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Much to my surprise, doing an oil change on this relatively new BMW isn’t impossibly difficult, in fact you don’t need any special tools! You need a (big) drain pan, a 17mm socket for the drain plug and a 36mm socket for the filter, a pick for the oil filter housing O-rings and a jack to get under – although some ramps would also work just fine. As for parts, all you need is a new copper crush washer, new filter and oil – and actually the Bosch filter we are using comes with both the new O-rings AND a new crush washer!

So, what’s the process? Well, pop the bonnet with the handle in the driver’s side footwell and central latch on the bonnet itself, then remove the oil fill cap. It’s also a good idea to use the 36mm socket to crack the filter loose so any oil that’s in there will drain out easily. Then lift the car up, obviously if you are using ramps and are planning on driving the car onto them do that before cracking the oil filter cap loose. 

Then slide under and find the small hatch actually pretty far back, just behind the trailing edge of the front wheels, put your drain pan under there and use the 17mm socket and a ratchet to crack it loose. Top tip, once it’s loose, undo it by hand applying constant upwards pressure until it’s fully unthreaded then remove it quickly sideways rather than down to minimise the amount of oil you’ll inevitably get covered in. 

Remember I said big drain pan? This is why. This engine holds 6.5 liters of oil, the pan I have apparently is rated 6L, although just about fits another 500 ml as we found out. Anyway, once it’s done draining out you can then install the plug with a new crush washer and torque it to 25 Nm. This is one of those bolts that I’d really want to torque properly, I mean BMW’s leak oil from enough places already so the fewer places I’m creating the better. 

Once the new plug is in, remove the filter cap fully. The filter just slides onto the.. Erm… shaft. Twisted shaft, actually. Long, twisted, sha.. Anyway once that’s off you’ll want to use a pick to prise the old O-ring out the cap. It’s a bit of a pain, and you will want to be careful to not scratch the plastic cap, but once it’s out the new one just drops into place. It’s best to give it a little coat of oil so it won’t go on dry, then you can slide your new filter down onto the shaft until it bottoms out, all the way down on there. It’s also worth having a look at your old filter to check for any contaminants or debris – these engines have a variety of issues so keeping an eye out and catching issues early is really important. 

Before you reinstall the filter cap, use your pick to carefully remove the old O-ring on the filter housing itself. Again, take your time and be careful, then when installing the new seal again give it a rub down with some oil before carefully working back into the groove you took the old one out from. Once it’s on and lubed, slide the filter cap in and thread it in by hand. It gets tightened to 25 Nm + 5 Nm, meaning you tighten it to 25 Nm, then another 5 Nm I assume to not damage the O-rings although my S4’s filter is the same design but doesn’t need that process. Anyway, once it’s torqued you can bring the car down and level, then pour in your new oil. When you’ve put in around 6.5L, check the dipstick to make sure the level is showing. Ideally it’ll be up at max as the filter is currently empty, so you can then close the fill cap and start the engine. Run it for about 30 seconds then switch it off and check the level again. If it’s now near or under the low mark add 100-200 ml more oil and check again. Once it’s around the middle or closing on max you are all set. 



I have a passion for cars, driving, working on them and talking about them. Anything fast or electric, is fair game. Own an Audi S4 B8.5 & an SV650S.

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