Now That’s Thinking with Your Dipstick — DIY Oil Change

October 27, 2009 at 9:38 pm 3 comments

Over the weekend I changed the oil in my ’99 M3. It was actually pretty easy, since I didn’t have to go under the car at all. I used an fluid extractor that I picked up from Griot’s Garage. It siphons the oil out via the dipstick column.


I don’t have access to a lift, and when I first heard about the extractor I checked it out on the boards. Others had used it successfully, so I pulled the trigger. As far as the filter goes, BMW uncharacteristically made that easy if you can believe it. Instead of on the side or below the engine, the filter is right there front and center when you open the hood. So I bought a Mann filter, seven liters of Royal Purple 5×30 — BMWs are very thirsty — and tackled the job Sunday.


Saw a couple of neighbors looking and probably wondering what the??

Takes about 15 minutes to get all the oil out, but after a few pumps it keeps going on it’s own. The new filter looked different than the Mahle filter in there, hard exterior versus soft filter. But slid in easily after removing the canister top with a 13mm wrench. Car took a little over six and a half liters of oil.

I had a little drama when I started the car after I thought I was done — lost some oil out of the canister top. It was because I hadn’t seated the rubber O-ring properly, just removed and fixed easily.


Guess you can tell old vs. new

Will drop off the used oil at my local garage Hollin Hall Automotive, good guys. Next up is changing the manual transmission fluid, although I may wait until spring. Read online the extractor can be used for that too, must find more information…

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. BMW Repair Melrose MA  |  April 7, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Fluid extractor? Wow, thanks for the article. I never heard of such a thing. This would be great for alot of older folks that still love to do their own maintenance.

  • 2. Jamie  |  October 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Pretty cool article I must say. Everyone wants to learn about an oil change but this is probably something that most people want to hire someone else to do!

    Ok…I’ll admit it I am one of these people as well. I just can’t seem to want to do it myself even though they say it is simple. I would rather hire an expert.

    Just my opinion though.

    Take care!


    • 3. cparente  |  October 20, 2011 at 2:24 pm

      Jamie — thanks for the comment. Comes down to personal preference. Does your site offer coupons from independents who specialize in BMWs? Most of my readers like doing the simple maintenance themselves, and those that don’t probably won’t be taking their cars to one of the giant chain operations.


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