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Crankcase Breather Valve Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Crankcase Breather Valve Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

4 hours4 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

****

Tools:

Set of sockets (Hex and Torx), 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:

Crankcase breather valve, crankcase breather hoses and pipes

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine

Performance Gain:

Car will run better

Complementary Modification:

Change engine oil and air filter

When a crankcase breather valve begins to fail, engine drivability suffers. You may have a rough idle, hard start or a check engine light that is on with fuel trim faults. If your engine is consuming oil or smoking, checking the crankcase vent valve is a good place to start. The crankcase breather has also been known to emit a honking or wheezing sound from the engine when failing. The breather valve is located below the intake manifold, behind the throttle housing mount surface.

When replacing your crankcase breather valve, I suggest replacing all the vent hoses and the oil drain hose to the dipstick tube. They become brittle over time from exposure to engine oil and heat. When removing, the parts are likely to fall a part in your hands. It's a good idea to have the parts shown below before you begin to minimize vehicle down time.

Crankcase breather parts: hose to valve cover (green arrow), crankcase breather valve (yellow arrow), drain hose (purple arrow), hoses to the intake manifold (blue arrows).
Figure 1

Crankcase breather parts: hose to valve cover (green arrow), crankcase breather valve (yellow arrow), drain hose (purple arrow), hoses to the intake manifold (blue arrows). Disconnect the negative (-) battery cable. Next, remove the engine cover (refer to our Pelican Technical Article on Removing Your Engine Covers).

Remove the air filter housing assembly fasteners (yellow arrows) and disconnect the air flow meter electrical connector (green arrow).
Figure 2

Remove the air filter housing assembly fasteners (yellow arrows) and disconnect the air flow meter electrical connector (green arrow).

Loosen the air flow meter clamp (green arrow), then disconnect the duct from the air flow meter and remove the air filter housing from the engine compartment.
Figure 3

Loosen the air flow meter clamp (green arrow), then disconnect the duct from the air flow meter and remove the air filter housing from the engine compartment. Remove the throttle housing (refer to our Pelican Parts Technical Article on Replacing Your Throttle Housing).

While working at front of the intake manifold, pull the evaporative emission purge solenoid off the mounting bracket.
Figure 4

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

While working at front corner of cylinder head cover, disconnect the engine breather tube (green arrow).
Figure 5

While working at front corner of cylinder head cover, disconnect the engine breather tube (green arrow).

Since I do not reuse these parts, I took a pick or flathead screwdriver and broke the retaining collar.
Figure 6

Since I do not reuse these parts, I took a pick or flathead screwdriver and broke the retaining collar. Then pull the pipe off the cylinder head cover and remove any remaining pieces of pipe from the cylinder head cover. Alternately, you can squeeze the plastic spring collar and pull off to remove.

Working at the center of the intake manifold, squeeze the release tab and pull the tube (green arrow) off the crankcase breather tube (purple arrow).
Figure 7

Working at the center of the intake manifold, squeeze the release tab and pull the tube (green arrow) off the crankcase breather tube (purple arrow).

If the tube will not release, use a pair of needle nose pliers to squeeze the release tabs while pulling off breather tube.
Figure 8

If the tube will not release, use a pair of needle nose pliers to squeeze the release tabs while pulling off breather tube.

Next, disconnect breather pipe (green arrow) from the intake manifold.
Figure 9

Next, disconnect breather pipe (green arrow) from the intake manifold. This pipe is always easier to remove if you break the retaining collar.

Working at the bottom of dipstick tube, disconnect the crankcase breather valve drain hose (green arrow) from dipstick tube (purple arrow).
Figure 10

Working at the bottom of dipstick tube, disconnect the crankcase breather valve drain hose (green arrow) from dipstick tube (purple arrow). This photo shows the dipstick tube up and out of the engine.

Next, pull the complete dipstick tube out of the engine.
Figure 11

Next, pull the complete dipstick tube out of the engine. Inspect the crankcase drain hole and confirm it is clear of obstructions. You can use a piece of stiff wire to check, but there is an internal baffle locate inside (green arrow) so do not expect the wire to pop out the other side.

Next, you will be working at the crankcase breather valve.
Figure 12

Next, you will be working at the crankcase breather valve. Disconnect the tubes (green arrows) from the crankcase breather valve. I suggest breaking the retaining collar on these also, then pulling the tubes straight off the breather valve.

Remove the crankcase breather valve fasteners (green arrows) and remove crankcase breather valve from the engine.
Figure 13

Remove the crankcase breather valve fasteners (green arrows) and remove crankcase breather valve from the engine.

Install the crankcase breather valve and tighten the fasteners.
Figure 14

Install the crankcase breather valve and tighten the fasteners. Install the new drain hose (green arrow) to the bottom of the crankcase breather valve. Next, install the crankcase breather hose (purple hose) to the breather valve. Then install the intake connection pipe (blue arrow) to breather valve. Listen for an audible click when you install the hoses. Next, the install dipstick tube (do not install the mounting fastener yet) and connect the drain hose to dipstick tube. Then connect the hoses to the intake manifold and the valve cover. Reassemble the remaining items, when complete, double check all hose routings.

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Comments and Suggestions:
bridgy Comments: I have a 2004 325xi throwing code p0102 and hunting idle.
I replaced the maf with a siemens and still throwing po1o2
and hunting ... any suggestions ?
November 20, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check the engine for unmetered air leaks. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Shab Comments: My 2003 e46 318ci has just started intermittent white smoke coming out of exhaust. No difference in drive. This happens when car is at normal temperature?
October 23, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It could be condensation in the exhaust, which is normal.

White smoke is could also be coolant. I would pressure test the cooling system. If the system will not hold pressure and there are no external leaks the head gasket may be faulty.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
FLY_E39 Comments: Hello, I have a 2001 530i E39 that now emits white and/or blue smoke for 2 to 3 seconds upon cold starts. I can't really tell if there is blue in it. I have been monitoring coolant levels and it hasn't changed. The smoke goes away after after 2 to 3 seconds. The smoke is almost only upon a cold start. The car does a small oil leak under the hood which does help me know if I am burning oil. I'm hoping it's the CCV and praying it's not the head.
Please advise. Thank you in advance.
October 20, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If it hold pressure, probably not an engine issue. Most likely condensation. When you first accelerate, have someone check if water comes out of the tailpipe. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
shawnamy Comments: Hi i had the valve cover gasket replaced in my bmw 2002 325i then 2 days later all of a sudden the car starts cutting out and running awful and tons of white smoke is pouring from the exhaust pipe. What could this b and is it something the person that fixed my oil leak could of caused it to do?
October 14, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: White smoke is likely coolant. I would pressure test the cooling system. If the system will not hold pressure and there are no external leaks the head gasket may be faulty.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Alienwhite Comments: Hi. I have a 2003 e46 318ci n42. I have just replaced my ccv and now my car is running a lot better. But I have a very slight hard brake pedal when braking when the car is coming to a stop. Could this be caused by a vacuum leak from cheap parts or the pipes not making a good enough seal. I have replace the brake booster and it's still the same. I thought I hear the ccv drawing in air when I was pressing the brake pedal but I was hard to tell with the engine running.
September 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, the brake booster may not be getting sufficient vacuum or it is bleeding off when the brake i s pressed. Check the large hose to the booster for leaks. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
nane46 Comments: I have an 01 330i e46 that I am trying to figure out what is going on with the engine. I notice around the oil cap there appears to be oil mist residue covering the plastic shield over the head even after I clean it off and I have replaced the oil cap with a new one. I thought it could be too high of a crank case pressure but I had the CCV replaced not long after I got the car in 2010.
Sometimes it will stall after I have been driving it for 30 minutes or more at highway speeds when i put the clutch down and come off a roughly 3k rpm. It will bounce between 500 and 1k rpm and sometimes recover back to idle other times just drop entirely and stall usually on a downhill. I was thinking it could all be inter related, either a vacuum line is gone on it or the crank case breather again. Any idea what it could be or even some common vacuum lines to replace. I have changed some of them like fuel pressure, the entire intake boot, idle control valve, DISA, new fuel filter. There are no codes and I don't want to just throw parts at it till it works.
September 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would start by checking crankcase vacuum using a manometer. if the crankcase pressure is fine, possible you have a vacuum leak, oil cap not sealing, etc. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Keith Comments: Hello, 1999 323i - my car had the vacuum line off the elbow on the separator body by the hose was broken and I don't know where it hooks to vacuum - the hose appeared to run with the tube in the top of the valve cover. Thanks
August 21, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Look for a large foam sheathing, the sheathing houses multiple vacuum lines, it should connect there. Usually breaks off right at the top. Look for it near the rear of the cylinder head, under the intake. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
nlinesk8s Comments: The valve has a port for a vacuum tube. On my '03 there is a cap on that port, but the part supplied did not have the cap. Do some models of e46 have a vacuum connection there?
July 17, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, some do. Just transfer the cap from your vehicle to the new one. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
srl7409 Comments: working on 04 325xi:
I need the t25 bolts from pic 13. where can I get those here?
May 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: From Pelican Parts.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
S-man Comments: I have a 02 325i it runs good no problems but I pulled out my oil dip stick when the car was running and oil shot out the dip stick what problem could that be sirrrr?
April 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Too high of crankcase pressure. I would replace the crankcase breather valve. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
srl7409 Comments: working on 04 325xi:
ever think about replacing the valve cover breather tube with a silicone hose? should I try it so it lasts longer? what is the inside diametermm of that tube?
April 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, you won't have a way to attach it. Use the factory hoses.



Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
newyear Comments: Bmw hesitate when i accelerate but iddle is good,what canu cause thats problem
March 28, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Is the check engine light on? Sounds like an engine misfire. I would check spark, fuel and compression on all cylinders.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
GLEN GEORGIA Comments: 2004 BMW 325i recently started blowing puffs of bluish smoke intermittently when it is started and I also hear a whistling noise upon start. Now using oil, never had before. Runs fine for the most part. Think it could it be caused by the crank case valve or pressure regulating valve?
March 27, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: yes, it does sound like the crankcase vent is your issue. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
bimmerguy Comments: Pelicanparts...thanks a lot...you've really helped me
March 20, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Oleg Comments: Does your car have to burn oil for this part to be bad? I have a lean code and only code p2097 and I dont know what it could be. Ive changed the waterpump and thermostat since the thermostat was bad. I also changed the Oil Housing gasket.

My car is a 2006 bmw 330i e90
February 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No. It could have fuel trim fault or rough idle / noise. They don't always burn oil. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
srl Comments: when would it be necessary to install the cold climate version? thanks for all the tech specs!
February 20, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you have cold winters. For example, the kit is very popular in the Northeast US. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dwade Comments: Bmw 325i 06

What is the name of the part that's has a wire
Connection going into the rear manifold attached to a hose?
I broke both of them. I need to replace. Thank you
February 20, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like the crankcase breather hoses. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Denise Comments: I have a 2003 bmw 325i while I drive my car it sometimes blows out white smoke I changed my gaskets but I wanna knw what else can it be cuz we bout changed everything seem cant find the problem
December 19, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: White smoke is likely coolant. I would pressure test the cooling system. If the system will not hold pressure and there are no external leaks the head gasket may be faulty.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Chris Comments: Nick, is there any way to tell if your CCV is failing? I've read that an increase in the vacuum at the oil fill spot is a sign and that an increase in oil consumption along with more smoke than usual out of the tailpipe could also be indicative of a failing CCV. Any help in trying to determine if it needs to be replaced is appreciated.
December 16, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can measure crankcase vacuum using a manometer. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Sam Comments: How do I take the dipstick tube out of 2006 325i. I have unscrewed it but its getting obstructed by the chassis support. I broke the tube while trying to take off the Oil Pan to Crankcase Vent Hose. Can you please guide on how to replace it?
December 14, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Try rotating it so it clears the support, then pull up. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Kurt Comments: How do you remove the vent hose with the wire connection on a BMW 325i 2006?
September 23, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Squeeze the collar to detach the ends. Unplug the electrical connector under the rear of the intake manifold. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
JLH Comments: in Pic 12 it looks like you have the entire unit out of the car? How did you go from Pic 10 to Pic 12?
September 15, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is removed for clarity, otherwise difficult to photograph. Just follow the steps in the article, you do not have to remove the manifold. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Paul Comments: 2000 323i Peake Tool E3 & E4 Codes. Innova 3100f BMW code P1188 & P1189. P1189 readings Fuel System 1 & 2 - CL. Calc Load % 21.6. ECT degF 205. STFT B1%5.5 LTFT B1%11.7 STFT B2 % 4.7. LTFT B2% 11.7. Eng RPM 1819. Veh Speed MPH 37. For some reason the P1188 code disappeared after pushing a number of buttons - I may have erased it. I've looked up the meaning of the codes and the potential problems, but no one obvious issue stands out
August 12, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: With both banks lean, look for something that affects the entire engine. Vacuum leak if the fault set at idle, maf if set while driving. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Paul Comments: 2000 323i. Checked vacuum at the dip stick and oil filler cap. Warm engine at idle. 5-1/2 to 5-3/8 in H2O both locations. Is this a sign of a good CVV and can I rule out a vacuum leak? What else could be causing a limitation message?
August 7, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You should have between 3.0 to 6.0" of water at idle. Sounds like you are OK. What limitation message? Is it a fuel control fault? What is the fault code?- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Paul Comments: What is the appropriate vacuum reading? My car runs and idles well but I keep getting the limitation message. I'd want to determine if I have a leak before removing and replacing parts. Spraying MAF cleaner around the various potential leak sites has no effect. I recently rebuilt the cylinder head, replaced most vacuum lines, new front and rear main seals and new oil pan gasket. Initial check, covering the oil filler hole with plastic film indicates that there is vacuum, but my vacuum gauge is too coarse to get an actual measurement. Tomorrow I'll make up a water manometer and get a better reading.
August 6, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You didn't mention what vehicle you, so I can't see if I have that info. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Randy Comments: What is your technique for re-attaching the fuel supply hose to the injector rail- I thought it was pressed on adequately and it popped off, spilling fuel no harm, thank goodness?
July 1, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If it a locking spring type, press on until you hear an audible click. Then pull back to be sure it is engaged. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tristan Comments: The pcv I purchased has a small tube coming off of the elbow where it seems a vacuum hose would connect. My 01 330xi doesn't have any hose to connect to it. Will this cause problems, should I plug it somehow?
May 22, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you don't have the small hose, install a vacuum plug on the nipple. Some models don;t use that fitting. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
JRWE46 Comments: If we remove the dipstick tube from the oil sump do we have to drain the oil first? What would you recommend as a cleaner to loosen any clogged debris in the dipstick tube return elbow?
April 23, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, drain some of the oil, otherwise it will spill out. To clean the tube, use brake cleaner, non-chlorinated. Just be sure it is dry when you reinstall it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
mike Comments: Will this procedure be the same for a 2005 330xi?
February 25, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
John Comments: I have a 323ic 1999 and like to get your suggestion on this procedure.
February 9, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Follow the steps noted in the procedure. Nothing special about your vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Patrick Comments: Hello,

I have a few questions.

Would this procedure be the same for an 04 BMW 525i? If not is there a step by step guide for that procedure? Also, this might be a stupid question, but is this the same as the Crank Case Vent Valve. I just don't want to buy a wrong part.

Thank You
January 27, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: See this tech article:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/BMW-E60/102-ENGINE-6_Cylinder_Crankcase_Breather_Valve_Replacement/102-ENGINE-6_Cylinder_Crankcase_Breather_Valve_Replacement.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
mreed2002 Comments: I'm doing this procedure on an '03 325i. Will I need to adjust the throttle cable?
January 25, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Your vehicle should not have a throttle cable. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Zach Comments: So I have a 2002 bmw 325i. It's a 5 speed manual rear wheel drive.
I was driving it and it started to miss. Took it to a shop they said it was coils and spark plugs so I replaced them while driving before and after a huge cloud of smokewhite is coming from tailpipe. I thought it was a blown head but I'm not loosing any water at all and the smoke is white. So I thought it is the pcv valve I took it out and the I ring it split inside it. I'm putting all new lines and a new pcv valve in the car. Should this fix the issue? When I tested the car while running I took oil cap off and a huge amount of suction takes place and the motor stumbles
January 5, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The engine may stumble normally when the oil cap is removed, as you are changing engine pressure. However a torn crankcase breather diaphragm will also cause the engine to run poorly.

The way to know it to test crankcase vacuum using a manometer. If you found a broken valve, I would repair it and see if the engine runs better. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Zach Comments: The green arrow in figure 7, what is that hose called? I broke it and need to replace it. Thanks
January 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is a crankcase breather line. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
miketsc Comments: you show several components taken off of the intake system figure 12but not how to get them off--I have attempted to change the breather assembly but cant get down to it--any suggestions?
October 8, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: See this tech article:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/techarticles/BMW-3-Series-E46/20-FUEL-Throttle_Housing_Replacement/20-FUEL-Throttle_Housing_Replacement.htm

It will show you how to get the throttle housing out of the way. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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