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Old 22nd February 2006, 09:12   #1
DrDave
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Dealer service intervals / indicators??

I bought a used '01 with about 35K on it last fall, and the dash service indicator had two green bars on it at the time. It still has a dealer maintenance program on it, and they explained I should bring it in when they count down to yellow. I don't know if the car calculates this based on mileage, fuel consumption, RPMs, or some other more complex formula, but they showed the last service being a LONG time ago (per my comfort level) and since I've put the last 4K on it these little lights haven't budged. My fear it that I'm not getting proper service due to a bad sensor / dealer setting / ??? - probably paranoid, but would appreciate your thoughts and how you all keep these beasts up and growling for a little longevity as well as fun. Thanks,
Dave
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Old 22nd February 2006, 16:02   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDave
I bought a used '01 with about 35K on it last fall, and the dash service indicator had two green bars on it at the time. It still has a dealer maintenance program on it, and they explained I should bring it in when they count down to yellow. I don't know if the car calculates this based on mileage, fuel consumption, RPMs, or some other more complex formula, but they showed the last service being a LONG time ago (per my comfort level) and since I've put the last 4K on it these little lights haven't budged. My fear it that I'm not getting proper service due to a bad sensor / dealer setting / ??? - probably paranoid, but would appreciate your thoughts and how you all keep these beasts up and growling for a little longevity as well as fun. Thanks,
Dave
Not to worry. The five green bars usually last about 15,000 miles (BMW has had them for over 25 years). The mileage is based on RPMs (over about 4,500 it "rolls" quicker, like 2x), number of starts (cold), and maybe some other measurements, but usually doesn't vary by more than 1,000 miles. I would say drive the car, briskly, and enjoy it. Get yourself a radar detector, if you haven't already. BMWs are meant to be DRIVEN.
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Old 22nd February 2006, 16:45   #3
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The service indicatoris pretty reliable. If your car is under warranty the dealer will only give you the free oil changes when the car says its ready. I for one am not a fan of letting my car run 15,000ish miles on the same oil. Won't kill your car if you do, but it gives me some peace of mind to change it a little more often. Just something to think about.
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Old 22nd February 2006, 16:46   #4
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Personally, I think 15k b/n oil changes is too long no matter who makes the oil. I change my oil about double what they suggest, and some may think that isnt enough. But, if they are paying for it, and you are not planning on keeping the car more than 100k or so, then follow their plan. I wouldn't pay much for a used car with 100k miles that has the original tranny/diff fluid and has only had 6 or 7 oil changes. The only thing that has really change significantly in the last ten years is BMW paying for the oil changes and the fluid change intervals. The parts and oil are pretty much the same. Follow the money to the answer. Just my .02 cents.

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Old 22nd February 2006, 17:43   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDave
I bought a used '01 with about 35K on it last fall, and the dash service indicator had two green bars on it at the time. It still has a dealer maintenance program on it, and they explained I should bring it in when they count down to yellow. I don't know if the car calculates this based on mileage, fuel consumption, RPMs, or some other more complex formula, but they showed the last service being a LONG time ago (per my comfort level) and since I've put the last 4K on it these little lights haven't budged. My fear it that I'm not getting proper service due to a bad sensor / dealer setting / ??? - probably paranoid, but would appreciate your thoughts and how you all keep these beasts up and growling for a little longevity as well as fun. Thanks,
Dave
Remember that you can also have the oil changed as part of the regular maintenance if the last oil change has been at least a year. Just had mine changed last week and still have two bars left. They won't reset the service interval indicator.

BMW recommends changing the oil at least once a year for low mileage cars.
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Old 22nd February 2006, 19:05   #6
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You will find the average mileage of oil changes on this board is @ 7,500k. I do it @ 5k (personal preference). Cheap insurance for the S62
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Old 23rd February 2006, 01:51   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beamer_usa
You will find the average mileage of oil changes on this board is @ 7,500k. I do it @ 5k (personal preference). Cheap insurance for the S62
Ditto...

15K miles in between oil changes simply means you do not love your Beast
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Old 23rd February 2006, 03:39   #8
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I used to feel guilty about going 5000 but later persuaded myself that it's just me being paranoid and having leftover memories from non -synthetic oil in my 1971 Chevelle in high school that I used to change about every other weekend...
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