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BMW E39 5-Series Crankcase Ventilation PCV CVV, Valve Cover and Oil Filter Housing Leaks, Washer Pump

April 13, 2011

Q
car year: 2003 car model: 525i Wagon Hello Otto Had my 2003 E39 to the dealer for a checkup the other day and the diagnosis isn’t good. It has 125 k miles. Here’s what they recommend needs to be done immediately. The cost below include parts and labor from my BMW dealer. -Replace the valve cover gasket (found engine oil seep) $390 -Replace the crankcase ventilation (PCV valve + hoses) valve $560 -Replace the engine oil filter housing gasket $590 -Replace windshield washer pump (found washer reservoir cracked/leaking) $ 210 Total with tax comes to ~$1,855. And that was after dishing out $570 for rear rotors and pads installed. I’m not handy enough, nor do I have the time to attempt these specific repairs myself so my question is, given limited funds, in which order or priority would you advise I get these repaired?

A
First, you may want to consider looking for a good independent shop for your regular maintenance and repair work (BMW familiarity is a plus).  Typically, the BMW dealer will be one of the most expensive repair facilities once the vehicle is out of warranty.  Secondly, we can offer the parts, for the repairs, at far less than dealer prices.

The two oil leaks (valve cover and oil filter housing) are common and can be delayed as long as they are not so bad that you are losing large amounts of oil or the spark plug wells are not filling with oil (from valve cover leakage).  These gaskets are just a few dollars.  The valve cover gasket is relatively easy and straight forward.  The oil filter housing takes a bit longer, but is not difficult.  If you have a partially clogged crankcase ventilation system, this would be important to take care of (current pricing for the complete kit is $169.95).  Obviously, the washer pump and bottle should be operational, but you can throw this one into the mix however you like.  The bottle and the pump are well under $100.00.

Finally, the Bentley repair manual would assist you or your mechanic (if he is not familiar with these tasks), in these and future repairs.

Bentley repair manual:
BMW

Crankcase ventilation repair kit:
BMW

Valve cover gasket kit:
BMW

Oil filter housing gasket:
BMW

Washer fluid bottle:
BMW

Washer fluid pump:
BMW

Washer pump grommet/seal:
BMW

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