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Pelican Technical Article:

Changing Engine Oil

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$100

Talent:

***

Tools:

17mm socket, flathead screwdriver, oil filter wrench, floor jack, two jack stands, two wheel chocks, safety glasses, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 530i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 545i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 550i Sedan (2006-10)

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 3,000 miles

Engine oil is the essential lubricant that maintains low friction among engine moving parts and additionally cools the engine. It is important to understand the role of oil viscosity in engine longevity.

A cold engine needs the oil to be low viscosity (thin) in order to circulate it. Low viscosity oil has the ability to remain as a low-friction layer between cold engine components. As the engine and oil heat up, it is important that the oil remain viscous instead of thinning out and losing its ability to maintain the lubricating layer. Modern engine oils are engineered to operate in a wide range of temperatures. Additives are used in both petroleum based and synthetic oils to maintain relatively stable viscosity through a range of temperatures.

Oils are designated with a standard scale of viscosity markers: low numbers such as 5W indicate low viscosity (thin) and high numbers such as 50W indicate high viscosity (thick). Modern multiviscosity oils are designated with a high and a low range. For example, 5W-50 indicates an oil that is as thin as 5W when cold but remains thick like 50W when hot.

For most of North America the climate is such that BMW's synthetic 5W-40 is adequate nearly year round. However, for certain climate regions (extremely hot or extremely cold) or for sustained high-speed driving towing a trailer (for example) it may be necessary to consider oil with a more specialized viscosity range. Consult your owner's manual for the multiviscosity oil suited to your climate and vehicle use.

Remember that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with replacing the engine oil and filter on the BMW E60 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 E60. Remember to use high quality oil that meets BMW specifications, (specifications can be found in your owner's manual) a high quality oil filter will keep your engine protected with new and fresh engine oil. Depending on the year of your 5-Series, checking your oil is done two different ways: 2003: 2005 models have an engine oil dipstick and oil is checked how it always has been. 2006: 2010 models use an oil level sensor as part of the oil condition sensor. Oil level is checked via the iDrive menu. See the oil level checking in this tech article for more information.

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 the vehicle. See our tech article on jacking up the vehicle and securing the front of the car with jack stands.

Early 6-cylinder engine: Using a 36mm oil filter socket on a 6 extension, loosen the oil filter housing lid until you can see the sealing O-ring.
Figure 1

Early 6-cylinder engine: Using a 36mm oil filter socket on a 6" extension, loosen the oil filter housing lid until you can see the sealing O-ring. This allows oil in the filter housing and filter to drain into the engine oil pan. If you do not do this first, you will leave about a liter of old engine oil behind.

Early 6-cylinder engine: Open the oil drain plug access door, if equipped.
Figure 2

Early 6-cylinder engine: Open the oil drain plug access door, if equipped. Most E60s I see no longer have the doors. Using a flathead screwdriver, rotate the door lock 180 degrees, then swing the door down. You can also remove the door to make a little more room for you to work. This photo shows the oil drain plug location on early 6-cylinder models (green arrow). Place the drain pan centered below the oil drain plug. Using a 17mm socket, remove the oil drain plug. Allow the engine oil to drain until it stops dripping. Keep an eye on the oil as it drains. The stream of oil will move and there is a chance it will miss the drain pan. Install the oil drain plug with a new sealing washer and torque to 25 Nm (18 ft-lb). Close the oil drain plug access door. Remove the drain pan from below the vehicle.

Early 6-cylinder engine: Remove the oil filter cover from the engine and remove the old oil filter from its cover.
Figure 3

Early 6-cylinder engine: Remove the oil filter cover from the engine and remove the old oil filter from its cover.

Early 6-cylinder engine: Using a small flathead screwdriver, remove the O-ring from the oil filter cover (yellow arrow).
Figure 4

Early 6-cylinder engine: Using a small flathead screwdriver, remove the O-ring from the oil filter cover (yellow arrow).

Early 6-cylinder engine: Install a new O-ring and a new oil filter.
Figure 5

Early 6-cylinder engine: Install a new O-ring and a new oil filter. Push the filter on as far as it will go. Then torque the oil filter cover to 25 Nm (18 ft-lb).

Early 6-cylinder engine: Fill the engine with new BMW specified engine oil.
Figure 6

Early 6-cylinder engine: Fill the engine with new BMW specified engine oil. The engine oil capacity is (6-cylinder): 6.5 liters (7 US quarts). Start the engine and confirm that the oil warning light goes out. Then pull the dipstick and recheck the oil level. The oil level should be within the area marked by green arrows. Check that there are no oil leaks. Lower the vehicle from the jack stands and you are done.

8-cylinder engine: On 8-cylinder models, the oil fill cap (green arrow) is on the right side of the engine.
Figure 7

8-cylinder engine: On 8-cylinder models, the oil fill cap (green arrow) is on the right side of the engine. The oil filter is however not located where we are used to seeing BMW oil filters. The new 8-cylinder engines have the oil filter mounted to the bottom of the engine, next to the oil pan. This makes changing the oil a snap, as everything but filling gets done under your vehicle.

8-cylinder engine: Open the oil drain plug access door, if equipped.
Figure 8

8-cylinder engine: Open the oil drain plug access door, if equipped. Most E60s I see no longer have the doors. Using a flathead screwdriver, rotate the door lock 180°, then swing the door down. You can also remove the door to make a little more room for you to work. Place a drain pan under the engine. Working at the oil filter housing, remove the T40 Torx drain plug (green arrows). Once you're done draining, reinstall the plug. Then remove the 8mm Allen oil drain plug (blue arrow). Once that is done draining, reinstall the plug. Then using a 24mm socket, remove the oil filter housing (yellow arrow). Remove the oil filter cover from the engine and remove the old oil filter from the cover. Using a small flathead screwdriver, remove the O-ring from the oil filter cover. Install a new O-ring and new filter. Push the filter on as far as it will go. Then torque the oil filter cover to 25 Nm (18 ft-lb). Fill the engine with engine oil. The engine oil capacity is (8-cylinder): 8.0 liters (8.5 US quarts). Start the engine and confirm that the oil warning light goes out. Check the oil level. See the note below on checking engine oil on vehicles without a dipstick.

Checking engine oil on vehicles without a dipstick: To check the oil level on vehicles without a dipstick (all New Generation engines), navigate the iDrive screen to Info Source then to Service Info, then to Status.
Figure 9

Checking engine oil on vehicles without a dipstick: To check the oil level on vehicles without a dipstick (all New Generation engines), navigate the iDrive screen to Info Source then to Service Info, then to Status. Once in Status, navigate to Engine Oil Level. The engine oil level will be displayed. Top off the engine oil / adjust as needed.













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Comments and Suggestions:
witold Comments: Thanks, but you have not answered my question, so I repeat it: "Early 6-cylinder engine" is a label used for the first 6 steps of the procedure above. Do those steps apply to "Late 6-cylinder engine" one without the oil level dip stick? If not, please provide alternate steps.
November 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, they do not. That is for the M54 engine only.The procedure is similar but not exact on NG6 engines. I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.


Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
witold Comments: I have a 2006 530xi wagon, no dip stick for oil level. I assume that the steps for "Early 6-cyl engine" apply to my engine as well. If not, can you provide alternate instructions?
November 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Checking engine oil on vehicles without a dipstick: To check the oil level on vehicles without a dipstick (all New Generation engines), navigate the iDrive screen to Info Source then to Service Info, then to Status. Once in Status, navigate to Engine Oil Level. The engine oil level will be displayed. Top off the engine oil / adjust as needed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
none Comments: On 545i 2004-05 V8 with oil filter underneath, there is an extra step on the oil filter. 1 using Allen key, remove the oil filter housing drain plug. That removes the remaining oil and reduces the splashing when you remove the oil filter housing. 2 remove oil filter housing. 3 Once oil filter housing is removed, firmly pull on the filter to detached the locking mechanism to remove from housing. When reinstalling the oil filter house replace BOTH O-rings one of the housing and a smaller one for the housing drain plug. These are separate from the copper washer for the regular drain plug. Torque setting are on the housing 10NM for housing plug, 25NM for housing.
October 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 02:24:21 AM