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      09-06-2005, 01:38 PM   #1
HRC
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Update on my DIY Oil Change

I completed my oil change this past weekend. Sorry, no pictures. My car had 1301 miles on it when I did the change. I purchased a case of the BMW oil and a BMW oil filter from the dealer. I purchased a strap-wrench and ramps from Sears.

After I drove the car up on the ramps, I opened the oil filler cap to let some heat out for a few minutes while I waited for the oil filter cap to cool down, it gets really hot.

Doh!!! I assumed the exposed bolt from underneath the car was the drain plug because at first try, I didn't see the drain bolt behind the panel further back. Like a dummy I loosened it, but fortunatley nothing bad happened and I tightened it back up. Just call me dumbass!

The washer on the drain bolt was stuck on the bolt with paint. It appears that the lower part of the block was dipped in paint or protectant. It came off with a little help from a screwdriver.

Next, I took off the oil filter cap with the strap wrench. The filter element is wedged in the canister on which the cap is screwed to, but is easy to remove and replace. I soaked up the excess oil at the bottom of the canister with a rag before placing the new filter in. There are two gaskets for the cap that are easy to replace. No mess at all! Real easy. I'm used to japanese cars with the oil filter at the bottom, what a mess!

I then filled up with about 6.7 quarts of oil. After I cleaned up everything, I checked the oil level and it read max level. I drove around and after about 100 miles or so, the oil level indicator showed about a 1/4 of a quart low, so I went home and put in the rest of the oil left in the 7th quart assuming that will max it out...wrong, still reads 1/4 low. BTW, the car runs excellent, smoother than before. I'm really glad I did the change as the old oil that drained out had some silver stuff in it!

Questions: I'm scared to put any more oil in as I have a total of 7 quarts and do not want to overfill. Could my gauge be acting up? Before I did the oil change, the oil level was always maxed, suddenly when I do the change, it's 1/4 low, problem? And lastly, is there any thing that I reset when the oil is changed?

Thanks!
Danny
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Last edited by HRC; 09-06-2005 at 01:55 PM.
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      09-06-2005, 01:42 PM   #2
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Darn, was hoping someone could do a DYI on this. I'd like to change out my oil at 1200 miles too. Anyways, good job for doing the oil change
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      09-06-2005, 01:55 PM   #3
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You have to drive at least 5 min for the system to update the oil level

Did you do that after topping up ?
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      09-06-2005, 02:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90Fleet
You have to drive at least 5 min for the system to update the oil level

Did you do that after topping up ?
Hi EFleet!

After I did the oil change, I did not drive it to check, just let it idle for a few minutes...after which it showed full. After that while driving, it showed full. It was the next day while driving that it showed 1/4 low. I then topped it off and drove it for 1/2 hour and it still shows 1/4 low.

I'm thinking that I could have burned a little becuase after the change, I took her past 6K rpms twice, but again, not sure.

Can the e90 hold a little more than 7 quarts?

Danny
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      09-06-2005, 02:36 PM   #5
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Hey HRC,

Did you feel it was worth doing the oil change. How much metal was in the oil.

Thanks for the great info.
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      09-06-2005, 02:36 PM   #6
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The one thing you really do not want to do is overfill, as that can lead to blowing out seals. I would be getting paranoid. It is very unlikely that revving past 6k would cause the loss of oil. You might have drained more than 6.7 by sopping up the residual in the filter, but I doubt it. Chances are that you are just on the borderline of the 1/4 low detector, and another oz/dl or two would do it. But having already put 7 quarts in I would worry. I assume you have checked everywhere for leaks? At times like this the old dipstick would be comforting. If I were you I might consider taking it in to be checked.
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      09-06-2005, 02:38 PM   #7
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Sorry, I dont know quarts

Its supposed to take 6.5Litres on a change ( seems to be around 6.9 quarts )

maybe cleaning out the filter canister causes it to take a little more ( bet a dealer NEVER does that )

If it still shows a bit low you can probably put a bit more in if you want , but dont put in too much, rather a little at a time
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      09-06-2005, 02:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakobzara
Hey HRC,

Did you feel it was worth doing the oil change. How much metal was in the oil.

Thanks for the great info.
Hey Jako,

I'm glad I did the change. I of course don't know the parts-per-million content of the metal in the oil, but the old oil did have some silver in it. The car now runs and revs smoother, plus with the piece of mind, I recommend it.

Danny
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      09-06-2005, 02:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stressdoc
The one thing you really do not want to do is overfill, as that can lead to blowing out seals. I would be getting paranoid. It is very unlikely that revving past 6k would cause the loss of oil. You might have drained more than 6.7 by sopping up the residual in the filter, but I doubt it. Chances are that you are just on the borderline of the 1/4 low detector, and another oz/dl or two would do it. But having already put 7 quarts in I would worry. I assume you have checked everywhere for leaks? At times like this the old dipstick would be comforting. If I were you I might consider taking it in to be checked.
I checked(and still checking) for leaks a few times! After a trip, I would pop the hood just to make sure the oil cap was fine. I looked under the car and see nothing. I will drive around more to see if the level indicator moves down some more. If not, I will add a little more oil, if that doesn't work, I might take it in. I really doubt I did anything wrong aside from loosening the wrong bolt.

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      09-06-2005, 02:49 PM   #10
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Did you also look under the car after the oil change? Look at the area around the drain plug to see if oil is slowly leaking or not? make me want to change the oil also but I already have 7000 miles now.
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      09-06-2005, 03:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txusa03
Did you also look under the car after the oil change? Look at the area around the drain plug to see if oil is slowly leaking or not? make me want to change the oil also but I already have 7000 miles now.
Yea, I've been looking underneath the car for leaks, so far none! I would be shocked if there was b/c it's not hard to tread the drain plug in and tighten it! I would still change your oil now with 7k miles than wait untiol 15k for the first one! Go for it!

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      09-06-2005, 03:22 PM   #12
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I second Danny's suggestion that you change your oil w/ 7k miles. Anyone know if there is the equivalent of the old magnetic sinks that would collect bits of steel, but that would work with the aluminum and magnesium bits in the N52? While I'm at it, what is the manufacturing process for the block -- do we still have to worry about bits of silica etc. from molds? I know this is anal perfectionism, but hey, we are dealing with a machine that is near-perfection here.
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      09-06-2005, 03:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90Fleet
Sorry, I dont know quarts
oh yeah, it's been a long time here as well since we changed over to the metric system.

i have forgotten quarts as well.

i once saw an american tv show where the presenter said, referring to the USA.
"here comes the metric system." can anyone shed some light on that.

im just trying to think who it was....
oh yes, that famous and highly respected movie star & tv commercial presenter, Troy McLure. yeah, he said it.

any idea when it will be implemented?
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      09-06-2005, 03:31 PM   #14
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When are we going metric? Probably about the same time the 335i and diesels are released in the USA. And we decide that teaching Intelligent Design is a waste of a student's time. Sorry but the logic (?) of some things we do here gets me sometimes.
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      09-06-2005, 03:42 PM   #15
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Thanks for the helpful post and info. I am at 5,500 miles now and I want to change my oil soon. I wanted to do it at 1,200 miles (Audi maintenance pays for this on newAudis) but I trusted BMW that they know what they are doing. I figured that BMW engine tolerances must be better or something. I was just being naive I guess.

I am fairly certain that it's about money that BMW no longer requires a 1,200 mile service (since they pay for oil changes in the first 4 years), but it's basically good insurance to change the oil on a brand new engine after break-in. I am kicking myself now for not changing it at 1,200 miles. How could there not be some metal particles and/or silica in the engine when it is new? I hope the oil filter on the E90 is really good, and that they use a magnetic drain plug.

Let us know how it turns out with the 1/4 low issue please.
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      09-06-2005, 03:49 PM   #16
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Yeah, I don't get it either. Metric is so much more useful and scientific than our "feet" and "gallons" crap.

I think the US decided to switch over to the metric system in the 1970s because there is ONE sign still up somewhere in Minnesota or one of the Dakotas that is exclusively metric, but somehow the idea got shot down and we never converted. I found this page, kinda neat:
http://lamar.colostate.edu/~hillger/signs.htm .
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      09-06-2005, 04:06 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stressdoc
And we decide that teaching Intelligent Design is a waste of a student's time. Sorry but the logic (?) of some things we do here gets me sometimes.
110V and NTSC makes one wonder sometimes, but then you got LHD cars, 1900mhz cell phones and cables tv and modems
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      09-06-2005, 04:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharp1183
Yeah, I don't get it either. Metric is so much more useful and scientific than our "feet" and "gallons" crap.

I think the US decided to switch over to the metric system in the 1970s because there is ONE sign still up somewhere in Minnesota or one of the Dakotas that is exclusively metric, but somehow the idea got shot down and we never converted. I found this page, kinda neat:
http://lamar.colostate.edu/~hillger/signs.htm .
When they start talking about so many thousnads of a inch my mind shuts down, milimeters are so much easier


Nice link for the signs
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      09-06-2005, 04:44 PM   #19
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Here in the states, we have to learn at an early age units of measure in our standard English system. Then when we hit high school or college, we have to forget everything we learned about inches and pounds, and re-learn units of measure for the metric system and have all our scientific and mathematical studies based on celsius, mg, mL, and mm.

Why not learn just metric since makes 100x more sense. Not only that, you waste half a semester just trying to learn how to convert inches to meters, and fahrenheit to celsius (even though I think "fahrenheit" is a cooler word ).
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      09-06-2005, 05:52 PM   #20
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I concur. But then I am not in charge.... Sadly....
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      09-08-2005, 10:56 AM   #21
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Update: I added slightly more oil(less than 1/4 of a quart) on the 6th, drove around and the it still read 1/4 low. I was driving around yesterday and it read full! All is good now.

Side note, I've noticed my gas mileage improving. It used to be 18 or so in the city and 22 or so on the highway, now it's getting around 20/25! The engine is pulling harder and revving alot more freely as the miles go on the clock. The motor is just so smooth and creamy! I now have about 1520 or so.

Danny
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      09-08-2005, 02:44 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HRC
Update: I added slightly more oil(less than 1/4 of a quart) on the 6th, drove around and the it still read 1/4 low. I was driving around yesterday and it read full! All is good now.

Side note, I've noticed my gas mileage improving. It used to be 18 or so in the city and 22 or so on the highway, now it's getting around 20/25! The engine is pulling harder and revving alot more freely as the miles go on the clock. The motor is just so smooth and creamy! I now have about 1520 or so.

Danny
Can you give us a list of all parts you used and price associated with each part?

I'm specifically looking for the specific ramps you used, as well as tools, etc.
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