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Do-It-Yourself information for essential wear and tear items
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Changing Your Oil And Filter
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Changing your oil isn't difficult at all. You just need a little patience and about 30 minutes of spare time (if you're taking your time).
How often to change your oil
BMW recommends you change your oil roughly every 15000 miles. If that sounds like a high number to you then your right! I don't buy into this at all, but I do hold that synthetic oil can last long past 3000 miles. Therefore I change my oil every 6500 miles, which is a happy medium. Choose your mileage and stick with it.
BMW OEM Oil Filter Kit (BMW P# 11-42-7-512-300) $6
7 Quarts of Mobil One 0W-40
17mm and 36mm Sockets
Microtorque Wrench (Capable of going from 5-25 ft-lbs is a good)
Oil Drain Pan (Make sure it can hold 7+ quarts)
Safely lift the front of the car and make it level if possible
1. Using a lift or a floor jack with jack stands or ramps lift the car. Instructions for jacking up your car can be found here. This can be a very dangerous step, so make sure that the car is properly secured before ever getting under it. Never get under a car that is just supported by a jack!
Locate the oil drain plug and drain the oil
Locate the drain plug and drain the oil
1. Open the hood and open the oil filler cap on the top of the engine.
2. Using a 17mm socket, remove the oil drain plug. Make sure you position the oil drain pan so that the stream of oil is collected when it first gushes out. To let it fully drain try and make the car level and give it 15 minutes or so to properly drain out.
Install the new crush washer
Install the new crush washer on the drain bolt and reinstall it
5. Remove the old crush washer and put the new crush washer on.
6. Once the oil has finished draining (slightly dripping if at all) thread the drain plug on by hand. Using a microtorque wrench, tighten the plug bolt to 18 ft-lbs.
Install the new gasket
Tighten back down the cap
Remove and install the new oil filter housing gasket
7. Using a small screwdriver, carefully remove the old gasket from the oil filter cap.
8. Get some new oil and lubricate the new gasket from the kit. Then carefully slide it down where the old one was attached. It will ride in the groove as shown in the picture.
9. Place the new filter where the old one was and push down till it is properly positioned (it won't move around very easily).
10. Place the cover down and start tightening it by hand. Finally tighten it down with a microtorque wrench to 18 ft-lbs.
Add the new oil
Add the new oil
11. Carefully add about 6.5 quarts of oil to the engine. Once you have finished this, check the dipstick to make sure that there is oil showing up on the dipstick. (If there isn't any make sure that it isn't under the car).
12. Put the oil filler cap and start the car up to examine for leaks. The red oil light should go off after about 1-2 seconds. If it doesn't turn off the car immediately because this means something has gone wrong.
13. Return the car to the ground (take it off of the lift/ramps/jack stands) and check the level to ensure that it is a little over half way on the dipstick.
14. Enjoy 6500 miles of spirited driving before the next oil change.
It's a really easy job that anyone can do. Never take your car to the oil change place down the street. Take pride in your car and make sure it has the proper blood flowing through its veins. Rest assured that the job was done properly!