In Reply to: How tricky is an oil change on a BMW? posted by Tim H. on March 28, 2000 at 11:44:52:
Speaking from experience with a 535 only, I'd say that changing oil on this car is no more tricky than a 350 Chevy.
First off, I don't find it at all necessary to jack the car up as the drain plug is within easy reach and is oriented comfortably. While the location is fine I will add that getting the plug back in with oily gloved hands can be a pain. For whatever reason, BMW put no lead-in on that plug, which makes it fun.
The oil filter kit comes with all necessary o-rings and washers (if you don't have a spin-on style filter). Make sure you use all the new ones.
On my car the oil light does not go out right away after the change. Bentley mentions this and the procedure is to bleed out the air in the canister. Keep that one in the back of your mind.
The issue with synthetics that your dad recalls is probably related to deterioration of oil seals. Very early synthetic formulations did not have sufficient additives for the rubber or Vyton (sp?) used in the seals. Supposedly, that's been fixed. The other thing you hear of is increased seepage past gaskets and seals but again, that depends on the level of sludge in your engine (sludge gets removed, exposing weak areas of gaskets). So they say.
The reset tool - all you need is a simple jumper between two pins.