Case Studies

BMW Engine – When Good Oil Pans, Go Bad – Oil Leaks

Drive Oil Level Data
Drive Oil Level Data

I title this when “Good Oil Pans Go Bad” to illustrate a point, 99% of the time, the engine oil pan does nothing but hold your engine’s oil, but when the gasket between the engine block and pan fails, it’s a bad thing.

Aside from the engine oil leak making a mess in your garage or parking space, and possible engine damage from low oil level, that oil has a nasty habit of finding it’s way to your engine’s catalytic convertor. Oil on a very hot item like a convertor at speed, aside from smoking and smelling bad, presents a very real fire hazard, not good. In addition, that oil finds its way into the engine starter, leading to premature and expensive starter failure. So yes, correction ASAP is important, very important.

As BMW Specialists in Maine, we see this leakage occur between 80,000 and 120,000 miles, on almost every late model BMW we service. It is not a customer or service caused problem, but rather a design issue, all sealing media have a finite design life, and for the BMW oil pan gasket, this is about it.

The good news is that we’ve developed a service protocol to fix it, the first time, and keep the parts kit on hand to do so. This is not a job for the new BMW tech, or the faint at heart, for it requires removal of front suspension subframe, drive axles, and suspending the engine in the air while the subframe is removed. We’ve developed to tooling to do this in efficient manner, without any stress on your auto, at a steep savings from the BMW new car dealer prices.

Some things to consider while the engine is apart, again the goal of our BMW technicians at the Atlantic Motorcar Center is to prevent problems, or catch small problems before they become big ones:

1) The front differential is right there, be sure to reseal it at the same time, and change the fluid as needed.

2) The engine oil level sensor, which has been a problematic item on the cars when the mileage gets up there, is simple to change at this point, with a very low labor cost, cheap insurance to make sure you’re not back in a week or two with a oil warning light.

3) Great time to look at the power steering rack, and pressure hoses for any wear, leakage or damage, never easier to replace then when the steering rack is out.

4) Steering rack coupler, we often find the small universal joints in the steering coupler, which connects your steering wheel shaft to the steering rack, are binding, which, if left uncorrected, leads to tight steering and/or premature steering rack failure. Again, cheap insurance to check or change the coupler at this time.

5) Steering alignment, since the steering gear is out of the car, it is almost mandatory to check, or adjust the vehicle’s front suspension alignment.

Not a simple repair, yes, but one, if done correctly, will last another 100,000 miles. That’s our goal with BMW, and other autos here, fix it right the first time, and prevent problems from happening in the first place. 30 years of service experience have well taught us that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Be cured, once and for all, and give us a call, we’re happy to answer any service questions you might have on your BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Lexus, Volvo or Volkswagen.

Earning your trust, every time you turn the car…that’s what we do…every day…for the last 30 years. Click here see what our happy customers have to say about us and our service at AMC Customer Reviews. If you have questions, or if we can be of further assistance, just call us at (207) 882-969, we’d love to meet you, and your car!

Bruce and the AMC Service Team

Accessibility Toolbar