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Time for an Oil Change?

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Story by Rafal Chrzanowski

Our new Service Manager tackles your key oil service questions

Why are regular oil changes important?

Changing the oil keeps your vehicle in top operating form and ensures engine longevity it’s a key part of good automotive maintenance. Oil performs several important protective functions in your engine. It provides a lubricating barrier between moving parts in the engine, preventing excessive friction on metal components and thus reducing heat and wear, rust and corrosion. It also suspends and carries dirt and other harmful particles, such as carbon and silica, to the oil filter to be trapped. These harmful particles would otherwise accumulate in the engine and after a period of time would likely lead to engine damage or failure. Acids that may be damaging to polished metal surfaces are neutralized by the additives in the oil. Furthermore, oil is able to retain its fluid consistency during extreme cold and hot temperatures and therefore will maintain its protective functions in severe weather conditions. It is important to change oil regularly since it has a limited life. After a certain point, the oil will break down and its protective capabilities will diminish. Failure to change the oil at recommended intervals may lead to engine problems or failure.

What about my oil filter?

In combination with your oil, your oil filter is very important as it traps harmful particles and other impurities from the engine. Your oil filter should be replaced at the same time as your oil change. Over time, when the oil filter becomes clogged it can no longer effectively filter the oil and thus creates the potential for engine failure. A saturated filter can also increase oil pressure, which can result in poor fuel economy and emissions.

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How often should I change my oil and oil filter?

Oil and oil filter changes should be performed as often as recommended by the manufacturer. The manufacturer bases their recommendations on many different factors such as: engine size, year, model, mileage and driving habits. BMW currently uses three different warning systems to indicate when the vehicle requires the oil service; the type of warning system in a BMW depends on the production year of the vehicle. BMW models prior to 1999 use a system consisting of a series of five green lights followed by one yellow light and one red light with the inscriptions “Oil Service” and “Inspection” displayed on the instrument panel.

Over time, the green lights will turn off one by one. When the last green light turns off, the yellow light will illuminate with the words “Oil Service” or “Inspection.” This indicates that your next oil service is due. If you fail to complete the oil service in a timely manner, both the yellow and right light will appear together with the words “Oil Service” or “Inspection.” When this occurs the vehicle may be unsafe to drive, and you should avoid driving your BMW and have the vehicle serviced without further delay. BMW vehicles produced in 1999 until late 2002 use a mileage countdown warning system to determine the next oil service.

The oil service should be scheduled when the mileage countdown shows approximately 200km. In late 2002, BMW introduced a new feature, the Condition Based Servicing (CBS). It was first introduced into the 7 series and now is available on most BMW models. The system uses sensors that continuously monitor parts subjected to wear, thus calculating the extent to which servicing is necessary. The vehicle analyzes this information and stores it on the remote control key. At any given time the information can be downloaded and an accurate analysis can be provided. This means that the vehicle determines when the service or maintenance is required by the way the vehicle is driven. Each vehicle is equipped with a BMW service indicator that will notify you when the next service is required

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Why should I check my oil level regularly?

It is very important to check your oil level on a regular basis, especially before going on long trips. Over time, the engine can consume some oil as it lubricates internal components. The rate of oil consumption is strongly influenced by driving habits and operating conditions. Between your regular oil service intervals, the engine may use up 1L of oil for every 1200km. A warning indicator will also illuminate if your oil is low and needs topping up. To determine how to check the oil level on your vehicle, refer to your owner’s manual or contact your BMW Service Department.

Where should I go to for oil service?

Contact Brian Jessel BMW and one of our appointment coordinators would be happy to provide you with an appointment for your next scheduled express oil service. Remember, it is very important to get regular oil maintenance for your vehicle. By following proper oil service recommendations you can avoid engine problems in the future.

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