BMW

Maintaining your BMW is the most important factor in prolonging the life of your vehicle and keeping it performing at its best. No matter what age or mileage, changing the oil can be critical to the health and life of the engine. Not only is it important to keep the life-blood of your engine clean, but those regular maintenance visits can also be priceless in discovering a problem before it becomes a safety hazard. At Atlantic Autowerks, we always look our customers cars over closely to be sure there is nothing that jeopardizes the safety of you and your vehicle. This includes any maintenance items that may be due.

As important as an oil change can be to your vehicle, car manufacturers are still recommending oil change intervals that far exceed what the oils and engines can handle. Any car that uses a regular petroleum-based oil should have it changed every 3,000 miles, or once a year. From late 1997 up, BMW started using full synthetic oil which lasts longer and the interval for oil changes was extended. BMW was still recommending 15,000 miles between changes and we have spent years dealing with the effects that has had on the engines. Sludge build-up and internal engine wear have increasingly become more of an issue lately. It is our recommendation to change your engine oil every 7,500 miles...or less! "Less than 7,500 miles?" That's right! Starting in 2006 BMW introduced the N52 engine with Valvetronic. This Valvetronic system is responsible for valve lift and thus has many more moving parts that always need to be lubricated. It is these engines with Valvetronic that we recommend having the oil changed at an interval of no more than 5,000 miles. So, our recommendations are:

  • Up to 1997 = 3,000-mile interval (with regular oil only)
  • From 1997 to 2005 = 7,500-mile interval
  • From 2006 and up = 5,000-mile interval (with Valvetronic)

Note: The exception would be a 745i/750i from 2002 on. This is a V8 engine with Valvetronic.

 

Enough about oil changes! What about all that other maintenance your car needs? In the Services and Maintenance tabs above, we talked about the various services we offer, and BMW recommends. While BMW has a specific mileage they recommend for certain items and conditioned-based intervals on others, we will try to simplify what is due and when.

Tire Rotation. Although a tire rotation is not recommended by BMW, Atlantic Autowerks still recommends regular tire rotations to help with tire wear and to prolong the life of your tires. It is a good idea to rotate your tires every second oil change.

Filters. Most newer BMW's have only two filters that are recommend for regular maintenance. The engine air filter and the cabin microfilter. The cabin microfilter has a CBS, or Conditioned-Based Service, light that will come on indicating time to replace. The air filter does not. This is a filter that can be checked during regular maintenance visits on most vehicles. In addition to changing both of those filters on some of the regular maintenance service (i.e. Inspection 1 and Inspection 2), we also offer an air and cabin filter change as a separate service, or along with an oil change if needed. These filters are not always dirty when the cars warning light comes on. We always inspect the filters and replace if needed. Note: Diesel engines have different service intervals for filter replacements. Both engine air and cabin filters should be replaced every 3rd oil change. There is a replaceable fuel filter that should be changed every 4th oil change as well.

Fluids. Your vehicle has several fluids that need servicing at some point. Aside from engine oil, the other fluids are brake, coolant, power steering, transmission and differential. If you have a x-drive, or an xi, then the vehicle has a front and rear differential as well as a transfer case.

The brake fluid has the most frequent interval for service. The brake hydraulic system should be flushed every two years. On the majority of BMW's there is a warning light that will indicate when the brake flush is due.

Your engine coolant is a fluid that BMW does not have a set interval for. While BMW may classify their engine coolant as a "lifetime" fluid, coolant manufacturers, and other vehicle manufacturers, disagree and set a service interval. Depending on where you read, the service interval can range from 30,000 to 60,000 miles. We recommend changing the coolant in your BMW every 4 years or 40,000 miles. 

The power steering fluid in your BMW does not have a service interval. Most repair shops, dealers included, do agree that the power steering fluid should be changed at some point. There is usually a service for flushing the power steering fluid, however, there is no recommended interval for this service.

 The remaining fluids in your BMW; transmission, differential(s) and transfer case (x only) are all classified by BMW as "lifetime" fluids for the most part. The exceptions are "M" cars that have a recommended differential fluid change every 50,000 miles and X-drive vehicles that have an oil wear indicator light to let you know the transfer case fluid is due to be changed. Like most shops, we do not recommend neglecting these fluids entirely. Our recommendation for transmission fluid change is before 100,000 miles. The differential(s) are recommended at 40,000 miles. The transfer case is recommended to be changed before 100,000 miles unless the oil wear light comes on first.  

Spark Plugs. Spark plugs have always been a service item that BMW has stretched to around 100,000 miles for most cars. That interval, however, is far too long and as a result can damage ignition coils. It is for that reason why we recommend replacing the spark plugs at 80,000 miles for most naturally aspirated (non-turbo) engines. The force induction engines (turbo or supercharged), the spark plugs should be replaced at a 40,000-mile interval.