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Pelican Technical Article:

Changing Engine Oil

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$45

Talent:

**

Tools:

36 mm socket, 17mm wrench, Phillips and flathead screwdriver

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i Sedan/Wagon (2001-03)
BMW 528i Sedan/Wagon (1997-00)
BMW 530i Sedan (2001-03)
BMW 540i Sedan/Wagon (1997-03)

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:

Replace air filter too

In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with replacing the engine oil and filter on BMW E39 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 E39. 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.

Run engine for 2-3 minutes to warm engine oil. Do not allow engine to get too hot.

Models with 6-cylinder engine

Some of the photos for the 6-cylinder model are from a similar model that uses the same engine. These photos will help you get your oil changed with little issue.

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

Using a 36mm socket on a 6 extension, loosen oil filter housing lid until you can see sealing O-ring (green arrow).
Figure 1

Using a 36mm 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.

If equipped: Open oil drain plug access door. Most of the access doors are missing from vehicles I work on.

Place drain pan centered below oil drain plug.

Using a 17mm wrench, remove oil drain plug.
Figure 2

Using a 17mm wrench, 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 3

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

This photo shows what can happen when a low quality oil filter is used.
Figure 4

This photo shows what can happen when a low quality oil filter is used. The filter can collapse and fall apart inside oil filter housing. If your filter is bent like the one shown, inspect filter housing and filter cover for oil filter debris. A broken piece of filter will jam and crush the new filter when you tighten cover.

Using a small flathead screwdriver, remove O-rings from oil filter cover.
Figure 5

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

Install new O-ring and new filter.
Figure 6

Install new O-ring and new filter. Then torque oil filter cover to 25 Nm (18 ft-lb).

Fill engine with engine oil, while filling use dipstick to obtain correct level.
6-cylinder capacity: 6.5 liters

Start engine, confirm oil warning light goes out.
Figure 7

Start engine, confirm oil warning light goes out. Turn engine off. Then pull dipstick and recheck oil level. Oil level should be within area marked by green arrows. Check that there are no oil leaks, lower vehicle from jack stands and you are done.

Models with 8-cylinder engine

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

Using a 36mm socket on a 6 extension, loosen oil filter housing lid until you can see sealing O-ring (green arrow).
Figure 8

Using a 36mm 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.

If your oil filter housing is loose or not well connected to the fender, you can replace the two rubber insulators that attach it.
Figure 9

If your oil filter housing is loose or not well connected to the fender, you can replace the two rubber insulators that attach it. (green arrow) There are two 10mm nuts on each one to remove, then install new insulators and tighten nuts.

Place drain pan centered below oil drain plug.

If equipped: Open oil drain plug access door. Most of the access doors are missing from vehicles I work on.

Using a 17mm socket on a 6 extension, remove oil drain plug.
Figure 10

Using a 17mm socket on a 6" extension, 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). Remove drain pan from below vehicle.

Remove oil filter cover from engine and remove old oil filter from cover.
Figure 11

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

Using a small flat head screwdriver, remove O-rings from oil filter cover.
Figure 12

Using a small flat head screwdriver, remove O-rings from oil filter cover.

Install new O-ring and new filter. Then torque oil filter cover to 25 Nm (18 ft-lb).

Fill engine with engine oil, while filling use dipstick to obtain correct level.
8-cylinder capacity: 7.5 liters

Start engine, confirm oil warning light goes out.
Figure 13

Start engine, confirm oil warning light goes out. Turn engine off. Then pull dipstick and recheck oil level. Oil level should be within area marked by green arrows. Check that there are no oil leaks, lower vehicle from jack stands and you are done.








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Comments and Suggestions:
Cj Comments: Hey I'm noticing my e39 when I first start it or drive it around and come to a stop idles weird. Intermittently the rpm will drop really quick and level back to normal. Could that be an issue with the oil I'm using or fuel pumps?
January 20, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would assume problem with the idle control valve or throttle housing. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
luckyman48 Comments: Hi, how many litres I need to fill my engine plus the filter for BMW e39 530i 2001? I have been told 7 litres and what sort of oil and filter I need to buy for her? is it Castrol and what sot please?

Thank You very much for your help
December 4, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: 6.5 liters or 7 US quarts.


BMW High Performance Synthetic Oil SAE 5W-30 - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
JaxPlanet Comments: According to the Bentley manual for e39, you should also replace the two small O-rings on the filter cover. They can be seen in figure 5.
October 19, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Good catch. The image is missing a few yellow arrows. I will have it updated. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Firoo Comments: I have a bnmw 525i e39 stationwagon yr2002 its has oil in exhaust and too much smoke coming frm it what is the problem and how do I repair it plz
October 14, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would check if the crankcase breather valve is faulty. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 02:04:59 AM