Saturday, 22 March 2008

BMW E90 320i DIY engine oil change

A friend came over the weekend and ask me to help her replace her fluid.. She confirmed warranty for her 320i is over, so she wish to service outside.. :D I told her I will try because I have not done it to an E90 before.. here goes..

First of all, I was looking for a place to jack. I realized the E90 does not come with a jack because it’s on Run Flat Tire and does not intend for owner to jack the car for replacing flat. So no jack. I took my Toyota jack and start looking for a spot under the E90 to rest my jack. Voila! Found a “jack stand”.. or rather a plastic mount where its meant to support a workshop hydraulic car lift. To avoid breaking the plastic mount, I found a rubber muffler mount in my store and cut it into shape so can slot into the E90 plastic mount as follows to disperse pressure to avoid the risk of breaking the plastic mounting:

Check out the brick I inserted under the tire.. :D Kiasi.. :p and check out those green carpet tiles.. that's my mat.. :D

A look under the E90… Wow! Amazing sight! Reminds me of the Darth Vader’s Empire Mothership carrier.. :D

Once I am comfortable with my reach to the drain bolt, then only I proceed to replace the oil filter.. I should have released the drain bolt first so allowing more time for the oil to drip while I replace the oil filter. I was worry of unable to open the oil filter, so must try opening the oil filter first because if unable to open, I would call off the project.. :D

I first mark the oil filter cover with a masking tape so I know how much to tighten the cap later. I don’t have a torque wrench and I ‘m suppose to tighten it to 25Nm of torque as written on the cap.. :p

Line the cap with a piece of cloth so the filter wrench won't harm the cap.. :D Open with anti close wise rotation just like unwinding a screw..

See how dirty the thing is.. yuukkk.... If I tell u this filter is only 5k km old, would believe me?

Hold the dirty filter element with one hand and tap the central core with your other hand, the element will slide out.. took me quite awhile to figure this out.. almost broke the core while struggled with it.. :p

The el-cheapo Austrian filter I got for her.. :p

Slot the new filter element into the core.. make sure the side with printed code number is facing out.. don't ask why... just follow.. :D Don't forget to replace the oil seal. 3 of them.

Screw the filter back and make sure the cap return to our "mark", well aligned! That's 25Nm I suppose.. :rolleyes:

Now move on to the drain bolt.. not easy to open for a new car because the bolt was bolted onto the pan before they assemble the engine and coated with a layer of paint, thus very tight. Luckily this an old car.. :wink: It's using size 6mm hex wrench. I got my wrench from a bicycle shop.. :p Normal anti clock wise unwinding... DON'T SCREW UP!!! If u break the nut, don't call me!! :D

Some closeup to show u the screw... if you don't have the hex wrench, it will be difficult because of the thin top. Too thin to fit a wrench (its size 17mm). The black finishing is actually the oil sump paint (in&out), painted over the nut because when they paint the oil sump before assembly, the bolt is already in place..again I must stress, it should be very tight for a new car.. I think :rolleyes:

Check out the dirty oil.. what they called BMW-LL :stupid:

If I were to tell you these are 5k km original BMW-LL fluid, would you believe me.. :p :D

If these are good for another say... 5k km... would u pour it into your Kancil or something..? :p :D

Hope u enjoy reading the above! :wink:


  1. I am so posting this blog on my facebook... very handy to know. Im gonna give it a go next week. hehehehe. Awesome stuff.

  2. LOL! Make sure u include a disclaimer so everyone will take extra precaution to prevent unwanted injury. :)

  3. Thank you for a good write up with photos. You are the only person who mentions a 6mm hex wrench for the 320i model (american BMW cars have a different sump plug). I have the same as yours. I just paid 400Euros yesterday to a BMW garage to change my oil and filter, micro filter, spark plugs and inspection. Next time I will do it myself.

  4. By the way you did not mention if a metal washer is used with the sump bolt/drain bolt. I suppose there is a metal washer (and three rubber washer) with the new filter packet, but is there one in the original bolt?

    1. Yes Raj, there's an original metal washer on the drain bolt. I didn't bother to replace it even though the new filter kit comes with it. Its not leaking.. so why bother.. :)

    2. Yes Raj, there's an original metal washer on the drain bolt. I didn't bother to replace it even though the new filter kit comes with it. Its not leaking.. so why bother.. :)

  5. You are great, u are helping the entire world.. Keep on your good work and put more related topic to the web. thanks. Patrick

    1. Patrick, thanks for visiting my humble blog and the kind words. You are most welcome!

  6. how many liters does the engine take to change oil +filter for 320i model 2008

  7. Hi,
    Thanks for help.Does this model have a dipstick?