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Does anybody have the definitive on mileage between oil changes? I'm getting some mixed info and hope some of you here can help clear things up for me. thanks:confused3
 

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According to my SA at the service department of Westchester BMW and the Service Booklet:

1. When the "Oil Service" lights on the service indicator, or
2. At least once a year.

But I change oil every 2500 miles. It's "cheap insurance".
 

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I think once a year is to long, I usually get it changed <5k miles:M5thumbs:
 

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m5tackulous said:
Does anybody have the definitive on mileage between oil changes? I'm getting some mixed info and hope some of you here can help clear things up for me. thanks:confused3
My service indicator typically takes around 10-11K miles to count down.

I typically change the oil once at halfway, then let it run down and do it again, so about 5000-5500mi between changes.

It's a very easy car on which to change the oil, takes about 20min end-to-end (plus having to schlep the used oil in for disposal), the cost of the oil is a modest contribution to the running cost.

John.
 

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It has to be a function of time and mileage. Given the expense of the engine, 5000 or 1 year, whichever comes first, is cheap insurance. Forget about those green lights.
 

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I change the oil & filter every 5,000 miles since its running synthetic. On all my other vehicles its every 3,000 miles (non-synthetic), again cheap insurance. :biggrin:

I got nearly 200,000 miles from my wife's 1986 Oldsmobile Calais before selling it, and zero engine problems, which I partly attribute to frequent oil changes. :M5thumbs:
 

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I agree with most people here. Four to five thousand seems to be the sweet spot. It is easy to do and it’s cheap insurance. And definitly at least once a year.

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Joe
 

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I change every 5K miles on the M5 (which is like twice per year for me). It's not that expensive and a very easy job. Easiest car I've every changed oil on.
 

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This has been discussed to death but BMW recommends 15k miles. I am not sure about the once a year rule, but it does sound reasonable. BMW does not measure the breakdown of the oil but rather the number of gallons of fuel consumed to determine when it is time for a change.

I would never go 15k miles between oil changes but I also would not waste the money changing it out every 3k miles either. This is a throw back from a while back when there was no synthetic oil. Tolerences are tighter and oil is much better which is why you can reasonable go 7500 miles on a change.

You could also wax your car every week, but this would not be reasonable either. It surely does not hurt to change the oil every 3k miles, but don't kid yourself into thinking that it will provide any additional protection either.

Mark
 

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MAH said:
This has been discussed to death but BMW recommends 15k miles. I am not sure about the once a year rule, but it does sound reasonable.
Mark
BMW doesn't actually recommend 15,000 miles between oil changes. They actually recommend to adhere to the Service Indicator for reasons stated on Page 2 of the Service and Warranty Information Booklet, which is not only based on accumulated mileage, but also engine coolant temperatures, high or low engine speeds, short or long trip driving, and the number of vehicle starts. It doesn't always equate to 15,000 miles between oil changes.

Also, Page 3 of the Service and Warranty Information Booklet notes that on all models change oil at least once a year.
 

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MAH said:
This has been discussed to death but BMW recommends 15k miles. I am not sure about the once a year rule, but it does sound reasonable. BMW does not measure the breakdown of the oil but rather the number of gallons of fuel consumed to determine when it is time for a change.
Hmmm...Mark, this is the situation as I understand it after thousands of oil changes I performed over my career. There are three major items to think about when it comes to oil changes, dirt, moisture, and the filter itself. I think after one year in an aluminium engine there would be a fair amount of condensation from normal thermal cycles. Water and engine internals do not mix. My 00 manual say at least every 2 years. Course my car is out of warranty and it's on my nickel, so I would play it save and do it at least once a year.

I would never go 15k miles between oil changes but I also would not waste the money changing it out every 3k miles either. This is a throw back from a while back when there was no synthetic oil. Tolerences are tighter and oil is much better which is why you can reasonable go 7500 miles on a change.
The oil is absolutely better today it doesn't break down as quickly but it still drags around the dirt and moisture that the filter doesn't get. And by the way the oil filter I got from BMW looks the same as all the non synthetic cars. Seems to me they would make a heavier filter to handle the longer mileage.


You could also wax your car every week, but this would not be reasonable either. It surely does not hurt to change the oil every 3k miles, but don't kid yourself into thinking that it will provide any additional protection either.
I'm not sure that's a fair comparision. A $250 detail will buff the shine back up on the car, you lose a motor (worse case scenario) it's 25k plus labor.

What I noticed is the people who change their oil more often have less internal engine problems then the ones that don't. Call me old school but IMHO changing your oil more often will give you added protection.


Joe
 

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Good discussion. My 2 cents, if you want, change it more frequently than the manufacturer suggests (say 7500 miles). However if you have the car covered by the manufacturer's warranty and intend to keep it for lets say no longer than the covered 100K, the duration of the manufacturer's (extended) contract, why do more often then 7500 miles? For that matter, just do what the manufacturer states? No doubt there are many prior discussions on this very topic.
 

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I beleive in changing the synthetic oil every 5k or at least once a year depending on how much you drive the car. Better to be safe then sorry.
 

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Oil Expert?

Yes, that question is for me. I am not an oil expert, just someone who like most of you has accumulated experience over my 30 years experience drive and maintaining cars.

Lets see... in the 70's it was time to buy a new car once the mileage was 75k miles no matter what you did to it. The 80's brought on a whole new era of auto life. I had a Toyota Supra(1985) that accumulated 320,000 miles without a single major overhaul to the engine. There were two significant factors envolved here. The build quality and the engine oil were vastly improved as well as changing the oil at 3500 mile intervals.

The 90's saw a marked increase in the electronics arena. This bring us into the new decade (2000's) and we are greatly overburdened with electronic gadgets hung on our autos and the horsepower race is on!

Where am I going with all of this? I believe synthetic oil has given us an advantage in the war on wear and tear to the engine as well as better built engines. That being said, the electronics long term will probably win out in defeating us for a cost vs maintenance issue.

So is changing the oil every 3500 miles a necessary requirement today? No. Will it provide any better protection than changing it in say 5k to 7.5k miles? Debateable. Is changing the oil at 15k intervals ok? Yes, but probably not as good as half that duration. Ok, I realize that there all kinds of variables here and judging this solely on mileage is only one significant issue to be considered. Time between changes, how hard you drive and the environment you drive in are all imprtant as well.

Sorry, I am not the oil god, but common sense can also work here as well as a little fact finding. BTW - I did the example in my last post here on oil changes vs waxing the car to demonstrate the strengths or weaknesses of doing both too often. It was not meant to mean that the cost of an engine was in the same ballpark as the cost of a good detail job.

Mark :cool2:
 

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Mark (MAH) as I posted earlier 4K to 5K is my sweet spot, 5K to 7.5K is yours, sounds like we'll both have engines that last a long time.


Joe
 

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I hear what you are saying about frequency of oil changes (mileage and time), road and driving conditions (dirt in the air, style of driving), and duration of ownership all have a bearing on this matter.

As a former 3K between/ no more than 6 months between oil change guy, no matter the conditions- as cars improve, time becomes scare, warranties become available, where does one put his money and energy? I am arguing this only because I do intend to change at the 7500 mile mark (I drive the car engine at its limit- hard to believe I know in So Cal- but its possible if you know when/where to do so and with a little luck ;-)) however want to consider what is my downside if I stay with the manufacturer's warranty if I want to cycle out of this car at 100K.
Its a rhetorical question and one I have to sort out, though appreciate your comments. Just sending out my vib here.
Cheers!
 
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