Boston Motor Werks encourages and even amplifies regular factory maintenance for every BMW, regardless of year. We strongly believe that maintenance is the key for a reliable vehicle. Maintenance is not simply an act of keeping a car in good running shape. Maintenance and preventative maintenance is the single largest deterrent of large repair bills. So many issues on today’s modern cars are easily avoided by following the proper maintenance on the vehicle. Ignoring maintenance on your vehicle is like investing in future problems you will have. You are almost guaranteeing that those issues will happen. Such a wide variety of issues that we see on a daily basis could easily have been avoided with the proper maintenance. There is not enough that can be said about this topic. We encourage all our customers to take pre-emptive action towards their vehicle to avoid issues due to neglect. Spending a little money now can save you a fortune down the road.
From our experience at the dealer as well as independent repair shops, we have learned that despite advances in part and fluid technology that are supposed to extend service intervals, there is no replacement for the “old school” maintenance program. We highly recommend synthetic oil changes at no more than 5,000 miles regardless of the model year and mineral oil-era cars at no more than 3,000 mile intervals. The dealer-recommended 15,000 mile oil change leaves a large margin for potential engine wear and damage, especially with the high technology on BMW engines (Vanos, Valvetronic, semi-dry sump oil systems, etc.). Combined with New England traffic and weather conditions, we see pre-mature failures of everything from valvetronic eccentric shafts and levers to crankcase vent valves to standard engine seals simply due to not changing the oil enough. The effects worsen as the mileage builds, especially over 100,000 miles, but the vehicles are conveniently out of factory warranty and it is left up to the owner to pay the full repair costs. BMW engines are designed to easily see over 300,000 miles with simple maintenance complimenting the appropriate repairs. Visit any sizeable BMW car show and you will regularly see BMW vehicles with 300-400,000 miles on them and sometimes more without any major engine rebuilds. This is not only a testament to the ultimate driving machine but also to the importance of the proper maintenance for the vehicle, regardless of age or mileage.
We recommend spark plug replacement every 60,000 miles on non-M engines, which is usually done every Inspection II service. Inspection I service, usually every 30,000 miles, consists of an oil change, cabin filter, and if needed (usually recommended) an engine air filter. Inspection II service, usually every 60,000 miles, consists of spark plugs, oil change, engine air filter, cabin filter, fuel filter, and differential fluid flush. At Boston Motor Werks, an Inspection II consists of the above plus brake flush, coolant flush, transmission flush, and if applicable, a transfer case flush. BMW recommend a brake flush every 2 years and a coolant flush every 4 years. The Inspection II service is a perfect time to do that. To us, there is no replacement for changing all the necessary fluids in your vehicle.
Starting with the 2002 7 series, BMW started going way from the inspection I and II intervals and introduced CBS, or condition-based service, into its maintenance programs. Where previous service intervals were calculated only by mileage and fuel consumption, Condition-based service used more advanced sensors and algorithms to calculate service intervals on everything from brakes, spark plugs, and oil to cabin filters and brake fluid.