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Pelican Technical Article:

Engine Covers Removal

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$10

Talent:

***

Tools:

Set of sockets (8mm), T40 Torx socket flathead and Phillips screwdrivers

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 528i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 530xi Wagon (2006-07)
BMW 535i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 535xi Wagon (2008)
BMW 545i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 550i Sedan (2006-10)

Parts Required:

Engine cover fasteners (if you lose one)

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine

Performance Gain:

Access to engine

Complementary Modification:

Replace cabin microfilter while it is out

As BMW engines evolved the sleekness and design trend evolved along with them. At first one small plastic engine cover was used, and then two. Now most of the engines are covered in plastic trim, in order to dress up and modernize the engine compartment. Some models the covers are bolted on, some with clips or rotating fasteners. It's important to check the specifics for your vehicle so you do not damage the covers when trying to remove them.

When servicing your BMW E60 engine, you may have to remove the cabin microfilter housing and engine covers to access specific components. In this article, I will show you how to remove the covers, providing easy access to the top and rear of the engine. The first few steps of this article will highlight cabin microfilter housing removal. Then I will show you how to remove the engine covers on each type of engine. Look for the heading with your engine type listed once you're past the cabin microfilter portion. There are four styles of engine covers on E60 5-series models; one for the early 6-cylinder engine, two for the late 6-cylinder engine and one for the 8-cylinder engine. This tech article will highlight removing each of these covers.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

In order to remove the engine cover(s) (yellow arrows), you first have to remove the cabin microfilter housing (green arrow).
Figure 1

In order to remove the engine cover(s) (yellow arrows), you first have to remove the cabin microfilter housing (green arrow). This photo shows an early 6-cylinder model. The cabin microfilter housing remains the same throughout all years. I will note the different engine types once we begin removing the engine covers. First, we will remove the cabin microfilter housing.

Working on the left side of the engine bay, locate the cabin microfilter lid.
Figure 2

Working on the left side of the engine bay, locate the cabin microfilter lid. Disengage the spring clamp (yellow arrow) by levering it off the lid. Then rotate the 13mm locking tab 90 degrees to disengage it (green arrow).

Lift the cabin microfilter lid to remove it.
Figure 3

Lift the cabin microfilter lid to remove it. You may have to cut the wire tie (green arrow) that attaches to the main harness. The wire tie on my vehicle was already cut. If you do cut it, be sure to replace it.

Working at the right side lid, disconnect the hood switch electrical connector (green arrow) by squeezing the release tab and pulling it straight off the switch.
Figure 4

Working at the right side lid, disconnect the hood switch electrical connector (green arrow) by squeezing the release tab and pulling it straight off the switch. Then, disengage the spring clamp by levering it off the lid. Then rotate the 13mm locking tab 90 degrees to disengage it. Lift the cabin microfilter lid to remove it.

Working at the center of the cabin microfilter housing, lift the wire harness shield up in the direction of the green arrow to remove it.
Figure 5

Working at the center of the cabin microfilter housing, lift the wire harness shield up in the direction of the green arrow to remove it.

Working at the center of the cabin microfilter housing, remove the center support (green arrow) by releasing the locking tab and sliding it in the direction of the yellow arrow.
Figure 6

Working at the center of the cabin microfilter housing, remove the center support (green arrow) by releasing the locking tab and sliding it in the direction of the yellow arrow.

Pull the rubber seal (green arrow) off the cabin microfilter housing to remove it.
Figure 7

Pull the rubber seal (green arrow) off the cabin microfilter housing to remove it.

Working at the left side of the wiper cowl, remove the T25 Torx screw (yellow arrow).
Figure 8

Working at the left side of the wiper cowl, remove the T25 Torx screw (yellow arrow). Then unlock the four 13mm fasteners (green arrows) by rotating them 90 degrees counterclockwise.

Working under the hood strut, pull the rubber drain (green arrow) up to remove it.
Figure 9

Working under the hood strut, pull the rubber drain (green arrow) up to remove it.

Lift up the lower microfilter housing to remove it from the vehicle.
Figure 10

Lift up the lower microfilter housing to remove it from the vehicle. Lift from the center, feeding the opposite side out of the fender. Repeat the previous three steps for the right side lower microfilter housing.

Once removed, be sure the drains are clean and not full of debris like my vehicle (green arrow).
Figure 11

Once removed, be sure the drains are clean and not full of debris like my vehicle (green arrow).

Using a trim panel tool, remove the center rivet (inset) from both wiring harness bracket-mounting rivets (green arrows).
Figure 12

Using a trim panel tool, remove the center rivet (inset) from both wiring harness bracket-mounting rivets (green arrows). 

Pull the mounting bracket off the support brace.
Figure 13

Pull the mounting bracket off the support brace. Pull the front wiring harness (green arrow) toward the radiator and the rear wiring harness (yellow arrow) toward the firewall when removing.

Early 6-cylinder engine: 6-cylinder engines have two engine covers.
Figure 14

Early 6-cylinder engine: 6-cylinder engines have two engine covers. You can remove each one independently. For certain repairs you will have to remove both. Examples: for ignition coils replacement you remove only the cover on the cylinder head; for replacing a valve cover gasket on the other hand, you would remove both covers. The yellow arrow points to the intake manifold engine cover. The green arrow points to the cylinder head engine cover.

Early 6-cylinder engine: To remove the intake manifold side engine cover: using a small flat head screwdriver, pry out the trim covers (inset).
Figure 15

Early 6-cylinder engine: To remove the intake manifold side engine cover: using a small flat head screwdriver, pry out the trim covers (inset). Remove the 10mm fasteners (green arrows). Then remove the intake manifold side cover from the engine. To remove the cylinder head engine cover, remove the engine oil cap. Then, using a small flat head screwdriver, pry out the trim covers (inset). Remove the 10mm nuts (green arrows). Then remove the cylinder head cover from the engine.

Early 6-cylinder engine: With the cover removed, inspect the mounting insulators.
Figure 16

Early 6-cylinder engine: With the cover removed, inspect the mounting insulators. There are two that are only used on the cylinder head engine cover (green arrows). If the insulators are worn, replace them with new ones.

Late 6-cylinder with aluminum valve cover: Remove the five T40 Torx engine cover fasteners (green arrows) by rotating them 90° counterclockwise.
Figure 17

Late 6-cylinder with aluminum valve cover: Remove the five T40 Torx engine cover fasteners (green arrows) by rotating them 90 degrees counterclockwise. Then remove the cover from the engine.

Late 6-cylinder with plastic valve cover: Remove the three 5mm Allen engine cover fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 18

Late 6-cylinder with plastic valve cover: Remove the three 5mm Allen engine cover fasteners (green arrows). Then remove the cover from the engine.

8-cylinder with plastic valve cover: Remove the four 10mm engine cover fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 19

8-cylinder with plastic valve cover: Remove the four 10mm engine cover fasteners (green arrows). Then lift the intake manifold engine cover up to remove it. To remove the cylinder head covers (yellow arrows), lift them straight up to detach them from the mounting grommets.

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Comments and Suggestions:
mrs bemmer Comments: Amazing insight thank you so much now need to order coils and get hubbi out there to change them
October 9, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Rpski Comments: Great job Pelican Parts. Thanks so much for this helpful diy instructions.
August 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Sailorguy Comments: SECOND TO COMPLIMENTS Appreciate the fine pics and text . Extremely helpful. I am a full time engine builder, mostly road racing and exotics. This engine requires no tools just a VOM I joke. Friend brought over his diagnostic computer . # 5 cyl is the miss , so tomorrow a coil, gaskets etc and the cabin filters will be replaced. Hopefully the diagnosis is correct . My 12th BMW registered to me going back to 1975. Not counting a few I had bought and parted out etc
June 9, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Let us know how things work out. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
karolh Comments: I got my second BMW an '08' 525i about 2 years ago and I am finding your site to be an invaluable help in assisting me in doing some basis DIY projects. Much appreciated.
March 11, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
nj530idriver Comments: *above it should be 'bmw', not 'bow'. I was typing on my iPad. :p
August 5, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No problem, I am king of typos myself. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
NJ530idriver Comments: Hi, thank you for this article. I recently purchased a used 2004 e60 530i my first bow and couldn't believe I had to remove all this in order to get the engine cover off. I got all the steps from your site and it was the only place i found them. So thank you for creating this article for beginners like me. I appreciate it and will continue to shop on your site.
August 5, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:23:39 AM