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vernors vernors is offline
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Default How many manufacturers can there possibly be? - 04-22-2019, 04:57 PM

So I've got a 2010 535i with 29k miles and I noticed oil pooling around and in some of the wells close to the spark plugs. I've also got a nasty oilish smell coming from the cabin vents.

I originally thought it was the catch can install, but ruled that out since all the hoses are tight.

I'm guessing it's the valve cover gasket and/or possibly the valve cover itself. I've heard that this is a known weak point of the N54. I'm just surprised that there is an issue with so few miles.

Still, I've purchased a Fel-Pro gasket and am going to replace.

While I'm at it, I think it's probably a good idea to replace the valve cover as well. It could be brittle or even cracked, and until I pull it off I won't know.

So, in looking around there are a lot of options and some branded and unbranded covers for sale.

It got me thinking, seriously how many different companies could possibly be making such a small volume part? Isn't it more likely that only one or two companies are making them all?

Anyone know? Just curious as I'm not going to pay the price for an OEM/Dealer part.

Last edited by vernors; 04-22-2019 at 05:13 PM..
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Default 04-23-2019, 12:41 AM

I’ve seen cracked valve covers / gaskets often. I don’t see it as a mileage item, but more a time issue. Especially for guys that live in areas where it gets cold / rubber gets brittle and often cracks.

Personally, I prefer going OEM > off brand, but that’s just me.


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vernors vernors is offline
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Default 04-23-2019, 09:11 AM

Interesting and that makes sense. Yeah, when in doubt go the route of OEM. That's the best policy, but in my case I'm going to gamble on the fact that this is such a low volume part that there probably isn't that many manufacturers.

I just purchased two covers, one from Amazon and another from a different source. I'm going to compare them, looking for manufacturing codes, form marks, etc. I'm curious if there will be a difference.
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