BMW Oil Dipstick (All You Need to Know)

Oil is one of the essential components of cars, and so any driver should check it once in a while. With this in mind, the importance of Oil Dipstick comes to play. However, it’s not for every BMW user.

In BMWs, not every model has an oil dipstick, only the older models do, and it’s a reliable tool that shows the oil level. This tool helps the driver know whether he needs to add or change the oil. Newer BMWs don’t have a dipstick. Instead, they have a sensor that automatically determines the level.

Whether you’re new to BMWs or into it, you must learn how to use the dipstick. It’s something that every BMW user needs to understand.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

BMW Oil Dipstick

What is BMW Oil Dipstick?

The BMW Oil Dipstick is a simple yet reliable tool that most cars have under the hood.

Like other brands, some old BMWs have dipsticks, and the purpose of such is to measure the oil of the car.

In general, BMW Oil Dipsticks come with measuring lines in the form of carvings.

Some other brands have such indicators as holes in the bottom of the dipstick.

With this tool, users can know when to add oil in the chamber, stop adding, and change it completely.

Now, the next question you might ask is whether BMWs have dipsticks.

Does BMW Have Oil Dipsticks?

The answer to this question varies, as some BMWs have oil dipsticks while others don’t.

The older BMW models have dipsticks located in the oil chamber itself. However, the newer ones don’t have such a tool.

Instead of dipsticks, the newer models have sensors that can determine the oil level of the car. The data would then appear to the interface behind the steering wheel.

These newer models propose a more accessible and cleaner way to check the oil level. However, it poses a question of reliability and accuracy at the same time.

For instance, many drivers fear that the system determining the oil level may break without them knowing. It can also lead to adding up too much or the chamber running out of oil.

BMW stopped including such tools as they released new models back in 2006. Ever since that year, the cars determine the oil level through the sensor.

Manufacturers believe that it makes everything safer since checking the oil is only for service professionals.

Most users, on the other hand, believe that it’s a simple task anyone can do. If they need to spend money every time they need it checked, it’s better to trade the car.

Now, you may wonder which BMW models have oil dipstick.

Related: How to Check Oil On BMW Without Dipstick?

What BMW Models Have Oil Dipstick?

In general, BMW stopped including dipstick on their car models way back in 2006. Thus, every model released during and after the said year doesn’t have a dipstick.

Below is a list of every model released before the year 2006. You can also ask your dealer if it comes with a dipstick or not to be sure:

  • 3 Series (E36) 1990–2000
  • 7 Series (E38) 1994–2001
  • Z3 1995–2002
  • 5 Series (E39) 1995–2003
  • 3 Series (E46) 1998–2006
  • X5 (E53) 1999–2006
  • Z8 2000–2003

Below are models released before, during, and after 2006, so some models may have dipstick while others don’t.

  • Some 7 Series (E65/E66)
  • Some Z4 (E85/E86)
  • Some 5 Series (E60/E61)
  • Some 6 Series (E63/E64)
  • Some X3 (E83)
  • Some 1 Series (E81/E82/E87/E88)
  • Some 3 Series (E90/E91/E92/E93)

As always, it would be best to check it yourself first, so you may know if the car comes with a dipstick or not.

How do you check the oil on a BMW dipstick?

If your car includes an oil dipstick, you can check the oil level manually. In a gist, here’s how you can check the oil using a BMW dipstick:

  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.

For an in-depth guide in understanding the oil dipstick measurements, you can check our article about the BMW oil dipstick reading. Here, you can read the steps and learn the proper actions to take once you do.


The oil dipstick remains one of the most reliable tools for car models that have it. Since oil is crucial in every car’s performance and durability, knowing how to maintain it is of utmost importance.

The sensors in new models provide a cleaner and much more efficient way of checking the oil. Still, dipsticks remain one of the tools most drivers continue to rely upon until now.

Thus, if your car includes a dipstick, you must learn to read it and know the proper action you need to do afterward.

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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