2012 BMW 328i Engine Oil Capacity

Your 2012 BMW 328i engine oil capacity is 5.3 or 6.9 quarts, depending on its engine size. Check out this Jerry guide for the complete breakdown.
Written by John Davis
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
The 2012 BMW 328i is a sporty blend of upscale class and electrifying power. Its robust engine options are combined with classic Bimmer luxury to form a car you can enjoy driving just about anywhere. But to keep your 328i in top condition over time, you'll need to know its engine oil capacity—which is 5.3 or 6.9 quarts, depending on its engine size.
As a Bimmer owner, you know that car ownership isn't cheap, much less so when you own a luxury vehicle. And between
car insurance
premiums, the cost of fuel, and even
routine vehicle maintenance
, your list of expenses might feel like it never stops growing. You can cut down on those expenses by changing your Bimmer's oil at home—but you'll need to check your owner's manual for the proper oil capacity first.
You’ve come to the right place for answers if you don't have an owner's manual. Today, we'll cover everything you need to know about your 2012 BMW 328i engine oil capacity. 
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2012 BMW 328i engine oil capacity

The 2012 BMW 328i is available as a sedan or coupe. Sedan models have a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that holds 5.3 quarts or 5.02 liters of motor oil. Coupe models have a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that holds 6.9 quarts or 6.53 liters of oil
Whether you own a sedan or coupe, you need to understand the difference between your car's
engine displacement
—the total volume of space occupied by your Bimmer's engine cylinders—and its oil capacity, which refers to the measure of oil the motor stores for lubrication purposes. 
Whatever you do, don't confuse these two terms. Because they are completely different concepts, engine oil capacity and displacement should never be used interchangeably. 

What kind of oil does a 2012 BMW 328i take?

Now that we've covered engine oil capacity, it's time to talk about the type of oil your Bimmer needs. Yep, there is a lot of variety when it comes to engine oil, and you'll need to fill your 328i with the proper type. 
When you're in the auto parts store shopping, look for SAE 5W-30. That's the grade of oil that BMW recommends using in your 2012 328i, and selecting the manufacturer's recommendation is always a wise move. 
But what exactly does that oil grade mean? Each letter and number has an important meaning that helps us identify the oil's intended use. Let's take a look.
The first number in the code—for your Bimmer, it's "5"—tells us how thick the oil is when your motor is cold. You can remember the meaning of the first number because it's next to the "W," which stands for winter. The final number—here, it's "30"—indicates the oil's thickness when your car is running and the engine is hot. 
You can identify a thinner oil because it will have smaller numbers in its code. This type of oil is ideal for use in automotive engines because it moves freely and smoothly through the motor. 
When you get ready to purchase your replacement oil, look for
BMW High-Performance SAE 5W-30
, which is the product your owner's manual recommends using in your 2012 328i. 

How often should you change the oil on a 2012 BMW 328i? 

BMW recommends replacing the oil in your 2012 328i every 3,000 to 5,000 miles if you're using conventional oil and 7,500 to 10,000 miles if using full-synthetic oil. If you'd prefer to track the intervals between oil changes in months, you should change your oil at least once every six months
But oil maintenance doesn't end with the oil change—you need to monitor your Bimmer's oil in between changes to ensure the level and condition are healthy. We like to recommend checking your oil every other time you're at the gas pump, but no matter what, you should inspect your oil at least once a month
These are the signs that indicate it's time to replace your oil:
  • The oil looks black or dark brown (clean oil appears a lot like dark honey and is slightly transparent)
  • The oil's consistency is muddy, chunky, or sludgy
  • The oil has a gritty or grainy texture
  • Your Bimmer's engine is emitting foul odors, like oil, smoke, or burning
  • Your 328i's engine performance suddenly drops
  • Your Bimmer's engine is making unusual or new sounds, like knocking 
MORE: Are BMWs expensive to maintain? 

How to change your 2012 BMW 328i oil and oil filter

Once you've got the proper type and amount of replacement oil, it's time to get to work changing it. You'll need the following tools and supplies:
  • A 15-millimeter socket and a ratchet wrench
  • Something to lift the vehicle off the ground, like ramps or a jack and jack stands
  • A torque wrench
  • An oil filter wrench
  • Clean 5W-30 replacement oil
  • A new oil filter
  • A drain pan
  • A funnel
  • A towel or rag for any spills
Before venturing under your BMW, start it up and let the motor run for about five minutes. This step isn't essential, but it does allow the engine to warm up, which causes the oil to drain more quickly. Once your Bimmer is warm, shut it off, gather your supplies, and proceed with the steps below.
  1. Take off the oil fill cap and the dipstick (this causes the oil to drain more rapidly by removing the vacuum).
  2. Crawl beneath your Bimmer and remove the oil drain plug. Use the drain pan to collect the used oil as it drains.
  3. As the old oil drains, remove the old oil filter.
  4. Lubricate your clean oil filter by putting a thin layer of clean oil on the gasket before screwing it into place. Don't over-tighten the oil filter—screw it on only until it feels secure and snug.
  5. Reinstall the oil drain bolt before using your torque wrench to tighten it to 18.4 lb-ft.
  6. Fill your 2012 328i with clean 5W-30 oil
Once these steps are complete, start your BMW again and let it idle for 30 seconds. Then,
use your dipstick
to check the level and add more oil if necessary. 
Your final step should be to recycle the old oil. The easiest way to do this is to transfer the dirty oil to the new oil's empty container and then return it to the car parts store. 
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