Originally Posted by DavidS
I would suggest to do frequent oil analysis of the engine oil. If the oil shows signs of metal wear, then think about locating the problem area and deal with it accordingly.
Good advice. I found a UK based company that does this for £20, and I'll give it a try in a couple of thousand miles (my oil only has about 2000 on it since last change).
My whole train of thought is because, simply put, I wish BMW hadn't royally screwed up the situation with the warranty in the UK. At £700 per year, I would have renewed forever, but at £1,800 and not available above 100,000 miles, they've taken all options away from me. All the 3rd party warranties I've seen have weasel words which would essentially make every sizeable claim an issue of goodwill. Most don't even mention the words VANOS, and most are limited to £5,000 if you're over 100,000 miles. Not much good if you're staring at a spun bearing requiring a new block.
As a result, I am saving up for the day when I either have to spend £££'s repairing my M5 or worst case write it off in the event of catastrophic engine failure. My thinking is that if I can use some of that rainy day money to prevent a catastrophic failure, then it is probably money well spent. I do agree with the general statement that the fewer people with spanners who have been near the engine, the better, but there has to be a risk/reward balance, no?
The warranty situation is making me seriously think about ditching BMW when I buy my next car - not because of quality issues with their cars, but because of the disgraceful way they have treated owners of high mileage M cars over this issue, and the effect it's had on residual values.
I'll give you an update when I do the oil analysis - thanks for the good advice.