All About the Oil Filter Housing Gasket in your BMW
Oil filter housing gasket? If the engine is the heart of your car, engine oil is the blood. The cleaner the blood, the healthier the heart. As long as your oil remains stable, your engine will stay capable. That being said, it is really easy for engine oils to get contaminated.
After all, they are not only lubricating the engine, they are also protecting and cleaning it. Any remains left after combustion is carried by your engine oil. Considering that your engine has 1000+ combustions every minute, your engine oil should be as dense as toothpaste. But they remain clean for over 30,000 miles.
That is because of one component called oil filter. Oil filters regularly filter your engine oil as it moves around the engine. It is due to oil filters that you are able to get such mileage before an oil change. Since oil filters are used continuously, they go up to 5000- 7000 miles only.
This is why they are set in such that they are easy to access and can be replaced on the go. All that is thanks to Oil Filter Housing.
What is Oil Filter Housing?
The oil filter housing is a housing used for oil filters inside the engine bay. It is something that connects the oil filter with the engine by securing it at one place. To put it simply, Oil filter housing provides a safe place for the oil filter to do its job.
It is also placed right next to the engine cover which makes it easy to access whenever needed. But why do I make it sound so important?
Well fellas, back in the 60s, when you had to change your oil filters you had to unbolt the whole canister, and then replace your filter after replacing the O-ring and adding extra oil in the canister.
Compare that to today and your housing not only makes filter accessible, but they are also practical, efficient, saves labor cost, and allows safe filtration without leakages.
These housings are really strong and since they are usually inside the engine bay, they are extremely durable. This is why you mostly see leakage due to bad engine oil or clogged filters. But there is one thing that makes the oil filter housing vulnerable and that is a gasket.
Why is Gasket required?
A gasket is a rubber seal used to secure the filter and prevent oil spillage. For both external and internal types of oil filters mounted to the engine, a gasket is required to seal it completely. Without gaskets, unless sealed with adhesives, regular oil leakage will be a daily thing, and changing oil filters will be a long process.
To prevent that we invented gaskets. However, with time, the gasket gets brittles and start having cracks all over itself. This eventually results in small leakage and if not catered while regular maintenance can easily turn into a big engine oil spillage.
So, How Do You Know You Have a Bad Gasket?
How to Spot Bad Oil Filter Housing Gasket?
When you want to identify a disease, you look for the symptoms. Similarly, when you want to find bad oil filter housing gasket, you look for Oil leaks. Oil leaks are something that doesn’t happen often, especially in modern cars. So, if you spot oil marks under your car, after parking it in one place for at least one or two hours, that is a sign of bad gasket.
Another way to spot that is by looking at engine oil light. The engine oil indicator is there to warn you about bad engine oil. It does so by either monitoring the oil pressure or volume.
So, if the gasket is failing, you will have oil leaks. Leaks that will result in reduced oil volume or change in oil pressure inside your engine i.e. “Lights on”. At this point, it is better to get your engine checked right away.
But, is it necessary to immediately solve the issue?
BMW Oil Filter Housing Gasket Replacement
Leakage in your Oil filter housing is not something that is to be taken lightly. As we learned before, it connects your oil filter to your engine oil. Without the filter working properly, your engine oil will immediately get contaminated resulting in a high-performance drop.
Leakage in your housing means a drop in engine oil levels. This will increase the burden on your engine, causing it to overheat and leaving gaps all along, resulting in bad combustions. All in all, you are looking at a highly unreliable engine that can sustain permanent damage at any time. So, unless you are extremely rich taking care of the leak should be your top priority.
How to Replace Oil Filter Housing Gasket In BMW?
Replacing oil filter housing gasket is a simple two-way process but you might have to get your hands “wet”. You will first have to take out your oil filter housing then replace your gasket and screw it back in.
First, open up the bonnet and locate your oil filter housing. It should be right next to the engine cover. You can use the owner’s manual or the image below as reference.
Once you have located the gasket, just unscrew the cover (cap) to a point where it is loose to open by hand. Doing this will help move all the oil into the engine so you won’t create a mess while removing the oil filter housing.
After 20 sec, start unscrewing the bolts that is connecting your oil filter housing to the engine. Generally, there are three bolts of different sizes. Locate these bolts and unscrew them one by one. Don’t forget to note which bolts goes into which socket.
Once you have removed all the bolts, put some clothes under and around the housing. Then remove the two-hose connecting from side and slowly pull the oil filter housing out.
As you pull the housing out, you will be able to see the gasket attached under it. Now it’s time to take the gasket out. Get any pointy tool and dig one side to get the gasket out.
After the gasket is removed clean the surface with a cloth. Do the same to the other part connected to the engine.
Now it’s time to put on the new gasket. Unwrap the gasket, match the sides and it would fit right in.
Once the gasket is replaced, screw your oil filter housing back in. Connect the two side hoses back and tighten the cap(lid) of the filter housing. Don’t forget to add some oil and coolant as you might have lost some in the process.
At last, just start up your engine as final check and you should be good to go.
Cost of Replacing Oil Filter Housing Gasket In BMW
BMW engines are made to be extremely reliable. So, problems like a bad gasket or oil spillage are not common at all. Especially, if you use your BMW for a daily commute, your Oil filter Housing never needs to be replaced.
Now, given that you are getting a gasket replacement, the cost depends upon your BMW model, whether you are doing it at home or at the dealership. Or are you just changing your Gasket or the whole housing?
For Gasket Replacement
If you are just getting gasket replacement, the average cost is around $500 – $1,000 at a dealership including labor cost. If you do it by yourself, it should be under $150.
For Oil Filter Housing
The oil filter housing is actually a whole unit with multiple parts including gasket, hoses, valves, and several seals. And unless you are a mechanic, you won’t be able to change it. So getting your oil filter housing changed at a dealership would cost an average of $2,000-$3,000 depending on the build and type of engine.
Oil filter housing or gaskets are not a very common components you come across with. You might do regular oil changes but the doesn’t include removing the whole housing. Which is why, malfunctioning in these parts are hard to detect and can cause real trouble.
To avoid that, it is necessary to have a look once in a while, checking for leakages while you have oil or oil filter changes. Because the more you look after your car, the better your rides will be.