Sunday, July 21, 2013

BMW 330i 2006 Broken Bolts, Valve Cover, Oil Pan.

Broken Bolt on the left
Broken bolts, BMW 330I 2006.

Like many of you I keep reading about my particular model years BMW with broken bolts.  I've read many articles and I've seen a few videos in YouTube, where this is brought up as a problem, some even go as far as to suggest a recall.  I've ran into this problem myself and to be honest I've fixed it myself because it's so expensive to go to the dealer to get it repaired.

Broken Bolt, Valve Cover Gasket BMW 330i 2006
First experience with this was with the Valve cover gasket bolts.  One snapped off, and oil started leaking from that side of the engine.  I was lucky that it was a very visible bolt and I was lucky enough that I could remove the leftover of the bolt by hand.  I ended up buying a new set of bolts, I ended up replacing the gasket because I figured I was going to replace the bolts might as well replace the gasket.  Side note, if you replace the bolts, go back a week later and check to make sure the bolts are not loose.  From the dealer this was a $1,500 job, I did it myself, only cost was the cost of the bolts.  You can get the bolts at: Babarian Auto Sports Website. click link to get you there.  It's $30 dollars for a set of bolts.

Broken Bolt, middle of picture, Oil Pan, BMW 330i 2006
My second experience with this was just this weekend, I ran into another snapped bolt.  This time it was in the Oil pan reservoir.  I started seeing oil in my drive way and I knew it could only be my Valve cover gasket, so I started looking inside the engine bay, could not see any oil around the gasket, so I decided to removed the plastic cover in the bottom of the car and I found the source of the oil leak, a broken bolt in the oil pan.  It looks like it's a major endeavor removing the oil pan, so I think I will wait on doing this repair myself, I may end up taking it to the dealer, I don't look forward to getting this repaired because I know it's going to be a very expensive job.

See a YouTube video below:

This is a link to the Oil Pan pictures:
Broken bolt pictures BMW 330I 2006 Oil Pan Bolt

This is a link to the Valve Cover Pictures:
Valve Cover Gasket Replacement, Because of Broken bolt on Valve cover.

In order to lessen the cost to repair all of this broken bolts, I invested in a repair manual, this has helped a lot in determining what it would take to repair all of these broken bolts, and it helped find the correct part numbers.  This is a link: Bentley E90 repair manual  I suggest the Hard Cover, it's much easier to handle.  I got it for $90 Dollars on

I think I determined that the best thing one can do to own a BMW was to keep it for a few years and then upgrade to a new one, this way you will always be under warranty, and you don't have to worry about any repairs.  I think this is the Master Plan for BMW.

Other problems that I've had to deal with, I ran into a problem with the Vanos, I cleaned it and didn't have more problems, a must after 30K or so.   I also had to replace a broken window motor, it was relatively easy to do, but I still haven't figured out how to reset the window, if you've ever done this before you know what I am talking about.  It's in the manual I bought, only thing its complicated to say the least.

Updated 4/19/2014  
I found this link to a place where you can send your complaints to:
Click on Search for Recalls.  You will see other people have complained about this issue too.

Link to all my Blogs, main Page:  See them all

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  1. Hi.

    Thanks for the post. I have the same problem with my 2006 325i, replacing the VCG and bolts. However, the mechanic said he couldn't find the ONE broken bolt and it may have ended up in the oil pan just like yours. Are you worried about driving the car with bolt in the oil pan? doesn't it end up in engine and cause permanent damage?

    The individual shop said it would cost $500-600 to remove the oil pan and remove the bolt.

    What you think?

  2. Hi Vamshi,

    I got lucky that my bolt didn't go through all the way to the oil pan. It's still stuck. I need to fix it one of these days. But it's such a big job, I am not sure when I will get to it. All I can do now is check my oil level more often because the oil does leak a bit.

    I would be concerned if the bolt went all the way through to the oil pan. I am not sure what I would do next, but to take it to the shop to get it fixed. I went to the dealer and they were asking for $1,500 to fix it. Shop around to different areas try to get the best price. Don't go to the dealer. It's too expensive there.

    It's too bad we have to deal with this type of problem. Thanks for posting in my blog. Hopefully we can spread the knowledge to other BMW owners.

    Mike Sauceda

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  5. I have been leaking oil for awhile now and noticed a broken bolt! Day Ruined. Thanks for the info!!

  6. Awesome Write up and links. I too have the dreaded snapped vcg bolt and its the worst one next to the firewall left corner so its very hard to access even with everything removed. BMW's are expensive to maintain and are over-engineered in some ways for no reason. There should be no reason that the gaskets fail under 60k and they should have used more metal instead of plastic for the brake lines; the hoses that attach to the oil seperator etc. Weight could not be an issue as the car is still heavier than the predecessors. I love the car but they will end of being in the junk yards with very few remaining in service. E90 generation is not a 30+ year car