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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > DIY Guides > DIY - E90 Oil Change (with Pics! - 56K Beware)



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      06-25-2013, 10:53 PM   #353
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Originally Posted by bmwhabitat View Post
All,

I just recently changed the engine oil in my 2006 325xiT for the first time. I live 130 miles away from the dealer or independents, and was way over on oil change interval and didn't have good reason to travel to Boise. That, and I've always replaced my engine oil on all 6 BMW's I've owned, so why stop now?

I read the E90 oil change protocol and it was very helpful, but you need to know there can be some differences in what you see and more clarification on best approach. I took a few pics to help explain what I am talking about.

Of course, the hardest part is getting the car off the ground high enough to work. My car does not have sport option and yet it is by far the lowest of any I've ever owned.

First off, this tutorial for engine oil only. I did not attempt the transmission, the transfer case, nor the diffs (2), front and rear. That I'll leave for the guys with a tall lift. Just make sure you drain/fill all of them at least every 30K or less.

Secondly, it would have been nice to go out and buy one of those nifty oil extractors, but unfortunately, these newer cars don't have a dipstick to pull from.

So, to get started, lift the car from the left side, where the drain plug is closer to the edge of the car. I cut a block of hardwood to fit into the rectangular lift point, between the car body and floor jack, so as to not damage the hard plastic surrounding.

Once under the car, look for the triangular "door" that hides your drain plug. On my car, unlike other's, probably because it is awd, the drain plug points straight down, whereas other cars are at the more typical perpendicular angle to the ground. This initially startled me, thinking I had found the wrong drain plug. Not so.

The cover is easily opened by a flat head screwdriver, turning approx. 1/4 turn to open. The drain plug is a 15mm, as I recall. You can use either a box end wrench with enough angle to clear the body, or a socket with a small extension.

I recommend warming the motor slightly before draining oil, it goes faster and you get more out. Also, since you have the car at such an angle for access, try carefully lowering the car down to level, without crushing your oil pan/collector, to get as much old oil out as possible.

Now, get back on your feet and into the engine bay.

The great thing about BMW's oil changes on more modern cars, is the oil filter is up top. My old senior six motors were a big pain in the butt to change, with the canister type filter elements and cramped quarters. These newer oil filter caps requires a belt or chain wrenches or BMW proprietary socket to remove, due to it's large diameter. You might get it off by hand, but you'll have to be lucky or very strong.

Make sure you replace both the small and larger O-rings, supplied in the oil filter box.

Once you have replaced the filter element and the cap in back on tight, go back under and tighten the oil drain plug, making sure you use the new crush washer, also found in the filter box. DON'T OVERTIGHTEN THE DRAIN PLUG, it's aluminum threads and you can strip them very easily. (This is one of the main reasons you don't take these cars to franchise oil change stations, because they are unfamiliar with your car.

Add 6.9 qts of oil once the drain plug is in place, or whatever your owner's manual indicates. Then follow the instructions on how to reset your oil level monitor via the dashboard.

Tip: When adding oil from the typical plastic quart containers, I empty them till they just start dripping, then put the cap back on, turn them upside down somewhere in the engine bay where they can stay inverted on their own, and then go on to open the next one. Once you have emptied all your needed plastic qt. bottles, reopen each, in order of use, hovering the unopened bottle over the oil opening at the top of the engine, and taking the cap off quickly, thereby emptying all the oil from the container until it begins to drip again, which won't take as long as when the bottle is brand new. Less wasted oil and better for the recycling guys.
Just to comment:

The drain plug on BMWs is 17MM.

There is a center jack point to lift the car from the center of the front end and put jackstands under the lift points on the rocker panel. There is a DIY on how to properly lift the E9X chassis.
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      10-22-2013, 04:17 PM   #354
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I don't remember but does the BMW OEM oil filter come with a crush washer?
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      10-23-2013, 06:08 AM   #355
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero_09 View Post
I don't remember but does the BMW OEM oil filter come with a crush washer?
Yes, and two 'o' rings. But so do some good non-OEM ones like MANN for instance. You don't have to pay stealer prices...
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      10-23-2013, 12:27 PM   #356
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Mann *IS* the OEM filter. You can get it for about $10 on Amazon. Comes with both o-rings plus a crush washer for the drain plug.

http://www.amazon.com/Mann-Filter-HU...ype=automotive
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      10-23-2013, 02:03 PM   #357
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Originally Posted by mi_bimmer View Post
Mann *IS* the OEM filter. You can get it for about $10 on Amazon. Comes with both o-rings plus a crush washer for the drain plug.

http://www.amazon.com/Mann-Filter-HU...ype=automotive
OK I'll re-phrase...non-BMW labelled one...
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      10-24-2013, 09:53 AM   #358
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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 !
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      10-24-2013, 04:52 PM   #359
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Detonator53 View Post
The oil at your local Walmonkey, the proper oil with the BMW rating quoted right on the container is $26 for 5 quarts.
What oil is that - Mobil 0W40?
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      01-25-2014, 08:20 PM   #360
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Owned my 2006 E90 for almost four years now, decided to get off my butt and change the oil myself. Bought Oil from the local auto-parts store, and ordered an oil filter cap wrench from FCP Euro dot com. Purchased some rhino ramps, rated at 12,000lb for the pair. I figure that will be enough to hold up the front end of my beemer for a good long while.

Items of note:
Not bad, it took a little encouragement to get the filter out of the housing, but I twisted it and pulled and it popped out fine!

Made sure to buy Oil rated as meeting BMW LL1 (long life 1). Found it on sale at my FLAPS for $5.99/qt.

Used a BMW filter that came with two o-rings and a gasket (crush washer?).

After resetting my CBS computer, the system shows 19,000 miles or two years before oil service is necessary. Seems strange to me, as I usually have the oil changed at least once per year (or 16,000 miles max). This time was about 6500 miles, and I plan to do it again in the summer (then possibly go back to a once/yr schedule).

Here are some pics...














































Last edited by Barrique_Red; 01-25-2014 at 08:34 PM.
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      01-29-2014, 06:10 PM   #361
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Great post

Thanks for pics.
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      01-29-2014, 07:16 PM   #362
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Awesome!
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      02-06-2014, 07:17 PM   #363
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Just did my oil. I put in 7 qts. ( 1 big jug and 2 normal bottles) i checked my engine oil and it was 2 off from max. Still green but not at max. Is this normal? Where should it be after 7qts? This is on the i drive. On my cluster on its at the half way point.... Please someone help.
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      02-07-2014, 03:21 PM   #364
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maniac0908 View Post
Just did my oil. I put in 7 qts. ( 1 big jug and 2 normal bottles) i checked my engine oil and it was 2 off from max. Still green but not at max. Is this normal? Where should it be after 7qts? This is on the i drive. On my cluster on its at the half way point.... Please someone help.
Changed my oil this past weekend. Put in 7qts as well. I live only a few miles from work so when I drove to work & checked the next day my cluster was 1 notch below max. Checked again yesterday when I had the car out for a longer period of time and the cluster showed max. Makes sense you need to check when you've taken the car for a little bit of a ride to get the oil up to optimum temp.
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      02-07-2014, 09:45 PM   #365
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maniac0908 View Post
Just did my oil. I put in 7 qts. ( 1 big jug and 2 normal bottles) i checked my engine oil and it was 2 off from max. Still green but not at max. Is this normal? Where should it be after 7qts? This is on the i drive. On my cluster on its at the half way point.... Please someone help.
7 qts should be plenty. Are you sure there is no leak at the drain plug or oil filter housing? I would suggest let it run for a few days and check again. If the oil level has gone down, you have a leak. If it doesn't change, either top off to max or just wait for it to go to the min level then add another quart.
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      02-07-2014, 10:49 PM   #366
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mi_bimmer View Post
7 qts should be plenty. Are you sure there is no leak at the drain plug or oil filter housing? I would suggest let it run for a few days and check again. If the oil level has gone down, you have a leak. If it doesn't change, either top off to max or just wait for it to go to the min level then add another quart.
O man. This damn car scares me way to much. It went to max. Thanks guys.
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      02-10-2014, 01:10 PM   #367
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Changed out my oil today easy enough job. Filled up with 6.25 litres and it's reading 1 notch under max. Happy days !
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      02-10-2014, 02:06 PM   #368
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Originally Posted by Markcaughey View Post
Changed out my oil today easy enough job. Filled up with 6.25 litres and it's reading 1 notch under max. Happy days !
Probably because it should be 6.5 litres...
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      02-10-2014, 02:51 PM   #369
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil325i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markcaughey View Post
Changed out my oil today easy enough job. Filled up with 6.25 litres and it's reading 1 notch under max. Happy days !
Probably because it should be 6.5 litres...
I know but taking into account any oil that did not drain out completely i was sceptical about putting in the full 6.5 litres. I might top it up so it's around 6.4 litres in total. But I'm happy as it is ATM as I would rather have it slightly below MAX rather than over it !
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      02-12-2014, 04:31 AM   #370
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Easy job but I was paranoid putting the drain bolt back in not to over tighten it but now I'm concerned it is not tight enough !. Got myself a torque wrench today so might go back under and set it to correct torque.
I worry about things like this ! How do you know if you have over tightened anyway ? Would the bolt just snap out ?
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      02-12-2014, 12:02 PM   #371
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markcaughey View Post
Easy job but I was paranoid putting the drain bolt back in not to over tighten it but now I'm concerned it is not tight enough !. Got myself a torque wrench today so might go back under and set it to correct torque.
I worry about things like this ! How do you know if you have over tightened anyway ? Would the bolt just snap out ?
The potential exists that you could strip or snap the head off the plug or somehow bend the oil pan or mess up the threads…which is obviously very bad because then you get leaks

Torque wrench FTW.
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      02-12-2014, 12:35 PM   #372
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25nm is the torque setting which is still pretty tight. I think if anything I will have under tightened !
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      06-05-2014, 12:43 PM   #373
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Send a message via AIM to 850CSi
Just FYI, Pep Boys in my area has an 86mm oil filter cap tool for $6.

http://www.pepboys.com/product/details/293992/00128/
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      08-20-2014, 10:42 PM   #374
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 850CSi View Post
Just FYI, Pep Boys in my area has an 86mm oil filter cap tool for $6.

http://www.pepboys.com/product/details/293992/00128/
Thanks, very good info
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