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Petrolhead
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm planning on changing the oil in my 2008 3.0i Z4, but this is the first time I've done it and am a bit unsure as to lifting the car. I haven't been able to find much info specifically regarding Z4's in any forums. Anyone have experience getting a Z4 on jack stands? I jacked up one side and looked around for a point around the axles that might work. On the front end, there's a raised cut out on the metal and it looks solid, but another post on the fest says it won't support the car and if used, will bend. Has anyone tried using that point to jack up the car? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Edit:
For some reason I didn't search for "jack points", but a post by Krisl recommended that. I found some info, a lot of which contradicted other advice...But I'm gonna go with the front point and see what happens. Though any advice between now and then is welcome.
 

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I'm planning on changing the oil in my 2008 3.0i Z4, but this is the first time I've done it and am a bit unsure as to lifting the car. I haven't been able to find much info specifically regarding Z4's in any forums. Anyone have experience getting a Z4 on jack stands? I jacked up one side and looked around for a point around the axles that might work. On the front end, there's a raised cut out on the metal and it looks solid, but another post on the fest says it won't support the car and if used, will bend. Has anyone tried using that point to jack up the car? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Edit:
For some reason I didn't search for "jack points", but a post by Krisl recommended that. I found some info, a lot of which contradicted other advice...But I'm gonna go with the front point and see what happens. Though any advice between now and then is welcome.
You don't need to jack up the Z4 to change the oil. You can get enough height to get to the drain plug and insert a drip pan by driving up onto some 2x4's. I use two 1 foot long 2x4's under each front tire (or a single 2x8 on each side if you have them handy). The extra couple of inches is all I need.
 

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You don't need to jack up the Z4 to change the oil. You can get enough height to get to the drain plug and insert a drip pan by driving up onto some 2x4's. I use two 1 foot long 2x4's under each front tire (or a single 2x8 on each side if you have them handy). The extra couple of inches is all I need.
x2 here.

If you can avoid the lift do it. I have an oil change coming up in a couple of thousand, and I will try the vachss method. KISS method.

:thumbup:
 

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Petrolhead
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Discussion Starter #5
I assume you are doing an extra change between scheduled oil changes, get yourself a Mityvac, then you wont need to go under the car at all..

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002SR7TC
Yeah. I'm actually a bit behind. i've got 8500 miles on my car, but I've been procrastinating.

Quite a few people talk about pumps and things to get the oil out without actually draining. Does that work without a dipstick? The '08s don't have 'em.
 

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Petrolhead
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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, on the Z4 the dipstick was a $10,000 option - called the "M".
Yeah, I know. But what will always bug me is that when I bought my Z4, there was an '07 M Roadster at my local dealership that they were trying to move, so it was on a special lease offer of $400/month. They wouldn't give me what I wanted on the trade in, and there was one day left on the lease offer. Three weeks later, I got a base Z4 for $25 more per month than the M Roadster.

Amazingly, this is probably not my biggest car related screw up ever, but it's pretty bad.
 

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Yeah, I know. But what will always bug me is that when I bought my Z4, there was an '07 M Roadster at my local dealership that they were trying to move, so it was on a special lease offer of $400/month. They wouldn't give me what I wanted on the trade in, and there was one day left on the lease offer. Three weeks later, I got a base Z4 for $25 more per month than the M Roadster.

Amazingly, this is probably not my biggest car related screw up ever, but it's pretty bad.
That is impressive! i got my z4 for about $5k under its kbb/nada value. financed for $300/mo @ 50 months. a bit long of a finance period, but i dont plan to have the car that long unless i start making killer dough and can afford two cars.
 

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Went back and forth on jacking or using ramps and draining or buying oil extractor to change my 2005 Z4 oil. Finally opted to buy a set of 8K pound Blitz ramps for $39.99 (O'Reilly Auto Parts). Worked great but did need to use a couple of pieces of scrap 5/4" x 6" boards in front of the ramps to prevent the air dam from contacting ramps as I drove forward. Used Valvoline SynPower 5W-30 (approved by BMW) which was on special for $3.99 a quart at O'Reilly and a Mann BMW filter from a local foreign auto parts company for $5.99. I did not use a 36mm oil filter wrench but used a standard strap type oil filter tool with a flexible handle (necessary to clear the air filter housing) and placed a rag over the filter cap to prevent marring. Was able to tighten by hand flush to the filter housing and leak checked good.
 

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Went back and forth on jacking or using ramps and draining or buying oil extractor to change my 2005 Z4 oil. Finally opted to buy a set of 8K pound Blitz ramps for $39.99 (O'Reilly Auto Parts). Worked great but did need to use a couple of pieces of scrap 5/4" x 6" boards in front of the ramps to prevent the air dam from contacting ramps as I drove forward.
This is similar to what I ended up doing. The ramps I own (that worked great on my E39 5 series) wouldn't work because the M Roadster sits so much lower. So I just use my floor jack under the jack pad behind the front wheels to lift the car until I can get the ramps under the front tires. The I lower the car back down so that it's resting on the ramps. However, annoyingly, I STILL have to drive the car up on some 2x8 boards I had in the garage in order to even get the floor jack under it.

I really have an almost useless floor jack. Since I bought it, I switched out both cars and now have the M Roadster (which is too low for the jack) and a Jeep Wrangler (which sits much too high for the jack!) :rolleyes:
 

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Wow! I didn't realize the M was that much lower:dunno:
I don't know if it's that much lower than the non-M Z or not. But it worked on my E39 540.

Of course, I didn't spend much on the floor jack that I have. I think it came from Costco or somewhere. I really need to just suck it up and buy a nice one. I really like the one at Griots Garage, but I'm not sure if I can convince the wife that $400 for a floor jack is a reasonable expense. :yikes:
 

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WalkTheWalk
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I cannot find the drain plug anywhere, I have it on some 2x4's, and I had to take pictures just to be able to see down there... can someone point me in the right direction?
 

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Petrolhead
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Discussion Starter #15
Rear of the plastic engine underbody cover, you'll see a rectangular plastic door with three or four grooves in it and a screw. Turn the screw, open the door, and through there you'll see the engine drain plug. Sometimes the door comes off and gets lost, so you might not have it there. If not, there will be piece of sheet metal with a rectangular hole. Look through there. If you still can't figure it out, check out the E46 wiki here:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/wiki/index.php?title=BMW_E46

The E85 Z4 is based on the same body as the E46, and shares many, many parts. The oil change procedure is the same for both cars.

Don't forget to only use synthetic, make sure the engine is warm, but not hot and have an oil pan ready to catch the stream. Have fun.
 

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WalkTheWalk
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dunno where my other post went, but thank you!... after playing around with it like my first time with a chick, I found the nub...there was no door but I could see where there was one, dunno what happened to it...then I put the oil catcher down, forgot to unscrew the drain hole so it overflowed everywhere...lesson learned...then I go to install the K&N oil filter hp7007 that I remember seeing that it was for my year and model and its way bigger than the filter it had...any thoughts?....oh and the oil was jet black so I'll never wait 15K again, I think I'll be ok at 10K...gonna use the M1 0W-40, got 6 for $38 AR...the 7th one had to pay $8...
 

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Captain Slow
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This is similar to what I ended up doing. The ramps I own (that worked great on my E39 5 series) wouldn't work because the M Roadster sits so much lower. So I just use my floor jack under the jack pad behind the front wheels to lift the car until I can get the ramps under the front tires. The I lower the car back down so that it's resting on the ramps. However, annoyingly, I STILL have to drive the car up on some 2x8 boards I had in the garage in order to even get the floor jack under it.

I really have an almost useless floor jack. Since I bought it, I switched out both cars and now have the M Roadster (which is too low for the jack) and a Jeep Wrangler (which sits much too high for the jack!) :rolleyes:
Hahahaha! I'm in the exact same boat with nearly the exact same cars. My 03 540i barely makes up my low profile ramps. I had a feeling the M (mine is a coupe, but who's counting) wouldn't go up them. Did you try using 2x4s leading up to the ramps to get the front lip over the hump, so to speak?

I'm changing the M oil tomorrow - er, today - so I figured I'd ask.
 

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Petrolhead
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340 Posts
Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Harbor freight low profile jack $59 bucks, one at sears just a bit more. Jack stands $39 bucks. Jack the car from rear point and it will lift the whole side and insert jack stands in front and drop the jack.

I would never pay $10k for a dipstick. LOL Especially when I'm already behind the wheel.
I'm always weary of Harbor Freight, their prices are amazing, but the handtools I've gotten from them have been cheaply made and sometimes break. With that in mind, I don't want to lift my car and get underneath it using things from Harbor Freight.

I just reread your comment, and I'm thinking that I see some dangerous advice. It sounds like you're suggesting to lift the rear end of the car first. And with many cars, the parking brakes only hold the rear wheels, so once you get the back up, the car could roll forward, causing damage to the car, jack and people. Chocking the front tires *might* prevent this, but that's not a sure bet and is still pretty dangerous. I always recommend jacking from the front centerpoint and placing stands on the front corners. Then jacking from the back centerpoint and placing stands on the rear corners. This is the safest, most stable system I've found that works on the most types of cars. And still chock those tires!

As for low profile cars, I have that problem with all the Bimmers I work on. I have a tight work space, so I don't really have the room to roll onto 2x4s. What I do, is use a first jack on the left or right front corner jack point and lift it about 3-4 inches, that gives me enough clearance to use a second jack on the front centerpoint and lift the car up high enough to get stands under it. And after that, I can still get to the rear centerpoint easily for the rest of the jacking.

Remember to always be careful, you don't want to hurt yourself, friends, or worse-Your car.
 

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Petrolhead
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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
dunno where my other post went, but thank you!... after playing around with it like my first time with a chick, I found the nub...there was no door but I could see where there was one, dunno what happened to it...then I put the oil catcher down, forgot to unscrew the drain hole so it overflowed everywhere...lesson learned...then I go to install the K&N oil filter hp7007 that I remember seeing that it was for my year and model and its way bigger than the filter it had...any thoughts?....oh and the oil was jet black so I'll never wait 15K again, I think I'll be ok at 10K...gonna use the M1 0W-40, got 6 for $38 AR...the 7th one had to pay $8...
Glad you found the drain plug. And yeah, in the beginning, you'll get oil everywhere, but the more oil you change, the cleaner it'll get. Unless you're my friend, whenever he changes his oil, it's like Katrina over here. Not too soon for that joke, is it?

Now to your other questions. I'm assuming you have a regular 3.0 liter engine (I think that's all they sold in the US in 2006), so there should only be one oil filter. The K&N site lists a lot of different engine sizes though (including some that were not US spec), so I'd be a bit wary.

I always buy Mann filters either from Bavauto.com or Pelicanparts.com, the link to the pelican filter is here. Really though, this is an easy answer, if the filter is not a snug fit in the housing, and the cap doesn't fit on the filter, it's the wrong size filter.

One other thing that worries me, you say you're going to use 0w-40 oil. It's been about six months since I read up on oil viscosity, but that sounds thin. Are you in a really cold climate? Most of the US, especially around this time of year, should be fine with standard weight oil. For all my cars, I used to buy Castrol Syntec European Blend 0w-30. After Katrina, I switched to Pennzoil, so now I use their full synthetic 5w-30. Thought I'd bring that up. And since we don't have dipsticks, make sure to only put in 6.5-6.75 quarts of oil when you fill her back up.

Let us know how it goes.
 
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