Why Are BMW Oil Changes So Expensive? (Explained)

If you own or are planning on owning a BMW, you will discover that the maintenance cost of owning one is more than most cars. One of the things you will need to perform is an oil change. These are traditionally 3 to 5 times more than most car brands.

Why are BMW oil changes so expensive? In this article, I am going to be looking at this topic and hopefully, leave you more informed about this subject matter. There are several factors that contribute to why a BMW oil change is so expensive.

In short, BMW oil changes are expensive because it’s considered a luxury European vehicle. Everything comes at a premium. Secondly, the recommended oils used are also more expensive than ordinary oils. Thirdly, BMW engines generally use more oil than most engines.

Without a doubt, a BMW has a lot to offer in terms of the driving experience. It’s a machine that you can be proud of and you have the added benefit of owning a status symbol if that’s something that rocks your boat.

It would seem that you will not only pay a premium price when your purchase a brand new BMW; you also pay a lot more than usual in maintenance costs.

How Much is a BMW Oil Change?

While an oil and filter change on most vehicles will cost you anywhere from $20 to $50 or slightly over that, changing the oil on your BMW will cost $150 to as much as $400 or at a dealership or BMW-approved shop.

You are basically paying as much as 4 times more than other brands. Though a BMW may actually cost less than other vehicles within the same class, you may end up forking out a lot more in the long term unless, of course, you own a Mercedes which will cost a lot more. Now, let’s look at

Why Do BMW Oil Changes Cost so Much?

BMW Carries Premium Brand Tag

The first reason why BMW oil changes cost a lot has to do with the perceived value of the vehicle. It’s a luxury European brand associated with affluence.

It’s a great piece of German engineering and they take great pride in producing high-quality products. The luxury tag is, therefore, well earned. One of the things they place a high value on is the parts that go into their vehicles.

A lot is spent on engineering these components to ensure that they keep delivering on the superior driving experience as well as dependability.

BMW Recommends Specific Oils

In keeping with the point just made above, engine oil plays a great part in the performance as well as longevity of the engine. To make sure that you get the most out of it, BMW has recommended oils that they prefer you to use. It gives your Beemer the best chance of performing well and for a long time.

How to Do Oil Changes Cheaper

Using alternative BMW oils

It’s definitely cheaper to use other oils on your BMW but is it advisable? That’s the big question on people’s minds when they look at the cost of changing the oil on their Beemer.

If you are still under warranty or your vehicle has an extended warranty, you should use the recommended oils. You will save around $50 in labor costs and may save a bit on the purchase price of the oil and filter as well if you manage to get them at a deal somewhere.

Using oil that is not recommended by BMW may lead to your warranty being voided. If your car is no longer under warranty, there are some great synthetic oils like Mobil 1, Amsoil, and Schaeffer that will work really well with your engine. Just make sure that you do the necessary research to see which one works best with your engine.

Oil Change (DIY)

you definitely can change out your own oil. If you were to change your own oil, it will cost you somewhere in the region of $50 to $75 to buy the necessary oil and filter. BMWs usually come with 2 drain plugs from which to drain out engine oil.

To do this yourself, you will need a size 17 wrench, a drain basin as well as a replacement washer and plug if it’s worn out. Firstly, elevate your car safely preferably on a ramp.

Next, remove the oil filter. Once the filter is removed, go under the vehicle and place a container to drain the oil into. Place it under the drain plug. Next, use a size 17 wrench to loosen the drain plug. Once it’s loose, use your hand to undo and eventually remove it.

Be careful not to have your hand in the way as you will get oil on it. As soon as the oil starts to drain, quickly move your hand out of the way. Allow all the oil to drain out. Next, change your oil filter and the O rings. Go back under the car and replace the drain plug making sure it’s secured properly with the right force and not too much as you can damage it.

Next step is to put in the recommended amount of the new oil. If you have the older BMWs, use the dipstick to check oil levels. If, on the other hand, you own a newer model, you will not have a dipstick. You can only see if all is in order through the dash console after the ca has heated up to optimal levels during a drive.

This is far from ideal though as significant damage could happen before you have the opportunity to confirm whether the oil levels are right.

Conclusion on why BMW oil changes are Costly

There you have it. BMW oil changes cost a lot due to several factors as described in this post. If you already own a BMW, hopefully, this has brought clarity. If, on the other hand, you are considering buying a Beemer, be mindful of the fact that, even if you got it cheap, you will pay a lot to maintain it


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