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      07-20-2020, 05:55 PM   #1
LiGuy
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Lightbulb N55 135IS - OFHG DIY DONE - Need help identifying leak

Recently did the Oil Filter Housing Gasket on my 2013 135IS N55, only 45k miles, more than regular oil changes using Amsoil 0W40.
After install, noticed a small collection of oil near below OFH, but using mirrors, could not see anything leaking any more from the new gaskets (also did cooler).

As it turns out, it was the oil filter itself (cover) leaking slowly and dripping down into that area. I took off the cover to pour in some oil after the repair, and the o-ring must have failed. Leaking slowly down along the side (so thin you can't see it) and slowly pooling in this spot.
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Last edited by LiGuy; 07-30-2020 at 08:58 AM.. Reason: updated info
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      07-21-2020, 04:02 AM   #2
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Not familiar with n55 engines but isn't that your head gasket?

If that is leaking oil you're in a world of problems.
But I suspect it's just looking there from somewhere else like the ofhg from residue after you fitted the gasket or maybe it's still leaking?
Clean it up with brake cleaner and monitor.

I recently did my gaskets and have been monitoring carefully after every drive. So far, so good, touch wood
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      07-21-2020, 06:46 AM   #3
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Wash it down thoroughly and recheck it. If you have a compressor and air blast gun, use that and brake cleaner simultaneously to clean stubborn or difficult (troughs such as this area) areas. For bulk cleaning I prefer to spray on a 50/50 solution of sodium hydroxide based degreaser and water. Hose or pressure cleaner it off after 10mins, blow it dry and brake cleaner the rest.
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      07-21-2020, 10:15 AM   #4
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Could be maybe leaking down from a crack in the valve cover, or the valve cover gasket itself?
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      07-21-2020, 10:16 AM   #5
LiGuy
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After using dye, I can see it slowly seeping from the oil filter cover itself, failed o-ring!

Last edited by LiGuy; 07-30-2020 at 08:58 AM..
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      07-21-2020, 10:55 AM   #6
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I can't see any oil from the Valve cover, it should be pretty easy to spot, right? Unless there is an area I can't see on the intake side (It looks dry at the gasket itself, from what I can see on both sides).
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      07-22-2020, 12:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiGuy View Post
I can't see any oil from the Valve cover, it should be pretty easy to spot, right? Unless there is an area I can't see on the intake side (It looks dry at the gasket itself, from what I can see on both sides).
It can be hard sometime as it extends all the way back under the cowl, as well as under the intake like you said.

If it's not leaking too much, maybe at your next oil change you use something like the Liqui Molly Molygen and a UV light to look for the leak?
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      07-26-2020, 10:45 AM   #8
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Using dye confirmed it's leaking from that area, external head gasket seepage only, nothing blown internally for sure. No dye in coolant, oil is clear, runs perfect. Other than having to replace the OFHG, I never would have noticed this. Makes absolutely no sense, I've read people tune these cars, drive super hard and never have an issue. This has 46k miles, never raced, no mods ever, never overheated, always serviced by BMW, Amsoil regularly. I've read head bolts can be replaced or re-torqued, and maybe just loosened causing seepage? I have read these can just leak like this externally, with no internal problems and go another 100k miles. Oil level doesn't really drop between changes, it's that little. I'm wondering if it's worth seeing if BMW has a solution and open up a can of worms, or to live with it. I/m considering going back to Hondas. They say they will inspect for free and do replacements of any of the parts that may be suspect and are covered under the California Emissions warranty (valve cover gasket, intake manifold, exhaust manifold/gasket, etc).
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      07-26-2020, 08:40 PM   #9
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I wonder if your oil is too thin? I believe BMW recommended 5w30 or 5w40 not 0w40?

Try changing to 5w40 and see if it still seeps.

Honestly if it's not causing issues and the seep is so slow, I wouldn't touch it for fear of making a non issue an issue.

I don't really understand the warranty laws in the US (I'm from Australia) but how could BMW cover anything under warranty for a 7 year old car?

A tactical solution is to use permatex spray seal over that area. It works for low/no pressure leaks and it's sold externally so you don't pollute any internal fluids.
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      07-27-2020, 12:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiGuy View Post
Using dye confirmed it's leaking from that area, external head gasket seepage only, nothing blown internally for sure. No dye in coolant, oil is clear, runs perfect. Other than having to replace the OFHG, I never would have noticed this. Makes absolutely no sense, I've read people tune these cars, drive super hard and never have an issue. This has 46k miles, never raced, no mods ever, never overheated, always serviced by BMW, Amsoil regularly. I've read head bolts can be replaced or re-torqued, and maybe just loosened causing seepage? I have read these can just leak like this externally, with no internal problems and go another 100k miles. Oil level doesn't really drop between changes, it's that little. I'm wondering if it's worth seeing if BMW has a solution and open up a can of worms, or to live with it. I/m considering going back to Hondas. They say they will inspect for free and do replacements of any of the parts that may be suspect and are covered under the California Emissions warranty (valve cover gasket, intake manifold, exhaust manifold/gasket, etc).
Some people believe in the beat-in method to longevity. IDK, that's a weird one but like you said, could just do the fix and probably not have to worry about it for the rest of the life of the car probably. Yours might just be the 1 out of XXXX cars where that specific thing could happen?
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