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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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Old 10-22-2009, 12:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Oil filter housing and cap

My e46 has recently developed an oil leak. I got it checked out by a BMW mech in town and they're blaming it on the cap and the housing. They suggest replace both of them.

Since then I've kept a close eye on the cap and it's leaking a little but no where near the amount that's on the floor of my garage.

How likely is the housing to go bad? Do you guys think its more likely the housing gasket?

There's oil all down the front side of the engine, covering all the belts.

I don't really feel like paying the mech the $700 he quoted me to replace the housing.

Any thoughts?

She's an '01 330i auto.
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Are you sure it's not leaking because of a bad gasket under the cap? Is the gasket even there? I had a little issue where the gasket on the 535i was too loose and actually fell out into the can while putting the cap back on ... leaked massive amounts of oil from under it.

As far as the housing itself ... as far as I know there's only one gasket between it and the engine; everything else is one piece. Unless it has somehow developed a crack (really doubt that one), that could be the only other issue -- I don't see why the whole thing should be replaced.
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Old 10-26-2009, 08:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I would try cleaning up the engine so that you can see where the oil is coming from. Also, oil on you belts is not good. You should clean them off ASAP.
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the input guys...that's what I was thinking too.

As far as degreasing the engine, I've used Simple green before and really like it. Is there anything I need to watch out for (such as removing the alternator first)??

Thanks.
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Oil filter housing GASKET is a common fail point - prolly don't need to change the entire housing, just the gasket. It's straightforward, but time consuming.
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Old 12-31-2009, 11:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I have the issue right now, I am going to the dealer to purchase a new Filter Cap. I checked the gasket and it looks fine to me (on mine). I believe the cap is the issue and it may be that it got warped over time from heat exposure. I noticed this problem on my car (06 E90) failry recently and I have about 65k miles. When I retighted the cap and it did fine, but after 4-5 days it starts leaking again. The filter cap is only $40 bucks so its not too bad. I don't believe it is the housing.
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