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15K Oil Change Interval - Any Problems?

Discussion in 'E46 (1999-2006)' started by Rich Rulli, Apr 3, 2008.

    Rich Rulli guest

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    I just purchased my first BMW. It's a 2005 325i with only 15k miles on it. I love the car. It's in terrific condition and has been very well cared for. The oil was just changed and I just found out the next oil change is not due for another 15K miles! I am having a hard time getting my mind wrapped around this long of an interval between oil changes. Does anyone have any thoughts? Thanks.

    M3Driver guest

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    15k is generally thought of by most of us as too long. Mike Miller of Tech Talk recommends 7500k oil/filter change when using BMW synthetic. Personally I change mine between 5500 and 6500 but that's just me being more particular.

    Mike has a great document that he will email you if you contact him (techtalk@roundel.org) that details his "old school" BMW maintenance to include all the fluid changes.
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    zkeeper

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    Oil is Life of Car

    I am on same page with gepainter...the extended oil services save the dealer a fair amount of money, with the bet that you will not keep your car very long...maybe 3-4 years and will trade. Nice for new owner I guess...great brag rights for all, but then when you go to buy another used one, or someone gets yours, well, the changes should have been more often. And a lot depends on your driving conditions. Long distance at a steady speed is not near as hard on oil thru the winter in short stop and goes. If you wish to hold on to it a while, change more often...I change at even a bit less than 5K..but thats me and a bit of old school...and its does sit in winter a bit more so, best to keep it fresh. If you can afford one of these rascals then you can afford the more frequent oil services. Besides, a new motor going 15K again with whatever swarf that might be loose is not me. Also am believer in differential changes a bit more often most, due to vintage racing years. The diff takes a beating especially in colder weather when engine gets warm and diff is taking the brunt of pushing the car...and then there brake fuid change over at recco'd intervals. Just don't skimp on oil services and filters...best insurance you have. And cheapest by far...bests to you
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    330indy1

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    Reduce D-VANOS issues

    change your oil often, keeping it clean.

    Rich Rulli guest

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    Doit yourself oil change?

    Thanks to all. I will probably adhere to the 5K or so schedule that I'm used to with my other vehicles (VW Passat & Porsche 911SC).

    The next question would be how easy is it to do yourself? I actually enjoy doing it and am familiar with the cansiter-type filter system from my last daily driver (VW Touareg). Anything I should know, or is it fairly straight forward?

    Thanks again.

    M3Driver guest

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    Certainly you can do it yourself. You can get all the necessary filters, crush washers, etc.. from the dealer (with BMW CCA discount). One suggestion: If you are going to do some of the maintenance on your car yourself, look into getting a Bentley manual. Well worth the investment.

    Cheers...:)

    snikwad guest

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    lifetime fluid, 15k oil changed, no service sparkplugs... all crap to save bmw and its dealers money. but will cost any off warranty BMW owner a arm, leg, kidney, testicle/ovary and then some.

    change all your fluids frequently, its the least you can do.

    bradley01 guest

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    I see nothing wrong with changing your oil every 10K. I have done it that way for years and have not had any problems with synthetic oil. Some synthetic oils recommend 15k mile intervals, so 10k is even better! What I would recommend is doing a filter swap halfway between though. I change my filter at 5k intervals with 10k oil change intervals. 5k mile interval oil changes with synthetic oil is a waste unless you drive it like a rockstar every day all day!

    snikwad guest

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    bradley01 guest

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    Just a note...
    The OP of that post said "and yes, I do drive my car hard and on heavy traffic conditions, not highway".

    So it makes a difference on your driving conditions. If you drive normally and not in high traffic, then you are NOT going to see results like this. Additionally, the guy lives in Mexico and even stated himself that his post needed to be taken with a grain of salt. Heck, BMW made special considerations for Mexico cars. I can go show you pics of a valve train that has seen 10k mile oil changes (and some moderately hard driving) for over 100k miles! The stuff does work! Please don't go scaring people with extreme instances with totally different circumstances. We need to understand the OP's circumstances and then recommend a solution based on such circumstances.

    bradley01 guest

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    This says it all...

    "That is what PEMEX fuel does to people's engines...

    Personal experience with 2001 Chevy Tahoe... It had 35,000 miles, we took it on a road trip to Mazatlan, had to put PEMEX (mexico's only fuel). When we got back, we noticed an extremely rough idle, to the point where the engine would stall... We took it to dealership, they found the craploads of sludge, did a full flush of the engine, and it was fixed...temporarily, because it came back in like 2 weeks. Today, it has 54,000 miles, and the problem still persists, even with repeated trips to the dealership. We will never put a drop of PEMEX fuel in any of our vehicles since that roadtrip...

    Glad to hear your car actually got fixed, though"


    Evidence from another Mexico driver.
    In addition, the OP said that he drives HARD and in HEAVY traffic. Those driving conditions, in addition to the Mexico fuel, most likely lead to the demise of that guy's car. What THIS thread's OP is asking about has completely different circumstances than the other case. We need to offer him a solution/answer based on HIS circumstances and not a far-out story like the other dude's.

    snikwad guest

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    all im saying is gunk build up, and BMWs, thats bad, change your damn oil.
    im telling you, look at the oil after 10k and you will see clearly why thats too long an interval.
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    330indy1

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    have to agree

    pushing the envelope with oil changes is silly. penny wise and pound foolish. why take the chances? once sludge is in there it is not easy to get out.

    snikwad guest

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    but they dont hear me tho....


    my motorcycle has just under 19k miles, and is a 04, i only run premium fuel, the best oils, and i change this oil every 3k miles, sometimes 4k when im really busy ( happened twice). If i recall correctly, Honda recommends oil changes every 8-10k miles. The other day while installing a quick throttle i looked down into the intakes, i could see my valves. 20K miles and 4 years and i already have a slight build up of gunk on my vavles. and i am MORE than over doing the recommended oil change intervals.

    now a motorcycle is more simple, but still a very highly tuned engine, not unlike our BMW powerplants. and already gunk.

    Change your oil frequently and use only the best oils, and fuels, in the long run it will be better off. Trust me, in some ways im seeing this now, after the fact.

    snikwad guest

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    Plus the bike has a lil peep window where u see the oil level.
    my oil is almost golden when new.
    after about 1500 miles its pretty brown, then at around 2500-3000 when i normally change it, it almost looks black, BUT because i run a very good oil, even after 4k miles i could still see through it. yes it was very dark, almost black, but still a little left.
    Remember the manufacturer recommends about twice almost 3 times the mileage i change my oil on, and i can see for myself, even with a premium oil, that the oils simply dont last that long, they begin to break down quickly, some quicker than some.

    You all have to remember that the manufacturer when they recommend these intervals are considering, warranty costs and crap like that. Also there is a little bit of marketing involved. No one wants to be the brand that requires the most frequent of services. At the end of the day what they recommend is the bare minimum that the engine wont fail. that way they keep you out of the dealership longer, and when your warranty is up, its your fukin problem.

    So you can stick to your 15k oil changes and lifetime fluids and all that, but i ask u, once, just once, try changing it yourself at 5k and compare the oil to that at 15k. Make sure you use the same oils. brand and weight. let me knwo what you find.

    SPK323 guest

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    It is hard to get your head around the extra long oil changes these days. Even Porsche has adopted them. Your mileage interval is dynamic, and only long highway driving with minimal engine on/off cycles will ever get the full 15K interval. The tight tolerances in a precision crafted motor, and every recent BMW motor qualifies, combined with a BMW approved synthetic oil will perform properly over the extended interval period. If you like changing your own oil, then 15K might be too long as once a year is not enough fun for me. Besides I use every oil change to inspect the undercarriage and to take a look around and note any leaks or weeps in the oil/transmission lines, etc. I generally change my oil around 6K miles, but have occasionally waited until 8K so I could work in warmer weather. Do whatever you feel comfortable with, but if you are paying over $100 at a BMW dealer, follow the interval, but DEMAND that they reset the oil change interval in the computer and only use BMW oil and filters.

    Good luck, but don't waste too much money on being over-zealous.

    M3Driver guest

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    Every 5500-6500 on my M3 and now our new X3 (when it gets to that mileage). We spend big bucks for our cars and to quote a previous poster don't need to be "penny wise and pound foolish".

    On an afterthought, it would be interesting if someone could post an oil analysis that details what the oil is like after 15,000 miles. I know that some members have done this analsys in the past.

    Anyone?

    bradley01 guest

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    If anyone knows how to do this, I will be more than happy to get it done!

    M3Driver guest

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    Oil Analysis - Paging Mike Miller of Tech Talk

    There are companies that you can send an oil sample to and they will do an analysis on it. There are many out there (just Google "auto oil analysis and see what you get -- :rolleyes:) but I don't know what one would be better than another.

    However, there is one I have read about in Mike Millers Tech Talk that he mentions that he has used in the past but the name escapes me.

    Paging Mike Miller........

    bradley01 guest

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    Here's a good website for reference. Some might learn a lot. I will try the oil analysis. But as the article says, it is likely that I will find that the oil is going to be fine long past the manufacturers recommended change point. Bottom line...follow the manufacurers recommendations!

    Duh...forgot to add the website:

    http://www.nordicgroup.us/oil.htm

    :confused:

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