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Drive a Mini Cooper, Audi or BMW? Beware of Low Engine Oil Levels.

Brian England, Tue, Aug 26, 2014

Mini Cooper running low on oil

“Every time I bring my Mini Cooper in you say it is low on oil, why?”

Well this is a good question, we have been asking the question the other way around:

“Why are so many Minis coming in very low on oil or even dry?”

Time after time we have seen Minis come in with dangerously low oil levels. What is going on? We have also seen Audis and BMWs with very low oil levels!

Well, purely by chance, I have at last found out.

A customer asked to meet with me to go over this issue and other Mini problems. I arranged to stay late so that I could meet with the customer and his father.

We went over item after item, and then, while showing them how to check the oil level the son shared with me,“The salesman said I can go 15,000 miles between oil changes. He said don’t worry, the computer system will tell you when to have the oil changed.”

At that moment it hit me.  Most people have been indoctrinated by the quick lube places to have oil changes every 3000 miles. Most cars go 2000 to 3000 miles before using one quart of oil. You never see people putting oil in their cars. In general they don’t know how to check the oil level. There has been no need.

Now, along come vehicles like Mini, BMW and Audi that have extended oil change periods. These vehicles are owned by people that have never learned how to check the oil level of their vehicles. Put these two things together and you have a major problem.

Lets do the math. A normal European engine uses oil at the rate of 1 quart per 3000 miles. The engine oil capacity is 5 quarts. The salesman said change the oil every 15,000 miles. Well by the time you get to 15,000 miles the engine damage has already been done! The engine has run out of oil. Bearings are worn out. Rings are damaged. Minute passages are blocked. Valve train guides are worn.

So how do you prevent this from happening?  Just check the engine oil level.

And…what is the correct oil change schedule?

Well, check out the video below.  It will show you how to check you oil between preventive maintenance services.

If you would like to find out the right oil change schedule for your car. Schedule a free oil change consultation. We’ll help make sure you avoid running low on oil.

Have any questions about the article? Reach out to the author!

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About Brian England


Brian England, the current president of BA Auto Care (formerly British American Auto Care) got his start with an auto apprenticeship in a small town in the northwest of London. He came to the U.S. in 1972 to work for a Land Rover dealer in Rockville, MD, and a few years later, started British American Auto Care with his wife, Jennifer. A big believer in preventive auto maintenance, Brian's philosophy is to encourage and educate drivers on the benefits of adhering to a regular maintenance plan.