BMW E46 Oil Filter

You can probably list several reasons why clean oil is essential for your car. You know that it lubricates the engine and ensures that you have a smooth drive. To keep it clean, you need a filter that works as it should. Where you do not have an efficient filter, contaminants get into the engine, and this could damage it.

The filter works to remove dirt, metallic particles, and other such pollutants present in the oil. These particles are present owing to engine wear, and their presence serves as a threat to your car’s health. Over time, the filter accumulates these pollutants and can become clogged or damaged. And in this case, it would not work as it should and would allow contaminants into the engine.

There is a way that you can prolong the life of the filter, and it is by using high-end synthetic oil. This option works better than regular products owing to the refining in play. It should thus take a considerable amount of time before you have to change the filter. However, you cannot keep the filter working year in year out without changes and expect optimal performance. A replacement will be necessary at some point.

How often should you change the filter?

Each time you carry out an oil change, you should change the filter. Work with the mantra ‘out with the old and in with the new.’ That means that every time you cover ten thousand kilometers, it is time for a change when using a petrol car. For diesel cars, you can cover fifteen thousand kilometers before you make a replacement. It helps to go through your manufacturer’s handbook to get a clear idea of when this change is imminent.

Why should you change the filter?

Changing the filter so often might not seem necessary. However, it plays a significant role in how well your car performs. 

  • For one, oil from the reservoir goes straight to the engine through the filter. That means that if the filter is not efficient, contaminants will go straight to the engine. You can think of the filter as an immune system that protects the engine from unwanted pollutants. And when the immune system is down, the whole structure is at risk.
  • Secondly, the filter accumulates debris over time. Where you do not change the filter as you should, it clogs, thus obstructing passage to the engine. The engine can, therefore, suffer a failure owing to reduced lubrication. You are in luck, though, given that many filters will prevent such failures thanks to the bypass valve. The problem with this is that the valve cannot filter out the contaminants. As such, as you lubricate the engine, you will also expose it to increased wear and tear.

You should change the filter at the same time that you do the oil change. Why is this? It helps you kill two birds with one stone, thus saving time and money. If you were to make the change today and head to the shop next month for another filter, you would spend twice what you can in a single change. The good news is that a filter is not expensive, and you can probably get one at almost a throwaway price. Timing these changes such that they coincide is an easy way to reduce the time and costs used in maintenance.

Finally, it would not make much sense to leave an old filter in place. The clean oil will eventually make its way through the dirty filter and will become as dirty as what you threw away during the change. Do you see why changing your filter is essential?

Signs your car needs an oil change

Often, people gauge their need for a change based on their mileage. However, this might be misleading in some cases, and it is best to watch out for vital signs of an impending change. And you can do this by listening to your car.

  • One, where the service engine light comes on, you may have a cause for worry. It is not necessarily the case that the light is on owing to a failing engine. But in some cases, that could be the reason, due to accumulated debris in the engine. When this happens, the filter clogs more than it usually would, and it is time for a change. Your car has a service indicator on the dash that will alert you of the need for change. When this comes up, ensure that you use the correct product, else you could harm the engine.
  • Two, where you drive in harsh conditions, the need for a change may be imminent sooner than you think. It helps to change out the filter often to ensure that your engine does not work harder than it should.

When buying a filter, ensure that you get one that can protect your engine from contaminants. The good thing is that you can do the change by yourself by following a few simple steps. Start by figuring out your BMW E46 oil filter type and getting a BMW E46 oil change kit. Below is a process that will come in handy in this regard. Note that you can get the changes done at the shop for a fee that should be around one hundred to two hundred dollars. Here goes:

What type of oil does a BMW e46 take?

You should use high-end synthetic products in your car such that it can go 15,000 miles between changes. 

How do you change the oil on a 2002 BMW 325i?

You will require a BMW E46 oil filter removal tool kit. Get a torque wrench, socket, alien head socket, drain pan, funnel, and disposable gloves. As for the parts, you will need a filter kit with crush washers and o-rings, as well as a synthetic product. Do not skimp on this and ensure that you get the best quality that you can.

The next step involves raising and supporting your vehicle, which you can do using ramps or jack stands. When using a jack, you must take caution when working under the car. Alternatively, you could further stabilize the vehicle to avoid the occurrence of any accidents. 

With the car in place, you can now open the hood to the engine bay and inspect the parts therein. Here, you should see a filler cap as well as the filler housing. The cap should be plastic, large and black, and should be to your left. You now need to disconnect the throttle position sensor, which you can do by pinching the clip and pulling. It is now time to remove the filler cap. You can use a wrench for this and unscrew the cap in an anti-clockwise motion. Move on to loosen the filter housing bolt using a 13-millimeter socket. Place the bolt on the side on a rag or towel to account for any dripping.

How do you change the oil in a BMW?

Reach under the car and look for a small round plastic cover that covers the drain plug. This cover should be close to the front center jack point. Using an Allen socket, loosen the drain bolt but do not remove it. Place a drain pan underneath the plug then remove the bolt to allow the old oil to drain. The draining will take a while, and as this takes place, you can now inspect the filter kit. Remove the old washer and install the new one. After three or four minutes, the draining should be over, and you can now place the drain plug in its place. Finish off by re-installing the plastic cover that hides the drain plug. Can you see how easy that was?

Now, move back to the filter housing and change the washer at the top of the bolt. You should also replace the rubber o-ring on the cap and give it a light coating of new oil. Move to the small rubber o-ring at the tip of the bolt and change it. Removing the bolt may prove to be hard, and you may need some extra force to do so.

You can now change the filter and place the cap back on the filter housing. Bolt it down such that it remains in place even under conditions of high pressure.

How many Liters of oil does a BMW e46 take?

The BMW engine will take about five and a half liters of synthetic product. You may need to add some to the full line. After adding this, check the level and top up where necessary. The car should be on the ground level during this topping up so that you can get an accurate reading. You can now close the filler cap and plug in the throttle position sensor. Putting too much in is not a problem as it will eventually get exhausted. Too little will be a problem owing to inadequate lubrication and you should thus avoid this at all costs.

Close the hood and lower the car before checking the level. It helps to take a short drive to ensure that everything is working as it should. As for the old oil, filter, and contaminated items, ensure that you dispose of them properly. You could even offer the used product to auto parts stores, which will do the disposal for you.

You can tell that you did an excellent job if you start the engine, and the warning light goes off after a while. As long as you use a BMW E46 engine oil type, there should not be reasons for concerns at later stages. All the best of luck!

Editorial Staff

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