Complete 2007-2008-2009 BMW X3 oil change procedure for 3.0si (E83)

I thought for my next post I’d write up the oil change procedure for the X3. Turns out it was easier than I thought it would be, the most important part was that I planned ahead and had the correct tools available before starting. I found similar procedures elsewhere online, but none had the complete BMW X3 oil change procedure.

Total time: About 40 minutes my first time and taking pictures.

Tools & Parts needed:
1. Ramps (I used old Rhino Ramps)
2. 6-7 quarts of Mobil 1 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil, which is the BMW X3 oil capacity
3. A BMW oil filter wrench (mine was 86mm, 16 flats or flutes as the Brits call them)
4. A socket set with a 17mm socket to remove the oil drain plug
5. BMW oil change kit, number 11427566327 (contains oil filter, large O ring, small O ring, 1 crush washer) available here
6. Gloves, oil pan, towels- small flat head screwdriver to pry on and off O rings

Here’s a link to the oil filter change kit on Amazon, it’s the best price shipped I could find.

(click for full size image)

Step-by-step procedure:

Before you begin: Have everything you need and make sure your BMW oil filter wrench fits. I ordered it Wednesday and received it by the weekend. Measure across the filter cover, and count the flats to know what size to order.

1. Drive the X3 up onto the ramps. Make sure to put it in park, engage the emergency brake, and put a wheel block behind one of the rear tires. I tried to rock my car off the ramps just to be sure it was solid and didn’t move. Turn the engine off…

2. Loosen the oil filter cover with the oil filter wrench. My 2008 needed an 86mm, 16 flat oil filter wrench – best to check yours before getting started to see what you need.

3. Remove the oil filter assembly. I had the drain pan in one hand, and put it underneath the oil filter assembly as I removed it to prevent any oil from dripping on the car. Set aside.

4. Go under the car and begin draining the oil. Note in the photo the brown arrow points to the trap door that hides the oil drain bolt. I used a small screwdriver to pop the door off, then loosened the drain plug with a 17mm socket. Make sure you position the oil pan to catch the oil, I had a little spill out but nothing more than what one paper towel could handle. The 2 blue arrows point to the oil sensor trap door I believe, you don’t need to do anything with this.

5. Swap the filters while the oil drains. The old filter slides right off, and it doesn’t appear to matter which side of the new filter you slide on first. It’s easier to change the O rings with the old filter off and before installing the new filter. I pried both O rings off with the small flat head screwdriver. Before re-installing the new O rings, dab some Mobil-1 on your gloves and generously apply it to both O rings – this will help seal the system properly and help prevent against oil gasket leaks. Push the new filter onto the assembly and pour some oil in, I filled it up enough to cover about half the height of the filter. Another oil change procedure says to use a rag to clean up the oil filter engine compartment, but I didn’t bother doing this. It seemed like a lot of oil to soak up and the oil that was there wasn’t visibly dirty or black.

6. Screw the oil filter assembly back in with the new filter and O rings installed. For my car, it said to tighten to 25.5 Newton/meters. Always use a torque wrench when required. I didn’t have a torque wrench so I tightened it a bit more than hand tight. There was still more I could tighten the assembly, but you want to compress the O ring, not crush it completely.

7. Replace the bottom drain bolt’s crush washer with the new one provided in your kit. If you don’t have one, it’s usually OK to go 1 service period reusing the washer. I tightened it up firmly, and re-installed the oil drain bolt trap door.

8. Add oil. For my X3 I added 5.5 quarts, closed the oil door, and then started the vehicle. I moved it onto level ground and checked the computer oil level (there is no dipstick, only a computer reading). I didn’t get any oil level reading (click right button under the instrument cluster with the car warmed up and running on level ground) after running the car for about a minute so I stopped the engine and added 0.5 more quarts. After starting the engine and checking the oil level again, it then said I was at full capacity and the oil level was OK. You can always add more oil, but it’s hard to remove once it’s in there, it seems my X3 took 6 quarts total of Mobil-1 5W-30 synthetic for the oil change.

Tech tip:
Since I had already used about half a bottle of Mobil-1 on the oil filter assembly, I put the rest in the engine and then cut the bottle to create a cheap bastard funnel.

9. Reset the service maintenance computer. Get in and close the door. For my 2008 X3, I started with the key in position 0 (everything off).
– Press and hold “S/R” button (on the left).
– While still holding on “S/R” button, insert and turn your key to position 1 but DO NOT start the car.
– Keep on holding till “RESET” appears.
– Release “S/R” button. Now press and hold it again till “RESET” starts flashing.
– Release “S/R” button. Now press once again but don’t hold it, just click it.
– You should see 15500 miles to go.

After driving around a bit, the oil level indicator now shows my oil is about half of MAX. When I get home I’ll try adding another 0.5 quarts, this should get me right to full. Even at half the MAX amount, the computer still gives me an OK for oil level.

This was a pretty simple and clean procedure to do to my 2008 BMW X3 3.0si, and I’m sure it saved me some money doing it myself.

Comments or Questions? Let me know, thanks for your interest in this post. Another note from the legal guys: I take no responsibility if you injure yourself or anyone else by following the instructions in this article. If this procedure was helpful, please comment, Facebook like, or Google+ this article so others can find it. Also, bookmark this article so it’s available for future oil changes.

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10 comments on “Complete 2007-2008-2009 BMW X3 oil change procedure for 3.0si (E83)

  1. Great post, this was my first oil change on this vehicle, all previous were free at the dealer or one time with a coupon for a $50 change, this made it quicker than fudging around.
    I used strap wrench to get the filter cover off and tightened it by hand until it looked like it did when I removed it, with that many plastic threads and that o-ring, I am not worried about a leak (gravity in our favor), I will try to find the right tool for the next change.
    The oil at the BMW dealer is Castrol with a BMW label on it. The dealer here in Massachusetts, only stocks and uses 5w-30 and of course it is full synthetic. I don’t use any Castrol oil because it is brown and I like to see the color on the dip-stick. In this vehicle with no dip-stick it obviously doesn’t matter. Is the no dip-stick needed because of engine design? If it is not, it is a really silly idea, as bad as the lug bolts instead of studs and lug nuts on german cars.

    I used Valvoline synthetic in 5W-30, It meets the same API specifications as the Castrol. The dealer said no problem.

  2. Consider Mobil 1 0W-40. The reason is because it is labelled as meeting the BMW Longlife 01 standard and is a ACEA A3/B3 oil, which lasts a long time. Mobil 1 5W-30 in the US is not BMW LL 01 nor A3/B3. What that means is that the oil life is shorter than the oil monitor shows. Instead of 15,000 miles, it might be good for 7-10,000 miles.

    BMW says to use their own oil but if that is not used to use Mobil 1 0W-40 or a few other brands. Of those on the list, Mobil 1 0W-40 is the easiest to find.

    Thanks for the write-up with pictures!

  3. Thanks for this procedure! Answered any questions I might have had. I was able to do the whole procedure without having to lift the car which was nice. My biggest issue was finding the cap wrench for the oil filter housing. Ended up using one of those adjustable universal ones.

  4. Great! It worked for my 2007 X3 3.0 .

    One thing I should mention though. I tried to reset it earlier, it didnt work. I THINK you have to wait to service interval level in order to do the reset it.
    Great blog, and Thank you

  5. Chris, Great procedure.

    I tried to reset the service maintenance computer, but on step 9 , the last section:

    ” Release “S/R” button. Now press once again but don’t hold it, just click it. – You should see 15500 miles to go.”

    Didnt work on my 2007 X3 !!!

    Thanks again

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