Though a simple enough question, this is still a matter of some debate among service providers and BMW enthusiasts alike. BMWs are “engineered” to have 12,000 and up to 15,000 mile (or one year) oil change intervals. Exactly who engineered this extended service interval? Was it the engine designers or perhaps the accountants? Changing the engine oil sooner can only help prolong engine life and performance, granted it does cost more. Here in Dallas Ft. Worth under the extreme Texas summer sun, high heat and severe driving conditions put engine oils to the test. Engine oils in this hot environment break-down and stop protecting your engine sooner.
I strongly recommend having your BMW’s engine oil changed every 6,000 to 7,000 miles, (or one year) approximately half of the factory-specified interval. This shortened drain interval helps to ensure your BMW’s long term engine health and reliability.
Another consideration is the type of engine oil and its quality. BMW engines require full synthetic engine oil, and BMW of North America prescribes a specific list of approved oils. At Ultimate Bimmer Service, we use Original BMW High Performance Full Synthetic SAE 5w30 Engine Oil (LL-01) exclusively. This is the best choice for our demanding clientele, considering BMWs have been factory-filled and dealer-serviced with this engine oil since the 1999 year model. Of course for M vehicles, we use only BMW’s Castrol TWS MotorSport 10w60 Full Synthetic High Performance engine oil where required.
Other non-BMW approved oils may not contain the required lubricant properties and additive packages, and therefore are not appropriate for BMW’s longer service intervals. This translates to the loss of protection your engine needs, changing the engine oil more frequently, and spending more time and money at the repair shop. Using Original BMW oils guarantees the highest level of protection and performance for your Ultimate Driving Machine.
Your BMW does not belong at quick-lubes, it deserves better service. Quick-lube and fast-service shops do not know your BMW like we do. They are unfamiliar with BMW’s maintenance requirements and even often do not know of the correct oil capacity. Most of them cannot reset and are unaware of your BMW’s service indicator.