Continues to Amuse and Calm
I just changed the oil on my 2010 e90 for the very first time. I've only had the car just over a month. It's a CPO vehicle with 53k miles and the computer said I could go another 9k miles before my oil change, not on your life. 39 years of driving and self maintenance have taught me when you buy a used car, you change the oil, no exceptions. You never know what the previous owner may have done the last few months or weeks of their ownership and it's not that expensive when you DIY. This is my second BMW, my first was 1 1988 528e which I put 75k miles on after purchasing it late in life (it had 85k miles then) and I was impressed with the functional design of almost every part, though I did pull my hair out pondering how to replace that nasty little bulb behind the trip computer (and never did).
Some thoughts I hope will help others pondering the wisdom of DIY:
It's not that hard to do. There are all kinds of motivational material all over the web (and your local dealer) warning you of the pitfalls and tribulations of DIY maintenance (on a vehicle you own - and maybe the bank) but frankly, I call BS. If you have ever done an oil change before, it's simply not hard to do.
The oil at your local Walmonkey, the proper oil with the BMW rating quoted right on the container is $26 for 5 quarts. Now since I dropped 7.5 quarts into my little baby before she was a happy girl, I'll get 2 oil changes out of 3 - 5 quart containers. The math works out to be about $39 worth of oil, the filter BMW or otherwise can be had from reputable online resellers for under $10, so my out of pocket for the oil change is $49. I'm sure you all know what a dealer, even a non-BMW shop will charge for an oil change on the e90. The cost benefit was simple for me, and I can change the oil any old time I want. As far as resetting the oil change mileage meter, that was easy, there is a post here, probably more than one, and it works for me. I'm a computer guy for 43 years, so maybe I'm just special in the head, but it ain't rocket science.
As far as jacking the car, that turned out to be way easier than I had imagined after reading all of the posts. I did learn that each production run of the e90 is a little different than the last one, for example I have this lovely steel plate screwed down over the center underside of the engine with 4 very large and intimidating bolts holding it in place and of course my mind ran wild with fantasies of BMW hiding the oil drain plug behind that. True to common sense however, the drain plug on my car was easily visible under the missing triangular cover well behind that plate and slightly to the drivers side off center by about 3 inches. My car has a forward jack point easily identifiable by the depression in the surrounding plastic cowling in the shape of a, you guessed it, floor jack pad. It's barely forward of the front drive axle about an inch and a half deep and about 4 inches wide with 3 holes in it for I assume weight reduction. The rubber pad in the cup of my floor jack was a perfect match.
Now for those of you considering the purchase of a floor jack, I picked up a OTC 1532 2-Ton Capacity Aluminum Racing Jack (yes, made in China) from Amazooley for $230 and with what I'll save in oil changes and the maintenance on my ex's car (don't ask) I figure the jack will be paid for in less than a year. It's sturdy, the best looking product I've seen come out of *gulp* China ever, and I'll post my review of that product after a year goes by. The good news is that my 2010 e90 (unmodified sedan or saloon for you Brits) accommodate the jack right under the front bumper and onto the the little lift point without driving the car up on to two by fours, and that made this job much easier.
Jack stands - if you do this job without them, you have serious thrill seeking issues. I have some 30 year old, but always stored inside my house, jack stands like are pictured in many posts here, and they cradle the sturdy plastic jack guides perfectly in their standardized top ends. They didn't deform the guides and that pretty aluminum jack pad I bought will make a nice paperweight, but what the heck.
I also purchased a Assenmacher Specialty Tools V 410 Oil Filter Housing Wrench. It fit like a glove and did use a 22mm socket to make it go. It made the job of removing the oil filter cover effortless. The BMW OEM oil filter I purchased did include both rubber O-rings and a copper compression washer and if you decide not to use them keep a lot of rags in your trunk, A LOT. I used an orange peeler tool to help remove the existing O-rings, anything that's not metal should do nicely. Do remember to oil the new O-rings it's really easy since by now your hands should have some waste oil on em. My cover, and I suspect all of them leaving the factory, had a nice little paint mark that I matched up when tightening it down and that ensures the proper torque is near at hand.
I'm not sure what the specs call for since BMW of America makes that a mystery for our entertainment pleasure, but my little gem drank 7.5 yes seven and a half quarts of precious dinosaur droppings before she was on the full mark, and I did buy a single quart at my favorite employee abusing retail chain to keep in my trunk out of habit (and for peace of mind).
Time to complete was under an hour and that included the time to carry my tools up from the basement and back and the time I spent cowering in my kitchen wondering if this 59 year old geek was out of his ever loving mind. In retrospect, I needed to do this. When I was 4 years old my dad handed me a screwdriver and said "take the back off the television" and I've been taking things apart ever since. I even manage to put them back together often with no extra parts, imagine that. If you want to be more intimate with your baby, do your own oil changes (insert comic sexual analogy here).
My apologies for not posting pictures, I'm expecting 3 cords of firewood any minute now. Cheers for the ultimate driving machine !