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Common BMW Auto Repair Issues Denver Colorado Oil Leaks

Good morning. This is Saul Reisman here at Saul’s AUTOTEK again, and today we’re going to talk a little bit about BMWs and how we can keep them on the road for a little bit less expensive than the dealership.

Today’s major commonality failure that we’re going to be looking at is the BMW repair for an oil filter housing seal failure. If you drive a BMW with a straight-six engine, produced between 2005 and today, you have an oil filter housing in your vehicle that’s made out of aluminum that attaches to an iron housing, as well. So we have a soft metal attaching to a hard metal with just a rubber seal between them, and it’s a very, very common failure. Oftentimes, owners will go to the dealership for a regular oil change, and the dealership may tell you your oil filter housing is leaking, we need to replace it, it’ll cost two thousand dollars, and here’s why. The reality is, sometimes these can be resealed, sometimes they do have to be replaced, but they definitely have to be repaired appropriately.

In the case of this BMW, where our oil filter housing sits is right on top of the engine itself. When we’re looking into the engine bay, our housing will sit here and can leak around the perimeter, or it can leak around the base of this housing where it attaches to the block directly underneath. Unfortunately, we can’t visibly see access to it due to the labor involved to get into it on this vehicle. However, its location sitting directly above the belt drive can often lead to issues if oil leaks down onto these pulleys or onto the belt.

When an owner complains about a leak or takes that vehicle in through dealership service for the leak is when they’ll typically find this oil filter housing leaking. Here at Saul’s AUTOTEK, we’re able to disassemble that housing and reseal the center of it, as that’s the most common failure. To do such costs about 1/5 of what the dealer’s repair does. We’re also able to replace the actual housing itself if need be. Typically, only one in five actually needs replacement. Most get into service for an oil change or similar soon enough that they do not. However, if it does need to be placed, our cost is only 60% of the dealer’s total cost to do such.

But the real reason this is important isn’t that it is leaking a little bit of oil, but where it leaks onto. When we’re looking at that belt drive, and we see the oil leak onto that belt drive is a major, major concern. The way BMW designed this vehicle, if oil leaks onto that belt drive, the belt will, inevitably, become loose, become fatigued, and come off of the belt drive. When that belt does, it’ll get wrapped around the bottom of the crankshaft pulley and can cause major, major damage. If we’re lucky, it just wraps around and gets a bunch of rubber stuck into that pulley. If we’re not lucky, it can actually pull rubber through the harmonic and into the oil pan of the engine. This is something that’s only possible on BMW vehicles because of the metallurgy that they used in the design of this specific engine, in an attempt to save weight to meet Obama’s K-Fuel efficiency standards. As a result, we have a weaker designed product that is only sold in the United States that sees these failures.

If that belt drive fails and it pulls it through the oil pan, to complete the BMW repair, you remove the engine from the vehicle, disassemble the bottom of the oil pan and oil pump, replace the pump, reseal the pan, put the motor back in the car, and then put a belt on it and replace that oil filter housing anyway. This is a repair that costs thousands and thousands of dollars. We are very proud to say that here, at Saul’s AUTOTEK, we have never had one fail to the point that it required that replacement because we’ve always caught them early.

If you’d like to come to us for your regular oil changes, rather than the dealership, we’d be happy to get your service in and catch these things sooner so that you can stay cost-effective and efficient in terms of repair. Rather than risk a two thousand, or even a four or five thousand dollar repair at the dealership, simply to chase oil leak, let us take a look first.

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About the Author

Picture of Saul Reisman

Saul Reisman

Saul Reisman has been helping the residents of the Centennial State with their automotive needs for over ten years now. He finished his Associate Degree in Physics at the Community College of Denver. Saul is an active member of the Specialty Equipment Market Association and a board member of the Young Executives Network. He undergoes constant educational training through GMC, MOPAR, Ford, Snap-On, Borg-Warner, and Ozark Automotive, with an emphasis on diagnosis, repair, and improvement.

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