As BMW cars get more and more complex, fewer things are still able to be done in your own garage.  I have changed the engine oil many times on BMWs but the process to change the oil in the E92 M3 is quite unique since it’s very hard to drain completely and very easy to over fill.

To see why, read on and see video below also.

As with any oil change, it begins with the right tools, knowledge and respect for safety precautions.  It’s best to change the oil in the M3 when it’s hot, so after the engine is warmed up, it’s time to get under the car.  You can either use ramps, jack stands, or like BMWBLOG, a lift, to get under the car.




I like to first remove the oil filter and the oil fill cap.  To remove the oil filter, you need a  36mm socket.  When you remove it, make sure you have something below to catch the oil that will dribble out when you remove the filter.  Once done, it’s time to move under the car.


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Under the E90/E92/E93 M3 locate the two drain plugs fore and aft under the motor.  They require a 6mm hex to remove.  I like to use a 6mm hex socket attached to a 3/8″ drive.

Now is where safety really comes into play when draining hot oil.  If this gets on you, it’s gonna burn.  Bad.  140F water or oil can cause a third degree burn in 5 seconds and at 156 F, it only takes 1 second. 

When loosening the drain plugs, I like to use a long socket extension and a swivel elbow so I am off to the side.  Then I use leather gloves just to be on the safe side.  I drain the rear or main reservoir of the oil pain.

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Once it slows down, remove the front 6mm hex drain plug and let the two drain. While they drain, move on to replacing the two O rings on the Oil Filter Housing lid.

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A small pic or flat bladed screw driver slips under and pops them out.  There’s a large one that is easy to replace, and a much smaller one at the tip.  When installing the new ones, smear with oil before installing. The oil filter comes in a kit complete with these two gaskets as well as two copper crush washers.   Replace the 6mm hex drain plugs and make sure to use the new crush washers and torque to 25 Nm or 18 ft-lb, so not a lot of force.  Install new filter and tighten oil filter housing lid and also torque to 25 Nm.

BMW Owner’s manual lists fuel and windshield wiper fluid capacities but sadly not the engine oil capacity.  Multiple BMW parts list the OEM E92 S65 motor capacity at 8.8 liter.  If you multiply 1.05 quarts per liter times 8.8, you get about 9.3 Quarts.  The oil pan capacity is 8.3 liter, then figure about .25 liter in oil filter housing.

However, it’s difficult to get all the oil out of this motor given there is some in the oil cooler in the bottom of the front air dam.  The E9X M3 has even two oil pumps and reservoirs.  Given all the locations and routing for oil to travel, this makes it hard to drain completely.  If there is old oil left in and you just add 8.8 liter, it is thus easy over fill the E92 M3. Because of this, it’s very important to drain the oil warmed up so it comes out more completely.   Some people take to draining the M3 overnight, and there are some tip it rear up.  I think drain it hot and you’ll get most.


I like to use a funnel to fill the engine back up with oil as it keeps the job much cleaner.  After the M3 is done draining and the 6mm hex drain plugs are reinstalled, add 8 liters.  Now it’s the nerve racking time to check the oil level because unfortunately with modern BMWs the only way to check it is to start the car.

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Further, the M3 is only gonna give you an oil level once the oil is at operating temp, aka greater than 160F.


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If the M3 does happen to get an overfill, I suggest taking the oil filter out and sucking out the oil from the oil filter canister where there approximately 1/4 liter of oil.  It beats trying to drain some oil out of the bottom of the motor where it’s hard to control.  Tried it before and it’s rather messy and inaccurate.

BMW states the service interval is about 15,000 miles or one year for the E92 M3 oil changes.  I personally change it at 7500 miles or once a year.  BMW and Castrol have been in partnership since 1999.  Furthermore, Castrol name has appeared on the filler cap of every new BMW for more than ten years. There are other 10W 60 Motor oils out there, but only Castrol EDGE TWS 10W/60 is approved by BMW to be in your high revving BMW M motor.


READ ALSO: How To Change The Oil In Your BMW 1MBMW-oil-change-castrol-10



  • Ramps or Lift
  • 36mm Socket to remove Oil Filter
  • 6mm Hex drive & socket
  • Pic to remove oil filter gasket
  • Funnel
  • Torque Wrench


  • 9 liters of Castrol EDGE TWS 10w/60 BMW Part #: 07510009420 $14.50/litre
  • Oil Filter BMW Part #: 11427837997  $17.95
  • 2 Copper Crush Washers & 2 O-rings included in filter.

Optional but suggested:

  • 2 x 6mm drain plugs in case you strip them while removing

BMW recommends using Castrol TWS 10W60 oil in the following models:  2001-2006 E46 M3 (S54 engine), 2006-2010 E60 M5 & M6 (V10 S85 motor) , E9X M3 V8 S65 motor, as well as some 2000-2003 E39 M5 and Z8 cars.

Disclaimer.  Hot oil can burn & Please don’t drop the car on yourself