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BMW and MINI DIY Video – Vacuum Oil Change – Under Hood Oil Extractor, How To

February 26, 2015

This DIY video (below) shows how to use the BavAuto® vacuum oil changer to change the oil on BWM and MINI models that have an engine oil dip-stick …… without going under the car!  Models that do not have engine oil dip-sticks cannot use this vacuum oil evacuation method.  See our Under Car Oil Change DIY Video for changing oil using the standard under-car drain method (see link below).  Of course, the under-car drain method can be used on ANY BMW or MINI, even if it does have a dip-stick for the engine oil.

Vacuum oil evacuation method – BMW & MINI Oil Change DIY Video:

This would typically be accomplished by jacking up the car and supporting it with jack stands, or by driving the front wheels up onto ramps. Ramps are very convenient and can be purchased at many auto parts and department stores. If you prefer to use a floor jack and jack-stands (also handy for future tasks that require the wheels or suspension to hang free), we show you how to select and use floor jacks and jack-stands in the Winter 2009 and Spring 2009 Fast Times newsletters. In the second method, you use a vacuum pump to suck the oil out through the dipstick tube. This method is applicable to BMWs and MINIs where the oil filter can be accessed from under the hood (i.e. without jacking up the car). Note that some late model BMWs do not have oil dipsticks, and some oil filters cannot be accessed from above. In these cases, the oil must be drained from below. Follow along as we perform an oil and filter change on a late model, 6-cylinder BMW, addressing both methods of oil removal.

Click HERE for oil extractor tool

Here are the tools and parts used for this job (Some of the parts or tools may not be needed for one or the other oil removal method (see above) or particular BMW/MINI model:

*  Bentley repair manuals

*  Oil evacuation/extraction tool – for vacuum method

*  Oil filter wrench and oil change tools – required for certain models

*  Oil fill funnel

*  Oil absorbent pads

*  Oil change drain pan – for undercar method

*  Oil filter

*  Motor oil – Liqui-Moly, Red Line or BMW brand

*  Metric socket, Allen & Torx ratchet set

*  Magnetic drain plug

*  Disposable work gloves:

* black nitrile gloves

* heavier-duty blue latex gloves

* heavy duty orange nitrile gloves


A:  Under-Car Method

A1. Raise and properly support the front of the vehicle with jack stands or ramps. Locate the drain plug on the oil pan sump (lowest part of the oil pan). On some models the sump is at the front of the engine; on others it is at the rear. Here it is at the rear (fig. A1). Note: Some models require removal of a plastic splash shield to access the drain plug (fig. A2).

A2. Position the no-spill oil change pan (part #616) under the drain plug and use a box end wrench or a socket and ratchet to remove the drain plug (fig. A3). Let the oil drain while we move to the oil filter.

B:  Vacuum Method:

B1. Remove the oil dipstick. Assemble the oil removal hose to the vacuum reservoir. Using the largest diameter hose that fits into the dipstick tube, insert the oil removal hose into the dipstick tube until it will not go any farther. This should be about two to three feet of hose. The hose should be all the way through the dipstick tube and touching the bottom of the oil pan.

B2. Pump the handle on the vacuum reservoir pump until a noticeable resistance is felt and the oil begins rising up through the hose and into the reservoir (fig. B1). Let the oil fill the reservoir while we move to the oil filter.

Steps 3-6 apply to both methods:

3. In this procedure (as with most BMWs and MINIs), the filter is accessed from under the hood. Notable exceptions would include V8s from the mid-2000s on where the filter must be accessed from under the car. A canister filter is used on most BMWs and all MINIs, while some BMW models use a “spin-on” filter (fig. 4).

4. Loosen the canister lid or spin-on filter (fig. 5). Depending on your model, you will need either a special oil filter tool (to remove the canister cover or spin-on filter) or a ratchet and 13mm socket (to remove the canister cover or canister).

5. For canister-type filters, remove the canister lid, then the filter cartridge. (Note that early “big 6” 6-cylinders have a removable canister vs. a canister lid). On some models, such as this M54 engine, the filter will come out with the lid/cover (fig. 6) and you then pull the filter from the lid/cover (fig. 7). For spin-on filters (not shown), unscrew the filter using the applicable filter tool and remove the filter.

6. Replace the old O-ring on the canister lid with the new one supplied with the new filter (fig. 8). Drop the new filter cartridge into the canister and replace the lid. Tighten the lid until it stops and then just snug it past that point (officially 18 ftlb of torque for this model). On other models, install the filter into the canister, as applicable. For spin-on applications, apply a small amount of oil to the rubber seal on the filter and install the filter until hand tight and then ¼ turn more.

A7 (Under-car method). Install and tighten the oil pan drain plug; torque small plugs like this one to 18 ftlb; torque large plugs to 44 ftlb. See the applicable repair manual for specific torque values for your model. We highly recommend replacing your plain metal drain plug with a super-magnetic drain plug; it will grab and hold fine metal particles in the oil that the filter misses, prolonging engine life.

B7 (Vacuum method).  Remove the oil evacuation tube from the dipstick tube and replace the dipstick.

Steps 8-10 apply to both methods:

8. Remove the oil filler cap and fill the engine with the specified quantity of oil as noted in the repair manual. (fig. 9). Use the dipstick (if your model has one) to verify the oil level. Use only high-quality oil that matches or exceeds BMW specifications. We highly recommend Liqui-Moly oil , endorsed by BMW in Germany.

9. For under-car draining method: Lower the vehicle.

10. Start the engine and check for leaks. Watch to make sure the oil pressure warning light goes off within a few seconds. Turn the engine off, wait a few minutes and check the oil dipstick: the oil level should indicate full. If the level is a bit less than full (due to oil filling the empty filter canister), add the appropriate amount. Properly dispose of the used oil and filter.  After you’ve finished, you can reset the service interval lights on most BMWs using our reset tool or fault code reader/reset tool. The fault code tool also reads and resets “check engine” codes on most BMWs or MINIs, allowing you to diagnose problems and research possible solutions rather than taking your car to the dealer.

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  1. flip frisch permalink

    I have a 2001 BMW 330CI can I use the oil extractor for this model and is the filter replacement the same as on the instructional video??

    • The car we used was a 2001 330i model … same as your 330ci. So, yes, you can do this!

  2. I watched the video of your oils extraction equipment using the dip stick tube on a BMW E46 Sedan.
    My BMW is E94 328i 2007 3 series auto that does not have a dip stick.
    Can the vacuum pump be used through the Oil filter housing to extract the oil from the sump>?
    If so I will purchase your Vacuum Pump


    John jeffery BMW owner

    • Unfortunately, you will not be able to take advantage of the oil extractor with your ’07 328i. The oil filter housing will not gain you access to the oil sump (pan).

  3. Glen permalink

    What capacity is the pump resovoir?
    My E34 is a V8 (about 8 arts oil)

    • The reservoir for the vacuum evacuator is 7+ liters. It has a “FULL” mark at 7 liters, but can actually hold just a bit more. For applications that use more than the reservoir can hold, just stop the vacuum at some point and empty it, then go back and finish the evacuation.

  4. I just watched the video on the vaccum oil change cannister. My question is this: Is not sludge in the bottom of the oil pan, and does’nt draining from below allow this to be removed? Does the vaccum system remove sludge, stuff at the bottom of the oil pan, and is this a better way to change engine oil vs. under the car draining?

    • This is indeed a valid thought. However, if you are changing your oil at proper intervals (as we have been teaching, via this blog and our Fast Times newsletters), sludge build-up will not be an issue. We have found that when the suction tube is properly inserted into the dip-stick tube, we can remove nearly 100% of the oil. Additionally, if you don’t feel all warm and fuzzy about it yet, just do normal pan drain once in a while. This would also give you the opportunity to install a magnetic drain plug, which will collect the microscopic engine wear particles.

  5. Glenn Berry permalink

    Thank you so much that was very informative.
    Great video.

  6. joel permalink

    very informative…But i hope you don’t stop here and have other videos on other common jobs.

  7. Phil permalink

    BMW performs an oil change on my 2006 550i every 14k miles or so which I think is too long. So, I have it changed in between at about 7k miles. Would it be ok to use this extractor to change the oil on the in-between changes– but only change the filter every 14k when the dealer does it? (I can’t reach the filter under the car.) Thanks.

    • Yes, this would be fine …. and certainly better than NOT doing so. The BMW interval is far too long, as you have noted.

  8. Keith permalink

    After completing the oil change using either method, do you need to reset the computer?

    • After changing the oil, the on-board service reminder will not automatically reset. You must reset the system manually. Depending on the year and model, this may be done via one of our reset tools or by the vehicle’s on-board controls.

      You can search our blog using the terms “reset’ and/or “oil reset” to find the proper procedures for various BMW and MINI models.

  9. Keemo permalink

    WHat kind of oil is best for my 97 M3?

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