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Turbocharged Engine Oil Cooler and Filter Housing Replacement
 

Pelican Technical Article:

Turbocharged Engine Oil Cooler and Filter Housing Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

***

Tools:

T30 Torx, 8mm socket (socket set), plastic scraper

Applicable Models:

R56 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2007-11)

Parts Required:

Engine oil cooler, oil cooler line seals

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine and clear DME fault codes when done

Performance Gain:

Proper engine oil cooling

Complementary Modification:

Change oil

MINI R56 models with a turbocharged engine utilize an engine oil cooler. Under normal (street) driving conditions and in cool or temperate regions, engine oil temperature is maintained at about 250°F (122°C). But in hot regions and when the vehicle is used for high speed driving in mountainous regions, it is possible for oil temperature to climb much higher. An engine oil cooler helps to maintain a safe oil temperature for the turbocharger and the engine. The cooler is a heat exchanger installed in the cooling fan shroud. Oil is supplied to the cooler using high-pressure hoses from the oil filter housing.

I have found coolant and oil leaks in the front of the engine stemming from the oil cooler and oil filter-housing seals. The oil cooler is mounted next to the turbocharger on the oil filter housing, so it can be tricky to confirm a leak in this area. Check for leaks from the left front of your engine. This article will show you how to replace the oil cooler lines and associated seals.

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. 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.

Drain your engine coolant and engine oil.

Place the radiator support in service mode. See our tech article on radiator support service mode. Remove the engine-cooling fan. See our tech article on engine cooling fan replacing.

Remove the turbocharger. See our tech article on turbocharger replacing. If replacing only the oil cooler or oil cooler seals, you can get it done without removing the turbocharger. If you want to replace the oil filter housing seals, you have to remove the turbocharger.


TIP: In this article we will go over how to do the job with the turbo removed, as shown done in factory instructions.  However, there are individuals that report you can change the seals without removing the turbocharger. The turbo oil line easily comes off around the turbo and all required bolts to remove filter housing are accessible. 

The oil cooler is mounted next to the turbocharger on the oil filter housing (red arrows).
Figure 1

The oil cooler is mounted next to the turbocharger on the oil filter housing (red arrows).

One of the toughest coolant leaks to track down is from the oil cooler.
Figure 2

One of the toughest coolant leaks to track down is from the oil cooler. This can happen from corrosion at the cooler. This photo shows an oil cooler with pitting (red arrows). When this happens even a new seal will not repair the coolant leak. You will have to replace your oil cooler if you find this issue.

If you removed your turbocharger to replace the oil filter housing seals as well as the oil cooler seals, the auxiliary coolant pump hoses will be removed.
Figure 3

If you removed your turbocharger to replace the oil filter housing seals as well as the oil cooler seals, the auxiliary coolant pump hoses will be removed. If not, remove the clamps using hose clamp pliers, and remove the hoses from the auxiliary coolant pump (green arrows). See our tech article on the auxiliary coolant pump for more information. Then, remove the three lower T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows) at the oil cooler.

Remove the clamps using hose clamp pliers, and remove the hoses from the oil cooler (green arrow).
Figure 4

Remove the clamps using hose clamp pliers, and remove the hoses from the oil cooler (green arrow). If the turbocharger was removed, the return hose form the turbocharger should already be removed (yellow arrow). If the turbocharger was not removed because you are only working on the oil cooler, this hose will remain in place. Next, remove the three upper T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows) at the oil cooler.

Then pull the oil cooler off the oil filter housing (red arrow).
Figure 5

Then pull the oil cooler off the oil filter housing (red arrow).

Use a small pick to remove the seals (red arrow) from the filter housing.
Figure 6

Use a small pick to remove the seals (red arrow) from the filter housing. Clean the filter housing and install the new seals. Reinstall the oil cooler and associated items. If you're replacing the oil filter housing seals, continue.

Working at the auxiliary coolant pump, detach the wiring from the bracket (green arrow), and then disconnect the electrical connector (red arrow).
Figure 7

Working at the auxiliary coolant pump, detach the wiring from the bracket (green arrow), and then disconnect the electrical connector (red arrow). Press the release tab and pull the connector straight out.

With the turbocharger and heat shields removed, you have access to the oil filter housing fasteners.
Figure 8

With the turbocharger and heat shields removed, you have access to the oil filter housing fasteners. Remove the three 8mm fasteners (red arrows).

Pull the oil filter housing away from the engine.
Figure 9

Pull the oil filter housing away from the engine. Have a drain pan in place to catch any dripping oil and coolant (red arrow).

Use a small pick to remove the seals (red arrow) from the filter housing.
Figure 10

Use a small pick to remove the seals (red arrow) from the filter housing. Clean the filter housing and install the new seals.

Thoroughly clean the crankcase (red arrow).
Figure 11

Thoroughly clean the crankcase (red arrow). Then install the filter housing with the new seals. Install the oil cooler and remaining items in the reverse order of removal. Be sure to fill and bleed the cooling system and engine oil.

Comments and Suggestions:
Preteesh Leo. Comments: Hello,

Could you add the details on how to change the oil filter housing gasket on a 2006 R56 base. I've ordered the gasket and hoping to do it myself.
August 26, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.


I would suggest you grab a repair manual, you should own one. 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
 
Macbrush Comments: It's possible to have just oil leaks into coolant, but not vie versa. I have had this happened to my Peugeot 208 GTi which essentially is a N18 Valvetronic engine. Fix it as soon as you see oil in coolant but no exhaust do a exhaust leak test in coolant, because if you don't, oil will quickly destroy your coolant cap rubber seal, then you'll have a bad day from high coolant temperature and coolant explosion when you are forced to switch off the engine by RED STOP sign on your dashboard. Trust me, been there, done that...
August 8, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your repair process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Ed Comments: Nick

The turbo does NOT have to be removed to change the seals. The turbo oil line easily comes off around the turbo and all required bolts to remove filter housing are accessable. I just did this job and changed oil cooler seals as well as the two water lines from the electric water pump.
July 22, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. MINI suggest removing it, so I follow those guidelines, but shortcuts are always great when they work better than factory instructions. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ed Comments: Nick

You imply that the turbocharger must be removed to change the oil filter housing gaskets. Is this correct?
July 16, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: On turbocharged models, yes it has to come off.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
gomez auto Comments: 11'mini S r56 will a failed oil cooler seal cause a coolant/oil mix?
January 2, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, that is possible. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Z Comments: I would like to know how things have been putting back together and the correct torque of the bolts because for the most of time, the torque matters
April 12, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Torque ALWAYS matters. 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
 

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Page last updated: Sun 12/10/2017 02:53:58 AM