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CALLING BMW OWNERS
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The M3 has just gone in for a service, having had the light come on to advise that it needed a "time" oil change back in August, but the iDrive still stated that it wasn't needed for another 7000 miles (from today's mileage).

On this occasion, I have gone for the engine and diff oil change despite not reaching the mileage.

However, being fortunate to have other cars to share the mileage between, this tends to keep all the cars quite low. My question is, next time it is due for a "time" change (which will ALWAYS come before the mileage), and due to the use it gets, would there be any issues with waiting for the mileage instead?

The whole idea of getting the BMW was that we didn't think it would need servicing until the computer said "yes" ;). I understand the need for changing the brake fluid and belts etc on a time basis, but not the oil and spark plugs etc :lol: ?

Sensible views appreciated ;).

Updated November 27, 2012 at 12:39 PM

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Nordschleife - there's only two barriers to worry about - the ones on the left and the ones on the right!

I have a similar issue mike. The z4c is due about now ish for a "time" service but there is still 3750 miles to go until service is due.
Should I chuck it in or should I wait for the milage to count down.

Sorry if it seems I have hijacked your thread. :oops:

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For sure

I just do it yearly, a stamp each time as I'm not going to hit the miles in a year.

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Cheers

Rich

Is it not just condition-based servicing like most modern BMs? :?

Swervin_Mervin said...

Is it not just condition-based servicing like most modern BMs? :?

That is what I thought, but it seems that it is condition based AND time based (on a whichever comes first basis). Now considering the iDrive says it had another 7000 mile of life left in it, it seems counter productive to change it on the time schedule....

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Nordschleife - there's only two barriers to worry about - the ones on the left and the ones on the right!

If light use oil will go two years surely. Just wait!

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I'd rather be wrong than dull

Isn't the point of a time based oil change to stop the oil becoming corrosive and eating your seals over time?

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Out of step with the forum.

NotoriousREV said...

Isn't the point of a time based oil change to stop the oil becoming corrosive and eating your seals over time?

Mr BIG wears the coat of correctness.

Dave!

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I came here to drink milk and kick ass..... and i've just finished my milk!!!!

Can you please elaborate on that, as that sounds like the kind of myth that a dealership tells people as opposed to actual reality LOL?

--

Nordschleife - there's only two barriers to worry about - the ones on the left and the ones on the right!

Mike Rainbird said...

Can you please elaborate on that, as that sounds like the kind of myth that a dealership tells people as opposed to actual reality LOL?

With regards to seals, I haven't seen any that have been attacked by oils, or if they have then other factors have masked this.

With bearings i'd say 50% of the ones I end up changing have signs of acid erosion from the engines standing idle.

On the stuff I work on it has a marked affect on the bearing life, how that translates to a diff or high speed petrol engine though I couldn't say.

I do a fluid change every year on all my stuff regardless of mileage.

Dave!

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I came here to drink milk and kick ass..... and i've just finished my milk!!!!

My BMW's have always been daily drivers so mileage has always come up first, but it's my understanding that if you don't hit the mileage the oil change is every two years?

GraniteV8 said...

Mike Rainbird said...

Can you please elaborate on that, as that sounds like the kind of myth that a dealership tells people as opposed to actual reality LOL?

With regards to seals, I haven't seen any that have been attacked by oils, or if they have then other factors have masked this.

With bearings i'd say 50% of the ones I end up changing have signs of acid erosion from the engines standing idle.

On the stuff I work on it has a marked affect on the bearing life, how that translates to a diff or high speed petrol engine though I couldn't say.

I do a fluid change every year on all my stuff regardless of mileage.

Dave!

I can understand doing that on an engine where the use isn't being monitored, so you're not sure of the condition of the oil. However, on the BMW, the oil is monitored either by a "condition sensor" or an algorithm in the ECU to determine the required oil change interval based on a number of factors such as duration of use, ambient temperature, speed and acceleration. I'm not sure which? So surely that would negate the oil needing to be changed on a time basis?

--

Nordschleife - there's only two barriers to worry about - the ones on the left and the ones on the right!

Mike Rainbird said...

GraniteV8 said...

Mike Rainbird said...

Can you please elaborate on that, as that sounds like the kind of myth that a dealership tells people as opposed to actual reality LOL?

With regards to seals, I haven't seen any that have been attacked by oils, or if they have then other factors have masked this.

With bearings i'd say 50% of the ones I end up changing have signs of acid erosion from the engines standing idle.

On the stuff I work on it has a marked affect on the bearing life, how that translates to a diff or high speed petrol engine though I couldn't say.

I do a fluid change every year on all my stuff regardless of mileage.

Dave!

I can understand doing that on an engine where the use isn't being monitored, so you're not sure of the condition of the oil. However, on the BMW, the oil is monitored either by a "condition sensor" or an algorithm in the ECU to determine the required oil change interval based on a number of factors such as duration of use, ambient temperature, speed and acceleration. I'm not sure which? So surely that would negate the oil needing to be changed on a time basis?

The last job I did in Namibia had me scrapping 24 pairs of camshaft bearings and 24 pairs of main bearings all despite the oil samples coming back clear. This was proper samples aswell which get sent away to be put in shiny laboratory machines who spin it around and whatnot.

All the damage was due to acid erosion and dirty oil.

The only time i've found oil sampling to be worthwhile is to help me find the cause of the damage after an engine has died, it's never prevented it in 14 years of working on them.

For the price of the oil, change it imo.

Oddly, the americans actually are the ones to follow when it comes to engine, transmission oil changes etc.

Dave!

--

I came here to drink milk and kick ass..... and i've just finished my milk!!!!

GraniteV8 said...

Mike Rainbird said...

GraniteV8 said...

Mike Rainbird said...

Can you please elaborate on that, as that sounds like the kind of myth that a dealership tells people as opposed to actual reality LOL?

With regards to seals, I haven't seen any that have been attacked by oils, or if they have then other factors have masked this.

With bearings i'd say 50% of the ones I end up changing have signs of acid erosion from the engines standing idle.

On the stuff I work on it has a marked affect on the bearing life, how that translates to a diff or high speed petrol engine though I couldn't say.

I do a fluid change every year on all my stuff regardless of mileage.

Dave!

I can understand doing that on an engine where the use isn't being monitored, so you're not sure of the condition of the oil. However, on the BMW, the oil is monitored either by a "condition sensor" or an algorithm in the ECU to determine the required oil change interval based on a number of factors such as duration of use, ambient temperature, speed and acceleration. I'm not sure which? So surely that would negate the oil needing to be changed on a time basis?

The last job I did in Namibia had me scrapping 24 pairs of camshaft bearings and 24 pairs of main bearings all despite the oil samples coming back clear. This was proper samples aswell which get sent away to be put in shiny laboratory machines who spin it around and whatnot.

All the damage was due to acid erosion and dirty oil.

The only time i've found oil sampling to be worthwhile is to help me find the cause of the damage after an engine has died, it's never prevented it in 14 years of working on them.

For the price of the oil, change it imo.

Oddly, the americans actually are the ones to follow when it comes to engine, transmission oil changes etc.

Dave!

What sort of length of time is the oil in these engines to achieve that kind of build up, and what operating temperature do they run at? Don't forget that modern car oils are deliberately held at around the 100°C mark to burn off these kind of contaminants.....

Updated November 27, 2012 at 3:06 PM

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Nordschleife - there's only two barriers to worry about - the ones on the left and the ones on the right!

Between 1 and 2 years, they have a far harsher life due to sucking in sea air all the time but they burn more oil so it gets re-plenished far more, also we are talking about sumps holding between 1500 and 4000 litres. They are also kept up to temp for most of their life so don't have problem of getting hot and cold which limits moisture building up in the oil, they also go through centrifuges to take any contaminents out.

For the cost of it I always see fresh oil as a bonus.

Dave!

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I came here to drink milk and kick ass..... and i've just finished my milk!!!!

GraniteV8 said...

Between 1 and 2 years, they have a far harsher life due to sucking in sea air all the time but they burn more oil so it gets re-plenished far more, also we are talking about sumps holding between 1500 and 4000 litres. They are also kept up to temp for most of their life so don't have problem of getting hot and cold which limits moisture building up in the oil, they also go through centrifuges to take any contaminents out.

For the cost of it I always see fresh oil as a bonus.

Dave!


I'm only asking, as I am intrigued :). What is the operating temp of these behemoths then :)?

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Nordschleife - there's only two barriers to worry about - the ones on the left and the ones on the right!

They are single speed (750rpm) medium speed engines.

Oil temp is around 60 degrees, water temp around 85, oil pressure between 4 and 6 bar.

The peak pressures are lower than a tuned petrol engine (an average of 130bar is reasonable) but with piston and rod assemblies weighing 450 kilos and long strokes the forces going into the bearings are huge.

When we were serving our time it was drummed into us that good quality fuel and good quality oil will help an engine run forever.

Dave!

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I came here to drink milk and kick ass..... and i've just finished my milk!!!!

My 3 series is up to over 48,000 miles so far this year and nearly ready for inspection number 3. All condition based as per iDrive and with only 1 problem.

A front brake pad retaining spring had snapped at 46k so front pads were replace under warranty. They were only half worn and the new ones on iDrive are saying 90k until change :shock: which I find extraordinary as I've never had a car get to half of that. I'm usually quite heavy on brakes.

GraniteV8 said...

They are single speed (750rpm) medium speed engines.

Oil temp is around 60 degrees, water temp around 85, oil pressure between 4 and 6 bar.

The peak pressures are lower than a tuned petrol engine (an average of 130bar is reasonable) but with piston and rod assemblies weighing 450 kilos and long strokes the forces going into the bearings are huge.

When we were serving our time it was drummed into us that good quality fuel and good quality oil will help an engine run forever.

Dave!

I can see why you would need to regularly change the oil when it is running such low temperatures, as it never gets hot enough to burn off the contaminants. But a modern car engine runs at 100°C oil temp EXACTLY for this reason ;).

So the only reason I can see for the time interval is to ensure the car goes back to the dealer sufficiently regularly to line their pockets ;).

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Nordschleife - there's only two barriers to worry about - the ones on the left and the ones on the right!

Chop it in for a GT2! HTH

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