Last post on Mar 24, 2013 at 11:51 AM
You are in the BMW 3-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 3 Series, Sedan
#27510 of 30250 BMW Maintenance Observations
Dec 06, 2004 (2:15 pm)
BMW actually extended the brake fluid and coolant change intervals back in the early 1990s, and I've yet to see any evidence that the increased maintenance intervals have had any effect on the longevity of brake or cooling system components. That said, I would change the brake fluid on a 6-12 month interval if I planned to use the car at drivers schools on a frequent basis.
BMW now calls for 100000 mile ATF change intervals. At 111000 miles the GM slushbox in my wife's E39 is still going strong. ATF failures appear to be rare based on the sample of cars owned by members of the E39 Digest Group.
As for the elimination of MT and diff oil changes,... Well again, I have yet to see any evidence that this practice is causing these components to fail prematurely. And I would probably change the oil in the MT and diff on a 50000-60000 mile interval if I tracked the car. For street use the factory installed BMW synthetic should be good for 150000+ miles at least.
The 15000 mile oil change interval may be pushing things a bit; I have seen some nasty M52 valve covers removed from cars that went 15000 miles on the BMW Synthetic. I tend to think(as does Shipo, I believe) that the BMW oil may not be as suitable as Mobil 1 0W-40 for extended drain intervals.
When all is said and done, you should perform a level of maintenance that gives you peace of mind. In my case-based on over 20 years of driving and wrenching on BMWs-I change the oil every 8000-9000 miles and the coolant every three years on both my E36 and E39. My E36 gets 60000 mile MT and diff oil changes, and annual brake fluid flushes, while the E39 gets 100000 mile ATF and diff oil changes as well as a brake fluid change every two years. As they say, YOUR mileage may vary...
#27511 of 30250 Re: BMW Maintenance Observations [div2]
Dec 06, 2004 (5:22 pm)
The idea of a simple siphoning of the engine oil and replacement at the half way point in the "extended oil" interval is a concept that should be considered by those of us a wee bit concerned about the average 15,000 mile interval. It has been well covered before but should be mentioned for the "newbies" on the board. It is hard to get ones mind around the concept of 15,000 miles when we are so accustomed to the "3000 mile change or lose your car" that has been the standard line since the fifties at least.
#27512 of 30250 Re: BMW Maintenance Observations [robopop]
Dec 06, 2004 (6:25 pm)
I have read one post on another board how someone took the time and money to have their synthetic oil analyzed at or around 15K miles. The analysis came back that there was some more life left to the oil. The whole thread went back and forth on this, but the evidence in this case seems incontrovertable, that at 15K the oil did not break down to the point of not protecting the engine. Obviously YMMV, but I think the jury will be out on this extended maintenance for several years to come.
#27513 of 30250 kdshapiro
Dec 06, 2004 (7:49 pm)
I'd bet that a car used only for long interstate jaunts could get away with 25000 mile changes. In contrast, a car that only gets used for short trips may need a change interval under 10000 miles. The problem is, 99% of the so-called "evidence" concerning extended maintenance intervals is either anecdotal or pure conjecture. Just for giggles I checked out my old 1972 Bavaria 3.0 owners manual and found that BMW used to call for Inspection I at 4000 miles and Inspection II at 8000 miles...
#27514 of 30250 Re: DSC Working Today [gordonwd]
Dec 06, 2004 (8:37 pm)
I understand exactly how you feel - I've been driving my 325i and my wife's A4 1.8 Q for nearly 4 years now. The Quattro allows you to mash the throttle and go in any condition without having to worry about traction - let the car sort it out. Problem with the AWD is that the car is so stable while accelerating, it gives you no real sense for the available traction. It gives you a feeling of invincibility and may get you in trouble when you have to brake. The DSC in the 3-series works very well to keep you going on your intended path of travel but it is a defensive option as it works off the brakes to cut power to the wheels. You'll have to develop a sense for how much gas you can use while accelerating before the DSC kicks in. Go to an empty parking lot and play with traction and try doing it in varying conditions. While doing this, switch off the DSC, drive to see how it feels and then switch off the traction control as well. It's a lot of fun!! Once you master rotating the car with the throttle, you'll be hooked. That said, I'd never recommend switching the DSC off on public roads when traction is not great and you have no experience driving with the DSC switched off.
#27515 of 30250 Re: BMW Maintenance Observations [robopop]
Dec 07, 2004 (1:16 pm)
The idea of a simple siphoning of the engine oil and replacement at the half way point in the "extended oil" interval is a concept that should be considered by those of us a wee bit concerned about the average 15,000 mile interval
I haven't been under my '02 325i yet, is there some difficulty in changing the oil that makes siphoning necessary? Any recommendations on siphoning equipment? My service interval will generally take more than a year so changing the oil between service visits would be recommended.
Dec 07, 2004 (2:36 pm)
Well, there is no reason to go under your 02 to change oil.
I use the MityVac fluid extractor and it works well for me. There are other versions of it available, but my version easily holds the 7+ quarts my xi uses.
Pull out dipstick
Put in extraction tube
Set MityVac to extract
Pump about 10 times
Sit back, relax, and wait
Pump more as needed
I change mine every 7500 and use the Mobil 1 oil with the BMW filter.
#27517 of 30250 little bit disappointed
Dec 07, 2004 (2:43 pm)
My dad finally took the plunge and bought a 2004 325 with automatic transmission, moonroof, metallic paint and he let me drive it for about three weeks. After owning a Honda Civic, 2001, I must say this BMW does not impress me as much I thought it would. Power is sluggish unless you hammer it, which bothers me a bit. The steptronic transmission isn't really fun like I thought it would be. Maybe this car is only designed for a manual transmission. Putting the transmission in sport mode is the only real option seeing as how the regular mode is downright sluggish. Even still, sport mode can get annoying since it won't downshift fast enough if you want a comfortable drive. I suppose sport mode is good if you are driving "sporty" but who does that 95% of the time? I do admit, the suspension and brakes are great but why does this car cost so much? Just a little disappointed.
#27518 of 30250 erickpl [oil change]
Dec 07, 2004 (3:45 pm)
how do you reset the service indicator in the dash? (or are you just doing these oil changes in between the 15K service intervals?).
also, will this Mityvac work for other makes? (ie, other car in our family is a Toyota).
#27519 of 30250 bryan75
Dec 07, 2004 (6:07 pm)
I believe that you've answered your own question; if you actually find your Civic functionally equivalent to a 325i then save your money and stick with Hondas.