Being able to maintain your own BMW is paramount in running your car for reasonable costs. People in the U.S. think that BMW’s are made of unobtainium, and because of this, they believe that maintenance should be expensive because you need an expert to do everything on the car for you.
BMW’s are easy to maintain. In fact, I have frequently said that BMW’s are built like Legos. The reason they are so expensive when you take them to a mechanic is that they are built so well.
To reach parts on the car, you often have to remove other parts in the way. This process is time consuming, but easy. That is why I would never pay someone to work on my car when I have the know-how, especially since this way you can know everything has been done correctly and to spec.
The easiest part of maintaining your car is oil changes. Oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle and it is so inexpensive to replace twice a year, that there are no excuses for it to not be accomplished. Changing oil is often as simple as removing an oil pan drain-bolt, removing the old filter, and filling the engine with oil. It is not very many steps and it is a satisfying feeling knowing your car has fresh blood every 6 months or 5,000 miles. (These are my oil change intervals, yours may vary).
Alright, let’s get down to how much it costs to change the oil in an N54B30 powered BMW.
In my 2008 335i, I choose to use Castrol. Castrol is just good stuff, and many of their oils meet the BMW LL-01 long life specification. Essentially, this means that BMW would put this oil in your car, and have no worries. I like that.
If you go to Castrol’s website, you can find a tool to select the correct oil for your vehicle. In my search, I discovered that Castrol recommends three oils for my E92. They are all labeled Castrol Edge and the weights are the following: 0W-30, 0W-40, and 5W-40.
All of these oils will work for your BMW 335i from 2007-2010.
However, I like to save money whenever possible, especially on something as simple as oil. This is why I chose to use the Castrol Edge 0W-40 oil. It is readily available on Amazon for an awesome price.
You can find the oil in a 5 quart jug.
As of this writing, I paid roughly $26.00 for the 5 quarts. Considering that the N54 requires 6.87 quarts of oil, I choose to buy 2 jugs of the 0W-40, as I can use 6.87 quarts, and have a lot left over for a future oil change, or for oil fill-ups if my car happens to burn a quart here and there. If you calculate that two 5-quart jugs cost $52.00, and you’re getting 10 quarts at $5.20 each; then using 6.87 quarts of oil will cost $35.72.
Total cost of oil for an oil change: $35.72.
The second part of an oil change is the oil filter. Oil filters are inexpensive and they are cheap insurance. BMW uses manufacturers to produce oil filters for their cars. A main manufacturer of oil filters for BMW’s is the company named Mann. Mann makes great stuff at very low prices. They even make an oil filter for the N54. The model number for the filter is HU 816 X.
These filters are inexpensive if you buy just one, but considering that I am wanting to keep my E92 335i for a long time, I chose to purchase ten of these filters. This should keep my engine running smoothly for 10 oil changes, or roughly 5 years!!!! On Amazon, I purchased a 10 pack of these bad boys for $77.00. This means each filter cost me $7.70. (Your price may vary based on the sellers on Amazon)
This is a couple dollars cheaper than if you purchased the oil filter on it’s own.
Total cost of oil filter for oil change: $7.70.
Add the oil and filter together and you get:
Total Cost of DIY Oil Change: $43.42
If you took your car to the dealer, you would pay more than $100.00. I know, I’ve done it before. It is just not worth it considering how easy changing your own oil can be. It is honestly less of a hassle than going to the dealer for me; especially since I can purchase everything online.
If you are just getting into changing your own oil, then I recommend purchasing an oil drain pan, as well as vehicle ramps as well. The drain pan that I use is the Capri Tools CP21023. It is sturdy, has handles for carrying the oil to your local oil recycling center, and it has a huge capacity. It is very moderately priced at around $15.00 as well.
The car ramps are just as important, and with BMW’s it can be tricky because they are often low to the ground. Because of this, I use the Rhino Ramps, but I also use a couple of 2×4’s to drive onto first. This assures that the vehicle will not scrape. These ramps have been with me for many years and have saved me many dollars by allowing me to change oil myself. They are also plastic so they are lightweight, but they are extremely strong and often hold the weight of my pickup truck as well.
Thanks guys! And get to work!