Select Page

BMW Oil Change – Frequently Asked Questions

Until all cars on the market finally go electric, we will be continuously in need of oil. It remains the lifeblood of BMW cars, and indeed all vehicles using internal combustion engine technology.

Your BMW engine oil has a singular purpose — to grease the wheels; to reduce friction; to cool, seal, clean, and protect.

It’s the lubricating force that keeps the many moving parts working together without grinding, abrading, or otherwise damaging each other. Like any other car, a regular oil change for a BMW is an essential part of vehicle maintenance.

bmw genius helping customer with bmw 2 series

How Much Does an Oil Change Cost on a BMW?

When you have a range of vehicles as eclectic as that of BMW, it’s hard to pin a single price on any item of maintenance. The price will vary, but on average, according to car repair forum RepairPal, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 at the lower end up to $175. The price changes with your particular circumstances.

The reality can be different when you factor in labor, parts, taxes, and fees. With labor costing anywhere up to $65, and additional parts as much as $110, you can see that the cost can easily spiral to $250 or more. It’s a relatively simple job, but it still requires a professional touch. How much is a BMW oil change? That’s mostly down to the particular factors surrounding your own BMW ownership.

bmw genius helping customer

How Often Does a BMW Need an Oil Change?

Despite the apparently or surprisingly high cost, the good news is that you won’t need oil changes very often in your BMW. If you take a look in your BMW owner’s manual, it recommends an oil change at least every 15,000 miles.

For most average drivers, who don’t regularly use their BMW for distance driving, these numbers are fairly likely to hold true and you can therefore quite possibly not require an oil change more than once a year.

The average annual mileage of US drivers is around 13,500 miles according to Having said all that, BMW owners’ driving style matters a great deal, too, as do their locations.

This is good news if you’re having to budget, but if you ask any BMW dealership or service center, most will likely advise you that to better protect your BMW engine parts, it’s always best to maintain a good regular oil change schedule.

The synthetic oil used in your BMW is what helps prolong that period from a more usual 7,500-miles interval to as many as 15,000.

This doesn’t mean, however, that you can ignore any issue until you start to get close to that 15,000-mile marker. Always look for the signs of poor engine performance, and get an oil change whenever it becomes apparent you need one.

helping customers bmw genius

Can Anyone Change the Oil in a BMW?

If you have the technical know-how and have carried out oil changes on other vehicles before, there’s nothing physically to stop you from performing the oil change yourself. It’s your vehicle, after all!

While most may turn to BMW for help when they need to make oil changes, BMW doesn’t hold some monopoly on your motor oil maintenance or oil change service.

After you’ve purchased a BMW from the dealership, there’s nothing to compel or make you return to that dealership for any maintenance reason. In fact, DIY oil changes can be a great option for many vehicles. It’s a luxury vehicle oil change, meaning you can make great savings.

Should you wish to try and do an oil change for a BMW, then it’ll be important to have all your key vehicle information to hand as you prepare. You’ll need to know exactly what oil filter, oil type, and other service parts you might need to get the job done.

helping customers bmw genius

What Kind of Oil Does a BMW Take?

This question depends largely on the age of your BMW. If your BMW is from 2014 or earlier, then you can probably use regular engine oil, but if it’s from 2015 onwards, then the engines are designed primarily for synthetic oils.

The motor oil continuously recommended by BMW, outside of its own manual recommendation of “original BMW engine oil,” is Shell/Pennzoil PurePlus Oils.

There are some others that will work well, too, however, such as Mobil 1 SAE 0W-40, Valvoline SynPower SAW 5W-30, Castrol Syntec European Formula SAE 0W-30, and more. Next time you do an oil change, maybe you could try one of these to see if it makes a difference compared to your regular BMW oil.

If you’re even in doubt as to which type of oil to use in your BMW engine, then check up on what the manual says and follow that. BMW synthetic oil has the advantage of being longer-lasting, but the recommended mileage is still just a guideline. You should look and listen for signs that your engine is experiencing trouble, and very often problems step from not performing regular oil changes.

helping customers bmw genius

What Happens if an Oil Change is Overdue?

Let’s say you’re driving along and you notice that you’ve crossed that 15,000-mile threshold. You start to think to yourself, “I’d better find an auto repair place to get an oil change,” but then you double back on yourself. You start to think that the car is still running fine, and perhaps this oil change business is just a bit scam.

This is where the problems in your car will begin. As BMW motor oil works its way through your engine during the combustion process, it lubricates, cools, and generally keeps everything moving. While it’s doing so, it accumulates all kinds of debris and dirt particles, which is why it appears to get “dirtier” and more viscous over time.

Eventually, that dirt-filled sludge will overwhelm the oil filters, stop being able to perform its function, and as debris starts to move across various moving parts, it can cause damage. At this point, you may as well have raw crude oil in your engine; it’d be just as effective. One day, you may even experience a catastrophic engine failure. That’s not a thing you want to happen, ever. Regular oil changes are a simple way to be sure that your oil filter can do its job, and your BMW vehicle can continue to run normally. Fresh oil is a bit part of that.

As with many problems in a vehicle engine, whether you’re using original BMW engine oil or some ultra-modern synthetic oil, they tend to build up slowly over a period of time, eventually accumulating in some disastrous failure. You can’t afford to skip an auto service of any kind, even just for simple oil changes.

If you’re reading this and wondering how long it has been since your last oil change, then it might be time to pay a visit to a BMW dealership or at least another automotive dealer or repair center to see if your car is in need of an oil change. Whatever you think of the price of a BMW oil change right now, it pales in comparison to the cost of an entirely new engine!

helping customers bmw genius

You Might Also Be Interested In…

BMW Alpina
What is BMW Alpina?

What is BMW Alpina?

BMW Alpina Intro BMW is not without its rivals from its native Germany. Where the likes of Mercedes-Benz turn to their subsidiary Mercedes-AMG when they're looking for customized luxury models, BMW turns to Alpina. There are some who claim that you haven't truly...