BMW Oil Dipstick Reading (All You Need to Know)

Oil is one of the most crucial components of a car. It keeps the internal parts of the engine lubricated and cool. Further, it keeps the moving parts from grinding against each other. For this reason, it runs out or becomes dirty, which is why checking it is crucial. Such checking is doable with a stick, also known as an oil dipstick.

Oil dipstick reading is the most common method for users to check their car’s oil level and status. With this reading, users can know if it’s time to add oil or to change it. In short, Oil dipstick reading is something you need to know, and this article will cover it for you.

Below, you’ll see an in-depth take on oil dipstick reading. This way, you can grasp the concept thoroughly and make sure you do it correctly for the proper maintenance of your car.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

BMW Oil Dipstick Reading

How to Check BMW Oil With Dipstick?

If you own an old model BMW, chances are it comes with a dipstick which you can use to check the car’s oil level.

Now, if you want to check your car’s oil with the dipstick, you can follow the steps below:

  1. Turn off your engine. It will ensure the dipstick records the level of the oil without shaking brought by the running engine.
  2. Park your car on a leveled surface. It will ensure the oil isn’t getting recorded on a slant, resulting in an accurate reading.
  3. Open the hood and take the dipstick. Depending on the model, it can be inside the oil chamber or outside.
  4. As you get the dipstick, make sure you don’t spill oil on the engine, so pull it out with a cloth or tissue on hand.
  5. Put the dipstick into the oil chamber, and check the level through it. The dipstick should have lines or guides to indicate the level of the oil.

Now that you know how to use it let’s understand how to read the dipstick.

Related: BMW Oil Dipstick

How Much Oil Should Be On the BMW Dipstick?

The dipstick is a crucial tool to determine the level of oil. It indicates whether the car needs more oil or whether it needs changing.

For this reason, you must understand how to read the dipstick in your car.

In a simple explanation, the dipstick will tell you the volume of the oil. It has indicators that come in either hole or carve.

The higher one would mean its maximum level while the lower one is the minimum.

Now, if the oil doesn’t reach the markings or holes on the dipstick, you need to add at least a quart of oil.

If the stick doesn’t show an oil level, you need to add oil immediately.

In general, the dipstick should have oil covering the middle of both point indicators.

How Do You Know When Your Oil BMW Dipstick Is Full?

The oil dipstick of BMWs comes with two-point indicators. It can be holes or carves, but it’s usually the latter.

The hole’s purpose on the stick (or hash marks, on some other cars) is to show you when it’s complete. Such an indicator would be the higher one.

On the other hand, the lower hole or point indicates that you have a low oil level. It also means you need to add some.

As a general rule of thumb, you need to add half a quart if it’s halfway between the two holes.

Now, while it should work all the time, other circumstances may indicate some issues or problems.

Why Is There No Oil On My BMW Dipstick After the Oil Change?

Although it’s rare, it can happen that no oil would appear on your BMW dipstick once you change the oil.

In general, no oil would appear on the dipstick when cold since your engine had consumed more oil than it should have.

Such an instance can happen between the last time you changed the oil and check the dipstick.

If it happens to you, remember that it may mean a severe issue. Further, note that it often indicates more issues with your engine.

For this reason, it would be best to take your car to a service center to have it checked. This way, you can prevent further issues and relieve them as soon as possible.

Also Read: How to Check Oil On BMW Without Dipstick?


Oil dipstick reading is the classic and probably the most reliable form of oil reading. If you want to know your car’s oil level, a dipstick is your go-to.

As always, you need to ensure a few steps since missing one or two may lead to having inaccurate details. Since oil is essential in a car, you need to check yours once in a while.

It makes a good routine to check your car’s details like this one. It makes all the difference, leading to giving your car a better condition and performance.


Image credits – Canva

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My name is Hank, and I've been in the automotive industry for 27 years. I've been working in my own auto repair shop for the last 13 years, and now I want to help you here, on my blog. Let me know if you have any questions. Read more