2004 BMW 325i 2.5L M56 E46 Valve Cover Replacement

If you have a 2004 BMW 325i (M56) and it’s leaking oil, this is a very common issue with this era of engines, also know as the E46 development body style. It’s more common among the plastic valve covers, but the aluminum covers have been known also to crack with time.

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

2004-bmw-325i-2.5l-M56-e46-valve-cover

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 2004 BMW 325i 2.5L M56, it’s also recommended to 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

$321+

Estimated repair time

1 hour 30 minutes

Removal and Installation Guide

E46 Bentley Service Manual  (PDF)

Removing and Installing, Sealing Cylinder Head Cover (PDF)

2004 BMW 325i 2.5L M54 E46 Valve Cover Replacement

If you have a 2004 BMW 325i (M54) and it’s leaking oil, this is a very common issue with this era of engines, also know as the E46 development body style. It’s more common among the plastic valve covers, but the aluminum covers have been known also to crack with time.

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

2004-bmw-325i-2.5l-M54-e46-valve-cover

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 2004 BMW 325i 2.5L M54, it’s also recommended to 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

$321+

Estimated repair time

1 hour 30 minutes

Removal and Installation Guide

E46 Bentley Service Manual  (PDF)

Removing and Installing, Sealing Cylinder Head Cover (PDF)