OK guys, I've been looking for information everywhere for my first oil change but I could not find a good one, so I decided to take some pictures while I learned. I hope my experience helps some of you interested in doing it on your free time. It Took me about 20 minutes.
I know many of you will critizice me for using Mobil 1 5W-30 but what the heck. My service manual said it had been approved by BMW after testing it in the car, so I'm just following the manufacturer's recommendation.
It is important to mention that my car is a MY2001, June built.
As a disclaimer, I don't know if what I did was right, so don't blame me for anything that can happen while you change your own oil.
BMW recommends BMW high perfomance motor oil. For models built before March 2000, 10W-60 is the only oil recommended. For newer models 5W-30 or 10W-60 are approved oils by BMW, according to an Oct 2001 Service Bulletin. But one fellow member of this board stated he had a TSB from Oct 2002 that recommends to use only 10W-60 on all models. No printed copy of this latest bulletin has been posted, so I will try to get them and clarify this issue. New M5's are still coming out with the sticker on the engine bay recommending 5W-30, so that's the reason I am using it. It is up to you what motor oil you want to use. There have been anecdotal reports of higher oil consumption with 5W-30 oil by owners, but I have not heard any official word from BMW regarding this issue.
Please let me know any corrections I need to make. I'll be more than happy to edit this post based of your feedback (I took the pictures during by first ever oil change on a BMW).
update by chowdah Mar '11:
Be advised that this was written in '03. You are encouraged to read up on fresher material.
For example, you may find recent trends such as:
1. sticking with BMW oils or Mobil1 0W-40
2. torquing the drain bolt carefully, to avoid stripping it
3. using extractors (e.g. mityvac) instead of this traditional method
While the engine oil drains, let's take a few minutes to change the oil filter
Before putting the new oil filter in place, let's put the drain plug back in place
In case I am not allowed to edit this posting later, this is the link to the site where I will try to update with better pictures once I make more oil changes.
DIY M5 Oil change instructions