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      10-27-2012, 09:44 AM   #1
BravoX
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Oil change intervals, can this be realistic?

Coming from a Mitsu Evo, I was absolutely fanatical about oil quality.

First change after 1500 mile break-in, and every 3k miles after that. Sometimes I stretched it to 3500 miles, but never went more than 4000 miles without fresh oil and filter.

Well I just hit the 1500 mile mark with my F30 328i, checked the maint interval under "vehicle info" expecting to be prompted for a post break-in oil change, and was shocked that it is telling me oil isn't due for a change for another 11k miles. How can this be?

I realize that these are two completely different engines, but is it realistic for ANY engine to go 12k before (first) oil change? Turbo engines are known to be much tougher on oil, so I am highly skeptical that this can be good for long term engine life.

So are most F30 owners sticking with this recommended schedule?
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      10-27-2012, 09:51 AM   #2
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So far I hit 4k miles for 5 months, feeling Ok.
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      10-27-2012, 10:01 AM   #3
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There's a really long in these forums about this topic.

Apparently BMW does not use break-in oil on these cars. I also did not want to keep my original oil for 15,000 miles.

I had the dealer do an out-of-cycle change at 4,000 (just before a long trip). I'll have the second change done on schedule at about 15,000. After that, I'll probably change it every 7,500.

It's a lot more expensive to change than other cars due to the synthetic oil requirement, but I plan on keeping this car for a long time, so I think it's worth it.
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      10-27-2012, 10:03 AM   #4
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Today's synthetic oils are designed to last much longer than just a few thousand miles. The idea of changing your oil every 3,000 miles is a holdover from using traditional non-synthetics back in the day. Research has shown that synthetic oils offer MORE protection after several thousand miles so changing oil too frequently can actually have the opposite effect you intend. This topic of "what type of oil" and "how often should I change it" is discussed at length in nearly every BMW forum I've been on back to the E46. Bottom line, stick to the oil and intervals recommended.

http://www.edmunds.com/car-care/stop...-your-oil.html

And for a lot of detailed oil information, here is a great resource:
http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/
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      10-27-2012, 10:11 AM   #5
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This is a heavily discussed topic, with opinions based primarily on emotion and assumption. Do a search on this, and any other vehicle forum (car, motorcycle, truck) and you will find hours of entertaining reading.

Emotionally, I also like the idea of a break-in oil change as the car does not have a special break-in oil fill and there "must" be something in the oil that is better removed. Thus I did an early oil change (which is incredible easy on these cars).

I also like changing every 7,500 miles or so, primarily as it simply seems to be an appropriate time to do so. The only rational basis I have for this are the many oil analysis reports I have seen where many parameters are falling off at this point. OTOH, I have no information any harm is occurring or being prevented.

Similarly, there is little to indicate leaving the oil in is a good idea other than it is cheaper to do so.

Bottom line: Change the oil at whatever interval makes you feel warm and squooshy inside.
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      10-27-2012, 10:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrob View Post
Today's synthetic oils are designed to last much longer than just a few thousand miles. The idea of changing your oil every 3,000 miles is a holdover from using traditional non-synthetics back in the day. Research has shown that synthetic oils offer MORE protection after several thousand miles so changing oil too frequently can actually have the opposite effect you intend. This topic of "what type of oil" and "how often should I change it" is discussed at length in nearly every BMW forum I've been on back to the E46. Bottom line, stick to the oil and intervals recommended.

http://www.edmunds.com/car-care/stop...-your-oil.html

And for a lot of detailed oil information, here is a great resource:
http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/
Not to mention, that with modern fuel injection, you don't get excess gas getting into the oil like you did with overly rich carburetors.
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      10-27-2012, 10:25 AM   #7
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Are the oil change intervals the same in countries where BMW does not include scheduled maintenance? 15K does seem long even for the best synthetic oils. Audi is 10K and uses synthetic oil.
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      10-27-2012, 10:35 AM   #8
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BMW doubled its recommended intervals when it started paying for maintenance.

Corvettes specify 15,000, synthetic (with an oil monitoring system since model year 1997); Porsche, 20,000.

I have not seen anything country dependent. However, it appears Americans are most obsessed with oil change intervals.
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      10-27-2012, 10:40 AM   #9
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I had an MKV VW Gti and that requirement was every 10,000 miles. I followed the manual and changed every 10,000 miles for well over 100,000 miles of hard driving and I had no issues. I would think technology has advanced since then and BMW's 15,000 miles sounds fine to me and I will stick to what BMW recommends.

Also you will end up at the dealer 1 or 2 times before the 15,000 miles anyway depending on how you drive to add a quart of oil.
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      10-27-2012, 11:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claykin View Post
Are the oil change intervals the same in countries where BMW does not include scheduled maintenance? 15K does seem long even for the best synthetic oils. Audi is 10K and uses synthetic oil.
Can be much longer even without the service contracts. BMW in the UK have longer service intervals for diesel engines, can be around 20k miles or 2-years on the CBS scheme.

Yes, 'dirty diesel' with oil in for over 20k miles or 2-years a time, and BMW will warranty the engine to over 100k miles on extended warranty, as long as you follow the CBS schedule.

Good or bad, it is becoming the norm, and also by other car makers for Europe.

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      10-27-2012, 12:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BravoX View Post
I realize that these are two completely different engines, but is it realistic for ANY engine to go 12k before (first) oil change?
Ofcourse, Americans just take the marketing talk for truth, so everyone there is concerned about changing oil. Only thing you guys do is wasting money and oil with that.
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      10-27-2012, 12:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naambezet View Post
Ofcourse, Americans just take the marketing talk for truth, so everyone there is concerned about changing oil. Only thing you guys do is wasting money and oil with that.
What kind of a response is that? Do everyone a favor and keep your anti-American bullshit to yourself!
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      10-27-2012, 12:46 PM   #13
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I was wondering the same thing today. The dealershiptold me to only bring it in for first service after 30 000km. Couldn't believe my ears.
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      10-27-2012, 01:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naambezet View Post
Ofcourse, Americans just take the marketing talk for truth, so everyone there is concerned about changing oil. Only thing you guys do is wasting money and oil with that.
Yes, and all Dutch people wear wooden shoes, eat cheese, and smoke weed all the time.

I have never been one to go by the "every 3,000 miles" mantra- I always waited about 5-6K and with my Bimmers I adhere to the 15K and basically take it in when the car says so. That said, the best thing you can do for your car to make it last is change the oil regularly along with the other fluids as needed, and filters. Basic maintenance will make your car very happy and you also. I would rather spend a few dollars today then a few hundred later to fix a major issue.
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      10-27-2012, 01:52 PM   #15
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i'm thinking of just paying $80 for a break in oil change, as I came from an Evo where I changed oil on my own often, and would see the breakdown of the oil post analysis...with that said, the 4G63 is a very different engine from the N55, so...
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      10-27-2012, 02:21 PM   #16
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I've done 1300 km's since I took delivery ten days ago, got an oil change booked at my bimmer workshop for next friday when I probably have reached the 2000 km break-in mark. The workshop manager didnt question me when I talked to him bout having it done. Im keeping the car for a very long time so I wont kid around with the oil maintenance. Will do it twice as often as BMW recommends.

Also gonna see if it will be possible to have a look at the oil afterwards to see how much debrise n shit it's got.
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      10-27-2012, 04:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitoco View Post
Also gonna see if it will be possible to have a look at the oil afterwards to see how much debrise n shit it's got.
When I changed the oil at ~ 1,500 miles, the oil was a little darker than the color of nice new oil and there were many miniscule bits of shiny material in it. It looked exactly like the oil from the first oil change of every other car, motorcycle, ATV I have owned.

That being said, there is little any of else can tell from looking at oil unless it is very old and has completely lost its viscosity, has coolant in it or is otherwise severely compromised.
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      10-27-2012, 04:31 PM   #18
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I've spoken to a family friend who used to be a BMW Master Mechanic and he said that synthetic oil is fine for 12,000-15,000 miles, but oil filters cannot last that long. He recommended changing the oil filter at least every 10,000 miles. Since BMW pays for services every 15,000 miles, he recommended changing the oil and filter every 7,500 miles. Obviously, changing the oil after the break-in is also up to you.

The schedule would look like this:

7,500 miles, you pay
15,000 miles, BMW pays
22,500 miles, you pay
30,000 miles, BMW pays
37,500 miles, you pay
45,000 miles, BMW pays
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      10-27-2012, 04:53 PM   #19
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The above is my schedule.

Tellingly, when enthusiasts have performed oil analysis every thousand miles, the oil tests much better after a filter change, keeping the old oil. The analysis also is much better after adding a mere quart to otherwise old oil.
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      10-27-2012, 05:27 PM   #20
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If you drive about 7500 miles a year, the above schedule is about right. If you drive 15000 miles a year, that means you drive a lot of highway and highway miles are a lot easier on oil than city miles. The BMW free maintenance is for 12000 miles or 12 months and the high quality oil that BMW use should be fine for 12000 miles. Like many have said, the Europeans have been using the same oil and change schedules for years without any problem. Its only in the US, the land of the waste that we insist on changing our oil more often than necessary.
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      10-27-2012, 07:24 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naambezet View Post
Ofcourse, Americans just take the marketing talk for truth, so everyone there is concerned about changing oil. Only thing you guys do is wasting money and oil with that.
Is this your irrational reality? Maybe America should stop shipping its engineered products to you then you might show a tiny bit more appreciation for us.

Is that a Windows, Mac/OSX or Android product you're using to type your hatred on?

PS - I don't waste $ on unnecessary things, but I also don't always put my tail between my legs and take a companies claims for gospel. Intelligence can prevail.

On the other hand, I love your coffee shops.
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      10-28-2012, 10:42 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by shivaswrath View Post
i'm thinking of just paying $80 for a break in oil change, as I came from an Evo where I changed oil on my own often, and would see the breakdown of the oil post analysis...with that said, the 4G63 is a very different engine from the N55, so...
Just because the oil that comes out is dark doesn't mean it is breaking down. If you are really concerned about how your oil is performing, send a sample to Blackstone Labs to see what's in it and how well it is performing.

http://www.blackstone-labs.com/

That being said, I don't see the harm in a break-in oil change to be on the safe side, but I think that regular oil change intervals of anything less than ~7,500 are unnecessary and wasteful.
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