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How to change BMW oil yourself

Changing the oil in your BMW is one of the most important things to keep your engine healthy. Being able to do it yourself will save you money.

Changing the engine oil on a BMW is easy and most DIYers can complete this job in less than one hour.

In this guide, you will find tips and step-by-step instructions with video clips and pictures on how to change BMW engine oil. 

What you will need

  • Engine Oil 7 Quarts
  • Engine Oil for M series
    • Vehicles equipped with S54, S62, S65 or S85 engines require 10W-60 full synthetic oil such as Castrol SAE 10W-60.
  • BMW Oil Filter
    • The replacement filter should be designed for at least 7500-mile oil change intervals. Use a long life filter to take advantage of extended oil change intervals. Using a cheap BMW filter, can cause oil pressure issues or provide no filtering over 5000 miles. 
  • Oil Filter Removal Tool


Follow these step by step instruction to learn how to change the engine oil on a BMW. 

Jack Up Vehicle

Jack up your BMW. Secure the vehicle with jack stands even if you are using car ramps.

Set the parking brakes and place wheel chocks behind the rear wheels.

get bmw ready for oil change


Remove engine splash shield

Next, we need to access the oil drain bolt. Check if your BMW has an access panel.

bmw oil access panel If no access panel is present, remove the plastic shield under the engine of your vehicle. 

Drain Engine Oil

Remove the 17mm drain bolt. 

to change bmw oil remove drain bolt

Allow the engine oil to drain for at least 15 minutes. 

Install new drain bolt washer

Replace washer on the drain bolt. A new washer should be included with your engine oil filter. 

Remove oil filter

Use a BMW oil filter wrench to remove the oil filter.

removing bmw oil filter

Ideally, you want to use BMW oil filter tool, but oil filter pliers will work as well. 

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

Install oil filter

Install the oil filter and torque it to 25Nm.


 Install drain plug

Install drain plug and torque it to specification. Typical BMW oil drain bolt torque is 25 Nm (18.4 ft-lb).

While it is recommended to always install a new washer, reuse the old washer you don't have a new one.

install bmw oil drain plug

Do not install the drain bolt without a crush washer. Leaks can develop is drain bolt is installed without a washer.

Add engine oil

Locate the oil fill cap and remove it by turning it counter-clockwise. Start by adding 6 quarts.

Wait five minutes then check the engine oil level.

Some BMW do not have an oil dipstick, so you will have to check the oil level via the instrument cluster.

bmw oil fill cap

Add oil as required and keep checking the engine oil level via the iDrive. 

bmw oil level ok

Reset Oil Service Reminder

Once the oil level is correct you can start the engine.

Don't forget to reset the oil service reminder. Instructions on how to reset BMW oil reminder are provided below.

For detailed instruction follow this guide: Instructions on how to reset BMW oil service reminder.

What you may notice

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 that 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 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 the case when oil has leaked or burned. 
  • Engine oil at a minimum level. Add 1-quart oil as soon as possible, refer to owner's manual. 
    • This message will come up if oil change has been overdue, there is an oil leak or engine burns oil. 


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 use what is called 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 pattern (city/highway), driving conditions, fuel consumption and more. 

How much does a BMW oil change cost?

  • An oil change at 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 you get a BMW oil change at Jiffy Lube?

  • 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 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 what 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 to check 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 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 recommends full synthetic oil. The genuine BMW engine oil is full synthetic as well. 


Thought it was going to be harder, but the step by steps make it very easy for anyone. Remember to reset the oil reminder becasue I forgot and had to go do it a couple of days latter. 

A few more tips: 

  • Use gloves.
  • Open the oil lid before you do anything. 
  • Dont overfill with engine oil. 
  • If you use cheap oil/filter, change your oil every 5k miles. 

Hope this helps someone.

By YOUCANIC on May 7, 2019


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