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Are DIY Oil Changes still even DO-able??!!

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Old 08-14-2015, 07:20 AM
Kimolaoha Kimolaoha is offline
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Are DIY Oil Changes still even DO-able??!!

NOW UPDATED WITH PICTURES -
I'm about ready to change the oil in our new-to-us 2011 MCS and have read the various threads, including the excellent sources listed at the bottom of this post.

However, after taking a quick peek into the engine bay and assessing my access to the oil filter housing and cap, I'm wondering if a 2012 retrofit of cooling lines (see below description, which appears to have been undertaken on our car) now renders those DIYs somewhat obsolete.

It seems to me that, even after the coolant reservoir is loosened and swung out over the passenger side tire area, the various remaining hoses, Ts, and lines will still make removal of the filter canister cover nearly impossible without further dis-assembly. They are very near and cross in front of the cover, and even if the socket will cover the cap, I'm not sure there is actually sufficient room to unscrew and egress it. My car sure looks a heck of a lot more 'populated' down there than the filter cover shown at 1:20 and 2:00 in the video at the bottom of this post!!

Please take a look at the attached pictures below and compare the first picture, which is a still of the car in the video AFTER the reservoir has been swung away VS. the rest of the pics of my car after the reservoir was swung clear. You can see the T shaped connection that obstructs the cover - EVEN when the hoses are pulled up and over as far as they can go. In reality, the angle that some of my pictures were taken from actually make the situation look better than it really is, as the T that can be seen in all pictures definitely inhibits egress of the cap.

Before I tear into it, can anyone who has actually performed (preferably successfully) an oil change post-retrofit give me any pointers, or tell me if swinging the reservoir is still all that is needed for adequate access? Or are further removals required?

Thanks!

***
Recall: Coolant Temp Sensor #17-08-12
Performed coolant temp sensor retrofit as per 0017560100. Bleed and pressure test cooling system. Test drove vehicle. Ok at this time. Affix recall label to B pillar. Service completed. Parts: Coolant Hose, Antifreeze, Adapter Lead, Spacer Holder, Basics 25182
described here: https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...re-sensor.html
and here:
https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...-6-2012-a.html


Oil Change DIYs.

https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...with-pics.html
and
http://www.waymotorworks.com/files/p...oil_change.pdf
and
Attached Thumbnails
Are DIY Oil Changes still even DO-able??!!-capture3.jpg   Are DIY Oil Changes still even DO-able??!!-2359.jpg   Are DIY Oil Changes still even DO-able??!!-2360.jpg   Are DIY Oil Changes still even DO-able??!!-2361.jpg   Are DIY Oil Changes still even DO-able??!!-2362.jpg  

Are DIY Oil Changes still even DO-able??!!-2364.jpg  

Last edited by Kimolaoha; 08-15-2015 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 08-14-2015, 08:57 AM
05r50 05r50 is offline
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You have my curious.

Please post a picture of your car and how it looks. My R56 was very easy to chai he the filter. Just move the expansion tank and it was easy to get to.
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:01 AM
pokeyjoe pokeyjoe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 05r50 View Post
You have my curious. Please post a picture of your car and how it looks. My R56 was very easy to chai he the filter. Just move the expansion tank and it was easy to get to.
+1. No problems (other than learning how to avoid making a mess).
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:27 AM
Kimolaoha Kimolaoha is offline
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Thanks for the responses - will need to post pics later but I swung the reservoir aside and it is still definitely very tight access to the cover. There seems to be one fitting in particular (at about the 11 o'clock position of the cover) that directly blocks the straight out egress of the cover, and though there is a bit of play, it doesn't seem like there is enough without some substantial twisting, which I'm a bit hesitant to do.
Did your cars have the retrofit I referenced? Does your access look like the video? Mine is definitely different. N14s or N18s?
I'll post pics when possible.
Anyone else?
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Old 08-14-2015, 10:52 AM
pokeyjoe pokeyjoe is offline
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Mine is just like the video.
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Old 08-14-2015, 08:42 PM
Systemlord Systemlord is offline
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I haven't drained my oil from the drain plug in the oil pan for the last 4 oil changes, I use a Marine suction pump through the dip stick tube pulling all the oil up and out after it has sat all night and all oil has had a chance to drain into the pan.

I use a bungee cord to hang my coolant reservoir up and out of the way, it may look like access to the oil filter is tight but looks can be deceiving.
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Old 08-15-2015, 05:48 AM
Kimolaoha Kimolaoha is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Systemlord View Post
I haven't drained my oil from the drain plug in the oil pan for the last 4 oil changes, I use a Marine suction pump through the dip stick tube pulling all the oil up and out after it has sat all night and all oil has had a chance to drain into the pan.

I use a bungee cord to hang my coolant reservoir up and out of the way, it may look like access to the oil filter is tight but looks can be deceiving.
Thanks for this - I'll get some pictures posted later today. I was also going to use my trusty Mityvac, as I've used for years until BMW started removing dipsticks, and was happy to see that the MINI still had one, but have now read too many horror stories on this board about suction tubes getting stuck, broken, etc. My difficulty in just getting the stock dipstick down the tube makes me think there may be something to that complaint, and I note that the Craven 'slinky' dipstick inserts MUCH easier. At least on the MINI, the drain plug is easily accessible (unlike the filter).

In any case, does your car have the coolant system retrofit that I described above, and is it an N18? That info would help me to determine if mine is just an odd duck. In my case it's not the coolant reservoir that is blocking access - that moves enough for me to get to the filter housing. It's all the remaining hoses in front of the housing that are the issue.

Thanks

Last edited by Kimolaoha; 08-15-2015 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 08-15-2015, 12:01 PM
Kimolaoha Kimolaoha is offline
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PICTURES NOW ATTACHED in the original post - please let me know your thoughts.

On a related note, I purchased a CravenSpeed dipstick to confirm my observation that the oil was overfilled by about 1/2 quart, and it was.
I puckered (based on horror stories read here) and stuck my MityVac tube down the dipstick opening and successfully (ok to un-pucker now) sucked out the overfill.

This nonsense is one of the reasons I really do not want to rely on the dealer for these changes, but if I can't get to the filter then I may need to - short of just changing the oil every 5K and the filter every 15K - which I suppose would be a less-than-optimal option.

Anyway, does my plumbing look like anyone else's, and can you provide tips on how to get the darn cap off? I don't want to dive in and end up having to flat bed it to the dealer.

Thanks
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Old 08-15-2015, 03:23 PM
yesti yesti is offline
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Hi, I have a 2012 with the coolant sensor recall performed and have no problems getting the oil filter case out with only moving the reservoir. Use a long extension on the ratchet, so that it is almost touching the driver side frame for a good angle.
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Old 08-15-2015, 04:29 PM
Systemlord Systemlord is offline
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I don't see an issue with removing you filter cap at all, you seem to be able to get your camera down in there no problem. It would help if you had a long 3/4" extension, ratchet and a 27 mm socket tool for removing the oil filter cap. I think you're making it seem like a bigger deal than it really is, just do it.
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Old 08-15-2015, 05:37 PM
Systemlord Systemlord is offline
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I don't see an issue with removing your filter cap at all, you seem to be able to get your camera down in there no problem. It would help if you had a long 1/2" extension, a ratchet and a 6 point 27 mm socket tool for removing the oil filter cap. I think you're making it seem like a bigger deal than it really is, just do it.
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Old 08-15-2015, 08:09 PM
Joeygonz Joeygonz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Systemlord View Post
I don't see an issue with removing your filter cap at all, you seem to be able to get your camera down in there no problem. It would help if you had a long 1/2" extension, a ratchet and a 6 point 27 mm socket tool for removing the oil filter cap. I think you're making it seem like a bigger deal than it really is, just do it.
In addition, also use a wobble extension adapter. Makes it easier too.

Powerbuilt 640859 Adaptor and U-Joint Set, 7-Piece - Drive Sockets - Amazon.com Powerbuilt 640859 Adaptor and U-Joint Set, 7-Piece - Drive Sockets - Amazon.com


Best of luck...
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Old 08-15-2015, 10:32 PM
vicj vicj is offline
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Just did an oil change in my buddies clubbie s with M18 tonight, with no issues. Just shove a towel as far as you can below the filter to catch some oil as you pull the filter out.
As others said previously, long extension, the right size socket, pull the expansion tank aside, and no problem.

I use a mighty vac to suck out the old oil through the dipstick. Works like a charm.

Frankly, I don't see what's so difficult. ..?

Last edited by vicj; 08-15-2015 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 08-16-2015, 07:19 AM
Kimolaoha Kimolaoha is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yesti View Post
Hi, I have a 2012 with the coolant sensor recall performed and have no problems getting the oil filter case out with only moving the reservoir. Use a long extension on the ratchet, so that it is almost touching the driver side frame for a good angle.
Thanks - does your plumbing after the recall look like mine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicj View Post
Frankly, I don't see what's so difficult. ..?
I appreciate all of the responses, but I'm not adequately expressing the issue - which is not an inability to swing the reservoir, or general access to the filter, or leaking, or ability to put the socket on the cap, or even turning the cap. It's the egress of the cap after it has been loosened.

Imagine a 6" tall Mason Jar set one quarter of the way back into a 6-1/8" cabinet. You can still grab and even turn the jar lid several revolutions so that it is loose, but because of the 1/8" headroom clearance you will not be able to fully remove the lid unless you either slide the jar out of the cabinet or remove the top of the cabinet (analogous to moving the oil canister or moving the T fittings in my pictures, both of which are not possible).

I'm beginning to think that my 'plumbing' is non-standard, because I'm not hearing of this issue with other DIYers - yesti in particular, who has had the coolant recall done but has no problems getting the oil filter case out with only moving the reservoir.

Thanks

Last edited by Kimolaoha; 08-16-2015 at 07:26 AM.
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Old 08-16-2015, 07:22 AM
Kimolaoha Kimolaoha is offline
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Old 08-16-2015, 12:36 PM
vicj vicj is offline
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Still think your making much more out of this than there is. There's plenty of wiggle room to get it out. Here's a suggestion, go pay for an oil change at the dealer, and ask if they'll let you watch them remove and replace the filter.
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Old 08-16-2015, 05:38 PM
yesti yesti is offline
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All of the hoses are just that, hoses. They flex, bend, give a little. To avoid oil dripping from the filter case loosen, but do not remove it, after draining the pan. You'll hear a little oil drain out. Then unscrew it and wiggle it out.
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Old 08-16-2015, 08:36 PM
Systemlord Systemlord is offline
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Look at it this way, either the dealer is going to push through and remove the oil filter and housing or you are. Question is who do you think we do so more carefully, you or the mechanic?

So you need to make a decision, dealer or you.
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Old 08-16-2015, 09:03 PM
tag1260 tag1260 is online now
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What MityVac are you guys using?
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Old 08-17-2015, 06:50 AM
Kimolaoha Kimolaoha is offline
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Mityvac 7201 Fluid Evacuator Plus.

Amazon.
Amazon.com: Mityvac 7201 Fluid Evacuator Plus: Automotive Amazon.com: Mityvac 7201 Fluid Evacuator Plus: Automotive

Less than a hundred bucks.

Other less expensive models will work just as well, but I needed large fluid capacity for changes in the V12.

Last edited by Kimolaoha; 08-17-2015 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 08-17-2015, 10:36 AM
tag1260 tag1260 is online now
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Thanks.
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:25 PM
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renchjeep renchjeep is offline
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As others have said, it's not as hard as it looks. Once the oil filter cap has been removed (unthreaded), if the coolant reservoir is hung out of the way, there is "plenty" of wiggle room to get the cap and filter out in one piece. I say "plenty", because it can be tricky, and there is not "plenty" of room anywhere in the engine bay. You WILL make a mess the first time, and maybe less of a mess in subsequent efforts. I clean the mess off with some brake cleaner, after the new filter and cap are snugged into place. I don't use the vac deal. I buy the MINI genuine filters, and they come with the proper crush washer for the oil pan drain plug. To each his own.
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:32 PM
Systemlord Systemlord is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renchjeep View Post
As others have said, it's not as hard as it looks. Once the oil filter cap has been removed (unthreaded), if the coolant reservoir is hung out of the way, there is "plenty" of wiggle room to get the cap and filter out in one piece. I say "plenty", because it can be tricky, and there is not "plenty" of room anywhere in the engine bay. You WILL make a mess the first time, and maybe less of a mess in subsequent efforts. I clean the mess off with some brake cleaner, after the new filter and cap are snugged into place. I don't use the vac deal. I buy the MINI genuine filters, and they come with the proper crush washer for the oil pan drain plug. To each his own.
I must also admit that genuine Mini oil filters are a must, the aftermarket oil filters do not compare and I would never use one! Don't forget to put fresh clean oil on the new rubber O-ring in the filter cap and to screw it in by hand. Once tight if you have the proper tools (27mm 6-point socket) torque it to 18 ft.lb.
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Old 08-18-2015, 07:06 AM
Kimolaoha Kimolaoha is offline
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Ok guys, while the 'plenty of room' description - even as qualified above - does not comport with my own empirical evidence with respect to my car's engine bay, I've assembled the 27mm six-point, the genuine Purflux filter/gasket/crush washer, a 5 qt jug of M1 0w-40 Euro blend, an 8mm Allen wrench, the 12mm socket for the reservoir screw, bungees, rags, etc. - and will give it a go once I get to 5K miles.
But first, I'll carefully sweep the area for young, impressionable children who might be forever scarred by the stream of profanities I fully expect to utter during the cap removal exercise.

Last edited by Kimolaoha; 08-18-2015 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 08-18-2015, 04:50 PM
Systemlord Systemlord is offline
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Originally Posted by Kimolaoha View Post
Ok guys, while the 'plenty of room' description - even as qualified above - does not comport with my own empirical evidence with respect to my car's engine bay, I've assembled the 27mm six-point, the genuine Purflux filter/gasket/crush washer, a 5 qt jug of M1 0w-40 Euro blend, an 8mm Allen wrench, the 12mm socket for the reservoir screw, bungees, rags, etc. - and will give it a go once I get to 5K miles.
But first, I'll carefully sweep the area for young, impressionable children who might be forever scarred by the stream of profanities I fully expect to utter during the cap removal exercise.
If you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself (you clearly don't) perhaps you should take your Mini to someone who is easily capable of performing this very simple oil change. Why make things harder on yourself? I think you should have someone else do it, that's just my opinion though.
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