Today we are bringing you a guide on how to change the oil and filter on your E90 BMW. The car in the pictures is a 2006 325i, but the process and general location of oil filter and drain bolt are the same across all E90's (and E91/92/93's), including the 328i and 335i, and other models. This guide is also accurate and helpful for E82 128i and 135i oil changes, and E60 5-series oil changes.
Once you have car ramps, socket wrenches, and an oil filter wrench, the cost of changing your oil will be about $85 and 20 minutes of time. The dealership will typically charge $100-150 for an oil change so you save a little money and it takes virtually no time at all. Also worth noting that some people will use aftermarket oil (Mobil1, etc.) to make it cheaper, but we recommend using the Genuine BMW stuff.
Tools Needed to Change your BMW Oil
- Rhino Car Ramps (~$40)
- 17mm Socket Wrench (~$10)
- Oil Filter Wrench (~$34)
- This is BMW specific so I recommend using the one I linked to, which will work on all E90-93, E82, and E60 cars. Note: you can also try a strap wrench if you have one handy, but my filter cap was so tight a strap wrench wasn't good enough.
Parts Needed for E90 Oil Change
- BMW Oil Filter - Part # 11 42 7 953 129 (~$10)
- This part # will fit all E90-93, E82, and E60 cars as well as the Z4 (amongst some newer vehicles as well). The OEM brand is Mann - the aftermarket versions are like $1 cheaper so just buy the Mann filter. If you use the one in the link, you should be good to go!
- 7 Quarts (or 6.5L) of Synthetic 5w-30 BMW Oil (~$75)
- BMW Part # 83 21 2 365 946
- Liqui Moly is the best stuff in the game! Imported from Germany
Steps for Changing your BMW Oil:
1. Drive the car on the ramps
You can also use a hydraulic jack and jack stands if you prefer, if you do this you will need a BMW jack pad adapter. To do this you will need to lift the car from both the front left and front right sides, since the jack spot in the front of the car is unreachable even with a low-profile jack.
On cars with the sport package, the flap underneath the front bumper is going to hit the ramps before the tires do which can cause the ramps to slide backwards from time to time. If you are running into this issue, try putting something heavy behind the ramps.
2. Remove the oil cap and oil filter housing
First, unscrew the oil cap - aka the place you will be pouring the new oil into. Opening this will help all the old oil flow out smoothly. The cap is located right on the top of the engine cover - you can see it unscrewed in the picture below.
Next, use your oil filter wrench to unscrew the oil filter housing. You can see the location of this on the pic below - it is the same for all engines. Mine was stuck so tight that I had to use a breaker bar with the filter wrench just to get it off.
Here is what your engine should look like with the oil cap off and oil filter housing out:
You can change out the filter now if you'd like, but I prefer to move onto draining the oil and replacing the filter while the oil is draining since it will take a few minutes.
3. Remove the oil drain plug and drain the oil
This will require a 17mm socket wrench and an oil catch can that can hold up to 6.5L of oil.
First, locate the drain plug and remove the cover for it. If you look at the below pictures, the red circle is where the oil drain plug is located if you are looking at the bottom of your car from underneath the front bumper. The second picture shows what the cover looks like - underneath this cover is where the drain plug is.
Once you locate the cover, remove it by using your finger or a flat head screw driver to spin the piece of plastic 180 degrees.
Once you have removed the drain plug cover, here is what you should see:
4. Use your 17mm wrench and let the oil drain
Pretty self explanatory here, remove the bolt, with your catch can located underneath it and let it drain. This will usually take 3-4 minutes to get all of it out. While this is happening lets go ahead and replace the oil filter.
NOTE: the drain plug has a crush washer on it. Your new oil filter kit should have a new crush washer with it - make sure you get rid of the old one and remember to use the new one.
5. Replace the oil filter and oil filter o-rings
You will notice that the oil filter sits inside of the housing, which has a pole in the middle of it that sticks out. The filter should be firmly set in there, but should remove easily by simply pulling upwards on it.
Pull upwards and pull the filter out.
You will notice you have 2 new o-rings that came with the filter kit. The big black one goes on the threads of the filter housing and the little green one goes on the tip of the pole sticking out of the housing. The gold washer that is also in the filter kit is the new crush washer that you need to use when you put the drain plug back on.
Remove the oil o-rings and replace them with the new ones. These are a little difficult to remove sometimes - I used a small flat head screwdriver, but be careful doing this one the big o-ring as you do not want to damage the housing or threads.
Once these are replaced, go ahead and slide the new filter into place in the housing.
Here is a picture of the old filter (still in the housing) next to the new filter.
Here is what the filter and housing should look like with the new filter installed.
6. Screw the oil filter housing on & tighten the drain bolt
Now that you have the new filter in the housing, go ahead and fasten it back onto the engine. You want to make sure it is firm and tightly sealed since the inside experiences high pressure which can cause oil leaks if not sealed properly.
The oil should be fully drained so get underneath the car and replace the drain bolt. Make sure you swap out the old crush washer with the new one! Tighten it by hand with a normal wrench - don't go overkill on it with a torque wrench.
Now, replace the drain plug cover.
7. Pour in 7 Quarts of 5w-30 Oil
Use a cone filter and pour almost all of the oil bottles you purchased into the engine. I typically leave a quarter of a bottle or so in 7th container in order to prevent putting too much in - although don't worry too much about this. You should get a dash notification if you have too little in, and any excess will eventually get burned through by the engine.
And thats it! As mentioned this should only take 20 mins or so once you have done it once and will save you a few bucks from the dealer. Any indy shop charging you less than $100 is likely using Castrol or Mobil1. Some people also use this when they replace on their own, but the $15 of savings isn't worth it to me.