Warped E46 Valve Cover? Or Just a VCG Repair?

Think you have an E46 warped valve cover that is leaking? It’s not uncommon for a BMW 3-series between 1999-2006 to show this symptom. Being that these vehicles as of today are between 10-17 years old and have about 150k-255k+ miles.

Because of this common issue with BMW E46 valve covers, sometimes it can go misdiagnosed and cause people to do a complete VCG repair, and ignoring the real problem.

e46 warped valve cover
E46 fanatics forum

It’s always good practice to check the condition of the cover, before doing a VCG, because there are cases where you might need to replace it also.

What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Warped Valve Cover?

  • Oil is leaking under the car or other engine components.
  • Debris and oil around the valve cover.
  • Slight oil burning smell.
  • Oil found in spark plug wells.
  • Oil on the exhaust, transmission pan cover, etc…

If you need more information to figure out if you have a warped cover, there is some good information in these forums:

Warped valve cover question – bimmerforums.com

Warped valve cover??? – bimmerforums.com

Warped valve cover? – bimmerfest.com

Warped valve cover – M3forum.net

Oil Leak: Warped Valve Cover or VSG? – bimmerforums.com

Replacing E46 Warped Valve Cover with Genuine BMW Valve Cover?

Depending on your BMWs engine model there are two different part numbers. You’ll find that the 11 12 1 432 928 is (pre-09/2002) and the 11 1 27 512 839 is (post-09/2002).

On the pre-09/2002 the center piece where the six ignition coils go is made out of metal, whereas in the post-09/2002 models it’s made out of plastic.

How to Install a New E46 Valve Cover?

Watch these two videos by BAVARIAN autosport. These guys know what they’re doing, and they’re a trusted source in the BMW community.

Is your VC leaking? Have you run into this problem before? Do you have any tips or tricks for other E46 owners? What worked, what didn’t?

Leave a comment below for E46valvecover.com visitors!