Oil Change

BMW recommends oil changes approximately every 15K miles as indicated by the little lights in the dash cluster. Personally, I am not willing to wait that long and have decided to perform 2 intermediate oil changes every 5K miles. While my car is still under warranty, I will perform the 2 intermediate oil changes at 5K and 10K and let the dealer perform the 15K service and reset the indicator lights. When my car goes out of warranty, I'll perform all the changes myself.

Tools Needed

 Here is what I do, step by step:
  1. Warm the car up for about 5 minutes until the temp meter is just starting to reach the top of the blue band.
  2. On my very first oil change, I wanted to pull the drain plug and pour some sacrificial oil through the system to flush any nasties out. On subsequent oil changes, I skip this step and perform the entire oil change from the top of the car. Make sure the parking brake is engaged, the rear wheels are chocked, and jack the car up in the front, making sure at all times to follow proper and safe procedures. Position the jack on the main cross brace (NOT the x brace) right behind the steering (thanks to Karl Seeger for this tidbit). DO NOT use the steering mechanism or the x brace for this. I then put jack stands under each of the front ball joints or the side jack pad points.
  3. I then hook up my Griot's oil-sucker device (for lack of a better term) and put the tube down the dipstick tube. While it sucks for 15-20 minutes, I go have a beer or lunch.
  4. If you have jacked the car up, put a drain pan under the car, and remove the 17mm drain plug. On my first oil change, I found my drain plug was on pretty loose, almost too loose. I also found that the  topsider had really gotten every last bit of oil because nothing came out!. I then poured a half quart of fresh oil through and made sure that it drained out clear.
  5. While you wait for the last drips to drain into the pan, it's time to tackle the filter. Using a 36mm socket, remove the cap and immediately invert it. This prevents any drips. Set the cap aside Then, using bmv's advice, put your hand inside an inside-out 1-gallon ziploc. Using the ziploc as a "glove", remove the filter from the canister, invert it, and seal the bag. Voila, no drips!
  6. The BMW filter comes with a single large O-ring for the cap and a metal gasket for the drain plug. Other people have mentioned replacements for the 2 o-rings on the shaft, but mine never comes with any. Lightly oil the large o-ring with your fingers and replace it onto the cap. Put the new filter into the canister and torque the cap to the recommended 25nm.
  7. If you have removed the drain plug, any last bits of oil have now probably ceased. Put the replacement metal gasket onto the drain plug and hand tighten it. I am not sure what the torque is supposed to be, so I just tighten mine without getting too aggressive.
  8. Remove the jack stands and lower the car.
  9. I put the first 6 quarts of oil into the engine then run the engine briefly just to circulate it. I then check the oil level with the dipstick which should indicate that I am still 1 quart low. I then put the additional quart of oil in.
  10. Make sure to replace the oil filler cap and you are done, go out for a drive!!!