. There is oil everywhere. I had a warranty until about 130,000 miles so much was taken care of. I don't want to dump engine and coolant sealer in and dump on someone else. I don't like putting this type of money into it either but I probably have to.


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Old 01-24-2019, 07:02 AM
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I may also add that I am off from work every summer for 9 weeks. Helps with repair planning.


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Old 01-24-2019, 07:30 AM
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well lets do some math then... 1st what cars/trucks would u consider as a replacemnt? year range>? price range? assuming your truck is an 08 as your sig states 4.8 w 160k and some oil leaks... Id assume the truck is wrth somewhere around 5-6k. Id ask your mech if hes interested in it and see what he offers. I sold my e39 528 sport that way w a blown trans and he offered me more than i think I could have gotten for it.
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c5vette 6sp,z51,2"drp,19"ccw'sshrt shft,corsa exh,dd nav(sold)
e53 X5 3.0, pna rf,,20"4.6rims.(sold)
e65 750I aw, sprt. 21's,acs pdls,acs rfsplr,mtecs,8k hid(sold)
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Old 01-24-2019, 08:02 AM
BabyUnicornTaco BabyUnicornTaco is online now
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I honestly thoroughly enjoy driving my X5. Yes 2008, 153,000 miles. I also have significant interest in mechanic work and have the time to learn it. If I could keep it forever, I would. Although the $2,700 repair does not add a tremendous amount of value, it does count as an added selling bonus when the time comes. These X5s are cheap to buy but I have only seen one for sale in 2 years that claimed the valve stem seals have been replaced. I previously drove a bulletproof Lexus IS300 from new and put 172,000 miles on it before I sold it. I only know that my next vehicle would be an large SUV and much newer. I know peace of mind with an older BMW is usually short lived, but it would be fun to get my horsepower back and enjoy it while it lasts. It makes a 40 mile, no traffic, highway commute to work fun. As is, I would guess your 5-6k estimate may be correct, but without the leaks and the service records I have, the right buyer may pay a couple thousand more. I am always open to opinions. My kids love to ride in the X5. When they have to choose between the new Nissan Rogue in our driveway and the X5, they never choose the Rogue.
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Old 01-24-2019, 09:42 AM
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what condition is the rest of the truck in? have u been considering something else anyway? when I sold my e53 i got 8k for it, coupled w the 5k I was going to drop into it... started me with 13k. I added the rest and moved onto something that was cpo at the time. went from a 05 x5 to an 11 x5. Just throwing some ideas out there.... I had an e46 328i years ago for my wife, before my daughter was born I had the whole suspension and cooling system redone only to find out 6 mos later the car was small and it was time for an x5... wish i had saved the 5k bc i didnt get 5k more for the truck.
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e39 540i sprt, acs type 2's,acs pdls,clrs(sold)
e65 745i sprt,21's aib's acspdls, rf splr(sold)
e46 328i 18" 335spt whls(sold)
c5vette 6sp,z51,2"drp,19"ccw'sshrt shft,corsa exh,dd nav(sold)
e53 X5 3.0, pna rf,,20"4.6rims.(sold)
e65 750I aw, sprt. 21's,acs pdls,acs rfsplr,mtecs,8k hid(sold)
Srt10 VIPER, 19-20" forged,tune,corsa ex,intake.
w221 S550 amg,dia white,20"s63rims
e70 3.5 aw.mtec,20" 214 whls.
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w222 S550 amg, dia white

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Old 01-24-2019, 10:33 AM
BabyUnicornTaco BabyUnicornTaco is online now
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My X5 is in great shape mechanically (aside from all the seals that are being replaced of course). Most problem area components have been addressed. Suspension in good shape with new control arms and bushings on the front. Most of the cooling system replaced. Needs an HCV and the CAS does not work properly. Trans in good shape as well as the TC. No odd sounds or other issues. Obviously this could change at any time but I took care of everything as it popped up and inspect it regularly. If I thought the big things like tranny, TC, etc were going out I wouldn't consider this repair.
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:44 AM
Gary214 Gary214 is offline
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The black hole of money pit is dragging you in exorably as I can notice you justifying to yourself about keeping this money pit.

If the car is valued less then the amount of money you are currently going to put into it plus what you will put into it in the near future in spite of you claiming everything else is hunky dory; its time to let it go.

Like the Las Vegas gambler justifying his one more punt after losing his shirt; for one last one final fling.

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Old 01-24-2019, 11:03 AM
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The black hole of money pit is dragging you in exorably as I can notice you justifying to yourself about keeping this money pit.

If the car is valued less then the amount of money you are currently going to put into it plus what you will put into it in the near future in spite of you claiming everything else is hunky dory; its time to let it go.

Like the Las Vegas gambler justifying his one more punt after losing his shirt; for one last one final fling.

Several different ways to think about it, but it is worth much more than $2,700 after these repairs. I could have $100 in repairs the remainder of the year or $5,000. No one truly knows. I could bail out but I know the entire history of this X5. Other than my megatronics solenoid bill of $1,000, everything else was done under warranty. Although costly now for these repairs, it has not been a money pit for me to 153,000 miles. I don't claim things to be hunky dory, just that many of the expected failures on this vehicle have been replaced. I think your words would be more relative if I was going for the $8,400 repair. I won't do that.
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Old 01-24-2019, 12:51 PM
95wildtt 95wildtt is offline
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Quote:
The black hole of money pit is dragging you in exorably as I can notice you justifying to yourself about keeping this money pit.
If the car is valued less then the amount of money you are currently going to put into it plus what you will put into it in the near future in spite of you claiming everything else is hunky dory; its time to let it go.
Like the Las Vegas gambler justifying his one more punt after losing his shirt; for one last one final fling.
I'm in the same position as Baby with my 2008 4.8, and I'm going to drive mine until the wheels literally fall off.
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Old 01-24-2019, 01:12 PM
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everyones situation is different, Im just noting that if you were thinking of dumping the vehicle anyway now is the time before you sink more $$ into it.
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e53 X5 3.0, pna rf,,20"4.6rims.(sold)
e65 750I aw, sprt. 21's,acs pdls,acs rfsplr,mtecs,8k hid(sold)
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