1999 BMW 323i 2.5L (M52 TU) E46 Valve Cover Replacement

If you have a 1999 BMW 323i (M52 TU) and it’s leaking oil, this is a very common issue with this era of engines, also know as the E46 development body style.

To repair this symptom correctly, you must do one of two things: replace the valve cover, or the valve cover gasket.

1999 BMW 323i 2.5l E46 valve cover replacement

It’s not uncommon for these plastic valve covers to crack after 10+ years of usage.

As far as availability there isn’t much choice besides going with the dealership or a trusted BMW parts store.

When you do this repair on the 1999 BMW 323i M52, it’s also recommended you replace the valve cover gasket, spark plug seals, nut seals, grommets, and copper sealing washers.

Parts needed

BMW E46 OEM Valve Cover

Recommended: E46 Valve Cover Gasket

Tools needed

Flat Head Screwdriver
3/8 Ratchet
3/8 Extensions (6″+)
Torque Wrench
8mm Socket
10mm Socket
19mm Socket
TORX 30 Socket

Optional: Drei Bond Sealing Compound 1209

Repair difficulty

Difficulty Intermediate

Estimated repair cost


Estimated repair time

1 hour 30 minutes

Removal and Installation Guide

E46 Bentley Service Manual  (PDF)

Removing and Installing, Sealing Cylinder Head Cover (PDF)