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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > Oil Change Interval Questions Answered



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      08-20-2006, 08:58 PM   #1
///Matt
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Oil Change Interval Questions Answered

Hi guys...

So, if you didn't know, I'm a BMW tech, at a SoCal Dealership. There's been a LOT of confusion about the oil change interval on your e90.

Well, here you go, straight from BMW NA's mouth. My sources are (A) BMW NA service Bulletins/recalls and (B) the BMW Field Service Engineer that assists my dealer.

The oil service indicator will start, when reset, at 25,000km, or 15,534 Miles. US DME (digital motor electronics) rounds this up to 16000 miles. If your oil change ever reads MORE THAN THIS NUMBER, there is a fault in your engine software, and the vehicle needs programming. The interval determined is based primarily on fuel consumption values from the DME. The starting figures are based on an average of 21.5 mpg fuel consumption. that's about 34.4 KMPG.

If your personal fuel consumption average is ABOVE THIS NUMBER... for instance lots of highway driving so you get 30mpg... Your interval will STILL SAY 16000 MILES! It will count down more slowly, so that the miles traveled will be more than 16000 before oil change. THIS IS OK! SERIOUSLY! You DO NOT need to be doing early oil changes to keep your car in good shape, but if it makes you feel better, spend away!

If your personal fuel consumption average is BELOW THIS NUMBER... for instance all hard stop/go so you get 16mpg... Your interval will STILL SAY 16000 MILES! it will count down more quickly, so you will travel less than 16000 miles.

So, in summation... if you EVER see more than 16000 Miles on your OIL CHANGE interval, GO TO THE DEALER, let us fix it. If it counts slowly... drive harder! =) if it counts faster... you're doing something right! or, actually, you are driving harder than BMW thought you would.

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      08-21-2006, 09:27 AM   #2
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Matt,

What would we ever do without you!!!
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      08-21-2006, 11:36 AM   #3
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Matt,
What is the benefit of doing oil changes at say 5k intervals?
I read that quite a few members are doing that.
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      08-21-2006, 12:16 PM   #4
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No real benefit, Franko. Just hurts your wallet. If you did it at 1/2 intervals, that's more acceptible.. say every 7500-8000. but at every 5000, you're just changing oil that's only just become broken in.

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      08-21-2006, 12:51 PM   #5
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This makes me feel less guilty for not changing my oil. I am at 9k. Thanks for the info!
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      08-21-2006, 02:34 PM   #6
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just for some clarification for myself, i'm currently have around 10,500 miles on the odometer and average about 21 mpg. when i start my car, it says 8,000 miles until next service. are you saying i have a problem with my software?
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      08-21-2006, 02:43 PM   #7
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possibly, but that can't be determined until the light is reset... if WHEN RESET it reads more than 16000 there's a problem... I would complain anyway, and see if they program your car for the hell of it!

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      08-21-2006, 03:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///Matt
possibly, but that can't be determined until the light is reset... if WHEN RESET it reads more than 16000 there's a problem... I would complain anyway, and see if they program your car for the hell of it!

Matt
iirc, when i only had a couple thousand miles, the dash read 16,000 miles before next service. the date below the miles number says 10/2007. i received my car 01/2006.
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      08-21-2006, 04:33 PM   #9
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The date refers to one of the "dated" services, like brake fluid flush, or coolant flush. That's not oil related. How did you drive for the first few thousand? if it started at 16000 and did not count down for a few thousand miles, that's probably just because you were driving gently for break in... Drive harder for a week or two, and see what happens to the remaining miles.

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      08-21-2006, 04:46 PM   #10
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i don't recall what the countdown miles started at when i first got the car, but yes, i did drive the car gently during the break-in period.

when i hit 15,000 miles, and ask the dealer to have the oil changed at that time, not going by what the car says, in your opinion, would i be turned away?
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      08-21-2006, 05:02 PM   #11
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probably not, but depends on the dealer. some will claim, "we CAN'T until the CBS says so!" CBS is Condition Based Service, and is the system that counts down all your services.... However, many will do it, if you just press the issue a little, perhaps get the manager involved. You could also just take it in for the service and say "It's supposed to be done at 15,000 right? why does it still read 3000?" and then maybe they'll do it, and program the veh. just in case.

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      08-21-2006, 05:07 PM   #12
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cool, thanks for all the info!
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      08-21-2006, 05:38 PM   #13
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I don't know what mine started at, but about a month into ownership it said 18,000 now it says 8000 and I have 123xx miles...

I unfortunately have a dealer that seems like they wont even talk to me unless the CBS is up.. any recomendations?
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      08-21-2006, 06:35 PM   #14
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Yeah... talk directly to the service manager. If it started at 18,000, it's bugged. Tell him you've spoken to a Certified BMW Tech at another dealer, who has informed you of the nature of this problem, and that you want it resolved. If he seems evasive, ask him for the number of a BMWNA representative, or refer to asking the "FSE", or Field Service Engineer, HIS opinion. I've been given direct authorization by MY districts FSE to program any e90 showing more than 16000 miles due for oil change.

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      08-22-2006, 11:57 AM   #15
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Thanks! is there a TSB or any other documentation I can reference about this?
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      08-22-2006, 08:18 PM   #16
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not that refers to e90, that's why I got FSE approval
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