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BMW 5 Series, Electrical, Engine, Sedan, Wagon
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#654 of 2734 duracellguy
Jun 03, 2004 (4:52 pm)
Unless I'm mistaken, your E60 530i has the same oil change schedule as my E39 530i, which is not 10,000 miles but 15,000.
Regarding whether the standard interval is acceptable, consider the following re-post of a post I made some time back:
I have posted my views on the oil change schedule on BMW’s latest batch of engines here a few times over the last five years or so, however, I feel it may be worth repeating.
When I started turning wrenches on cars back in the 1970s, 3000 miles was a good time to do an oil change. What with inefficient carburetors, leaded fuel and by today’s standards VERY low-tech dino-juice in the crankcase, a car of that era could easily expect to see the far side of 100K miles. In my case, my 1966 Valiant with the 225 Slant-Six went 211K on the original motor before I rebuilt it (it burned oil) and my 1970 Dodge Challenger with the venerable 340 made it to 187K when it was stolen.
Fast forward 30 years and we now have very clean burning fuel, electronic systems to manage the fuel injection and ignition timing to make the combustion process even cleaner (ie. less particulate matter to suspend in the oil) and even good old dino-juice has been beefed up to last longer and protect better.
Now consider the current crop of BMW engines:
These engines are efficient enough to be certificated as Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV), which reduces the combustion byproducts and as a result reduces the particulate matter that the oil must hold in suspension, yielding a longer oil change interval.
BMW is using synthetic oil right from the factory; said oil has far greater abilities to keep contaminates in suspension with no appreciable loss in lubricity. Couple that with the ability of Synthetic oil to shrug off the effects of water (older Dino Juice used to react with water and form acids) without any loss in lubricity, and you have an oil that can withstand longer oil change intervals without ANY additional engine wear.
BMW has also seen fit to nearly double the amount of oil the engine holds in its sump when compared to other comparably sized engines. Twice the oil means twice the already prodigious capacity of synthetic oil to hold particulate matter in suspension, lower oil temperatures (spends more time in the sump cooling), fewer passes through the oil galleries getting the #$*^%~! beat out of it, and a much greater margin of error for low oil. Yet again, longer oil change intervals are the result.
Modern engine oil (once again, specifically Synthetic) is far more stable in extreme environments (high engine temps, high RPMs and extreme cold) than conventional oil, as such, it breaks down at a FAR slower rate when compared to the old stuff. Once again, this will reduce the necessity of frequent oil changes.
If all of this is not enough, when I was working for MBUSA in the mid 1990s, MB was testing a number of cars with Synthetic oil. A few of those cars only had the oil changed when the chemical analysis of the oil indicated that it was starting to degrade below acceptable minimums. Do you know what the average mileage was between changes on those cars turned out to be? Glad you asked, 25,000 miles.
Based upon the above items, I would not be surprised if the oil in our ULEV certified BMW engines could last 30,000 miles under normal driving conditions. Having said that, I will not be the first to raise my hand to try and find out, 15,000 miles is just fine by me.
#655 of 2734 Maintenance
Jun 04, 2004 (5:18 am)
duracellguy... You'll never go wrong changing your oil and filter more frequently than BMW recommends. You can always pay to change at say 7,500 miles. Or whatever you like. [Do keep in mind that for low mileage cars, BMW does recommend changing the oil at least annually, regardless of how few miles were driven.]
Is interesting to see what happened to maintenance intervals after BMW started "paying" for "free" maintenance. Now they mysteriously have "lifetime" transmission and differential fluid. And Roundel (BMW CCA) and Bimmer magazines routinely discuss transmission problems occurring in the 80-120K mile range. [Many experts recommend you change these fluids at least every 30K.]
It is amazing how little maintenance is recommended or actually done on today's BMWs during the first 50K or even 100K. Will be interesting to see how many of today's cars will still be on the road in 20-30 years.
You should join BMW CCA, even if just for their magazine (if not also for parts and purchase discounts), as well as read Bimmer magazine. Neither subscribes to the 15K interval regiment.
And whatever else you do, you absolutely must religiously change your brake fluid (2 years) and coolant (3 years).
#656 of 2734 shipo
Jun 04, 2004 (11:31 am)
Good post-it's refreshing to hear the opinion of someone who actually has experience with regards to the subject matter being discussed.
#657 of 2734 Tool to remove Radio in 1993 bmw 525
Jun 04, 2004 (1:27 pm)
My grand daughter has a 1993 525 and the radio stop powering up. We have checked the fuse and it's not blown we can't remove the radio because the dealer says it takes a special tool, It looks like an ordinary allen screw but so far we can't find one that fits. The dealer won't sell us the tool, It seems that they want to make the money them self by pulling the radio.
Does any one out there have any ideas on how to get the radio out?
#658 of 2734 Misc...
Jun 04, 2004 (2:14 pm)
Rugby65, I'd try a different dealer for the tool, or I would go to your friendly neighborhood tool dealer and see if you can find a driver head that will match up to the screw.
#659 of 2734 Maintenance Advice from Experts Who Know
Jun 04, 2004 (3:44 pm)
div2... You're absolutely right: "it's refreshing to hear the opinion of someone who actually has experience with regards to the subject matter being discussed." Always best to stick with the experts.
I enjoy reading Mike Miller's responses to the plethora of routine maintenance questions he is asked as Technical Editor of both Roundel (BMW CCA) and Bimmer magazines. Some recent samples:
Roundel, 1/04: "Oil-change intervals need to be appropriate to the product used...the otherwise absurd 15,000-mile BMW factory interval. I'd drain Mobil 1 every 5,000 miles. Always change the filter with the oil." and "I think 5,000 miles is an excessive tire-rotation interval. I do it once a year when I switch from summer tires to snow tires."
Roundel, 4/04: "Unfortunately, since the advent of free scheduled maintenance and extended service intervals, 'dealer maintained' means that very little was done to the car beyond a list of checks and adjustments. If you're lucky, this car [a '97 E39 528i with 66K miles] has had four engine-oil changes, one air filter, one coolant change and three brake-fluid changes--but it's more than likely that it just had the engine-oil changes and the air filter."
Roundel, 6/04: "Change your gearbox and differential oil every 30,000 miles."
Bimmer, 8/04: "my best advice is to maintain the car. Change gearbox and differential oil no matter how loudly the dealer whines about 'lifetime fill' oil. Tell them you will trust lifetime oil when they give you a lifetime warranty."
He is one of the best reasons to read Roundel and Bimmer!
#660 of 2734 Excessive maintenance...
Jun 04, 2004 (4:01 pm)
Roundel, 1/04: "Oil-change intervals need to be appropriate to the product used...the otherwise absurd 15,000-mile BMW factory interval. I'd drain Mobil 1 every 5,000 miles. Always change the filter with the oil."
Sorry, I cannot buy into that one. I've seen the research, I've seen the oil analysis numbers, I've seen the torn down motors. Unless the esteemed Mr. Miller knows something the engineers at Mercedes-Benz don't know (and can back it up with hard facts), I'll classify his comments more as "Religion" than "Science".
#661 of 2734 shipo
Jun 05, 2004 (6:30 am)
Mike wasn't able to make the last Roundel staff meeting at TechFest East, but I discussed this issue with my friend Mark Calabrese as well as a few others. The "Change oil every 1000 miles" philosophy is not a majority opinion. I've known Mike for nealy fifteen years and he has been a great asset for many owners. That said, not every expert agrees with his opinions on servicing frequency. The extended service intervals have been in effect for nearly five years. Can anyone show me a BMW final drive, manual transmission, or engine that has failed due to following the BMW maintenance regimen?
#662 of 2734 Maintenance, Short-term Ownership, and Longevity
Jun 05, 2004 (8:41 am)
div2... You note that "The extended service intervals have been in effect for nearly five years." and then ask "Can anyone show me a BMW final drive, manual transmission, or engine that has failed due to following the BMW maintenance regimen?"
Would be interesting to see what percentage of E39s and E46s even have 100K let alone 150K?
Is interesting to read all the discussions in Roundel and Bimmer about catastrophic AT failures in the 80-120K range. And how BMW dealers tend just to completely replace transmissions and differentials that have problems. Dealers don't appear to do much work on them any more. Just pull out the bad one and put in a new one.
Thinking the original 3/36 "free" maintenance came out around MY1998. Can anyone explain why BMW extended service intervals when it started paying for the maintenance? Were they getting previous owners into paying for unnecessary maintenance? Are they trying to hold their own costs down?
Since BMW's b-to-b warranty expires at 4yr/50K and even the CPO warranty (which you pay additional for) expires at 6yr/100K, skimping on maintenance won't cost BMW much. Few of today's buyers even keep the car past about 40 months of ownership. And look at the percentage that lease for only 2, 3, or 4 years and never even own their own vehicle. What do they care about the long-term future of their former car?
Maybe the better questions will be, "What shape will E39 and E46 BMWs be after 150K or 10 years?" and "What percentage of E39s and E46s are still on the road in 2015 or 2020?"
Not sure what you mean when you discuss "The 'Change oil every 1000 miles' philosophy is not a majority opinion." Don't think anyone is recommending oil changes every 1K or even 3K. But 5K or 7.5K is reasonable for ensuring healthy long-term life.
#663 of 2734 2004 545i - Sirius Radio
Jun 05, 2004 (10:20 am)
Anybody have one of these? I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get the system to "accept" my attempt to "store" stations. It seems to do so, but where do they go? Where's the list? I go to SAT/Presets, and none is there in any kind of organized way to indicate I selected them.
Also, with iDrive, is there no way to select a station by number? Instead, always have to scroll the list (unless I can figure out the store bit)?