The cost to repair an oil leak on your BMW starts at $400, the price will depend on the BMW model and equipped engine. For example, a common oil leak for a 2002 BMW 525i, is the valve cover gasket. This repair is approximately $400 for parts and labor. On the other cost spectrum, a valve cover gasket job on a 2008 750i will be in the region of $1,600-$1,800.
As it would probably seem from our cost examples above, leaking valve cover(s) are an incredibly common oil leak, on just about every BMW on the road. As your valve cover(s) begin to leak oil, you may experience a burning smell as you drive or sit idling. In many cases, smoke can be seen coming out from under the hood. This is due to the oil leaking onto the hot exhaust manifold(s), causing smoke as it burns the oil externally. Other common indicators of a possible oil leak from your BMW are oil spots on your garage floor or carport.
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Unfortunately, engine oil leaks from seals and gaskets are an inevitable reality when owning a BMW, and most German made vehicles. There is no preventative measure that can be taken in order to prevent oil leaks, but you can certainly act quickly to repair these leaks and avoid further repair costs.
The cause for BMW’s incredibly common, laundry list of oil leaks is somewhat speculative. Although no rubber gasket can last forever, BMW’s gaskets appear to last much shorter compared to other automakers. People speculate this is due to BMW using a more “natural” type of rubber, rather than synthetic. Either way, avoid postponing these repairs if possible!
Postponing these oil leak repairs can certainly cause other issues. Depending on the severity of the leak, you could potentially lose enough oil to cause engine damage, ie. N62 alternator bracket gasket leak. Top end gasket leaks can saturate coolant hoses and drive belts, causing premature failure of said components.
As BMW experts, we urge our customers to avoid putting off these repairs, if at all possible. As equally important, choose the correct repair facility to fix your BMW’s oil leaks. Make sure they are qualified to perform these repairs and use quality OEM parts.