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6-cylinder Engine Crankcase Breather Valve Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

6-cylinder Engine Crankcase Breather Valve Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

4 hours4 hrs

Tab:

$300

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Set of sockets (hex and Torx T25), wrenches, screwdrivers

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 528i xDrive Sedan (2009-10)
BMW 528i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 530xi Wagon (2006-07)
BMW 535i xDrive Sedan/Wagon (2009-10)
BMW 535i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 535xi Wagon (2008)
BMW 545i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 550i Sedan (2006-10)
BMW M5 Sedan (2006-10)

Parts Required:

Crankcase breather valve, crankcase breather hoses and pipes

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine

Performance Gain:

Car will run well

Complementary Modification:

Change engine oil and air filter

Some of the combustion byproducts in an operating engine are forced past the piston rings, thus creating pressure in the crankcase. The heating and churning of oil in the crankcase creates additional pressure. This pressure needs to be vented or it causes oil leakage past the engine seals and may even blow out a seal. BMW uses a crankcase breather system in which the oil in the crankcase fumes is condensed and returned to the crankcase and the pressure and uncondensed vapors are fed into the engine intake to be combusted.

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. It is mounted to the back of the intake manifold, near the firewall. The crankcase vent hose that runs from the valve cover to the crankcase breather valve is the hose I find broken the most. If you are doing a repair where this hose may be moved or bumped, have a spare on hand, because it will break.

When replacing your crankcase breather valve, I suggest replacing all the vent hoses and the oil drain hose to dipstick tube. They become brittle over time from exposure to engine oil and heat. When removing, the parts are likely to fall apart in your hands. In order to avoid vehicle down time, have the parts shown below before you begin.

Early 6-cylinder engines and late 6-cylinder engines with aluminum valve covers utilize an external crankcase breather. This tech article shows how to replace them. On late 6-cylinder models with a plastic valve cover, the crankcase breather valve is integrated into the valve cover. To replace or repair this valve, replace the entire valve cover. See our tech article on valve cover replacing.

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.

NG6 6-cylinder engines: Pictured here are the crankcase breather parts: pipe to valve cover (green arrow), crankcase breather (yellow arrow), drain hose (purple arrow), pipe to intake manifold (blue arrow), vacuum hose to intake air pipe (red arrow).
Figure 1

NG6 6-cylinder engines: Pictured here are the crankcase breather parts: pipe to valve cover (green arrow), crankcase breather (yellow arrow), drain hose (purple arrow), pipe to intake manifold (blue arrow), vacuum hose to intake air pipe (red arrow). Disconnect the negative (-) battery cable. See our tech article on battery replacing for connection notes. Remove the engine covers. See our tech article on removing engine covers. Remove the intake manifold. See our tech article on intake manifold removing.

NG6 6-cylinder engines: Working at the rear bottom of the plenum on the intake manifold, squeeze the crankcase breather hose release collar and remove it from the intake manifold (green arrow).
Figure 2

NG6 6-cylinder engines: Working at the rear bottom of the plenum on the intake manifold, squeeze the crankcase breather hose release collar and remove it from the intake manifold (green arrow). Since I do not reuse these parts, I take a pick or flathead screwdriver and break the retaining collar. Then pull the pipe off and remove any remaining pieces of pipe from the intake manifold. Alternately, you can squeeze the plastic spring collar and pull it off to remove it.

NG6 6-cylinder engines: Next, working at the rear of the intake manifold, there is a junction block of connectors for the crankcase breather valve heaters.
Figure 3

NG6 6-cylinder engines: Next, working at the rear of the intake manifold, there is a junction block of connectors for the crankcase breather valve heaters. You already disconnected two of the connectors at the junction when removing the intake manifold. Disconnect the remaining two electrical connectors (green arrows).

NG6 6-cylinder engines: Working at the crankcase breather valve, remove three Torx fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 4

NG6 6-cylinder engines: Working at the crankcase breather valve, remove three Torx fasteners (green arrows). Then remove the crankcase breather valve from the intake manifold.

NG6 6-cylinder engines: Working at the engine oil dipstick tube, remove the crankcase valve drain hose (green arrow).
Figure 5

NG6 6-cylinder engines: Working at the engine oil dipstick tube, remove the crankcase valve drain hose (green arrow). Since I do not reuse these parts, I take a pick or flathead screwdriver and break the retaining collar. Then pull the pipe off and remove any remaining pieces of pipe from the dipstick tube. Alternately, you can squeeze the release tabs and pull it off to remove it. I find it hard to fit my hand in the available area. Before installing the new crankcase breather valve, clean any oil residue from inside the intake manifold and surrounding areas. If needed, remove the throttle body to access inside the intake manifold. See our tech article on throttle body replacing. Install the crankcase breather valve and tighten the fasteners. Install the new drain hose to the bottom of the crankcase breather valve. Next, install the crankcase breather hose to the breather valve. Then install the intake connection pipe to the breather valve. Listen for an audible click when you install hoses. Next, install the dipstick tube drain hose to dipstick tube. Reinstall the intake manifold. During the intake installation you will install the vacuum hose and breather hose to the valve cover. When complete, double check all hose routings.

M54 6-cylinder engine: Crankcase breather parts: Pipe to valve cover (green arrow), Crankcase breather (yellow arrow), Drain hose (purple arrow), Pipes to intake manifold (blue arrows).
Figure 6

M54 6-cylinder engine: Crankcase breather parts: Pipe to valve cover (green arrow), Crankcase breather (yellow arrow), Drain hose (purple arrow), Pipes to intake manifold (blue arrows). Disconnect negative (-) battery cable. See our tech article on Battery Replacing for connection notes. Remove engine covers. See our tech article on Removing Engine Covers. Remove throttle housing. See our tech article on Replacing Throttle Housing.

M54 6-cylinder engine: Working at front of intake manifold, pull evaporative emission purge solenoid off mounting bracket.
Figure 7

M54 6-cylinder engine: Working at front of intake manifold, pull evaporative emission purge solenoid off mounting bracket. It is mounted in rubber bushing and pulls straight off bracket (purple arrow).

M54 6-cylinder engine: Working at front corner of cylinder head cover, disconnect engine breather pipe.
Figure 8

M54 6-cylinder engine: Working at front corner of cylinder head cover, disconnect engine breather pipe.

M54 6-cylinder engine: Since I do not reuse these parts, I take a pick or flathead screwdriver and break the retaining collar.
Figure 9

M54 6-cylinder engine: Since I do not reuse these parts, I take a pick or flathead screwdriver and break the retaining collar. Then pull pipe off cylinder head cover and remove any remaining pieces of pipe from cylinder head cover. Alternately, you can squeeze the plastic spring collar and pull off to remove.

M54 6-cylinder engine: Working at center of intake manifold, squeeze release tab and pull pipe (green arrow) off crankcase breather pipe (purple arrow).
Figure 10

M54 6-cylinder engine: Working at center of intake manifold, squeeze release tab and pull pipe (green arrow) off crankcase breather pipe (purple arrow).

M54 6-cylinder engine: If pipe will not release, use a pair of needle nose pliers to squeeze release tabs while pulling off breather pipe.
Figure 11

M54 6-cylinder engine: If pipe will not release, use a pair of needle nose pliers to squeeze release tabs while pulling off breather pipe.

M54 6-cylinder engine: Next, disconnect breather pipe (green arrow) from intake manifold.
Figure 12

M54 6-cylinder engine: Next, disconnect breather pipe (green arrow) from intake manifold. This pipe is always easier to remove if you break the retaining collar.

M54 6-cylinder engine: Working at bottom of dipstick tube, disconnect crankcase breather valve drain hose (green arrow) from dipstick tube (purple arrow).
Figure 13

M54 6-cylinder engine: Working at bottom of dipstick tube, disconnect crankcase breather valve drain hose (green arrow) from dipstick tube (purple arrow). Photo shows dipstick tube raised up and out of engine.

M54 6-cylinder engine: Next pull complete dipstick tube out of engine.
Figure 14

M54 6-cylinder engine: Next pull complete dipstick tube out of engine. Inspect crankcase drain hole and confirm it is clear of obstructions. You can use a piece of stiff wire, but there is an internal baffle (green arrow), do not expect wire to pop out other side.

M54 6-cylinder engine: Next you will be working at the crankcase breather valve.
Figure 15

M54 6-cylinder engine: Next you will be working at the crankcase breather valve. Disconnect pipes (green arrows) from crankcase breather valve. I suggest breaking the retaining collar on these also, then pulling the pipes straight off breather valve.

M54 6-cylinder engine: Remove crankcase breather valve fasteners (green arrows) then remove crankcase breather valve from engine.
Figure 16

M54 6-cylinder engine: Remove crankcase breather valve fasteners (green arrows) then remove crankcase breather valve from engine.

M54 6-cylinder engine: Install crankcase breather valve and tighten fasteners.
Figure 17

M54 6-cylinder engine: Install crankcase breather valve and tighten fasteners. Install new drain hose (green arrow) to bottom of crankcase breather valve. Next, install crankcase breather hose (purple hose) to breather valve. Then install intake connection pipe (blue arrow) to breather valve. Listen for an audible click when you install hoses. Next install dipstick tube (do not install mounting fastener yet) and connect drain hose to dipstick tube. Then connect hoses to intake manifold and valve cover. Reassemble the remaining items when finished. Double-check all the hose routings.


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Comments and Suggestions:
IP Comments: My car is 2007 BMW530i N52 engine. Can you please tell me if the Crankcase Extraction Line 11-15-7-537-701 is needed or not? I don't see it with the old PCV valve that I am replacing but it is included in the BMW official drawing with the new PCV valve. If it is necessary, how should where to connect both ends of the extraction line? Thanks
November 30, 2016
alekz1975 Comments: can you please tell me the correct part name for a 09 bmw 535i e60 motor.
I am looking for the CCv valve kit.
November 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I’m not the best with part numbers.


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
 
pgreenx Comments: Just curious is the crankcase breather different than CCV and PCV?
November 20, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: All the same, different names. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
hashad Comments: bmw e60 525i n53 engine problem l change valve cover gasket engine run with three cylinder work
March 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check if you left something unplugged or left the coil ground off. 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
 
RyanGress Comments: Any update as to when the pictures will be reordered to make better sense? The descriptions are good, but the pictures are confusing to say the least. Thank you guys for the great write-ups!
September 17, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I do know it is in the queue. Hopefully soon. There is a lot of behind the scenes stuff happening to improve the tech articles. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Noelrodriguez Comments: What about the cables that coonnect to the intake manifold ?
June 27, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What do you want to know? If you have to remove them, remove the fasteners. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
brewmasterflash Comments: It looks like the pictures are mixed up - maybe starting with figure 9? Any way these can get corrected?
June 9, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for catching that. I will have someone reorder the images. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:42:25 AM