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Oil change

3329 Views 14 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  blueaudis4
Sorry guys I know this has been talked about many times before, and before you ask I have done a search but the thread I found has a fault with the pictures.
I have two green lights left and I know the oil service is next as the last was an inspection. I want to save a bit of cash and do it myself with the help of my dads mechanic who service's his range rover and has a hydrolic ramp. I will be ordering the oil from germany as it is cheaper, and getting the filter from BMW, however I need a bit of your help.
Could somebody give me a detail describtion of the correct procedure (which order to do things in) and some pictures of the the drain plug if possible. I already have the procedure for resetting the lights.

Many thanks.:M5thumbs:
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No real disagreement but I would state this a bit differently (and after I wrote this, I could swear I posted this before):

1. Get proper oil filter. It is M5 specific and not the same as used on the 540i. Be sure to get crush washer and O-ring at the same time. In the U.S., if you buy the filter kit from the dealer, the package will contain the correct washer and O-ring. The other thing to have handy that you might not otherwise think of is a ZipLoc freezer quality plastic bag of sufficient size to easily accommodate the oil filter. More on that later. Also, read step 5. If you need to replace the oil filter mounting studs, now is the time to get them, or else it's two trips to the dealer. :M5launch:

2. Get oil. Read the 1000+ posts on whether to use OEM 10w-60 or some other oil. :biggrinbounce:

3. Run car for at least 5 minutes but not to the point that it's hot. Turn off engine. This, of course, is to make sure the oil is warm to flow easily to drain.

4. Raise car and support by jackstands or use approved ramps. YOUR SAFETY IS YOUR FIRST CONCERN. You will need to get under the car to remove and replace the drain plug. Do not get under car if inadequately supported, e.g. by floor jack alone. Some people raise the car later in the procedure, but I use ramps for oil changes. If you do any of the other steps below first, like open/remove the oil filter, you can't drive the car onto the ramps! :eek:oohhh:

5. Clean and loosen oil filter top with 32 mm wrench (if you don't know what the filter housing looks like, use your 32mm socket and find something that fits in the top of the engine--pretty certain it's the only thing on the engine top that uses a 32mm socket-the filter housing is the big black cylindrical thing to your right as you are facing the engine after opening the hood). If you don't have a 32 mm wrench, an adjustable wrench of sufficient size will do. In fact, this is the only application where I prefer an adjustable wrench. The cover is plastic, so to protect it from scratches, I put a shop towel or rag between the adjustable wrench and the housing top. You can't do that with a more precisely fitting 32mm wrench. Also, support the bottom of the housing with your hand while turning the wrench, so as not to break the mountings holding the housing to the car. They are essentially two small threaded studs held together by rubber, so the rubber can easily break. In fact, chances are one or both are already broken. So check them before you go buy the oil filter, as you may need to replace them and can pick them up at the same time. You can buy them online, too, but most parts stores will not have them. Generally a dealer item only.

You can remove the filter at this time but I generally do that later. It is important to loosen the filter, however, or remove the oil fillter cap, so as to allow air to easily enter the engine to replace the oil that will be draining out of it at the bottom.

6. Phillips screwdriver, open oil drain latch underneath car (dead center, it's a square in the underarmor).

7. Use 13 mm socket and loosen/remove oil drain bolt. Have oil catch ready.

8. Drain oil.

9. While oil is draining, go back to oil filter housing and remove the oil filter housing top. The top and the filter will come out of the car as a single assembly with the oil filter snapped onto the top. To separate the top from the filter, get your ZipLoc bag, turn it inside out and put your hand in like a glove. With your ZipLoc "gloved" hand, grasp the filter, and with your other hand, grasp the top and pull the two straight apart. It can take a bit of effort. Reverse the bag inside-out process to enclose the filter, seal it and dispose of it properly. Neat trick, huh? :cheers: Take note of which way the filter is oriented w/r/t the top. I seem to recall there is a top and bottom, with the p/n side going to the top. Either that, or I'm just too OCD.

10. Replace the O-ring on the filter top with the new one from your kit. You can do this easily using a thin flat bladed screwdriver to pry up the old O-ring. Roll the new O-ring into the groove in the top. Using your fingers, spread a thin layer of fresh engine oil onto the O-ring. You just need enough to moisten the O-ring to ensure it goes back into the housing easily and provides a good seal. Snap the new oil filter onto the top in the proper orientation. Reinstall the top/filter into the housing and tighten. DON'T OVERDO THE TIGHTENING. I don't use a torque wrench for this (obviously you can't if you are using an adjustable wrench). All I can say is "hand tight." You will know by feel when the top is fully seated. It doesn't have to be gorilla tight. The O-ring will keep it from leaking. The tightening torque is mainly to keep the top from backing off.

11. The poster above says, "When oil finished draining, flush about 2 liters of any good quality synthetic oil through system to clean." I suppose you can do that, but I've never done this step and think it's fine to skip it. In my view following the instructions above, you have sufficiently drained the old oil, and anything left behind will easily be cleaned by the new filter and there's no point in wasting 2 litres of fresh oil at $10/litre. Also, I don't see how "flushing" 2 litres of oil will do much, since it will just run straight down into the pan and out the bottom. You can't start or run the engine with only 2 litres in it, and not when the filter is loose and drain plug removed anyway. Without circulating the oil, it seems unlikely to do any good. But do what you will.

12. Replace oil drain plug, using the new copper crush washer. Always get the plug well-started by hand and use a wrench only to torque it in place. It is very easy to over-torque and strip the aluminum oil pan threads. I forget the torque spec but it is very low, something like 18 ft.lbs. but I'm not 100% sure. Here again, I prefer to do this with a regular ratchet handle wrench and do it by feel so I don't strip the threads. Torque wrenches have very long handles, making it easy to put a lot of torque on a bolt. If you are not experienced enough to do it with a ratchet, by all means use a torque wrench but be certain it's accurately calibrated and double check the setting before you tighten the plug.

13. Fill with six litres of fresh oil. Close filler cap. It is important not to overfill the crankcase in M5 engines. Six litres is a bit short of full, but enough to run the engine. You will be checking and topping off the oil in a later step.

14. Here is why it's really important that the car is properly supported and why I use ramps to do oil changes. Be sure car is in neutral. Start car and run for at least 1 minute. During this time, check for leaks. If no leaks, turn off engine, close oil drain door and latch. Make sure everything is out from under the car and lower car.

15. Check oil level using dipstick, add oil until full. DO NOT OVERFILL. At oil change intervals I also check at least the following:

a. All other fluid levels (power steering, brake fluid, coolant)
b. Fill windshield washer tanks
c. Brake lines/hoses for chafing/leaks (this is where most people who haven't gone to aftermarket brackets find out they've been driving around with broken rear sway bar brackets)
d. General condition of undercarriage, to see if anything is broken, missing, etc.
e. Power steering hoses for leaks
f. Condition of belts and fan clutch

16. Re-set indicator light, but only if all the green ones have gone out. I do a "half-way" thru the lights change (somewhat after 2 lights go out) and do not re-set the lights at that time. When the green lights all go out and the yellow one is showing, I re-set the lights. Basically this is an oil change about every 10k miles I think. Others do it more often. But it's important not to re-set the lights unless all the green ones are out, or you will throw off your inspection reminder intervals.

17. Dispose of old oil pursuant to local regulations.

18. Clean up and have a cold one. :cheers:
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