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Changing Engine Oil N52 Engine
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Changing Engine Oil N52 Engine

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$100

Talent:

***

Tools:

17mm socket, oil filter wrench

Applicable Models:

BMW X3 Sport Utility (2007-10)

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 is 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 remain 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. 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 in the BMW X3 models with an N52 engine (late model). 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 X3. 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 your engine protected with new and fresh engine oil. Late models use an oil level sensor as part of the oil condition sensor. Oil level is checked via the driver information display menu. See oil level checking in this tech article.

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.

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

Using an oil filter socket on a 6" extension, loosen the oil filter housing lid (red arrow) 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.

This photo shows the oil filter socket (red arrow) AST tool number V410.
Figure 2

This photo shows the oil filter socket (red arrow) AST tool number V410.

Remove the oil filter cover from the engine and remove the old oil filter from its cover.
Figure 3

Remove the oil filter cover from the engine and remove the old oil filter from its cover. My subject vehicle had a cheap oil filter, note the way it collapsed under a normal service interval (red arrow). Use a high quality oil filter to prevent this from happening.

Using a small flathead screwdriver, remove the O-rings from the oil filter cover (red arrows).
Figure 4

Using a small flathead screwdriver, remove the O-rings from the oil filter cover (red arrows). Install a new O-ring and a new oil filter. Push the filter on as far as it will go. Then tighten filter housing.

This photo shows the oil drain plug location on late N52 6-cylinder models (red arrow).
Figure 5

This photo shows the oil drain plug location on late N52 6-cylinder models (red arrow). Place the drain pan centered below the oil drain plug. Using a 17mm socket, remove the oil drain plug (inset). 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 tighten.

Fill the engine with new BMW specified engine oil.
Figure 6

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.

Checking engine oil on vehicles without a dipstick: To check the oil level on vehicles without a dipstick (all New Generation engines), start engine.
Figure 7

Checking engine oil on vehicles without a dipstick: To check the oil level on vehicles without a dipstick (all New Generation engines), start engine. Press the right button on the instrument cluster. When checking level the display will cycle (red arrow) and clock will be displayed next to level. After 3: 5 minutes the level will be displayed. Oil level at minimum +1 will be displayed. If entire level display is filled with a zero next to rectangle graph, level is too high. If error is displayed there is a problem with the oil condition / level sensor. Do not add oil, have engine checked immediately. If OK is displayed, oil level is OK (inset).

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Page last updated: Fri 6/23/2017 03:15:06 AM