Whoops, crushed the subframe reinforcement panel... that sure looked like a jack point to me!

I went to change the oil in my 2004 330Ci today and started off by jacking the car up by what I thought was the center jack point so I could place jack stands under the side jack pads... it turns out that’s NOT a jacking point according to BMW, although the subframe cross member does live directly above this. Apparently, you’re supposed to have a lift. For an oil change.

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OEM aluminum subframe reinforcement plate - note the un-crushed condition of the oval-like bump at top-center. I’m an idiot.
OEM aluminum subframe reinforcement plate - note the un-crushed condition of the oval-like bump at top-center. I’m an idiot.
Photo: Pelican Parts (Other)

Lucky for me it seems like this is a pretty common mistake, and shouldn’t affect anything too negatively. Apparently a lot of people on youtube and the forums say almost every non-M E46 with this aluminum subframe reinforcement has been dented like this. Somehow, my car with 220k+ had escaped this fate until my ‘stewardship’!

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Anyways, oil change done without too much trouble. Interestingly, the car took quite a bit more oil than I was expecting. Google says 6.5 qts for the M54B30, my Bentley manual says 6.8, I ended up using 6.5 and then adding another 0.5 qt after starting it up and seeing it was just below the minimum level on the dipstick. After seven quarts total, I’m mid-way up the stick.

7.0 quarts and I’m only here?
7.0 quarts and I’m only here?
Photo: ME!
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Everything’s buttoned up, time for a drive!

My E46 sticking out it’s tongue at me... actually, that’s my jacking pad (actually a small piece of scrap hardwood flooring) because for some reason that seemed like an OK place to put it.
My E46 sticking out it’s tongue at me... actually, that’s my jacking pad (actually a small piece of scrap hardwood flooring) because for some reason that seemed like an OK place to put it.
Photo: I took the damned photo, Kinja.

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