Replace the Valve Cover Gasket on an E36 (1991-1999) 3 Series BMW
1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 BMW 3 Series Models
BMW 3 Series Includes: 316, 318, 320, 323, 325, 328, 330 and M3 .
One of the more common oil leaks on BMW engines is the large, long valve cover gasket. In general, it’s pretty easy to remove and replace this gasket. This article goes over in detail the procedure to replace the valve cover gasket. Begin by prepping the car. The only thing that you really need to do is to make sure that the car is cold. If you try to remove or install spark plugs in a hot car, then you may encounter problems with the spark plugs gumming up or damaging the relatively delicate threads in the aluminum cylinder head. Just make sure that the car is cold, or at the bare minimum, only slightly warm to the touch.
Let’s talk about the six cylinder cars first. The first step is to remove the top plastic covers from the engine. These serve no mechanical purpose – they are there only for decoration and to prevent dust and debris from getting into the recesses of the engine. On the six cylinder cars, there are two covers, a long thin one on the top of the car, and a wider one towards the left. Speaking of left, for the purpose of this particular tech article, I will refer to the left side of the engine as being on the left as you are standing in front of the car looking at the engine. The right side would, of course, be opposite to that. For reference, the windshield washer bottle would then be on the left, and the air filter would be on the right.
View the full DIY at PelicanParts here: BMW 3 Series (1991-1999) Valve Cover Gasket Replacement DIY