Home2007-2013 3 Series (E9x)BMW Oil Filter Housing Gasket Replacement - N52 Engines (1,3,5,6,7,X1,X3,X5,Z4)

BMW Oil Filter Housing Gasket Replacement – N52 Engines (1,3,5,6,7,X1,X3,X5,Z4)

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Repair Summary
This article gives detailed instructions on replacing the oil filter housing gasket and oil cooler gasket in a BMW N52 six cylinder engine. Even though we used a 2006 530xi (E61) to perform this repair, this article can be applied to any other BMW vehicle with the N52 six cylinder engine, including the 1,3,5,6,7,X1,X3,X5 and Z4 models with minor modifications to the repair steps.
E90 3 Series 323i
E90N 3 Series 325i
E90N 3 Series 325xi
E90N 3 Series 323i
E91 3 Series 325i
E91 3 Series 323i
E91N 3 Series 325xi
E91N 3 Series 325i
E91N 3 Series 323i
E92 3 Series 325xi
E92 3 Series 325i
E92 3 Series 323i
E92N 3 Series 323i
E92N 3 Series 325xi
E92N 3 Series 325i
E93 3 Series 325i
E93 3 Series 323i
E93N 3 Series 323i
E93N 3 Series 325i
E60 5 Series 523i
E60N 5 Series 525Li
E60N 5 Series 525i
E60N 5 Series 523Li
E60N 5 Series 523i
E61 5 Series 525i
E61 5 Series 525xi
E61 5 Series 523i
E61N 5 Series 523i
E61N 5 Series 525i
F10 5 Series 523i
F11 5 Series 523i
E83N X3 Series X3 2.5si
E85 Z4 Series Z4 2.5si
E89 Z4 Series Z4 23i
F18 5 Series 523Li
F18 5 Series 520Li
E60 5 Series 523Li
E60 5 Series 525Li
E81 1 Series 130i
E87 1 Series 130i
E88 1 Series 128i
E88 1 Series 125i
E82 1 Series 128i
E82 1 Series 125i
E87N 1 Series 130i
E90 3 Series 330xi
E90 3 Series 330i
E90 3 Series 328i
E90 3 Series 328xi
E90 3 Series 325xi
E90 3 Series 325i
E90N 3 Series 330i
E90N 3 Series 328xi
E90N 3 Series 328i
E91 3 Series 330xi
E91 3 Series 330i
E91 3 Series 328xi
E91 3 Series 328i
E91 3 Series 325xi
E91N 3 Series 330i
E91N 3 Series 328xi
E91N 3 Series 328i
E92 3 Series 330xi
E92 3 Series 330i
E92 3 Series 328xi
E92 3 Series 328i
E92N 3 Series 330i
E92N 3 Series 328xi
E92N 3 Series 328i
E93 3 Series 330i
E93 3 Series 328i
E93N 3 Series 330i
E93N 3 Series 328i
E60 5 Series 530xi
E60 5 Series 530i
E60 5 Series 525i
E60 5 Series 525xi
E60N 5 Series 530xi
E60N 5 Series 530Li
E60N 5 Series 530i
E60N 5 Series 528xi
E60N 5 Series 528i
E61 5 Series 530xi
E61 5 Series 530i
E61N 5 Series 530xi
E61N 5 Series 530i
F10 5 Series 530i
F10 5 Series 528i
F11 5 Series 530i
E63 6 Series 630i
E63N 6 Series 630i
E64 6 Series 630i
E64N 6 Series 630i
E65 7 Series 730i
E66 7 Series 730Li
F01 7 Series 730i
F01N 7 Series 730i
F02N 7 Series 730Li
E84 X1 Series X1 25iX
E83N X3 Series X3 3.0i
E83N X3 Series X3 3.0si
F25 X3 Series X3 28iX
E85 Z4 Series Z4 3.0si
E85 Z4 Series Z4 3.0i
E86 Z4 Series Z4 3.0si
E89 Z4 Series Z4 30i
F18 5 Series 530Li
F18 5 Series 528Li
F18N 5 Series 530Li
F02 7 Series 730Li
E70 X5 Series X5 3.0si
E60 5 Series 530Li

A BMW N52 oil filter housing gasket replacement will cure the infamous oil leak dripping from the left side of the engine.

The BMW N52 engine has several well-known oil leak issues - most notably the oil filter housing and oil cooler gaskets. Located on the front left side of the motor, the housing gasket seals the oil filter assembly to the cylinder head preventing engine oil from leaking from the connection seam. Since the BMW N52 oil filter housing also serves as the mounting platform for the oil cooler, there is a second gasket on the front of the housing that is prone to leaking as well.
Like all rubber parts in the N52 engine, long-term exposure to the motor's brutal heat conditions causes the housing and oil cooler gaskets to become brittle and eventually fail. Classic symptoms of a leaking BMW N52 oil filter housing gasket are engine oil "puddling" on the top and/or sides of the housing, oil or coolant on the cylinder head or ground around the front of the engine, and smoke emanating from the engine compartment.
This 2006 BMW E61 has the telltale sign of an oil filter mount gasket leak - oil residue on the front of the engine.
A BMW N52 oil filter housing gasket replacement is not technically challenging and can be done by any home mechanic with average abilities. We strongly recommend replacing both the housing and oil cooler gaskets during this repair...if one of them is leaking, the other is most likely going to fail soon as well. 
View the detailed parts diagram for this repair.
Includes detailed part diagrams, part numbers and links to purchase all of the required components needed to complete this repair.
Before starting this repair, you must have the following required parts.
All N20,N52,N54 and N55 engines
This gasket seals the oil filter housing to the attachment point on the side of the block.
N52 6 cylinder engine
This is the same factory oil cooler gasket that would be installed at the BMW dealership.
Fits all BMW vehicles
This is the same Genuine BMW coolant you would buy from the dealership.
All N20,N52,N54 and N55 engines
This is the same factory oil filter that would be installed at the BMW dealership. For the purist who only wants original factory parts used on their vehicle.
Section 1 - Replacing the Oil Filter Housing and Oil Cooler Gaskets
As discussed above, replacing the oil filter housing and cooler gaskets on the BMW N52 six-cylinder engine is very straightforward with very few parts that need to be removed or cleared out of the way. There is one oil filter housing mounting bolt located under the intake manifold, but it can be removed with a socket extension and universal joint. You DO NOT need to remove the intake manifold on the N52 engine to reach this mounting bolt.
  1. Locate the oil filter housing and oil cooler on the front left side of the engine.bmw n52 oil filter housing gasket replacement - Locate the oil filter housing and oil cooler at front of engine
  2. Remove the protective plastic cover off of the oil cooler. It simply unsnaps.bmw n52 oil filter housing gasket replacement - Unsnap the protective cover from the oil cooler Remove the oil cooler from the vehicle
  3. Use an oil filter wrench to remove the cover from the oil filter.bmw n52 oil filter housing gasket replacement - Remove the cover from the oil filter
  4. Remove the oil filter from the housing. Allow the engine oil to drain out of the housing. We like to use our fluid vacuum pump to suck all of the old oil out to avoid a mess when the housing is removed.bmw n52 oil filter housing gasket replacement - Remove the oil filter from the housing Let the engine oil drain out of the housing.bmw n52 oil filter housing gasket replacement - Use a fluid pump to remove any oil that doesn't drain out
  5. Disconnect the oil pressure sensor from the housing by depressing its metal release clip and pulling it free.bmw n52 oil filter housing gasket replacement - Depress the metal release clip on the oil pressure sensor plug Disconnect the oil pressure sensor.
  6. The oil cooler has a coolant hose attached to it that will need to be removed. We like using a pair of plastic pinch off pliers (like the one shown below) to clamp off the hose prior to removal. It is not absolutely necessary to use one, but it does help prevent an excessive flow of coolant from spilling out.bmw n52 oil filter housing gasket replacement - Hose pinch off pliers bmw n52 oil filter housing gasket replacement - Use a pair of pinch off pliers to clamp the oil cooler hose shut before removing it.
  7. Loosen the hose clamp and remove the coolant hose from the oil cooler. You may need to use the assistance of a flat blade screwdriver to get it off (be careful not to puncture it). Have a rag ready...a small amount of coolant will drain out of the oil cooler.bmw n52 oil filter housing gasket replacement - Remove the coolant hose from the oil cooler.
  8. Prop the coolant hose up and out of the work area so it doesn't leak coolant.bmw n52 oil filter housing gasket replacement - Prop the coolant line up so it doesn't leak coolant
  9. Next, the cylinder head coolant hose must be removed. This hose must be removed to access the lower oil filter housing bolt. Start by disconnecting the cylinder head coolant temperature sensor by depressing its metal release and unplugging it.Depress the metal release on the cylinder head coolant sensor plug. bmw n52 oil filter housing gasket replacement - Unplug the cylinder head coolant temperature sensor.
  10. Use a 10mm socket wrench to remove the two bolts anchoring the thermostat coolant hose to the cylinder head.bmw n52 oil filter housing gasket replacement - Remove the two bolts anchoring the thermostat coolant line.
  11. Grasp the thermostat coolant hose and remove it from the cylinder head. You may have to rock it back and forth while pulling to get it to release. Have some rags ready to catch the small amount of coolant that will drip from the cylinder head.bmw n52 oil filter housing gasket replacement - Pull the thermostat coolant line from the cylinder head
  12. Stuff a lint free rag into the cylinder head to keep the coolant loss to a minimum until the repair is finished.Stuff a rag in the cylinder head to keep the coolant from seeping out
  13. You now have clear access to the lower oil filter housing mounting bolt. Use an E10 external torx bit to remove it.bmw n52 oil filter housing gasket replacement - Use an E10 external torx bit to remove the lower housing mounting bolt
  14. Remove the upper mounting bolt with the E10 socket.bmw n52 oil filter housing gasket replacement - Remove the upper mounting bolt
  15. The final mounting bolt is underneath the intake manifold. Use a socket extension and a universal swivel to remove it. Use an extension and universal swivel to get the last mounting bolt under the intake manifoldbmw n52 oil filter housing gasket replacement - Remove the final mounting bolt under the intake manifold
  16. Grasp the oil filter housing and pull it free from the cylinder head. There is no need to disconnect the upper radiator hose from the oil filter housing for this repair (we feel the less hoses disconnected the better).bmw n52 oil filter housing gasket replacement - Grasp the oil filter housing and pull it loose from the cylinder head.
  17. Use a metal pick to remove the old oil filter mount gasket.Use a metal pick to remove the old oil filter mount gasket bmw n52 oil filter housing gasket replacement - Remove the old oil filter mount gasket
  18. Use CRC Brakleen to thoroughly clean the oil filter mount and cylinder head. Now is a great time to clean the engine block of any old oil sludge and dirt. Pay careful attention to the cylinder head - scrub it with a lint free cloth and CRC Brakleen removing any oil or corrosion. If hard tap water was used to mix coolant (instead of the recommended distilled water), you may encounter stubborn deposits around the coolant inlet. Use a soft brush to remove them.CRC Brakleen - great for cleaning your BMW engine bmw n52 oil filter housing gasket replacement - Spray the oil filter mount liberally with CRC Brakleen Thoroughly clean the cylinder head with CRC Brakleen bmw n52 oil filter housing gasket replacement - Thoroughly clean the oil filter mount
  19. Next, use a 10mm socket wrench to remove the three bolts anchoring the oil cooler to the oil filter mount.bmw n52 oil filter housing gasket replacement - Remove the three oil cooler mounting bolts The lower oil cooler mounting bolt
  20. Remove the oil cooler from the oil filter housing.Remove the oil cooler from the filter housing.
  21. Use a metal pick to remove the oil cooler gasket.bmw n52 oil filter housing gasket replacement - Remove the old gasket from the oil cooler
  22. Use CRC Brakleen to thoroughly clean the oil filter housing and oil cooler surfaces.bmw n52 oil filter housing gasket replacement - Use CRC Brakleen to clean the oil cooler Clean the oil cooler and housing surfaces
  23. Install new gaskets in both the oil filter housing and oil cooler. Press them in with your fingers making sure they are seated correctly.bmw n52 oil filter housing gasket replacement - Install the new gaskets in the oil cooler and oil filter mount
Section 2 - Final Reassembly
Reassembling the BMW N52 oil filter housing is very straightforward. It is simply the reverse of the above steps with no special procedures. We have included a handy checklist that shows the exact reassembly steps with important torque values for the mounting bolts.

KEYWORD REASSEMBLY Checklist

***The following steps were performed on a 2006 530xi...other models may vary. 
    • Install the oil cooler back onto the filter housing and torque the mounting bolts to 25 Nm (18 ft-lb).
    • Install the oil filter mount back onto the cylinder head and torque the mounting bolts to 25 Nm (18 ft-lb).
    • Install the thermostat coolant hose back onto the cylinder head and torque the mounting bolts to 10 Nm (7 ft-lb).
    • Plug the cylinder head coolant temperature sensor back in.
    • Reconnect the coolant hose to the oil cooler and tighten its clamp.
    • Plug the oil pressure sensor back in to the oil filter housing.
    • Reinstall the oil filter and torque the filter cap to 25 Nm (18 ft-lb).
    • Install the plastic protective cap back onto the oil cooler.
    • Top off the engine coolant.
    • Run the engine for a few minutes and confirm the=re are no leaks in the coolant hoses and gaskets.
    • Check the engine oil and top off if necessary.
    • Let the engine cool and check the coolant level again. Top off if necessary.
BMW N52 Oil Filter Housing Gasket Replacement Finished
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