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S54 Crankcase Breather Valve Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

S54 Crankcase Breather Valve Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

4 hours4 hrs

Tab:

$100

Talent:

***

Tools:

10mm socket, flathead screwdriver, diagonal cutters

Applicable Models:

BMW E46 M3 Coupe/Conv (2003-06)
BMW Z4 Convertible (2003-06)
BMW Z4 Coupe (2006)

Parts Required:

Crankcase breather valve, crankcase breather hoses

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 (oil separator) system in which the oil in the crankcase fumes is condensed and returned to the crankcase and the uncondensed vapors are fed into the engine intake to be burned.

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.

On S54 6-cylinder models, the crankcase breather valve is mounted to the valve cover.

When replacing your crankcase breather valve, I suggest replacing the vent hoses. They become brittle over time from exposure to engine oil and heat. When removing, these parts are likely to fall apart in your hands. To avoid vehicle down time, have these parts handy before you begin work.

To avoid marring the paint and trim, work with a plastic prying tool or wrap a screwdriver tip with masking tape before prying out body or interior items.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been 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. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. 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.

On S54 6-cylinder models, the crankcase breather valve is mounted to the valve cover (red arrow).
Figure 1

On S54 6-cylinder models, the crankcase breather valve is mounted to the valve cover (red arrow).

Start by removing the crankcase breather hose.
Figure 2

Start by removing the crankcase breather hose. Disconnect the electrical connector (inset) by pressing the wire release and pulling the connector straight off. Then lift the solenoid (green arrow) up and out of the mounting bracket. Next, detach the breather hoses from the intake and breather (red arrows).

To remove the breather hoses, squeeze the collar and pull straight up.
Figure 3

To remove the breather hoses, squeeze the collar and pull straight up.

Place the breather hose and solenoid aside (green arrow).
Figure 4

Place the breather hose and solenoid aside (green arrow). You can leave the rubber hose attached. It only has to be moved enough to make room for the engine cover to come out.

Remove the six 10mm engine cover fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 5

Remove the six 10mm engine cover fasteners (red arrows). Then remove the oil filler cap (green arrow).

Lift and remove the engine cover.
Figure 6

Lift and remove the engine cover.

Remove the five 10mm crankcase breather valve fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 7

Remove the five 10mm crankcase breather valve fasteners (red arrows).

Next lift up on the crankcase breather while gently levering it out of the valve cover (green arrow).
Figure 8

Next lift up on the crankcase breather while gently levering it out of the valve cover (green arrow).

Remove the crankcase breather valve from the valve cover.
Figure 9

Remove the crankcase breather valve from the valve cover. Be sure the sealing O-ring (red arrow) and molded rubber seal (green arrow) come out when removed. If not, pull them out of the valve cover.

If you need to replace the crankcase breather hose assembly, cut the rubber hose clamp (red arrow) using diagonal pliers.
Figure 10

If you need to replace the crankcase breather hose assembly, cut the rubber hose clamp (red arrow) using diagonal pliers. Then remove it from the engine. The hose assembly comes preassembled with an electronic solenoid and all hoses as shown (inset). Reverse the steps to reassemble. When installing the breather hoses, listen for an audible click to confirm they are properly engaged.


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Page last updated: Mon 12/5/2016 02:53:57 AM