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Changing Your BMW Motor Oil and Filter
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Changing Your BMW Motor Oil and Filter

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$100

Talent:

***

Tools:

17mm socket, flathead screwdriver, oil filter wrench, drain pan,

Applicable Models:

BMW 325i Sedan (2006)
BMW 325xi Sedan/Wagon (2006)
BMW 328i Coupe/Conv (2007-13)
BMW 328i xDrive Coupe (2009-13)
BMW 328i xDrive Sedan (2009-11)
BMW 328i xDrive Wagon (2009-12)
BMW 328i/xi Sedan (2007-11)
BMW 328i/xi Wagon (2007-12)
BMW 328xi Coupe (2007-13)
BMW 330i/xi Sedan (2006)
BMW 335d/i/xi Sedan (2007-11)
BMW 335i xDrive Coupe (2009-13)
BMW 335i xDrive Sedan (2009-11)
BMW 335i/is Coupe/Conv (2007-13)
BMW 335xi Coupe (2007-13)

Parts Required:

Engine oil, oil filter, drain plug sealing washer

Hot Tip:

Work with a slightly warm engine.

Performance Gain:

Maintaining engine longevity

Complementary Modification:

Change oil every 5,000 miles

In this article, I will go over the steps involved with replacing the engine oil and filter on the BMW E90 models. Be sure to work with a cool engine and have a drain pan with a capacity of at least 10 liters. You should replace your engine oil and filter every 5,000 miles. Changing your engine oil is one of the most frequent and basic tasks you will perform on your E90. Remember to use high quality oil that meets BMW specifications, (specifications can be found in your owner's manual) a high quality oil filter and keep yourself protected from engine oil.

Before you begin to change the engine oil, it is a good idea to run the engine for 2-3 minutes to warm the engine oil. Do not allow the engine to get too hot.

Raise and support the front of vehicle. See our tech article on jacking up your vehicle.


CLICK HERE FOR PARTS FOR THIS ARTICLE        CLICK HERE FOR OIL

CLICK HERE FOR BMW E90 PARTS

Using an oil filter socket on a 6
Figure 1

Using an oil filter socket on a 6" extension, loosen oil filter housing lid until you can see sealing O-ring (green arrow). This allows oil in filter housing and filter to drain into engine oil pan. If you do not do this first, you will leave about a liter of old engine oil behind.

Open oil drain plug access door.
Figure 2

Open oil drain plug access door. (green arrow) Using a flathead screwdriver, rotate door lock 180°, then swing door down. You can also remove door to make a little more room for you to work.

This photo shows the oil drain plug door location on all-wheel drive models.
Figure 3

This photo shows the oil drain plug door location on all-wheel drive models. (green arrow) Place drain pan centered below oil drain plug.

Using a 17mm socket, remove oil drain plug.
Figure 4

Using a 17mm socket, remove oil drain plug. Allow engine oil to drain until it stops dripping. Keep an eye on oil as it drains. The stream of oil will move and there is a chance it will miss the drain pan. Install oil drain plug with new sealing washer and torque to 25 Nm (18 ft-lb). Close oil drain plug access door. Remove drain pan from below vehicle.

Remove oil filter cover from engine and remove old oil filter from cover.
Figure 5

Remove oil filter cover from engine and remove old oil filter from cover.

Using a small flathead screwdriver, remove O-rings from oil filter cover.
Figure 6

Using a small flathead screwdriver, remove O-rings from oil filter cover. (green arrows)

Install new O-ring and new filter, push filter on as far as it will go.
Figure 7

Install new O-ring and new filter, push filter on as far as it will go. Then torque oil filter cover to 25 Nm (18 ft-lb). Fill engine with engine oil. Engine oil capacity (all): 6.5 liters (7 US quarts)

Start engine, confirm oil warning light goes out.
Figure 8

Start engine, confirm oil warning light goes out. Check that there are no oil leaks, lower vehicle from jack stands. Then check your engine oil level using the information center on dashboard. Checking oil level Engine oil level is checked via the information center on your dashboard. Check your owners manual for detailed instructions on how and when oil level should be checked. Static oil level With engine OFF and ignition ON, press button on turn signal stalk to activate information center, navigate to engine oil. Level is displayed. Dynamic oil level Start engine and allow to idle for about 6 minutes. Once engine has reached operating temperature, engine oil information is updated in the information center.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Ralph Comments: I have a 2006 325i e90 and when recently having the oil changed-due to erratic behaviour of the transmission and engine hesitation and occassional shut-down-the technician found my filter cap was missing the snap-in basket with the small o-ringed plug. This must have been inadvertently dislodged from the cap and not reinstalled at my last oil change at Pep-Boys and I am suspicious that the failure to plug the small 1/2" sized hole at the center of the filter canister allowed oil to flow somewhere it shouldn't and is the cause of my engine/tranny problems. Could someone provide some insight?
November 6, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'd need to see photos of what was broken to offer detailed insight. One possibility is the oil would drain back to the oil pan when the engine was off, or some oil bypassing the filter. Not sure it can affect your transmission. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
mavara Comments: my e90 320i 2005 shows the same outside temperature on my display like 40 degrees
November 2, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The ambient sensor may be faulty. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jim Comments: I recently had my oil changed on my 2011 BMW 328 I xdrive. Looks like the oil filter is leaking at the top. I'm assuming they did replace the orings. Is it possible to change the orings without draining the oil?
October 9, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes. You can remove the filter and housing, then replace the O-rings. You will have to top up the fluid if any is lost during the filter removal. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
delta Comments: Is there any engine without engine oil drain plug?
August 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not that I know of. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Logan Comments: Thanks for showing the view for xdrive. I had watched so many DIY videos and the location and position of the drain plug is different.
July 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No problem. I always try to get photos of all the models, doesn't always work out. Glad this one helped! - Nick at Pelican Parts  
PAD Comments: what is the size of the crush washer for the drain plug? I didn't get one with the filter.
March 11, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don’t have that info.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Ray Comments: my mechanic placed the oil filter into the housing and just screwed on the oil filter cover 25nm instead of pushing it into the cover as you illustrated. Will this cause issues?
March 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not if is seats properly. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Kent Comments: What is the millemeter size of the oil filter socket you use to remove the oil filter housing lid in step 1/Figure 1?
February 9, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The socket size will vary depending on the oil filter wrench you are using. The wrench is round and grabs the filter lit. it is not a hex. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
BlkBimmerMan Comments: Hi, The image in Figure 4 regarding removing the drain plug shows a lot of oil residue on/near the bottom of the oil pan and a lot on top of the skid plate. I just followed your instructions and notice similar but not as much on my car. Is this normal?
January 19, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: NO, that is usually caused by an oil leak. On our subject vehicle, we had a leaking oil condition sensor. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
John38 Comments: Hi, my e90 year 2006 indicates that I need add 1 liter of oil in the engine. So I would like to know if it normal or if the engine start becoming old as the mileage is only 72 000 kms
January 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Modern engine can use about 1 quart of oil every 1,000 miles. That amount can be considered normal. I would top it up and track the use. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
John Comments: Hi. Just changed my oil in my 2011 335i x-drive. I understand the capacity to be 7 quarts. I added oil using the markings on the 5 quarts bottle used Mobil 1 with LL-01 rating, hopefully that's a good choice. I added a tiny bit over 7 quarts, but interestingly, the Nav screen graphic only shows the level 1/2 way between Min and Max. Any idea why it doesnt show it totally full? Any comment on Mobil 1? thanx
December 6, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you run the engine, does it increase? It may need to perform a dynamic reading to get the correct amount. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mazz Comments: I put new oil in my 320i and now I see white smoke when I'm driving I think I put too much oil how can I be sure?
November 26, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Use the dipstick to check engine oil level. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Zelda Comments: Hi, I drive a 330D 2006 E90, I had my air filter changed and ever sins then I have power problems, loosing power while driving or slowing down to cross a road and then one moment fine, next moment its like driving a 100cc car!! it is intermittent, and happens mostly in auto or auto sport. Please help.
November 9, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: CHeck if the intake air ducts are securely attached and all the clamps are tight. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
JODI Comments: Sorry the car had a oil and dissel filters all changed as well as pollen filter and disc's and brake pads.
November 4, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No problem. The diesel filter could be an issue. other items unlikely. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
JODI Comments: No I have no engine light on or codes have taken back to the service centre but they are saying a service would not affect the car confused as to what could be the problem
November 4, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Really depends on what they serviced, you stated major, so I assumed major, as in major repair. Still need to start somewhere. Check the fuel delivery system. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
JODI Comments: Got a major service done on my 325d but have noticed when pulling off the car is jerking does not do it all the time but it is becoming a worry to my other half any help please.
November 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be a fuel delivery issue. Is the check engine light on? The fault code would help with direction toward the cause. My suggestion is, if it only started after the service, return the where the service was performed and ask them to look at it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
BMW lover Comments: Thank you for replying :
i have already put 7.4 l 0.4 more than 7l
the 0,4 l will harm the engine?
knowing that the oil level via the information center is on the Max level.
October 24, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Overfilling can cause catalyst damage and foaming. I would be sure the level is correct before driving. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
BMW lover Comments: Hello
what is the capacity of bmw e90 325i 2006?
+ changing the oil filter
i used 7.4 L but when i check the oil level it is still below the max level,
should i add oil untill 8L?
thank you
September 29, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: US models hold about 7 liters. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Billy Comments: Hi, I want to service my E90 320i 2006 model petrol. How many litres of oil does the car take and what is the best oil to use.
September 17, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We don't have that vehicle in the US, so I don;t have any info on it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mark Comments: On a 2011 BMW Z4, to take off the filter cap, do you turn it counter clockwise or clockwise as the arrow points.

Thanks
September 16, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: counterclockwise to remove. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
R. King Comments: Just did my first oil change on my new to me, 2009 335i E90. Everything went smoothly. However, I only drained about 6 quarts. I added 6 quarts of new oil and the computer is happy, indicating a full sump.

What happened to the seventh quart? Could it have been in the factory oil cooler? A few ounces were in the oil filter housing, but no where near a quart.
September 13, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: When did you pull the filter? Before or after draining the oil? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Kemmy Comments: Is the procedure different for a post facelift e90 320d right hand drive model? I can not even see the oil filter cover.
August 9, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would think so, but can't be sure as we don't have that vehicle in the US. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
trs777 Comments: Just bought 2007 328i E90 for my daughter. I've always been a Benz guy - this is my first BMW. Is there a dipstick through which I can extract the oil with my Top Sider like I do with my 2005 Benz E500?
July 18, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: E90 models do not have a dipstick. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
matt Comments: I have an '06 e90 330i. Since I can't remember, I'm going to assume I have not changed the engine oil drain plug in the vehicle's life 10 years. Is that something I need to change for "preventative" purposes or is it one of those "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" type of parts?
July 15, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You should replace it to ensure the sealing gasket is in good shape. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
hogman69 Comments: During an oil change, is it ok to flush engine with transmission oil prior to topping up with new oil. Also, is 'amsoil' a good oil to use in a bmw?
March 15, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't flush engines when replacing the oil. I don't have any experience using trans fluid that way.

If the oil you want to use is approved by BMW, then it will be fine. Look for that statement on the oil container or in your owner's manual. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mhmd Comments: Its 8 liters. Not 6! Thats what BMW people toled me!
February 22, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: NG6 BMW engines hold about 6 - 6.5 liters of oil. If that is what you are referring to. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
laurence barnes Comments: Hi Nick:
Can I open filter cap without flushing oil? Will oil come out?
I just want to replace filter cap since it's broken without flushing oil.
January 22, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The engine oil cap? Yes. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Hornyorny Comments: Hi, just had mine serviced and iDrive States oil level too high. Is there an east way of removing oil little by little until level is satisfactory? Thanks
November 7, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Use the checking oil level part of the procedure. If you have to drain some, try sucking it out so you don;t take out too much. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
joker Comments: My 2011 E90 320D with conditioned based servicing is getting oil changed at bmw service every 30,000km. Why do they think it should run that far before oil and filter changes?
October 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: O prefer to replace my engine oil every 5000 miles. BMW suggests it can go longer, however this is my preference. Do not feel the need to follow the long intervals.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
marcellino Comments: is it worth changing my oil, if it costs be $120cdn to get them changed with proper oil filter and oil such has royal purple.
September 18, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Proper oil filter and a synthetic oil approved by BMW is best. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Toby Comments: Necessary to raise front and rear of car to change oil or is OK to raise front only? Any problem raising front with ramps?
August 1, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Should be Ok with ramps and raising just the front. be sure it is on level ground when filling and checking the oil level. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
erottik-r Comments: "Changing your engine is one of the most frequent and basic tasks you will perform on your E90"
Correct that to say "Changing your engine 'oil'..."
July 8, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: HA! Thanks for catching that. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
gene Comments: what is the torque for oil filter socket?
July 8, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Filter housing? See step #7:

Install new O-ring and new filter, push filter on as far as it will go. Then torque oil filter cover to 25 Nm (18 ft-lb). Fill engine with engine oil. Engine oil capacity (all): 6.5 liters (7 US quarts) - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Rusty Comments: Would be nice to reset the oil service counter at the end of this DIY. I heard it is possible without any special tools. Does anyone know the steps?
June 14, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That information is located in our maintenance article for E90.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/techarticles/BMW-3-Series-E90/BASICS-Condition_Based_Service_Explained/BASICS-Condition_Based_Service_Explained.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
mib Comments: I am sorry, typo. I sent my car bmw e90 318i for engine oil change at one of indipendent shop. I don't know what engine oil they used. My question is, if they use universal engine oil, is there any problem to oil level sensor giving different reading?
Fyi, 2 years ago, I changed my car ecu with used e90 318i same transmission but different year. Mine 2006, scarp car 2007. And I change my oil level sensor at this same shop when I change the oil. Reading giving my oil level at less than minimum. Already put in 6.5litre.
June 11, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I have not seen that issue, so I can not be 100% sure. The sensor reads capacitance via the engine oil. Which changes as oil additives and oil break down over time. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
mib Comments: I change my cqr oil at obe of independent shop. Is different quality engine oil will give different oil level sensor?
June 9, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not sure what you are asking. Oil brand should not affect the oil level sensor. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Head Comments: Thanks a lot,I saved a lot of money.
April 11, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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