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Old 02-07-2012, 12:33 PM   #14
Registered User
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 60
My Ride: 2003 325Ci (5-speed)
Originally Posted by greenvert View Post
Great writeup! I just did this replacement today as mine was leaking oil like crazy (also had to replace oil level sender and do an oil change, but that's unrelated!).

Car drives fine - but after a 45 minute drive on the freeway the SES light came on with codes P0171 and P0174.... something about it running lean. I cleaned off the head and valve cover well before placing them on, used a small amount of RTV as indicated, and tightened the nuts well. Any thoughts as to why this is coming up? Car seems to be running fine!
Sounds like you've got misfires from a vacuum leak. Probably from valve cover. Did you torque it all down properly to spec?

I did my valve cover gasket while doing my Vanos seals. Afterwards I was getting misfires on all cylinders with my peake tool. I just built a smoke tester and ran it on my car. Found the valve cover was leaking. So I will be replacing it again.

When I did my valve cover gasket I put the gasket on the head first which is where I think I made my mistake. The little fin that runs around the gasket and fits into the cover itself most likely was smashed down in some spots, even though I was careful placing it on. Shoulda known better, it didn't seem right while I was doing it. My neighbor decided to come and hang out while he was drunk off his ass HaHa He ended up drivin me nuts while I was trying to finish the job. So I was rushing to finish so I could get rid of him.

Anyway, you could:

1. Check the torque on the bolts to see if some are loose. (Use a proper torque wrench if you didn't the first time.)

2.Spray starter fluid around valve cover where it meets head while engine running. If engine idle changes while spraying in an area then its probably leaking from there. (You might not be able to spray enough of the fluid in some spots, so you might not find all leaks this way.)

3. You can build yourself a smoke tester to REALLY find out where the leaks are coming from.

Great write up by the way!
2003 BMW 325ci: Sport package, F1 Racing Stage II clutch/lightweight flywheel, AFE intake, Ebay headers,KONI YELLOWS/new mounts, Beisan Vanos seals, angel eyes, CDV delete, Curt trailer hitch, LED tails, lip spoiler, blacked out grill&trim&bumper reflectors. Tons of maintenance items done.
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