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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 05-08-2004, 12:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I got my oil changed at jiffy lube about a week ago like I always have done (6 times) and I noticed recently that there's some fluid puddling up wherever I park.
I lift it up with the BMW jack and take a looksee... Well, seems the guys there didn't tighten the oil plug enough.

So I'm like, alright, I'm not about to go under this with only the OEM BMW jack and start torquing stuff around... so I roll up to jiffy lube cause it will only take 10 seconds to do this, and thank god I did.

The plug has broken off into the oil pan, apparently because they tightened it too much\didn't use a torque wrench like your suppose to with nuts\bolts like this.

They had to use a screwdriver to get it out. Thanks to BMW's engineering, making the plug hollow, I didn't have to drill it out or anything crazy.

Is this a common thing? because the plug's hollow, its weaker to stresses such as this, I know.... Ugh, blah, whatever.

I dunno, bored and thought I'd share this lil' story.
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Old 05-08-2004, 12:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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DUDE, WELCOME TO THE CLUB! I just did this last week. Changed the oil, up on the lift at school, all hyped up that this 40 min oil change is about to be over. Snap. There goes the drain plug. So we had to cruise around to try and find a stupid 12 x 1.5 metric bolt. nobody had one, but they had the nut to fit it. So we had to get a slightly bigger one and rethread it ghead . So far, noproblems.

The hollow part halfway down the bolt is so you don't strip the oil pan, better to break the bolt then the whole pan.

Did they have another plug sitting around for you to use?

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Old 05-08-2004, 12:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kevin325i@May 8 2004, 02:09 PM
The hollow part halfway down the bolt is so you don't strip the oil pan, better to break the bolt then the whole pan.
Did they have another plug sitting around for you to use?
Yah no kidding about stripping the pan instead!
One of the guys went down the street somewhere and got another one, it's really damn short, and I donít feel comfortable with that stubby thing in there. I'm ordering one from the stealer soon and putting it in on my next oil change.

Also, when the dude was pulling my car into the bay, (they use pits, not lifts) the fucker didn't wait for a guy to guide him in, and I watched as my right rear tire hit the STEEL *CORNER* of the lip of the bay that's about 3 inches tall. I was like FUUUUUCK dude nooooo... My tire, my alignment!!!!
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Old 05-08-2004, 12:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah, I've learned my lesson the hardway about how much leverage a foot and a half wrench puts on a bolt

If you've even got some mechanical skills, you can change the oil your car. It's so easy. The easiest I've ever seen. Even when you're not on a lift it's crazy easy. Just jack up the front with a floor jack. Put a jack stand under it so you don't die. The plug is within arms length. Let the oil drain. Filter is on top. Oil back in, youre done.

Just don't snap the plug like I did. grrr

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Old 05-08-2004, 12:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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last 2 times i cahanged my oil the plug broke.
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Old 05-08-2004, 12:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Really? Wow, are you guys over tightening or something? I never use airguns on bolts like these. Just hand tighten enough so that the bolt won't come loose. The oil only starts to come out when the bolt is practically completely removed anyways. I've done oil changes myself for 3 years and I've never had this problem.

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Old 05-08-2004, 01:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kevin325i@May 8 2004, 02:18 PM
If you've even got some mechanical skills, you can change the oil your car.
I would, but for 35$, they check all the fluids and add power steering and all that crap. Yah, I could do all of that too (and I would) but it's a matter of convenience + the fact that the only tools that I have are some plyers, wire cutters, and a large array of screwdrivers. (geek tools, heha) Buying a new set of wrenches\sockets, jack, jackstands, torque wrench, (If I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna do it right!) fluids, and misculanious supplys are a little much. I live with my mother now, & she never had a need for such tools...
If I had the extra cash, I'd probably turn into Autotechnica and go apeshit
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Old 05-08-2004, 02:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm in the same boat bitcore.

my tools screwdirvers, wirecutters, and a leatherman, multimeter, etc... I do have access to others as well but no jacks or stands around here.

but then again i have yet to change my oil. but I plan on taking it in cause for a little extra on my loan they are gonn do that for me and check fluids etc for me for the next 4 years.
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Old 05-08-2004, 03:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by bitcore+May 8 2004, 01:40 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (bitcore @ May 8 2004, 01:40 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Kevin325i@May 8 2004, 02:18 PM
If you've even got some mechanical skills, you can change the oil your car.
I would, but for 35$, they check all the fluids and add power steering and all that crap. Yah, I could do all of that too (and I would) but it's a matter of convenience + the fact that the only tools that I have are some plyers, wire cutters, and a large array of screwdrivers. [/b][/quote]
i believe, its just a matter of enjoying doing things yourself and having the available time. i am a lawyer but really loves going under the hood and do stuff myself - my neigbors ask, why don't i drive it to the shop and have it done professionally (you know,,, sometimes the look that says 'dont you want to spend some bucks for convenience?')
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Old 05-08-2004, 04:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I never had this problem, but I always using a torque wrench. In my repair / maintenance manual all bolt torqueses are given.

Strange reason why they should make those plugs hollow. When making them hollow, the less torque they can get and the faster they will break.
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Old 05-08-2004, 07:41 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I think they did that incase it did break, if it was solid, you would have to drill into the bolt to get it out, or remove the oil pan if you can't drill into it. Since it's hollow, you can just use a flathead screwdriver and unscrew it that way.
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Old 05-08-2004, 11:41 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Man, I break off bolts on everything. I guess I just don't know my own strength.

Torque wrenches are my friends.
Torque wrenches are my friends.
Torque wrenches are my friends.
Torque wrenches are my friends.
Torque wrenches are my friends.
x100

My personal favorite way to remove broken off bolts is to drill a little hole in the top, then tap a torques head bit into them. Then you can put a ratchet on it and back it out. The tap is also another one of my favorites.

Kevin

P.S. what IS the torque specification for the drain plug? I'm dreading the next oil change, cross threading blows. Maybe I'll just take it to Jiffy Lube and sue them when they put the bolt in sideways.
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Old 05-08-2004, 11:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I changed my oil today, but the last oil change was done in the shop. It took me a good 10 minutes to break the bolt loose. I was scared I was going to snap it.
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Old 05-09-2004, 06:40 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kevin325i@May 9 2004, 07:21 AM
P.S. what IS the torque specification for the drain plug?
The torque specification is 33 Nm, in not metric it is about 24.2 lbs-ft.

*NOTE: I don't know if there are differences between Euro and US plugs!
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Old 05-09-2004, 09:24 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I go to this little place called "Oil Station" cause the Jiffy Lube by my house doesn't carry the necessary fit oil filters. But the place I go to does a good job, only they are a little expensive. If I had the time, I'd do things myself, but working 8+ hours a day and training for soccer doesn't allow me to do shit. Other than that, I like to tinker around with my car to learn as much as possible. I learned everything about my Acura Integra before that got stolen (glad it did cause I got me a bimmer now)...as for tools, my pops got me a whole bunch for Christmas last year. As for a jack, gotta love those friends that bring them over and leave them at your house, then forget about them...just thought I'd share some of my BMW life...
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