It may be surprising to some BMW owners that the 5,000 km oil change standard no longer applies. This was a standard that had been set many decades ago at a time when oil and the purification process was less refined. Viscosity and other factors, including the refining technology that is in place, are more advanced and that means it’s not necessary to bring your BMW in for an oil change that often.
Why Change the Oil in Your BMW
Too many car owners today don’t understand the reason oil needs to be changed, therefore when the indicator light signals that it’s time, they may delay until a more convenient time.
The oil acts as a lubricant for the engine. Inside the engine block, pistons move up and down inside cylinders. These are metal pistons with a shallow gasket moving against the solid metal cylinder walls. At high rates of speed, and with such force, friction is generated. The oil simultaneously acts to help lubricate this contact while also helping to alleviate some heat generation in the cylinders.
When oil moves through the engine (with each turn of the flywheel, thus movement of the pistons, the friction generated can create debris in the form of tiny slivers of metal, as well as foreign contaminants that can get in with the fuel.
Oil collects those contaminants, but it also begins to break down the first time it’s passed over the cylinders and pistons. If you don’t change the oil, it will become less effective at protecting the engine and will continue to carry some of that dirt, sludge, and foreign material through the engine, increasing the risk of damage.
What is Ideal for BMW Owners with Regard to Oil Changes?
Today’s BMWs that use synthetic oil will require an oil change every 16,000 kilometers. Higher performance engines will require an oil change more frequently, such as every 8,000 kilometers.
Depending on the conditions in which you drive, you may benefit by having the oil changed more frequently. For example, if you drive your BMW on dirt or gravel roads, or in stop and go city traffic more than highway, open and clear air driving, you will want to consider having the oil changed more frequently.
If you have questions about how often your should have the oil changed in your BMW, or what oil is ideal for the engine, contact a BMW service facility for details.