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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-02-2014, 11:47 AM
eburnz eburnz is online now
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Oil change ???

Q1: How would I know if i need an oil change ? (not by counting the miles i driveen because i dont pay attention or keep notes how many miles i drive every day/month)

Q2: Say if i didnt need an oil change anytime soon, could i still put a brand new oil filter in if i wanted to ?


reason why im asking is because, i got some new OEM filters, and i want to replace the one i have now since idk how long or if the shop has had a new one in before i got the car... and if i have to do an oil change and actually dont need one in order to replace the filter or not...


thanks....
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  #2  
Old 10-02-2014, 12:04 PM
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eparayno eparayno is offline
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Why don't you just keep track of how many miles you drive after an oil change? It's not a difficult task. I put the mileage for the next oil change in my phone. You could go old school and write it down too. Or since you don't know when it got an oil change last - just change the oil for peace of mind and just keep track

Last edited by eparayno; 10-02-2014 at 12:05 PM.
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  #3  
Old 10-02-2014, 12:10 PM
eburnz eburnz is online now
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Originally Posted by eparayno View Post
Why don't you just keep track of how many miles you drive after an oil change? It's not a difficult task. I put the mileage for the next oil change in my phone. You could go old school and write it down too. Or since you don't know when it got an oil change last - just change the oil for peace of mind and just keep track
Well that's the prob idk if they even did a oil change at the shop where I bought the car.. But It did come with oil and I topped her off like a week ago with some mobile 1.. I have 5 green bars on my oil light in the dash...

So is there any other way to tell instead of tracking it manually.. I can tell u how many miles I driven after I got the car but it wasn't much since I commute only locally.

I think I heard of a way to check doing the dash mod which I did b4 but idk what to look for.
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:13 PM
MKJS MKJS is offline
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Look at the condition of the oil on the dip stick. Does it look like dark brown or black water, or smoother and more yellow? If it's dark and watery looking, change it.

Oil change is good piece of mind. I like to throw in new oil and filter when I buy a car or motorcycle. I'm picky about the brand I like and quality oil makes a big difference in the longevity of a motor.

Filter is usually changed with the oil. A possible exception is if you are running a very good quality synthetic. In that case some people will change filter and top off the oil at around 5k.

It's good to keep a maintenance log. Nice to know what was done when, and "you can't tell the players without a program."

doc
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Last edited by MKJS; 10-02-2014 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:22 PM
eburnz eburnz is online now
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Originally Posted by MKJS View Post
Look at the condition of the oil on the dip stick. Does it look like dark brown or black water, or smoother and more yellow? If it's dark and watery looking, change it.

Oil change is good piece of mind. I like to throw in new oil and filter when I buy a car or motorcycle. I'm picky about the brand I like and quality oil makes a big difference in the longevity of a motor.

Filter is usually changed with the oil. A possible exception is if you are running a very good quality synthetic. In that case some people will change filter and top off the oil at around 5k.

doc
Oh ok well i haven't driven this car for 5k miles yet lol, but I have 4 new oem filters and I might just change it since I have plenty and add another when I do decide to get an oil change hopefully before xmas...

I just wanted to know would it make a diff if I do add a new oil filter and not get an oil change even if I don't need an oil change... But in a few min I will check the and see the quality of the oil..
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:30 PM
MKJS MKJS is offline
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If the oil is clean and fresh changing filter will have no impact. If the oil is dirty, changing the filter alone will have little impact. The oil needs to be changed if it's dirty, then the new filter will be great to have.
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:34 PM
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I just wanted to know would it make a diff if I do add a new oil filter and not get an oil change even if I don't need an oil change.

That's like putting on clean skivvies w/o taking a shower.

ALWAYS change oil AND filter together! Going to Jiffy Lube for the change? Take your filter with you, and hope they know how to replace it.

Sounds like you would be best to rely on the service interval indicator to tell you when to change it. However, you must reset the indicator when you change oil.

Why not ask the shop? They may have changed oil and filter, and reset the indicator.
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Last edited by edjack; 10-02-2014 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:56 PM
jygesq jygesq is offline
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change it once per year anyway

if not by miles. Yes and change filter as well
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  #9  
Old 10-02-2014, 01:50 PM
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Inspection of oil by dipstick tells you very little....unless, you see: Nothing...or black jelly. Otherwise, it is about useless.

If you have no idea of the service history of your car (which is a big no no, when buying a car) then absolutely go get a proper oil and filter change NOW. Then start keeping track, so you can prolong the life of your car.

Good luck.
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Old 10-02-2014, 02:01 PM
edjack edjack is online now
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Methinks the OP is not anal, like many of us here. Jiffy Lube will be fine for him.
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  #11  
Old 10-02-2014, 02:36 PM
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The SI display was designed for indication of when maintenance (oil service & inspection) is due. But the thing is...the service interval is based on fuel consumption (SIA III) and if you don't drive your car often and accumulate very low annual mileage, then your fuel consumption may not be a good indicator of when to change the oil & filter as suggested above. You may want to use an annual or biennial (every 2 yr) oil change interval if your mileage is very low.


Yes, you can check how many liters of fuel you need to consume until the next oil service or inspection by going into the SI display reset. If you forgo the last step to reset the display...it will jump to the end and display the amount of fuel you need to consume until the next service. Again, this integer is given in liters (so you'll need to convert that to gallons if you're not a liters kind of guy).


See the 1st paragraph under SI ADDTIONAL INFO for a brief explanation of what you see in the display that reveals the number of liters you need to consume which appears after END SIA _ _ _ l (the last digit is actually an "L" & not an "I" which represents liters):



Or, if you've UNLOCKED your instrument cluster...OBC TEST 3 reveals how many kilometers have been driven since the last time the SI display was reset:

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  #12  
Old 10-02-2014, 02:37 PM
MKJS MKJS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
Inspection of oil by dipstick tells you very little....unless, you see: Nothing...or black jelly. Otherwise, it is about useless.

If you have no idea of the service history of your car (which is a big no no, when buying a car) then absolutely go get a proper oil and filter change NOW. Then start keeping track, so you can prolong the life of your car.

Good luck.
Each to their own... but I don't agree at all about the relevance of the oil on the dip stick. Oil condition, color and smell can tell a world if you know what to look for. Even the condition of the stick it self can reveal quite a bit. How hot has it gotten, how gunky is it, is there burned, encrusted oil on it, etc. When I bought this car the oil resembled dark brown water. My estimation... it had not been changed enough recently, and the previous owner used cheep oil. Upon talking to someone who had done mechanical work on the car I learned the PO had been a Jiffy kind of guy. i.e., the crank case was indeed full of brown "water."

doc
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Old 10-02-2014, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKJS View Post
Each to their own... but I don't agree at all about the relevance of the oil on the dip stick. Oil condition, color and smell can tell a world if you know what to look for. Even the condition of the stick it self can reveal quite a bit. How hot has it gotten, how gunky is it, is there burned, encrusted oil on it, etc. When I bought this car the oil resembled dark brown water. My estimation... it had not been changed enough recently, and the previous owner used cheep oil. Upon talking to someone who had done mechanical work on the car I learned the PO had been a Jiffy kind of guy. i.e., the crank case was indeed full of brown "water."

doc
If indeed the crank case was full of brown "water", then that is caused by short trips, and has little to do with where one goes for an oil change, type of oil, or how frequently changed. Short trips fail to get the engine temperature up to proper operating temperature long enough to evaporate condensation. Thus the brownish looking stuff. Sometimes you will see a frothy/foamy coffee colored residue on the oil filter cap. My GFs Toyota Tundra falls victim to this every winter (dip stick looks normal, but some frothy brownish stuff on inside of oil filler cap)...not much I can do about it, she drives only a mile to work and a mile back...then 8 miles to the horse barn and back at night. All I can do is use a high quality synthetic oil, and change it at appropriate intervals....I try to get her to take a longish drive at least once a week. FWIW BTW, this is a notorious problem on the 530/525 and BMW has an update kit to reduce the incidence of the problem (new insulated hoses to the oil separator)
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Old 10-02-2014, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eburnz View Post
How would I know if i need an oil change
The answer QSilver7 gave is the best answer, IMHO, for you, if you're gonna ask that question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eburnz View Post
if i didnt need an oil change anytime soon, could i still put a brand new oil filter in if i wanted to ?
You can do anything you want.

The oil filter is on top, so it won't drain the entire engine, but, I've never done "just" the oil filter, so, I'm not sure how much oil you'll need to replace.

- Motor oil: BMW approved motor oils (pdf) & tribal motor oil recommendations (1) (2) (3) & gravity oil change DIY (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & vacuum extraction DIY (1) (2) (3) & drill pump DIY (1)
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Old 10-02-2014, 06:41 PM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is online now
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take the dip stick then whip the oil between you thumb and pointer finger, If it stays black you need to change it

But why even bother, you have no reference of when the oil was changed,

You need a oil change right now.. at least for a base line refence point of when your next oil change is,

you have the filter thats half the trouble, go to walmart and get oil 0-40 and be done with this
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:36 PM
eburnz eburnz is online now
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lol ok guys, im gonna go get a oil change... i got mann filter & 5 bottles of 0-40 mobile 1... which is basically (5 qts) since each bottle = 1qt USA

but i read somewhere my car can take 6.9 qts so im short of like 1-2 bottles, does that matter ?
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:25 PM
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lol ok guys, im gonna go get a oil change... i got mann filter & 5 bottles of 0-40 mobile 1... which is basically (5 qts) since each bottle = 1qt USA

but i read somewhere my car can take 6.9 qts so im short of like 1-2 bottles, does that matter ?
5 bottles is actually exactly 5 quarts

Come on man, are you just trolling now? The engine will be 2 quarts low if you don't get 2 more bottles. 2 quarts low is a lot
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Old 10-03-2014, 02:30 PM
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lol yeah it matters... rofl.. 2 qt low is 2 qts low,

do you only brew a half a cup of coffee in the morning?
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Old 10-03-2014, 02:34 PM
edjack edjack is online now
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eburnz, sell this car and buy a Honda. The Bimmer seems to be too complicated.
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Old 10-03-2014, 02:49 PM
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LOL Eburnz theyre just teasing but hahaha funny
.. seriously man, get 2 more quarts .. don't forget to replace the drain bolt washer so you don't have a potential drip later
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Old 10-03-2014, 02:50 PM
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Better yet, buy a bicycle. May force some oxygen into your noggin.
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Old 10-03-2014, 02:56 PM
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stop im gonna pee LOL
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Old 10-03-2014, 04:45 PM
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stop im gonna pee LOL
+1

this is hilarious!
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Old 10-03-2014, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
If indeed the crank case was full of brown "water", then that is caused by short trips, and has little to do with where one goes for an oil change, type of oil, or how frequently changed. Short trips fail to get the engine temperature up to proper operating temperature long enough to evaporate condensation. Thus the brownish looking stuff. Sometimes you will see a frothy/foamy coffee colored residue on the oil filter cap. My GFs Toyota Tundra falls victim to this every winter (dip stick looks normal, but some frothy brownish stuff on inside of oil filler cap)...not much I can do about it, she drives only a mile to work and a mile back...then 8 miles to the horse barn and back at night. All I can do is use a high quality synthetic oil, and change it at appropriate intervals....I try to get her to take a longish drive at least once a week. FWIW BTW, this is a notorious problem on the 530/525 and BMW has an update kit to reduce the incidence of the problem (new insulated hoses to the oil separator)
LOL, sorry for not being more literal in trying to describe the condition of the oil in the crank case of my 540 when I bought it. The "water" was a reference to what a certain lube store sells for oil. I guess it was a little confusing putting "water" in quotes. I have never seen actual H2O separate from the oil in a crank case. My experience is that when a motor has actual H2O mixed in the oil it's usual appearance is closer to the look of milk with a little coffee in it. This usually resulting from a head or block issue, and is most often accompanied by a deep moaning/sobbing sound coming from the owner.
doc
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Old 10-12-2014, 12:45 AM
eburnz eburnz is online now
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Nice jokes guys realll funny lol

Reason why I asked about how much the oil because I thought about changing it my self, usually I just take cars to the shop and get it done but since
this car is diff from what I had previous it requires a lot of specific care which is new to me...

I'm still thinking about taking
It to a place so they can do it, but does it really matter as long as I have 6-7 bottles of oil and my Mann filter!?


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