N55 oil filter housing

image image imageN55 oil filter housing leaking,,,,I know not a uncommon problem,,,,but this one was different ,,,,the oil filter housing was leaking for so long,,,,that it was leaking oil onto the drive belt tensioner and belt,,,,spraying oil inside the engine compartment,,,,the drive belt tensioner pulleys were damaged and belt was soaked with oil,,,,so I replaced the oil filter housing gaskets and drive belt tensioner and belt.

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37 Responses to N55 oil filter housing

  1. Thomas says:

    Hey BMW Tech. I just stumbled upon your blog. I love all that you showing and talking about here. I am actually thinking on making the jump from Mercedes to BMW and this blog is motivating. Anyway i had a F30 with N55 that had a plastic oil filter housing and the coolant an oil where mixing. how many are you seeing with plastic oil filter housing?

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    • BMW has stopped making the plastic oil filter housing,,,,due to the problems they had,,,,,,I have seen about 10 with plastic oil filter housings,,,,when we saw them BMW had us update and replace the oil filter housing with the aluminum one.

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  2. James in Germany says:

    Hello Andreas,
    Thanks for sharing an inside view of what goes on behind the scene when we drop off our bimmers for repair at the dealer.

    I had the exact same thing happen to my 2011 X5 E70 here in Kaiserslautern Germany. However, I took the X5 to a Bosh repair shop as I have had bad experiences with the local BMW repair shop in my area. Bosh replaced the oil filter housing gaskets and cleaned up the oily front end of the engine, but did not have the foresight to replace the belt and the tensioner. Now the top tensioner is “rattling and jerking” a bit which sounds like it is failing to me. I also have some issues with the comfort access system as well that I have put on the back burner to deal with these important engine issue.

    I love driving this car, but for a 5 year old car it is nickle and diming me to death with all the problems that have come up. I’m the second owner and I have only had the car since Sept. 2014 with about 62,500 for mileage . How much of a hassle is it to replace the tensioner and belt myself and where can I find the procedure (there not much information out there that I could find about the N55 engine). I’m a retired Air Force mechanic, so I have a bit of mechanical experience with engines and vehicles.

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    • It’s not that hard,,,,it’s just a tight area to work,,,,there’s only one bolt that holds the tensioner,,,,you should remove the aluminum top cross brace that’s on top of the radiator area,,,that gives you more room,,,,just take pictures with your phone on the way the drive belt goes back on,,,,you should be able to replace it with no problems.

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    • Replacing the drive belt tensioner only pays me .8 work time,,,,,so it can’t be that hard.

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      • James in Germany says:

        As someone with your wealth of experience with these cars, I’m sure you have the process down to a science.

        I have ordered a complete kit to replace the two other pulleys that are in the drive belt system as well, I have read that these all need changing around 60-62K. Am I required to replace the ASA bolts as well? Read in the forums where certain bolts are supposedly one time use only.

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      • You don’t have to replace every bolt,,,I believe some of those bolts are aluminum,,,,,if the bolts are aluminum it’s a good idea to replace them,,,,the steel bolts are ok to reuse,,,,unless it’s a special specialty high torque bolt ,,,,a special high torque bolt is a 1 time use bolt,,,,where in Germany are you from

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      • James in Germany says:

        I’m in Kaisersluatern Germany. And once again thanks for the advice. Been busy, but I was able to get all the components replaced. Removing and replacing the electric fan assembly was a pain, but everything else was smooth sailing.

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      • Very nice,,,that’s close to Hiedelberg,,,,I was there last year

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  3. Ed says:

    i have a 2011 335i xdrive coupe N55 i was looking at the bolts to be removed on the oil housing and there seems to be 3 bolts holding it, how did you manage to remove the inner bolt since it is just sitting a hair line to the intake manifold – did you have to remove the intake manifold and by any chance do you have the torque specification for all these?
    Thanks so much for your assistance.
    Ed

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    • Yes there are only 3 bolts holding the oil filter housing,,,,the inner bolt next to the intake manifold,,,,you have to remove the air filter box,,,remove the intake pipe to the throttle body,,,,then loosen the intake manifold,,,,now just pull the intake manifold back about 2 inches,,,that should give you enough room to loosen the third bolt,,,,once it is loosen don’t pull the bolt out,,,,leave it in the oil filter housing,,,,and pull the housing and the third bolt out together,,,,,,don’t forget to put it back in when you reinstall the oil filter housing with the new gasket ,,,,,no I don’t know the tighten torque,,,,,just make them tight,,,,,hope this helps

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      • Ed says:

        Hello there, first thanks for all your assistance. My new issue is my daughters car a 2011 335i recently have issues with the right Halo light, flickering for a while and then suddenly shuts down completely. I swapped the bulb to left and it seems to working just fine, so it is not the bulb. I checked on fuses assigned to those circuitry and they seems to be fine. I finally decided to check with multi meter and the result was the right side not working does not have voltage coming in and the left working side is at least 6volts. All connectors in the right side are all intact and no loose wires. I am confused as to what is going on, I tried unplugging the negative battery but it is still the same. I don’t think Halos are controlled by a ballast right?
        Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.
        Thanks.
        Ed

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      • I don’t know which headlight assemble you have,,,,you did a good job switching bulbs,,,,that’s what I would have done,,,,but there might be a headlight module underneath the headlight ,,,,,,if there is see if you can swap them out to the other headlight to see if it works,,,,,if not the best way to element the headlight,,,,if you can swap the right and left headlight and just hang them in place,,,,and see if the problem follows,,,,if every thing is ok,,,,then the lamp module might be bad,,,,,are there any faults in the system.

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      • Ed says:

        I am not quite sure either, there is a ballast on the side but I don’t think that the Halo is controlled by the ballast. The module that you were referring to does that sit below the headlight or do I have to remove the fender line to get access to that. I have checked on the vin# and I cannot find a reference to the module vin# NN00433, I believe it has adaptive light as bell. This is just strange not getting voltage coming in the circuit.
        Thanks for your response I really appreciate it.
        Ed

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      • You are saying your not getting voltage into the headlight at the connection,,,,make sure the ground wire is good at the connection,,,,if that is good and no power at the headlight connection,,,,compare the right and left headlight for power and ground,,,,then maybe you lamp module is bad

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      • Ed says:

        The bulb and wires of the Halo light is inside the headlight assembly and this can be access through the back side of the headlight assembly by removing a round plastic cover. There are 3 wires connected to the halo connector (2 black and 1 red wires) and I am not getting voltage in the connector. I can see inside of the headlight a large connector that is I think connected to the ballast which is attached to side of the headlight assemble, do you think this ballast supports the ground or voltage to the halo? I have to strip it this weekend to see exactly where the lamp module might be sitting.
        Thanks – Ed

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      • The ground might be activated from the Lamp module,,,,and the headlight module supports it,,,,you might have to remove the front bumper to remove the headlights

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      • Ed says:

        that’s what I thought the only way to access the module even just for the ballast you have to remove the front bumper. Oh well, I think this would be an interesting project this weekend. Thanks so much for your assistance I will keep you posted.
        Ed

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  4. ed says:

    Hello there I inspected the oil housing for possible oil and there seems to be no leak around it it bus clean and oil leak free Iowa’s wondering how about the oil cooler would you happen to know where that is located so I can check.
    Thanks for your assistance.
    Ed

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    • Does your car have a oil leak,,,,,I don’t understand what your trying to do,,,,I thought you were taking off the oil filter housing to replace the gaskets

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      • edskie1@gmail.com says:

        Hi There – yes I have an oil leak and I can see it right by the driver’s side bottom engine and I thought it was coming from the oil housing so I thought about asking you how to remove it. But then when I inspected it prior to removal I do not see any leak around it so I thought it must be coming out somewhere. I could not locate the oil cooler so I thought about asking you the location of the oil cooler. So I was looking at the front of the engine and it seems to be wet where the pulleys, any idea where the oil cooler is?
        Thanks so much.
        Ed

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      • Ok,,,,I understand now,,,,,ok is there any oil on the upper radiator hose that goes to the oil filter housing,,,,check the underneath the hose,,,,if the radiator hose is clean,,,,,then the oil filter housing is good,,,,you said there is oil around the front lower pulley,,,,it could be the front crank seal behind the pulley,,,,,we don’t see that leak that much,,,,,do you see oil leaking from the bottom of the engine,,,,,how is the oil pan gasket,,,,they leak from the right rear of the engine,,,,next to the transmission

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      • edskie1@gmail.com says:

        thank you so much – I will check after my trip from Southern Cal at least I have an idea based on what you suggested to check, I really do appreciate your time responding it helps and helps to save some $$ – much appreciated thank you I will keep you posted.

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      • Ok,,,enjoy your trip to Southern California

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      • edskie1@gmail.com says:

        Hello there – I was inspecting possible leaks around the oil housing and it seems that there is oil sipping at the very bottom of the housing and it is more visible the way the oil runs down the engine body so I decided to buy the gasket over the weekend. Your suggestion in pulling the intake about 2 inches would an E10 torx swivel 1/4 socket able to reach that bolt or I can also do it with a 3/8 drive socket because I am having a problem locating a 1/4 drive – thanks Ed.

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      • If you can find a 1/4 drive would be easier,,,,,3/8 drive you might have to pull the intake manifold further back to get the 3/8 drive in there,,,,,good luck

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      • edskie1@gmail.com says:

        I finally finished my DIY this past Saturday and I tell it was a great experience, success and very happy with it I don’t see any leak anymore. It took me few hours to get to it (I have to order the 1/4 e10 socket). One thing thought, when I reinstalled the first bolt on the intake manifold (near the oil housing) it did not go all the way down and I was afraid that if I try to drive it the way it was before it would snap or break so I ended up putting at least 3 washers and it held pretty well. Thanks so much for advise BMWT I really appreciate it.
        Ed

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  5. The Only Nguyen says:

    Can you confirm the following torque specs for my 2011 535i? I will be repairing the OFHG and OFCG this weekend:
    -Intake Manifold (I believe it is 11ft/lbs or 15 Nm)
    -Oil filter housing (to block) and Oil filter cooler (I believe both are 16 ft/lbs or 22Nm)

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  6. I had this done at the dealer and they allowed contaminants into the oil gallery down stream of the filter and the engine lasted about 6 miles. Seized with no warning. They are replacing motor with a used one but not turbo or oil coolers saying they can clean those. Ever seen this happen before? What else would you swap out with a oil related failure? Thanks!

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    • No I haven’t seen this before,,,,and why aren’t they putting in a new motor,,,,I don’t understand that,,,,,if we have screwed up on anything we always put a new part in the car,,,,,I wouldn’t want a used engine from something I know nothing about.,,,I would fight for a new motor they screwed up.,,,,the turbo should be ok ,,,,if the propeller still turns it should be ok.

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      • They “Aren’t admitting fault” but since it was so close to the time they were in it they are “taking care of it” which is why they aren’t going with a new long block and I have been getting some push back on other things “well we don’t know what killed it”….BS guys you were the last ones in there 10 mins before a catastrophic oil failure.

        “New” engine is about 8000 less miles and we have run the vin and it was well serviced, so I am OK with it but still leery. It has been at the shop for 3 weeks as of monday.

        I picked it up last night and it sounds and runs great. Maybe even a little more willing to rev than the old motor? They said it would have a 1 year parts warranty on it and now they are back tracking….saying I need to pay the warranty cost. That will be an issue.

        Also want to charge me for the original OFHG repair!!! The “New” engine had it done last august and it was totaled shortly after.

        Also want to charge me labor for the new clutch I put in. WTF if you were swapping the clutch it would take way longer than opening the new box and installing new parts.

        So this will be an interesting conversation to resolve all this.

        I need to go pick up the motor (which I have to pay core charge $300) but I figure it is worth that in coils, injectors, hpfp etc. I think I will pull the pan and see if I can see where it bound up. My guess is a blocked squirter and a stuck piston. At that point I may just have to clean it up and rebuild it……then swap it into my e30. If it is mains then maybe a finely cast magnesium coffee table.

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      • It would make a nice coffee table,,,,I don’t understand the charging of putting in a new clutch while swapping engines,,,,you have to do it anyways,,,I’m glad everything is working out for you.

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