Valve cover gasket leaks are common after 60,000 miles. Symptoms will include oil drips under the vehicle and burning oil smell from the engine compartment.
Car Problem Reports
BMW 325Ci Oil Leaks From Engine Area
BMW 325Ci Problem
Average Mileage: 92,241 mi (38,000 mi - 150,000 mi)
Visitor, 2005 BMW 325Ci, 110,000 mi
I had 3 oil leaks, oil pressure sensor, oil filter gasket and oil seals. This car has cost me a fortune to repair. NEVER AGAIN will I get a BMW
Visitor, 2003 BMW 325Ci, 111,111 mi
I don't have the oil drips, but whenever I'm excelling up an incline or "putting my foot into it" on a hill, I smell this strange odor - burning oil. A lot of people never can smell it - only me.
Replace valve cover gasket
Visitor, 2004 BMW 325Ci, 76,700 mi
I had started the car on a cold day, I let it warm up for a few minutes, then headed out. When I came to a red light, I noticed a burning oil smell coming into the cabin. I immediately took the car to my trusted garage who then told me it was the valve cover gasket. I had them repair/replace it.
Visitor, 2006 BMW 325Ci, 125,000 mi
I was lucky that this has happened so late in the vehicle's life, but was still expensive to repair. The bolts used to attach the valve cover are of inferior quality- something addressed in later BMW E9X models. These bolts tend to shear due to a combination of weak material, the canter of the engine within the bay, and torque upon startup/ spirited driving. Once a bolt shears it can cause a gap between the cover and gasket or damage the gasket enough to cause a leak.
In my case, 2 valve cover bolts sheared as well as 2 bolts holding the intake manifold onto the engine. I lost about 2 quarts in the span of 2 days- a pretty substantial leak if you ask me. Total cost at an Indy shop was ~$1000 including gaskets/ bolts/ oil/ labor. This is something you can do at home if you have the time (I didn't) and is fairly straight forward... No lift or special tools required if you already have a torque wrench.
Visitor, 2004 BMW 325Ci, 96,000 mi
It burns oil. It has not been fixed
Visitor, 2005 BMW 325Ci, 76,329 mi
VALVE COVER GASKET LEAKING
Visitor, 2001 BMW 325Ci, 125,000 mi
smoke from engine on left back side, barely noticeable,funny smell an oil spots near spark plug, im thinkin its the value cover gasket, how can i be sure,
I replaced the valve cover gasket myself. Very easy job.
i have just replaced the valve cover gasket and the leak seams worse, this the 2nd gasket i have put on in the last 6 months. i was very careful with the installation and it seemed to seat down properly. i have a new oil sending unit but have not installed it yet. problem #2 i seem to be losing coolant but can find no leaks. any ideas on either one of these.