In Reply to: Anyone's 328i slightly low on oil? posted by Lorenz on September 23, 1999 at 18:43:20:
I'll put it this way. If an typical new car owner complains to the dealer that his engine is consuming one quart per thousand miles (not 5,000 plus like yours), it is considered normal and they won't do anything about it. I assume BMW's response would be about the same. A quart per 5000 miles is perfectly acceptable and in no way indicates a problem. A normal engine WILL use some oil. Oil lubricates the cylinder walls and some of this burns off in combustion. Also there are small amounts of leakage in the valve guides and past the piston rings. Something like a quart in 100 miles is about the level where you see lots of oil smoke from the exhaust (all the time), by the way.
If an engine truly consumes ZERO oil, it has a problem and won't have a long life. It would mean the cylinder walls aren't being properly lubricated. Lots of people claim their engine doesn't consume oil, but it does (or better). It might just be at a very low rate (almost undetectbable between oil changes).
Do your engine a favor and check the level more often than 5000 miles. With our extended oil change intervals, most or all of us will need to add oil between changes.