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Haynes’ World: BMW roadster gets an oil and filter change

Haynes world oil and filter change

Haynes' World is a regular feature that takes a look at what the staff at Haynes are doing with their cars, bikes and other vehicles. This time, Martynn's BMW Z4 is due some regular maintenance in the shape of an oil and filter change…

BMW Z4

Car: BMW Z4 (get the manual here)

Owner: Martynn Randall

I don’t do many miles in my BMW Z4. It’s not because I don’t like it, or that it’s particularly bad on fuel. It’s simply because I have quite a few other transport options in the garage(s).

Consequently, I don’t stick to the BMW recommended intervals for engine oil and filter changes. Instead, I change these items once a year, normally in the spring.

The process is pretty simple, but there are a few important details to observe.

A low-profile trolley jack is needed. Because of the Z4’s low stance, it’s not possible to get a normal jack under the front of the vehicle to make use of the reinforced jacking point in the centre of the front subframe. With the low-profile jack, it takes only a few minutes to raise the vehicle and support it securely with axle stands positioned under the jacking points under the front sills.

Handily, my drive is on a slight slope. So with the rear wheels at the top, after I’ve raised the front of the vehicle, it’s about level.

Oil filter BMW Z4

With the engine warm, slacken and remove the oil filter cap. This allows the oil in the filter housing to drain into the sump.

The engine holds 6.5 litres of oil. Make sure the drain container can hold this amount. The first time I drained the oil, I didn’t.

Engine oil BMW Z4

There’s no oil level dipstick on this engine; the new oil must be measured out, then added after the sump plug and washer and new filter and seals have been fitted. It’s not possible to rely on the vague oil level indicator built into the instrument cluster because it reports the level as ‘OK’ from about six litres onwards.

Oh, and pour the oil in slowly. Do it too quickly and the funnel will overflow and the oil goes all over the exhaust manifold – ask me how I know!