BMW Oil Change
Some years ago, BMW introduced extended interval oil changes to their cars. The BMW oil change interval is now 15,000 miles, which, in case you missed it, is 5 times longer than the 3,000 mile interval that seems to have been ingrained in everyones memory. It’s such a difference that BMW owners often ask me if they can really wait that long.
In my experience, BMW seems to have done a pretty good job on this one, but like everything else, there are a few caveats.
First, when it’s time for your BMW oil change, you should only use BMW recommended synthetic oils with approved oil filters. A lot of the technology that allows for extended oil change intervals is based on using more efficient synthetic oil. If you try to go the cheap route and use non-synthetic oil then you risk blowing an engine seal and will probably end up with a major repair bill.
Secondly, waiting 15,000 miles for your BMW oil change does not mean waiting 15,000 miles just to check your oil level. It only takes a minute to pop the hood and check the dipstick. If you find that the oil is low, or dirtier/darker than normal, then you may be due for an oil change a little sooner than you thought.
That brings me to my third and last point: why would the oil go bad before the interval? Driving Conditions. It’s something I tell you about all the time here at the German Auto Tech blog, but it’s worth repeating. If you never take your car on the interstate then you’ll likely need an oil change sooner than the 15,000 mile interval. Oil has two functions, one is to lubricate your engine, the other is to act as a detergent, but it’s capacity as a detergent is limited if you never allow it to heat up by spending some time on the freeway. By bringing your car up to 60-70MPH and letting the engine heat up to a standard operating temperature, you will allow the oil to run through your engine and clean all the moving parts.
If you can make sure to do these three simple things then you should be able to last 15,000 miles before your BMW oil change with no problems. If you’re not the do-it-yourself type then consider making an appointment at German Auto Tech for your next BMW oil change, and in the meantime, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter.