BMW 318/325/M3/525/535/M5 1989-1993 Repair Information

Engine

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OIL LEVEL CHECK



See Figures 1, 2 and 3



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Fig. Fig. 1: Pulling the dipstick to check the oil



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Fig. Fig. 2: The oil level should be between the 2 marks



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Fig. Fig. 3: Adding oil through a funnel to prevent spills

The oil level must be checked on a regular basis. Running the engine low on oil may result in catastrophic engine failure at worst and lessened service life at best.

The most accurate oil level readings are done with the car level and with the oil cold, though it may be more convenient to check the oil at fill-ups with the engine warm. The level will read slightly higher with a warm engine once the oil has drained back into the crankcase, but the change will be minimal.

Every time you stop for fuel, check the engine oil as follows:

  1. Make sure the car is parked on level ground.
  2.  
  3. Checking the oil immediately after stopping will lead to a false reading. Wait a few minutes after turning off the engine to allow the oil to drain back into the crankcase.
  4.  
  5. Open the hood and locate the dipstick on the left side of the engine compartment. Pull the dipstick from its tube, wipe it clean and then reinsert it.
  6.  
  7. Pull the dipstick out again and, holding it horizontally, read the oil level. The oil should be between the 2 marks on the dipstick. If the oil is below the upper mark, but still above the lower mark, the level is acceptable. When the oil has reached the lower mark, add oil of the proper viscosity through the capped opening in the top of the cylinder head cover.
  8.  
  9. Replace the dipstick and check the oil level again after adding any oil. Be careful not to overfill the crankcase. Approximately 1.1 quarts (1 liter) of oil will raise the level from the lower mark to the upper mark. Excess oil will generally be consumed at an accelerated rate and can damage the engine or at the least increase the output of pollutants..
  10.  

OIL AND FILTER CHANGE



BMW cars can be equipped with 2 styles of oil filter. One is the familiar spin-on cartridge type and the other is a housing enclosed full flow element. The types are easy to identify. If there is a cast aluminum housing with a bolt through the top center, towards the front of the engine, it is the full flow element type. The spin-on cartridge type is easy to recognize on the side of the engine block.

Use only a BMW approved filter or its commercial market equivalent. Use only a high grade filter as it is there to protect a high grade engine. Some low grade filters do not fit correctly and may cause the filter housing not to seal correctly. Always use new O-rings when changing the oil filter and replace the oil pan plug crush washer.

Spin-On Cartridge

See Figures 4, 5, 6 and 7



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Fig. Fig. 4: Keep an inward pressure as you remove the drain plug to keep oil from leaking out of the threads



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Fig. Fig. 5: Use a strap wrench to ease the removal of the old oil filter



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Fig. Fig. 6: Coat the gasket of the new filter with clean engine oil



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Fig. Fig. 7: Install the new filter by hand only. Do not use a wrench

Prolonged and repeated skin contact with used engine oil, with no effort to remove the oil, may be harmful. Always follows these simple precautions when handling used motor oil:1. Avoid prolonged skin contact with used motor oil.2. Remove oil from skin by washing thoroughly with soap and water or waterless hand cleaner. Do not use gasoline, thinners or other solvents.3. Avoid prolonged skin contact with oil-soaked clothing.

  1. Run the engine until it reaches normal operating temperature.
  2.  
  3. Jack up the front of the car and support it on safety stands.
  4.  
  5. Slide a drain pan of at least 150% of the capacity of the oil sump under the oil pan.
  6.  
  7. Loosen the drain plug with a proper sized wrench. It normally will be 17mm or 19mm. Turn the plug out by hand. By keeping an inward pressure on the plug as you unscrew it, oil won't escape past the threads and you can remove it without being burned by hot oil.
  8.  
  9. Allow the oil to drain completely and then install the drain plug with a new crush washer. Don't overtighten the plug, or you'll be buying a new pan or a trick replacement plug for stripped threads. Torque the 17mm plug to 22-26 ft. lbs. (30-36 Nm). Torque the 19mm plug to 43-46 ft. lbs. (59-64 Nm)
  10.  
  11. Using a strap wrench, remove the oil filter. Keep in mind that it's holding about 1 quart of dirty, hot oil.
  12.  
  13. Empty the old filter into the drain pan and dispose of the filter.
  14.  
  15. Using a clean rag, wipe off the filter adapter on the engine block. Be sure that the rag doesn't leave any lint which could clog an oil passage.
  16.  
  17. Coat the rubber gasket on the filter with fresh oil. Fill the oil filter with fresh oil as much as possible. Spin it onto the engine by hand; when the gasket touches the adapter surface, give it another 1 / 2 - 3 / 4 turn or as printed on the filter housing. No more, or you'll squash the gasket and it will leak.
  18.  
  19. Refill the engine with the correct amount of fresh oil. See the "Capacities" chart.
  20.  
  21. Check the oil level on the dipstick. It is normal for the level to be a bit above the full mark. Start the engine and allow it to run at 2500 rpm for a few seconds until the oil lamp extinguishes. Allow the engine to run for a few minutes.
  22.  


WARNING
Do not run the engine under load until it has built up oil pressure, indicated when the oil light goes out.

  1. Shut off the engine, allow the oil to drain for a minute, and check the oil level. Check around the filter and drain plug for any leaks, and correct as necessary.
  2.  

Full Flow Element

See Figures 8, 9, 10 and 11



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Fig. Fig. 8: Removing the bolt to loosen the oil filter housing cover



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Fig. Fig. 9: Removing the bolt will allow the oil to drain back into the oil pan



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Fig. Fig. 10: Be careful not to lose the O-ring seals



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Fig. Fig. 11: Allow the filter to drain before removing to prevent spills

Prolonged and repeated skin contact with used engine oil, with no effort to remove the oil, may be harmful. Always follows these simple precautions when handling used motor oil:1. Avoid prolonged skin contact with used motor oil.2. Remove oil from skin by washing thoroughly with soap and water or waterless hand cleaner. Do not use gasoline, thinners or other solvents.3. Avoid prolonged skin contact with oil-soaked clothing.

  1. Run the engine until it reaches normal operating temperature.
  2.  
  3. Jack up the front of the car and support it on safety stands.
  4.  
  5. Loosen the oil filter housing bolt with a wrench. The oil in the housing will drain into the oil pan.
  6.  
  7. Remove the cover from the housing. Remove the old O-rings from the bolt and the filter cover. Check that the filter cover O-ring did not stick to the filter housing.
  8.  
  9. Remove the filter element from the housing. Allow the excess oil to drain from the element into the drain pan. Dispose of the element properly.
  10.  
  11. Slide a drain pan of at least 150% of the capacity of the oil sump under the oil pan.
  12.  
  13. Loosen the drain plug with a proper sized wrench. It normally will be 17mm or 19mm. Turn the plug out by hand. By keeping an inward pressure on the plug as you unscrew it, oil won't escape past the threads and you can remove it without being burned by hot oil.
  14.  
  15. Allow the oil to drain completely and then install the drain plug with a new crush washer. Don't overtighten the plug, or you'll by buying a new pan or a trick replacement plug for stripped threads. Torque the 17mm plug to 22-26 ft. lbs. (30-36 Nm). Torque the 19mm plug to 43-46 ft. lbs. (59-64 Nm)
  16.  
  17. Place the new element in the filter housing, correct side up. It should be marked on the filter element.
  18.  
  19. Coat the O-rings with fresh oil and install the housing cover. Torque the bolt to 20-24 ft. lbs. (27-33 Nm).
  20.  
  21. Refill the engine with the correct amount of fresh oil. See the "Capacities" chart.
  22.  
  23. Check the oil level on the dipstick. It is normal for the level to be a bit above the full mark. Start the engine and allow it to run at 2500 rpm for a few seconds until the oil lamp extinguishes. Allow the engine to run for a few minutes.
  24.  


WARNING
Do not run the engine under load until it has built up oil pressure, indicated when the oil light goes out.

  1. Shut off the engine, allow the oil to drain for a minute, and check the oil level. Check around the filter and drain plug for any leaks, and correct as necessary.
  2.  

 
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