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This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to change engine oil on BMW vehicles.  Regular oil changes are one of the most important things to keep your BMW engine healthy. Changing the engine oil on a BMW is easy, and most DIYers can complete this job in less than one hour.

Table of Contents


What you will need


How to change engine oil and filter on a BMW:

  1. Jack up your BMW. Secure the vehicle with jack stands even if you are using car ramps. Allow the engine to cool down.get bmw ready for oil change

  2. Set the parking brakes and place wheel chocks behind the rear wheels.
  3. Check if your BMW has an access panel. ​​​Remove engine splash shield under the engine.
  4. If no access panel is present, remove the plastic shield under the engine of your oil access panel
  5. Remove the 17mm drain bolt and drain the engine oil on the oil pan.  to change bmw oil remove drain bolt

  6. Allow the engine oil to drain for at least 15 minutes. 
  7. Replace the washer on the drain bolt. A new washer should be included with your engine oil filter.

  8. Remove the oil filter. Use a BMW oil filter wrench to remove the oil filter. removing bmw oil filter
  9. Ideally, you want to use the BMW oil filter tool, but oil filter pliers will work as well. 
  10. Replace o rings on the oil filter.  The O rings on the oil filter housing should be changed every time you change the oil filter. New O rings will be included with the new BMW oil filter.
  11. Install the oil filter and torque it to 25Nm.
  12. Install the drain plug and torque it to specification. Typical BMW oil drain bolt torque is 25 Nm (18.4 ft-lb).install bmw oil drain plug
  13. Do not install the drain bolt without a crush washer. Leaks can develop if a drain bolt is installed without a washer.
  14. Add engine oil. Locate the oil fill cap and remove it by turning it counter-clockwise. Start by adding 6 oil fill cap

  15. Wait five minutes, then check the engine oil level. Some BMWs do not have an oil dipstick, so you will have to check the oil level via the instrument cluster.
  16. Add oil as required and keep checking the engine oil level via the oil level ok
  17. Reset Oil Service Reminder. Once the oil level is correct, you can start the engine.
  18. Reset BMW oil service reminder.

Reset BMW Oil Service Reminder

bmw oil change reminderWhen your BMW is due for an oil change, you should get a reminder on the iDrive indicating that the engine oil needs to be changed.

You should also keep a record of the last time you changed your BMW oil.

Change BMW engine oil based on the recommended interval based on the oil and filter you are using.

  • iDrive message reminding you to change Engine Oil
    • Remaining Oil Life 0%
  • If you have exceeded your BMW oil change interval significantly, you may also get a message on iDrive stating Engine Oil Pressure is too low. Possible engine damage. Switch off the engine. Continued driving is not possible; please contact the nearest BMW center.
    • This may come up if the oil level is too low, which may be when oil has leaked or burned.
  • Engine oil at a minimum level. Add 1-quart oil as soon as possible; refer to the owner's manual.
    • This message will come up if the oil change has been overdue, there is an oil leak, or the engine burns oil.

When Does a BMW Need an Oil Change? 

BMW typically recommends getting an oil change every 7,500-10,000 miles when using an approved BMW synthetic oil and filter. This range can vary between engines. 

The best way to find out the correct BMW oil change interval is to check at the end of your owner's manual. Some BMW models can go as 15,000 miles before needing an oil change, while older BMWs require an oil change every 3,000 miles. 

Torque Specifications

The most common torque specifications for the BMW oil filter and drain plug are: 

  • Oil filter: 25 Nm (18.44 ft-lb)
  • Oil drain plug:  25 Nm (18.4 ft-lb)

Verify these values in your owner's manual. 


How often do you have to change the oil in a BMW?

While the typical BMW oil change interval is 7500 miles, it is important to keep in mind that newer BMW uses Condition Based Servicing or CBS to remind you when your next oil change is due. CBS monitors oil life based on various parameters, including driving habits, driving patterns (city/highway), driving conditions, fuel consumption, and more.

How much does a BMW oil change cost?

An oil change at a BMW dealership can range from $90 to $175, depending on the BMW. At a repair shop, a BMW oil change will range between $65-$110.

Can I get a BMW oil change at the Quick Lube shop?

Yes, you can get your BMW oil changed at any oil lube shop. Make sure they are using the correct grade of synthetic oil and are using a good oil filter.

What kind of oil is recommended for BMW?

Castrol Syntec European Formula SAE 0W-30, Mobil 1 SAE 0W-40, Valvoline SynPower SAE 5W-30. Beginning in 2015, BMW is recommending Shell/Pennzoil PurePlus Oils as their aftermarket oil.

Can I use conventional oil for my BMW?

BMW owners who use conventional oil should change the engine oil more frequently. If this is the case, change the engine oil as recommended by the oil and filter manufacturer regardless of your BMW Conditional Based Service recommends. The reason is that CBS may calculate oil life, assuming you used synthetic oil, but conventional oils typically have a shorter life.

How often do I change my BMW oil?

In general, the oil change service should be done every 5,000 to 16,000 miles. However, that number can vary depending on the oil type, engine, and driving conditions. We recommend checking the owner's manual for the correct interval.

How often does a BMW need an oil change?

They're designed to last up to 12,000 and even 15,000 miles, roughly one driving year, between oil change intervals. Even your BMW owner's manuals recommend an oil change every 15,000 miles.

How much is an oil change for BMW x5?

The average cost for a BMW X5 oil change is between $149 and $174.

Is BMW Oil synthetic?

Yes, BMW has been recommending full synthetic oil since the 2000s.