June 9, 2017
For me, the Mini Cooper S oil change is different than what I have been used to with other cars ...
For the first oil change for my Mini, which is a 2013 Cooper S, I did it after just about 3,000 miles since the last oil change that was done at the dealership when I purchased the car as a pre-certified vehicle. The oil used for the oil change was the Mini approved Castrol A3/B4 5W-30. For the filter I used a Mann Filter oil filter catridge with new o-ring and copper crush washer for the drain plug. The oil fill capacity is approximately 4.4 US quarts. I ended up putting in 4.25 US quarts which brought the oil level to just at the top fill line on the dipstick. For the procedure, I basically followed what was listed in the Bentley Service Manual (as listed following) and have added the below tips and further explanations:
Bentley Service Manual Directions:
- Run engine for a few minutes to warm engine oil. Shut engine off.
- With Vehicle on level ground, place 1-1/2 gallon oil drain pan under engine sump.
- Remove coolant reservoir mounting screw. Pull coolant reservoir toward right side of engine compartment and secure. Do not detach coolant hoses.
- Using a 27 mm socket, loosen oil filter housing cover slowly.
- Wait for oil to drain back into crankcase then remove oil filter cover with filter element.
- Remove and discard filter element and o-ring seal.
- Install new o-ring and lubricate with engine oil.
- Insert new filter element in cover.
- Use allen key to loosen drain plug at engine oil sump. Remove plug by hand and let oil flow into drain pan.
- When oil flow as diminished to an occassional drip, reinstall drain plug with a new sealing washer.
- Install and tighten oil filter housing cover.
- Refill crankcase with new oil. Use dipstick to check for correct oil level.
- Start engine and check that oil pressure warning light immediately goes out.
- Allow engine to run for a few minutes to circulate new oil. Then check for leaks at drain plug and oil filter. Stop engine and recheck oil level.
Tips and Further Explanations:
- The coolant reservoir is located at the front of the engine compartment towards the driver side. See picture #1 below (arrow 1.). The oil filter housing is below this general area, just a little towards the back and passenger side of the car. It is sticking out on an angle and is located below some hoses. See picture #1 below (arrow 2.)
- To get the coolant reservoir tank off the bracket, you need to remove completely the mounting screw. If you try to pull straight up on the tank, it will be stuck on something and will not come off. The reason for this is that there is a little spout on the front side of the tank that pops into a grommet. You need to swing the bottom of the tank out towards the rear of the car without lifting up on the tank and then when the spout comes out of the grommet, you can then pull up on the tank and put off to the side. The instructions above say to move to the right which is the passenger side of the car. You'll want to fasten the reservoir tank out of the way; I used a bungee cord. Keep in mind you will be near the front lip gasketing on the engine compartment so take care not to have the sharp end of any hook down onto the gasket.
- When removing the filter housing from the engine, you can not pull straight out much. If you pull is straight out and then tilt down, the filter element will clear and you can then get the housing with filter element out of the engine compartment. To get the housing out of the engine compartment, I held it straight up with the nut side of the housing down, like a cup, and brought it to the right side of the coolant reservoir tank and then there's room to brign it up and out.
- Don't expect to put the full 4.4 Quarts of oil in, since there will likely be some left in the engine. You'll need to use the dipstick to determine when the oil is full.
- The recommended tightening torques from Bentley are as follows:
- Oil filter Cover: 25 Nm (18 ft-lb)
- Oil drain plug: 30 Nm (22 ft-lb)
- The size of the allen/ hex key for my oil drain plug was 8mm. The oil pan is located on the passenger side of the car, towards the front of the engine compartment, in the general area below the dipstick.
- I would recommend that you only use the approved oil for your engine. I'm not an expert, but from what I have read, there is a difference in oil chemistries that go beyond the simple weight of the oil. And use a good quality oil filter as well as a new crush washer to prevent leaks from the oil plug.
Picture #1 - Engine Compartment
Picture #2 - Coolant Reservoir Tank