E39 Change Oil Myself?

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Dear BMW Experts, I just purchased a 2003 530 and I absolutely love it. As noted by others on this group, I'm not comfortable with changing the oil and
filter at 15,000 mile intervals and would like to reduce it to 7,500 by changing the oil myself between visits to my BMW dealer (they want $100 to change the oil and they are not conveniently located).
How easy is it to do this? I used to change the oil on my previous car, but I can't even locate the filter when I raise the hood on the e39.
Alternatively, is there anything wrong with buying some BMW filters and Mobile 1 and having the work done at a local Jiffy Lube place?
Thanks in advance for your help,
Ambrose
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The filter housing is located at the front top center of the engine, just behind the radiator shroud. It has a black plastic cap with a 36mm hexagonal fitting on it (requires a 36mm wrench or socket). The filter is a replaceable unit within the housing. The filter kit comes with a new O-ring for the filter housing cap (fits in a groove just above the threads. There's also a replacement washer for the oil drain plug, located on the engine sump passenger side (it faces to the fight looking forward). The plug requires a 17mm socket or wrench.
It's a little awkward, but you can do this using ramps or jack stands to raise the car. Much better if you have a lift. It's a 15 minute job. Mobil 1 is fine and approved by BMW: 5W30 for the E-39. 0W40 is okay too.
OBTW, don't drain your transmission by mistake (sounds stupid, but if it can be done wrong, someone will). The trans drain faces straight down.
R / John

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John, Thanks for the information. I really appreciate the help.
Other than the dealer, is there a preferred place to buy the filter kit? I understand that oil filters can differ in quality.
Thanks,
Ambrose
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There are a number of on-line and mail-order companies that specialize in BMW parts. Bimmer magazine has a great collection of advertisers and a good place to start. Roundel is the BMWCCA magazine and truly outstanding (membership $40/yr). Many dealers give a discount to BMWCCA members.
For a start http://www.bavauto.com /
OEM and Mann are both good filters.
R / John
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Meyle and others. For my 1990 E34 535i, 5spd, 105K, my local auto part store sells me Mahle OX41D oil filters and gasket/o-ring kit for $3 each when I buy 10.
For parts, I've had mix success with bavauto. You may want to check out www.alloembmwparts.com and www.bmaparts.com
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http://www.ultimategarage.com/sprspec05.html
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Thanks John and bfd. I ordered some Mann filters from bvauto.
Ambrose
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bfd wrote:

Best prices online for WorldPac parts are at
http://www.sasponline.com /
(no affiliatin, just a past customer)
--
-Fred W

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John Carrier wrote:

Is this the same for the 530d (oil grade too)
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DCA wrote:

Yes. The 0w/30 Mobil 1 is not actually approved for latest BMW engines. The 0w/40 is perfectly acceptable. This is not a result of the viscosity but because the chemistry of Mobil1 at the 0w/40 viscosity happens to be superior and it meets higher standards. Other brands may differ and indeed do.
Huw
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Yes, you can change the oil yourself. Having said that, I see no reason to argue the point with the engineers.

If you gotta ask ...

The local oil change joints will want to use their own stuff. I suppose you could inquire about them using your stuff instead of theirs.
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Jeff Strickland wrote:

So you're saying that you are comfortable with 15k mile oil changes? I'm not, ...on *any* car that I own. The whole "extended" oil change thing stems from manufacturers trying to reduce the mainetenance costs for their new models. Yes, oil has come a long way, and yes, the engineers have done a fine job in design, but 15k miles is just too long in my books. 10k? Maybe if highway miles only, but 7,500 is a good timing for mixed driving (city / highway).
Just out of curiosity, at what interval *do* you change your oil at?

So you just knew how to do it intuitively the first time, Jeff? A beeter answer might have been:
"If you gotta ask ... get yourself a repair manual. Bentley's are about the best."

Except that the Jiffy Lubes of the world are not likely to have either Mobil1 0W40 or BMW brand synthetic (recommended oils) or the proper filters for BMWs. Personally I would do the oil changes myself and forgo the quick-lube places as they have been known to do some really stupid things on occasion. Like overtightening the drain plugs and stripping them out or leaving them loose. It's definitely worse on your engine running with no oil (after it spills out on the road) than running too long on old oil... ;-)
--
-Fred W

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Fred W wrote:

Did you read his Q properly??????
snip <I'm not comfortable with changing the oil and filter at 15,000 mile intervals and would like to reduce it to 7,500>
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DCA wrote:

Pay attention. I was speaking to Jeff S, not the OP.
--
-Fred W

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I drive a fleet of older cars and trucks, and I change the oil at 5000 mile intervals. If (and, that's a huge IF) I bought a new car that could keep track of such things, I'd not hesitate to change the oil at the suggested intervals given by the engineers. The Company is required to provide warranty services that result from not keeping up with the intevals, so I suspect they short the actual intervals by as much as 20% to protect their interest ( they don't want to perform warranty service, so they stretch the intervals in the hopes that you come in "on time" which is really "early).
I like to think that BMW knows how long the oil works inside their engines.

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snipped-for-privacy@e-mailanywhere.com wrote:

If you used the recommended synthetic oil there is no advantage in changing the oil and filter before the service indicator says it's due.
Modern engines running synthetic lubes do *not* require the frequent changes of yesteryear. Trust the technology, it works.
A
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Even if I want to keep the car for 200K+
Ambrose
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snipped-for-privacy@e-mailanywhere.com wrote:

Yup.
The service indicator has a pretty good handle on the badness being bone to your oil. It logs, at least, cold starts and fuel burned and will suggest an oil change after very different mileages if you do long cruises, mountain blats or short shopping trips... In every case the oil will still be in spec with most but not all of its additive pack used up.
If you do a very low mileage you might want to change the oil with the other fluids every other year or annually if its all short trips.
It seems that changing transmission fluid more often than BMW's schedule is wise for a keeper but the SI is your friend for other service tasks.
A
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wrote:

using a good synthetic like Redline or Royal Purple.
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bfd wrote:

OK, I don't get it... Why do you *not* trust BMW engineers to tell you when to change the transmission and diff oils (never), but trust them completely when it comes to the engine oil? Is it the wizz-bang electronic timer that gives you such trust?
I've got a secret to share with you: It's in the best interest of BMW to have your engine wear out earlier. I'm not talking prematurely, that won't happen from extending your oil changes. But instead of running, say 300k miles, you might only get 250k. That would please BMW greatly since they would get to sell you (or someone) a car 50k miles sooner.
Would that extra 50k miles be worth the cost of more frequent oil changes to you?
BTW, I personally don't think that Royal Purple is all that great. I've read some negative things about viscosity breakdown in testing and that should never be an issue wity full synthetic oils. Redline is good stuff though.
--
-Fred W

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