2010 BMW 3 Series oil pan gasket - concerns?

I was told (by BMW service) I need to replace my Oil pan gasket. Should I be concerned? It is expensive. My car has 109,000 miles on it.

How many miles do you drive before you need to add a quart of oil?
If you can go a 1000 miles before adding oil I would not worry about it.
If 500 miles, have an independent mechanic take a look.

I keep getting the same song and dance from my Toyota dealer. Fact: I have never needed to add oil between 5000 mile changes. Fact; there is not a drop of oil on my garage floor or my driveway.

These 2 facts fail to shut up the service writer because the oil pan sweats a little. The “fix” is $500 or so to reseal it, for which they would also clean the exterior of the oil pan.

Service departments often have conflicting interests from the car owner; write more business, any business is the pressure. My Mazda dealer is now doing the same thing. My wife’s car puts on 6000 miles a year, yet he insists I bring the car in every 4 months (2000 miles) for an oil change!!!

They have cars sitting on the lot for 4 months with only a demo ride. “Do they change the oil ?” I ask them.

If your car drips some oil, put a cookie sheet with kitty litter on it on the garage floor. Periodically change the kitty litter and live happily ever after.

Once you have significant oil leaking it’s time to reseal things. On my wife’s Nissan it was the rear bearing seal which cost $800 to fix, but the rest of the was in great shape and she drove it 6 more years.

You could get a second opinion from an independent shop that sees a lot of BMWs. BMWs are infamous for oil leaks from the oil filter housing, the valve cover gasket and the oil pan. The oil pan job is expensive because they have to drop the front subframe to get to it. The oil filter housing to block gasket can leak so badly that it might look like it’s from the oil pan gasket. This gasket is guaranteed to leak and at your mileage it probably needs to be replaced no matter what else needs to be done.

Many european high end cars have plastic belly pans . . . so it’s possible that even if the engine oil pan is in fact dripping a bit of oil, it might still never hit the driveway

The gasket itself probably doesn’t cost much, but the labor could prove a might bit expensive. On the 328i 3L engine for example the oil pan gasket parts costs is less than $50. The problem is the 7+ hours of labor involved to change it. Whether to change it depends on how you feel about oil drips on the garage floor and a grimy engine under-side. Your mechanics would probably prefer a nice clean engine under the hood, makes it easier to diagnose and work on. But they are on the receiving end of the invoice, you are on the paying end. I don’t like anything leaking on my vehicles, so I’d fix the problem were I the one making the decision. A compromise might be to defer this repair – keeping the oil topped off frequently of course — until some other repair makes it necessary to remove whatever’s in the way of replacing the gasket. Ask the shop techs if there’s a temporary sol’n, something to plug the leak without removing the pan or at least slow the flow, sort of like a temporary filling the dentist gives you.