Hello there and welcome to the BMW Car Club of America.

If you are a BMW CCA member, please log in and introduce yourself in our Member Introductions section.

DIY Oil Changes

Discussion in 'DIY (Do-It-Yourself)' started by slinky66, Jul 16, 2008.

    • Member

    slinky66

    Post Count: 37
    Likes Received:0
    Hello all,

    I have decided to start doing my own oil changes and etc. after a bad experience at my local dealership. I was considering getting a lift for my garage like this one:

    http://carliftswarehouse.com/universal-lift.shtml

    I would love to know how you all are doing oil changes in your own garages. Any recommendations?

    Thanks

    MEyerman guest

    Post Count: 2
    Likes Received:0
    Get the lift..... :cool:

    [IMG]
    • Member

    VA_John

    Post Count: 32
    Likes Received:0
    I haven't used a lift, except at the monthly DIY hosting garage's in my area. We have alot of bmw indy's where I live so it's pretty convenient. Secondarily, I've used ramps, and that works fine. As long as you get the wheels 6-12 inches off the ground safely, I think anything would work well. That setup looks pretty good. I'd say yes, but I have no experience with that model/brand.

    MEyerman guest

    Post Count: 2
    Likes Received:0
    i actually use ramps a majority of the time as well. very easy to just drive the car up do your work and drive off the ramps.
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

    Post Count: 1,880
    Likes Received:15
    That is an awful lot of money to spend just to do your own oil changes. Ramps are good, or you could build a platform to drive onto for a couple hundered at most. Unless you seriously want to get into working on your car, I would advise against the expense. Also note that you need a tall garage for one, and that if you screw up and rack it wrong, it can fall off and damage or total your car and yourself. I swapped a 91 535i engine and Motronic into a 72 3.0CS without a lift.

    Autohaus guest

    Post Count: 1,571
    Likes Received:1
    This is what I do to change the oil in the BMW's at my house:

    1) Use the driveway incline and drive the car up the sidewalk
    2) crawl under the car
    3) Elbow grease
    4) Done!
    • Member

    VA_John

    Post Count: 32
    Likes Received:0
    Do you think a car company will ever make it possible to change the oil without crawling underneath the car? BMW has the filter up top with a screwcap which is tremendously cool. But the oil pan bolt is still only accessible to rodents. I know bmw won't make service any easier to do yourself in the future, because they are suck like that, but for other companies it would be nice to have it be as easy as putting in gas.

    But in all honesty, gas engine's are well past their prime. It's been over a century with the same engine. Time to move on. An engine that doesn't need oil is the future. Pardon my offhand remarks, I was just thinking about the problem from a different angle.

    Jeron guest

    Post Count: 210
    Likes Received:2
    All you need for an oil change is a cheap jack (the one on the car will work) and a jack stand.

    If you want to do it top side get an oil extractor. I use MityVac 7201 so I can pump the fluid out of the extractor and into my old oil container.
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

    Post Count: 1,880
    Likes Received:15
    The reason you drain it from the bottom is to get all the crap out. Oil doesn't drain up. If you wanted to add on a tube so you don't have to crawl under the car, go for it, but they probably don't because it makes it susceptible to damage. At least all BMWs can have their oil changed without removing any panels. VWs have to have the plastic shield removed and it is a pain.

    bradley01 guest

    Post Count: 132
    Likes Received:0
    You are right about draining the oil from the drain plug. It is very important to do this in order to drain out the crap.

    Unfortunately, you are wrong about "all BMWs can have their oil changed without removing any panels". In order to change the oil on my sedan, I have to remove the panel covering the oil pan. I don't have the luxury of the "trap door" like the coupes have. I'm tempted to make myself one!

    I just use a floor jack and a couple of jack stands. If I had the money to buy a lift, I would! This is the brand of lift I would buy:

    http://www.directlift.com/

    Great quality and features! Also, there are lots of variations in order to fit your garage.
    BTW...make sure you have at least 4" of concrete in your floor, otherwise you are going to have problems.

    Good luck!
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

    Post Count: 1,880
    Likes Received:15
    They didn't do you a trap door? Bastards. Maybe because it is an xi? I'd go for making the trap door if it were my car. I hate pulling panels for stuff like that.

    Jeron guest

    Post Count: 210
    Likes Received:2
    Top side extraction gets as much "crap" as a gravity drain. Large particulates are captured by the filter a small particulates will stay in suspension. The drain plug is not on the bottom it is on the side and there is room below the plug for oil to pool. There is also the oil pickup which is the lowest part of the pan.
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

    Post Count: 1,880
    Likes Received:15
    I disagree about the top side extraction, because the fast flow from the large (compared to the topside changer) flushes out more stuff. Yes, the plug is on the side of most BMWs (not V8s) but the threads are almost right there touching the pan bottom. There may be particulates trapped in the filter, but there is a little sludge that sinks to the bottom. Sure you may not get every single bit of oil sludge from the bottom, but you get more than sucking it up through a straw. However, if you change your oil often (i.e. not by BMW schedule) you should not have too much sludge and can probably use either method. I speak of the 12k oil change customers. Believe me, there is sludge.

    bradley01 guest

    Post Count: 132
    Likes Received:0
    I hate it too! I have 8,000 mile to make me a door!

    And I will stick with my gravity drain to get out all the suspended particulate. That way I have much more "fresh", non-particulated :confused: oil to absorb new particulate. Whew...now I really hate typing out particulate!

    Jeron guest

    Post Count: 210
    Likes Received:2
    Theres no reason the sludge wouldnt be removed by top side extraction. The only way it wouldnt is if it were viscous enough to clog the straw which would be obvious during the process.

    Top side extraction gets just as much oil out as gravity drain on the BMW 6's and its possible to get more.

    bradley01 guest

    Post Count: 132
    Likes Received:0
    .............................ok
    :rolleyes:
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

    Post Count: 1,880
    Likes Received:15
    I have seen it that bad before in customers' cars! Basically, keep that oil changed any way you can.
    • Member

    VA_John

    Post Count: 32
    Likes Received:0
    Well, all I was saying is that whether you use some low or high tech pump action on a topside drain, or extend the gravity drain to the side of the car, it would be useful/convenient for me with the current E34 setup.

    I change the trans/diff fluid frequently as well, and typically just do it(as well as filters) every 2nd or 3rd oil change because it's such a PITA to have time to bring it into a shop anyway. Might as well get everything done.

    For stuff with a high frequency of replacements, like the cabin filters, oil & filter, air filters, etc- making it accessible would save me a bit of time/money. I was just making a wish fellas, nothing more. If I was buying a new bmw, I would be completely out of luck. You have that plastic sealed transmission thing and no dipsticks. Besides style, that's the main reason why I'm not racing to buy a new bmw. I don't want to buy a car that looks like a camry that you can't even maintain. Might as well just lease and let the dealer suffer through their own maintenance plan when they get it back.

    Jeron guest

    Post Count: 210
    Likes Received:2
    I thought your question was about changing the oil without having to get underneath your car. You can do that with the top side extractors I suggested.

    If you are serious about why don't manufacturers make oil easier to change I can think of some reasons. They want you to go to the dealer to support them. Its good to get the car in the air every oil change to make sure everything else is ok.

    As far as removing the dip sticks as they have done on recent models. I agree that is a very bad idea. Relying on a oil level monitor that has been proven to fail is about the stupidest thing I can think of.

    Sealed tranny also bad but they dont sell cars to people who take them to 100k+ and do their own maintenance. They sell to original owners that go 4 years and trade for another one.
    • Member

    chicane

    Post Count: 134
    Likes Received:2

    Wrong. Gravity drain is always the way to go. Thank about it. Gravity. Stuff wants to go down not up. You have to coax it up. you are invariably going to get more oil. more crud and more sludge by doing a traditional gravity drain.

Share This Page