Changing your BMW’s oil is rather simple and not much different from the process for any other car. Ignoring or being lazy about changing your oil regularly can cause engine sludge to build up, reduced power, and could ultimately damage your engine.
Many BMW techs prefer using synthetic oil because it has more benefits than organic. It offers better friction reduction which means less engine wear, and it also helps increase your car’s gas mileage. BMW takes care of the service maintenance every 24,000 km, but based on how you drive, the display on your dashboard will indicate if the oil needs to be changed earlier. From my experience, 12,000 km is average for most BMWs.
To get started, find a space where you can work all around the car without restriction. If you have a manual transmission BMW, place it in gear and engage the parking brake as safety precautions. If you drive an automatic, make sure the shift lever is in the parking position and engage the parking brake. Always make sure the parking brake is on. Many mechanics also recommend using wheel chocks to block the tires as well.
You will need:
- An oil pan
- Socket and socket wrenches
- Flat head screwdriver
Oil Change for Six Cylinder Engines
The oil filter housing can be found at the front of the engine bay, near the intake manifold on a six-cylinder engine. Older BMW engines use a regular screw on the cartridge on the right side of the engine block. With the M54 engine, you will need a 32mm socket to unscrew the filter housing, but if you have the N52/N54 engine you will need a special adapter to remove housing.
To drain out all of the oil, unscrew the housing caps first. Opening the filler cap and pulling up the dipstick will help the oil drain faster. You don’t have to do this but there is no reason not to. There is a 17mm bolt on the oil pan this is the plug – just remove it to drain the oil. It’s hard to miss and will be easier to find after some practice.
Oil Change for V8 Engines
The V8 BMW engines do not work the same as the six-cylinder. The M62 is in that it has a filter housing in the engine bay but in the N62 everything is situated under the car. The filter housing is vertically positioned next to the oil pan. At the bottom of the housing cap there is a 6mm hex screw. The first thing you need to do is unscrew that to let the oil drain out of the housing. Release the 8mm hex plug on the pan to drain the oil. You will need a 24mm socket to release the filter housing and then you can proceed to change the oil filter and o-ring on your oil filler element cap.
The V10 and V112 are designed the same way. Just remember, you should always change the o-rings and crush washer that came with your oil filter kit: the crush washer is located on the pan plug and the o-rings are on the filter housing. There is a large one and a small one. This is one extra step worth the short amount of time it takes to complete.