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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 > 5 years old but only 25k miles... What services?



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      02-16-2014, 05:38 PM   #1
new2the3
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Question 5 years old but only 25k miles... What services?

I would like to get some advice regarding how often I should change the oil on my N54. I am the first owner of the car purchased March 1, 2009. I have only averaged 5,000 miles per year as the car is about to hit 25,000 miles. Since I plan to keep this car for a very long time I have been doing oil changes every 6 months (1 free and 1 out of pocket). However, now that my car has been out of warranty I am reconsidering whether it makes sense for me to pay for two oil changes per year.

My last oil change was 8/8/13 and I had 22,945 miles on the car. As of today I have just under 25,000 miles. I do have a coupon to get my oil changed at the dealer for a very reasonable price so I am inclined to change the oil. Do you think it would be a complete waste?

When I drive the car it is unfortunately usually for short commutes and lots of stop and go traffic. I also have been tuned for the past 1.5 years. Any advice would be appreciated on how often you would change the oil on an N54 that only gets driven about 5k per year. Also should I look into changing my transmission/diff oil and/or spark plugs? Any must change items on a 5 year old car but one with only 25k miles? Thank you!
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      02-17-2014, 11:56 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by new2the3
I would like to get some advice regarding how often I should change the oil on my N54. I am the first owner of the car purchased March 1, 2009. I have only averaged 5,000 miles per year as the car is about to hit 25,000 miles. Since I plan to keep this car for a very long time I have been doing oil changes every 6 months (1 free and 1 out of pocket). However, now that my car has been out of warranty I am reconsidering whether it makes sense for me to pay for two oil changes per year.

My last oil change was 8/8/13 and I had 22,945 miles on the car. As of today I have just under 25,000 miles. I do have a coupon to get my oil changed at the dealer for a very reasonable price so I am inclined to change the oil. Do you think it would be a complete waste?

When I drive the car it is unfortunately usually for short commutes and lots of stop and go traffic. I also have been tuned for the past 1.5 years. Any advice would be appreciated on how often you would change the oil on an N54 that only gets driven about 5k per year. Also should I look into changing my transmission/diff oil and/or spark plugs? Any must change items on a 5 year old car but one with only 25k miles? Thank you!
Your car hasn't been through much really. Since you do such little driving, the regular BMW OCI is enough for you. Follow your CBS for maintenance and you should be good.

The differential and transmission wouldn't need a flush until around the 80-100km mark.

Speed Good.
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      02-17-2014, 12:03 PM   #3
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If you're tuned, I think they recommend changing the plugs at 15-20K. And maybe look into having the intake valves cleaned. I have a relatively low mileage '07 w/ 41K. It's all stop and go traffic and very short commutes, the intake valves on mine were really dirty because of all the short commutes and stop and go.
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      02-17-2014, 12:31 PM   #4
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With 25k miles, no major services need to be done. Have you bled the brakes and cooling system? I think it's good to do both every 2 years or so.

As a previous poster mentioned, changing the plugs at 25k is a good idea on a tuned car. The general consensus is to change the plugs every 25k miles on a tuned car, so that would be a good idea.

The oil as well on a tuned car should be changed about every 5k miles, so I would wait about another 2k miles. It would also probably be in your best interest to learn to change the oil yourself. It is extremely easy to do on our car with a set of ramps. You can save money doing it this way and know for sure it's being done correctly.

Has the cabin filter and air filter been changed? If you are tuned, a drop in filter would be a good idea, and I believe every 30k miles the cabin filter should be changed.

Other than that, if the car isn't having any symptoms of anything I can't think of anything else that needs attention. I am not a veteran when it comes to our cars or engines by any means so I'm sure I could be missing a few things that other will chime in with.
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      02-17-2014, 02:16 PM   #5
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Thank you for the replies.

I have been tuned for about 8-10,000 miles. I will look into getting new spark plugs. Does anyone know a good source for spark plugs and how much I should expect the dealer to charge to install them? I also have been using a K&N drop in air filter for the past 10k miles. I will probably clean or replace it in another 5k. I will most likely clean the intake valves closer to 40k unless there are prior symptoms. Looks like I will probably get an oil change in another 2500 miles which will most likely be close to a year since my last oil change.
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      02-17-2014, 05:29 PM   #6
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Follow the service intervals listed in the user manual. Most have a dual-requirement list with time and miles, whichever reached first.
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      02-17-2014, 06:01 PM   #7
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I drive my car pretty hard, Im talking a lot of short commutes to and from work and many high speed 160mph+ runs on the autobahn, and have been tuned for the last 40k miles (currently at 98k miles) so i change my oil every 2500 miles max (mobil 1 0w-40). The oil is the most critical maintenance item you can do to you car, and considering yours is so low mileage I would continue doing your 6 month oil changes to ensure it is problem free for many more years. If you are concerned about spending too taking it to the dealership, look up a DIY guide and you can have your years oil changes covered for under $120.

I dont believe BMWs OIC of 15k, or even 7500mi...you would be surprised how much shit accumulates on a magnetic drain plug in just 2500mi.
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      02-17-2014, 10:15 PM   #8
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Given your low miles per year; oil once a year, diff/manual trans/ps @ 30k (auto trans @ 50k). Coolant and brake fluid every 2-3 years.

This is conservative, pretty much in line with "old school maintenance," and will likely insure your car will last a long time. Most mileage based recommended maintenance assumes 10-15k per year. If you're well below that, time starts to be a factor. Don't forget the rubber stuff, it ages more by the calendar than by the mile.
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