Last post on Jul 28, 2013 at 1:05 PM
You are in the BMW 5-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 5 Series, Electrical, Engine, Sedan, Wagon
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#667 of 2735 Designman
Jun 06, 2004 (9:11 am)
On the whole I agree with your dissertation on oil life. That said; I believe that there are two key points that you missed.
1) "In my opinion Car B should clearly have a higher oil-maintenance frequency and that BMW should acknowledge driving conditions and freely adapt to them with their maintenance policies." Actually, they do acknowledge driving conditions to a point. The oil change intervals on our BMWs are not fixed, they are instead calculated by the OBC based upon how much fuel the vehicle consumed since the last service (and probably a few other factors as well) and as such, I have heard owners report oil service intervals as short as 11,000 miles and as great as 18,000 miles. In my own case, my 1999 328i never made it to 14K, and as it was primarily driven in and around the NYC metro area, I guess that's not too surprising. My 530i has spent much if its life shuttling me between southern NH and the NYC area, and as such it almost reached 16K for its first service and it looks like I'm on track to repeat that this time around. It is my understanding that the 15,000 mile interval is the target for the "Average Driver" driving in "Average Conditions" (ie. lots of stop and go with some long road trips thrown in).
2) The properties of synthetic oil itself. I've spent a fair amount of time studying the differences between dino-juice and synthetic oil as they relate to the General Aviation community and have come away with quite a bit of knowledge that is applicable to the automotive industry. The biggest single boon to the automotive industry relative to engine oil is that synthetic oil does not react with engine contaminates (water, unburned fuel, and combustion byproducts) like dino-juice does.
For the sake of my point here, let me present you with four identical cars, two with Synthetic oil in the crank case, and two with dino-juice. Then allow me to alter your scenarios "A" and "B" slightly to the following definitions:
"Scenario A – 3 cold starts a day, mostly highway miles, 2 of the 3 trips are of sufficient length to get the oil up to a proper operating temperature"
"Scenario B – 8 cold starts a day, mostly stop-and-go traffic, only 2 of the 8 trips are of sufficient length to get the oil up to a proper operating temperature"
Then let us assume that we drive one synth and one dino car in each of the two scenarios and that we perform an oil analysis on each car every thousand miles. I submit that the dino juice car in scenario A would be able to drive well over twice the miles of its scenario B sister before the first required oil change. However, in the synth group I submit that the scenario A car would only be able to drive 20% to 30% further simply because of the stability of the synthetic oil and its ability to prevent acid formation that results from reaction with contaminates.
#668 of 2735 Shipo and engine oil
Jun 06, 2004 (10:02 am)
I love your reasoning with regard to the engine oil and extended oil intervals and agree with the time schedule. Now what about the transmission (auto in my case - sorry) oil and its' "sealed for life" oil? My BMW service advisor says they will not change it even if I pay for it since they have had bad experience with leaking of the transmission after a change and no problems with cars in which they never change it. I'm now at 52000 miles and everything seems fine. Do I change the transmission oil myself?
#669 of 2735 robopop
Jun 06, 2004 (10:31 am)
Hmmm, regarding automatic transmissions, I don't drive them if at all possible, and don't follow their issues as a rule either. That said, I do remember a dialog here at Edmunds from a year or two back (I even think I remember Riez being involved in said dialog) that indicated that the life expectancy of a BMW automatic was somewhere just north of 100K miles, and that seemed to be regardless of whether the tranny fluid had been changed or not.
Unfortunately I don't remember whether these issues were with the GM built transmissions or the ZF units. Furthermore, I'm unsure of even the timeline as to when each unit was used and which models were mated to which engines. Hopefully there are folks here that are more fluent in auto-speak than I am, and they can offer you a more definitive answer.
#670 of 2735 Maintenance: Erring
Jun 06, 2004 (2:29 pm)
If you have to err, err on the conservative side. You will NEVER go wrong over-maintaining your car. What is the worst case with over maintenance? You spent an extra 1% of the total lifetime costs on preventative maintenance??? Big deal. Don't think the extra oil, oil filters, air filters, etc. will break the bank when you spent $30-60,000 on the car to begin with.
And if you sell to a private party and have all your receipts, bet you can recover some of the extra costs. Who wouldn't want to buy a used car that has been taken care of very, very well and has the documentation to prove it?
Differential and transmission (esp. manual) fluid do need to be changed. There is no such thing as "lifetime" oil!
robopop... You might check with another BMW dealer. Check with an independent garage that services BMWs. At 52,000 miles the car is out of the b-to-b warranty and BMW, unlike Lexus or Infiniti, does not offer an extended powertrain warranty.
#671 of 2735 Re: 2004 545i - Sirius Radio [muddog #663]
Jun 07, 2004 (10:54 am)
I thought Sirius for the E60 was months away?
#672 of 2735 Sirius -- #671
Jun 07, 2004 (4:19 pm)
It took awhile to get the "kits" in, but BMW Center in San Antonio has them, and now so does my 545i. It's cool, but I'd like to know more about how to customize it for me.
Jun 08, 2004 (5:03 am)
I have a 2003 525i. Front wheels are pitted up pretty bad. Does anyone know a way to get the brake dust out of the pits? Thanks
#674 of 2735 replacing the battery
Jun 11, 2004 (11:47 am)
The car battery on my 2000 528i is needing to be replaced. When I talked to my BMW service advisor, he indicated I will need to replace it with another BMW battery, which costs about $250 installed.
Aren't there other aftermarket batteries I can use that will do a suitable job? Does anybody here have any experience with replacing batteries in the newer BMWs? (E39, E46, etc)
#675 of 2735 Replacement Batteries
Jun 11, 2004 (12:06 pm)
cotmc... Don't believe the dealer! There are replacement batteries.
You should read all the battery-related comments in Roundel (BMW CCA) and Bimmer magazines the past couple years. According to them, BMW's replacment batteries are expensive and short-lived. Believe they recommend Interstate Batteries. Unlike the OEM batteries, which tend to last 4-6 years, the dealer replacement ones have high failure rates in 2-3 years.
#676 of 2735 Sirius -- #671
Jun 11, 2004 (1:51 pm)
Muddog, do you have Nav?
Also, what other options do you have with your 545i? My 1986 325eS had a near death experience this week and, although I've got it back on the road with a new water pump, the mechanic found so much else wrong that I can no longer put this off. I am trying to hold out till the 05's come out in hopes they will have solved most of the new model blues by then. What's you experience been?