How Much Is an Oil Change for a BMW? Why Are They Expensive?

You may be asking why an oil change for a BMW is so expensive. That only reflects the excellent level of performance and superb build quality this vehicle brand is known for. So, how much is an oil change for a BMW? Why are they expensive?

The cost of an oil change for a BMW depends on its model, year, and engine size. A BMW oil change can cost from $135 to $175. Around $90 to $110 will go into fluids, parts, and labor.

Regarding change interval, if you have a BMW vehicle, you are advised to have an oil change every 12 months or 10,000 miles, whichever comes first. However, other manufacturers recommend a much safer interval of 5,000 miles or just six months per oil change.

Read on to learn more about the cost of an oil change for a BMW and why this BMW service is costly.

How Much Is an Oil Change for a BMW?

how much is an oil change for a bmw

Actual Cost Depends on the BMW’s Model and Year

An oil change for a BMW can cost $135 to $175. The actual cost will depend on the model and year of the BMW and its size. Around $90 to $110 of the total cost is for fluids, parts, and labor.

Oil Change Interval

If you own a BMW, you are advised to have an oil change interval when the odometer has reached 10,000 miles or if you have already driven your car for the past 12 months.

However, other car manufacturers recommend that oil changes be done every six months or 5,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Cost of a BMW Oil Change Depends on Where You Get It

The cost of a BMW oil change also depends on where you want it done. At a typical BMW dealer, the cost will be similar to what I’ve just mentioned. Labor costs in a dealer for this service will be about $62 to $67. The cost will still depend on the BMW’s size, type, and model.

BMW Oil Change Service Is Four Times More Than What You Will Pay for Other Vehicle Brands

With a BMW vehicle, you are paying for an oil change service is four times more than what you will pay for other vehicle brands. Usually, an oil change service for a Mercedes-Benz vehicle is the only one that will cost more than a BMW vehicle. 

Why Are BMW Oil Changes So Expensive?

BMWs Need High-performance Synthetic Oil

BMW oil change is costly simply because these vehicles need high-performance synthetic oil. This type of motor oil is the most expensive of all engine oils. Apart from these, labor costs at any BMW car shop also cost more than typical car service centers.

BMW Vehicles’ Value

Another valid reason is the perceived value of BMW vehicles. Everybody knows that BMW is a European luxury car brand. These vehicles are always associated with luxurious living because these vehicles are great examples of superior German engineering and technology.

BMW places high value on the parts that go into every piece of its vehicles. So much engineering is spent building these parts to ensure that only the vehicles provide top performance and reliability. 

BMW Recommends Using a Specific Engine Oil

BMW recommends that only the engine oil they specify should be used in their vehicles. It is a given that engine oil plays a critical role in the longevity and enhanced performance of an engine. That’s why BMW chooses the best engine oils for its engines.

Requires More Engine Oil Than Other Engines

These engine oils are much more expensive than regular oils used by non-BMW engines. Aside from this, BMW vehicles require more engine oil than ordinary automobile engines.

Naturally, all these higher standards are there so that BMW vehicles can deliver the advantages of a brand with a very high reputation.

Expensive Ownership Costs

Owning a status symbol is very important to some people, as it is. However, it would seem that you only pay a premium price initially the moment you purchase a BMW.

However, it never crossed the minds of some BMW owners that the ownership costs of their vehicles would also run into thousands, not just hundreds of dollars.

How Does a BMW Oil Change Compare With Others?


You should understand that the higher cost of a BMW oil change is typical of all luxury cars. In fact, on average, the cost of a Mercedes-Benz oil change is much more than that of a BMW. An MB oil change could run from $200 to $300.

That MB oil change could hit around $400, according to FCP Euroblog, a European car and maintenance information blog site. Many Mercedes-Benzs require nine quarts of motor oil for every oil change.


The cost of an Audi oil change is about the same as BMW’s, ranging from $130 to $ 145. A typical oil change of a Lexus is also pretty similar to BMW’s.


It ranges from $60 to $180. But since BMWs are classed higher than Japanese cars, their oil changes will be higher than Toyotas and Hondas. For instance, a typical Honda oil change costs only around $45 to $75.

What’s the Recommended Interval Between Oil Changes of BMWs?

how much is an oil change for bmw

BMW Recommendation

The usual recommendation given by BMW to BMW owners whose vehicles were made within the last 20 years is to schedule their oil changes every 7,500 to 12,000 miles. This is equivalent to once a year.

Longer Change Oil Schedule for Synthetic Oil

If your BMW uses synthetic oil, you can have a longer change oil schedule. But you should not go more than every 10,000 miles.

Stick with the 5,000 miles Limit per Change for Conventional Motor Oil

However, if you use conventional motor oil, you should stick with the 5,000 miles limit per oil change. At any rate, you can check the correct oil change schedule in your vehicle’s manual.

Engine Oil Light

In your car’s dashboard, you should have a light that should tell you when you have to have an oil change. It’s called the engine oil light and is shaped like a can of oil. If you forgot the last time you had an oil change, this would be your safety net.

Regularly Check the Oil Level

But you don’t have to wait for this engine oil light to turn on before checking the oil condition in your engine. Using the oil dipstick to check the oil level regularly and its color and condition is a good practice you should not forget.

Extreme Operating Conditions

If you often drive in extreme conditions, you will have a different oil change schedule than someone who constantly drives in normal and non-stressed driving conditions. Your schedule of oil changes should be more frequent for obvious reasons since your engine is always stressed out.

Extreme driving conditions can be defined as driving with heavy loads in stop-and-go traffic. It could also be defined as mostly driving off roads, driving in water-laden roads, and the like.

Changing oil every 1,000 to 3,000 miles may be necessary for older BMWs driven this way. But for newer BMWs, their owners can follow the recommendations of BMW for extreme driving conditions.

Again, how much is an oil change for a BMW? In general, BMW oil change costs between $135 and $175, wherein around $90 to $110 of this cost is for parts, fluids, and labor.

When to Get an Oil Change

Fortunately, you ought not to be surprised when you need to change the engine oil of your BMW. There will be signs that will catch your attention. You got to heed these signs and schedule the oil change with your BMW dealer. What are these symptoms?

1. Tarnished Color of Engine Oil

This is one of the most obvious signs that you will not be able to ignore. If you practice the habit of checking your engine oil each time before starting the engine, you will not fail to notice its color change. The oil dipstick is there for this purpose.

Fresh Engine Oil Is Bright Amber

The fresh color of engine oil is bright amber. But when it gets darker and darker and turns into light brown, that’s the time you need to schedule an oil change. The oil’s color has degraded because it has already acquired the elements of unburned gases as it circulates the engine.

This means it can no longer provide efficient lubrication to the fast-moving parts of your engine. Your engine will eventually get damaged if you don’t change this oil right away.

2. Smell of Oil Inside the BMW

If you begin to smell engine oil inside your BMW, it could be a sign of an oil leak in your engine or somewhere in your car. The engine could also be beginning to overheat.

You need to check every possible place the leak could come from. An oil leak from the engine could mean you need to schedule an oil change or a top-up at the very least.

3. Strange Engine Noise

When the engine is running, it will naturally create noises due to the crankshaft’s revolutions and the piston inside the cylinders. But those are normal engine noises.

These noises are attenuated by the design of the engine and the noise diffusers mounted on the engine bay. You will get used to these normal engine noises as you drive your BMW every day.

But when you notice strange noises or noises that you haven’t heard before, you need to be alarmed.

Metal-to-Metal Contact Due to Dirt or Thick Engine Oil

The engine oil is the one that keeps the moving parts of the engine lubricated and thereby keeps the engine running smoothly and quietly. But if the oil is going bad or is already thick because of the accumulation of dirt, there will be more metal-to-metal contact between the engine parts.

This results in elevated engine noise. If this is what you hear, your engine is up for change oil. If you ignore these strange engine noises, your engine will soon tear itself apart.

Importance of Changing the Engine Oil

why are bmw oil changes so expensive

Lubricate the Engine’s Metal Components

As I have already mentioned, the function of engine oil is to lubricate the engine’s metal components. Why do they need lubrication? Each time you turn on the ignition, the engine’s flywheel turns itself around.

That turning also makes hundreds of metal parts inside the engine turn around. These high-precision metal parts come into contact at amazing revolving speeds.

Prevents Metal-to-Metal Contact

The friction produced as they turn in circles (revolutions per minute) at tremendous speeds could easily lock and freeze them together. This is where the engine oil comes in. It goes in between each metal, so no metal-to-metal contact will happen as you turn on your ignition key and run the engine.

Without engine oil, and if the engine oil goes bad, you won’t be able to run the engine of your BMW. That’s how important it is that your engine oil functions very well. It should not go bad at any time you are driving your BMW. And that’s your role. To keep the engine oil running well.

Keep up with Routine Maintenance

Keeping up with your routine maintenance will make your BMW run smoothly and efficiently. It will help you avoid costly engine repairs and will help you enjoy long years of service from your highly reputed BMW.

Why Schedule Oil Change at BMW?

While many BMW owners would like to think of their vehicles as the Ultimate Driving Machine, there is one area where they are just like any other vehicle that you see running on the streets. These BMWs also require a regular oil change.

In this respect, the BMW service team is always at the beck and call of BMW vehicle owners. You should be able to schedule an oil change for your BMW at the nearest BMW service center in your local area.

It’s very tempting to go to a third-party, independent car service center to have your oil change. But BMW advises against that, for several reasons:

1. BMW Warranties and Service Plans Cover Oil Change

There are specific BMW warranties and service plans that ensure the cost of your BMW oil change is covered. Only BMW authorized car service centers honor these warranties and service plans.

2. Carry Out All Repairs Using OEM Parts

BMW authorized car repair centers carry out all their repairs using OEM parts. That includes BMW oil changes. This means you are assured that the engine oil you will get is the synthetic oil approved by BMW. The same is true with the BMW oil filter that goes with the service.

3. Knowledgeable Staff

BMW authorized service centers are composed of knowledgeable staff. They also have deep experience working on the same vehicle types.

4. Free Pick-up and Drop-off Service

BMW also offers free pick-up and drop-off service if you are less than or within 15 miles of a BMW dealership.

BMW Oil Change Procedure

You may be interested in knowing how a BMW car service center changes the engine oil on your BMW. This service is more than just flushing out the old oil and pouring in the new one.

Here is their typical method:

1. Remove Old Oil and Replace It with the Right Oil

This service will certainly remove the old oil and replace it with the right oil for your BMW. It may be synthetic oil, synthetic blend, conventional, or maybe high-mileage oil. They will put in the correct oil to make your BMW engine function fully until the following oil change.

2. Oil Filter Removal

They will remove the old oil filter and replace it with a new one. So, this new filter will continue filtering out dust, dirt, and debris from entering the engine until it is time to replace it with a new filter.

3. Quick Inspection

They will complete the job by quickly inspecting your BMW’s fluids, lights, and the engine’s overall health. After that, you can go on your way.

Frequently Asked Questions

You might also be interested in knowing the answers to the frequently asked question about BMW’s oil change service and why it is costly:

Is It True That BMW Oil Changes Are Expensive?

Yes, that’s quite true. But to know the real answer to this question, you need to qualify it. There’s a reason why they are expensive at BMW. One of the reasons is that BMWs have a reputation for being costly and luxurious.

They have this reputation because they are German-made machines built with precise engineering and technology. Their upkeep should maintain that superior quality, so they need quality maintenance service.

That includes expensive synthetic oil or whatever oil the BMW vehicle needs to maintain its reputation as a luxurious vehicle.

How Much Is an Oil change for a BMW?

Generally, oil changes for BMW vehicles range from $135 to $175. The actual cost depends on the engine’s make, model, and size. Around $90 to $110 goes to fluids, parts, and labor.

What Is the Interval of Oil Changes in BMWs?

The frequency of BMW oil changes is every 12 months or 10,000 miles, whichever comes first. Other car manufacturers say that it should only be 5,000 miles for their vehicles every six months.

Do I Need Special Oil for My BMW?

Your BMW owner’s manual will specify the best type of engine oil that you can put inside your BMW engine. BMW recommends synthetic motor oils for all its vehicles. The engine of your BMW is its heart. You should not scrimp on what makes your heart function efficiently.

Conclusion: How Much Is an Oil Change for a BMW?

An oil change for a typical BMW will cost $135 to $175. The actual cost will depend on the year and model of the car and its size. About $90 to $110 of the total amount goes into parts, fluids, and labor.

If you own a BMW vehicle, you should only use the best motor oil to put inside its engine. BMW advises its vehicle owners only to use synthetic oils for their BMWs.

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