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      01-28-2011, 09:14 PM   #1
RobNH
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Question about Oil Change Frequency

So I brought my BMW for an inspection sticker today. I took it to a place that services BMWs and races them.

The mechanic that did the inspection told me if I intend on keeping the car long term - ignore the 15,000 mile oil changes that the system is programmed for, and change the oil every 5,000 to 7,000 miles.

Any idea why?
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      01-28-2011, 09:29 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobNH View Post
So I brought my BMW for an inspection sticker today. I took it to a place that services BMWs and races them.

The mechanic that did the inspection told me if I intend on keeping the car long term - ignore the 15,000 mile oil changes that the system is programmed for, and change the oil every 5,000 to 7,000 miles.

Any idea why?
Same here.
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      01-28-2011, 09:39 PM   #3
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Perhaps the answer is in the question - it is a mechanic that makes money on people doing services 3x more than necessary.
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      01-28-2011, 09:40 PM   #4
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I consider normal synthetic oil service interval to be 5,000 – 7,000 miles.

Just do an extra change of oil and filter when the service indicator is halfway to zero miles.
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      01-28-2011, 09:51 PM   #5
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FYI

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...ting+for+fools

http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e60...e-our-m5s.html

http://www.carbibles.com/engineoil_bible.html

http://www.carjunky.com/news/motor_oil/mom4.shtml

Draw your own conclusions but we used to change oil every 3000 miles I don't feel good letting it go over 5 k

There are combustion byproduct build ups and the additives are used up the oil becomes
acidic and you are recirculating this stuff through your motor. This is extra true for turbo cars where the oil runs much hotter.

Oil changes are not a big money making operation

Last edited by ctuna; 01-28-2011 at 09:57 PM.
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      01-28-2011, 10:09 PM   #6
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I would think oil changes are a HUGE money maker. Takes a shop no more than 10 minutes and they charge you upwards of $50 in my area. Not bad for 10 minutes of work.
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      01-28-2011, 10:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I would think oil changes are a HUGE money maker. Takes a shop no more than 10 minutes and they charge you upwards of $50 in my area. Not bad for 10 minutes of work.
Correct!

Oil changes are a huge money maker on many fronts. First, it is a quick way to sell additional services "we recommend changing blinker fluid with every oil change. don't you want your blinkers to last a long time?"

Secondly, there is about a 100% markup on the product and a half hour of labor can be charged for paying a high school dropout for 10 minutes of work.

While each oil change might not bring in the big bucks it all adds up.

Modern cars generally don't have lubrication related issues because the manufacturers know what they are doing and oil has improved.

Most European dealers will refuse to change your oil early because of environmental concern and the fact that it is unnecessary
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      01-28-2011, 10:37 PM   #8
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Dont go over 5k. When the motor oil loses its properties which it does after 5k (according to lab tests) oil produces harmful elements.
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      01-28-2011, 10:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninesixtwo View Post
I consider normal synthetic oil service interval to be 5,000 7,000 miles.

Just do an extra change of oil and filter when the service indicator is halfway to zero miles.
1+
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      01-28-2011, 11:03 PM   #10
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Changing it earlier can't hurt the car, whereas changing it too late definitely can.

It's a question of BMW trying to save money on their free maintenance vs shops trying to make more money by telling people to change oil earlier.

If you plan on keeping your car for the long haul, IMO it's better to err on the side of more frequent oil changes to protect the engine better. 15k miles on oil is a really long time...7500 miles is a happy medium. Even 5000 miles is a little soon on synthetic oil.
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      01-28-2011, 11:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumere90 View Post
Dont go over 5k. When the motor oil loses its properties which it does after 5k (according to lab tests) oil produces harmful elements.
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      01-28-2011, 11:12 PM   #12
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The guys that have done the Blackstone Oil Tests

The guys that have done the Blackstone Oil Tests
Seem to indicate that the oil could go to 10k but 7.5k is a good
number for headroom.
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      01-28-2011, 11:42 PM   #13
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Q: What does BMW recommend for oil change intervals in countries where they don't provide free scheduled maintenance?
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      01-29-2011, 12:16 AM   #14
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They would rather have you change your car

They would rather have you change your car
Than change your oil

I thing I read somewhere the oil change intervals are the same in other
countries but that doesn't mean they designed to maximise the life of your
vehicle.

Last edited by ctuna; 01-29-2011 at 12:40 AM.
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      01-29-2011, 12:24 AM   #15
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True enough. But it gets at the (in my opinion) false premise of the cheaper scheduled maintenance being the reason for the change in schedules.

Now, true enough, it is cheaper for BMW when they're at 15000 mile intervals. But I just get the feeling it's more icing on the cake than the reason for the intervals.
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      01-29-2011, 12:37 AM   #16
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Actually the 15k change has been around for awhile

But it really was a 15k oil change(no computer recall) and you got two Inspection 1's and a Inspection 2 in the first 50k and fluids weren't lifetime . So at least you got something like the average maintenance schedule for most cars is. I could live with having to do and extra oil changes but the lifetime fluids is kind of insulting.

The free lunch consists of carrot sticks and celery.

Last edited by ctuna; 01-29-2011 at 01:12 AM.
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      01-29-2011, 12:49 AM   #17
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Agree with you there. I'll be having them changed out according to the last-generation schedule, I figure. I guess starting around 60k miles.
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      01-29-2011, 01:09 AM   #18
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If you haven't download the Mike Miller schedule

If you haven't download the Mike Miller schedule
either download it from my previous links or google Mike Miller BMW
it has some interesting history
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      01-29-2011, 01:57 AM   #19
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extra oil changes (I do them about every 7500 or so) are cheap insurance on expensive cars
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      01-29-2011, 02:00 AM   #20
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every 5,000 miles for all my vehicles.........come on, 20 minute $45 DIY
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      01-29-2011, 02:20 AM   #21
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7500 miles for me. Changed an oil at 5k once and was surprised about how clean it looked. So every 7.5k miles is enough, but it won't hurt to change every 5k miles. Depends on how rich you are.
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      01-29-2011, 02:30 AM   #22
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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.
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