Every car brand and class has its own set of design quirks and flaws. BMW is no exception. These oddities rarely detract from the overall enjoyment of owning a BMW and are merely factors which BMW owners need to keep in mind.
In the case of BMW’s 6 series, in particular, drivers need to be aware of the increased risk for oil cooler gasket failure. When this part malfunctions or fails, it can trigger a whole host of connected issues and symptoms which need to be resolved by a professional. Let’s look at how and why this can happen to your model.
A gasket is a type of seal which prevents the fluids of your car, such as oil and coolant, from spilling and leaking where they shouldn’t. The oil cooler uses 2 gaskets, one of which is used to connect the adaptor to the engine block. The other connects the oil filter to the adaptor.
Over time, either of these gaskets can fail, usually resulting in a broken seal. The broken seal allows oil to leak from the system and seep into areas where oil can damage the components. This can cause a multitude of issues within your BMW.
Luckily for 6 Series drivers, oil cooler gaskets don’t fail without warning. Instead, there are many signs that indicate gasket wear or failure in your BMW. Listed below are some of the most common warnings that your oil cooler gaskets are failing:
If the gaskets are no longer able to seal in the oil, then logic dictates that it will start leaking. This will typically be seen pooling under your vehicle. Engine oil is easy to spot, as it is black but has a rainbow shine when it catches the light. If left unchecked, your BMW will continue to leak oil until there is none left, leaving your engine unlubricated and at risk of failure.
Your oil cooler does what it says: it cools down your oil. When it isn’t working properly because of bad gaskets, it will cause your engine temperatures to rise, so make sure you keep an eye on your temperature gauge.
A gasket not only keeps the oil in, but it also keeps debris and other contaminants out. When a gasket is loose or blown, it will allow all the grime that accumulates under the hood of your BMW to enter the oil flow. This will contaminate your oil and clog up the oil system. Oil sludge is very difficult to remove and is an expensive job which takes hours of labor and can damage your engine before it is professionally removed.
There are some protective steps that you can take to look after the many gaskets in your BMW. While you cannot fix them when they fail unless you’re an experienced mechanic, you can take preventative steps to help reduce the risk of failure.
First, keep on top of your oil changes. Old oil can put a strain upon various parts of the oil system, including the oil cooler and its gaskets. So, by looking after the oil, you will be extending the lifespan on these parts.
Next, make sure to check your oil levels frequently. This will allow you to monitor any unexpected drops in oil levels which could indicate a hidden leak. It will also allow you to top up your oil as needed.
Third, use high-quality engine oil, preferably a brand recommended by BMW for use in their cars. Good engine oil has additives and conditioners which can actually help to care for the internal workings of your car and also will last longer than cheap, low-quality oil.
Last, make sure you bring your BMW to a BMW specialist. Experts will be familiar with the common types of part failure known to the model of BMW you drive, such as oil cooler gasket failure in the 6 Series. This will ensure no underlying issues are ignored.
If you’re looking for your local BMW specialist and live near Corte Madera, Larkspur, Sausalito, Tiburon, or Mill Valley, CA, then look no further than Masters European & Japanese Auto Repair. We’re your local BMW experts, and our team is ready and waiting to help you with your BMW gasket problems, routine servicing, and more. Call us today.