BMW vehicles are designed to require service less frequently than other makes, allowing you more time on the road and less time in the shop. Bimmer drivers get to avoid the 3,000 mile oil change and instead only need an oil service every 7,500 miles for their Intermediate Oil Change and Oil & Safety Service appointments.
How is oil for BMW vehicles different from oil used in other makes?
While many car makes can use natural oils, BMWs require synthetic engine oils, with some models having different needs than others. Synthetic oils are synthesized with chemical compounds in a controlled process, eliminating contaminants. Natural oils are refined from crude oils and can contain contaminants that made it through the refining process.
Synthetic oils, though more expensive than natural options, allow you more mileage between oil changes, perform better at lower and higher temperatures, and also are designed to help clean your engine, keeping it free from build-up.
Are there specific oils recommended for BMW’s?
BMW has a set list of oil brands and types that are safe to use in their vehicles. Your vehicle’s class and year, as well as the climate you live in, could affect which kind of oil you should use. For best results, have your Bimmer serviced with a shop that specializes in BMW care.
Oil for BMW’s must have an API rating of SM or higher*; your recommended SAE grade** will vary based on climate. When having your BMW serviced, make sure that one of the following types of oil is being used, as recommended by BMW and meeting BMW’s Long-life rating:
Oil for most BMW passenger vehicles and SAVs:
- BMW TwinPower Turbo Engine Oils - Oils designed for BMW vehicles by BMW.
- Mobil 1 SAE 0W-40
- Valvoline SynPower SAE 5W-30
- Castrol Syntec European Formula SAE 0W-30
- Beginning in 2015, BMW is recommending Shell/Pennzoil PurePlus Oils as their aftermarket oil.
Oil for BMW M Series vehicles equipped with S54, S62, S65 or S85 engines:
- Castrol TWS Motorsport SAE 10W-60 Synthetic Engine Oil
- Castrol Formula RS SAE 10W-60 Synthetic Engine Oil
Oil for BMW B7 ALPINA:
- Castrol Syntec European Formula SAE 0W-30 Synthetic Oil
*For more information on API ratings, please see the API Motor Oil Guide.
**Your SAE Grade is the rating or grade of motor oil you're using and numbers you're probably used to seeing, such as 10W-40.