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Old 08-09-2011, 12:59 AM
RLGDiesel's Avatar
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M104 Owners...Basic Oil Filter Question...Snap to Cap First or Snap to Engine?

Hi, quick question that has been bugging me for years...and I've finally decided to ask. On the 1995 E320 with the plastic oil filter cap (25 N-m on cover), what is the proper way to replace the filter element? I always remove the cap and replace the o-ring. I remove the oil filter element, and I insert the new one until it seats on the oil port in engine. On the new one, the hole points down towards the port and the closed side faces the cap. I then reinstall the cap.

Some say they are snapping the oil filter element to the cap and then inserting the cap and element as a unit. As stated above, I always insert the element until it seats and then screw the cap on top. Not to mention, there is not a lot of room with the hoses and lower wiring harness to fit the entire cap/element when they are already put together. So what's the right way or does it really make a difference? I'd love to hear some of the expert opinions on this little nagging issue.

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Old 08-09-2011, 05:42 AM
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I'm a "snap to the cap" guy, but that's mainly because the filter always comes out with the cap when I open it up.
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:57 AM
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RLGDiesel, best to install the new oil filter securely in the cap before reinstalling the cap/filter assembly. Never would have considered doing it your way, which strikes me as problematic.

By the way my sons' BMW's have the same basic oil filter/cap configuration. I always install the new oil filter in the cap before reinstalling the cap/filter assembly.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:03 AM
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Snap to cap. I think some of the filters even include some bizarre diagrams that were intended to have you do that - push the filter on until one of the marks is covered by the cap.
It's been awhile since my M104, but I think it was the same as the M112/113.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:18 AM
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Thanks for the replies...I know on the M112, there is a black line on the filter. On the V6s, I push the element up into the cap until the black line is flush with the threads.

I figured I should put the filter element in the engine first because I wanted to make sure it was seated correctly and not wobbling around loose. Also there is no shaft on the cap, so I thought it would possibly pop off when I try to navigate it around all those hoses (it's a tight fit to get to the filter).

Thanks again for the advice!
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1982 300D-T (sold)
1988 300E (sold)
1994 E320 Wagon (sold)
1995 E320
1998 E300D-T
1999 E3204M Wagon
2001 E320
2005 E320 CDI
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  #6  
Old 08-09-2011, 11:02 AM
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Boy I learned something new.One time at oil change I had a collapsed filter.I thought it was the 20w50 I used.

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