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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
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  #1  
Old 03-12-2015, 05:32 AM
tonys3rious tonys3rious is offline
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How often should I change the engine OIL

Hey guys,
I just wondered how often should I change the engine oil to assure that engine stays healthy for ongoing km. Its already 2 years since when i bought my BMW 535d Xdrive and since then I just have 16 000 km driven. But I havent changed my oil yet. Just recently I have seen a video where a guy was changing his oil every 3 000 km and after about 150 000 km he dissembled his engine and it was in a perfect condition. So what do you guys think? How often should you change it? and what type of oil should you use for the engine??
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  #2  
Old 03-12-2015, 06:06 AM
Fenstermaker1 Fenstermaker1 is offline
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That is the million dollar question. If you plan on keeping the car I would change in between the 10,000 increments. BMW just changed oil from Castrol to Shell. You can Google it and find it easily.

Most will say the normal 10,000 mile change out is fine. It probably is. This is my 5th diesel. The soot in the oil is not great for the engine. The new oils, however, are much better than just a few years ago and so is the ULSD.
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  #3  
Old 03-12-2015, 06:17 AM
The X Men The X Men is online now
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If you drive such low mileage, you should try to change the oil every year.
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Old 03-12-2015, 06:25 AM
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armoredsaint armoredsaint is offline
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10k is way too long, for peace of mind I do it every 5k or if it's low mileage maybe 6-12 months.

eta: BMW has a complimentary oil change every year for free, even if your computer doesn't say it's time yet.
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Old 03-12-2015, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by armoredsaint View Post
10k is way too long, for peace of mind I do it every 5k or if it's low mileage maybe 6-12 months.
Why do you say 10K miles is too long? These modern day motor oil are design to last at least 15K miles if not more. The biggest culprit is contamination, that's why most of the modern day engines are sealed with no dip stick. The increase oil capacity and oil filter size all contributes to a longer oil change interval.

Last edited by The X Men; 03-12-2015 at 07:24 AM.
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Old 03-12-2015, 07:20 AM
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MSgtMel MSgtMel is offline
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With all experience and engineering that has gone into oil technology and the preciseness of todays engines I wouldn't waste my money on frequent changes as long as at least 85% of my trips had the oil fully up to temp for at least 10 minutes, in which case rely on the SBS (sensor based service system) of your car. However, if you do frequent short trips where the car doesn't get up to temp or for an extended period of time then I'd change more frequently, although probably not more than every 7500 miles (because of better filters and greater capacity/technology of the oil. Example: for a while I was doing a lot of short trips about 6-10 miles and the sensor system cut my interval down by about 7000 mi. Before the interval expired and some longer distance trips took place then the SBS gave back about 5000 mi. So, bottom line, follow the system or the 1 year recommendation and don't worry.
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Old 03-12-2015, 04:51 PM
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armoredsaint armoredsaint is offline
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Originally Posted by The X Men View Post
Why do you say 10K miles is too long? These modern day motor oil are design to last at least 15K miles if not more. The biggest culprit is contamination, that's why most of the modern day engines are sealed with no dip stick. The increase oil capacity and oil filter size all contributes to a longer oil change interval.
i do it myself anyways, so the crazy cost at the dealer is a non-issue.
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Old 03-12-2015, 06:40 PM
lindros2 lindros2 is offline
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Originally Posted by armoredsaint View Post
i do it myself anyways, so the crazy cost at the dealer is a non-issue.
My dealers have actually given free changes BETWEEN recommended service intervals...
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:46 PM
tourstagefan tourstagefan is online now
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Originally Posted by lindros2 View Post
My dealers have actually given free changes BETWEEN recommended service intervals...

Where are you located? Can you give me the name of your dealer if you're in the New York City Metro area?
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  #10  
Old 03-13-2015, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by armoredsaint View Post
i do it myself anyways, so the crazy cost at the dealer is a non-issue.
Its not really about the money for me, its about doing unnecessary maintenance. In the old days, I use to change my plugs every 10K miles, I don't do that anymore.
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Old 03-13-2015, 08:10 AM
JoeRock550 JoeRock550 is online now
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I was told by a BMW tech that changing your oil between CBS indications is the best investment you can make in your car, if you plan to keep at least. That works out to 1 per year on your dime, and one on BMW.
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  #12  
Old 03-13-2015, 08:19 AM
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I was told by a BMW tech that changing your oil between CBS indications is the best investment you can make in your car, if you plan to keep at least. That works out to 1 per year on your dime, and one on BMW.
And the BMW salesman told you that its best to trade in your car every year
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Old 03-13-2015, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonys3rious View Post
Hey guys,

I just wondered how often should I change the engine oil to assure that engine stays healthy for ongoing km. Its already 2 years since when i bought my BMW 535d Xdrive and since then I just have 16 000 km driven. But I havent changed my oil yet. Just recently I have seen a video where a guy was changing his oil every 3 000 km and after about 150 000 km he dissembled his engine and it was in a perfect condition. So what do you guys think? How often should you change it? and what type of oil should you use for the engine??

For turbo engines, I'd change the oil every 5,000 miles or 8,000 km.

For naturally aspirated engines, I would change the oil every 7,500 miles.
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  #14  
Old 03-13-2015, 09:22 AM
Jeru95 Jeru95 is offline
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Yeah, probably a good idea to ignore the Engineer's recommendations, manual, sensor package and ask somebody on a message board

In all seriousness...I never understood why people give engineers enough credit to design the car and all its parts and then completely ignore them afterwards...These engines have been tested, tested and tested...the oil's design has been tested, tested and tested. And then everybody added their own factor of safety on top of it all...

Well, its a waste of money, but it can't hurt...
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeru95 View Post
Yeah, probably a good idea to ignore the Engineer's recommendations, manual, sensor package and ask somebody on a message board

In all seriousness...I never understood why people give engineers enough credit to design the car and all its parts and then completely ignore them afterwards...These engines have been tested, tested and tested...the oil's design has been tested, tested and tested. And then everybody added their own factor of safety on top of it all...

Well, its a waste of money, but it can't hurt...
I agree, especially when the engineer's oil change interval already has a build in safety factor. I once work with a guy who had a Ford Ranger pickup truck, he would change his oil every 20000 miles and he was using dino oil from the 90s. The body of the truck fell apart but the engine was still running at 200,000 miles.
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:45 AM
ae86pwr ae86pwr is online now
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Since I daily my electric car, I just change my oil on my ICE cars once a year.
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  #17  
Old 03-13-2015, 10:03 AM
Jeru95 Jeru95 is offline
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Originally Posted by The X Men View Post
I agree, especially when the engineer's oil change interval already has a build in safety factor. I once work with a guy who had a Ford Ranger pickup truck, he would change his oil every 20000 miles and he was using dino oil from the 90s. The body of the truck fell apart but the engine was still running at 200,000 miles.
Not to knock the discussion, these kinds of questions keep message boards going...I think people lose sight of the fact...a lot of very intelligent people get paid big bucks to figure this stuff out...and trust me...you don't want to be that person or group responsible for a recall or massive warranty repair that can financially cripple the company...the amount of testing and record keeping to backup their claims and recommendations are a given. Not to mention all the verification and third party testing that is done...I believe what they tell me until proven otherwise...
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Old 03-13-2015, 02:28 PM
n1das n1das is offline
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Exclamation

Old school is still alive and well. *SIGHE*

10k miles is perfectly fine and well on the conservative side although it might be outside some people's comfort zone. And at 10k miles the engine will still be better protected than it would be during the first mile running on the wrong oil. So don't cheap out on the oil used and try to get away with it by changing the oil more frequently than recommended. Always be sure to use the correct oil at all times.

Contrary to popular belief, changing the oil more frequently than recommended does not help protect the engine any better. You can actually cause MORE wear by changing the oil too frequently due to the increased number of detergent cycles early the oil's life before the oil's sacrificial layers have been setup on bearing surfaces. It takes some time and miles for the oil to fully protect the engine and each too-frequent oil change washes the protection away. It may seem a bit counter intuitive but the trend has shown up in lab oil analysis data (many VW TDIs) in terms of elevated wear metal PPM counts. It was not what was expected at all among TDI owners who did laboratory UOAs and thought shorter OCIs would be better for their TDI than the recommended 10k mile OCI. And most synthetic oils suitable for VW TDIs are also BMW Longlife-04 oils. Bottom line is you CAN do more more harm than good by changing the oil more frequently than recommended, however most owners never keep the car long enough to see the long term effects.

For the 535d, the OCI is 10k miles or 1 year, whichever comes first, and not anything less. This includes the first oil change when new since that first oil change at the dealer or if you DIY is actually the engine's SECOND oil change. Oil used must be synthetic and BMW Longlife-04 (LL04) rated. I can't speak for any of the gasser BMWs, which might have different oil requirements. (I only own DIESEL vehicles.) Also don't worry about the oil appearing totally black soon after an oil change because it's 100% normal for a diesel and nothing to worry about. If anything the oil SHOULD appear black because that means the oil is doing its job of soot control by keeping it safely suspended in the oil. The time to worry is if the oil appears anything other than totally black.

Good luck.

Last edited by n1das; 03-13-2015 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 03-13-2015, 03:29 PM
n1das n1das is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeRock550 View Post
I was told by a BMW tech that changing your oil between CBS indications is the best investment you can make in your car, if you plan to keep at least. That works out to 1 per year on your dime, and one on BMW.
LOL, with the dealer's 500+% markups, it's best investment you can make on the DEALER's behalf by helping enchance their bottom line. You aren't doing your car any favors by changing the (synthetic) oil more frequently than recommended.

10k miles is a little over 2 months for me at the rate I log the miles. My BMW diesels are intended to be long term keepers, just like VW TDIs I've owned over the past 12 years and logged over 600k (combined total) miles on them and always changed the oil by the book at 10k miles using the correct synthetic oil at all times.

Good luck.

Last edited by n1das; 03-13-2015 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 03-13-2015, 03:47 PM
n1das n1das is offline
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Originally Posted by Jeru95 View Post
Not to knock the discussion, these kinds of questions keep message boards going...I think people lose sight of the fact...a lot of very intelligent people get paid big bucks to figure this stuff out...and trust me...you don't want to be that person or group responsible for a recall or massive warranty repair that can financially cripple the company...the amount of testing and record keeping to backup their claims and recommendations are a given. Not to mention all the verification and third party testing that is done...I believe what they tell me until proven otherwise...
What Jeru95 said.

In my first post earlier where I said old school is still alive and well, it is because the 10k mile OCI is often outside people's comfort zone. This usually causes some owners to second guess the engineers who designed the car.

From my European car experience over the years (13 years and more than 700k miles of diesel car ownership), I've learned to not second guess the engineers who designed the car. They KNOW what they're talking about. I'm an engineer myself (electrical) but the engineers that designed the car know way more about the car's design and construction than I do. From one engineer to another I can trust what they say and I've logged enough miles to verify what they say. When I sold my 2002 VW TDI to a coworker (son needed a car for college) in 2010, it "only" had 361k miles on it and was still going strong. It was still way too early to tell how much life was left in the engine and it had been driven hard all of its life and had several performance mods.

If you're not comfortable about the recommended OCI and want some real data to know for sure about OCIs, you should send samples of oil taken at regular intervals out for laboratory oil analysis. IIRC, Blackstone Labs is one that I've heard good things about.

Good luck.

Last edited by n1das; 03-13-2015 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 03-14-2015, 02:38 AM
Sophisto Sophisto is offline
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The oil change interfall given by BMW to my diesel is 17000 miles.
The following of the BMW advice the last 300k miles has had no adverse effect on my cars.
A DIY oil change with castrol edge LL4 and a filter will cost you $60.
A BMW oil service typically sets you back $300, takes more time and has not any different effect on your car than the DIY.
When offered free changes you might wonder where you paid them for beforehand, BMW is not a humitarian organization.

Last edited by Sophisto; 03-14-2015 at 02:41 AM.
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Old 03-14-2015, 05:29 AM
JoeRock550 JoeRock550 is online now
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Originally Posted by The X Men View Post
And the BMW salesman told you that its best to trade in your car every year
I tell myself that.

I don't think the tech is on commission, and he didn't ask me to bring it to him to do it. The issues with the N63 are in part because the oil changes were too far apart, which is why they changed the CBS. Sometimes, people don't lie.
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Old 03-14-2015, 05:32 AM
JoeRock550 JoeRock550 is online now
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Originally Posted by Jeru95 View Post
Not to knock the discussion, these kinds of questions keep message boards going...I think people lose sight of the fact...a lot of very intelligent people get paid big bucks to figure this stuff out...and trust me...you don't want to be that person or group responsible for a recall or massive warranty repair that can financially cripple the company...the amount of testing and record keeping to backup their claims and recommendations are a given. Not to mention all the verification and third party testing that is done...I believe what they tell me until proven otherwise...
These are the same very intelligent people who are revising the CBS to include more frequent oil changes on the N63 and paying out massive amounts of money to fix the damage caused when they got it wrong in the first place.
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Old 03-14-2015, 05:51 AM
Bmwlvr60 Bmwlvr60 is offline
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For the 2013 X3 and earlier, BMW only pays for oil changes every 15K miiles- too long between intervals in my opinion even though BMW uses a synthetic oil. I therefore pay for every other oil change- my interval is 7.5K miles. For people that don't know- yes, I know most of you know this- synthetic oil doesn't break down as quickly as other oil. I feel better about it, afterall I'm protecting a large investment in money. I bought my X3 and it's a turbo engine so I don't think what I'm doing is excesive. AND it certainly isn't a bad thing- some may argue that it's unnecessary.

For my 2014 5 Series, BMW offers complimentary oil changes every 10K miles. I'm happy to report that I received phone calls from my dealer asking me to come in for an oil change when the car had 6K miles on it and 12K miles on it (car has 16K miles on it now). SO, for whatever reason the dealership is receiveing a message from my car that oil changes are needed sooner than 10K miles. I'm happy that this is happening. Again, turbo engine and I bought the vehicle.
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Last edited by Bmwlvr60; 03-14-2015 at 05:54 AM.
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  #25  
Old 03-14-2015, 08:42 AM
The X Men The X Men is online now
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Originally Posted by JoeRock550 View Post
The issues with the N63 are in part because the oil changes were too far apart, which is why they changed the CBS. Sometimes, people don't lie.
There is no wide spread oil related problem with the N63 engine as far as I know.
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