FredR's Tech-Tips

TECH-TIP #2:  Guess what this tip is on?


          At 67,156 it is time for an oil service for my Z. Since Iím out of warranty I do my own routine maintenance.  What follows are the procedures to change your own oil.

          First I would like to give you my opinions on the frequency of oil changes. The Service lights cycle off at about 9,000 miles intervals on my 96 1.9. Newer Zís that have synthetic oil from the factory have a longer interval than the earlier Zís, between 12,000 and 15,000. I feel that the 9,000 mile interval is a little high for the type of driving I do.  Since I use synthetic oil I feel that a 3,000 miles change interval is to often and 9,000 is not often enough. I change my oil at a 5,000 miles interval. With modern engines, oil last longer than in the old days. Two major causes oil contamination are, inefficient combustion, and compression blow by.  Since we get the benefits on fuel injection, electronic engine controls, and modern materials, there is less contamination. These are my opinions and in no way a recommendation for anyone else. Please do your own research and decide for yourself.

          Tools and supplies needed: appropriate quantity of oil, correct oil filter with o-rings, medium zip lock bag, miscellaneous wrenches, optional TopSider siphon pump, jack, jack stands, and ramps.

We all know how hard it is to jack the Z up from the front without ramps. I use an oil siphon tank called a TopSider. The TopSider alleviates the need to jack the Z up.



Start the engine and let it idle until the temp gauge just starts to move then turn it off.  The TopSider is pumped into a vacuum (about 60 strokes on the pump). Then remove the dipstick and insert the TopSiderís hose into the dipstick tube, unclip the tube clip and the oil is sucked up.

If you choose to drain the oil the more traditional way by jacking the front end up, make sure that you place the jack stands correctly at the jacking points on the side of the Z



The oil filter on all Zís is located on the front drivers side of the engine. There are different filter covers for the different engines so I wonít go into much detail on how to remove it. The nice thing about current BMWís is that they use a cartridge oil filter, and is able to be changed from under the hood rather than from below the car. I use a BMW filter, they are inexpensive and come with all o-rings for the filter and drain plug. 



I turn the Ziplock bag inside out and slip it on my hand. Grasp the old oil filter and remove it.


Fold the Ziplock back over the filter.


Filter is now ready for recycling.


Most auto parts stores now accept your old oil and filter for recycling. I use the local OíReillyís.

Next step would be to reset the Service Indicator Light. That will be next months tip.

I know that I left out some steps. Like removing the TopSider tube when oil is totally out of sump, replacing the oil filter housing cover, etc. These are fairly self evident, therefore not included.


For more info contact
Fred Reinemeyer


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