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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

View Poll Results: Should I install the BMW Magnetic Oil Drain Plug?
Yes! Install the BMW magnetic oil drain plug (It can't hurt anything). 11 52.38%
No! Do not install the BMW magnetic oil drain plug (Its a snake-oil product with ZERO benefit). 5 23.81%
It does not matter. 5 23.81%
Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 10-24-2011, 09:22 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Magnetic Oil Drain Plug. Yea or Nay?

I am prepping for my 530i oil change. I've ordered Rhino Ramps, drain pan, 36 mm ratchet, Mann oil filter, and will purchase BMW oil locally (unless you know a cheaper place to order BMW oil). I already have a 17 mm ratchet.

Should I replace the existing drain plug with a magnetic drain plug (cost = $3.49 - $29.95).

http://www.amazon.com/BMW-Magnetic-O...XY/ref=lh_ni_t Amazon (assume this is a weaker magnet)
http://www.drainplugmagnets.com/bmw.php Most Recommended/expensive

My assumption is magnetic drain plugs are suppose to trap and hold metal shavings that may become present in the oil over time.

(OR is it a snake-oil product?)

Should I install the magnetic drain plug? Yes or No and why?



Sales Pitch (ad):

"Magnetic drain plugs -- a proven way to prolong the life of your engine.

Motor oil works best when it is uncontaminated. Continuous friction in your engine creates tiny metal particles that contaminate the oil. These particles are measured in microns (one millionth of a meter: 25 microns = .001"). Oil filters catch the particles larger than about 35 microns, but they do not remove the smaller particles. Even after an oil change, there are still contaminants left in the engine. Over time, these metal particles are circulated millions of times, polishing (wearing) down the metal components inside your engine, degrading its performance and shortening the engine's life until it wears out. Magnetic drain plugs remove the smaller metal particles the oil filter can't, extending the useful life of your engine. It is also less likely that you will experience oil oxidation, as the metal particles that contribute to the process of oxidation adhere to the magnet."

.
.

Last edited by seemyad; 10-25-2011 at 08:04 AM.
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  #2  
Old 10-24-2011, 10:03 PM
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doru doru is offline
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First, the Rhino ramps might be a waste of $$. I have them, could not use them for my e39 when I had the non-sport suspension, and especially now with lowered setting not even close. If you have an SUV (which I also have), they will serve you well.
Concerning the magnetic plug, you do whatever you want.
A "regular" plug will not trap iron shavings, but if the thread goes bust, I'm not losing the oil pan - the OEM plug is designed to be hollow for cases like overtorquing. The bolt will shear off without stripping the threads of the oil pan. Also if you "gravity" drain the oil, all shavings go down the drain anyways. You can spot them in the catching pan when you fill the oil bottles for recycling. That's what I do.
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  #3  
Old 10-24-2011, 10:21 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
First, the Rhino ramps might be a waste of $$. I have them, could not use them for my e39 when I had the non-sport suspension, and especially now with lowered setting not even close. If you have an SUV (which I also have), they will serve you well.
Good info. I read a LOT before buying products foreign to me. I did read in some cases (not BMW) where the clearance was an issue. If this became an issue I'd either a) Return them for a refund or b) place a 12 (or so) inch long 2X10 board in front of the ramp to achieve the necesary clearance. I already decided to secure the ramps (from sliding forward) via a five foot (long) board placed between the front of the ramps and my garage wall (if sliding became an issue due to RR drive).

Thank you for confirming potential issues I read in some of the reviews.


Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
[SIZE=2]Concerning the magnetic plug, you do whatever you want.
A "regular" plug will not trap iron shavings, but if the thread goes bust, I'm not losing the oil pan - the OEM plug is designed to be hollow for cases like overtorquing. The bolt will shear off without stripping the threads of the oil pan. Also if you "gravity" drain the oil, all shavings go down the drain anyways. You can spot them in the catching pan when you fill the oil bottles for recycling. That's what I do.
Good call on the potential of stripping the oil pan. That would make a $3.49 gadget cost much more if not careful.

As for the shavings draining WITH the oil. I believe the issue is they are traveling throughout your engine UNTIL you drain the oil vs being trapped by the magnetic drain plug keeping some of the metal shavings away from the engine between oil changes.

Great input and thank you.

.
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  #4  
Old 10-24-2011, 10:52 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Sales Pitch (ad):

"Magnetic drain plugs -- a proven way to prolong the life of your engine. (see bottom of opening post)

Last edited by seemyad; 10-24-2011 at 10:53 PM.
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  #5  
Old 10-25-2011, 04:35 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
the OEM plug is designed to be hollow
Just to be clear, only the E39 I6 drain plug is hollow (ask me how I know).

The E39 V8 drain plug is solid.

- Cn90 How to change your oil; and Bluebee how NOT to change your oil!



Here is the 540 drain plug:

PS: As another example of how not to change your oil, see this V8 stripped oil drain plug thread.
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  #6  
Old 10-25-2011, 07:10 AM
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Nline6 Nline6 is offline
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I have entetained the idea of a magnetic drain plug, I just never had bothered to do it. I doubt they have saved any engine from destruction, so i just keep with my OEM plug.
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  #7  
Old 10-25-2011, 07:31 AM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Just to be clear, only the E39 I6 drain plug is hollow (ask me how I know).

The E39 V8 drain plug is solid.

Bluebee how NOT to change your oil!
Man Blubee. I cringe every time I see your "How NOT to change your oil" post. My problem is I am new to this area. Therefore I do not have someone available to take me to get a part while my car is decommissioned so I need to get it right the first time OR call a cab to go to the auto parts store.

Thanks for the reminder to be very careful.

.
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  #8  
Old 10-25-2011, 11:12 AM
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doru doru is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Just to be clear, only the E39 I6 drain plug is hollow (
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
ask me how I know).

The E39 V8 drain plug is solid.


Here is the 540 drain plug:
That is because it's very easy to change the oil pan a v8 - you don't need to drop the subframe. The dealer & car builder sees the cost in labor hours not in parts $$$ figures.


Also ALL solid particles (including metal shavings) "should" be trapped by the oil filter IMHO (unless these are big chunks and the flow does not carry them - but then you have some big issues, which a magnet drain plug will not cure them)).
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Last edited by doru; 10-25-2011 at 11:15 AM.
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  #9  
Old 10-25-2011, 11:28 AM
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menhir menhir is offline
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My Moto Guzzi Breva came with a magnetic oil drain plug from the factory. It was especially helpful during the break-in period of the new engine. As the mileage increased and oil changes became more routine, there was less and less material stuck to the plug. It's certainly a quick way to stay on top of your engine's internal health.

My thought is that the less "metal" trapped in the filter the better job it will do at removing other particle contaminants. But, as doru stated, anything too large for the magnet to capture could be signs of big trouble.
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  #10  
Old 10-25-2011, 12:19 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menhir View Post
My Moto Guzzi Breva came with a magnetic oil drain plug from the factory. It was especially helpful during the break-in period of the new engine. As the mileage increased and oil changes became more routine, there was less and less material stuck to the plug. It's certainly a quick way to stay on top of your engine's internal health.

My thought is that the less "metal" trapped in the filter the better job it will do at removing other particle contaminants. But, as doru stated, anything too large for the magnet to capture could be signs of big trouble.
That makes sense. You would think something that simple and readily available would be stock on ALL cars regardless of make/model (or at least offered as an option).

Good point of the magnet augmenting the filter by potentially trapping stuff that would diminish/partially clog the oil filter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post


Also ALL solid particles (including metal shavings) "should" be trapped by the oil filter IMHO (unless these are big chunks and the flow does not carry them - but then you have some big issues, which a magnet drain plug will not cure them)).

The info above states "Oil filters catch the particles larger than about 35 microns, but they do not remove the smaller particles". I agree with this statement due to my having asthma. Due to my asthma I only purchase Hepa or better rated home air filters and vacuum cleaners. as you are probably aware regular home air filters only trap the larger particles i.e. dust whereas Hepa and higher rated filters trap mold spores, virus cells, and other much smaller elements.

It would appear that actually the car oil filter traps the catastrophic size bits and pieces along with the other stuff i.e. sand and so forth (lets say 500 grit stuff). It appears the magnet will collect shavings that work their way through OR free from the filter itself (lets say 1000 grit and smaller stuff).

Please keep the discussions going as we are ALL here to learn and have an open mind.

.
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  #11  
Old 10-25-2011, 01:44 PM
Mikes530 Mikes530 is offline
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Get 2 or 3 flat, strong magnets and put them on the bottom of your oil pan. When it comes time to do an oil change remove the magnets, drain the oil then replace the magnets.

That's what ZF do on their trannies but their magnets are inside the pan.
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  #12  
Old 10-25-2011, 02:13 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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The engine is primarily made of aluminum, except for the crank, rings, wrist pins, valves, timing chain and sprockets.

Probably not much of an issue, but, if you'll feel better, by all means, put one in.

BTW, BMW does not see fit to specify one for the engine, or manual trans. Can't remember if the diff has one.
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  #13  
Old 10-25-2011, 02:52 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikes530 View Post
Get 2 or 3 flat, strong magnets and put them on the bottom of your oil pan. When it comes time to do an oil change remove the magnets, drain the oil then replace the magnets.

That's what ZF do on their trannies but their magnets are inside the pan.
Good point. They actually sell magnets for this called "Black Holes".
http://www.drainplugmagnets.com/blac...packfilter.php

.
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  #14  
Old 10-25-2011, 02:53 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
BTW, BMW does not see fit to specify one for the engine, or manual trans. Can't remember if the diff has one.
They sell magnetic drain plugs for: oil, tranny, and differential.

.
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  #15  
Old 10-25-2011, 02:54 PM
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doru doru is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
The engine is primarily made of aluminum, except for the crank, rings, wrist pins, valves, timing chain and sprockets.
Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post

Probably not much of an issue, but, if you'll feel better, by all means, put one in.

BTW, BMW does not see fit to specify one for the engine, or manual trans. Can't remember if the diff has one.


So that should put it at rest. Magnets do not attract aluminum particles. I knew I had an oversight somewhere. Thanks Ed.

P.S. it should work in iron block - if one is compelled to use it. But then, I would do the oil pan magnets as suggested above (like the tranny pan magnets)
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  #16  
Old 10-26-2011, 06:46 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Magnetic drain plug makes sense for Trans and Rear Diff because these items have no filters (for most cars).

Engine Oil is being filtered all the time (down to ? 10 microns, not sure but look it up re exact micron).
So I'd not worry too much about magnetic engine drain plug.
Just change the oil at regular intervals that you are comfortable with (search forum).
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  #17  
Old 11-07-2011, 01:11 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
The engine is primarily made of aluminum, except for the crank, rings, wrist pins, valves, timing chain and sprockets.
Good point. Allow me to rephrase... The engine is primarily made of aluminum, except for the MOVING PARTS. IMHO the moving parts are most likely the origin of frayed metal shavings (I think the cam shaft is metal as well).


Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
Probably not much of an issue, but, if you'll feel better, by all means, put one in.

BTW, BMW does not see fit to specify one for the engine, or manual trans. Can't remember if the diff has one.
They do make one for the differential and another part (may be the tranny but have to check).

Thanks for your input.
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  #18  
Old 11-07-2011, 01:13 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menhir View Post
My Moto Guzzi Breva came with a magnetic oil drain plug from the factory. It was especially helpful during the break-in period of the new engine. As the mileage increased and oil changes became more routine, there was less and less material stuck to the plug. It's certainly a quick way to stay on top of your engine's internal health.

My thought is that the less "metal" trapped in the filter the better job it will do at removing other particle contaminants. But, as doru stated, anything too large for the magnet to capture could be signs of big trouble.
Good point.
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  #19  
Old 11-07-2011, 02:17 PM
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ECSTuning ECSTuning is online now
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If you'd like to save a trip to your dealer to get your oil we have packages to make service changes a one stop shop available HERE, they are very competitively priced. As for magnetic drain plugs I run our ECS Magnetic as a little assurance against any contaminants whether they are from the oil or the motor.




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  #20  
Old 11-07-2011, 04:23 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECSTuning View Post
If you'd like to save a trip to your dealer to get your oil we have packages to make service changes a one stop shop available
ECS Tuning
Crap. I already bought the filter. How much for the oil plus delivery to Seattle? I am a CCA member. I'll have to keep Fest sponsors in mind when I shop around.

BLUBEE - Consider adding a "Sponsors" sticky link to the top of each forum. I think it would help people like me check them for pricing BEFORE looking elsewhere.

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