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Pelican Technical Article:

Jacking Up Your BMW

Nick Czerula

Time:

30 minutes30 mins

Tab:

$50

Talent:

**

Tools:

Floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks

Applicable Models:

BMW E90 3-Series (2006-11)
BMW E91 3-Series (2006-12)
BMW E92 3-Series (2007-13)
BMW E93 3-Series (2007-13)

Parts Required:

Jack pad

Hot Tip:

Work on a solid level surface

Performance Gain:

Ability to service components beneath vehicle.

Complementary Modification:

Replace jack pads

Jacking and supporting your BMW E90 off the ground is required for many maintenance and repair tasks. A common but not so difficult job, still creates a bit of anxiousness in the mind of the experienced mechanic as well as the amateur. A repeatable process with safety in mind can ease the nerves. For example, always work on level solid ground, use tools you trust and never rush the job. Remember to block the wheels to prevent unwanted vehicle movement. Use a good quality jack and jack stands and don't be afraid to add an additional jack stand or support under the vehicle.

When jacking the front of your vehicle, place the transmission in Park and apply parking brake, along with blocking the wheels with a chock. When jacking the rear of your vehicle, you do not have the transmission or parking brake to hold the rear wheels still. Use wheel chocks on right and left front wheels, (in front and behind tire).

BMW E90 models have 4 solid rubber jacking pads, slightly behind front wheels and slightly in front of rear wheels.
Figure 1

BMW E90 models have 4 solid rubber jacking pads, slightly behind front wheels and slightly in front of rear wheels. This photo shows the position of the rear jacking pad in relation to the wheel. (green arrow) The jacking pads are designed to support the vehicle from below when using a hoist, hydraulic jack, or when changing a tire in an emergency situation. This is where you will place a jack stand to support vehicle when working with vehicle raised. If a jacking pad is missing, replace it before jacking vehicle, otherwise body damage can occur. When replacing a missing jacking pad on E90 models, push jacking pad up into opening in body and snap into place. To jack vehicle, park vehicle on level solid ground. If removing a wheel, loosen wheel studs before jacking vehicle. Install wheel chocks to block wheels that are not being jacked. This will help to keep vehicle from unexpectedly rolling. Do not assume the parking brake or transmission will hold vehicle, wheel chocks are a must.

Jacking front of vehicle:
When using a hydraulic floor jack to lift front of vehicle, place hydraulic floor jack under steel box section under front of vehicle (green arrow).
Figure 2

When using a hydraulic floor jack to lift front of vehicle, place hydraulic floor jack under steel box section under front of vehicle (green arrow).

Raise vehicle slowly while monitoring jack and vehicle position.
Figure 3

Raise vehicle slowly while monitoring jack and vehicle position. Watch that lifting pad from jack is properly aligned with jacking point on vehicle. (green arrow)

Once you reach desired height, install jack stand at jack pad location to support the vehicle.
Figure 4

Once you reach desired height, install jack stand at jack pad location to support the vehicle. Slowly lower vehicle onto jack stand until full vehicle weight is supported. Check that jack stands are not tilting or moving when vehicle is lowered. You can add a second jack stand under steel box section of body for added support.

Jacking rear of vehicle:
There is not enough room to jack and support vehicle in jack pad area at the same time.
Figure 5

There is not enough room to jack and support vehicle in jack pad area at the same time. When using a hydraulic floor jack to lift rear of vehicle, place hydraulic floor jack under center of rear differential (green arrow). Raise vehicle slowly while monitoring jack and vehicle position. Since you are lifting your vehicle from the center most point at rear, I suggest placing jack stands under both rear jack pads.

Once you reach desired height, install jack stand at jack pad location to support the vehicle.
Figure 6

Once you reach desired height, install jack stand at jack pad location to support the vehicle. Slowly lower vehicle onto jack stand until full vehicle weight is supported. Check that jack stands are not tilting or moving when vehicle is lowered. You can leave the hydraulic jack under rear differential for added support. When lowering your vehicle, raise off jack stands, remove jack stands from beneath vehicle and slowly lower vehicle to ground. Make sure all tools and parts are clear before lowering your vehicle.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Jonathan Comments: 2011 335i. The previous owner fitted the car with an M-Sport or M front bumper, which is very low to the ground. My hydraulic floor jack will not fit far enough under this bumper to contact the steel box. I am thinking about taking the car to a shop just to have them put it on a hoist and remove the front engine splash shield. Would that reveal anything I can safely put the hydraulic jack on to lift the car in the front center before installing jack stands? I remember the day before splash shields Are the damn things really necessary?
July 31, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: yes, they are needed as the shield also helps with engine cooling and air direction and noise. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Yangorang Comments: So you see all these companies selling circular jack pad adapters that fit into the jack pads. Are these things just a sham? Are the pads meant to simply be lifted by the edges and then replaced once they break?
May 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The jack goes under the entire jack pad, it is a rectangle. it should not break. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Hank Comments: Purchased some Jack Pads. According to the DIYs I've found, all you need is a screwdriver - flathead. To leverage and pop out. "Easy concept."

However, I just spent 20 minutes trying to get ANY pad off. I wedged an 8inch flathead into the side and tried to pop it off, and not making any progress. Do I need to wedge a few flatheads in there? Is there a trick or a tab?

I didn't jack up the car, and don't see the need for more room at all. What else do you recommend?

Thanks
April 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It depends on the model. Some have a plastic rivet in the center of the jack pad that has to be levered out first, then the jack pad can be removed. Be careful when removing the jack pad, try to avoid scratching the undercoating or paint. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Peter Comments: When changing oil pan gasket.do i need to put or buy oil engine when doing that oil pan gasket?
February 12, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, the oil has to be drained, so it will have to be replaced. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Phil Comments: You could always jack one side up a bit and put support under it's tyre. Then move jack to the other side, jack it up and put support under it's tyre.
October 21, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Derek Comments: The picture you show when jacking the front looks like the door to the oil drain plug? I'm assuming its not? Where is it in relation to that on a 2010 E90?
September 15, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That is the front subframe. The model shown does not have a oil access door. Your vehicle, is an E90 should have subframe exposed in the same area.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Gary Comments: Would shops if I happen to take bmw to ruin skirt if pads are missing?
July 12, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I think you are asking if jacking without the pads will ruin anything. The answer is yes, it could ruin the body panels, trim or metal. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
mas Comments: y not to jack on the rear diff - use the cross member.
July 12, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can use the cross member, if you can get good purchase on it. I find the jack can sometimes slide on the cross member. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Gary Comments: Hi, my used e90 328xi runflat came with bare recessed oval holes in above mentioned 4 jack positions. I saw similar holes on my e36 when I lost rubber pucks. Should i buy replacement support parts? What part# are they?
Thanks!
July 11, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You're going to want to install new pads.
I’m not the best with part numbers.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Eugene Comments: one more
December 12, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing. That spot will work. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Eugene Comments: sure, here it is:
December 12, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, you can use that spot. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Eugene Comments: Hi:
I saw my 2008 328xi has a different style front point, similar to picture 2 but with 3 holes. Is it the correct one?
December 10, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Can you share a photo? I can't say without seeing it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
John Comments: Can you recommend a floor jack that can reach the steel box under the engine? This is for a 2006 330i with Sport Package. I measured about 31 inches from the center of the steel box to the lower edge of the front bumper cover. My Sears racing jack is not long enough to reach and still leave enough clearance to operate the pump handle unless I two-step it somehow. It seems like an extra long jack is needed and the ones I've found are pricey $220+. Is there anything that will work in the $100-$150 range?
September 1, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: All of our jacks are located here:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/ksearch/PEL_search_2014.cgi ?command=DWsearch&please_wait=N&make=BMW&LastVisited_input=BE36&VIEW_ALL=TOOL&description=floor%20jack

All work well, just pick the one that suits you best.- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Ryan Comments: Is it safe to jack the front up on both sides? Of course I will use cinder blocks in case it falls, but I'm replacing the water pump and need more room.
August 26, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Figure 4 shows the front end of the vehicle in the air, supported by jack stands. Use jack stands to support your vehicle, not cinder blocks. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
gene Comments: Hi:
Can I buy a 2 6ton car stands with 60cm maximum lift range so I can work underneath the car?
July 8, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right stands. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
cyber Comments: Is it also okay to use the rear cross member to jack a E90 rather than the differential?
June 1, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, if you can get a jack onto the steel frame section that the rear control arms attach to. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Das Comments: I'm starting to think that using the jack pads directly to keep the vehicle raised with jack stands is incorrect and causes damage to the jack pads them selves as there are jack pucks that are available that have a rectangular box on top of the puck which fits inside the jack pads them selves which support the weight of the vehicle and eliminates the jack pads on the car being damaged. Are using these jack pucks with the jack pads on the car actually the correct way of lifting and will eliminate any chances of the vehicle falling on you while working underneath as there is no way damaged to the jack pads on the vehicle can occur causing them to fail resulting on having the vehicle fall on you? Or will I be safe with placing the jack stands directly in contact with the jack pads on the car as pictured here while working underneath for potentially hours.... Please do let me know ASAP as I have some maintenance work to preform on my 06 330i and will order these jack pucks with the rectangular box to balance on top of the jack stands before applying the stands to the jack pads to raise the vehicle.
Also is there any other place on the e90 to plce jack stands to keep the car raised while working underneath other then then using the jack pads.?
Thank you in advance.
March 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The jack pads are the lifting point suggested by BMW. Whether the vehicle is being jacked to change a tire or raised on a hoist, this is the place where the jack or lift goes. If you feel yours are loose or moving, the jack pad may be faulty and require replacement.

You can place the jack stands under the steel box sections under the vehicle. However, on an E90 they are a bit harder to get to without damaging plastic on the vehicle.

If you have any doubt of how to jack or lift your vehicle, purchase a repair manual or contact BMW service for advice. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Aleks Comments: When jacking at the rear differential, do not jack at the differential cover, this can cause the cover to crack, it states in many manuals for many cars not to do this. Push the jack a bit further down to avoid the cover.
January 29, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Correct, you are placing the jack under the housing of the differential. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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