Originally Posted by chromisdesigns
It's no coincidence that at the same time BMW introduced "free" maintenance, they began drastically extending the maintenance intervals recommended!
I keep my cars a long time -- intermediate oil changes are fairly cheap engine insurance. Plus you never know when the mechanic will spot something potentially expensive or hazardous during the service. The shop I use always does a once-over inspection no matter what the car is in for, even if just for an oil and filter change.
Over the years, they've found torn boots, leaking struts, worn shock mounts, tires worn on the inside where it's hard to spot, etc.
This is not true. I have personal experience proving otherwise. I owned a 1989 E30 325i, bought new in November 1988. The CBS in the E30 called for oil changes anywhere between 9,000 and 12,000 miles and that was using conventional engine oil. Back then BMW recommended use of "special oils" for operation in a broad temperature range. The E30 went 295,000 miles. In 1997 we bought a Z3 1.9L. Model Year 1997 was either the first or second year of BMW's "free maintenance" plan, which included the "old school" transmission, differential, and coolant changes (all which based on the modern maintenance schedule are not covered). The OCI for the Z3 averages about 10,000 (it's a 4-cylinder and currently running fine 145,000 miles), so BMW did not introduce the extended OCI when they started the free (i.e. pre-paid) maintenance plan.