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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 10-27-2013, 09:06 PM
GG Hyundai GG Hyundai is offline
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How scary is DIY if you've never done it before?

I'm tired of paying $100 for oil changes, but I've never jacked up a car before or even used a tool more complicated than a screwdriver
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  #2  
Old 10-27-2013, 09:29 PM
Pilgrim Pilgrim is offline
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There is plenty of info on YouTube and other places online. It pays to think about what you do before turning bolts, but oil changes are as easy as it gets.

You can also go to Amazon, search for "basic auto mechanics" and find many references and books on getting started, including "Auto Repair For Dummies".

Another idea is if you have a friend who knows mechanics, ask him to coach you but not do it for you.

You will spend money on tools, but that can be done in increments. I encourage you to try it!
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GG Hyundai View Post
I'm tired of paying $100 for oil changes, but I've never jacked up a car before or even used a tool more complicated than a screwdriver
Just ask CWB!
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:05 PM
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$100.00 may be inexpensive for a BMW oil change in some cases.

It's not technically difficult as far as steps are concerned. For mine I pay about $45.00 to do it myself with correct oil and filter (oil bought at Walmart and filter online). It's not hard but you need to be able to jack up your car (need a lower profile car jack), support it (jack stand), remove the oil panel cover (your hand), take out the oil drain bolt (wrench) and let it drain into a drain pan (I usually put the pan under and then lower it back down so it is level and get the most oil out as possible). The rest is accessed from the top and all you do is remove the oil cover, remove the filter and o-rings, replace, and retighten. Jack the car back up, put the drain bolt back in, put the cover back on and lower. Then, remove the oil fill cap and fill with new oil. Put cap back on and you are done. The up front costs for you will be to buy the tools to do it every time at home but after that you'll be fine.
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:10 PM
Miller335 Miller335 is offline
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Got to start somewhere but a 335 is quite the starting point, take your time.

I cut my teeth on a Celica (22RE) and a Taurus SHO (yummy Yamaha engine) at a young age and slowly moved up from there so I feel comfortable owning a car like a BMW at this point now that I have almost 20 years of owning and caring for cars.

GL
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:56 PM
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sptt144 sptt144 is offline
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Re: How scary is DIY if you've never done it before?

A standard car or truck is easier to learn on. The main diff is that most cars have an oil dipstick and filter screws on externally underneath the car. In the 335, the filter is enclosed in a housing and made of fibrous material and sealed into the housing by a screw cap lid with a rubber o ring. The oil comes out the bottom as a Normal car does so that is cake. Filling your BMW oil from the top is also the same but you have to pre measure how much you put in due to no dipstick. This is easy as you just need to put in as much as you drained out. Done! You are an expert!

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Old 10-27-2013, 11:30 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GG Hyundai View Post
I'm tired of paying $100 for oil changes, but I've never jacked up a car before or even used a tool more complicated than a screwdriver

DIY is a scary, risk filled endeavor! You've REALLY gotta watch your step - yeppur.

OK, you've been warned........ Whew! Not so bad!


Right. You got your hands dirty - lived to tell the tale - you're feeling good! Your ride's suave w/new lube, smooth as silk. You're already thinking of what else you can do....you've taken that first step and you're projecting the confidence of success.

Now's the time big guy - read THIS. Within, BTW, you'll find everything you need to safely raise your ride for that oil change, and much more....


.

Last edited by CALWATERBOY; 11-08-2013 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 10-28-2013, 12:03 AM
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I don't mean to be disrespectful to anyone but have you checked out some of the people changing your oil at Jiffy-Lube etc? If you can read & follow directions you can do just about any normal maintenance item on your car.

Biggest issue with the BMW is getting it off the ground. As was mentioned its low & many jacks will not fit under it. I made some quick & dirty ramps to get it high enough for my floor jacks to reach the center point jacking pad. Its hard to tell the scale from the pictures but the ramps are wide enough for a 10" tread width about 265/275

Once its up some jack stands to stabilize it & its off to the races. Unscrew the drain plug & let the oil out into a pan. Put the plug back in etc. Just follow the DIY vids for changing the filter which is in the case of BMW's at the front, on top of the engine & very easy to do.

First time through you will need a jack, 2 jack stands, oil catch pan & some basic hand tools. What you save from the dealer charges will buy many of the tools


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Old 10-28-2013, 01:14 AM
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07 E63650i 07 E63650i is offline
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How scary is DIY if you've never done it before?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GG Hyundai View Post
I'm tired of paying $100 for oil changes, but I've never jacked up a car before or even used a tool more complicated than a screwdriver
DIY can vary. When I first started DIY, I might have made some mistakes on my first car. It's a valuable learning experience that can help you provided that you either want to save money or there is no dealer or independent specialist nearby.

For BMWs, the hardest part is getting the vehicle off the ground since the car is set fairly close to the ground.


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Old 10-28-2013, 08:28 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bear-avhistory View Post
Biggest issue with the BMW is getting it off the ground. As was mentioned its low & many jacks will not fit under it. I made some quick & dirty ramps to get it high enough for my floor jacks to reach the center point jacking pad. Its hard to tell the scale from the pictures but the ramps are wide enough for a 10" tread width about 265/275

I like those ramps! 2x12"? OP, you'll notice the stagger. Useful for getting to the center jack points front & rear, especially front, they are much recommended.

If no got, can jack a side point the other end from the center point you want to jack. Sufficiently up, insert a jack stand under the other side jack point. On the same side [mentioned for the OCD among us] as your jack. Now can access the center jack point - in a pinch, does the job.

>AHEM< I am not in any way responsible for injury or loss resulting from above - you proceed using above entirely at your own risk.

.

Last edited by CALWATERBOY; 10-28-2013 at 08:30 AM.
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  #11  
Old 10-28-2013, 09:59 AM
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TheyCallMeNun TheyCallMeNun is offline
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ANY marginally intelligent person can perform an oil change. Personally I think BMW's are one of the easier cars to do a DIY oil change, mostly because of the oil filter location. Watch a couple of youtube videos, bring your smart phone out with you. Watch and play along as the video does, pause when need be. Don't be afraid, it's much easier than you think. plus you'll save yourself at least $45-50
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  #12  
Old 10-28-2013, 03:24 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GG Hyundai View Post
I'm tired of paying $100 for oil changes, but I've never jacked up a car before or even used a tool more complicated than a screwdriver
You're really not going to save much by DIY for oil changes. You're also going to handle the oil/filter disposal as well. It looks like $76 for the kit from getbmwparts which is typically cheapest for OEM on this chassis. I know a couple of brothers with a shop that I think only charges $10 on top of supplies for the change. So to make the money on ramps, catch bin, jug container, torque wrench (or not), filter adapter (or not), it will take many changes.

The real reason to do IMO is knowing that it was done correctly, and/or for the pride of DIY. I think it's beyond oil changes when you start saving real money.

That said, if you're like me, after you do that first oil change, you start going nuts. Relatively speaking of course. I did my first oil change last year, and this year I graduated to diff, trans, brake fluid, both air filters, spark plugs, PS fluid. I may still hit the coolant before the year is over, I just need to take the time to figure out if I want to attack the intercooler or not. I intend on doing my brakes whenever that time comes around. I still am pretty clueless on DIY walnut shell blasting, who knows how long it will take for me to wrap my head around that.

I say go for it, the oil change that is.

Get a couple of cheap carpets/mats, so that your ramps don't slip. I vote for ramps because I think it's safer/easier, and it will also be cheaper at first. Though you could spend a lot of money on Race Ramps, which don't need any wood planks in front to clear your bumper lip. If you do go with a jack, I vote for a really big low profile, where you don't need to fiddle around with multiple jacks/points, it will reach the central jacking points no sweat. But go with ramps. Get some Rhino Ramps, and go to Home Depot and ask them to cut a couple of lengths of wood plank. You put these planks right in front of ramps, but do use some mats so there is no slip. edit: you also need some wheel chocks. I have race ramps brand for those, but check out Harbor Freight, they have some nice sticky truck chocks for really cheap, I mean they look superior to my RR ones to be quite honest. It is also where I got my huge and heavy low pro jack, that reaches central points no problem...

Twist the little knob or whatever on that little oil drain plug panel (very obvious), open the drain plug, catch it all.

Filter is on top, if you're like me get a torque wrench and filter adapter. Otherwise, some people use cheap strap wrenches or whatever, and check out the two little green dots next time under the hood, to see how they presently align.

The oil kit will have the new crush washer for that bottom drain plug, reinstall. Install two new orings on oil filter housing. Thrown in 6+ quarts or whatever. Let OBC know you've done the change. Done, I think.

Last edited by Ilovemycar; 10-28-2013 at 03:26 PM.
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  #13  
Old 10-28-2013, 06:37 PM
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BB_cuda BB_cuda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
DIY is a scary, risk filled endeavor! You've REALLY gotta watch your step - yeppur.

OK, you've been warned...... Whew! Not so bad!


Right. You got your hands dirty - lived to tell the tale - you're feeling good! Your ride's suave w/new lube, smooth as silk. You're already thinking of what else you can do....you've taken that first step and you're projecting the confidence of success.

Now's the time big guy - read THIS. Within, BTW, you'll find everything you need to safely raise your ride for that oil change, and much more....


.
CWB, I've read through your E93 transformation to M3 suspension thread before. I'm trying to tool up for similar endeavor. I've done front ends on a couple other makes before but never a bmw. Amoungst tools i have on my list are the e torx sockets. In particular, the set i have my sights on spans from E4 to E24. Will this cover the range needed for the project you did? I'm pretty well setup on jacks, stands, creepers, pickle forks, etc. I have used the services of a local automotive shop for pushing in and out bushings (except when replacing with polyurethane which is a breeze to put back in).

Sorry the other guy wanting to learn how to change his oil. I came from the other extreme. Before ever changing oil, dad had me cleaning parts to be repainted for rebuilds of Chrysler big blocks (383, 440, and 400) when i has about 12 years old. Being the youngest of 4 brothers so the others got put to work for routine things by dad. We did our first german make engine rebuild around 1984 (1975 VW Scirocco) after i successfully siezed it up by driving it overheated and blowing the head gasket. Expensive lesson for a 19 year old.

OP, after learning how to do an oil change you should graduate to learning how to do a brake job. That would be a good stepping stone.
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Old 10-28-2013, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
I like those ramps! 2x12"? OP, you'll notice the stagger. Useful for getting to the center jack points front & rear, especially front, they are much recommended.
Yes it 2X12" stock with kitchen draw pulls for handles. The top level is about 18" long & the wheel stop is a 2X2" & all screwed together not nailed. Made them a while back for the 2004 330Ci ZHP. Have had steel ramps with detachable treads for about 40 years.

When I tried to use the steel ramps with the BMW the incline was too steep & they bottomed out on the front valance before the wheels would start too climb up them. For my 4X4's the wooden ones raise the trucks high enough to comfortably do the changes on them.
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Old 10-28-2013, 07:47 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BB_cuda View Post
CWB, I've read through your E93 transformation to M3 suspension thread before. I'm trying to tool up for similar endeavor. I've done front ends on a couple other makes before but never a bmw. Amoungst tools i have on my list are the e torx sockets. In particular, the set i have my sights on spans from E4 to E24. Will this cover the range needed for the project you did? I'm pretty well setup on jacks, stands, creepers, pickle forks, etc. I have used the services of a local automotive shop for pushing in and out bushings (except when replacing with polyurethane which is a breeze to put back in).

Truth be told, don't remember exactly what sizes I used! Have range of external and internal Torx - needed both. Short & long metric sockets, impact. Mucho box ends, at least 10 trips to Sears for a size I didn't have, but hey - got 'em now.

As we wind on down the road, we acquire a surprising number o'tools....I've filled couple of these, and then some.....power tools....just can't get enough:


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Old 10-28-2013, 08:00 PM
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Agree, You have to start someplace & its usually with the easy jobs first. I started passing tools & washing parts for the "big guys" who had Hot Rods when I was in the 7th or 8th grade, 1954/55. Kept getting more & more experienced with hands on rebuilds in high school. Got drafted & aced the Army classification tests at the Basic Training Reception Center. Was assigned after basic to the 12 week tracked vehicle mechanics school at Ft. Knox Kentucky. Scored 1000 points out of a possible 1000 for the course & was the school honor graduate. Was discharged as a Sr.Tracked Vehicle Recovery Mechanic in 1969. Kept my hand in ever since.

Also had accumulated a pile of SAE tools & had to start all over again with Metric. Going to a compressor & air tools 15 years ago was one of my better choices in old fart workload reduction. Over time all my tools have been paid for with DIY sweat equity rather than paying labor charges at a shop or dealer.
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Old 10-29-2013, 04:51 AM
hondo402000 hondo402000 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GG Hyundai View Post
I'm tired of paying $100 for oil changes, but I've never jacked up a car before or even used a tool more complicated than a screwdriver
my dealer told me yesterday Hendrick BMW of Charlotte NC that they have coupons that you can get online and get your oil changed for around 80 bucks, thats about what it cost to purchase materials

plus they do an inspection to try to find things to get you to pay for to fix, thats the down side
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:01 PM
mikesevel mikesevel is offline
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One more oily contribution

Although I am 72.89 years old, I change my own oil at 7,500 miles. Every other oil change is completed at the BMW dealer with promo prices, usually around $89. That includes their trained eyes to locate other potential problems.
When i change my oil, I rely on Mann oil filters that you can buy cheaply in a six pack on Ebay, often including shipping charges. I buy my oil from BMW with a 20% discount. The filter housing cap comes off easily with an expandable wrench. My wife thinks I am nutzo as I groan with my arthritis when under the car but I come away dirty and proud.
Mikey
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:38 PM
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^^^^^

Nice to read I am not the oldest fart here. 71 & 10/12ths
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:41 PM
pmcu pmcu is offline
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How scary is DIY if you've never done it before?

They often have promotions at dealerships for oil changes. Which drops the price down to around 79.95 dollars. Assuming you spend 45$ in the parts to DIY, you saved around 35 bucks every half a year assuming your time comes at no cost which is usually not the case. So if you are concerned about it, it's really not that bad to just have the dealer do it.


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Old 11-05-2013, 01:21 AM
PNBMWX5 PNBMWX5 is offline
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agree with 'Ilovemycar' it's about doing the job yourself however, the BM mechanic is trained to look around all things under the bonnet and car and sometimes is a good thing. I do all my own servicing and there is nothing in it. give it a go and while under the car look around for oil leaks etc. It has been mentioned but there are a couple of basic things besides the safety of your car in the air and you under it. Make sure you measure the oil to be used as there is no dipstick and drain the oil when it is warn so it flows a little better. When returning the drain plug make sure you replace the sealing washer on the plug. Screw the plug in by hand all the way so you know it is in straight so it doesn't get cross threaded. Same for the oil filter and put a little engine oil on the seal and follow the manual instructions in tightening up as you can over do it. generally one third a turn after contact...
Cheers
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by PNBMWX5 View Post
agree with 'Ilovemycar' it's about doing the job yourself however, the BM mechanic is trained to look around all things under the bonnet and car and sometimes is a good thing. I do all my own servicing and there is nothing in it. give it a go and while under the car look around for oil leaks etc. It has been mentioned but there are a couple of basic things besides the safety of your car in the air and you under it. Make sure you measure the oil to be used as there is no dipstick and drain the oil when it is warn so it flows a little better. When returning the drain plug make sure you replace the sealing washer on the plug. Screw the plug in by hand all the way so you know it is in straight so it doesn't get cross threaded. Same for the oil filter and put a little engine oil on the seal and follow the manual instructions in tightening up as you can over do it. generally one third a turn after contact...
Cheers

BMW's used crush washers on the drain plug when I last had one before my current ride. Still?

Bought a half dozen; kept 'em in the glove compartment - NOT reusable!
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:24 AM
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Another word for having a BMW tech look around under your hood is "upselling". It would be real hard for him to see anything you would not see since the bottom of the car is sealed. Generally visiable signs of a potential issue are leaks that anyone can see of lose parts that are also generally visible.

The whole idea of starting to do your own work is to learn to understand what is going on with the car that can save you money down the road. The more you know the less likely you are to pay $200 for "fuel injector service" that consists of poring in a bottle of rebranded Techron.

I am not a qualified aircraft mechanic but I would never move a plane without a very thorough walk around inspection.
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:59 PM
GG Hyundai GG Hyundai is offline
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Ok, for a total noob like me, would the Bentley service manual be easy to follow?
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:39 PM
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tturedraider tturedraider is offline
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Originally Posted by GG Hyundai View Post
Ok, for a total noob like me, would the Bentley service manual be easy to follow?
No need for an oil change.
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