Last post on Dec 06, 2013 at 7:58 AM
You are in the Sedans
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BMW 3 Series, Infiniti G37, Acura TL, Lexus IS 350, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Cadillac CTS, Volvo S60, Audi A4, Acura TSX, Car Comparisons, Sedan
#16803 of 16984 Re: BMW Maintenance [dino001]
Oct 16, 2013 (5:18 am)
Would be very surprised if this was an oil-capability issue. It is almost certainly a dealer/revenue-driven issue.
Don't have a BMW but a neighbour has a 320i. The service indicator, when reset after the annual service just tells him that next service is due in 1 year or 18000 or so miles. I doubt anything has changed for 2014............same oil and no huge incidence of failed engines.
America has traded on ridiculously short oil-drain intervals for year. Lube oil was low cost so no issue. Not so here in Europe.
My '06 Volvo S60 D5 has an oil change interval of 1 year or 18,000 miles. Doesn't burn any between changes and is in top form with a mere 94,000 miles on it, (just about run-in my dealer reckons ).
Some years ago I was working here in Europe with a senior guy from the USA lubes division of the oil major we both worked for. He got all excited one day about America announcing that their oil would now run to 10,000 mile oil changes.............but for gasoline engines only. I was driving a VW Group diesel at the time, (A Skoda Fabia vRS with the 130bhp 1.9TDi PD). He was devastated to hear that the standard oil drain for that engine was 10,000 miles..............in Europe. Most VW engines, incl diesels are now 20,000 mile drains.
The BMW change is not oil/engine driven but - in my experienced opinion - cost/dealer greed-driven. America has been mis-informed for years on oil change intervals.
#16804 of 16984 Re: BMW Maintenance [alltorque]
Oct 16, 2013 (6:05 am)
alltorque...I agree. The BMW oil change intervals is probably a function of the dealer revenue stream than it is with the oil breaking down (BMW uses synth oil).
That said, when I owned my BMW, the oil changes were "whenever the indicator for an oil change comes one, or one year, whichever comes first".
I remember hearing of people who were going as much as 17K between oil changes because the oil change indicator never came on.
Don't remember when BMW started doing "free maintenance" with loooonnng deltas between oil changes. But, I would think by now, there would be some evidence that they were detrimental. I haven't heard any complaints, though.
#16805 of 16984 Re: BMW Maintenance [alltorque]
Oct 16, 2013 (6:57 am)
I don't know - these 2.0 turbos are still only 3 years in service, it is possible that they got some statistically significant results prompting them to shorten the mileage between changes. It wouldn't be visible from an average person's view (his nearest dealer's garage), as not many of those engines reached 100K miles yet, but from corporate view they might be seing emerging patterns for those subsamples of the long mileage engines across the world. Just saying, it's possible.
If you are right, it would mean BMW gave into paying dealers more, as first 50K miles is on their dime. Not sure why they'd do that - perhaps it was a dealer apeasement move to give them potentially one more BMW-paid changes. 15K+ miles per year would generate four BMW-paid oil changes per 50K/4 year initial warranty period, instead of three, but it would create a justification for more visits after the period ended. It may not be high price to pay for dealer's happyness.
On other comments, I hear exactly what you are saying. US-based traditional maintenance periods and recommendations (proverbial Jiffy Lube/Joe's Chevy 3 thousand miles on "severe schedule") are RIDICULOUS. They were developed during old "dyno" oil times for engines that were not very well made. As you said, it is very common to see 25K-30K kilometer (15-20K miles) maintenance periods in Europe, even for lowly Toyotas and Fords, often having same/similar engines to those used here. There are differences, though - European practice is "come not very often, but leave a lot of money at each visit and do as we say or else (including exact oil brands and grades) and to maintain warranty you HAVE TO do it with us". American practice has been "come as often as we tell you, but we will charge you relatively small amount of money and use substandard materials, but there is no harm because you change it so often". It's evolving, as manufacturers have stretched those periods here, but as you said yourself - not nearly as much as across the Pond, because dealers wouldn't have it. BTW, one difference is, European authorized service stations are not necessarily attached to sales dealerships - they sometimes function as separate franchises, which here is almost unheard of. This gives manufacturers better leverage there to divide constituancies and play them separately.
#16806 of 16984 Re: BMW Maintenance [graphicguy]
Oct 16, 2013 (6:59 am)
I think is was around early to mid 2000s. There was definitely a coincidence between increasing the period and instituting "free" maintenance.
Oct 16, 2013 (10:51 am)
Another tidbit to perhaps put someone's mind at ease: the amount of oil that the European cars require at a change is sometimes close to double the oil amount a Japanese "premium" car requires.
When I had my Acura, I used to take the oil with me for the oil changes -- I would take a 5-quart container of Mobil 1 or some other name brand 100% synthetic oil -- after the change there would still be oil left in the container.
My wife's X3, for example, however, would take 8+ quarts for an oil change. I am assuming you can safely go further on oil that is less dirty. The more oil capacity the car has the more dirty oil it can handle -- no wonder Infiniti, etc, expects oil change intervals of 3,750 miles -- their cars don't hold much oil.
Also the Euro cars require synthetic oil, the Japanese cars do not. I assume American cars, for the most part, fall into the no synthetic oil policy, too.
Oil is better now -- than then. Engines (at least of Euro cars) are better now than ever. Oil change intervals of 10, 15 even 20K miles are probably not an issue for cars with well made and well lubricated engines.
Drive it like you live.
#16808 of 16984 Re: BMW Maintenance [dino001]
Oct 17, 2013 (5:49 am)
I know I had a late '80s 325i (first BMW) and an early '00s 330i, in addition to the E92 coupe I had. The last one was the only one I remember having free 4 year maintenance. So, you're probably right Dino.
Mark....I concur that engines are made more prcisely these days. Plus, it's much easire to measure the fluid effectiveness with the amount of computers on board. Plus, fluids (not just oil) are much better today than they were. Case in point, the use of synthetics.
That said, I remember when Mobil 1 first hit the market. Their initial claim to fame was "no oil changes needed except for 10,000 mile intervals".
At least BMW is surpassing that now.
My Audi takes 10K oil change intervals.
#16809 of 16984 Re: Oil Change Interval [markcincinnati]
Oct 17, 2013 (7:17 am)
"Another tidbit to perhaps put someone's mind at ease: the amount of oil that the European cars require at a change is sometimes close to double the oil amount a Japanese "premium" car requires."
I don't know why Infiniti has such an aggressive oil change schedule but not all Japanese luxury cars(I noticed your slight but won't go there) are like that. Your TL certainly didn't require them that often did it? My Acura just had it's first oil change at 7200 miles and the oil monitor was on 30% oil life remaining. I had it changed because it was at the one year mark. I guess it could have went to 9k or so before the oil life monitor would have indicated an oil change and probably more if I did a lot more freeway driving.
#16810 of 16984 Re: Oil Change Interval [m6user]
Oct 17, 2013 (9:14 am)
Not to pick on your word choice, but I would call German car schedule "aggressive" and Infiniti's "extremely conservative". Now to answer your question: Infiniti dealers use old-school mineral oil on those still fairly modern engines. For those not to sludge, I suspect you need to have keep this oil new and change it often. I guess the pact is come often, pay small entrance fee (for the oil change) and we will find four opportunities per year to pick your pocket on something else we will "find" or invent. I feel that if Infiniti suddenly changed the schedule to once per year good quality synthetic, the dealers would lose all those revenue upsell opportunities.
#16811 of 16984 Re: Oil Change Interval [dino001]
Oct 17, 2013 (11:46 am)
When I used the word "aggressive" I was referring to the aggressive assault on one's wallet so I used the word correctly but didn't use my turn signals to indicate the direction I was coming from. But when someone says they have THE answer to my question and then says "I suspect", "I guess" and "I feel" I have to wonder about their word choice as well. But that doesn't change the fact that I would tend to agree with everything you've said.
#16812 of 16984 Re: Oil Change Interval [m6user]
Oct 17, 2013 (12:31 pm)
Whoa! Now you're picking on my words. OK, here it is: my choice of words was very careful to precisely express that I do not have a real knowledge, just conjecture and constructed narrative. However, I should have not written that's "to answer your question", but rather "to speculate" or something like that.
Now, on notion of "aggressive" vs. "conservative": I wrote that because it is well established in many different professional communities across the board (engineering, finances, accounting, etc.) that "aggressive" is usually associated with pushing the envelope of established limits, or even going beyond them. "Conservative" is used for practice that is well inside of such limits. In those terms, Infiniti's schedule does not push any limits, it's well within established limits of that community, from Jiffy Lube to Bob's Chevy, driving 3K/3M schedule ad naseam. On the other hand, BMW's schedule pushes the envelope, thus would be called aggressive.