Good info guys, thanks!
Dylan, did your question to Mike specify SMG?
I've gotten answers all over the map from dealers and independents regarding the right thing to do by the SMG with regards to the manual - (change often) and auto - (don't change until there's a problem) debate.
It seems that since not many are out of warranty yet, people are fairly confused.
I wrote Mike asking his opinion of my M5's long term durability, as my Beast has the dubious distinction of spending more time in the shop during the first 2.5 years of ownership, than any other owned over 40 years of driving. This includes two (SMG) clutch rebuilds during the first ~16,000 miles. I've previously gotten ~80K out of previous manual clutches and have been told (not by Mike) that the metal alloys used in our SMGs are not up to city driving. If I'm not mistaken, the same clutch is used in both SMG and 6-speed models.
I usually buy new and keep for 8 -10 years, following the "severe use" service schedule, until reliability becomes an issue. Extended warranties are a poor deal for low mileage drivers like me, as most parts wear out from mileage, not age, rubber parts and some fluids the exception. I will be paying for all upkeep after the initial warranty ends.
If you read Mike's column, he shares my extended warranty views. If you'll drive most of the miles covered in BMW's extended warranty, during the coverage period, it might be worth the cost. Otherwise the coverage will expire long before you've gotten your money's worth. As I'm putting ~8,500 miles annually on mine, it makes sense to self insure instead.
If you're still undecided, I'd suggest that you hold off buying the extra coverage until the last year of initial warranty, and calculate the dollar amount of service your beast consumed, multiplying the number of labor hours BMW paid, by your dealership's hourly rate. Part's prices can be obtained through either the dealer's part's dept. or aftermarket sources. This information will be listed on your warranty invoices and should give you an idea of what your Beast will cost to keep running on a yearly basis.
Mike characterized the E60 M5 as "the first extremely complicated and totally electronic BMW, and one with 500 hp."
I asked him about clutch and SMG, he replied the clutch will wear out quickly in stop-and-go urban driving.
and differential service intervals
, Mike said, "Your service adviser is correct that the BMW interval for gearbox and differential oil changes is every 60,000 miles. If you plan on keeping the car past the warranty, I would recommend 30,000-mile intervals for both."
Mike added, as an owner of a 2006 model, BMW's warranty has insulated me from paying for 1st year production teething pains and he's thinking the car will be pretty well sorted out by the time it falls off warranty. "That is not to say, though, that it's going to be an inexpensive ownership experience; no BMW is after the warranty, and that's doubly true for M cars."
I asked him about the possibility of service manual becoming available after the E60 line ceases production. He replied, " don't expect a publicly-available factory BMW shop manual for any model ever again. We are very lucky if we get a Bentley manual at some point, but I really wouldn't expect one to cover the E60 M5. You can access the factory BMW service manuals for a fee at BMW TIS EPA but BMW has almost zero technical service information that is specific to the M engines or the M drivetrain. There are no diagnostics. Technicians are left to figure M engines out by themselves. Even if there were diagnostics, you wouldn't get anywhere without the BMW diagnostic computer. The computer is actually required to perform a full engine oil change on the S85 V10, because all the oil pumps have to be cycled to achieve a complete drain."
Our M5s are wonderful cars to drive, but like any halo car, not cheap to maintain.
P.S. The 10W-60 Castrol
in my beast is changed every 7,500 miles
, regardless of who pays. Because the system holds ~9.3 liters, it will hold more contaminants in suspension, the relatively small oil filter is the limiting factor.
If the oil change comes out of your pocket, have the dealership NOT
reset the oil mileage sensor system. It will continue monitoring and the next change will be on BMW's dime. Over ~22,500 miles, I've paid for one change and BMW the rest.
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