Saturday, December 12, 2009

Almost failed BMW 545i oil change :(

Well, instead of posting some new fix it article, I thought I should document my recent DIY failure.

Last weekend, I was itching to do "something" so I decided to change the oil on my old BMW 545i myself. It seemed simple enough. A while back, I had already got a pack of 2 filters from Ebay for 8$ each and I had also bought 8 quarts of synthetic oil last year when they were on sale at Checker for only $3.95 per quart. This project had been on the back burner for quite a while now.

My car has been out of the free service period so I've been taking it to an independent BMW service that charges around $70 per oil change, which is not bad at all.

Until I bought this car, I had always done my own oil service so I did feel a little uncomfortable letting others do it for me. Anyway, I thought I would get some hand-on experience and save some money doing it myself.

I did a quick skim of some BMW forums, checked the BMW TIS e-documents (bought from Ebay!) and it looked straight forward:
  1. Remove the protected plate (the oil filter is on the bottom for the 545i engine)
  2. Remove the filter drain plug
  3. Drain oil
  4. Remove the filter housing
  5. Replace with new filter
  6. Reinstall everything
  7. Add oil
Well, what I neglected to read carefully is that there's a separate oil drain plug further back. Only 1 quart of old oil came out of the filter drain but I didn't notice this or it didn't click until latter after I had reassembled everything added 4 quarts of new oil to the engine!

Here is the real drain plug!

I was in a shocked and confused state and didn't think to search for the "real" drain plug. Instead, I ran out to the local part store and bought an oil extractor.

I used this to suck out 11 quarts of oil! It actually worked pretty good even though it was slow.

So eventually, all the old+new oil mixture was taken out and luckily, I have another 8 quarts of synthetic oil bought for my wife's car that could be used to refill the engine.

Phew! finally after $75 for the pump + $4*4 quarts of wasted oil +$5*8 quarts of oil + $8 filter + $12 of socket tools (for the drain plug), I completed the job for $151.

Oh well, it was not a total failure. I did completed the job and I now have the evacuation pump and the extra socket tools to use on another day.

By the way, I reset the oil service reminder using this link.

1 comment:

Andriy said...

were is the drain plug located, is the filter the samec as 550i and my car is a 2008 545i just in case thank you