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I wrote Mike Miller, BMW CCA Roundel Magazine Technical Editor, for their old school Maintenance Schedule, used before BMW started their "Free Maintenance."

For those of you who plan on keeping their beasts past warranty, Mike recommends you follow a specific schedule. You can email Mike Miller to get a copy of that schedule, at: [email protected]

I recently asked my S.A. about a 30,000 SMG & differential change. He replied BMW recommends 60,000 for Motorsport cars. Mike replies: "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."
 

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As a side observation, I was at the dealer yesterday getting MAF sensor changed, and since I am friends with the techs, I hang in the shop with them. There was a 3 series getting its oil changed as per the BMW 15k mile schedule. The tech working on it showed me the inside of the oil cap. There was thick sludge in the cap. He told me that the sludge was a common site for cars that follow the 15k mile oil change interval. Also, he told me that the oil filters get hard and brittle from all the hear cycling and are essentially worthless. For my M5, he confirmed that an oil change every 5k miles was the right thing to do.
 

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Question

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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
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.

Concerning gearbox 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." (Emphasis added.)

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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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." (Emphasis added.)

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Thank you Dylan for taking the time for this info, backs up what alot think and are doing allready.

Interesting point for 'Indy shop' oil changes but guess as most will be a interim change the few pints left won't hurt.:dunno:

Jay
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is not true :nono:
The engine should be allowed to idle for one minute, and the oil will transfer to the main oil pan.

http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e6...0-m5-diy-oil-change-step-step-w-pictures.html
http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/m5...e60-m5-non-m-oil-change-kits.html#post1536219
The information I quoted is directly from Mike Miller, BMW CCA Roundel Magazine Technical Editor. If you disagree, I suggest you contact him at [email protected] . When writing, include your full name, address, model and mileage. Mike will reply, usually within 24 hours. I'll be interested in hearing his reply to your inquiry, post it here.

Simply because an aftermarket supplier sells an "oil change kit", does not mean the task can be fully completed without cycling all the oil pumps. Its your beast, if you believe idling the engine for one minute will transfer all the used oil to the main oil pan, remember there are two pans, go ahead and do it.

I dislike BMW's policy of keeping knowledge about Motorsport vehicle maintenance in a black hole, strictly a policy designed to generate revenue flow for dealers and BMW parts. Luckily some independent shops also own the BMW diagnostic computer and can do the job at a lower rate.

I'm hoping after the E60 line ceases production, someone other than Steve Dinan will crack BMW's encryption scheme, allowing both operating system diagnostics, software settings modification and performing maintenance/repairs using laptop based software.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you Dylan for taking the time for this info, backs up what alot think and are doing allready.

Interesting point for 'Indy shop' oil changes but guess as most will be a interim change the few pints left won't hurt.:dunno:

Jay
I don't know about independent shops in the UK, in my area several independent shops own the BMW diagnostic computer.

You're probably right about leaving a few pints during an interim change won't hurt the S85 engine. IMO I'd still have a complete fluid exchange every 2 - 3 changes. Depends on your driving conditions and interval between changes.

Its a shame BMW didn't specify a larger oil filter or multiple filter setup. This would lengthen the time between changes and keep the internals cleaner.

As an experiment, NYC taxi companies installed multiple oil filter systems and ran their cabs for extended periods between oil changes. Comparison of used oil and internal engine wear between extended run and standard frequency cabs showed indeed the multiple filter setups did allow longer periods between changes and less internal part's wear in the process.

Modern synthetic oils do last significantly longer than traditional petroleum based oil, provide more friction protection and can hold more contaminants in suspension, problem is eventually the oil needs cleaning before its worn out and BMW's stock filter is IMO too small for a 5 liter engine. Have you seen one? Its tiny, about the size I'd expect on a 4 cylinder engine.
 

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Its your beast, if you believe idling the engine for one minute will transfer all the used oil to the main oil pan, remember there are two pans, go ahead and do it.
I have changed the oil myself 4 times following the BMW procedure:
http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e6...69427-s85-v10-oil-level-service-bulletin.html

Part of the procedure is to re-fill with only 8 liters and wait for an oil level measurement, this way there is no chance of overfilling. I have always needed to add an additional liter. The level after adding the 9th liter is 0.8 or 0.9 :M5thumbs:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Do you feel lucky?

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Originally Posted by Dylan Thomas
Its your beast, if you believe idling the engine for one minute will transfer all the used oil to the main oil pan, remember there are two pans, go ahead and do it.

I have changed the oil myself 4 times following the BMW procedure:
http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e6...69427-s85-v10-oil-level-service-bulletin.html

Part of the procedure is to re-fill with only 8 liters and wait for an oil level measurement, this way there is no chance of overfilling. I have always needed to add an additional liter. The level after adding the 9th liter is 0.8 or 0.9 :M5thumbs:
Clyde, there are several problems with the dated (March 2006) "Service Bulletin" you quote:

1. The procedure relies on the dash oil level display, accessed by the BC Function. Unfortunately some of the newer versions of BMW's operating systems do not display the actual level, simply "OK". For these vehicles, this procedure simply won't work at all.

Run a search and you'll find threads with owners of all model year E60 M5s with different oil read out displays.

For those with OS versions that provide a numeric level, the dash oil level display is notoriously slow to reflect oil level changes and is inaccurate in many cases. My beast required service after the display indicated " --.-- " for two weeks and several hundred miles of driving. " --.-- " means "No level can be determined."

As the "service bulletin" you quote says, "Any top off of 0.5 liters or less will not be indicated as a change in the oil level display until the vehicle is driven for an extended time.
The "Long - Term Measurement" is the preferred method to achieve the most accurate oil level reading. This analysis of the oil level signal, by the DME, can take some time to complete depending on various engine operating conditions while driving."

2. The post contains both verbiage from BMW and from the poster, cobradav. Its impossible to determine what was included in the original document and what changes cobradav made.

If the S85 had an accurate dipstick (or other mechanical measuring device), the procedure might be reliable. As is, you're simply gambling whether the engine is properly drained and filled or not.

3. You're also speculating on the time necessary to cycle the oil pumps and whether they have a special "oil change mode" where they operate in a different manner. Idling the engine for one minute, as you suggest, may work perfectly or may cause expensive damage or anywhere in between.

I was pulling engines out of race cars and rebuilding 40 years ago. I've seen first hand the damage caused by improper oil level.

If you wish to gamble with your engine, that's your business, I'd rather have it done properly the first time.

4. I think Mike Miller knows more about this situation than we do. If you read his column, you know Mike is a diehard do-it-yourself guy.

If he states, " the BMW diagnostic 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", I'm going to believe him over a dated, cobbled together "service bulletin" and guessing game procedure.

My dealership charges $150 for an oil change, including 10 liters oil and filter. You might inquire about the cost of a new S85 engine and decide whether it's worth saving ~$25 - $50 by DIY.

If and when someone sells accurate laptop software that replicates BMW's Diagnostic Computer, I might recommend DIY. For now, I think it's foolish to "play horseshoes" with an expensive engine.
 

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I'd never let the oil changes go to 15000+ miles, I think 6-8000 miles is best comp. I understand oil quilty/ tech has advanced greatly but I believe its more do with lease companys bills and stats than anything else. Lower tech, non sport/performance based designs will be fine for these long/extended services.

Any engine with high lift cams, chains, gears, short scirt slipper pistons, high rev's and heat all destroy the long chain polmers used to make these oils and give them there excellent lubricating properties, any of the above ring a bell with our M engines?

Jay
 

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If you wish to gamble with your engine, that's your business, I'd rather have it done properly the first time.
If I wanted to gamble, I'd have the dealer change my oil :1:
There have been many threads about dealers overfilling ouich

2. The post contains both verbiage from BMW and from the poster, cobradav. Its impossible to determine what was included in the original document and what changes cobradav made.
A link to the original:
http://www.bmwtis.com/tsb/bulletins/bulletin_graphic_temp/B110106g.htm

My dealership charges $150 for an oil change, including 10 liters oil and filter.
If you wish to gamble with your engine, that's your business, I'd rather have it done properly the first time hiha
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If I wanted to gamble, I'd have the dealer change my oil :1:
There have been many threads about dealers overfilling ouich

Yes, there is a variance in dealer service quality. I always ask my S.A. to give me the .7 liter of Castrol left after oil changes. Give them either a large Zip Lock or other plastic bag and ask for bottle to be left in trunk.

Thanks for the original link. It still won't work with cars that don't display oil levels.

I also wonder if the oil pumps have a backwash type cycle and/or additional cleaning functions during the oil change software routine.

The residue that accumulates can shorten an engine's life if not regularly removed. I used to change my own oil partially for this reason.

If you wish to gamble with your engine, that's your business, I'd rather have it done properly the first time hiha
Luckily I know the individual tech that always works on my beast. He's a knowledgeable and capable guy.

As in most business situations, its advantageous to establish a good working relationship with those you depend on to get things done.

Enjoy changing your oil. :haha2:
 

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I have the dealer do all my work. Let me know when a small shop "good wills" you anything if they screw up. The 1st thing they do when you have a issue with your car is lookup your service history, if you do all your work at a small shop they will tell you to take it back to them and good luck getting them to say they screwed up and cover it.
 

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I don't know how I missed this thread...but I'll drag it up again...my stealer has done 2 oil changes (1500 and 15,000) miles and I have done 4 oil changes...I watched them do theirs and do mine the same (except I don't uncover the 2nd drain plug for .2 L of oil)...the car was not hooked up to the GT-1...
 

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Dylan, thanks so much for posting such great information and bringing up the topic in general.

I'd like to comment on the issue about the cycling of the oil pumps to remove the remaining oil. Since I do my own oil changes at 5K intervals between the free changes I get from BMW at 15K intervals, I can't see how leaving in a few ounces really matters at all. BMW says it's actually OK to go 15K with the same oil. I might leave in a few pints with each 5K change, let's assume I get 95% of the oil out and do that twice between full BMW oil changes, that leaves the following in the oil pan at the next 15K BMW oil change:

about .75 ounces of 15K mile oil and
about 14 ounces of 10K mile oil

15 ounces is about half a quart. Not much at all so there is no way I am running the engine for even a second with the main oil pan void of oil and risking unnecessary engine wear. The risks far out weigh the benefits. I'll happily leave a few ounces of "old" oil in after each 5K change and wait for the next 15K BMW service and let them cycle the pumps with the BMW Diagnostic Computer.

We all get to choose how and when to service our beasts. That's why it's so great to have input from knowledgable people like you, Mike and Clyde so we can make our own informed decisions.

Thanks again for the great information.
 

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You all will think I'm crazy...but I do trans, rear end every other oil change and I do my oil every 6k miles.... there are only 21k miles on the car... I do it myself, Cheap and easy....Oh, and I polish the under side every oil change...ouichouich


Oh, and imagine nobody wanted to buy it when it was for sale...


 
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