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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #1  
Old 10-27-2010, 05:05 PM
niceguymr niceguymr is offline
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I want to change the oil on my X3

We just purchased a 2008 X3. It's got about 22k miles on it now and I'd like to get an oil change in before the 'scheduled' 30k(ish) miles. So I figure there's no time like the present to learn to do an oil change. I get the basics - Remove the drain cap/screw and let the oil drain out. Replace the screw (not too tightly ) and fill the oil from the top of the engine with 6 or 7 quarts (not sure of quantity). Remove and replace the oil filter seems pretty straight forward - I believe it's located on the top side of the engine.

So what I'm looking for is basically a list of any 'special' tools I'll need. Any special size sockets or wrenches that someone wouldn't typically have? I see that there's a special oil filter cap removal tool (72mm) that will be needed to replace the oil filter. What else is there?

Also, I can't seem to find anywhere a service manual for this vehicle (not the owner's manual). Anyone know where I can find one of these that will have good quality pictures that would assist me in locating everything on the engine? I'd hate to drain out the wrong fluid

Otherwise, if anyone can point me to any kind of step by step guide for changing the oil on an X3 (2007 model and newer), that would be greatly appreciate.

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by niceguymr; 10-27-2010 at 05:11 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-27-2010, 05:31 PM
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X3emist X3emist is offline
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ECS is your friend

Here is a link to ECS where I buy my oil service kits. This includes other stuff but I couldn't find just an oil change kit for your model off hand. Either call them and ask or just order the parts from this kit that you need.

It is easy and quick. Be VERY careful tightening the NEW oil plug up, I think the torque specs is like 18 ft lbs. You need a new plug as these are thin and made to snap before you screw up your pan theads. You might even think about the magnetic one, its only a few bucks more.

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E83-X3-...on_2/ES261358/
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Last edited by X3emist; 10-27-2010 at 05:33 PM.
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  #3  
Old 10-27-2010, 05:51 PM
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madurodave madurodave is offline
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No service manual that I know of yet for the X3.

Oil manufacturer is up to you - many oil threads out there! You can play it safe and stick with BMW oil.

I would recommend you joing the BMW Car Club (BMWCCA). Check with your dealer, but I get a 20% discount on all parts with my BMWCCA membership. The pricing is usually cheaper than anywhere else with that discount (and no shipping charges). I get my BMW oil filters, air filters, cabin filters etc from my dealer.

There are threads showing you how to change the oil.

Basically, 17 mm socket to loosen drain plug. Make sure you get the copper crush washer off too! Mine stuck last weekend. Once the oil is drained, new crush washer is needed (comes in filter kit). I re-use the drain plug. 17.5 ft-lbs of torque (due to my wrench's increments - spec is 18 I believe) to tighten. Do NOT over tighten or you can snap the drain plug.

For the filter, you need the special canister tool (from BMW, BAV Auto in NH or others). It goes on top of the canister. Use a 27mm wrench to turn and remove the canister top. Be careful as you lift it up as it can drip - the filter is attached. Pull on the filter cartridge to remove from canister top.

Remove small and large o-rings and replace with new from the kit. I use a rounded flat blade screwdriver to remove so I do not booger up the plastic housing. New filter cartridge in place, pour some oil on the cartridge so that it has oil already (helps with start-up). Then put back in place, push down lightly and turn by hand. Finish with cap tool and 27mm wrench. Just needs to be snug.

Open the oil access on the valve cover and add your oil. Spec is 6.9 quarts but I use 6.5. 6.9 shows an overfill condition (oil check goes past OK to "o" for overfill). So start with 6.5, close everything up, start engine and check level after a few minutes while you quickly check for leaks. If the level shows low, add as needed.

Very easy to do, 30 minutes or so once you have done it.

Good luck and ask questions if needed!
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  #4  
Old 10-27-2010, 06:04 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niceguymr View Post
We just purchased a 2008 X3....... I'd hate to drain out the wrong fluid
Yes, your first challenge will be to locate the oil drain plug.

It's not as obvious as most other vehicles.

See:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=472534

After that is identified, it's mostly all relatively straightforward and easy.

You might be able to use a generic strap wrench to loosen the filter housing, because it shouldn't be on very tight.
You will note that the rubber ring (that you replace) just forms a compression seal against the side - it is not one of those where you are tightening down directly on it.

(Renewing the filter element is probably the more important part of your intermediate oil change - can be done independently of draining the oil, so no harm in doing that first in sequence.
Take your time to clean the housing out well, and pour a little fresh oil in to saturate the new filter element. )

Your final challenge will be to put the right amount of fresh oil in without a dipstick to guide you.

Too much oil can be just as undesirable as too little.
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  #5  
Old 10-27-2010, 07:05 PM
niceguymr niceguymr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supercourse View Post
Too much oil can be just as undesirable as too little.
Thanks for the replies!!!

How do I ensure that the exactly correct amount of oil is added? I hate to rely strictly on the dashboard display that tells me the oil is "OK".
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  #6  
Old 10-27-2010, 08:27 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niceguymr View Post
Thanks for the replies!!!

How do I ensure that the exactly correct amount of oil is added? I hate to rely strictly on the dashboard display that tells me the oil is "OK".
You will have to rely on the digital readout.

The oil capacity of the N52 engine is 6,5 litres. I would put in 6 litres of oil first, drive it around for at least 10km to warm up, then check the oil level. It should display the level electronically. Then add if necessary.
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  #7  
Old 10-27-2010, 08:34 PM
niceguymr niceguymr is offline
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So if I decide to do my own oil change before the sceduled interval, with this void my free service plan or CPO warranty in any way?
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  #8  
Old 10-27-2010, 08:52 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niceguymr View Post
So if I decide to do my own oil change before the sceduled interval, with this void my free service plan or CPO warranty in any way?
No, unless you make some egregious mistake like putting in ATF or water into the engine.
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  #9  
Old 10-27-2010, 09:02 PM
niceguymr niceguymr is offline
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Thanks again for all the replies.

I was thinking of getting a pair of those ramps to drive the X3 onto so that I can comfortably get underneath the car to do this oil change. With the car being at an angle, do I run the risk of oil pooling up to one side in the oil pan and not draining out the appropriate drain hole? I would imgaine that the drain procedure would be optimal with the car level to the ground but that might not be a simple option for me.

Last edited by niceguymr; 10-28-2010 at 04:27 AM.
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  #10  
Old 11-05-2010, 07:58 PM
niceguymr niceguymr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madurodave View Post
For the filter, you need the special canister tool (from BMW, BAV Auto in NH or others). It goes on top of the canister. Use a 27mm wrench to turn and remove the canister top.
...
Finish with cap tool and 27mm wrench. Just needs to be snug.
I'm about to order the kit from ECS tuning. I see they have 2 tools for the oil filter. One is a 36mm 6pt socket and the other is a 'universal 3 jaw adjustable oil filter wrench'.

Both can be found here:
http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E83-X3-...tenance_Tools/

Could I just use the universal tool or are both of these tools needed to remove the oil filter?
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  #11  
Old 11-05-2010, 08:06 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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This is what I bought for my mother's 325i.

http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html...ID=83300493936
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  #12  
Old 11-05-2010, 09:17 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niceguymr View Post
I see they have 2 tools for the oil filter. One is a 36mm 6pt socket and the other is a 'universal 3 jaw adjustable oil filter wrench'.
You need just the 3 jaw one for your 2008.

Oil filter housing changed in 2007 - prior to that, the 36mm. socket was a BMW standard.
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  #13  
Old 11-05-2010, 11:08 PM
TerraPhantm TerraPhantm is online now
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I don't know if anyone else has recommended an oil, but I really like the Castrol 0w-30 (aka "german castrol"). My engine seems to run noticably quieter and perhaps "smoother" on this oil. Many people on bitog swear by this oil. It's certainly served my engine well - here's what it looked like under the valve cover @ 85k miles
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  #14  
Old 11-08-2010, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
This is what I bought for my mother's 325i.

http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html...ID=83300493936
I bought the same from my dealer with my BMWCCA 20% discount. I would recommend this tool so that everything fits properly.
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  #15  
Old 11-09-2010, 04:04 PM
niceguymr niceguymr is offline
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Just want to make sure I'm doing this correctly...

Is THIS (indicated by the red arrow) the correct bolt to drain the oil from? I thought I'd read somewhere that the oil drains out at an angle but this plug appears to be pointing straight down. I'd hate to drain the wrong fluid





Also, What is the other rectangular access hole for (green arrow)? I opened it up and saw some sort of electrical connection and some other stuff tucked in up there, but I have no idea what any of that is.
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  #16  
Old 11-09-2010, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niceguymr View Post
Just want to make sure I'm doing this correctly...

Is THIS (indicated by the red arrow) the correct bolt to drain the oil from? I thought I'd read somewhere that the oil drains out at an angle but this plug appears to be pointing straight down. I'd hate to drain the wrong fluid





Also, What is the other rectangular access hole for (green arrow)? I opened it up and saw some sort of electrical connection and some other stuff tucked in up there, but I have no idea what any of that is.
Yup - drain bolt location is correct.

Make sure you use a new copper crush washer and torque to 17 - 18 ft-lbs (use torque wrench so you do not overtighten).

The other panel is access to transmission, I believe.
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  #17  
Old 11-09-2010, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madurodave View Post
Yup - drain bolt location is correct.

Make sure you use a new copper crush washer and torque to 17 - 18 ft-lbs (use torque wrench so you do not overtighten).

The other panel is access to transmission, I believe.
I don't want to overrule you or anything because I don't have a 2007 X3. However, even my mother's 2006 has the drain plug further back (the rectangular one) at an angle. I have a hunch that the square one towards the front is the diff fluid.
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  #18  
Old 11-09-2010, 07:10 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
I don't want to overrule you or anything because I don't have a 2007 X3. However, even my mother's 2006 has the drain plug further back (the rectangular one) at an angle. I have a hunch that the square one towards the front is the diff fluid.
It appears the N52 engine may have different oil drain plug locations, and orifice angle too,
depending on which variant of the N52 it is.

An earlier thread seems to confirm that unlikely looking one is the correct one:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=472534
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  #19  
Old 11-09-2010, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
I don't want to overrule you or anything because I don't have a 2007 X3. However, even my mother's 2006 has the drain plug further back (the rectangular one) at an angle. I have a hunch that the square one towards the front is the diff fluid.
My 2007 looks exactly as pictured. I don't know of any changes between 2007 and 2008!

Also, the differential plug on my 2007 requires a 14 mm Allen wrench to remove, not a standard socket.
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  #20  
Old 11-10-2010, 08:35 AM
SWMc SWMc is offline
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The square cover is the engine drain plug. The rectangle one is the oil level sensor.

The engine takes 6.9 quarts of oil. I just dump all 7 and don't worry about it.

I figure what's left in 7 bottles adds up to at least .1 qt.
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  #21  
Old 11-10-2010, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
I have a hunch that the square one towards the front is the diff fluid.
I've drained both diffs and I can confirm that it is not. You have to remove the stiffener plate to access the front diff drain plug. The square plug is definitely the engine oil drain plug cover.
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  #22  
Old 11-10-2010, 09:47 AM
zhan zhan is offline
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for n52 motor cars, can you still put in mobil 1 5w30?
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  #23  
Old 11-10-2010, 03:05 PM
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madurodave madurodave is offline
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for n52 motor cars, can you still put in mobil 1 5w30?
Depends on who you talk to.

I have been using 0w30 with great results.
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  #24  
Old 11-13-2010, 11:05 AM
niceguymr niceguymr is offline
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Just reporting back after doing my first ever oil change and I have to say it was as easy as I hoped it would be.

Just a couple of points I'd like to mention:

I decided to use the original drain plug rather than replacing it with the one that I got from ECS.

In total, I drained approximately 6.5 quarts of oil from the engine, but I put in about 6.9 (per specs).

I decided to keep a sample of the old oil because the geek in me wants to send it in to get tested and see what can be told about my engine by condition of the oil. I realize I probably wont learn much from it, but since this is the first used car I've ever bought and all I know is that it supposedly had an oil change at around 15k miles, I'd like to know if everything appears ok.

I recall reading somewhere about people getting their oil samples tested at a lab. What/who does the hivemind at Bimmerfest recommend?
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  #25  
Old 11-13-2010, 02:02 PM
noego noego is offline
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^^that's great! i don't have a recommendation, but your post reminded me of seeing a guy at a nfl game holding a sign that read I CHANGED MY OWN FAUCET YESTERDAY. thought that was funny.

on the topic of X3 oil changes i heard from my friendly BMW salesman that they had a X3 come in off lease with 29k miles and had never had an oil change. BMW would not authorize a CPO unless the engine was torn down and inspected - it was perfect! no sludge, no metal filings...
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