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Oil Filter Housing Gasket Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Oil Filter Housing Gasket Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$100

Talent:

****

Tools:

Set of sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers

Applicable Models:

BMW 323Ci Coupe/Conv (1999-00)
BMW 323i Sedan/Wagon (1999-00)
BMW 325Ci Coupe/Conv (2001-06)
BMW 325i/xi Sedan/Wagon (2001-06)
BMW 328Ci Coupe (1999-00)
BMW 328i Sedan (1999-00)
BMW 330Ci Coupe/Conv (2001-06)
BMW 330i/xi Sedan (2001-06)

Parts Required:

Oil filter, engine oil, oil filter housing gasket

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine.

Performance Gain:

Repair leak at oil filter housing

Complementary Modification:

Change engine oil

If you find an oil leak down the left side of you engine or what looks to be the oil pan, it may be the oil filter housing gasket. The oil filter housing uses a rubber profile gasket and over time it hardens and leaks. When trying to locate the source of an oil leak, always start at the top of the engine, locate any oil covered areas, the cleanest oil covered area is likely the source of leak.

This article will cover the E46 oil filter housing gasket replacement. For this project, you will need the oil filter housing profile gasket and VANOS oil line sealing washers. It's not a bad idea to grab oil and a filter too, changing the oil is only a few more steps when doing this repair.

Begin by removing the alternator (see our Pelican Parts Technical Article on Replacing Your Alternator).
Figure 1

Begin by removing the alternator (see our Pelican Parts Technical Article on Replacing Your Alternator). Place an oil drain pan under left side of engine. Next, remove the power steering reservoir, remove the reservoir mounting fasteners (purple arrows), then move the reservoir toward left side headlight.

While working at the front of intake manifold, pull the evaporative emission purge solenoid off the mounting bracket.
Figure 2

While working at the front of intake manifold, pull the evaporative emission purge solenoid off the mounting bracket. It is mounted in a rubber bushing and pulls straight off bracket (purple arrow).

Working below the oil filter housing, disconnect the oil sensor electrical connectors by squeezing the release tab and pulling off the sensor (purple arrows).
Figure 3

Working below the oil filter housing, disconnect the oil sensor electrical connectors by squeezing the release tab and pulling off the sensor (purple arrows).

Using a 36mm socket on a 6
Figure 4

Using a 36mm socket on a 6" extension, loosen the oil filter housing lid until you can see the sealing o-ring (green arrow). This allows any oil in the filter housing and filter to drain into the engine oil pan.

Using a 19mm wrench, remove the VANOS oil line (below oil filter housing).
Figure 5

Using a 19mm wrench, remove the VANOS oil line (below oil filter housing). Cover the line and opening to prevent dirt from entering the VANOS system (purple arrow).

Remove the three 13mm power steering pump fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 6

Remove the three 13mm power steering pump fasteners (green arrows). Fasteners are different lengths, mark the locations for help when reinstalling. With the fasteners removed, push the power steering pump down and away from the oil filter housing bracket.

Remove the six 13mm oil filter housing fasteners (purple arrows).
Figure 7

Remove the six 13mm oil filter housing fasteners (purple arrows). Fasteners are different lengths so mark the locations for help when reinstalling.

Pull the oil filter housing away from engine and remove.
Figure 8

Pull the oil filter housing away from engine and remove. Place on a workbench and, using a small flathead screwdriver, remove the seal.

Clean the engine sealing surface (purple arrow), inspect the alignment dowels (green arrows), they help you align housing when reinstalling.
Figure 9

Clean the engine sealing surface (purple arrow), inspect the alignment dowels (green arrows), they help you align housing when reinstalling. Be sure they are in good condition and installed in the engine straight. Install the new gasket into oil filter housing. Then install the oil filter housing onto engine. Be sure to align the dowels properly.

Install the oil filter housing fasteners in the previous locations.
Figure 10

Install the oil filter housing fasteners in the previous locations. This photo shows orientation of the fasteners, top to bottom.

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Comments and Suggestions:
srl7409 Comments: working on a 04 325xi
in fig.3 what are those two sensors?
should they be replaced if the car is over 100k miles?
thanks for the great info!
July 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Oil pressure and temp. No need to replace them is not borken. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
danlau Comments: Hi, I have a 2003 BMW 525i E39, and I have a problem that 3 out of the 6 bolts do not torque due to thread stripped. What can I do to create new threads for the 3 bolts that do not torque? Thanks in advance for your help.

Daniel Lau
July 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You will need to repair the threads using a TimeSert kit or Helicoil kit. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
aruzo Comments: One of two dowel is missing on my car. And it is causing oil leak even with new gasket. Can I purchase the dowel separately? If not, what would you recommend?
June 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: First check if it is in the housing. If not, it may be available as a spare part. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
joerg bauer Comments: If you are facing a red oil light for more than 1-2 sec after cold-starting your engine, than you might have a faulty check valve in the oil filter housing see round black object in figure 8. So I would recommend to check the fit of the valve and any unusual wear when having things apart.
June 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Bimmernub Comments: Either this is the cause of my leak or an oil feed line to the oil filter housing is leaking, hard to tell as there isn't a lot of room to inspect without removing a number of components. Start car, oil light is on for a few sec as normal, then comes back on ~20-30 seconds later for about 10-15 seconds. Could one of these issues be causing that oil pressure light to be coming on like that? Oil and filter is freshly changed, oil light does not come back on after it goes out the second time. Great article btw, only complaint is I didn't see a link to the "remove alternator" article that is referenced. Thank you for helping BMW DIY enthusiasts. You provide a great service to an awesome community. I love my e34 more though =P
April 17, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would start by checking oil pressure. If the light is coming on and off, there may be a pressure problem. If there isn't, the issue may be a faulty / leaking oil pressure switch. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
bkl070 Comments: I was going to post this comment anyway but it may help LEDSHP. Re-torque bolts. I replaced the gasket twice. Had it apart 3 times. After the 3rd time it still leaked I went back and very carefully looked for bolts that were a bit more loose than the others. I tightened a few. Drove, still very small leak so small I only noticed after many miles, tightened again after cool. It is probably a good idea to drive and let it cool b4 tightening. Don't try it all at once.
March 24, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your installation process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jcobb4944 Comments: Would the fan and fan shroud require removal for this job?
February 18, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, see the first step that mentions removing the alrternator:
Begin by removing the alternator (see our Pelican Parts Technical Article on Replacing Your Alternator). Place an oil drain pan under left side of engine. Next, remove the power steering reservoir, remove the reservoir mounting fasteners (purple arrows), then move the reservoir toward left side headlight. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
ledshp Comments: i have installed and reinstalled the gasket three times new oil gasket everytime but the leaking continues. what could this be? which one am i doing wrong. shall i put rtv around?
February 8, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Do not apply sealant to gaskets. RTV is not needed.

I can't say for sure honestly, without seeing the leak. However, be sure the leak is definitely coming from the oil filter housing and not something else. Also be sure the VANOS oil line isn't leaking and the housing sealing surface isn't damaged.- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Don Flynn Comments: Thank you for the guide. I am getting the parts in the mail next week for this and plan on doing the work on Saturday.

What are the torque specs for the oil filter housing bolts on a 2004 325ci M54?
January 1, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don’t have that info.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Geoff Comments: Hi,
Thanks for your technical articles, I really appreciate them.
Just a comment on fig 5. the picture shows the vanos oil line fitting at the vanos unit. I found the best one to remove was the vanos oil line fitting on the oil filter housing.
Geoff
December 30, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Chris Comments: The oil pressure light red is staying on for about 1-2 seconds after starting after the car has been sitting a while. It almost immediately goes out when the car has been running for a while. Is there an anti-drainback valve that could be failing in the oil filter housing? I do not see any oil leaking anywhere.
Thank you as always for such detailed articles.
December 29, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Have you checked oil pressure, level and condition? There is a valve in the oil filter housing in most BMW models that holds the oil in the filter.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dog Comments: I just did this repair job on my 2001 325ci. It took closer to five hours given a few problems I ran into. On figure 6, it should be noted that at least on my car the 3rd power steering mount bolt is hidden and can be seen only from under the car. It's vertical where the other two are horizontal. You mention needing four VANOS washers but if the procedure is followed, only two would be needed where the VANOS banjo bolt connects at the top of the motor. I suppose replacing the other two while the filter holder is on the workbench would be a good idea but I just now figured this out after finishing reassembly. Finally, I've purchased three fan clutch tool sets where none of them fit the bolts on the water pump. Does Pelican sell the correct holder tool?
December 19, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Pelican will have that tool for your vehicle. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right tool. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Adam Comments: How many VANOS Oil Line Sealing Washers will I need to replace for this job?
October 17, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Four. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tyler Comments: I snapped one of the bolts of the oil filter housing gasket any idea what sizes the bolts are?
October 10, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff:


Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.

Tell then the the year and model of the vehicle.- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Zambian Comments: Hallo. What is the torque specification for tightening the oil filter Lid. Reference : Bmw 318 E46 1999 model. I ask because the last time I changed my oil and oil filter, I later noticed oil leaking around the area where the lid meets the oil filter Casing. I tightened it again but the leakage just reduced but still leaks oil. Kindly advise.

Regards
August 11, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sorry, I don't have that info.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
jd Comments: I appreciate your help more than I could express thank you very much !!!! the granny is stuck in one gear do you buy chance have any suggestions ?
July 5, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: First check the transmission fluid level to be sure it is correct. Then check the transmission ECM for fault codes. If the system is not working properly, a fault code will be set. This will be your best bet when diagnosing.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
cgd Comments: are there any fluids that need to be topped off / replaced afterwards?
May 6, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Engine oil and coolant. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mike Comments: Are there any O-rings on the vanos lines that need to be replaced?
February 19, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: On an E46, the VANOS line has sealing washers. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Knobed Comments: Youtube videos I've seen illustrating how to change oil filter gasket on a bmw 325xi 2003 all require the fan and fan housing be removed, however here in your step by step guide this is not mentioned at all, so I'm bit confused does fan and housing need to be removed to change oil filter housing gasket? Cheers
February 12, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The first step mentions removing the alternator, in which the fan and shroud have to come out. Begin by removing the alternator (see our Pelican Parts Technical Article on Replacing Your Alternator). Place an oil drain pan under left side of engine. Next, remove the power steering reservoir, remove the reservoir mounting fasteners (purple arrows), then move the reservoir toward left side headlight. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
pupinano Comments: While removing the fasteners, I noticed that the upper right was loose and the hole had no threads. Now I realize the cause of my oil leak on my 2001 325i. How can I fix this problem? what size is the fastener?
August 20, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can helicoil the bolt hole. This would insert new threads into the hole allowing the fastener to be reinstalled. I think it is 10x1.5, but I am not 100% sure. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
CL Comments: Information is good but do you have similar information on the removal of the alternator bracket before you can access the oil filter housing for 1998 318i E36.
May 10, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, we don't. If we get the chance to perform the repair, we will be sure to create a tech article. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Hannaman911 Comments: Information is good, but do you have any up dated information on replacing of oil filter housing gasket for a 2006 325i BMW.
January 7, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, right here:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/techarticles/BMW-3-Series-E90/ENGINE-Oil_Filter_Housing_Gasket_Replacement/ENGINE-Oil_Filter_Housing_Gasket_Replacement.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Hannaman911 Comments: Information is good, but do you have a more updated procedure posted on line for changing a 2007 0r 2008 325i BMW housing gasket?
January 5, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, right here:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/techarticles/BMW-3-Series-E90/ENGINE-Oil_Filter_Housing_Gasket_Replacement/ENGINE-Oil_Filter_Housing_Gasket_Replacement.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Hannaman911 Comments: Information is good, but do you have a more updated procedure on line for changing a 2007 or 2008 325i BMW ?
January 5, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What oil line? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Greg Comments: Be aware that 25 ft lbs is way too high for these bolts. My bolts in my 330ci were 10.9 grade M8 and I ended up stripping out the block in 2 of the bolts before I realized what was going on. It's now pouring oil out and I have to re-do the whole job again only this time I get to repair the block with thread inserts.

The real torque rating for these bolts should be 16 ft lbs according to the manual.
October 25, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Pauly Comments: I'm sorry. A 2002 BMW 325i.
October 13, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: no problem.

M8 (8.8 grade) 24 NM (18 ft-lb)
M8 (10.9 grade) 34 NM (25 ft-lb) - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Pauly Comments: Torque specifications when tightening the oil filter housing fasteners?
October 11, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What year and model is your car?
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
aurelius Comments: Would this not also apply to 330 models?
October 2, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If your vehicle is an E46, it should apply. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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