What service does my BMW need ?
Most BMW servicing is predefined and called for by the vehicle due to various calculations made based on distance travelled, chronological time, engine rpm and other variables.
This makes servicing relatively easy to determine but the issue of over servicing is something we are very conscious of.
Example 1: Platinum spark plugs
These cost over $30.00 each, have a life expectancy of 80,000 to 100,000 klms and are due to be renewed every Inspection 2 service.
If you travel very low distances your vehicle, based on time, may request an Inspection 2 service that includes renewing the spark plugs but has covered much less than 80,000 klms.
While the dealer will rigidly follow the service schedule and change the plugs, in this case we would not renew the spark plugs as there is still a great deal of their life left.
Example 2: Micro Filters (Cabin Filters)
BMW service schedule on some models calls for the vehicles Micro Filter(s) to be changed at every oil service.
This is probably a good idea in Europe or Los Angeles where pollution is a huge problem but here in Australia (particularly regional areas) we have little or no air borne pollution.
Therefore your vehicles Micro Filter(s) can easily perform as required for as many as three or four services before needing to be changed, especially when they can cost up to $250.00 to replace.
As part of each service we perform the Micro Filter(s) are removed and if they are still serviceable they are cleaned and treated with a special disinfectant spray.
The air conditioning ducts in your vehicle are manufactured from plastic and much like the orange tint that remains when you reheat pasta in a plastic food container, the scent from bacteria permeates these ducts and can be extremely difficult (if not impossible) to remove.
Preventing this is the primary concern when servicing Micro Filters.
So we only deviate from standard service schedules when it is in the best interests of you and your vehicle.
How often should I service my BMW?
We are also quite conscious of not servicing your vehicle enough.
If your vehicle was manufactured after about 2001 it has on board service interval indicators that can allow you to travel 25,000 klms (and further, we have seen 39,000 klms!!) before your vehicle tells you it requires a service.
We don't have a university degree on lubricant design but after many years removing engine rocker covers to see the inside of an engine clogged up with oil sludge and carbon deposits (oil mud) it is quite simple to see that no oil, even the best fully synthetic Elf 5W-40 as we use, can last 25,000+ klms without breaking down.
There are pictures on our photos page that show what the inside of an engine looks like after 25,000 klms between servicing.
The newer engines after 2001 suffer quite badly from this oil mud buildup to the extent we have seen engine breather pipes blocked solid causing the engine to run very rough among other problems.
It takes about 20 klms from a cold start to fully warm up engine oil and reduce the rate of fuel contamination.
Short trips cause engine oils to become saturated with contaminants.
If your engine isn't given enough time to expel these contaminants they will destroy the oils ability to protect your engine.
Trips of less than 20 klms increase fuel dilution and result in engine oil thinning.
Fuel enters the oil on cold start up and is not vaporized out because the engine has not had time to reach normal operating temperature.
If you often take short trips to work, the train station, school or
shopping your vehicle faces increased risk of engine wear and damage
compared to those that travel longer distances.
Approximately 80% of vehicles on the road today fall into this category.
Topping up an engine that is low on oil is not the same as giving it an oil change.
Contaminants increase in concentration each time the oil level drops which accelerates engine wear.
Also many modern engines have reduced oil sump capacities causing the
oil to be placed under stress because of a lower cooling capacity.
This makes combating acid formation and oil sludge more difficult.
On later model vehicles we can perform what is called an energy diagnosis.
This tells us (amongst other things) how may trips you have made and how long each trip has lasted.
This is invaluable for determining how often you should change your oil and filter.
This oil and filter change is relatively inexpensive, is NOT a typical dealer service costing thousands of dollars and is the single best thing you can do for the long term health of your engine.
Remember, by the time the problems arise from excessively long service intervals your vehicle will be well out of warranty
Bottom line is your vehicle will get exactly the care it needs, when it needs it , no more and no less.
While most dealerships like you to watch as your vehicle disappears out the back and does not resurface until the end of
day when you pick it up, we operate a little different.
Our work bays are clearly visible and if you are so inclined (of course
allowing for safety and liability issues) you are most welcome to
be with your vehicle as work is being performed, ask any and all questions you wish and be involved in any decisions regarding
what your vehicle needs.