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One of the most common places for BMW E46s to leak oil is from the valve cover. Model for 1999 thru 2006 suffered from this issue. If you have an oil leak down the exhaust side or front of your engine, it’s likely you need to replace your valve cover or your gasket.
When the valve cover gasket leaks, it can create quite a mess and seem much worse than it is. Engine oil can also leak into spark plug hole in the cylinder head, contaminating the ignition coil boot.
If you find a crack, you will have to replace valve cover.
Original Equipment Part Numbers
11 12 1 432 928 began production in 12/01/1997 until 09/01/2002 when 11 12 7 512 839 began production and it hasn’t been superseded to this day.
Valve Cover Replacement Cost
It really depends whether you’re buying a used one from eBay, a local junkyard, or a brand new part at a parts store. Doing it yourself over hiring a mechanic, can be another variable in your cost.
As far as your parts go, your cost will be between $150-400. Again, this is depending on whether you’re going to buy used over new.
I ran an estimate on repairpal.com and this was the result:
Obviously, this is an E46 valve cover gasket replacement quote, not just the cover. But it is best practice to do the gaskets as well, if you are doing this job already.
By BMW Chassis
By BMW Engine
By BMW Model – (11 12 1 432 928)
By BMW Model – (11 12 7 512 839)
Where to buy