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      11-26-2007, 09:15 PM   #1
mkiiieustyle
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BMW service periods

i was looking through a thread about a lack of a dipstick, some people said the period of service's is around 15K-17Kmiles is this true, i have never owned a beemer before, i have worked at toyota as a tech for 3 yrs and have a few experience before with used cars, to me 15k on a single oil change FUCKING crazy talk, i just want to know for sure if this is true or wether you can still bring your new beemer to the dealership at 3k-4k for a service and it still be free?
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      11-26-2007, 09:33 PM   #2
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130k of hard driving on my 2000 328ci. Average oil change between 10k-15k, with zero problems. I trust BMW engineers to know what is a safe service interval for the car.

If it makes people feel better, change the oil every 500 miles, but they are going to pay for it out of pocket. BMW is not going to cover unnecessary service.

When my vehicle was in-warranty, the dealer never had a problem with me bringing it in after 10k, but I don't know what the official policy is, I highly doubt BMW will cover people bringing in their car at 3-4k. There is no reason for it.
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      11-26-2007, 09:47 PM   #3
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i was looking through a thread about a lack of a dipstick, some people said the period of service's is around 15K-17Kmiles is this true, i have never owned a beemer before, i have worked at toyota as a tech for 3 yrs and have a few experience before with used cars, to me 15k on a single oil change FUCKING crazy talk, i just want to know for sure if this is true or wether you can still bring your new beemer to the dealership at 3k-4k for a service and it still be free?
I'm with you on this one, for more than one reason.

I will DIY my own oil & filter changes at 5,000 miles, with the BMW "free" oil change on schedule.

Also, these cars (per this website) use one of those new expensive, messy, RETARDED cartridge oil filters instead of the tried & true spin-on filter the whole world has used for a long time.:mad::mad:
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      11-26-2007, 09:47 PM   #4
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BMW will only cover what they call scheduled maintenance. Your car calculates when it needs an oil change. It is "supposed" to happen at around 15k miles. I had mine done at the 1 year mark and the two year mark as covered service, and they covered it as "low milage oil change" on the service paperwork. My experience is that they do change the oil either annually or when your car says it needs it. They will not change your oil (for free) when you feel it is needed.

One interesting thing to note... With my last oil service, they did not reset my oil service indicator, and it counted up to 17200 miles before it said the car needed one. This 17k miles is with me tracking and autocrossing my car.

That is why I change at 5k mile intervals (or less).
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      11-26-2007, 09:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by AJ~ View Post
Also, these cars (per this website) use one of those new expensive, messy, RETARDED cartridge oil filters instead of the tried & true spin-on filter the whole world has used for a long time.:mad::mad:
Cartridge filters rock, and they are only a few dollars ($5-$6). You pop the cover off, and while holding the cover, slide it into a plastic bag. Then slide the new filter on, replace the O ring, and spin the cover back on. The filter is top front and center... EXTREMELY simple to change, and cheap to boot, with no getting spent oil all over the place. Matter of fact, you can change your oil without getting any on your hands.

BMW has had this setup for 20+ years that I know of. It's nothing newfangled, and it works well.
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      11-26-2007, 10:33 PM   #6
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Something to consider on oil change intervals...

A strong factor negatively influencing (extending) a manufacturers published maintenence schedule is (believe it or not) a marketing need. You see, a "true cost of ownership" figure is generated on auto research sites, and there has become a great deal of pressure on all auto manufacturers to write long service intervals to bring down published cost figures like routine maintenence, and total ownership costs...its for nerds who do a bunch of comparative research and get their panties in a wad over that nonsense. That's exactly why you see absurd intervals like 100,000 or more miles on spark plugs. I could go into a big long rant about how this is another example of things being dumbed down for the masses, but I think most everyone in here gets the idea (except maybe the people doing photoshops).

In the end, your approach to oil changes is going to depend on your personality type....

Tightwad/By The Book personality approach - These are the people who drank the kool-aid, they'll say "Oh BMW knows best and they wouldn't possibly publish anything but the ideal and absolutely correct interval, and that's what I'm gonna follow." In that case, you'll think you're doing yourself a favor by driving around on thickened oil for 15,000 miles with many suspended particles, soot, and acids that form as a result from by-products of combustion...negatively affecting fuel economy, engine wear, and costing you more in the end.

Then there's the more pragmatic approach, you know, the mechanically oriented people who understand that the oil is the lifeblood of the engine, and it just pays in many ways to keep up a more agressive service interval. Modern BMW inline sixes generally hold 7ish quarts of oil, therefore with synthetic oil, you can go 5000 miles pretty safely between oil changes. And for the price of an oil change, there's just no margin in being a tightwad.

There's alot of people in the first group who could never be moved into the second group, and that's fine...I'm not trying, or even advocating it, because you can't fix stupid. I'm simply illustrating that in the end, its your personality style that is going to determine how well you are going to look after your car. Or really, if you possess the cognitive skills to think independantly and recognize where the true value is, and I'm not talking about a hardware store.
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      11-26-2007, 11:09 PM   #7
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WOW that's a looonnnggg time for any oil change, toyota had there services for every7kmiles back in the 90's but had to chnage it because there was a HUGE sludging problem that was associated with the service intervals, we (toyota techs) are still now taking off heads and doing short blocks to engines that have had extended service intervals, because of this problem they shortend the intervals by 2kmiles to be at today's service interval at 5k which includes a tire rotation every 5k also. i'm just dumb founded at the time between chnages even with today's synthetic oils 15k is still definately pushing it even if it does have a BMW symbol on the front..... i will be chnaging the oil a hell of alot sooner than that, every 5k on DD and probobaly everytime i take it to the track or run the hell out of it.

cartridge filters are just as easy to replace/maintain as the regular filters are i do both day in day out 5 day's a week.
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      11-26-2007, 11:27 PM   #8
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my friend has a 02 m3 and has had it serviced every 10k and it has over 130k!! and no issues at all.
in germany i trust.
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      11-27-2007, 01:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WolfsburgerMitFries View Post
Something to consider on oil change intervals...

In the end, your approach to oil changes is going to depend on your personality type....

Tightwad/By The Book personality approach - These are the people who drank the kool-aid, they'll say "Oh BMW knows best and they wouldn't possibly publish anything but the ideal and absolutely correct interval, and that's what I'm gonna follow." In that case, you'll think you're doing yourself a favor by driving around on thickened oil for 15,000 miles with many suspended particles, soot, and acids that form as a result from by-products of combustion...negatively affecting fuel economy, engine wear, and costing you more in the end.

Then there's the more pragmatic approach, you know, the mechanically oriented people who understand that the oil is the lifeblood of the engine, and it just pays in many ways to keep up a more agressive service interval. Modern BMW inline sixes generally hold 7ish quarts of oil, therefore with synthetic oil, you can go 5000 miles pretty safely between oil changes. And for the price of an oil change, there's just no margin in being a tightwad.
So If I don't agree with your opinion, I must be drinking the "kool aid" and lacking mechanical inclination?

Where is the evidence that a modern BMW engine has performance or wear issues by changing the oil at the manufacturer suggested interval? Where do you get this 5000 mile number? Is this published somewhere, or are you picking 5000 because it sounds good?
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      11-27-2007, 01:25 AM   #10
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bmw is in the business to sell cars that last a long time otherwise ppl would buy a benz and replace it every 4 years
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      11-27-2007, 02:27 AM   #11
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i believe i nthe 5k interval because everytime i change oil in my suby at 5k, it's very thick, black, and the magnet has a lot of debris on it.
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      11-27-2007, 08:34 AM   #12
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For the MINI, the first service starts counting at 10,000 miles and goes down from there. They base the actual countown on fuel usage or some other calculation, but for most people it ends up coming between 10k and 11k actual miles.

Then the clock is reset and serivce 2 starts counting at 15000 and does the same. Seems like most of the time it ends up being close to 17k.

On MINI sites (and I am sure at BMW sites also) plenty of people have had their oil tested by Blackstone (I think that is the name of the company) at multiple intervals and I have never seen anyone's test come back as bad oil even at the end of the MINI/BMW recommended interval. In fact, they usually say that the oil is OK for continued use, but that more frequent monitoring is needed to determine when to truly change it, even for the first change with the oil from break in still there.

That being said, since I drive a little less than 10k miles per year and have not actually been testing my own oil, I changed mine halfway last time (when the countdown got to 7500, which was closer to 8500 actual miles on the oil) and plan on doing it again as cheap insurance. I have seen others talk online of doing it every 3, 4, 5k miles, but think that is probably overkill based on actual oil test results on similar cars.
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      11-27-2007, 08:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
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So If I don't agree with your opinion, I must be drinking the "kool aid" and lacking mechanical inclination?
You should have read more closely. I said that I was totally disinterested in changing anybodys viewpoint on the matter. You're entitled to your opinion, and to do what you want.

I will point this out though. If you flip a quart of Valvoline over, on the back it says "Lexington, KY". We have a test lab where we run engines for weeks, even months at a time and then tear them apart and measure for wear. That's where I work, that's where we develop/test our products, as well as test other peoples products. So go ahead and keep drinking your kool-aid. I don't care.



As a side note, most oils advertized as synthetics today are not really synthetic (including Valvoline), they are group III hydrocracked oils (highly refined rather than true synthetics). Mobil 1 is really the only widely and easily available oil that is still a true group IV polyalphaolefin base synthetic.
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      11-27-2007, 08:45 AM   #14
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bmw is in the business to sell cars that last a long time otherwise ppl would buy a benz and replace it every 4 years
I beg to differ. BMW is in the bussiness of selling cars that keep people happy & maintanence costs low through the end of the warranty period. Once a car is past this stage, BMW or any other manufacturer stop giving a shit! Period!

The long term durability that people associate with BMW is the byproduct of reasonable maintenace schedules & well built cars from the 1980's (E28/E30).

The best way to educate yourself on these types of issues, as well as everything else related to bimmers, is to join the BMWCCA, read Roundel,the fantastic monthly magazine, especially the tech column written by Mike Miller every month. I think you will quickly see that people like myself & larryn, are very much in step with these issues being marketing bullshit, & not good maintenace practices!
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      11-27-2007, 08:53 AM   #15
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You have to really think though with the turbo cars and the turbos using the oil as well .. to me I would rather pay more out of my pocket for peace of mind for sure .. I'm not saying the germans don't know what they are doing, but 15k is just crazy!! .... I'll be doing mine ever 3 - 5k ..

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      11-27-2007, 12:30 PM   #16
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Maintenance Thoughts

Lots of good information here, I like reading the Roundel's Mike Miller who points out that BMW lengthened their service intervals only after offering the free maintenance program. Pure Marketing. I change fluids according to the old schedule which for me in general is:

1. Oil: 1,250 mile break in then every 7,500 or once a year
2. Gear oil: Tranny and dif break in then every 30K or every other year.
3. Brake Fluid: once a year
4. Coolant: every other year, pint of Redline (RL) Water wetter.
5. Air filter/Cabin filter: once a year
6. Add RL S1 or Chevron Techron to fuel twice or so a year
7. Plugs: 30K miles.

I live at altitude, track my cars and live in a dry dusty enviroment, which is by definition "severe service", which I think supports a more conservative view of maintenance intervals.

It's all easy to do and fun anyway (except perhaps coolant) plus, it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy about your car.

Mike Miller likes Redline, I also like Redline and German Castrol Synthetic as well as the Euro formulation Mobile 1 Synthetic 0W-40. I like Redline or Royal Purple 100% Syn. gear oils.

Blackstone UOA results as well as others can be seen on the nerdish websites Bob is the Oil Guy or The Oil Drop. Can be helpful as some engines are harder on oil then others. For Example, there is about 20 guys on the board that have Audi RS4s and have fuel dilution problems and have come up with an additive fix or just change their oil every 3-5K miles. BMW engines consistently are mentioned as "easy on oil" in terms of shear and fuel dilution even with 15K mile changes. True also of the M-Motors. BMW's Castrol developed TWS Motorsport 10W-60 is also highly rated, so is the other BMW Synthetic Oils.

This new turbo motor could be different however, as it runs hot, is more highly stressed and also uses the newer direct fuel injection method (as does the RS4)....I have'nt checked UOA results on the N54 motor yet.

I've owned 8 Bimmers and none have had problems, used any oil ever and just purr. I guess that's why I keep buying them!!

Hope this helps.
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      11-27-2007, 12:34 PM   #17
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Great first post - thanks and welcome aboard!!
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      11-27-2007, 01:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S62PWR View Post
Lots of good information here, I like reading the Roundel's Mike Miller who points out that BMW lengthened their service intervals only after offering the free maintenance program. Pure Marketing. I change fluids according to the old schedule which for me in general is:

1. Oil: 1,250 mile break in then every 7,500 or once a year
2. Gear oil: Tranny and dif break in then every 30K or every other year.
3. Brake Fluid: once a year
4. Coolant: every other year, pint of Redline (RL) Water wetter.
5. Air filter/Cabin filter: once a year
6. Add RL S1 or Chevron Techron to fuel twice or so a year
7. Plugs: 30K miles.

I live at altitude, track my cars and live in a dry dusty enviroment, which is by definition "severe service", which I think supports a more conservative view of maintenance intervals.

It's all easy to do and fun anyway (except perhaps coolant) plus, it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy about your car.

Mike Miller likes Redline, I also like Redline and German Castrol Synthetic as well as the Euro formulation Mobile 1 Synthetic 0W-40. I like Redline or Royal Purple 100% Syn. gear oils.

Blackstone UOA results as well as others can be seen on the nerdish websites Bob is the Oil Guy or The Oil Drop. Can be helpful as some engines are harder on oil then others. For Example, there is about 20 guys on the board that have Audi RS4s and have fuel dilution problems and have come up with an additive fix or just change their oil every 3-5K miles. BMW engines consistently are mentioned as "easy on oil" in terms of shear and fuel dilution even with 15K mile changes. True also of the M-Motors. BMW's Castrol developed TWS Motorsport 10W-60 is also highly rated, so is the other BMW Synthetic Oils.

This new turbo motor could be different however, as it runs hot, is more highly stressed and also uses the newer direct fuel injection method (as does the RS4)....I have'nt checked UOA results on the N54 motor yet.

I've owned 8 Bimmers and none have had problems, used any oil ever and just purr. I guess that's why I keep buying them!!

Hope this helps.
Welcome!
It's nice to have new members with some actual BMW experience & background, as well as being a BMWCCA member, on board!:roundel:
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      11-27-2007, 02:00 PM   #19
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By the way, to further bolster the arguement for changing oil more frequently, because of the higher than normal temps and oil pressure of the N54, it degrades the oil at a much quicker rate than a NA motor.

Take a look at the results of a Dyson test (similar to Blackstone), where you can see fairly major degradation due to unburned fuel in the oil (common at minimal levels). This makes it not as effective as a lubrican't, and causes premature engine wear, as seen by the increased contiminants in that test (Boron is 1.6x the "warning" level, but there are other issues with that sample).

There is a fairly extensive thread about this at e90post.com. It's a detailed discussion about this exact engine, including test results from multiple sources. They all heavily point to the N54 needing more frequent oil changes than the 15k mile covered intervals.

Btw, oil dilution and degradation is directly effected by how you drive your car. Factors like how many short trips, not letting it get up to temp before stomping on it, high stress driving(track/autox).. will all contribute to oil degradation/contamination.
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      11-27-2007, 08:52 PM   #20
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Quote:
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i believe i nthe 5k interval because everytime i change oil in my suby at 5k, it's very thick, black, and the magnet has a lot of debris on it.

Exactly, do people not grasp the idea that BMW makes some of the finest engines in all of the world? Even the BMW engines that are not in the top=ten list are still made with exceptional tolerances and clean design. My vette after only 3k miles had alot of oil shavings in the oil pan. You won't get that with 15k miles on a BMW.

That said, not all engines are built the same. I paid for my first oil "early" oil-change. because I feel the first one is the most important. But zI'm anal over such things.

BTW BMW offered to use my free oil change instead... but I told them you can use that in about 6k miles. After that I feel the 15k oil change is fine. The engine is broke in and the internal wear patterns are established.
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      11-27-2007, 10:50 PM   #21
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Alright, you pro-cartridge filter guys make a convincing argument.

I knew this would devolve into an oil discussion thread. These kinds of threads always do.

Bob is the Oil Guy is a neat website. Lots of experienced wisdom there. I recall reading that even some Mobil 1 oils (not sure which weight) are now group III, not group IV.

I remember going UP the road to Big Bear Mountain really fast in a turbo MX-6 GT at night, popping the hood, and seeing the turbocharger GLOWING ORANGE. It was so hot, it was emitting visible light. Oil life has to be shortened in such high heat conditions.

To summarize, 15,000 mile oil change intervals on a turbocharged car is probably not a good idea if you plan on keeping the car long term.
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      11-27-2007, 11:22 PM   #22
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i don't think anyone on this thread was stating that BMW made or designed bad engines, if that was the case i wouldn't even bother buying a 1er or any other BMW for that matter. the truth is they make GREAT engines amoung other things, but really 15k on oil is crrazy i work with the stuff all day man and so do alot of people on this thread from what it looks like, and to be honest there all stating pretty much the same thing on the service interval, BMW may give a free oil change every 15k or so but mines is gettin changed sooner i could care less really what other people do with theres i'm just going to be smiling when your motor has a rod knock, piston slap or sludge and you have to rebuild yours while mine is coming in for it's frequent 5k oil service
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