BMW 1 Series Coupe Forum / 1 Series Convertible Forum (1M / tii / 135i / 128i / Coupe / Cabrio / Hatchback) (BMW E82 E88 128i 130i 135i)
 





 

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      06-18-2017, 09:30 PM   #1
JimD
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Oil capacity of N52

I have a 2009 128i convertible with the normally aspirated n52 motor. Even though it is not my daily driver it is out of warranty by both years and miles, at about 55K miles. I change every 5K miles because it is plenty often enough, it takes me about 9 months to put on 5K miles, and it is easy to remember. My last oil change, I learned something interesting.

I only had one 5qt of Castrol 0-40 European and had always found the level almost over full after adding around 6 qts. So I tried dumping in the 5 qt and checking the level. It was right at the mid-point. I try to keep a quart in the trunk but I plan to keep using a 5 qt for oil changes with the option to put a bit more from the quart in the trunk if I need to.

Using only a 5 qt cuts the cost for the oil change to a little over $30 ($10 for a Mahle 816 filter and a little over $20 at Walmart for the oil).
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      06-19-2017, 03:02 PM   #2
davidk
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The oil capacity of the N52 engine is 7 quarts, which is what mine gets each oil change, along with a new filter. Keep in mind if you purchase oil from BMW, they now sell it in liters, not quarts.
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      06-22-2017, 12:53 PM   #3
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6.5 - 6.6 liters or 7 quarts.
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      06-25-2017, 07:19 AM   #4
juld0zer
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6.5L is the official spec for S/N5x RWD petrol engines.
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      06-25-2017, 07:44 AM   #5
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Why would you think it was "over fill" when only adding 6 quarts?
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      06-25-2017, 08:31 AM   #6
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6.9 quarts or 6.5 liters for the N5x six cylinder engines.

The oil dipstick isn't that accurate as you think. I bet after an hour or two's of driving your oil level gauge will read low with just five quarts of oil in the sump.

Buy seven quarts and just dump them in. End of story. IF you really can't afford two extra quarts... you have bigger problems coming.

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      06-25-2017, 09:29 AM   #7
JimD
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I am fully aware of the literature saying it will hold almost 7 quarts but according to my oil gauge it will not hold that much. I have driven it multiple times now with only the 5 quart added and it has gone down a little from the mid point but is still well within the green zone.

I was doing oil changes from multiple 5 quart containers previously. That makes it a bit hard to judge how much of the second container you used but I was adding about 6 quarts and the oil gauge read at the top of the green zone - nearly over full.

I am not going to overfill my motor with oil because you guys think it is a good idea. I will trust my gauge at least when it tells me something defendable. While a completely dry engine might take 6.9 quarts you can't ever get all the oil out during an oil change. Somewhere around 6 quarts is more realistic, I think, and a 5 quart got me on the oil gauge, safely in the green zone.
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      06-25-2017, 09:54 PM   #8
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I am a dealer tech. N52, N54, N55 in the E82/E88 all take 6.5 liters or 6.9 quarts. Maybe it didn't drain it all or the sensor isn't reading right.
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      06-26-2017, 12:16 PM   #9
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The oil sensor takes like 3 full drives to reset to the new level anyway.

I usually buy 2 5qt jugs. 6.5qts go in for the first oil change, then I keep that last 3.5qts. 1-2 qt is usually for minute top-offs during the 7-9k mi between both BMWs, and then I'll still have that last 1.5qt for the next oil change, where I'll only have to buy 1 5qt jug.
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      06-27-2017, 03:00 PM   #10
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The only true way to check how much oil is in our cars is to drain it and measure it. Running around with only five quarts of oil might be "ok" on your oil e-dipstick... but it is low! All it will take is some good high G cornering and your poor engine bearings will be the first to know you are low on oil. But hey... your e-dipstick says its ok so it must me. Not!

This is why I always change my own oil. I know how much I put in... and I am good. I've seen techs not change oil filters or put in all the engine oil... only to give themselves a "free" oil change. Not me. I always do all my own service. And like I said... IF you are so cheap not to understand how much oil BMW says to fill in the engine... or IF you are trying to save a few bucks... pay now or pay(more) later. There is a reason why the lights on the dash are called "idiot lights".
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      06-28-2017, 07:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brytompkins View Post
I am a dealer tech. N52, N54, N55 in the E82/E88 all take 6.5 liters or 6.9 quarts. Maybe it didn't drain it all or the sensor isn't reading right.
Willing to bet it's the latter.
At least it's not a turbo motor with the separate oil cooler. I've gotten inconsistent drain quantities over several oil changes. I've even gotten more than 6.5L out once
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      07-03-2017, 11:45 AM   #12
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^^ +1. I drain mine and add 6.00-6.25L and it generally sits at 3/4 full - full. Then I drive for a few trips and add a small volume of oil as needed. You'll never drain ALL the oil, but it should be pretty close. I don't recall offhand which side of the pan the drain is, but if you use ramps and it's not at the rear of the pan, you won't get all the oil from it.

It is VERY unlikely you'll have a liter or more of oil in left in the engine though, unless you have some sort of blockage at the drain or something.
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      07-03-2017, 12:58 PM   #13
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The oil cooler(on 135i's) and oil cooler lines also can hold a few liters of oil. Just one more reason to change your oil more frequently.
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      07-04-2017, 02:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
The oil cooler(on 135i's) and oil cooler lines also can hold a few liters of oil. Just one more reason to change your oil more frequently.
This would be in addition to the sump capacity though, right? Being as all N series engines have the same capacity.
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      07-04-2017, 06:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1AddictsAnonymous View Post
This would be in addition to the sump capacity though, right? Being as all N series engines have the same capacity.
Yes. I only mentioned the added oil that sits inside the oil cooler and lines - in addition to the 6.9 quarts in the oil sump/pan.
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      07-04-2017, 02:20 PM   #16
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I assumed the stated capacity included the volume in the cooler and the lines. When I bought my car it had a Dinan oil cooler installed which I believe is larger than stock. I asked Dinan if I should add extra, and they told me not to worry about it. I use 7 Qts and it shows full on the sensor.
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      07-05-2017, 05:04 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andysantoro View Post
I assumed the stated capacity included the volume in the cooler and the lines. When I bought my car it had a Dinan oil cooler installed which I believe is larger than stock. I asked Dinan if I should add extra, and they told me not to worry about it. I use 7 Qts and it shows full on the sensor.
When you drain the oil in the oil pan... the oil that's trapped inside the oil cooler and lines DO NOT empty out.
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      07-05-2017, 12:32 PM   #18
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Yeah you are right, which seems consistent with what Dinan told me, and the earlier mentioned info about the N52s having the same capacity despite the lack of an oil cooler
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      07-06-2017, 02:24 PM   #19
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OP, how much are you saving putting in 5 quarts instead of 7? IMO you'd be much better off putting in the full 7 and extending the OCI a bit (5K seems way too short).
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