When Should You Change the Oil in Your BMW?

By  //  October 13, 2021

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When was the last time you changed the oil in your BMW? If you can’t quite remember, then this piece might well be for you. Car care is a contentious topic for many drivers on UK roads, with as many as a quarter of drivers unaware what engine oil actually does for their car, let alone which oil their car might need.

Crucial as engine oil is to the general health of your car, we think it might be time for a refresher. So why do you need to change your car’s oil, how often should you change it, and what should you look for if you suspect your BMW needs an oil change?

Why Change Your BMW’s Oil?

Engine oil has a supremely important role in the safe running and longevity of your car’s engine. It is primarily a lubricant, which allows all of the (often fast-)moving parts of your engine to move freely and efficiently. In the process of lubricating the engine, oil also cleans it, getting rid of any debris that may have made its way in during a drive.

Old engine oil is full of this debris, and can slow your engine’s moving parts – reducing fuel economy, increasing friction in the engine and hence increasing the likelihood of a mechanical failure in the future.

Old oil also burns dirty, producing noxious fumes that could put your catalytic converter through the wringer, as well as detrimentally affect non-metal parts in the engine. If left completely unchecked, bad oil can completely lose its lubrication properties, turning to a sticky sludge that seizes your engine completely. 

How Often Should You Get an Oil Change?

Conventional wisdom states that you should change your car’s oil every 5,000 miles, or every 6 months – whichever comes first. If your car is brand-new, you might be able to get away without changing the oil for a little longer, but it would help you in the long run to get into the habit now; though the newest models of BMW are engineered to use longer-lasting synthetic oils, factors such as the the temperature and humidity can have unpredictable effects on the longevity of the oil.

Signs Your BMW Might Need an Oil Change

There are certain things you should be looking out for if you’re concerned your car might be in need of an oil change. Firstly, keep an ear out for engine noise when you start your car, and when you’re driving.

Any unusual clanking or whining could be a sign of old oil, as parts struggle to move past one another. If you notice an oily smell in the cockpit of your car, or patches of oil on the floor underneath your car, these are sure-fire signs that you need to book your BMW in for a service and oil change.