The BMW 328i is the very definition of a luxury sports car in today’s world. It’s a brilliant, gorgeous automobile anyone would be proud to have in their garage. Men have spent countless afternoons washing and cleaning it, keeping its appearance as pristine as the day I drove it off the lot.
However you keep it, maintaining its performance is key to any luxury car owner. Anyone can drive one, but to do it properly you want to use the same high-end items in your car as you did on its exterior. That means never settling for cheap motor oil.
After all, you spent the money on one of the finest automobiles in the world, why wouldn’t you go the extra mile for your car’s engine?
Getting the right motor oil means more than just an oil that helps your car run smoothly. Here are the best motor oils to use in your BMW 328i.
You have to love the Germans for the innovations in automotive technology, and Liqui Moly is probably the best oil for high-end luxury cars. The reason for this is the molybdenum disulfide used in the oil. Molybdenum disulfide, in its natural state, is similar to graphite.
But liquified, it helps your car engine turn over in conditions both extremely cold and unbearably hot. Particularly when dealing with high-end luxury cars, the engines are made so custom that using an oil of the wrong viscosity can do irreparable damage to the engine.
Think, if you will, of a pipe with water moving through it. It flows fairly easily, as there’s low viscosity in water. Now imagine that same pipe filled with honey, which is exactly the situation you want to avoid with oil.
It’s also worth mentioning that Liqui Moly is not exclusively an oil, but the company also makes oil additives. They have some excellent high quality cleaning products and protection for high temperatures.
This is the motor oil to beat – the standard that all other oils have to meet in order to even be taken seriously. And I’ve recently learned that Castrol and BMW have parted ways, meaning that this has become the recommended oil for BMW 328is.
One of the first things you’ll notice about Royal Purple is that it’s compatible with most other oils made from ethanol, which doesn’t sound like a plus when you’re dealing with luxury, and often custom, cars.
The one thing you don’t want to try is mixing it in as filler when low on oil, as it does affect the overall performance of your engine. Using it on its own, however, reveals all the benefits touted in the ad copy.
It’s quite easy to work with, needing no significant prep to put in. Simply drain the oil that’s in there, and refill with Royal Purple. They recommend draining the oil every 5,000 miles, at which time the synthetic oil will have cleaned oil deposits in your engine.
That’s probably the best advantage to working with Royal Purple – it has marvellous regenerative abilities. Not only does it maintain the performance of your engine, it improves upon it.
For instance, the oil’s properties help keep your engine protected from rust and wear. It also collects oil deposits from your engine as it flows through it, which eliminates the risk of sludge building up.
It’s rust-resistant, too, even when your engine is idling.
But, outside of its cleaning properties, there’s not much difference between this and the much more highly recommended Liqui Moly.
Amsoil Signature Series
Probably the ideal oil to use if you leave in really frigid climates, as Amsoil has a nice viscosity that allows the oil to flow even in the coldest weather. Another great fighter in beating back rust and wear.
Amsoil’s synthetic oil doesn’t dissipate at high temperatures either, meaning it’ll last longer without losing any of its protective qualities. It has all the same cleaning abilities as Royal Purple, but with some surprisingly helpful additives.
When your car burns oil, it can cause acids to form that corrode the engine and other metallic parts of your car. But Amsoil’s synthetic oil has enhanced alkaline levels to help prevent these acids from forming.
It’s the best oil for wear and tear, so if you’re planning on doing a lot of driving in your BMW (some only take it out on special occasions), Amsoil would be the ideal choice.
If customers have one minor grievance, it’d be the black bottle that it comes in, which can make it hard to determine just how much you have left. In general, when marketing a product where quantity matters, it’s best to avoid black.
Even though BMW and Castrol are no longer in business together, it’s still one of the best oils for any car out there. It’s still an important fact, as Castrol is meant for American engines. So the concern in putting it in a Euro-centric car is understandable and, to a degree, justifiable.
You usually need a thicker oil, but if you’re in a situation where you don’t have any other options, it’s not the worst decision out there. The oil still offers a premium protection from both rust and wear and tear. It, like many of the others, has the alkaline additives that help clear out deposits of both acid and oil.
But the reason you’re using thicker oils is that European automobiles are built for heavier workloads with less frequent oil changes, so you want an oil that’s not going to burn away too quickly. Castrol, or any American oil, is going to inevitably mean you’re going to be making more changes to the oil. And that’s going to be costly.
But otherwise, there’s no evidence suggesting that Castol can damage or harm a BMW’s engine. You’re just going to burn through a lot of money on replacing the oil.
Mobile 1’s Extended Performance High-Mileage oil is one of the best maximum protection oils on the market. It’s particularly well-suited for colder climates and can help you save on fuel. Otherwise, it does its job well, keeping the engine well-lubricated throughout operation for up to 10,000 miles.
It may be slightly more expensive than a lot of similar oils, but the cost goes into that protection. People who have used it for up to 20 years without reporting any engine trouble.
It’s also a pleasantly convenient oil, requiring no professional mechanic to change your oil when the time comes. In today’s world, you don’t hear much in the way of full-service gas stations, and usually you need to make an appointment for an oil change.
It’s so much easier to do it yourself at home, and Mobil 1’s easy pour makes the whole process, from pouring to running the engine, as smooth as one could hope.
Liqui Moly Molygen
We’ve already sung the praises of Liqui Moly, a great German oil for European cars. It comes highly recommended for any European car, and Molygen specifically is one of their best products.
You’ll notice some clear differences even in presentation, as both the bottle and the oil are a shade of green. It’s very visually appealing, but it has a second purpose that’s quite useful.
If you’ve ever pulled out of your driveway or garage only to find deep, greasy oil stains of unknown origin, then you’ll want to use molygen. With a UV light, those stains, and where they’re coming from, molygen will turn into a translucent, bright green neon. So you can find the source and, if it is a leak, get it repaired easily.
Tracking down the source of leaks is a major problem in America, and it’s surprising no one over on this side of the Atlantic has thought of this simple, fairly ingenious solution.
Now that you know the best oils on the market for your BMW 328i, let’s get into some more general areas of BMW purchasing and then answer some common questions that 328i drivers have.
BMW 328i Buyer’s Guide
Since the E90 BMW 3 series first debuted all the way back in 2006, it’s been a contentious model. It’s not that it’s of a lesser quality than the previous E45 – in fact, it’s just as good. That’s the problem. There don’t appear to be too many upgrades at first glance.
But the E45 from the company was the kind of high-water mark that Hunter Thompson wrote about, those peaks rarely achieved and, if they are, even more rarely eclipsed. And because they were so successful, everyone has somewhat forgotten there’s a brand new model out there. This makes used E90s sell much cheaper than even a used E45.
In other words, if you’re shopping for a BMW, the time to buy an E90 is now when they’re fairly inexpensive and the market hasn’t caught wind.
Anything from the E90 line is recommended, though owners of the 335i have reported having severe pump problems. The 328i is an older model, first launched in 2007 before being revamped two years later. And, as mentioned, it’s one of the most reliable models available.
What the 328i lacks in horsepower, being somewhat less than more recent models, it makes up for in durability. Cars in Europe were built to last, and the 328i is a great example of that tenacity.
BMW also offers warranties for used cars, including an Ultimate Care Package for recent models and Maintenance Program for models older than 2016. They are non-transferable, however, and should they expire you should seek a third-party extended warranty.
BMWs are one of the more expensive vehicles to maintain, and warranties will save you thousands on repairs.
BMW Oil By Year
Determining the right oil for your car is not just a matter of making sure the brand is compatible with the engine. It’s also important to know a little more about your car’s history. At the very least, you’ll need to know the year.
Not that most car owners, particularly those of luxury cars, take pride in including the year when they tell people what kind of car they drive. And it’s valuable information, as part of do-it-yourself home mechanics is having the knowledge on hand.
The first piece of advice is not to panic. The worst thing you can do is run to the auto store and grab anything off the shelf when your change oil light appears. You likely won’t find what you need at a store such as that anyway, unless you happen to be near a BMW dealer.
It’s best to stick with what your manual approves. If your BMW 328i is from 2009 or later, here is what’s approved in the manual:
BMW High Performance SAE 5W-30
BMW Longlife-01 FE
If you have an earlier year, it’s best to use an oil with a viscosity rating or 5w-30.
How to Change Oil on 328i BMW?
Great question, as nothing makes a guy happier than explaining how to make a car run. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 7 quarts of recommended oil
- Oil filter
- Wheel Chocks
- Car Jack
- Oil filter tool
- Jack stands
- Oil drain pan
- Metric sockets
- Step 1
Jack and secure your car on the stands, make sure it’s secure and sturdy. Make sure the engine is cold. If the car has recently been driven, allow a few hours for the engine to completely cool.
- Step 2
Set parking brakes, put rear wheels in the chocks.
- Step 3
Open the BMW access panel, removing the engine splash shield. If your model doesn’t have an access panel, just remove the plastic shield.
- Step 4
Using the drain bolt, let the oil drain onto the pan. Carefully watch for overflow. You’ll want to let the oil drain out for at least fifteen minutes.
- Step 5
Ideally, when removing the old oil filter, you’ll want a proper filter tool. Though you can also use filter pliers. Make sure to replace the filter, the washer and the o-rings. New washers and o-rings should come with your new filter, though if they don’t, they are easy to purchase at the hardware store.
O-rings should always be changed to ensure that your filter is always securely in place.
- Step 6
Install the filter, torquing it to 25Nm.
- Step 7
Install the drain plug and similarly torque it to specifications. Usually, it should be at the same torqueage, though you may want to consult the manual.
You should always install a crush washer with the drain bolt. This will help prevent future leaks.
Once you’ve installed the filter, it’s time to test out the oil. Put in the standard six quarts you would with any oil change. After five minutes, check the oil levels with a dipstick or your BMW’s instrument cluster.
Keep adding oil until the level reads OK on the iDrive. Then, once you’re ready, reset the oil reminder in your car and drive away.
How often to change oil in BMW 328i?
You should change your oil as recommended by the manual, every 10,000 miles. Though if you’re using conventional oil as opposed to something like Liqui Moly, you should change it every 3-5,000 miles.
Of course, if you hear any strange engine noises such as bumping, you might have to suddenly change it in emergencies. This is why it’s wise to always be well-supplied in the oil of your choice.
Which engine oil is best for BMW 328i?
Any of the brands I’ve recommended are done so with the highest possible rating. But for my money, you aren’t going to get a product that better suits any model of BMW than Liqui Moly. If you’re driving a European car, then it only stands to reason European oil is best.
What Type of Oil does a BMW 328i take?
The BMW 328i uses synthetic oil with a viscosity rating of 5w-30. It is not recommended that you mix oils when performing an oil change, and only use what’s listed in the manual.
How much oil does a BMW 328i take?
It depends on the type of car. A 4-passenger car will use less oil than a two passenger sports car. But in general, any BMW is going to need between 5 to 8 quarts of oil. For the specific number for your vehicle, consult the manual.