Service log

Update on 11/29/16

Got my last free oil change from BMW a few weeks back and thought I’d post the oil analysis results from Blackstone. Only went 2,700 miles on this so I’m not exactly sure what I was looking or but figured the more data the better.



When changing the oil in the BMW I took a sample and sent it off to Blackstone Labs for an oil analysis. A couple days and phone calls later (for some reason the email didn’t get sent to me when it was suppose to) I received this back.

Click for the PDF

Click here for the oil report (PDF)


Blackstone’s response:

We didn’t find any fuel in this sample, so your sampling technique was fine. Next time you can forego the idling — sometimes that introduces a little fuel into the oil (but not this time, apparently). Wear metals look pretty good, for the most part. Universal averages show typical wear levels for this engine type after about 6,100 miles on the oil. Your run was longer at 10,000 miles, and metals are all within the average range. Iron is a little higher, but that’s a normal outcome of a longer oil run, so we’re not worried. Try up to 12,000 miles, if you’d like. Nice!



These guys/gals are really cool people despite the minor email snafu.

I put on my oil form that I wasn’t sure if my warming up of the engine technique was OK and as you can see they responded back with their findings.


These results really make me think about the whole 15k (10k in model year 2014 cars) oil service interval for BMW’s. The conspiracy theorists come out and say it’s how BMW makes their money, blah blah.  After seeing these results, I’m not convinced that’s not true but it does give BMW a little more credit in my mind that they really have tested the crap out of this. In conjunction with my results testing spark plugs and their BMW suggested 60k mile change time, I must say I am questioning some of the hearsay on the forums. This “hard data” contradicts (at least with my car) a lot of misinformation out there.

FYI, I’m still going to change my oil every 6k miles and plugs every 30k miles (half of BMW’s recommended time) but thought I’d share these results.

Spark Plugs

(Click any image for the full res version)

  • Plug 1: plug1
  • Plug 2: plug2
  • Plug 3: plug3
  • Plug 4: plug4
  • Plug 5: plug5
  • Plug 6: plug6


  • In my extremely limited knowledge of spark plug reading, these look totally normal. They all had a small 3-4mm spot of carbon in random places around the rim near the insulator. Appears to be normal when compared to other N55 plugs I’ve compared them to.
  • Prior to swapping out the plugs I ran some diagnostics in ISTA+ (BMW’s application that techs use) and paid extra attention to the “rough running cylinder values” as described in the tech notes. Anything within +/- 7.00 on the display was acceptable and prior to changing my plugs those value were all within +/- 2.00
  • After swapping those values appear to be close to +/- 0.5 !!!

    ISTA+ results of “rough running cylinder” values

Bore-scope in cylinders:

  • I’m not really impressed with the video quality of this bore-scope I picked up. It was a $14 Amazon special, I need to try getting still images if anything as the video footage is pretty useless.
  • Cylinder 1
  • Cylinder 2
  • Cylinder 3
  • Cylinder 4
  • Cylinder 5
  • Cylinder 6
    Cylinder 6
    Cylinder 6
    Cylinder 6


Cylinder 5
Cylinder 5
Cylinder 5
Cylinder 5
Cylinder 4
Cylinder 4
Cylinder 3
Cylinder 3
Cylinder 3
Cylinder 2
Cylinder 2
Cylinder 2
Cylinder 2
Cylinder 1
Cylinder 1
Cylinder 1

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