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      05-15-2020, 11:19 AM   #1
indulj
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2011 Z4 sDrive35i Valve Cover & Gasket Replacement

Hello fellow members. I'm a newb to the site and also to BMW ownership, so forgive any ignorance on my part. I do very minor maintenance myself, but I definitely don't claim to be a mechanic. I'm hoping for some advice/guidance.

I drive a 2011 Z4 sDrive35i. I was replacing my spark plugs and coils yesterday, and found that there is some oil leaking into one of the plug wells and made for a fairly rough looking plug. A local German auto shop mentioned that the valve cover gasket needs to be replaced, which makes sense. He also mentioned there's a chance that the valve cover might be warped since it's plastic. My car has been stock (no performance mods) and has 74,000 miles on it. Does anyone have any insight to give me in this situation? Expectations for costs (just gasket vs both cover & gasket)? The likelihood of my cover being warped, given my mileage? I would greatly appreciate hearing about similar experiences. Thanks guys & gals.
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      05-16-2020, 03:10 AM   #2
KennyP
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I would get new valve cover kit. It comes with new gasket already installed, bolts in place. Just old one off and new one on. Dont have to scrub old gasket from valvecover and install new one on there.

I have heard that some shops dont replace gaskets anymore. They only do the job replacing the cover aswell, because the same customer comes back later with cracked valve cover. Valve covers i havent heard of warping, but they do crack and leak oil. its common.

So if you are going to remove wiring harness, uninstall fuel rail and coils to get to the cover, then i think its better to replace the cover aswell. You get new PCV valve with new cover too. That can cause problems on N54 engines aswell and they are built into the valve cover.

Prices: Oem valve cover kit is around 400 USD. There are aftermarket ones as cheap as 200 dollars. Better aftermarket ones that i would trust like VAICO are tiny bit cheaper than OEM, around 360 or something. So i would go OEM to be sure. Gaskets are 10 times cheaper.

So your choice: Save 350 bucks and risk doing the work again later, or do it all at once and be done with it.

If you want to DIY. There are excellent guide videos on youtube how to do it... they are mainly 335i but its all pretty much the same. Its even easier in the Z, more room and no cowl you have to remove.

https://youtu.be/bJGvN9HNJuw

I havent replaced mine yet, But i do regularly check my valve cover because i know its coming soon and i want to catch it before there are pools of oil in the engine bay. Thats why i did some research on the matter.
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Last edited by KennyP; 05-16-2020 at 04:02 AM..
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      05-16-2020, 11:23 AM   #3
indulj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyP View Post
I would get new valve cover kit. It comes with new gasket already installed, bolts in place. Just old one off and new one on. Dont have to scrub old gasket from valvecover and install new one on there.

I have heard that some shops dont replace gaskets anymore. They only do the job replacing the cover aswell, because the same customer comes back later with cracked valve cover. Valve covers i havent heard of warping, but they do crack and leak oil. its common.

So if you are going to remove wiring harness, uninstall fuel rail and coils to get to the cover, then i think its better to replace the cover aswell. You get new PCV valve with new cover too. That can cause problems on N54 engines aswell and they are built into the valve cover.

Prices: Oem valve cover kit is around 400 USD. There are aftermarket ones as cheap as 200 dollars. Better aftermarket ones that i would trust like VAICO are tiny bit cheaper than OEM, around 360 or something. So i would go OEM to be sure. Gaskets are 10 times cheaper.

So your choice: Save 350 bucks and risk doing the work again later, or do it all at once and be done with it.

If you want to DIY. There are excellent guide videos on youtube how to do it... they are mainly 335i but its all pretty much the same. Its even easier in the Z, more room and no cowl you have to remove.

https://youtu.be/bJGvN9HNJuw

I havent replaced mine yet, But i do regularly check my valve cover because i know its coming soon and i want to catch it before there are pools of oil in the engine bay. Thats why i did some research on the matter.
Thanks for the insight. I might try to do it myself. I watched the video and it doesn't seem difficult, just a lot of steps, mostly things to remove. Just a little time consuming. Saving money at this point is a little more important to me than it was a couple weeks ago. I just had the water pump replaced, which I was informed was caused by oil leaking onto it from a leaking oil filter housing gasket. Also had the thermostat replaced per recommendation. All that fixed was around $1,700.
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      05-16-2020, 12:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indulj View Post
Thanks for the insight. I might try to do it myself. I watched the video and it doesn't seem difficult, just a lot of steps, mostly things to remove. Just a little time consuming. Saving money at this point is a little more important to me than it was a couple weeks ago. I just had the water pump replaced, which I was informed was caused by oil leaking onto it from a leaking oil filter housing gasket. Also had the thermostat replaced per recommendation. All that fixed was around $1,700.
Im planning to do the same. Not that hard.
Had oil filter housing gasket done in january. I had new aux belt and tensioner put on because of it, and new coolant. Guess i was lucky with the waterpump then.Did it in a friendly local shop and paid around 500 eur. New gapped iridium spark plugs got installed in that price aswell.

https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/e...h-lid/8IblvEAp

Link to service manual. Can find tightening torques there.
Service manual says to remove injectors but DIY videos show that its clearly not actually needed.

Good luck!
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      05-16-2020, 12:59 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the info and good will. We'll see how it goes.
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