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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 08-25-2012, 08:10 PM
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kskane kskane is offline
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Engine Oil Q!

Guys, is it possible to do a engine oil change on M54-525i '04 E60 just using a single jack on one side and without removing the entire bottom cover? I would like to try and change the oil myself, but not sure if it is possible without removing the whole bottom cover? I know the oil filter element is accessible on the top right of the engine, but in order to drain the oil I am not sure. Can anyone help with some suggestions/comments?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 08-25-2012, 08:24 PM
ProRail ProRail is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kskane View Post
Guys, is it possible to do a engine oil change on M54-525i '04 E60 just using a single jack on one side and without removing the entire bottom cover? I would like to try and change the oil myself, but not sure if it is possible without removing the whole bottom cover? I know the oil filter element is accessible on the top right of the engine, but in order to drain the oil I am not sure. Can anyone help with some suggestions/comments?

Thanks.
Since an oil change is needed only once every 10-12K miles, why bother to do it yourself?
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  #3  
Old 08-25-2012, 08:39 PM
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MachtSchnell MachtSchnell is offline
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Not sure on the 525 but my 535 just has an access panel that you have to open up. No need to pull the whole panel off.

I hope you are changing it more frequently than 10k miles.
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  #4  
Old 08-25-2012, 09:29 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kskane View Post
Guys, is it possible to do a engine oil change on M54-525i '04 E60 just using a single jack on one side and without removing the entire bottom cover? I would like to try and change the oil myself, but not sure if it is possible without removing the whole bottom cover? I know the oil filter element is accessible on the top right of the engine, but in order to drain the oil I am not sure. Can anyone help with some suggestions/comments?

Thanks.
It is possible. There is a small access door to get at the oil drain plug without having to remove the large belly pan. The filter on the 6-cylinder is accessible from the engine bay.

You may find that depending upon which side of the car you raise the sump will be tilted and leave old oil remaining in the sump. You could start the drain and then lower the car back down to insure a complete draining of the sump (make sure you position the drain pan right so oil doesn't end up on the floor).

You may also consider a low profile floor jack that you can use to jack up the entire front end and then set two floor jacks. There is a jack pad directly in the center of the car just behind the steering rack on a cross member.

Use a quality full synthetic (suggest 5W-30 or 0W-40) and make sure you replace the crush ring on the oil drain plug and properly lubricate the filter gasket before installing the filter housing (both come with the new filter). If you need further information there are some very good DIY procedures on this forum.

If you want to keep the engine running well for a long time examine your driving habits. Lots of short trips and stop and go traffic should cause you to stay on the shorter side of drain intervals (4-5K miles between drains). If you do more highway driving then you can go as long as 7500 miles. Once the additives in oil are used up the oil's characteristics change dramatically for the bad. New oil is alkaline in pH. As contaminants build and the oil oxidizes the pH drifts neutral. If the oil is not changed before the additives are used up the oil becomes acidic and is very hard on gaskets and seals. Detergents are also used up and can no longer suspend contaminants which settle onto engine parts and become sludge.

Rule number one is never overheat the engine. Rule number two is that changing oil often is the cheapest thing you can do to insure a healthy engine.
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  #5  
Old 08-25-2012, 10:38 PM
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kskane kskane is offline
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Thank you BimmerFan for your response. I have one questions related to "properly lubricate the filter gasket before installing the filter housing (both come with the new filter)". What does this mean, are you saying to put little engine oil on the O-rings before installing the fitting back into the engine.

Also, can I change the oil on cold engine or should I go for a drive first and then wait how long before changing the oil?
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  #6  
Old 08-25-2012, 10:49 PM
bschmidt25 bschmidt25 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kskane View Post
Thank you BimmerFan for your response. I have one questions related to "properly lubricate the filter gasket before installing the filter housing (both come with the new filter)". What does this mean, are you saying to put little engine oil on the O-rings before installing the fitting back into the engine.

Also, can I change the oil on cold engine or should I go for a drive first and then wait how long before changing the oil?
The oil filter should come with a rubber O-ring to be used on the cap for the filter housing. It's very easy to replace (I use a screwdriver to get it off). Put a little oil on it before you screw the cap back on - just like you would do with the seal on a conventional metal oil filter.

If my car is cold, I usually just take it around the neighborhood for a few minutes. Just enough to warm up the oil but not heat it up too much where it'll burn me when removing the drain plug.
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  #7  
Old 08-25-2012, 11:16 PM
UltimateDriving UltimateDriving is offline
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Oil intervals of 12k-15 miles are too long.
7.5K seems like the perfect balance for oil change intervals if you use quality oils. (BMW Approved oils and good oils such as Mobil 1, Shell Helix Ultra etc.)
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  #8  
Old 08-26-2012, 04:38 AM
todd92 todd92 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kskane View Post
Guys, is it possible to do a engine oil change on M54-525i '04 E60 just using a single jack on one side and without removing the entire bottom cover? I would like to try and change the oil myself, but not sure if it is possible without removing the whole bottom cover? I know the oil filter element is accessible on the top right of the engine, but in order to drain the oil I am not sure. Can anyone help with some suggestions/comments?

Thanks.
Do not EVER crawl under a car with only a jack supporting it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateDriving View Post
Oil intervals of 12k-15 miles are too long.
7.5K seems like the perfect balance for oil change intervals if you use quality oils. (BMW Approved oils and good oils such as Mobil 1, Shell Helix Ultra etc.)
Says who? Use an LL-01 oil and live happily ever after. Don't insist others need to waste their time and money because you are an over-maintainer.

I just changed the oil in my 330i for the 7th time at 121,000 miles and the inside is clean and deposit free. Runs as new.
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  #9  
Old 08-26-2012, 06:49 AM
Theduke Theduke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by todd92 View Post
Do not EVER crawl under a car with only a jack supporting it.



Says who? Use an LL-01 oil and live happily ever after. Don't insist others need to waste their time and money because you are an over-maintainer.

I just changed the oil in my 330i for the 7th time at 121,000 miles and the inside is clean and deposit free. Runs as new.
Agree with never going under the car with just a jack - not wise and not worth your life. As for oil changes, there will always be a debate as to when to change it and whether or not the eom recommendation is correct. Your driving conditions should be the first consideration in your decision. If you are in a hot climate and only do stop and go driving and put on more hours than miles,it's not the same as a car that gets driven in moderate climates with all highway miles.
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  #10  
Old 08-26-2012, 10:47 AM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Yes, the posters who warned about only supporting the car with a jack are correct.

SAFETY FIRST.

Always use one floor jack stand to raise one corner, two if you support one side completely or the front or rear, and four jack stands if you want both ends of the car raised. Floor jacks operate using hydraulic fluid and the hydraulic cylinder can fail, dropping the car on you. The screw jack that came with your car will probably not mechanically fail but they are very prone to slipping if the car is moved or rocked at all (such as when tugging on a wrench).

How long your oil lasts depends upon the condition of the engine when the new oil is put into it and your driving conditions. High quality synthetic oil is comprised of a high quality base stock (ideal group IV synthesized) and a package of specially prepared additives. Nearly all of the additives are sacrificial (meaning they are designed to be used up) as they either allow the oil to do things the base oil by itself couldn't such as acting multiviscous, or they are designed to counteract or combat heat or contaminants.

Unfortunately, brand new oil introduced into an engine that has been poorly maintained goes under rapid changes in a matter of weeks as the additives sacrifice themselves to fight to counteract the contaminants and potentially sludge already adhered to the engine walls.

Further, warmup and slow moving operation in cold ambient temperatures (10C and under) typically causes the engine to run rich and dump fuel and soot into the oil in the form of cylinder blow-by. And if the engine never warms up completely (short trips) water vapor will condense into the oil, further contaminating it. When the additives are used up the oil changes for the bad. It typically thickens and runs hotter and if all of the dirt suspending detergent is used up contaminants will settle onto engine parts and be cooked (sludge), robbing the oil of one of its most important jobs - removing heat.

Oil ages by the hour of operation not the mile. A person who averages 60mph in driving habits will run the oil 200 hours in 12,000 miles of operation. A person who averages 10 mph in stop and go traffic in a major city will run the oil 1200 hours in 12,000 miles. For the stop and go situation not only are the hours six times as long, but the operating conditions (either slow warm up in cold ambient or hot operation in hot ambient) during those longer hours are much much harder on the oil

A rough rule of thumb is 250 hours of oil operation before changing oil. Is this chiseled in stone? Absolutely not. Conditions may determine lowering it to 150 hours or raising it to 350 hours, including the present condition of the engine. Additives in fresh oil will last much longer in a well maintained engine than a poorly maintained one.

But who measures hours on their car? Not many. Is the difference in cost in how you change your oil important to you? Calculations will show that if you change your own oil every 6K miles as opposed to every 15K miles, over 90K miles averaging 12K miles per year your extra cost is less than $6 per month of operation. Is peace of mind worth an extra $6 per month? I say it is cheap insurance.
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  #11  
Old 08-26-2012, 10:57 AM
UltimateDriving UltimateDriving is offline
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I have a relative that owns an E39 and he always followed the oil change interval in the OBC, after almost 10 years of use, his engine was so sludged up that he had to take it to the indy shop so they could clear it a bit, since then the engine has just given him problems.

One of the main causes of it was city driving, we all do 99% city driving here. Avg speed could be around 15-20 KMH.
So if you're going to keep the car in the long term, a few bucks won't hurt your pocket because once these engines start to fail it will break your bank account.

Last edited by UltimateDriving; 08-26-2012 at 12:00 PM.
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  #12  
Old 08-26-2012, 02:27 PM
Theduke Theduke is offline
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Well said and very informative Bimmerfan52.

BTW, there was a post over on N54tech where a guy posted pictures of his failed jack stand! luckily he was not under the car - You never know.
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  #13  
Old 08-26-2012, 03:36 PM
TRS550 TRS550 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by todd92 View Post
Don't insist others need to waste their time and money because you are an over-maintainer.

I just changed the oil in my 330i for the 7th time at 121,000 miles and the inside is clean and deposit free. Runs as new.
Don't insist others are wasting their time because you're an under maintainer.
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  #14  
Old 08-27-2012, 04:52 AM
todd92 todd92 is offline
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How am I undermaintaining?
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  #15  
Old 08-27-2012, 08:50 AM
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kskane kskane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerfan52 View Post
It is possible. There is a small access door to get at the oil drain plug without having to remove the large belly pan. The filter on the 6-cylinder is accessible from the engine bay.

You may find that depending upon which side of the car you raise the sump will be tilted and leave old oil remaining in the sump. You could start the drain and then lower the car back down to insure a complete draining of the sump (make sure you position the drain pan right so oil doesn't end up on the floor).

You may also consider a low profile floor jack that you can use to jack up the entire front end and then set two floor jacks. There is a jack pad directly in the center of the car just behind the steering rack on a cross member.

Use a quality full synthetic (suggest 5W-30 or 0W-40) and make sure you replace the crush ring on the oil drain plug and properly lubricate the filter gasket before installing the filter housing (both come with the new filter). If you need further information there are some very good DIY procedures on this forum.

If you want to keep the engine running well for a long time examine your driving habits. Lots of short trips and stop and go traffic should cause you to stay on the shorter side of drain intervals (4-5K miles between drains). If you do more highway driving then you can go as long as 7500 miles. Once the additives in oil are used up the oil's characteristics change dramatically for the bad. New oil is alkaline in pH. As contaminants build and the oil oxidizes the pH drifts neutral. If the oil is not changed before the additives are used up the oil becomes acidic and is very hard on gaskets and seals. Detergents are also used up and can no longer suspend contaminants which settle onto engine parts and become sludge.

Rule number one is never overheat the engine. Rule number two is that changing oil often is the cheapest thing you can do to insure a healthy engine.
Okay, has anyone read the following step while performing a oil change on M54 before?

"Turn the engine once through 360 degrees by the vibration damper, and then wait for 15 minutes for the oil to drain."
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  #16  
Old 08-27-2012, 01:54 PM
racooper3 racooper3 is offline
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Originally Posted by kskane View Post
Okay, has anyone read the following step while performing a oil change on M54 before?

"Turn the engine once through 360 degrees by the vibration damper, and then wait for 15 minutes for the oil to drain."
Are you serious. Give me a break. How much oil is this? Probably not a lot to worry about.
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  #17  
Old 08-27-2012, 04:17 PM
Damon54 Damon54 is offline
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You think there is any chance a dealer takes this step?
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  #18  
Old 08-27-2012, 07:06 PM
TRS550 TRS550 is offline
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How am I undermaintaining?
Do you know who Mike Miller is?
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  #19  
Old 08-27-2012, 11:40 PM
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kskane kskane is offline
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Originally Posted by racooper3 View Post
Are you serious. Give me a break. How much oil is this? Probably not a lot to worry about.
you can have a break buddy. But I would like to know how is that step done as I am new to these DIY.

Also, has anyone used similar grade Castrol Oil in there E60 and can recommend which one they used?

Thanks.

Sent from my Droid
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  #20  
Old 08-28-2012, 12:10 AM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Originally Posted by kskane View Post
you can have a break buddy. But I would like to know how is that step done as I am new to these DIY.

Also, has anyone used similar grade Castrol Oil in there E60 and can recommend which one they used?

Thanks.

Sent from my Droid
Rotating the engine manually is the same procedure as when you install a stretch AC belt on a V8.

Turn the large hex nut (clockwise) that is screwed to the crankshaft using a 27mm socket on a large wrench or breaker bar. It is the nut exposed in the center of the harmonic balancer (main drive pulley connected to crankshaft that drives the serpentine belt).

As others have already stated, it is an absolute waste of time when changing your oil. BMW lists a stupid procedure like this to get the last few drops of oil out of the engine and then in turn recommends you go 15,000 miles until the next oil change, at which time if your engine sees severe service you have cooked the oil to a sticky goo with the consistency of road tar.
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  #21  
Old 08-28-2012, 05:09 AM
todd92 todd92 is offline
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Do you know who Mike Miller is?
Yes, the lord master of over-maintaining.
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  #22  
Old 08-28-2012, 07:18 AM
audiophool audiophool is offline
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Yes, the lord master of over-maintaining.

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  #23  
Old 09-04-2012, 04:06 AM
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kskane kskane is offline
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Did the oil change service today using Castrol Edge Titanium 0W40 oil and BMW oil filter after 11K's and the oil that came out was BLACK as......

Do post which other non BMW oil do anyone uses in there car? I am interested.

Also, changing the oil filter twice/third in one oil change is a a good idea? (I just want to make sure there is sludge in the engine, that I am suspecting).
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  #24  
Old 09-04-2012, 11:13 AM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kskane View Post
Did the oil change service today using Castrol Edge Titanium 0W40 oil and BMW oil filter after 11K's and the oil that came out was BLACK as......

Do post which other non BMW oil do anyone uses in there car? I am interested.

Also, changing the oil filter twice/third in one oil change is a a good idea? (I just want to make sure there is sludge in the engine, that I am suspecting).
If you are actually collecting enough contaminants in your filter at say 2000 kilometers to warrant changing it, then there is a lot more suspended in your oil. If your engine has that much sludge the new oil may use half of some of its additives (dispersants and detergents) in the first 100 miles as it is fighting all of the built up contaminants. Change the oil with the filter.

If you are curious try one very short oil change (say 3500 kilometers) where you change both the oil and filter. Once drained you can cut the filter open and see what you find.

You can also send a sample of the 3500K oil into a lab for analysis. This generally costs about $50. This will tell you if the new oil took a beating from existing sludge and can help you decide your future drain intervals.

If the oil comes back looking pretty good then you will be safe going onto drain intervals of say 8500 to 10000 kilometers.

Again, if you are not experiencing any side effects of excessive sludge (running hot, sluggish acceleration) then I wouldn't worry too much. Change the oil and enjoy driving the car.

RE: Oil - I use Mobil 1 0W-40 and Hengst Filters
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  #25  
Old 09-10-2012, 03:18 AM
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kskane kskane is offline
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Guys, I want to build a list of engine oil + oil filter all the Bimer fan's who do DIY and love there choice of these two. So far I have below and please add to it your fav....

1. Castrol Edge Titanium 0W40 oil + BMW oil filter
2. Mobil 1 0W-40 + Hengst Filters
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