BMW N20 turbo oil line bulletin

 Here is the other bulletin that you guys have been talking about,,,,this is a list of the extended warranty on the N20 turbo oil line ,,,,this is the list of cars that are covered,,,,hopefully your cars are covered.

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99 Responses to BMW N20 turbo oil line bulletin

  1. Trevor says:

    I recently received a recall noticed for this problem. Coincidently, my car is showing a wastegate fault. Do you think I would be able to get the dealer to fix the wastegate issue under this recall? Can I make the argument that this flaw caused the turbo/wastegate to fail?

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    • That’s going to really hard to prove that the wastegate and turbo oil line are related

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      • Trevor says:

        OK. Thanks. I BTW, I love this site, keep up the good work. One more question, is it possible to repair athe wastegate without replacing the turbo?

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      • Yes you can replace the wastegate separately,,,,you either have vacuum wastegate or you have a electric wastegate

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    • Tom says:

      Recently (July 2018) our BMW dealer had to change the turbo oil feed line of our BMW 520i (2012 with 82.000 kilometers), due to extreme smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe during cold start after sitting more than one days. We’ve confronted BMW Group (Netherlands) with the documentation on this website and particularly with the extended warranty document (see the posting on this website on August 2, 2018) .
      BMW Group replies that this extended warranty only applies to N20 engines that were built for the US-market. Therefore BMW Group denies any responsibility in this case. However, I’ve read on this website that in many cases the replacement of the N20 turbo oil feed line was done under the cars warranty. Therefore I was wondering if those replacements were only performed on N20’s for the US-market? Or are there cases known where replacement of N20’s oil feed lines that are built for the (western) European market were (also) carried out under warranty (perhaps a general extended warranty as for the American market)?

      Like

  2. Trevor Lodge says:

    Great info…is it worth repairing the wastgate vs replacing a new turbo? What’s the cost range for repairing the wastgate vs the cost of replacing a new turbo? I’m just thinking if they repair the wastgate then the turbo craps out 10k miles down the road. Is a bad wastgate an indication the turbo is about to die?

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    • You have a good point,,,,I don’t know the price of the turbo or wastegate,,,,but I can tell you the new turbo comes with a new wastegate and the labor hours to replace a turbo is 5 hours

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      • Trevor says:

        Thanks again for the feedback. I opted for a new turbo. I won’t incur any labor cost since they have to disassemble the turbo to fix the recall, I just have to pay for the cost of the new turbo. Do you know if I can rebuild the old turbo to serve as a backup?

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      • You probably can have it rebuilt,,,,but I haven’t been able to find the parts to rebuild one yet,,,,I’m sure someone rebuilds them.

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  3. colin says:

    So, it appears that BMW NA is not extending the warranty for any of the N20’s placed into X1 chassis. I am wondering if there is a difference in the install, or just in the total qty sold and then wealth of the owner that made them decide to just allow the extension for the 3 and 5 series’? I was quoted ~$5k to do the turbo and return line, only 10k miles out of warranty. Any thoughts or guidance??

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    • The dealer can check and see if the problem is the turbo line or if the problem is the turbo,,,,,if the problem is the the turbo then you will replace the turbo oil feed line at the same time

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      • Jesus says:

        Just to add a quick question on the “covered” vehicles on the N20 oil line extended warranty bulletin. I just had oil line diagnosed as bad on my wife’s 2014 X1 and they said it wasn’t covered although they are paying for 50% of the cost. I think it should be covered 100% not matter what chassis they put that part in especially if the part was designed with a flaw. Am I wrong?

        Liked by 1 person

      • No I don’t think you are wrong,,,,the problem is that BMW thinks you are wrong,,,,lol,,,,BMW decides what is covered and what is covered sometimes it doesn’t make any cents

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    • sixspeedsteve says:

      I just discovered this problem with my 2013 X1, 40k miles, about a year out of warranty. I have a call into the dealer to setup an appt, but my initial reaction is that I am not happy that BMW appears to be excluding the X1 on this known issue, especially since it could amount to thousands of dollars in repairs.
      Jesus – I see you were able to split cost 50% – Any suggestions on how to negotiate with BMW is appreciated.
      I have two BMWs right now, at least the other is under warranty still …

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      • No really don’t have any suggestions ,,,,I would recommend the bulletin saying BMW knows there is a problem but the X1 is not covered with the same engine,,,,,also see if they can do some kind of goodwill repair,,,,maybe they will do a 50% split

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      • Jesus says:

        I basically pleaded my case to BMW first then the dealer. BMW then communicated with dealer on what if anything can be done to offset my cost. BMW in the end probably asked the dealer to help a BMW customer that has had other BMWs. So in short we got the valve cover gasket replaced and the oil line repaired for $1200 and a loaner for a week. We were out of warranty for 4 months for the oil line and as you know no real warranty for valve cover gasket leak. My experience is once the BMW starts leaking its going to find the next weak point in the system then leak again. This is my wife’s choice I drive a GMC truck otherwise I would have traded it.

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      • sixspeedsteve says:

        A little late, but wanted to provide a quick update here. I’m 100% satisfied with the way BMW handled this issue with my X1. My recommendation for anyone with this problem is to get your vehicle over to a well-rated BMW service center, let your advisor/manager know about the issue and that you’re familiar with the bulletin, and let them advise and advocate for you from there. If you’re ultimately stuck with cost for repairs, definitely run it by your local independent BMW service shop. Best of luck.

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  4. Benjamin says:

    Does this intentionally leave out the N26 due to a different design or is it assumed N20/N26 are interchangeable?

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  5. Warren says:

    I can’t thank you enough. I just brought the car into the dealership and I think having this bulletin definitely helped. They are replacing my ’12 328i oil feed line under warranty even though the rest of the car is out of warranty.

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  6. BMWFAN says:

    Hello BMWtechician! I am looking for a car for my mom, I’m thinking about buying a 2014 320i California version for her. Any problems with these car? Reliable? I want it to last at least 130,000 miles trouble free. Any input would be helpful thanks!

    Like

    • I would stay away from 2014,,,,,maybe go with a 2015 model year and a good extended warranty program so the car will be covered until 100k or what ever year it expires

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      • BMWFAN says:

        I don’t plan on buying the extended warranty. What would you say are some of the issues that make you worry?

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      • Working at a dealer we mostly see low mileage cars,,,,,usually once they get to 50k mile we don’t see them again,,,,,,so I personal don’t know what happens after that,,,,,I don’t know what problems you might have.

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  7. BMWFAN says:

    Do you see any problems at all before 50k?

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  8. Luis says:

    My 2013 X3 is throwing that white smoke at start up specially when it sits for a long time. According to the Vin # it was produced in 2012 so this bulletin should cover it. If i take it in to the dealership how would they tell if the problem is the turbo or the oil feed line? it looks like this bulletin only covers the oil feed line or does it cover the turbo as well? If they come back saying it’s the turbo, is there a way i can tell them to replace the oil feed line only (for free)? You have mentioned in another post that its about 50% chance is the oil feed line, i just done want them to tell me its the turbo($$$$) when it could very well be the oil feed line(free).

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    • Luis says:

      edit from the last post “i just DONT want them to tell me its just the turbo($$$$) when it could very well be the oil feed line(free).”

      Liked by 1 person

    • They should just replace the oil feed line to start with because they know it a problem and that it is covered under that bulletin.,,,I would tell them it smokes during cold start up when the car sits over night,,,,you can also video tape it on your I-phone and show the dealership that always helps

      Like

  9. mhdelarosa says:

    I had a ECU tune in 2012 that was apparently noted by BMW. So when I was at the dealer recently, they denied my replacement of the oil feed line due to this modification. Is there any way I can win this argument? Obviously, BMW put out a faulty oil feed line design and I believe this problem (white smoke in exhaust) would’ve popped up even without an ECU tune. I think I’m right, but just want your feedback. I really appreciate the info here. I was able to understand the issue better… Service advisor did a really poor job explaining the issue to me.

    Like

    • You are correct your ECU tune did not cause the oil feed line to go bad,,,,the oil feed line was a bad design,,,the problem is that the dealer flagged your VIN# saying the car has been modified,,,,once that happens BMW is not responsible any more for that vehicle.,,,have you tried another dealer maybe they will take care of the oil feed line

      Like

      • mhdelarosa says:

        That’s what I’ll try next. Hopefully it works. Any tips to help swing the decision in my favor?

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      • I have no tips for you,,,,you just have to find someone who knows the ECU tune has nothing to do with the oil feed line

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      • mhdelarosa says:

        Thanks! Also, should I have someone inspect the turbo to determine if there has been any damage from the feed oil leak? I thought I read somewhere that the leak would only cause reduced catalyst life. But in another thread I read that it could cause damage.

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      • They can check the turbo when they replace the oil feed line because the turbo has to be removed anyway,,,,but you should be fine with the turbo,,,,you would have problems if there was no oil then you have a big problem.

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  10. Javier says:

    Just one question (for the ones who suffered the problem or you Andreas when you observed it): does the white smoke apppears even if car remains completely idle during the first (let’s say) 30 seconds after startup? I am asking because in my case i can observe that if car is started and no movement happens with it, only very few smoke appears. But this does no smell to oil but also does not appear to be clean steam. It s like steam which smells to smoke (something like when a car starts with rich mixture). If just stsrt and i move the car in the first 30 secs then the amount of smoke is bigger..so it s something strange cause does not look oil smoke but neither clean steam… Someone has experienced that? May it be the issue of oil line at the very beginning of the issue??

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  11. Javier says:

    ..forgot to mention..just happens when car is cold… But again..what is puzzling me is that is even that is not smelling to oil, it does no look as “pure clean steam”…and alsonis not the black smoke of a rich..that s why i wasifondering if (almost),immediate codensation is normal in this engine(it takes about 5 seconds to appear after a cold start up)
    Thanks again!!

    Like

  12. Javier Guevara Vico says:

    Thanks, Andreas for your answer!! 🙂 . I will keep an eye during the next weeks to see how is it going.. However, there is something that i really do not understand from this issue. This is: as per the info I saw, the issue is that “When the vehicle is parked overnight the engine oil pressure will equalize, this may cause engine oil to leak past the turbocharger “exhaust side” turbine seal due to carbonization of the turbocharger sealing ring. ” .. but I have some questions:
    a) if the oil moves fom engine to the exhaust side due to carbonized sealed ring, why is not happening also when engine is normally running? Should not appear a continuous smoke plume when car is driving? or in other words, why only when engine is stopped?
    b) If they mention “due to sealing ring carbonization”, Should not be the sealing ring that should be replaced and not the oil feed pipeline?
    b) The “check valve” in the new pipe, seems to correct the problem. But as i could see, it prevents the oil to be moved from the engine area to the turbo. But isn’t is this the natural way of the oil whn engin runs? (i.e. from the engine to the turbo). It would be logical for me that this situation of “preventing return to turbo” would happen in the “turbo oil return” -from turbo back to engine- pipe but what it puzzles me is the fact that it’s mentioned in the “turbo feed line” -from engine to turbo-. I have this doubt, unless my misunderstanding is related to the naming convention of the “feed” and “return” line which do the opposite way as i believe.

    Well.. i try to make myseff understandable in my questions as much as i can . hope i was able to make it .. 🙂
    thanks again!!
    javier

    Like

  13. Shona says:

    My 3 series 2013 BMW just hit 55K miles and started showing the white smoke at start up. I took it to the dealer and they said it was the turbo line and ran my VIN and said it wasn’t under recall, so it would cost me $2000 to replace. But it there was a recall for this very thing on other 3 series made at the same time, so surely it means that there must be a problem on this too? Who should I call to make this happen?

    Like

    • I would call BMW ,,,or try a different dealer if you can they might help you out,,,,the labor is 4.5 hr plus parts

      Like

      • Shona says:

        Thanks for your reply, I made an appointment at another garage that works only on BMWs but isn’t a BMW dealership for a second opinion. I am also trying to research everything there is to know about how the feed line to the turbo works, how the oil leak happens and how many other 2013 3 series BMWs are having the same problem (it seems quite a few).

        Like

      • What happens when the car shuts off and sits over night oil drains from the engine from this oil feed line and sits inside the turbo,,,,so when you start it up in the morning there is to much oil in the turbo and you get that smoke in the morning until it burns off,,,,the new oil line has a check valve built in to it so the oil does not drain back in to the turbo.

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  14. Dan says:

    Hi,
    what else does the oil line problem affect? I want to leave it as is if there is no collateral damage to other parts. I live in Canada, we don’t have the recall here 😦

    Like

  15. Faisl says:

    Hi

    I have a 2012 F10 520i which has been showing “drivetrain malfunction” error for some time now. I have brought it to the dealership and they attempted to fix the issue about 3 times so far but I am still getting the same error. It happens when I press on the pedal “normally” however, if I press on pedal too hard, it doesnt show. If I turn emgine off and then on again, it goes away. I have recently noticed the white smoke if I switch on after 12 or so hours of being parked.

    Can you please tell me if I can show them this bulletin will they do it for free? I have paid around 8000 Riyals already for the 3 times they tried to fix it (around 2K USD)

    My car is out of warranty and has 146,000 KMS on it.

    Many thanks!
    Faisal

    Like

    • The smoke coming out the exhaust because of the turbo oil feed line does not cause the drivetrain malfunction light to come on,,,your drivetrain malfunction light is caused by something else,,,,on the turbo oil feed line I don’t think the dealer will fix it for free.

      Like

      • Faisl says:

        Thanks for the reply!

        After taking the car in 3 times already for the “drivetrain malfunction” and paying around $2K to get it fixed – which still to this day, its not!!

        SA told me last resort would be to replace the turbo which could cost me around $4K.

        Do you think this is reasonable? Any advice from your side?

        Thanks again!

        Like

      • What have they tried to fix the last 3 times

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      • I still would like to know what the faults are on the car and what they tried to fix the 3 last times,,,,,$4000 to replace the turbo sounds about right,,,,it pays about 5hr labor plus the parts

        Like

  16. Håkan H says:

    .Hi
    I have a F11 520i 2012. I have had the common problem with drive chain and turbo oil line, all of them fixed by my BMW dealer at my insurance companys cost. So far so good 🙂
    Now i have a new fault. After a trip in relatively hot weather it came up “Drivetrain Malfunction message”. I checked with my fault code reader and get this fault “120308 – Charging pressure control, plausibility: Pressure too low”
    Do you no what this can be? And how urgent is it to have it checked out. The car was running as normal the hole time and the message was gone after restart.
    Thanks in advance
    Håkan from Sweden

    Like

    • Hello Sweden ,,,,I don’t know if your engines are the same like in the States,,,,,but your car should have this turbo pressure valve,,,,it sits on or next to the valve cover on the exhaust side,,,,it has 2 vacuum hoses and a electrical connector on it,,,that part might be going bad,,,,,good luck in the World Cup

      Like

      • Håkan H says:

        Hi, thanks for your answer. I have order a new pressure valve i hope it solves the problem. It was not a very expensiv part.
        I start my vacation just in time for the world cup, first game monday against south korea.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Carlos Calderon says:

        I have this exact issue on a 2012 328i… Drivetrain Malfunction, error code 120308. Besides the turbo pressure valve and checking the various vacuum hoses for leaks, anything else to check?

        Like

      • There also a pressure valve on the turbo,,,,it is located behind the wastegate you might see a small electrical connector behind the wastegate and that’s a pressure valve.

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      • Håkan H says:

        It did not help to change the pressure sensor on my car, even switching to the new vacum hoses down to the turbo without it helping. After a number of troubleshooting with my BMW dealer, they have now come to the conclusion that they have to change turbo. Hopefully, this expense is also taken by my insurance company. What is strange is that the car has gone as usual all the time, except for the error message in the display.

        Like

      • Let hope the turbo fixes it

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  17. Michael says:

    My N20 X1 2012 turbo is damaged like crazy and BMW never did this recall. Do you think bad turbo oil lines couldve done that kind of damage To my turbo? Thanks for your time.

    https://e84.xbimmers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1372979

    Like

  18. Bonifacio Valencia says:

    how long does it take to replace turbo oil line? how long does it take to replace thermostat?

    Like

  19. Ali Madan says:

    i have a 2014 520i with an N20 engine.
    i started smoking and the dealer replaced the turbo line as is standard procedure.
    but the smoking did not stop. they opened a puma case, and today i was told it failed a pressure test, and the valves in atleast 2 cylinders are leaking.
    what is the standard procedure? will the dealer ask for engine repair or to replace the engine?

    Like

  20. alimadan says:

    i have a 2014 520i with an N20 engine.
    i started smoking and the dealer replaced the turbo line as is standard procedure.
    but the smoking did not stop. they opened a puma case, and today i was told it failed a pressure test, and the valves in atleast 2 cylinders are leaking.
    what is the standard procedure? will the dealer ask for engine repair or to replace the engine?

    Like

  21. Darren Gelber says:

    I see that the 2014 BMW X1 is not listed as covered by this extended warranty. My car (the 2014 XI1 is having this exact problem, and dealer is quoting $2100 to repair, saying it is not covered by this warranty extension. Can anyone explain why the XI is not covered?

    Like

    • I have no idea why the X1 is not listed,,,,this list is something from BMW came up with and they didnt tell us why.,,,that $2100 is a lot of money for turbo oil line,,,the job should only pay 5hrs labor plus parts,,,,and I don’t think the parts are that much money.

      Like

  22. wilson says:

    Hi bmwtechnician, when replacing a new turbocharger should all the old coolant line and oil supply line be replaced with new one or just have to replace the gasket, the old lines got about 90k miles on it.

    Like

  23. Bill Marceau says:

    my 2013 320i (build date of 4/13) has the smoke issue on startup. has any TSB/SIB been updated to include my car yet? last 7 of VIN is F462147. i called BMW of NA yesterday to inquire about any “active campaigns” for this issue and they had “nothing on file”…..and suggested i take my car into the dealership to have it “checkout out”. i really appreciate any info you can share.

    Like

  24. mike says:

    I understand that the oil inlet line should be replaced with the one that now has a check valve. My question is do I really need to replace the oil return line when replacing the turbocharger?

    Like

    • Yes it is a good idea,,,,because if you don’t and you have to replace it later the whole turbo has to come out again,,,,if you are replacing the turbo you should also replace both coolant hoses because of the same thing.

      Like

  25. Mike says:

    Any issues with a Mitsubishi turbo charger vs the original as a replacement? I only have 65,000 miles on a 2013 328i xdrive sedan and it failed early and out of warranty.

    Like

  26. Mike says:

    Thanks, FYI, after some more research, it looks like Mitsubishi makes the turbos for BMW and other car manufacturers so your factory ones are probably Mitsubishi.

    We have the smoke at start up especially after sitting a couple of days, but we also experienced smoke at stoplights and rough idling and power loss, the whining noise, and much burned oil. My conclusion is it probably isn’t just the intake oil line but the whole turbo as well. Would you agree?

    The pcv valve is fine and the timing chain looks ok from what I can see and wouldn’t explain all that, just also possibly a whining noise. We are 5 days and 5,00 miles below the extended warranty on the timing and oil pump chains, but I don’t think they will cover replacement since it appears to be the turbo and they haven’t actually gone bad yet (although, I think they and the turbos should be recalls). Would you agree with that too?

    Like

    • No we don’t see to many problems with the turbos going bad,,,,don’t get me wrong they do go bad sometime,,,BMW has no recalls on turbos only on the N54 engine when they first came out,,,,you said you have a whine noise,,,is it the turbo or the timing chain?

      Like

  27. Mike says:

    It is difficult to tell. I don’t have a stethoscope (maybe I should get one), but with the other conditions I am thinking it must be the turbo. Given the symptoms, I have doubts that it’s just the turbo oil inlet line and the timing chain at the same time.

    Like

  28. DParihar says:

    Hello, my 2013 BMW 528i has excessive white smoke coming from the exhaust after sitting in the driveway for few weeks. I took it to a local BMW service center today and they notified me that the turbo has failed due to oil leak. Would this be related to this service bulletin and the repairs be covered by the BMW extended warranty? The $ of repairs is very high – in the $4K+ range. Thank you for your time and help.

    Like

    • Question did they show you the oil leak,,,,also your car would have a check engine light on and your car would have no power if the turbo is not working,,,this whole thing doesn’t sound right,,,,I think your whole problem is the turbo oil feed line update to fix the smoke if the car sits over night,,,,,I would get a second opinion or find a really good independent BMW repair shop.

      Like

  29. Mike says:

    I didn’t see the uploaded sound videos of bad timing chains and turbos before. Here’s a video. I still think it’s a blown turbo : crazy amount of smoke at start up after sitting, good amount of smoke while running, whining, oil loss, lack of power, and it now will cut off and not idle when starting up, and I am seeing some oil leakage on engine mount by turbo. There’s only 65,000 miles on it! Do you agree it’s the turbo and not the timing chain?

    https://streamable.com/90n0ij

    Like

  30. Mike says:

    Thanks, I am not sure what would cause it to fail so early. I assume BMW would not cover it in relation to the oil feed line problem. I think California might have heavier emission issues protection but I am in Illinois. I used to be a big BMW fan, but now I am really disappointed with this n20 engine and the multiple potential issues including other engines. If they sell their cars at a premium because they supposedly make premium cars, then their warranty should at least match Hyundai’s 100,000/10 year warranty, especially when they decide to cut corners by using more parts out of plastic like timing chain guides and valve covers.

    Like

  31. Mike says:

    You said that you would replace both coolant and oil lines since it was being removed. What is your opinion of the stock lower air intake pipe and other vacuum/air tubing? Are they usually good or should we replace with something like this:

    https://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-591415-upgraded-silicone-lower-air-intake-pipe-turbo-inlet-n20/

    What about the intercooler, should it be flushed out?

    Do you recommend Thread lock on the turbo bolts? Is anti-seize compound recommended anywhere else?

    Now trying to buy everything needed, thanks for any tips/help.

    Like

    • Yes the intake pipe and other air tubing is good,,,the cloth vacuum hose can be replaced,,,,no thread lock tight on turbo bolts,,,,you can use anti seize doesn’t hurt,,,,no need to flush out the intercooler,,,,you can blow it out with air and clean the cooling fins,,,,just make sure nothing is inside the intercooler.

      Like

  32. Mike says:

    Thank you, you have been very helpful.One last thing as I am ordering parts: Obviously you want new gaskets and o-rings but what about the 10 copper flange nuts and the 2 expensive exhaust pipe clamps- can they be re-used? pt# 18307628660 and 1837606136 ($66 for the two).

    Like

  33. bill says:

    i had my oil feed line replaced by my dealer at 60K miles (paid for it myself) and just changed the spark plugs…..which had some oil residue on them. could this be from the oil feed lines before they were replaced? or does this mean my head gasket needs to be replaced? 2013 320i w/61K miles. i have pics but don’t see how to upload them.

    Like

  34. bill says:

    here’s s link to the pics. old vs new:

    Like

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