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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 05-10-2002, 03:56 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 1969
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Exclamation First Time Oil Change

Anyone know where the oil drain plug and oil filter is located at? I've never done this before. Is there also a collapsible washer that goes with the oil drain plug? is offline   Reply With Quote
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Old 05-10-2002, 04:03 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Stanford, CA
Posts: 967
My Ride: 2001 330xi
If you have a RWD car, the oil plug should be located behind a small door in the lower engine cover. If you have an AWD car, the entire engine cover has to come off. The drain plug is a single (I believe 17mm) bolt and a brass washer, that faces sideways towards the passenger side of the car. This creates the problem that the oil will spill out at considerable velocity once you get the plug out, so be sure to account for that by moving the drain pan to catch a strem that lands a good 6-8 inches from where the plug is. When you purchase an oil filter kit from your dealer, you will get a replacement brass washer for the drain plug, as well as a filter and a filter housing seal. The filter housing is located at the top of the engine, next to the thermostat (black cylinder, almost looks like a power steering reservoir), at the front. The top screws off, either with a really big socket or a monkey wrench, and the filter will come out (it is attached to the top). The filter housing seal is also located on the top, you'll need a screwdriver or fingernails to get it off.
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Old 05-10-2002, 04:21 PM   #3
Steel Gray
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Do a search, someone posted a very decent write up with good pics of everything.
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Old 05-10-2002, 04:45 PM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 20
My Ride: 2002 330i
By-the-way, I don't have the hatch door on my '02- I seem to recall someone else saying the same thing. You can see that it's designed to have a door- but no door on it!

Mark- '02 330i- 5sp
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Old 05-10-2002, 09:59 PM   #5
E46 Pioneer
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: nowhere
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you need a 36 mm socket

to open up the cover for the oil filter.
emi323i is offline   Reply With Quote

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