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      01-29-2011, 05:58 AM   #23
Taipei-TT
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No free maintenance here in Taiwan.

The BMW recommendation is every 10000KM which is 6200miles. But it is difficult to generalize. Most cars here in Taiwan will do mostly stop and go driving, short trips, and high temperatures, so oil will not last as long in these conditions as it might for US drivers.
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      01-29-2011, 06:15 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Taipei-TT View Post
No free maintenance here in Taiwan.

The BMW recommendation is every 10000KM which is 6200miles. But it is difficult to generalize. Most cars here in Taiwan will do mostly stop and go driving, short trips, and high temperatures, so oil will not last as long in these conditions as it might for US drivers.
So are you saying the car's on board condition based service (CBS) system indicates an oil service at 6,200 miles, or some service advisor told you that?
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      01-29-2011, 06:18 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTECaddict View Post
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.
Why not just change the oil every 2,000 miles?
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      01-29-2011, 09:02 AM   #26
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Porsche recommends oil changes every 10,000 miles or one year for their 2010 911 model. That is what I plan to do, but will shorten it to 7,500 miles to fit into BMW's every 15,000 mile service schedule. I probably won't run the BMW as hard as I would a 911, but I might run it a little hard.

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      01-29-2011, 10:30 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galahad05 View Post
Q: What does BMW recommend for oil change intervals in countries where they don't provide free scheduled maintenance?
The OCI in Germany is 30k km (or about 18k miles.) No included maintenance there.
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      01-29-2011, 10:37 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by chromisdesigns View Post
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chromisdesigns View Post
It's no coincidence that at the same time BMW introduced "free" maintenance, they began drastically extending the maintenance intervals recommended even in countries where maintenance was not included?!

I keep my cars a long time -- intermediate oil changes are a complete waste of money. Plus you never know when the mechanic will spot your fat wallet and recommend some unnecessary potentially expensive 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 changeso that they make up services to increase their bottom line.

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.I'm not sure how many of those were really true though.
Fixed it for you.
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      01-29-2011, 10:57 AM   #29
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extra oil changes (I do them about every 7500 or so) are cheap insurance on expensive cars

I totally agree. I don't care if people say I am changing my oil too soon ( I don't think I am). I do know that I plan on keeping my car a very long time and this will definitely help !!!!

I bought my car with $$$$$$$$ not leased it. I can spend $ this much to keep it running at peak performance and not worry if the oil needs changing or if some sensor is working correctly to tell me when to change the oil. I have done this with every car I have ever owned ( 7 cars -I'm 43) and have never had a problem with the motor. Most of my cars have gone 500,000km before I got rid of them. The motors were still in great shape at 500,000km. One was a 4 cylinder 1.8l VW Jetta motor that just starting burning oil at 440,000km.

Last edited by BMWs4ever; 01-29-2011 at 11:04 AM.
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      01-29-2011, 11:39 AM   #30
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http://neptune.spacebears.com/cars/s.../oil-life.html

Synthetics will go long past 10K, been studied and proven time and again. Change it as much as you want but it's proven to be overkill.
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      01-29-2011, 11:51 AM   #31
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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?
Because he is old school and he is afraid of what he doesn't understand.

Facts support that there is nothing wrong with the 15000 miles oil changes. It has been around since 1998-1999 and engines didn't start to wear faster. Never happened. Porsche, Mercedes and Audi embraced it. for Porsche, it is now up to 2 years.

Save your money.
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      01-29-2011, 12:46 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ENINTY View Post
So are you saying the car's on board condition based service (CBS) system indicates an oil service at 6,200 miles, or some service advisor told you that?
Actually....my car CBS told me to change about 8000km (4970) miles, which I did.

I go with what my car tells me or 10k, whichever comes first. But I had to get my oil changed at 4000km for an unrelated service issue, everything was reset then, and the CBS told be after 8000km.

And yes...I was ticked off at the computer saying I needed an oil change, as I felt that even 10k km was too short for a modern car. But driving conditions do matter....so....until someone tells me the CBS is drinking the "change the oil often as insurance" kool aid, I will follow it.

Then again, the longest I've kept a car is 2 years....so if anyone was to ignore frequent oil changes it ought to be me...

Last edited by Taipei-TT; 01-29-2011 at 12:51 PM. Reason: just added more info
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      01-29-2011, 03:16 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chromisdesigns View Post
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.
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      01-29-2011, 04:03 PM   #34
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Send an oil sample to Blackstone Labs your next oil change and you can stop wondering. They'll analyze your used oil sample and tell you how your motor is wearing and how much longer you could have gone on that oil (if any) based on the amount of additives left and how broken down the oil is. Chances are you'll be able to easily go 7-10k miles or longer on long life synthetic even if you drive hard.
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      01-29-2011, 05:33 PM   #35
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honestly, it all matters on how you drive. if you tear the shit out of your car regularly, i would change much, much sooner than the 15k. I run a JB3 on Map 5 and drive pretty hard. I notice a change in performance if I let the car go without a change any more than 7,500 miles, furthermore, the engine runs a lot hotter with the JB3 and a higher map setting. Generally my rule of thumb is when the engine oil becomes low after a change, I add some, then when it's low or at the minimum again, I change it. This is usually 6k-7.5k for me.

Now, if you drive a 328 or something other than the 35 and don't drive that hard, I see no harm in waiting until 7,500-10,000k for a change. I had a 328i before and would change every 9-10k.
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      01-29-2011, 07:49 PM   #36
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To the OP, if you haven't seen my thread yet, here's my used oil analysis from Blackstone Labs. I will be extending my 6.8K avg oil change interval up to 10K miles (w/ up to 2 track days) from now on. I'm sure I run my car harder than most tuned cars here, so take it for what it's worth. Every car performs differently, so I recommend doing your own UOI to fit your car and your driving style.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=475228

Quote:
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Send an oil sample to Blackstone Labs your next oil change and you can stop wondering. They'll analyze your used oil sample and tell you how your motor is wearing and how much longer you could have gone on that oil (if any) based on the amount of additives left and how broken down the oil is. Chances are you'll be able to easily go 7-10k miles or longer on long life synthetic even if you drive hard.
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      01-29-2011, 08:50 PM   #37
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With previous cars that used regular oil, manufacturers recommended oil changes every 7.5K miles. I did them every 5K miles and my engines were always spotless.

In my e90, with synthetic oil, the service indicator suggests oil changes every 15K miles (rural driving). So far, I've been splitting that interval in half and doing them every 7.5K miles.

When I did my last oil change, my SA recommended NOT doing additional oil changes, even if I plan on keeping my car a long time, and that was based on examining engines that had well over 100K miles on them. I understand the school of thought that says that BMW recommends long service intervals because it keeps their free maintenance costs down, but it is also in BMW's interest to have satisfied customers with engines that last a long time. Plus, every time we have someone touch our cars, we risk someone making a mistake (overfill, underfill, leaks, improperly torqued bolts, etc.). So I've concluded the following:
- For normal driving, the recommended oil change interval is probably fine.
- For normal driving, enthusiasts that want a margin of safety should probably change their oil every 10K miles.
- For hard driving, enthusiasts should probably change it every 7.5K miles.
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      01-29-2011, 09:13 PM   #38
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Here's my opinion on this topic based upon what I've read here and my own research in the past.

Originally I asked this question because some engines, based upon design are carbon collectors and run dirtier more so than others and I'm not all that familiar with the BMW Inline-6 - especially the N54 as it pertains to design and engineering.

Case in point, I own a 1990 Corvette ZR-1 that I've had since 1994. Factory fill was non-synthetic 10W30 - and I switched to full synthetic. I did have Blackstone Labs run a couple periodic tests and they always came back normal showing no signs of abnormal engine wear and the oil was always clean after 5,000 miles.

The ZR-1's LT5 engine is known to build carbon more so than regular engines because of its design and how the PCV system was engineered. Hence the reason why, if you drive the car a lot in stop and go traffic or around town, it's always good to take it out on the highway, wind it up and exercise the engine.

The ZR-1 is my weekend toy. I only take it out in the summer during good weather and it sees nothing but highway miles and plenty of exercise. No matter at what intervals I've changed the oil, it usually always comes out looking pretty close to what it looked like going in.

The BMW is obviously my daily driver so it sees 1/2 highway miles and 1/2 around town miles per day. It also sees a lot of stop and go traffic to and from work - through highway construction projects that will be going on for at least 3-5 years to come - hence a lot of dust.

In my opinion, I think 5,000 mile oil changes is probably overkill....given that 3,000 mile oil changes was once the recommended requirement for non-synthetic oil based cars.

Given my driving conditions; higher levels of road dust from construction, traffic, etc., 15,000 miles is probably a little too high and 7,500 miles would probably be better. If I was beating the hell out of it every time I take it out and tracking it on weekends - I'd probably drop it down to 3,000-5,000 just to be on the safe side.
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      01-29-2011, 10:53 PM   #39
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Oil change intervals should be strictly based on driving style.

For me I drive a very short distance to work on a daily basis. The car doesn't even get a chance to warm up. While I try to make sure I go on a cruise after work to get things warmed up and flowing that's just not enough. When I get to work and shut the car off cold there is a lot of unburnt residual fuel that gets to sit in there and leak into the oil. Gasoline breaks down oil badly, even synthetic oil. On an extreme driving routine like this 3-4k miles would not be a bad plan.

Now if you are one that does a 30 mile highway commute every day, 5k is overkill. You could easily push it 7500-10k miles. The car gets up to operating temperature and stays there for a prolonged period, it's able to properly burn all the gas it is using and prevent deposits from sitting in the cylinders.

For your average driver I say 5k is a reasonable number.

In the most extreme case of highway driving 15k miles wouldn't be wrong but this is like truck driver style driving and most passenger cars are never treated like this.

Also just because a shop finds problems with a car when they are doing your oil change doesn't mean they are lieing to you... cars break deal with it. Most shops make little to no profit off of the oil change and if they can get you back in the door for something wrong with the car then they will. This gets twisted by many consumers to be a rip off but hey if the car is broken... well... don't fix it if you don't believe it but its your car and in some very rare cases your life that could be at stake. I know I don't want to have a control arm / ball joint break driving down the highway at 60-70mph.
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      01-30-2011, 12:08 PM   #40
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every 5,000 miles for all my vehicles.........come on, 20 minute $45 DIY
Where do you get 7 quarts of BMW approved synthetic oil + the filter for $45?

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      01-30-2011, 12:24 PM   #41
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Where do you get 7 quarts of BMW approved synthetic oil + the filter for $45?

Tom
$65 from Tischer is the best I have seen.
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      01-31-2011, 10:35 AM   #42
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$65 from Tischer is the best I have seen.
My point, exactly. I hope he isn't using dino instead of synthetic.

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      01-31-2011, 10:44 AM   #43
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Just chiming in with my experience. I purchased a new 2000 323i (6 cylinder, for those that don't know) and for 9 years I performed 15,000 mile oil changes and 7,500 filter changes. When I replaced the valve cover gasket at 180,000 miles there was no sludge in the engine. The car is still on the road and purrs. My current car, I will change the oil at 10,000 miles, which translates to once a year, just to feel warm and fuzzy.
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      02-07-2011, 09:02 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by orionredwing View Post
+1

To the OP, if you haven't seen my thread yet, here's my used oil analysis from Blackstone Labs. I will be extending my 6.8K avg oil change interval up to 10K miles (w/ up to 2 track days) from now on. I'm sure I run my car harder than most tuned cars here, so take it for what it's worth. Every car performs differently, so I recommend doing your own UOI to fit your car and your driving style.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=475228
Great post. Thank you.

(finally, some factual analysis amongst the handwringing)
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