How to change the oil in your BMW M4

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With the all-new BMW M4, comes an all new motor, the powerful S55 which cranks out a staggering 425 hp and 406 lb-ft from a …

With the all-new BMW M4, comes an all new motor, the powerful S55 which cranks out a staggering 425 hp and 406 lb-ft from a 3.0 liter inline-six cylinder. The drop in displacement yet increase in output from the previous generation is accomplished, amont many other engine updates, by turbocharging, direct fuel injection and variable valve timing  The new S55 power plant comes a different set of specifications and thus maintenance procedures compared to the previous generation V8-powered M3.

The new M4 requires a different oil viscosity compared to the E92 M3. BMW calls for 5W-30 for the new M4 and no longer is 10W-60 required in any new M car. There is even a new oil supplier for BMW, Pennzoil which produces this SAE 5W-30. Pennzoil is now the manufacture recommended and supplier for all BMWs.

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One the most important preventative maintenance items is the oil change. BMWs come with a 4 year/50,000 mile maintenance included, though this now only applies to the original owner. Many M enthusiasts owners believe in more frequent oil changes than those dictated by the service indicator which is telling owners to change the oil around 15,000 miles.

BMWBLOG changed the oil on a 2015 M4 and documented the procedure.

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Going into this, I was confident this would be just like all other changes on BMWs, save the V8/V10s. I first removed the oil filter cap. This is done with a special tool that costs $20-25 from a BMW specific company like Turner Motorsports or Bavarian Autosport, and is the same size used on BMWs for about the last 10 years. The torque spec for the oil filter is low, only 25 Nm, so it doesn’t require a lot of force to remove. I used a bunch of highly absorbent shop towels to keep oil from falling down into the alternator which is right next to and below the oil filter housing. Next I took off the oil fill cap so when draining the hot oil, it comes out faster.

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Next, lift your M4 up via your method of choice. We used a 2-post 9,000lbs lift and voila, found the drain plug.

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It is an 8mm hex plug and is not on there with much force as it’s aluminum, and is in an aluminum/magnesium alloy drain pain. Please note these are single use only drain plugs as the crush washer is non-removeable.

Be aware! Once I got the oil draining, I was amazed at how fast it comes out, so please watch out for splash and have a container that can hold at least 7 liters. Once slowed to a trickle, install new drain plug, about $10 and torque to 20 Nm. Crazy low, huh?

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Next, we lowered the M4 and reinstalled the oil filter. Make sure to replace the two gaskets that come with the oil filter. There is a small, pain in the ass, one on the tip of the filter and one larger one that goes at the top just past the threads in the black oil filter housing cap. I like to lubricate these with some fresh oil so you get a good seal.

Now it’s time to fill the M4 back up. BMW calls for 6.5 Liters, which is about 6.9 quarts, which interestingly is the same oil capacity BMW six-cylinder cars have had for 20+ years, back into the E36 era. I like to use a funnel so as to not make a mess. Spilling oil right by the filler cap lets oil get down by hot exhaust manifolds, a big no no. BMW SAE 5W-30 now comes in liters instead of quarts, so make sure to look at your bottle’s units to make sure not to over fill.

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The final step is to put the fill cap back on and start the M4. The only way to check if you filled it right is to start it and let it come up to operating temperature. Once up to temp, go through the iDrive to check it.

The hardest part of the oil change was locating the oil capacity of the M4’s motor. It is almost as BMW discourages owners to change their own oil in an M4. Digging through the entire owners manual of the M4, one cannot find the oil capacity anywhere. The viscosity is listed there is 5W-30, but not the capacity.

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We contacted BMW to confirm our suspicion of the 6.5L. So were are happy to confirm that this is indeed the case. The oil capacity of the M4 is 6.5 L.

Materials and Parts Used

  • 6.5 L BMW SAE 5W-30 (or Pennzoil Platinum SAE 5W-30)
  • OEM Filter Kit PN#11 42 7 854 445
  • One 8mm hex head drain plug with single use non-removable washer
  • Oil filter housing tool, 86 mm.
  • Torque Wrench
  • Torque Specs
  • Oil Filter Housing 25 Nm
  • Oil Drain Plug 20 Nm

Here is a video showing the entire process of changing the oil in the M4:

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