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DIY BMW Oil Change & Filter Change

impee's DIY Engine Oil Change / Service & Filter Change BMW 318i e46 N42
How to change Engine Oil and Filter yourself!

Difficulty Level: Easy / Medium

Approximate Time For This Project: 60 mins

Prices: Professional labour costs for Oil Change / Service & Filter Change - £30 (private - without parts) or £115 (BMW - Parts inclusive)

Original BMW Engine Oil Castrol SLX BMW LL04 0W-30 - Part # 91350000040
This is the Oil sold by BMW. It only comes in 1 litre bottles.
BMW 5 Litres £80
Alternative Engine Oil Castrol Edge 0W-30
This is the alternative Oil, as recommended to me by BMW.
It comes in 4litre and 1 litre bottles.
5 Litres £60
4 Cylinder Oil Filter Part number: 11427508969 Part #2. BMW 1 £9
Cup Oil Filter Wrench

Laser Cup Oil Filter Wrench 86mm / 16 Flutes - Part 4234
Flutes are the number of flat sides the Oil Filter Cap has.
1 £5
Socket Wrench /
Torque Wrench
It is recommended to use a Torque Wrench to avoid damage to the drain plug.
For more details, please refer to this page.
10mm Socket

17mm Socket or
6mm Hex Bit
Either of them will open the Sump Drain Plug.
Oil Drain Pan At least a 5 Litre capacity.
1 £5
Trolley Jack Should support up to 2 Tonnes. 1 £30
Jack Stands / Axle Stands Should support up to 2 Tonnes.
To lift car on stands, refer to this page.
4 £30
Funnel Recommended, to avoid making a mess in the engine.   1  
Star Brite Lower Unit Quart Pump - Oil Transfer Pump Optional, as per step # 9.

1 £16
Tissues     4  
Disposable Rubber Gloves Pair   2  


It is a good idea to go and buy an extra V8 Sump Plug from BMW before you start the DIY. Past DIYs (and my impatient nature) have taught me to always have at least 1 extra of each screw, bolt or clip! Some times you could simply loose one, break or even strip it! They only cost from £0.70 up to £3.00 a piece, depending on what you buy.

V8 Sump Plug Part number: 11131742994 Part #2 (see Section #2) BMW 1 £2
Engine Flush & Cleaner 400ml
Art no 0893 558
Use only if you wish to flush the Engine and Sump. 1 £8

*prices correct at time of publication

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impee's DIY Video

You could watch this video first to get an understanding of what needs to be done.


1) Assemble Your Kit + Notes

This DIY enables you to change the Oil in your car and also change the Oil Filter.

The oil capacity for this particular engine is about 4.5 litres, however the correct size for any other e46 model can be found by looking in the car manual.

Oil Change Duration: I personally believe that the Engine Oil should be replaced every 7,000 miles or every 8 months, which ever is sooner.

Below is detailed information about the Synthetic engine Oil that should be used. The alternative engine oil as specified below was personally recommended by BMW when I spoke to them. As you can see the price difference is only about £20, so it is really up to you which one you prefer to go for. Further, BMW also said that they have now stopped using the below Castrol oil and instead use / sell Shell branded oil.

If you have some time and really wish to understand the differences between the various oils available, you could read this article.

  Original Oil sold by BMW  

Castrol SLX BMW LL04 0W-30

Technical Specifications

  • ACEA A3/B3/B4
  • C3
  • BMW Longlife-04


For further information regarding Castrol Oils, visit:

Castrol SLX BMW LL04 0W-30
Alternative Oil, recommended by BMW

Castrol Edge 0W-30

Technical Specifications

  • API CF
  • Meets the engine test requirements of API SM
  • ACEA A3/B3/B4
  • BMW Longlife-01

Additional Information

  • Replaces Castrol SLX Longtec 0W-30
  • Latest specification for Vauxhall, BMW, Mercedes and most other modern engines
Castrol SLX BMW LL04 0W-30


2) More Notes 

Before your begin the Oil Change process, start the car and wait until the engine is warm. This will ensure the oil is warm and will help to drain it all out, so none stays stuck in the engine or sump.

Below is the complete set of Oil Filter that you buy from BMW, it has all the parts required, i.e. the O Rings and Washer.

Further below is a photo of the extra V8 sump Plug that I bought.

BMW e46 Oil filter Pack

BMW e46 Sump Plug

BMW e46 Oil Service Kit


3) Oil Filter - Removal 1 

Remove the 2 bolts as below. You will need a 10mm Socket .

Next lift up and pull out the plastic cover.

BMW engine


4) Oil Filter - Removal 2 

Remove the Oil Filter Cover . You will need a Cup Oil Filter Wrench and a Socket Wrench.

When the cover has been removed:
1) Slide of the old Oil Filter Element
2) Remove the large black rubber O Ring from the Filter cap
3) Remove the 2 small black rubber O Rings from the bottom end of the cap (that sticks out)

BMW e46 Oil Filter Remove

BMW e46 Oil Filter Old


5) Oil Filter - Fitting 

Take the new large O Ring, lubricate with new engine oil and then fit it back to the Oil Filter Cover.

Take the 2 small O Rings, lubricate them with new engine out and then fit them back on.

Next lubricate the entire Oil Filter Element with new engine oil, fit it back onto the Oil Filter Cover and then fit it back in to the engine.
Tighten it to 18.4 lb .ft. or 25 Nm (or what ever it says on the cap itself) using the Torque Wrench.

Using a Torque Wrench reduces any chances of damaging the nut.

BMW e46 New Oil Filter

BMW e46 New Oil Filter Ready


6) Car On Jack Stands 

I recommend that the car be lifted on 4 Jack Stands so that it is level and all the oil can drain from the chamber.

2 Jack Stands at the front and 2 at the back. I personally leave the actual car Jack / Trolley Jack still raised under the car, close to where I work, just to provide me with some insurance incase any of the Jack Stands fail!

For more details on lifting the car on Jack Stands, please refer to this page.

BMW on Jack Stands


7) Sump Plug 

Below is the actual Sump Plug.

BMW e46 Sump Plug


8) Sump Plug - Open 

Remove the Sump Plug. You will need either a 17mm Socket or 6mm Hex Bit.

BMW e46 Sump Plug Open

9) Oil - Draining 

Catch the oil being drained. Once you take out the Sump Plug, the old filthy oil will pour out and may take up to 20mins to completely drain out.

Optional: Once all the oil has drained, connect an Oil pump to the bottle of oil and pump some new oil into it (about 10 pumps worth). This will remove any remnants of the old oil at the bottom of the sump.

BMW e46 Oil Sump Drain


10) Sump Plug - Fitting 

Next fit the copper Gasket Ring on the Sump Plug, fit it back on the sump and tighten it to 18.4 lb .ft. or 25 Nm using the Torque Wrench. You will need either a 17mm Socket or 6mm Hex Bit.

Using a Torque Wrench reduces any chances of damaging the nut.

Note: Do not over tighten the plug or the sump threads will get damaged / stripped and then you are in serious trouble! It cost me a new sump!!


11) Oil - Filling 

Next open the Oil Cap by twisting it half way round to the left and then pulling it straight off. Normally it will come of easily, however if there is old oil and dirt around it, it may be a little stuck.

Use a funnel to pour in 4.5 bottles of oil.

BMW engine

BMW e46 Fill Oil


12) Oil - Checking Levels 

Wait for 5 mins and then pull out the dipstick, wipe dry it with a tissue and then re-insert it back into it's hole.
Wait for 30 seconds and then pull it out again and check if the oil level is correct, i.e. between the Min and Max indicator at the bottom end of the Dipstick.

If not, keep adding more oil, repeating the above steps, making sure you do not over fill it.

BMW e46 Dipstick Location


BMW e46 Disptick


13) Final Checks After Finishing The Oil Change

Now lower the car and remove it from the Jack Stands.
Start the car and ensure the Oil Pressure light goes off within a few seconds...if it does not, turn of the engine immediately and check the oil level again.

Let the car run for about 10 mins and then check for any oil leaks, i.e. from the Sump Plug and the Oil Filter Cap.

Next in reverse order, fit everything back into place.


13) Oil Service Light Reset 

Once you have completed the Oil Change / Service, please see this page to reset the Oil Service Light.

BMW e46 Care Care e46 Models Fuse Box On Jack Stands Fault Diagnosis Torque Specifications Air Filter Change Alloy Repair Jack Stands CDV Delete Clutch Bleed Differential Oil Final Stage Resistor Fuel Filter Change Headlight Removal Interior Lights MAFS Clean Oil Change Oil Light Reset Power Steering Fluid Radiator Flush Radiator Fan Change Shiny Steering Wheel Spark Plug Change Transmission Fluid Window Regulator Timing Chain Tensioner Airbag Occupancy Mat Sensor Rear Light Clean BMW Fault Code Read impee impeeCreations BackInfo

DIY BMW e46 Oil Service & Filter Change by - impee

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