How to Do an Oil Change on Bmw Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

German cars are different than American or Japanese cars, and one particular example is the oil filter. On an American car, the oil filter is at the bottom of the engine and is a complete assembly. On a German car, the filter is typically a filter cartridge, mounted on the top of the engine. It's almost easier to replace than an American oil filter, because it doesn't spill oil down your arm, but there are different steps involved.

Under The Hood:

 How to Do an Oil Change on a BMW K1200s

Warm up the motorcycle's engine for a few minutes and then put it on the center stand.

Remove the lower plastic cowling by pulling it straight down.

Screw out the oil filler cap located on the right-hand side of the motorcycle.

Position the oil drain pan under the motorcycle's oil drain hole.

Unscrew the drain plug screw by using an 8 mm hex wrench.

Replace the drain plug screw once the oil has finished draining out. Be careful not to over-tighten the drain plug screw.

Pour the fresh oil into the engine using approximately 3.5 qts. Keep an eye on the oil-viewing window to ensure that the oil level does not exceed the marking on the window's center.

Items you will need

  • Oil drain pan

  • Four qts. of oil

  • Hex wrench set

  • T25 Torx wrench (for year 2002 models)

 Do It Yourself Oil Change for a BMW 325i

Drive the vehicle onto the ramps and engage the emergency brake.

Slide the oil bucket beneath the vehicle at the oil plug location. BMW uses a skid plate with an easy access cover for the oil drain plug. Place the oil bucket beneath this access panel.

Open the access panel (in the center of the skid plate and labeled). Remove the oil plug using the 17 mm wrench. Allow the oil to drain until you have only a few drops dripping out. Replace the oil plug and tighten to between 20 and 25 foot-pounds of torque using a torque wrench. Leave the access panel open.

Remove oil filter housing cap using a filter strap wrench or by hand. You can use an adjustable wrench if desired. The cap is located center-front of the engine compartment, directly in front of the fan, accessed from above the engine. Pull the cap and filter out. The filter removes with the cap.

Replace the filter by sliding the old one off of the tube attached to the cap and sliding the new one onto the tube. Inspect the rubber grommets at the base of the tube and above the threads on the cap. Replace with the rubber grommets included with the new filter if you notice signs of looseness or damage. Reinstall the cap by hand and tighten one-quarter further with a strap or adjustable wrench.

Remove the oil fill cap. Pour 6.9 quarts of synthetic 5W-30 motor oil into the oil fill tube (labeled on top of the engine). Replace the oil fill cap and start the vehicle. Allow the motor to run for 2 minutes. Monitor the access panel beneath the vehicle and the oil filter cap for signs of leaks. Leaks would imply a damaged gasket or improper tightening. Correct the error and retest.

Close the access panel for the oil drain plug. Check the oil level with the engine oil dipstick. Fill as necessary.

Items you will need

  • MANN Oil Filter (HU816x)

  • 7 quarts of synthetic 5W-30 engine oil

  • 17 mm wrench

  • Oil bucket

  • Filter strap wrench

  • Adjustable wrench

  • Ramps

  • Torque wrench

 How to Change the Oil for a BMW 323i

Visit the parts department at a BMW dealership. Tell the salesperson that you need an oil filter kit and synthetic engine oil for a BMW 323i. Purchase the oil filter kit and BMW 10W-40 oil made for your vehicle model.

Insert your keys into the ignition to start your car. Keep your car in park and let your BMW 323i idle for 15 minutes to warm the oil. Set up car ramps in front of each front tire in a dry location such as a garage or carport so that your BMW is protected from the weather during the oil change.

Get in your car and shift into drive mode. Drive your front tires onto the car ramps so that the front end of your car is elevated. Pull up on the emergency brake to stabilize your car from moving. Turn the car off.

Locate the oil filter housing on the very front top of the engine. Loosen the oil filter cover with the 36 mm socket wrench. Pull up on the cover to remove the cover and the attached old oil filter.

Slide the old oil filter off the cover. Discard the old oil filter. Slide the new oil filter onto the cover. Tighten the cover back onto the oil filter housing using your 36 mm socket wrench.

Hold your 17 mm socket wrench and position yourself underneath the front of your BMW. Locate a small six-sided nut located towards the center of the engine.

Place your oil pan on the ground underneath the drain plug of your BMW 323i. Remove the plug with your 17 mm socket wrench so that the oil drains into the pan. Replace the plug once all the oil has drained from the vehicle. Replace the drain plug to its original position.

Come out from underneath the car. Stand over the engine of your vehicle. Open the oil cap located in the center of the engine. Pour 7 quarts of BMW synthetic engine oil into the oil hole. Close the oil cap.

Close the hood. Turn your BMW 323i on. Put your car in reverse to back your car off the car ramps. Put your car in park and let it idle for five minutes to distribute the oil throughout the engine. Shut your BMW off.

Items you will need

  • Car ramps

  • 36 mm socket wrench

  • 17 mm socket wrench

 How Do I Change Oil on 540i BMW?

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.

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • 2 jack stands

  • Socket set and ratchet

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • 8 qts. synthetic oil

  • New oil filter

 How to Change Oil on a BMW 330

Open the hood and locate the oil filter housing, which is at the front of the engine, just to the right of center. Remove the cap on the housing using the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket, then remove the cover and lift the oil filter element out of the engine. Allow the excess oil to drain from the filter so that you don't make a mess.

Slide off the old oil filter element and throw it away. Remove the O-ring on the oil filter housing as well. Lubricate the replacement O-ring that's included with the replacement filter element using the motor oil, then install it on the housing. Slide the replacement filter onto the housing, then reinstall the assembly onto the engine using the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Be careful not to over-tighten the housing, as you could damage it.

Raise up the front of the vehicle using the jack and set it on the jack stands. Make sure the vehicle is solidly on the stands before crawling underneath. Slide the drain pan underneath the oil pan. Open the drain plug on the bottom of the oil pan using the ratchet, and allow the engine oil to drain into the pan. Once it's complete, reinstall the drain plug with a new gasket (included with the oil filter kit) and tighten it in place using the ratchet.

Open the oil fill cap on the top of the engine with your hand and fill the engine with the oil. Once complete, lower the vehicle off the stands using the jack and set it on the ground.

Items you will need

  • 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set

  • Drain pan

  • Replacement oil filter element kit

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • 6.5 quarts synthetic 10w-40 motor oil

 How to Change the Oil in a 2007 BMW 328i

Position the ramps on a level surface and drive the front wheels of your 328i on top of them.

Engage the emergency brake, turn off your 328i and pop the car's hood.

Loosen the oil filler neck cap and put the cap aside.

Go to the underside of the car and locate the trap door for the oil pan drain plug. It is located in a circular impression toward the front of the car, in front of the catalytic converters.

Pry the plastic trap door open to reveal the oil drain plug.

Position the oil drain pan underneath the oil drain plug.

Loosen the oil drain plug using the 17mm socket and allow all of the oil to drain out.

Screw the oil drain plug back into place when the oil has finished draining, and reinstall the trap door's cover.

Go to the hood of the car and insert the funnel into the oil filler neck.

Slowly pour the oil into the funnel and replace the oil filler neck cap when you are finished.

Close the hood and start your car. Allow the engine to idle for a few minutes so the new oil can circulate through the engine.

Items you will need

  • 7 qts. synthetic 5W30 Oil

  • 17mm socket

  • Socket wrench

  • Plastic funnel

  • Ramps

  • Oil drain pan

 How to Change Oil in a 2003 BMW Z4

Allow the engine to completely cool down. Hot engine oil can cause severe burns.

Locate the oil pan drain plug. The oil pan is located on the bottom of the engine. The drain plug is located at the bottom of the oil pan. If you have trouble locating the drain plug see your service manual.

Place oil drain pan under the oil drain plug.

Use your 3/4 inch wrench turning counter clockwise to loosen and remove the drain plug. The oil will start draining immediately so move your hand out of the way quickly.

Allow all the oil to drain into the pan until there is just a slow drip.

Use your 3/4 inch wrench turning clockwise to reinstall the drain plug.

Use your oil filter wrench turning counterclockwise to loosen and remove the oil filter.

Coat the rubber ring at the top of the new oil filter with oil.

Use the filter wrench turning clockwise to reinstall the new filter.

Remove the oil dipstick located at the back of the engine. Place the funnel in the hole and begin adding oil.

Add all 5 quarts using the funnel and then remove the funnel. Reinstall the dipstick and check the oil level. Make sure it is at the full line.

Items you will need

  • 5 quarts of 10w30 synthetic oil

  • Oil filter

  • Oil filter wrench

  • Oil drain pan

  • 3/4 inch wrench

 How to Change Oil on a BMW X5

Park your BMW X5 in a clean and open area to work with. Once you have moved your car, make sure that the parking brake is engaged and block the rear tires with wheel chokes. This step ensures that your car won't move while you are working underneath your BMW.

Open the hood of the BMW X5. Use the 3/8-inch socket wrench and 36 mm socket to open the oil filler element cap and set it aside. Use a towel to clean out the canister that holds the oil filter in your car.

Remove the oil cap from your BMW's engine and go underneath your car. There will be two trap doors, and one of the trap doors contains the oil drain plug. Pop open the trap door using a flat head screwdriver to expose the oil drain plug. Refer to your user's manual for the correct trap door to open.

Unscrew the oil drain plug with the 3/8-inch socket wrench and 17 mm socket. Once you have loosened the plug, place the oil pan underneath the your car and continue to unscrew the plug until all of the oil drains out.

Put the crush washer that came with your oil filter kit onto the oil drain plug and screw it back in to a torque spec of 18 ft. lbs. or 25 Nm and close the trap door.

Fill the car with 7.5 quarts of full synthetic oil and screw the oil cap back onto your car when you are finished.

Replace the old oil filter and o-ring on your oil filler element cap. Use the 3/9 in socket wrench and 36 mm socket and screw the it back in to a torque spec of torque spec of 18 ft lbs or 25 Nm.

Items you will need

  • Wheel chokes

  • 3/8-inch wrench

  • 36 mm socket

  • Towels

  • Flat blade screw driver

  • 17 mm socket

  • Oil pan

  • 7.5 quarts of 5W-30 full synthetic oil

  • Oil filter kit

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.