Why has your BMW warned you that the Oil Level is Low?
Even when you just had your oil changed two months ago?
You just had your oil changed a couple of months ago, and you’ve only driven 2,500 miles, however, the Low Oil Level Warning light is on. WHY? Because BMW’s Consume Oil! As a matter of fact, some BMW’s use more than others. That’s why BMW has a blanket statement of One Quart of Oil consumption to 800-900 Miles is Acceptable. Well, it’s Very Interesting! What would the reasoning be behind the 16,000 Mile Oil Service Interval? How do they expect your BMW to use one quart of oil for every 800 to 900 miles and not run low on oil, since most of the engines hold approximately 7 to 8 quarts, total. The oil pan level sensor triggers a Low Oil Light Warning when it is 1 to 1 1/2 quarts low. In my calculations, that should get it somewhere around 2,500 miles before it turns the Low Oil Light. Depending on your driving habits, you might get a better oil-consumption-to- miles ratio. City driving seems to be easier on consumption than the highway travel.
Do the Math:
8 quarts of oil in the engine. 800 to 900 miles per one quart consumption rate, low oil level warning triggers around 1 1/2 quarts.
You may have a low oil condition as early as 2,000 miles and completely run out of oil at 7,200 miles. Why the 16,000 mile oil change interval then?
The Answer is Competition. When car manufacturers are fixated on battling over who’s cars are lowest in maintenance costs as a way to sell you a BMW, you will have these kinds of crazy decisions forced downward by cost-accountants and sales divisions. It just doesn’t make good sense to drive your car for over a year (given the national average of 10,000 miles driven per year) without an oil service. Not to mention the need for a safety and preventative inspections.
How would you know if you’ve got a tire that’s bald and is in a dangerous state, or a dangerously loose suspension part (given all the potholes) which can cause you or others harm if broken at the wrong time or place? It just doesn’t make good sense to blindly follow a regime designed to save the manufacturers money and to prepare you to buy their next model shortly after the catastrophic failure of major components shortly after the warranty period is over.
Get into the Routine of Changing Your Oil Every 6,000 to 7,500 Miles.
For some modern BMW’s we are able to modify the service interval counter to a more frequent oil service, which will also give us an opportunity to make sure all is well with your BMW. It might even save you some time and money if a potential problem is discovered during the service.
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