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Old 03-21-2012, 01:18 AM
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Oil Control Valve & Oil Filter Housing Gasket

I did a search in the X3 part of XOutpost and didn't find a thread about the Oil Control Valve (OCV) so I thought I'd post one.

It seems clogging of the OCV is a common problem, at least on the M54. (probably any BMW with the device) My X3 3.0 belched out a huge plume of white smoke once last winter. I thought something internal to the engine had failed but it ran fine. It occasionally would puff oil smoke out the tail pipe at start up. Searching on line indicated this is the symptom that points to the OCV. I finally got around to replacing it recently. Left alone, it can cause other problems like blown seals due to the increase in crankcase pressure. At worst I read it could cause complete engine failure. (I guess if too much oil gets ingested at one time)

Bavarian Auto sells a kit for about $160 but I'm sure you can get the parts from most BMW parts suppliers. The kit consists of the valve and the hoses. Get both. The hoses will be brittle and you will break them getting the old one off.

Changing the valve is a hassle. There are several fasteners you cant see since the parts are under the intake manifold. I wont go into the details because thankfully Bavarian Auto has a series of three YouTube videos that show how to do the work.

Working on the left side of the engine I noticed I also had an oil leak. On-line research indiates it was most likely the gasket for the oil filter housing. Since I was working in the area, I opted to also change the seal. Its only about $6. Again, a bit of a hassle to replace. The air filter box, belts, power steering tank, alternator and power steering pump have to come off to be able to unbolt the housing.

It was slow going for me since this was the first time I had worked on this part of the engine and I wasn't sure how everything came apart. All total it was at least 15 hours. If there is a next time, I'd guess I could R&R the OCV and replace the gasket in 8-10 hours, maybe less.

Hope that information helps if people are searching the X3 forums for these items.

Chip
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