BimmerFest BMW Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
my 328 is just under three months old and has 3650 miles on the clock. I thought I would post some comments in case any others are about to get into the do-it-yourself oil change business.
First, I won't discuss the "how to" specifics because they are well documented elsewhere on this forum; I would just say, follow the directions of other DIYers and you should not have too much trouble. Here are some things from my oil change that I wanted to share:

1. For this change, I just bought the filter and BMW synthetic oil from my dealer ($21 for the filter and $7.29/qt for the oil). I know that I can do better than these prices and will for the next time.

2. My first challenge was getting my car up on the ramps, as simple as that may seem. The problem was that my ramps were too steep and the front bumper underhang would hit the ramp before the wheel started up. My solution was to take a couple of boards about two feet long and two inches thick and use them as ramp extenders. This effectively lessened the slope and I was able to get the car up without further trouble.

3. Getting the drain plug (17mm) open was easy. It is behind the little "trap door" near the exposed bolt (which is NOT the drain plug!). You can remove the "trap door" and I recommend that you do so. One thing that I would caution as you unscrew the drain bolt is that the oil stream is strong when first opened and you will need a fairly large pan to catch the oil. I used an old kitty litter box. I was glad that I did, since the stream shot out far enough that it would probably have missed the pan that I normally use. I let the oil drain for at least 45 mintues - more on this later.

4. Taking off the filter housing cap took a little effort. I could not turn it by hand (too hot anyway) even with gloves, so I used an old oil filter wrench, but it wouldn't grip. I solved that problem by putting some plastic "bubble wrap" over the cap and then putting the filter wrench over that. It worked; however, I plan to buy one of those rubber strap jar openers to use in the future. Before you remove the cap, note carefully that there is (or should be) a green mark on the side of the cap. When you reinstall, you will want to match that spot for a tight fit.
5. After I removed the old oil filter, I struggled a bit to get the small center rubber O-ring off (the filter kit includes the filter, a large rubber O-ring for the overall housing, a small center rubber O-ring and a crush washer for the drain plug). I had read that others had urged not to use a screwdriver to pry off these rubber O-rings for fear of damaging the hard plastic housing. I tried for ten minutes using a plastic fork, but finally gave up. I resorted to using some small needle-nosed pliers. I pushed hard on the O-ring from one side and it moved out far enough on the other side that I could grab it with the pliers and it came right off. No doubt others will solve this problem differently, but this worked for me with no damage to anything. The large O-ring was easy and I was able to hook this one with the plastic fork and get it off. When taking off the large O-ring, look carefully at its placement, as you will want to put the new one exactly in the same spot.

6. Since the oil filter housing sits at an angle, there is some old oil that will pool in the bottom after you have removed the filter. I just used paper towels to swab this out; however, be careful that you don't leave any debris from the towels behind.

7. After installing the new filter and O-rings, I coated the large O-ring with oil and screwed it back into the housing, using the filter wrench for the final bit (but do not tighten it beyond its original location). If you have a torque wrench, you can use that too (25NM), but I don't think one is necessary if you just line up the marks.

8. I crawled back under the car to re-install the drain plug. I noted that the original crush washer had not come off and was still stuck to the pan - wouldn't come off with finger pressure so used a screwdriver to gently give it a push and it came off. Put on the new washer and screwed the plug back in being careful not to over-tighten (this is definitely NOT the place to show off your muscles). Reattached the "trap door".

9. I then put in a little over 6.5 qts of BMW 5W-30 synthetic oil. I started the car and let it idle for a couple of minutes looking for leaks - none. I am glad that I did not just go ahead and put in the called for 7 qts, because after I was sure that nothing was leaking, I drove it a bit to allow the on-board system to check the oil. Guess what? The computer said that my car was "full" - exactly on the line. Had I put in the other 12 Oz or so, I would have been over. I wondered why it did not need the full 7 qts and the only reason that comes to mind (given that I drained it for 45 minutes) is that because the car was on ramps the front was higher than the rear. It seems possible that some small amount of oil collects in the "down hill" side of the pan and cannot drain? I would be curious if others have noticed this too.

In any event, this was not hard to accomplish and I learned some things doing it. I will definitely do my own "mid cycle" oil changes from here on out.

Now, the question is: was this necessary given BMW's 15k+ oil change intervals? Well, there are many threads on this subject and I won't try to argue it here, but beyond peace of mind, I noted that my oil was absolutely black - it did not feel gritty to the touch, but clearly the detergent in the oil had been working hard. I examined the old filter carefully but did not see any debris (metal shavings, etc). For a new car, I think it is well worthwhile to do such an oil change. I will do at least one more about midway to my first scheduled change, then will do a midcycle change from that point on. This took me a little over an hour, so I think I should be able to do it quicker in the future. Good luck to others deciding to DIY.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
241 Posts
Nicely documented...

My 335i sedan is at 3400 miles so this weekend I'm doing the same + installing mud flaps.

Funny, I can crawl under my 9-year old Explorer (though it's not easy) and do an oil change and even installed OEM mud flaps w/o ramps or a lift (Maybe that's why it doesn't handle so well.. high COG)

My ramps are back in Michigan so I'm going to impose on the Army (since there's no comparable Navy facility) at Ft Myer here in DC (VA actually). It's a great place; most military bases have some sort of auto "hobby shop" and this one has ( I think) 6 lifts and a nice staff. Sort of the curmudgeon retiree types with lots of advice.

So flaps install /oil change will be pretty easy thanks to your info and the "gang" at the hobby shop. Thanks again...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Thanks for the pointers. Especially the ones about lining up the green dots when putting the oil filter cap back on and the one about the washer being stuck to the oil pan. Mine did, too and it was hard to see it was still stuck on there.

I have routinely changed the oil on my '03 E46 and this is a very similar process except for the change in the oil filter cover. I just spend an hour start to finish changing the oil in my daughters '07 328i. I used an old oil filter wrench from when I use to drive Hondas and Toyotas. Next time I will have to get one of the cap type sockets. I would have gotten one today by my dealer didn't have any in stock. I highly recommend buying one instead of using the old type wrap around pressure type wrenches.

The forums on Bimmerfest have been extremely helpful on numerous occasions. What would I do without you guys??!! Thanks for taking the time to post your tips on oil changes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
I changed mine and put in all but a few ounces from the 7 quart. When I checked it after the change, it was on the full line so I didn't add the remaining few ounces. I have been driving 600 miles since the change and the oil level is still on the full line. I wonder if the computer just draws the graphic as full if within a certain tolerance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,748 Posts
Hi all,

Just wanted to share an experience from yesterday. I've decided to extend my oil change intervals on my 2006 Honda Civic SI. So I ran AMSOIL 0w30 (series 2000, which is one generation older than their newest stuff, 0w30 Signature Series (SSO)) along with a PureOne oil filter (one of the best easily available).

I ran this oil from 26500 miles to 36000 miles. At the oil change, it was barely darkened. On the dipstick, it was a deep honey color. Coming out under the car, in a low light situation, i was able to see a small amount of translucence through the stream of oil...i.e. a small amount of light passed through the thick stream.

I'm getting an oil analysis done by Blackstone Labs and a TBN to determine how this oil did in my engine. I'll share it on a few forums online.

To be fair, Honda builds an exceptional engine (as does BMW) and this is pretty hardcore oil. But I've used Mobil One, Royal Purple, Pennzoil Platinum, etc. before in this engine and it was always much darker by 6000-7500 miles.

Anyway...just mentioning it as a possible engine oil for those of you wanting to do longer intervals after your initial break-in oil but concerned about it.

Joe
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top