Before heading off to Bimmerfest, I decided to change the oil in my M3 and do a few other checks. Changing your own oil will save you a lot of money compared to taking it to the dealer, and it’s not difficult at all. There are a few things you will need in order to complete the job successfully.
Tools needed to complete this job:
- 36mm socket or 36mm oil filter cap socket
- 6mm hex socket
- Drain pan (large enough to hold 9 liters of oil)
- Shop towels or rags
- Torque wrench
I decided to do this oil change using ROWE RS Synth 10W60 which is a high quality group IV synthetic oil. I also completed this change using an OE Mahle oil filter kit which includes the filter element, drain plug crush washers, and oil filter housing cap o-rings.
Step 1: First thing you will need to do is make sure the engine oil is warm. Do a quick spin around the block. It doesn’t need to be 100% up to operating temperature but warm is okay. This will help the oil drain easier. Once you do that you will want to get the car properly supported in order to get under the vehicle to remove the drain plugs and drain the oil. In my case, I have access to a lift which makes this easier. Before getting under a car on jack stands or a lift, first make sure it is stable and properly supported. I can’t stress this enough. Also, make sure the vehicle is sitting level so the oil in the sump can drain evenly. Unlike most cars the drain plugs are directly at the bottom of the oil pan instead of on the side.
Step 2: Before removing the drain plugs from the sump, I like to remove the oil filler cap. This will help the oil drain faster. Next step is to remove the drain plugs. The forward sump will have the least amount of oil in it so I start there. Take your 6mm hex socket and release it. While unthreading it, push inward to prevent hot oil from spilling out all over your hand. Once the plug is all the way at the end of the pan and completely unthreaded, swiftly pull away and let the oil drain. Next remove the drain plug from the rearward sump following the same procedure. The rearward sump will drain a majority of the oil. At this point wait for the oil to drain. The longer you wait the more oil will drain. Crack the oil filter housing cap loose with a 36mm socket to allow oil to drain even faster. When the oil is done draining, reinstall the drain plugs with new crush washers included with the Mahle oil filter kit. Torque the drain plugs to 25Nm of torque.
Step 3: Now it's time to replace the oil filter element and associated o-rings. The cap should already be loose from Step 2 so you can unthread it by hand. Once the cap is unthreaded, completely remove it and place it on a rag facing up as some oil will still be in it. When removing the oil filter element make sure you have a rag sitting in front of the housing as the filter housing is slightly angled and some oil may drip off from the filter on removal. Discard of the filter, remove the large sealing o-ring on the filter housing, and remove the smaller o-ring on the oil filter support. Replace both of these o-rings with the replacements included with the Mahle oil filter kit. Lubricate both o-rings with oil. Install the filter and cap. Torque the cap to 25Nm. If you would like, you can pre-fill the oil filter housing with some oil before installing the filter and cap. This will help with oil pressure on start up.
Step 4: Add liquid gold. For this I am using our CTA no spill funnel kit which has an adapter that threads onto the the valve cover like an oil filler cap. The funnel then secures to the adapter allowing for a mess-free pour. This funnel can hold up to 5 liters of oil at a time which makes it pretty convenient. This funnel kit is awesome to use on the S65 V8 because the filler hole on the valve cover is recessed and there is little room between the location of the expansion tank and the air collector for the intake. Unlike a traditional funnel you don’t need to support it and you can pour in up to 2 liters of oil at a time. For the initial fill I added 8.5 liters of oil. After adding oil, replace the filler cap.
Step 5: Start the engine and allow it to reach operating temperature. During this time check for leaks at the drain plug or oil filter housing. Also make sure you do not have an oil pressure warning light. Unfortunately, the E9X M3’s are not equipped from the factory with a dipstick. With that said, the engine needs to reach operating temp before the electronic oil level sensor will take a measurement. If you have iDrive you can go into vehicle info menu to see the oil level status. If you don’t have iDrive you can see the oil fill level on the center information display. After the 8.5 liter initial fill I was between the bottom and top line on the virtual dipstick. I added another .5 liters to get to the full mark. If for whatever reason you overfill your engine you can remove the additional oil from the oil filter housing by sucking it out.
Step 6: Reset your oil service interval. You can do this either with a properly equipped scan tool or you can do this manually with the following steps:
- Insert key into ignition
- Without pressing down on clutch pedal or brake pedal push start/stop button
- Wait for service reminder on the main display to disappear
- Press and hold odometer reset, a warning triangle will appear, hold for another 2-3 seconds until the triangle disappears and the display changes to a different service icon. If the icon disappears, start procedure over.
- Use the toggle switch on the turn indicator to navigate the service menu
- Navigate until you see the oil can symbol on the display
- Press the BC button on the end of the turn signal indicator stalk. The display below the oil can will show reset.
- Press and hold the BC button for 2-3 seconds and a clock animation will show on the screen. At this point your oil service interval is reset.
Gareth is the BMW Make Level Marketer for FCP Euro and has been with the company since 2012. Gareth's BMW obsession started with a hand me down E39 528i when he was 17. From this car he learned how to do his own repair work while also learning more about BMW. When Gareth was at CCSU studying Marketing he had the opportunity to go to SEMA with the college car club. This is where he developed his love of the automotive industry. Since joining FCP in 2012 Gareth has sought out to develop one of the broadest and most accurate BMW replacement parts catalog. he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org