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      07-12-2019, 07:24 AM   #1
dlewis23
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M235i Oil Leaking Head Gasket

Hello All,

I have a 2014 M235i with 130,xxx miles and I've started to notice small pools of oil on the drivers side car on a few of the ledges of the motor so for the past few days I have been cleaning them up as best as I could with out taking much apart trying to find out where the oil is coming from. Last night I believe I figured out where the oil is coming from.

After cleaning up more and letting the car idle and with a few revs I noticed some oil seeping out between the head and the block. I attached two pictures where I cleaned the area then you can see some fresh oil and a small air bubble coming from the head gasket in a before and after. It is coming out between the first and second intake runner next to the oil filter housing. The oil filter housing gasket looks to not be leaking at all. The location it is leaking from then leads right to the 3 spots where small pools of oil build up.

Has anyone ever had this happen on their M235i/N55 and if so how much were you looking at to have the gasket replaced?
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      07-12-2019, 10:14 AM   #2
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First, thanks for sharing. It seems you have one of the highest mileage 2-series cars I've come across on these forums. In one sense, that is awesome to see, but in another, it is likely disheartening to those M235i owners who have yet to cross that mileage threshold. I don't know what it would cost to fix, but here's to hoping you can get it done at a reasonable cost so you can quickly get back out there for another 130k miles! Best of luck, and do keep us posted on the details of the repair, possible causes, etc.

Cheers!
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      07-12-2019, 10:49 AM   #3
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Any way you can zoom out a bit so we can get a better sense of the location of the leak?
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      07-12-2019, 01:18 PM   #4
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The last three BMW I owned all started leaking from the head gasket anywhere between 60-80k miles. So, 130k is not bad at all. But costly.
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      07-12-2019, 01:27 PM   #5
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Just to clarify, is it leaking from the head gasket or leaking from the valve cover gasket? Head gasket would most likely leak coolant, not oil.

That being said, leaking from the valve cover gasket is significantly easier/cheaper to fix.
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      07-12-2019, 01:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony88 View Post
Just to clarify, is it leaking from the head gasket or leaking from the valve cover gasket? Head gasket would most likely leak coolant, not oil.

That being said, leaking from the valve cover gasket is significantly easier/cheaper to fix.
Agreed.

If it is head gasket, it's coolant leak.
Valve cover gasket leak is not bad to fix.
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      07-12-2019, 01:31 PM   #7
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Are you sure it's the head gasket? BMWs are know for oil filter housing gaskets going bad over time.
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      07-12-2019, 10:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CP911 View Post
First, thanks for sharing. It seems you have one of the highest mileage 2-series cars I've come across on these forums. In one sense, that is awesome to see, but in another, it is likely disheartening to those M235i owners who have yet to cross that mileage threshold. I don't know what it would cost to fix, but here's to hoping you can get it done at a reasonable cost so you can quickly get back out there for another 130k miles! Best of luck, and do keep us posted on the details of the repair, possible causes, etc.

Cheers!
Thanks Ive also yet to come across anyone who has as many miles as I do. The car has really been solid since I have had it other then this big issue. lol.

I went to 3 different places to get some quotes today and its a full engine out service with the head gasket being replaced along with all the seals for the front of the motor and a few other small bits. Get's billed at 26 hours for a total of $6000 from all 3 places I went to. One shop wants to basically rebuild the head in that $6000 quote. So this is really going to suck. it's a good thing that I really do like the car and don't know what else I would go to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XutvJet View Post
Any way you can zoom out a bit so we can get a better sense of the location of the leak?
I attached a picture from the amount I took yesterday with some notes thats further back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony88 View Post
Just to clarify, is it leaking from the head gasket or leaking from the valve cover gasket? Head gasket would most likely leak coolant, not oil.

That being said, leaking from the valve cover gasket is significantly easier/cheaper to fix.
It's defiantly not the valve cover from any part I can see. You can see in the picture I attached here that the cover is dry and the aluminum below is very clean.


Going to head to a couple more shops tomorrow to get estimates on what they might think it would cost to repair. I really want it to done right so I can go another 130k with no issues.
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      07-13-2019, 11:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlewis23 View Post
I went to 3 different places to get some quotes today and its a full engine out service with the head gasket being replaced along with all the seals for the front of the motor and a few other small bits. Get's billed at 26 hours for a total of $6000 from all 3 places I went to. One shop wants to basically rebuild the head in that $6000 quote. So this is really going to suck. it's a good thing that I really do like the car and don't know what else I would go to.
Holy hell! I have to wonder, what's it worth as a trade-in towards a new M240i? If you can strike a good deal on a new car, get top-dollar for trade-in for yours, and add a few grand more on top of the $6k, I'm thinking you might be able to deal your way into a new car. The real benefit is you can finance that $6k+ instead of paying that much cash out of pocket for a car that already has 130k miles on it. Who knows what's in store for you over the next 50k miles...

Not saying it's a wise move if your car is already paid off, but if it isn't, it might be a better move for you. At 130k miles, most people would say you've gotten the best out of your car anyway and it might be time to move on...
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      07-13-2019, 11:21 AM   #10
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looking at your last pic, it still looks like valve cover gasket but I am definitely no expert. I mean, if you really like car and its paid or close to then I would just have the work done. 6k after 130k miles is not that bad all things considered.
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      07-13-2019, 02:22 PM   #11
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First of all get some degreaser and clean everything up.
Next use a oil UV kit and a black light.
Oil coming out of the head gasket is unheard of the engine designs have not changed much and that is highly unlikely.
I would change the valve cover first.
Also that is close to the oil filter housing gasket. I'd look at that also. Pressurized oil could shoot out.
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      07-13-2019, 05:21 PM   #12
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This thread is giving me PTSD from my experience with my high milage E46 :

Best of luck OP, I hope it isn't a head gasket leak as that would really suck and be an expensive and labor intensive repair. Hopefully this will be your only large issue, but sometimes its worth it to put in the money for these types of repairs especially if its a car you really love.
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      07-14-2019, 05:37 AM   #13
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I'm by no means an expert, but I am tempted to agree with some of the others that say it looks like a VCG failure, which should cost far less than 6k to fix.
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      07-15-2019, 09:10 AM   #14
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Every single high mileage BMW I've had has had the VC gasket and oil filter housing leak. I would start there before assuming the worst.
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      07-18-2019, 02:40 PM   #15
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Man, I would be very surprised if this was caused by a head gasket. If I were you, I would pull the intake manifold and really get a good look in there. Maybe even replace the VCG and/or OFHG just as an experiment to see if that fixes it. If you did it yourself it would be cheap and only really cost you time and might end up saving you 6k.

I just cant believe a head gasket failure at just 130k miles and the only symptom is it leaks oil....
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      07-18-2019, 02:53 PM   #16
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Again, If it is the head gasket, it should leak coolant rather than oil.
It can leak oil but it will be mixed into coolant first, then leak out. (It's a open deck block)

Make sure to check it leaks oil or coolant.
If it is oil, 99% it's valve cover gasket.
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      07-18-2019, 08:33 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by German1967 View Post
The last three BMW I owned all started leaking from the head gasket anywhere between 60-80k miles. So, 130k is not bad at all. But costly.
Since 1983 I've owned 11 BMWs, several past 130k miles- I've never had to replace a head gasket.
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      07-19-2019, 04:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcompact View Post
Since 1983 I've owned 11 BMWs, several past 130k miles- I've never had to replace a head gasket.
yep, similar story here, but all needed valve cover gasket at some point.
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      07-19-2019, 06:36 PM   #19
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Its VCG most likely, tends to happen on n55s around 70-100k miles. It shouldn't be too bad of a fix, unless the Valve cover cracks... which is a possibility.
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      07-19-2019, 07:09 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlewis23 View Post
Get's billed at 26 hours for a total of $6000 from all 3 places I went to. One shop wants to basically rebuild the head in that $6000 quote.
I've been following this thread, and it's occurred to me: is this based upon your diagnosis, or is it based upon a shop's diagnosis?

If it's your diagnosis, I'd suggest having a qualified shop evaluate the leak and fully explain their findings before you commit to a major expense like this.
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      07-19-2019, 08:45 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celsdogg View Post
yep, similar story here, but all needed valve cover gasket at some point.
Agreed.
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      07-20-2019, 06:40 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcompact View Post
Agreed.
++

Have a reputable garage scope this out. I suspect if you truly had a blown head gasket, you would also see sweet smelling lovely white smoke coming out of your tailpipe(s) and your coolant level would be slowly dropping. This would be highly irregular on the N55 and a BMW in general. Good Luck.
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