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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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Old 03-07-2006, 12:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Easy oil change question

I'm gonna change my oil this weekend for the first time since I purchased the car. I assume that I should get the oil and filter from BMW dealership right? Can I get the parts from a standard auto store like AutoZone?

Main question:

How do I remove the plastic skid plate (or whatever this is called) from under the engine? There are a few phillips screws that are easily removed, but there are also these plastic clips that secure it to the front bumper cover. Do these just pop out like everything else on this car? I don't want to brake them.

Thanks guys!
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Old 03-07-2006, 02:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You should be able to just pry it out with a flat screwdriver. I usually just get Full Synnthetic Mobil1 from Wal-Mart, and buy the filters online from bavauto.com. For a first oilf change, either the dealership or an Autozone work (they will proably charge about the same).

Here's a DIY:
http://m3.madrussian.net/diy_oil_change.shtml
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Old 03-07-2006, 03:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks, DRZ!

This is exactly what I was looking for. However the plastic cover under the engine is not the same on this guys' M3, but I'm sure I can easily figure it out when the car's up on ramps. So far, everything on this car that I have worked on is idiot simple.

The Germans really have a thing for snapping pieces together. Much easier than domestic cars, who's engineers apparently built the entire car starting from one bolt and working outward, covering each preceeding part with another, and thus making it impossible to remove anything that isn't sitting directly on top of the engine! AKA my last car: a 1995 Ford Taurus SHO (Super High Output). To change ANYTHING in that car is a bitch. You literally have to remove the entire intake manifold to access the rear spark plugs. The oil filter is directly above the starter, so when you remove it, oil spills all over your starter and sub-frame. Brilliant, Ford. Brilliant.
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Old 03-07-2006, 08:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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^^ I am with you on that. Japanese and German engineers do a much much better job with their designs. Servicing my BMW is much easier than doing so on my friend's Pontiac.

Browse around www.bimmerdiy.com/e46 -- I just linked to the first oil change diy I found, but am almost sure there is another write-up based on the procedure as done on a non-M
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Old 03-08-2006, 12:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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This is a really great site. I saved it as my favorite for future work. Thanks a lot, man!
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Old 03-14-2006, 12:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Wow, that was the easiest oil change I've ever done! The plastic cover I was referring to earlier doesn't even cover the oil pan. The bolt is very accessible and the oil filter is a breeze to change. Resetting the oil indicator on the computer is as simple as pressing a button three times.

Why can't the "Big Three" (Ford, Chevy, Chrysler) make cars like BMW? Everything I do on this car makes me prouder and happier that I bought it!
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