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X3 F25 (2011 - 2017)
The second generation X3 added style and new features to the BMW's mid-sized SUV. Talk about the BMW F25 X3 with other X3 owners now!

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Old 01-24-2011, 06:47 AM
Lotus7 Lotus7 is offline
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Location: mountains of Illinois
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Mein Auto: Lotus Seven & X3 35i
X3 35i Oil capacity?

While anxiously awaiting delivery of a red 35i (the CA claims Feb. 17), I’ve been reading the on-line Service Manual cover to cover. The “Reference, Technical Data, Capacities” section gives the fuel tank and windshield washer system capacities, but no mention of how much oil is required at a oil change. The “Mobility, Engine Oil, Adding Engine Oil” section only mentions adding (1) quart when the electronic nanny warns that you are a quart low. Since I expect to be doing additional oil changes in-between the factory recommended intervals I need to know the refill capacity. On-line searches have turned up nothing but speculation and hearsay.

The X3's Owners Manual is the first one I've ever seen that neglects to mention the engine oil capacity. I's obvious that BMW doesn't want owners to mess around with "their" (meaning BMW's) engines. It does, however, mention the windshield and headlight washer capacity which I was staying up nights wishing to know. :-)

I know some other BMW models using the N55 engine require 6.9 quarts, but what about the X3? Ca'mon BMW, please correct this oversight and update the Manual.

Since there is no dipstick and the electronic oil level monitor system takes 5 to 7 minutes of engine running to determine the level, it’s essential to know the exact refill capacity (with and without a filter change).

Has anyone seen the capacity for the 35i’s N55 engine published?

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Old 01-24-2011, 11:04 AM
motordavid's Avatar
motordavid motordavid is offline
Location: Mtns of Western NC & SW FLA
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Mein Auto: '01 X5 3.0 '02VetteVert
If you cruise the web for N55 links, it appears all the N55 engine placements are the same, and all use the '6.9'/7 qts, imo.

Interesting read on BobTheOilGuy forum about oil temps in the N55 engine, fwiw.

Your comment on how the 'manual' won't give up the oil capacity, but does remind Biff&Buffy the windshield washer capacity,
is well poked, imo!
GL, mD
Ol'Uncle Motor
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Last edited by motordavid; 01-24-2011 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 01-24-2011, 01:47 PM
Lotus7 Lotus7 is offline
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Location: mountains of Illinois
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 38
Mein Auto: Lotus Seven & X3 35i
Yep. I'll probably write a polite inquiry to BMW NA to ask. Otherwise, I'm hoping that they haven't changed the oil sump significantly. For my first "at home" oil change, I suppose I'll just add 6.5 qts., then drive around for 10 minutes to see what the oil level indicator reads, and top-up accordingly.

I feel so much better now that I know the windshield washer tank holds precisely 5.3 quarts.
Regarding those 5.3 qts. of washer fluid: Did you know that the washer fluid is actually more critical then the oil in your engine? BMW recommends their P/N 83-12-0-405-186 "Windshield Washer Antifreeze" ($ 15.36/gal.) The word on the Internet is that if you use anything else, you'll blow your turbo, score the cylinder walls and be blacklisted by BMW NA, never to be allowed to buy another BMW product. Since it's on the Internet, it must be true.
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