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      04-12-2013, 02:36 AM   #1
matthatchett
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Old School Maintenance

I really hate the fact that BMW's have the vehicle tell you when it needs maintenanced or that the dealer does this. I've looked over some old school maintenance schedules and I have compiled one of my own. I'm just looking for a little input. Is there anything else I should add?
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      04-12-2013, 10:10 AM   #2
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      04-12-2013, 06:53 PM   #3
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      04-12-2013, 09:44 PM   #4
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Yeah I know. I'm just OCD about maintenance and I don't like the fact that I go by "codes."
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      04-13-2013, 06:32 AM   #5
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Dude, that schedule is way over kill. First off the fuel filter is integrated into the fuel pump in the tank and is not considered a maintenance item. To replace the fuel filter, the part is around $150 and requires pulling the rear seat cushion, accessing the fuel tank panel and pulling the fuel pump out of the tank (dripping of fuel) and getting it out of the interior without dripping gas all over the place and having your interior smell like fuel for a week. Second, why would you replace a radiator and/or coolant tank when it's not leaking? Most modern cars need an air filter replacement at 50,000 miles; BMW's interval is every 3rd oil change, or about every 45,000 miles. Your CBS should tell you when to replace the cabin airfilter (micro airfilter). Keep in mind most cars until recently didn't even have one; it's just a stupid filter the car companies have added in as a high-profit service item.

So my 211,000 mile E90 325i (N52) has had the following regular maintenance:

Engine Oil: 12 changes @ an average 17,500 miles
Diff Oil: 2 changes 1st @ 76,880, 2nd @ 159,000
Trans oil: 2 changes, 1st @ 90,000, 2nd @ 159,000
Coolant: 3 changes, 1st @ 77,000, 2nd @ 134K (T-stat), 150K (water pump)
Brake Flush: 3 changes @ 2-year intervals
Power Steering oil: 1 change @ 151,000 (did it just for fun)
Engine Air Filter: 4 changes @ about every 50,000 miles
Spark Plugs: 2 changes 1st @ 99,000, 2nd @ 196,000

What you left out for an N52 is VANOS solenoid clean and swap, which I recommend every 50,000 miles.

Last edited by Efthreeoh; 04-13-2013 at 06:46 AM.
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      04-13-2013, 09:47 AM   #6
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Spark Plugs: 2 changes 1st @ 99,000, 2nd @ 196,000
(I deleted much of your post as I pretty much agree with it.)

As the longest I've kept a BMW is 97,000 miles, I've never changed the plugs on one (all non-turbo). I'm curious if you noticed much of a difference in power, economy or engine response after the new plugs were installed.

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      04-13-2013, 09:57 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Tom K. View Post
(I deleted much of your post as I pretty much agree with it.)

As the longest I've kept a BMW is 97,000 miles, I've never changed the plugs on one (all non-turbo). I'm curious if you noticed much of a difference in power, economy or engine response after the new plugs were installed.

Tom
Tom, I've never noticed any major difference. I keep exact gas records for my car and I can't even point to a bump in fuel mileage either (I get bigger swings in MPG by just changing brands). I could say the engine runs slightly smoother, but I'd chalk it up more to imagination than actual operation. Modern computer controlled fuel injected pointless-ignition systems make so many adjustments to compensate for component wear to keep emissions in check, that any performance gains are negligible and not noticeable. Really plugs get changed now as preventative maintenance for component failure rather than wear. The plugs electrodes after 90K or so miles don't even look worn and the gap is within tolerance.

The biggest change in engine operation I've noticed is cleaning and swapping the VANOS solenoids, which is why I've added it to my maintenance regimen.

One of my biggest pet peeve is having a cabin air filter on a convertible. How laughable is that? I have an old 1999 Ford F150 work truck, with more vinyl in it than a '80s super model; no fancy cabin air filter in that. Guess which vehicle of mine I had to replace the blower motor in?

Last edited by Efthreeoh; 04-13-2013 at 10:07 AM.
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      04-13-2013, 05:29 PM   #8
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Tom, I've never noticed any major difference.
Thanks. I felt that my E46 with 97k on the OEM plugs ran perfectly well but had nothing to really compare it with as I traded it before changing them.

Unless BMW imports the F31 with RWD and a MT, I hope to keep my E91 running for close to 100K and will keep your Vanos comments in mind.

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      04-13-2013, 09:15 PM   #9
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efthreeoh

wow 200k miles?!!!

other than what you stated...did you change water pump or anything else?
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      04-13-2013, 10:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
Dude, that schedule is way over kill. First off the fuel filter is integrated into the fuel pump in the tank and is not considered a maintenance item. To replace the fuel filter, the part is around $150 and requires pulling the rear seat cushion, accessing the fuel tank panel and pulling the fuel pump out of the tank (dripping of fuel) and getting it out of the interior without dripping gas all over the place and having your interior smell like fuel for a week. Second, why would you replace a radiator and/or coolant tank when it's not leaking? Most modern cars need an air filter replacement at 50,000 miles; BMW's interval is every 3rd oil change, or about every 45,000 miles. Your CBS should tell you when to replace the cabin airfilter (micro airfilter). Keep in mind most cars until recently didn't even have one; it's just a stupid filter the car companies have added in as a high-profit service item.

So my 211,000 mile E90 325i (N52) has had the following regular maintenance:

Engine Oil: 12 changes @ an average 17,500 miles
Diff Oil: 2 changes 1st @ 76,880, 2nd @ 159,000
Trans oil: 2 changes, 1st @ 90,000, 2nd @ 159,000
Coolant: 3 changes, 1st @ 77,000, 2nd @ 134K (T-stat), 150K (water pump)
Brake Flush: 3 changes @ 2-year intervals
Power Steering oil: 1 change @ 151,000 (did it just for fun)
Engine Air Filter: 4 changes @ about every 50,000 miles
Spark Plugs: 2 changes 1st @ 99,000, 2nd @ 196,000

What you left out for an N52 is VANOS solenoid clean and swap, which I recommend every 50,000 miles.
I know it seems like overkill but I just like being on the safe side. I've always done oil/filter change every 5-7,500k, trans/filter change 30-45k, brake flush once a year, air filter 15-30k, spark plugs MAX 60k. To me, and this may just be my opinion, 17k for an oil change and 99k for spark plugs seems ridiculous. I know the parts are more "high quality" in BMWs but they are still parts. I think your maintenance schedule isn't enough, just my opinion though.
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      04-13-2013, 10:30 PM   #11
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Also, this is my first BMW so I may be doing too much but at the same time, it can't hurt anything but my wallet right?
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      04-14-2013, 06:59 AM   #12
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I know it seems like overkill but I just like being on the safe side. I've always done oil/filter change every 5-7,500k, trans/filter change 30-45k, brake flush once a year, air filter 15-30k, spark plugs MAX 60k. To me, and this may just be my opinion, 17k for an oil change and 99k for spark plugs seems ridiculous. I know the parts are more "high quality" in BMWs but they are still parts. I think your maintenance schedule isn't enough, just my opinion though.
Well, you can think that, but my car has 211,000 miles on it, so I've proven my maintenance schedule (actually BMW's schedule) works. My car runs as good as the day in May, 2006 when I bought it. I drive it 160 miles a day. I'd bet I'm in the 5th percentile of original owners that keep their car past 200,000 miles. Most people drop their car (BMWs especially) like a rock after just 100,000 miles. This is my third car I've driven past 200,000. On all of them I followed the manufacturer's maintenance schedule; two of them have been BMWs...
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      04-15-2013, 02:39 AM   #13
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From what I have read through a trusted source, BMW's maintenance schedule is different though. The reason things are so stretched out is due to the "Scheduled Maintenance Program." To me, they stretched things a little further to keep costs down since it is free to the customer. Anyway, you're more than welcome to do you're own maintenance schedule. I was just curious if I had left anything out. Cheers!
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      04-20-2013, 07:37 AM   #14
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From what I have read through a trusted source, BMW's maintenance schedule is different though. The reason things are so stretched out is due to the "Scheduled Maintenance Program." To me, they stretched things a little further to keep costs down since it is free to the customer. Anyway, you're more than welcome to do you're own maintenance schedule. I was just curious if I had left anything out. Cheers!
Not to drag this on, but does it really make sense for BMW to knowingly reduce the level of maintenance just because they offer "free" maintenance for the first 50,000 miles? The maintenance is not free, it's just pre-paid by the purchaser up front when the car is bought. If the car required a higher frequency of maintenance, then BMW would just increase the price of the car to compensate for the additional cost they would incur maintaining it; so there is no reason for them to skimp out on the maintenance. Also, it is more profitable for a manufacturer to keep its fleet or cars (those sold to the consumer) on the road as long as possible because the sale of replacement parts is an extremely profitable business. The conspiracy theory that BMWs maintenance schedule is tailored to keep a car operating to just past the 100,000 mark makes no business sense whatsoever. It ignores the highly profitable parts supply business, and would ruin the brand's reputation, and kill off the secondary market of buyers who keep BMWs well past the 150,000 - 300,000 mile range. Nothing sells a Brand better than seeing a well kept example at 200,000 miles.
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      04-21-2013, 01:43 AM   #15
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Not to drag this on, but does it really make sense for BMW to knowingly reduce the level of maintenance just because they offer "free" maintenance for the first 50,000 miles? The maintenance is not free, it's just pre-paid by the purchaser up front when the car is bought. If the car required a higher frequency of maintenance, then BMW would just increase the price of the car to compensate for the additional cost they would incur maintaining it; so there is no reason for them to skimp out on the maintenance. Also, it is more profitable for a manufacturer to keep its fleet or cars (those sold to the consumer) on the road as long as possible because the sale of replacement parts is an extremely profitable business. The conspiracy theory that BMWs maintenance schedule is tailored to keep a car operating to just past the 100,000 mark makes no business sense whatsoever. It ignores the highly profitable parts supply business, and would ruin the brand's reputation, and kill off the secondary market of buyers who keep BMWs well past the 150,000 - 300,000 mile range. Nothing sells a Brand better than seeing a well kept example at 200,000 miles.
I think you pretty much explained the theory. When BMW is footing the bill there is very little maintenance required, and very little chance of things breaking under the warranty due to a lack of maintenance. After the warranty and free maintenance period is up, (i.e. more than 50k), the more likely things are to break due to a lack of maintenance. Therefore, BMW sells more of those extremely profitable replacement parts when it is the customer paying for it.

That's the theory. Is it true? I don't know. However, I for one am doing extra maintenance myself because I plan on keeping my car as long as possible, and it helps me sleep at night. (At 60k for example I plan on changing diff fluid, manual transmission fluid, P/S fluid, coolant, and the serpentine belt and pulleys. I was also going to change the belt tensioner, but it was just replaced due to me hitting a deer a couple months ago. I will be hitting 60k in the next few weeks and already purchased everything I need.)

If BMW did increase the cost of the car and had a long list of required maintenance do you think they would sell more cars or less?


That being said, and back on topic, does there really need to be yet another "Old School Maintenance" schedule? There is already about four or five others out there.

Also, to the OP, if your in the US, I think changing the fuel filter every 30K is crazy. I also think changing the oxygen sensors at 60k is a little premature as they will just set off the check engine light when they go bad, and won't really cause driveability issues.

Also, why not replace coolant hoses, radiator and expansion tank at 100K? It seems silly to me to replace the radiator and expansion tank at 90K, and then replace the coolant hoses at 100K.

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      04-21-2013, 07:04 AM   #16
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I think you pretty much explained the theory. When BMW is footing the bill there is very little maintenance required, and very little chance of things breaking under the warranty due to a lack of maintenance. After the warranty and free maintenance period is up, (i.e. more than 50k), the more likely things are to break due to a lack of maintenance. Therefore, BMW sells more of those extremely profitable replacement parts when it is the customer paying for it.

That's the theory. Is it true? I don't know. However, I for one am doing extra maintenance myself because I plan on keeping my car as long as possible, and it helps me sleep at night. (At 60k for example I plan on changing diff fluid, manual transmission fluid, P/S fluid, coolant, and the serpentine belt and pulleys. I was also going to change the belt tensioner, but it was just replaced due to me hitting a deer a couple months ago. I will be hitting 60k in the next few weeks and already purchased everything I need.)

If BMW did increase the cost of the car and had a long list of required maintenance do you think they would sell more cars or less?


That being said, and back on topic, does there really need to be yet another "Old School Maintenance" schedule? There is already about four or five others out there.

Also, to the OP, if your in the US, I think changing the fuel filter every 30K is crazy. I also think changing the oxygen sensors at 60k is a little premature as they will just set off the check engine light when they go bad, and won't really cause driveability issues.

Also, why not replace coolant hoses, radiator and expansion tank at 100K? It seems silly to me to replace the radiator and expansion tank at 90K, and then replace the coolant hoses at 100K.
I must have done a terrible job explaining the theory, because you have it totally backwards from what I was trying to point out. The point is there is no maintenance conspiracy with BMW "suddenly" changing the maintenance requirements in 1996 when they started offering "free maintenance". The theory as it is portrayed by members of this Forum, is that when BMW started to offer free maintenance, they also cutback on the required maintenance levels in order to save money because they (BMW) now were paying for the maintenance of the vehicle for the first 50,000 miles. This reduction in maintenance requirements it is theorized then lends to higher rate of failure of the cars beyond the 100,000 mile mark (100K being the longest duration warranty BMW offers).

My counter to this theory is 1) the maintenance is not free; the owner pays for it because the cost of the maintenance is built into the purchase price of the car and would be charged appropriately for the level of maintenance the car would require from engineering determinations, 2) it makes no business sense for a company such as BMW to sell an highly desirable and expensive car that fails at just 100,000 miles as it would tarnish the Brand's reputation to a point where sales volume would suffer, 3) it makes no business sense for BMWs cars to fail after 100,000 miles due to lack of maintenance - meaning engine, transmission, differential, and cooling system failures (all major and very expensive repairs), because the secondary owners would then not have any desire to own the cars past 100,000 miles and BMW would lose out on a very profitable post-warranty repair support marketplace (that has been traditionally a large source of revenue for the company for the past 40 years). BMW is pretty much the only and original auto company that espouses longevity traditions of its Brand by dedicating a portion of the company (BMW Mobile Tradition) to the maintenance and rebuilding of older models.

I know there is no maintenance conspiracy going on because I have personal experience with it. I have owned three BMWs since new over the span of BMW's change in maintenance requirements: a 1989 E30 (heavy maintenance schedule and all paid for by the owner), a 1997 Z3 (slightly less maintenance schedule but was the start of BMW's "free maintenance" plan), and my E90 (even less maintenance all provided "free" by BMW). The E30 went 290,000 miles in total (as I know of, I sold it at 256,000 to a neighbor who drove it to 290K) , the Z3 currently has 160,000 and runs perfectly, and my E90 currently at 212,000 miles and showing no signs of pending drivetrain failure. All three have followed BMW's recommended maintenance schedule as provided in the owner's manual, and I have done practically all the maintenance on these cars myself outside of what BMW pre-charged me for. I know my cars intimately regarding their maintenance service and running condition.
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      04-22-2013, 10:34 PM   #17
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Well, you can think that, but my car has 211,000 miles on it, so I've proven my maintenance schedule (actually BMW's schedule) works. My car runs as good as the day in May, 2006 when I bought it. I drive it 160 miles a day.

Off topic. I had a job where I commuted 180 miles a day. Paid awesome, was easy, tons of perks....but I quit.

No amount of money is worth 3 hours a day in a car (or more). Ditched the rat race and started my own business. The best feeling ever was when my old boss offered me an even BETTER position to come back, and I was like "sorry, I'm done with all that, I've moved on"

Thanks for the info on the maintenance though.
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      04-23-2013, 10:09 AM   #18
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Off topic. I had a job where I commuted 180 miles a day. Paid awesome, was easy, tons of perks....but I quit.

No amount of money is worth 3 hours a day in a car (or more). Ditched the rat race and started my own business. The best feeling ever was when my old boss offered me an even BETTER position to come back, and I was like "sorry, I'm done with all that, I've moved on"

Thanks for the info on the maintenance though.
It's not the job, but where I live. Where I live is worth 3 hrs a day commuting.
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      04-23-2013, 06:51 PM   #19
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It's not the job, but where I live. Where I live is worth 3 hrs a day commuting.
Good point! I hope you live on mass acres with a shooting range off of your back porch.

The city is for the drones.
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      04-25-2013, 07:39 PM   #20
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I must have done a terrible job explaining the theory, because you have it totally backwards from what I was trying to point out. The point is there is no maintenance conspiracy with BMW "suddenly" changing the maintenance requirements in 1996 when they started offering "free maintenance". The theory as it is portrayed by members of this Forum, is that when BMW started to offer free maintenance, they also cutback on the required maintenance levels in order to save money because they (BMW) now were paying for the maintenance of the vehicle for the first 50,000 miles. This reduction in maintenance requirements it is theorized then lends to higher rate of failure of the cars beyond the 100,000 mile mark (100K being the longest duration warranty BMW offers).

.
The source of this theory would br Mike Miller (Tech talk BMWCCA & BIMMER) but people don't always acknowledge the context.
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      04-25-2013, 10:34 PM   #21
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Looking at Efthreeoh's maintanance plan again and it makes alot of sense. His 17500 mile oil change is actually twice a year change (if im doing my math right).
I do an oil change once a year since i only average 6000 miles a yr but if i follow efthreeoh's plan than I would only had 3 oil changes in the 8 years I had my car lol.
So i guess what im trying to say is you need to look at how long you havent change the oil rather than by mileage
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      04-26-2013, 05:08 AM   #22
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Good point! I hope you live on mass acres with a shooting range off of your back porch.

The city is for the drones.
Now you got the picture
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