BMWBLOG gets dirty!

1M | March 27th, 2012 by 17
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Yes there’s a second BMW 1M in the BMWBLOG family! This one belongs to my stepfather. It’s absolutely gorgeous, a blast to drive and has …

Yes there’s a second BMW 1M in the BMWBLOG family! This one belongs to my stepfather. It’s absolutely gorgeous, a blast to drive and has every option including the 6NR BMW apps. It’s mighty cool to make the thing tweet.

I am not one who believes in BMW’s prolonged oil change intervals, so for this 1M it’s going to get the oil changed with synthetic every 5,000 miles. The break in service was done by the local dealer at 1,200 miles and another 5k has gone by. I realize there is much debate about how often to change the oil in new BMW’s and which oil to use, a debate I’ll skip but you can see what I believe for this family heirloom.

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First order of business is to drive the car to get the oil hot. Oh the pain! Once done, we pull it into my garage to put it on the lift. If no lift, jack stands or ramps will work just fine. Once the car is in position, I first open the hood and take the the old oil filter out. The oil filter removal doesn’t have to be first, you could drain the oil first, this is just the order I like to do it. For those with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, you should remove the residual oil in the oil filter housing.

Over the years, BMW has made simple things like an oil change harder and harder for the do it yourself’er. On E36’s like my old S52 M3 you can use 13mm socket found in any tool box to remove the oil filter. They upped the ante on the e46 M52 and M54 motors and made me go buy a 36mm socket. With the e90 and N52/54/55 motors they went off the deep end, and now you have to special order a cap that fits over the black plastic oil filter housing. Grab it with a channel lock pliers and you are going to mar it severely. Fortunately, Bavarian Autosport sells the Special Oil filter housing cap for $15 and it comes with a 17 mm six sided hex head on the top, which interestingly is the same size as the oil drain plug. Ha!

One thing that has been disappearing in BMW Manuals is the capacities of their motors. Fortunately they exist in cyberspace and have been remarkably stable. The M54 in my 05 ZHP takes 6.9 quarts and the N54 in this 1M takes 6.9 too. Unbelievably BMW lists the capacity of the window washer system as 5.9 quarts but not a mention about how much oil to put in the dip- stickless motor. Hmmpphhff.

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Remove the dirty oil filter and the two O rings – a large black one and a much smaller green one. I use a very small flat head screw driver but you could also use a small pic. Replace these with the new o rings in the oil filter box. Make sure to coat the new ones with fresh oil before installing them. Next seat the new oil filter in the black housing and install the whole assembly back into the motor. The 25 Nm torque spec for the oil filter housing is thankfully marked on top of the oil filter housing.

Once you are up under the car locate the small trap door in the splash guard. Get a large screw driver and rotate the lock 180 degrees and the the door will just swing down. This trap door is pretty cool and will hopefully stand up to repeated use unlike some of the earlier generations where parts were easy to loose or break leaving a lot of shops to simply remove your panel and not tell you. Once the door is open it will expose the 17mm six sided drain plug that opens towards the passengers side front tire. I use a 1/2″ drive six sided 17mm socket to loosen the bolt but you could use a 3/8’ths socket too. I like the six sided sockets because I feel like they are less likely to strip your plug. Loosen the drain plug till its almost out.

Now comes the tricky part. Not getting oil all over your hand – which you’ll see in the video I didn’t do a very good job of. I usually like to use a socket with a short extension, but that combo doesn’t fit in area BMW provides inside the trap door.

I like to let it drain for a while even with heated up oil. Once the oil has stopped draining, you can install the drain plug back in but make sure you’ve put the new copper crush ring first. Torque to 25 Nm. You want to be careful not to over-tighten and strip out your oil pan.

Finally, add 6.9 Quarts of synthetic 5w/30. I use a clean funnel so I make less of a mess when I add oil to the 1M. When cleaning up make sure to take your oil to be recycled. The local autoparts store I use has a recycling container and don’t charge for disposal.

$12.76 OEM oil filter with O rings and copper crush washer Synthetic 5/30 motor oil $6.47/ quart x 7

Total Cost = $58.05

*Disclaimer – hot oil can burn, confirm all torque specs and fill capacities on your own before doing. Oh and don’t drop the car on yourself either.

17 responses to “BMWBLOG gets dirty!”

  1. Ted Park says:

    Rut-Roh.  Mobil 1 5w/30 is not BMW LL-01 approved.  You need to use Mobil1 0W-40 European Formula.  Or Castrol 0W-30 European Formula aka German Castrol. 

    • Rado L says:

      yeah, that´s right. in those engines should be (if possible castrol lubricants). I remember that all ///M´s were filled wiith castrol tws… but it´s been 2 years sinc I left the BMW…

    • Ricky Calo says:

       That’s the truth, you should be using Castrol or Molly Lube which are LL-01 approved.

      • Chuck Vossler says:

         The oils you guys list are off bmwusa’s website meet BMW’s Long-life rating – meaning 15k mile changes. 

        BMWUSA “Use only oils with an API rating of SM or higher.”  Mobil 1
        5w/30 is API SN which is higher than API SM and is going to be
        changed every 5k.

        • Ted Park says:

           Agreed, however, during the warranty period you should be using only BMW approved oils.  Although unlikely, if there was ever an oil related failure you never want to get into a situation where warranty claims were denied. 

  2. Tom says:

    Which lift did you end up with, how long have you had it, and how do you like it?

  3. Matt Dial says:

    Oh, I’m so jealous of BOTH of you. Enjoy them, cherish them. Appreciate hitting that start button each time you get inside that M.

  4. LaMa says:

    OH… THAT GARAGE…  I drooled over that not the car.  amazingly nice and CLEAN !!!
    good job ! but where do you keep your STUFF ? You know the old magazines, the tools, the parts you take off of the cars in the way of upgrading and the stuff you buy but haven’t had a time to install or they actually become obsolete, etc.  My garage is full with these.. 

  5. Nice d.i.y. write up, Chuck. Sweet lift and garage. Enjoy the 1M! 

  6. Rolitto says:

    Castrol synthetic is the only approved oil.

  7. Kommodore says:

    oh no, Mobil1. Time for another oil change.

  8. ezt says:

    Where is the video?

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