How Do I Change Oil on 540i BMW?by William Zane
Every BMW made needs regular oil changes to keep the engine reliably lubricated and to avoid problems down the road. Oil changes can be done by the dealer, an independent BMW shop or even at one of the quick-oil-change locations. A BMW owner can also change the oil without trouble, saving time and money to boot. Changing the oil on the V8-powered 540i is uncomplicated with the right tools and approach.
Ensure that the engine has been run recently, which will help the oil drain more quickly. Park the car on a flat, level surface. Place the gearbox in park or in gear if your BMW has a manual transmission. Lift the front of the BMW and lower it onto a pair of jack stands.
Open the hood and remove the oil fill cap on top of the engine. Loosen and remove the Phillips screws that hold the cover for the drain plug to the underside of the car with a screwdriver. The cover is at the bottom of the engine.
Put an oil drain container under the oil sump drain plug. Remove the oil drain plug with a 17 mm socket and ratchet. Let the oil drain completely from the engine.
Locate the oil filter canister in the engine bay, which is a black, cylindrical container on the driver's side of the engine bay. Use a 36 mm socket or an oil filter strap wrench to remove the canister's lid. Remove the cap and the filter from the canister.
Place the cap and filter on a rag and then wipe up any spilled oil. Remove the small O-ring from the cap with a small, flat-head screwdriver. Pull the filter off the canister cap.
Install a new O-ring, first coating it with clean oil. Install the O-ring into the recess on the inside of the cap. Install the new filter onto the lid. Reinstall the cap and the filter into the canister and tighten the cap until you can no longer see the O-ring.
Wipe the oil sump drain plug off. Remove the old crush washer and install a new one. Install and tighten the oil drain plug with the 17 mm socket. Reinstall the oil drain plug cover.
Pour 8 qts. of fresh synthetic oil into the top of the engine. Use a funnel to minimize spilling. Wipe up any spilled oil. Reinstall the oil cap. Close the engine. Lower the car off the jack stands. Start the engine and check for oil leaks. Dispose of the old oil and rags.
- "BMW 5 Series Service Manual: 5 Series (E39) 1997 to 2002"; Robert Bentley; 2003
Things You'll Need
- Floor jack
- 2 jack stands
- Socket set and ratchet
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Phillips screwdriver
- 8 qts. synthetic oil
- New oil filter
William Zane has been a freelance writer and photographer for over six years and specializes primarily in automotive-related subject matter among many other topics. He has attended the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, where he studied automotive design, and the University of New Mexico, where he studied journalism.