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Scheduled Oil Changes

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I have a 2010 328 X drive. I am told that the oil only needs to be changed every 1750-1800 miles, using synthetic engine oil. What is with that? I feel like I need to change it at least every 9000 miles. Can you weigh in on this? WIll it void the warranty if I do it too soon?

Thank you.

1,750-1,800 miles? That’s going to be every couple of weeks. Did you, perhaps mean 17,500-18,000 miles?

Stop listening to what you’ve been “told” and read the owner’s manual. It will tell you how often to change the oil.

If your car has an oil monitor the computer will figure it out.

You can’t void the warranty by changing oil more frequently, but can void it by not changing it frequently enough.

They do have long change intervals, helped by expensive BMW-specific synthetic oil specs (make sure you use exactly what’s specified) and, I believe, a pretty large oil capacity. That said, I might go with you and change it every 10k or so (if the recommended interval is longer). At least yours doesn’t have the turbo, which would certainly make me want to change the oil more often than 18k.

I’m sure the dealer won’t pay for the ‘extra’ oil chnges, so it’ll come out of your wallet (they do pay for scheduled service, right?).

Do you mean every 17-18k miles? If so, that’s a ridiculous recommendation.
If you go with 9k miles intervals then there’s a pretty decent chance you will be posting back in the future about why:
A. Your engine is trashed.
B. Your engine is using oil, rattling, or has a flickering oil pressure light.

It was every 18000. Thanks

They do pay for scheduled oil changes for 4 years every 18000. I figure I would change the oil at the halfway point. Couldn’t hurt. Thanks

Question for you OK4450:

What items would you say have the most effect on engine oil life in a vehicle?

Temperatures experienced by the oil?
RPMS the engine reached during the oil change interval?
Oil capacity?
Number of miles driven?

I believe you are of the impression that 5k mile oil change intervals are best for the longevity of an engine. Correct me if I am wrong on that point.

Do you think that oil capacity has an effect on the condition of the oil over the oil change interval?

Lets say that you had 3 cars, all weight about the same, all using the same exact V-6 engine. All driven on the same route, under the same conditions, using the exact same engine oil. Let’s propose that Car A has a 3 quart oil capacity, Car B has a 5 quart oil capacity, and Car C has a 10 quart oil capacity.

Now, in my opinion, the contamination rate of the oil from Car A would be significantly higher than Car’s B and C. I would expect that oil to need to be changed sooner than the other 2. Do you agree on that point?

Would you then agree that the oil in Car C is going to stay in better condition than Car B for that same distance, and period of time? I would believe that more oil in the engine means lower oil temps experienced, and lower wear metals in the oil because the oil is less abused, when the vehicles are used identically under the same conditions.

So, from my experience, most European Luxury cars have oil sumps that contain nearly twice as much engine oil as comparable cars on the market. My Porsche Boxster has a 9 quart oil pan, in comparison to my Nissan Altima’s nearly 5 quart oil pan, for example. If both engine’s abused the oil at the same rate, would you think that you should be able to get more miles out of the engine with more oil in it, which keeps the oil in better condition, for that same period of time?

I’m just curious of how you think of things.
And yes, I do agree with you that 18k miles is probably a bit much, but 9k miles on 9 quarts of oil shouldn’t even be an issue, in my book. Unless those 9k miles are used for extreme driving (race track, drag strip, towing, left in 2nd gear while driving 95 mph from LA to NYC, etc).


The point about a 9 quart capacity engine having a longer engine life with 9k mile oil changes compared to a 5 quart capacity engine at the same 9k oil change period is a good one. However, with an economic parity between the two oil changes it can be said that the 5 quart engine can have the oil changed more often at a similar total cost over an extended period of time. There is then the added benefit to the 5 quart engine of having new oil almost twice as often as the 9 quart engine.

It could hurt if you don’t use the equivalent oil to meet BMW specs for the car. Be sure you are using oil that won’t void your warranty. Changing oil more frequently can’t void a warranty, but using inferior oil to mfg’rs specs can void the warranty.

If you do a 9k oil change interval …then you must pay for it yourself…AND you MUST use a BMW oil filter or you’ll void your warranty. Also only use the oil BMW recommends…again or you’ll void your warranty.

No such thing as voiding a warranty except in one case, if the vehicle is declared a total loss.

They can deny a warranty claim with just cause but cannot void the warranty itself.

Is there a time interval listed as well as a mileage interval? If so, follow that

In this case they can.

It’s allowed because the manufacturer offers you FREE oil changes while under warranty.

I’m of the opinion that a 5k miles interval is fine if someone’s driving is predominantly on the open road. If it involves stop and go/short hop and much depending on the environmental conditions then a 3k miles interval is better.

I do tend to agree with you about the 3 car scenario with varying amounts in the sump but there would be questions over that. This would be maybe not so much in regards to engine by-products but things like outside grit and moisture from the air.
Here in OK we get spells where humidity just absolutely saturates things, both in and out, so moisture could be one of the bigger problems and even the smallest amount of moisture can be a problem with engine oil no matter how much oil is in the sump.

There is nothing wrong with bringing oil temps down but that can also be detrimental, all depending. Some years ago I installed an old VW Type III oil cooler onto a Harley motorcycle I owned at the time. The cooler was mounted out of the airflow and near the front of the rear wheel. In the summer no problem, it worked great. However, when the first cold spell hit I checked the engine oil after about 30 miles on a 35 degree day and found that it was still cold. This led to a modification with a valve to divert oil from the cooler during cooler weather.
The cooler oil never really burns out moisture, etc. as it should. (Point here being that the cycle engine was 1200 CCs (1.2L) and the oil tank was a 4 quart capacity so that would put the oil capacity to engine liter ratio at a higher one than the BMW.)

The concern would be that someone would not want to have to buy an engine for an '11 model BMW due to extended oil changes.
You may remember the recent thread from the poster about their 2009 Chevy Traverse. This vehicle had almost all highway use, received 12k miles oil changes as per the OLM, and at 40k miles the engine was totally trashed.
Risking that on a BMW is a pretty big gamble because I would bet the price on a BMW engine would be far higher than a Chevy motor. Just my opinion anyway. (I do see your point and actually, agree with it for the most part)

You are welcome to do anything you want, but I doubt that you need to change oil more often unless your BMW sees severe service. I have a hard time believing that BMMW or any other manufacturer would recommend anything that would damage a car. They would put themselves out of business in a few years. Apparently, BMW figured out how to do it with a combination of filtration and oil with enough additives to prevent acidification. Until you are out of warranty, I’d go with their recommendation.

This Beemer allegedly had an oil change at 15,000 and this is how it looked at 30,000:

I fully believe the pictures behind that BMW mess and while I’ve never personally had my hands on a BMW in that condition they have been on some other makes and models that were similar in appearance.

The worst example was a 28k miles Subaru that looked just like that if not worse. As per the usual, when the excrement hits the fan it’s always somebody else’s fault as to why this happened.

In regards to the BMW picture that’s what it looked like at 30k miles. You can safely assume it looked like that long before 30k miles was accrued on the odometer but it soldiered on for quite a while before giving up.

It’s pretty obvious that when BMW and others recommend greatly extended drain intervals, engine longevity is the LAST thing on their minds. Used car buyers will catch on to this very quickly and a “Dealer Maintained” Bimmer won’t be worth squat on the used market if it followed the factory service recommendations…

Having 9 quarts in the crankcase allows owners and lessees to NEVER check the oil…(there’s no dipstick anyway, right?) so the “add oil” warning light can be ignored until the next change…Who cares if it’s down 3 or 4 quarts, it will be alright…It will last as long as I own it…

As long as it croaks its way through the warranty expiration date or the lease period … :slight_smile:

Thanks for the reply OK4450.

I also understand the motorcycle example, as I also have more than my fair share of bikes taking up residence in my garage. I also remember our friend with the Traverse, and that one was a much bigger supply of issues, that when all combined, brought about a poor vehicle.

My further research on the Traverse/Acadia/Camaro issue has brought about the fact that the CEL is actually being set early because of premature wear of the cam chains. Once there is a certain amount of degree difference between the camshaft sensor and the crankshaft sensor, the check engine light goes on, which is what is plaguing a lot of cars with this 3.5L direct injection V-6. So they are reprogramming the computer to take more degrees of difference between the two before the CEL gets lit up.

Now, the direct injection is a whole different can of worms in the GM engine.
It is beating up the oil, to the point that oil analysis results in it from highway driven vehicles is showing over 2% fuel dilution in under 4k miles. The oil is being diluted by the fuel, and sheared down in viscosity by the huge cam chain (single chain that runs through 4 camshaft sprockets, plus the crankshaft sprocket, and the tensioner) from its 30 weight to a 20 weight oil in about 3k miles.

GM didn’t do enough testing on that engine, and the amount of abuse the oil sees, before programming the OLM.
Now, they are taking a kick to the groin just after getting their image slightly cleaned up after the whole bailout mess. Not smart on them.

Honestly, I don’t trust any direct fuel injection system for long oil change intervals.
If the OP’s BMW has DFI in it, I would stick with 5k mile intervals.
Typically the BMW uses a better cam chain design than Gm does, as shown in the below picture.
Chain feeds one camshaft, and a secondary chain connects the two cams together, allowing a separate chain adjuster to adjust cam phasing for that cam. Porsche’s older engines used this system, but their newer engines have gone single chain just like GM has.

Thank you for the insite into your thinking.
Just for clarity, I changed my ownership status on my Porsche and my Altima.
I traded both of them in back on Saturday for a 2011 Mazda RX-8.

So now I have a whole new can of worms to deal with when it comes to a rotary engine.
No valves, camchains or belts to deal with, but intentional consumption of engine oil and gasoline.
Plus, after the 4.6 quarts of oil is drained out during a LOF, there’s still over 2 quarts of oil in the two oil coolers that can’t be reached. Easily, that is.

For whatever reason, I love oil threads.
I always get something new out of them, by the time they are over.