BMWs are known for their endurance and high standards of performance, which is why it can be devastating when your BMW begins to behave oddly. Noticing any type of performance issue can be disheartening, especially if you’ve come to rely on and trust your BMW in everyday life. One of the most elemental ways to care for your BMW is to provide it with ongoing, routine maintenance – particularly regular oil changes.
Many BMW drivers (and drivers of any vehicle for that matter) don’t find the same importance in routine oil changes that car enthusiasts and automotive professionals do; they provide your vehicle with fundamental lubrication, without which your engine would dry up and fall apart – quite literally! That’s why it’s important for you to know a bit about what it means if your BMW begins losing engine oil and how you can spot an oil leak before the problem worsens.
In this article, we’ll go over some basic information about BMW oil leaks so that you’re more prepared to give your car the care it needs, and deserves.
How to Tell if Your BMW Has an Oil Leak
Your BMW utilizes numerous different fluids to optimize its performance and ensure everything runs smoothly. This includes:
- Brake fluid
- Transmission fluid
- Radiator fluid (coolant, antifreeze)
- Power-steering fluid
- And, of course, engine oil
It’s important to be able to distinguish engine oil from these other essential fluids so that you can know what you’re in for and you can get your BMW some help.
Engine oil is distinct from these other fluids in that it is a thicker, yellowish fluid; however, if the engine oil is dirty or requires replacing, the oil may be darker or look murky. Engine oil can leak from different places, such as the engine or the oil pan area, so be sure to take note of where you observe any puddles of engine oil beneath your BMW.
The Importance of Basic Oil Care
We’ve already touched on the basic importance of engine oil care; however, there can never be too much emphasis on how important engine oil care is. Here are a few fundamental tasks that should be performed related to engine oil on a routine basis:
- Oil flushes
- Oil filter changes
- Oil replacement (using the proper type of oil for your BMW – this is critical, and this information can be found in your owner’s manual)
- Consistently checking your engine oil for clarity and fullness
- Following up with any leaks or suspicious-looking fluid beneath your car
These are just some of the basics that will help keep your BMW in good working condition as it relates to the quality and fullness of engine oil. If engine oil begins leaking, this is highly problematic and can lead to engine damage due to metal corrosion and debris buildup from excessive heat and friction, as the moving parts of your engine rely on that lubrication to survive.
The Most Common Areas for Oil Leaks to Occur
Engine oil runs through a series of different areas and systems in your engine, and anywhere there is a patch or connection spot, such as a seal or valve, is a prime area for a leak to occur. Here are some of the most common areas for engine oil to escape the system:
- Drain plug
- Filler caps
- Oil filters
- Valve gasket seal
- Timing cover gasket
- Front crankshaft seal
- Rear crankshaft seal
- Oil pan gasket
- Alternator bracket seal
In BMW cars, the alternator bracket seal is one of the more prominent areas for engine oil leaks to occur and should be monitored by your BMW specialist routinely.
How to Prevent Oil Leaks in Your BMW
As we mentioned, the best way to keep engine oil leaks at bay is to provide your BMW with the ongoing care it requires related to the engine oil. Here at Import Motorworx, we provide specialized, routine oil care for our BMW clients from the areas of Lawndale, Culver City, West Los Angeles, and South Bay, CA. We know how much our clients’ BMWs mean to them, and our extensive knowledge and experience working with BMWs comes from a shared passion for the brand. If you’d like to schedule an oil change, inspection, diagnostic appointment, or would simply like to learn more about our shop, please feel free to contact us directly.