Dealing With BMW Oil Cooler Gasket Issues

BMW Black Smoke From Exhaust

The function of your BMW’s oil cooler is to essentially work as a water-to-oil heat exchange. The oil cooler uses the engine’s cooling system to remove excess heat from the engine oil. After this, the coolers are supplied with engine oil from an adapter located between the engine block and oil filter. From the engine, oil is circulated into the cooler where coolant from the radiator system is circulating and creating conditions similar to most home air conditioning units.

The oil cooler has 2 gaskets that connect the oil line to the oil cooler and return the oil to the motor. One gasket is responsible for sealing the oil cooler to the engine block while the other seals the oil filter to the adapter. When the gaskets wear out, on either end, this will cause an oil leak.

How to Recognize a Bad Oil Cooler Gasket

There a handful of signs that may help to lead you to the conclusion that there is a problem with your oil cooler gasket. Although this information is meant to help you in knowing what you need to have serviced at your local auto shop, it is imperative that you seek an expert’s opinion when it comes to issues with your BMW. The misdiagnosis of engine problems can lead to a potentially serious issue going untreated and possibly severe or permanent damage to your engine.

Decreased Engine Performance

If you have a worn or damaged oil cooler gasket, you will start to notice the performance of your vehicle’s engine decreasing in quality. This will manifest in poor acceleration and quite possibly a lower maximum speed. Your engine will generate significantly higher temperatures while in operation, which can lead to even more serious issues. The excess heat is generated because the engine is not being cooled quickly enough by a sufficient flow of oil.

Black Smoke

You may also see thick, black smoke being emitted from your exhaust. This is especially urgent to treat because this smoke is poisonous. If possible, it is best to turn your BMW off as soon as you see it, because any more driving may cause irreparable damage to the engine components.


With a damaged or bad oil cooler gasket, you may also experience vibrations coming from your vehicle’s engine. You must be extremely attentive to this symptom. However, as it can be a sign of many different things, it is important to have professional help when dealing with any automotive issues.

Distended Radiator

This is the only symptom from which you can be sure that there is some type of damage to the oil cooler or oil cooler gaskets. When a radiator has been stressed beyond factory specifications, it can lead to severe deformation of the radiator, since the stress causes it to bend and warp. It may even appear to be football-shaped. The worst possible outcome from this is for the fins to burst and blow through the face of the radiator.

Trusted Repair of your BMW’s Oil Cooler Gasket

As previously mentioned, it is essential that you avoid driving your vehicle any more than you have to when you suspect an issue with the oil cooler gasket. BMW Radiator Change Operating a vehicle in such a condition can potentially cause irreparable damage. So upon noticing these symptoms, either turn off your vehicle and get a tow or immediately come into the nearest Mike John Imports for service.

We are Louisville’s leading source for automotive maintenance and repair, offering expert service to BMW and MINI Cooper owners. We understand how devastating it can be when such drastic problems come about with your vehicle, and because of that, we treat every vehicle as if it were our own. At prices up to 20% cheaper than our competitors and service of higher quality, you can be sure that you, your vehicle, and your wallet will be happy with the expert mechanics at Mike John Imports.

Call us today to schedule an appointment at your convenience, or stop in and visit one of our many locations in Crestwood, Hurstbourne, Jeffersontown, Louisville, St. Matthews, and Jeffersonville, IN. We look forward to becoming your trusted BMW repair, service, and maintenance shop.

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