Hello there and welcome to the BMW Car Club of America.

If you are a BMW CCA member, please log in and introduce yourself in our Member Introductions section.

15K Oil Change Interval - Any Problems?

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

    • Member

    Regolith

    Post Count: 3
    Likes Received:0
    I just traded in my 164,000 mile 2002 model year E46 sedan with no engine noises or problems after maintaining the engine with synthetic BMW 5W30 oil and BMW filter (almost) every 6,000 miles. Almost all driving was in upstate New York...not hot in the summer, but really cold in the winter.

    Oh yeah...the new "BMW" I got is a low mileage CPO 2004 325Ci

    Rich Rulli guest

    Post Count: 5
    Likes Received:0
    It's been awhile since I've been on the thread since I originally posted the question. Lot's of good information, with a few wanderings along the way. ;) Thanks!

    I drove my BMW on a trip from here (NW Arkansas) to Michigan recently and it ran great, was very comfortable and returned an average of 30-32 MPG at an average of 75 MPH. No complaints here.

    When I returned, it had been about 5K since the last oil change and since I needed to change the oil in my '79 911SC, I decided to make a day of it and do the BMW also. Since I didn't know for sure what oil the non-BMW dealer (the sticker said Mobil 1, but who can trust that) had put in it before I bought it, this would be a chance for me to make sure. I went to the BMW dealer and purchased the filter and o-rings, and used Castrol 5W-30 Syntec since my manual recommended Castrol or BMW oil from the dealer. The Castrol was about $.50 cheaper per quart.

    I can't believe how easy it was to change! When I got under the car, I expected to have to remove all sorts of under-carriage stuff like previous autos. But no, the drain plus is right there in it's own convenient place. Although, it appears there is supposed to be a small covering panel under the drain plug that I'm missing. Yes?

    And then, I'm embarrassed to admit, that I spent more than a few minutes looking for the oil filter (under the car :eek:), before I realized it was sitting right in front of me on the TOP of the engine! :cool: The dealer charges for such a simple procedure are criminal!

    Anyway, the old oil coming out of the engine "looked" pretty dirty, but I know that looks don't really mean everything. I'm glad I did it at 5K and probably will continue in that fashion. No noticeable change in performance since then, but I haven't driven it that much and I didn't expect any since it ran so great before hand.

    Thanks again for all the great information.

    SFaikel guest

    Post Count: 15
    Likes Received:0
    yeah, it does seem like there is supposed to be a cover for the drain plug but I bought mine new and don't think it ever had one... For the record I change my oil on my '05 325i every 8000 miles with Amsoil Synthetic 10w-30 and so far (with over 190,000 miles) I haven't had any issues. Actually the only major things I've ever had to replace were rotors twice and my fuel pump about a month ago....

    BTW, the SC is my favorite 911.. ;-)
    • Member

    az3579

    Post Count: 3,270
    Likes Received:3


    So you do oil changes every month? My God that's a lot of mileage for a 3 year-old car... :eek:
    • Member

    Regolith

    Post Count: 3
    Likes Received:0
    Unfortunately, "No" as in "no covering panel".

    I queried my knowledgeable BMW parts counter guy several years about the small covering panel under the drain plug. He printed out several exploded views for the E46 model and we looked at the part numbers listing displayed on the screen for all E46 models.

    What we found using BMW's parts counter PC for the E46 model:
    a) only the M3 model came with a covering panel
    b) the M3 covering panel is not interchangeable with other E46 models

    SFaikel guest

    Post Count: 15
    Likes Received:0
    haha, I know.. It was actually my parents and they are building contractors for all over Wisconsin so they usually drive an hour to and from the houses they are building every day... not to mention the trips to Chicago with clients... But like I said, it's extremely dependable...

    Regolith - Thanks, that is indeed good information to know....

    Arkadi guest

    Post Count: 1
    Likes Received:0
    I recently changed mine @5k and sent it to Blackstone Labs for analysis. Aguip 5w30, came back very good, said I could have gone longer. I may go longer, but 5k seems pretty good. My concern with going very long on oil is the potential for contaminants.

    SFaikel guest

    Post Count: 15
    Likes Received:0
    hmm.. very intresting.. I'll have to do that next time I change mine...

    Jeron guest

    Post Count: 210
    Likes Received:2
    I have never heard of 5-8k synthetic oil analysis saying anything but it could go longer.

    malcadam guest

    Post Count: 4
    Likes Received:0
    I concur with bradley01. A little late to this party, however as an ex-Amsoil dealer, I use this exclusively. For the extended drain interval oil they recommend annual/25000mi change, with a filter change @ 6mo. for regular driving. I always hit the 12 mths.first. However in their catalog the BMW LL 04 spec. is the 5W-40 not the 30 wt. recommended by BMW for the E39. My opinion - use the higher viscosity.

    Jeron guest

    Post Count: 210
    Likes Received:2
    2500 :)
    It's like a contest to see who can change their oil the most often.

    He meant 25000 that's 25k.

    EDIT: My post is in response to the/a post below which is somehow dated 10/1/2008 even though today is 9/25/2008.

    malcadam guest

    Post Count: 4
    Likes Received:0
    Rich, It's 25000 mi. or annual whichever comes first plus the filter @ 6mo. They also market a shorter drain interval oil if you prefer that. I've used it for the last 10 years. No axe to grind here, just believe in it.
    • Member

    RussSwift

    Post Count: 26
    Likes Received:0
    Oil Change Service Reset

    OK, I'm onboard, every 5000 it is, much easire to remember too. My '01 has a manual service reset procedure. Where can I find out what it is, which buttons to push and for how long. Thanx.
    Russ, 330CIC

    Jeron guest

    Post Count: 210
    Likes Received:2
    • Member

    RussSwift

    Post Count: 26
    Likes Received:0
    Thanx, I'll try it on the '01 330 and the '98 528.

    Russ Swift

    maiorana guest

    Post Count: 3
    Likes Received:0
    100K BMWs

    5000 to 7500 Mobil 1 oil and filter changes. And depending on your climate, moving up to a heavier weight oil. Unfortunately BMW has great marketing for first owner and 2nd (CPO) owners.Especially the 2 yr 24K/ 3yr 36K mile leases - advertised as not costing you a penny for maintenance. But all techs I've talked to say the motors they've seen on this service interval look and eventually wear/run very poorly. It only makes sense. I' m not a big fan of BMW's Castrol either for technical reasons. The investment to do it yourself is cheap ($7 quart and $10 +- for a filter) compared to the consequences of leaving the dirty oil in the crankcase for 2x its life. If you plan to keep the car, make those changes.
    • Member

    330indy1

    Post Count: 675
    Likes Received:2
    amen to that.
    please share your technical viewpoint. would love to hear more.

    maiorana guest

    Post Count: 3
    Likes Received:0
    Oil Change intervals

    Case in point. My 535i has 243k on it. I just had the valves adjusted at the local dealership. They could not believe the condition of the motor - no sludge, oil was exceptionally clean (had 4500 miles on it going into service). Burns/loses about 1/2 quart between changes. 3rd owner and owned car since 60K miles and the oil has been changed with Mobil 1 20/50 and Mahle filter every 5000 to 7000 miles. No other major engine work. Still gets 18/25.5 mpg city/highway. Some technology has definitely changed with the new magnesium power plants and electric water pumps etc., but there's no substitute for clean lubrication. In my opinion, marketing BMWs as inexpensive to own plus bottom line $$$ pressures are principle reasons for moving the service intervals out further. For the motor heads reading, ask yourselves what's changed in that engine or in the oil going into it (other than conventional vs synthetic)?

    snikwad guest

    Post Count: 142
    Likes Received:0
    Things that are affected when you don't change your oil often enough....

    Oil seperator
    Crank breather tube
    Sludge buildup in head
    Vanos sticking problems worsen
    Gas mileage deteriorates

    Things that last forver when you change oil regularly

    The engine.
    No sludge build up
    Oil seperator doesn't fail
    Vanos doesn't stick as much since there is no sludge buildup in it
    Gas mileage is maintained

    I have over 160k miles on my 99 328i, I am still on my original oil pump, oil seperator, vanos, and valve cover gasket.
    I drove up to jersey from va a few weeks ago and I was getting over 28mpg on the HWY at an average 70+ mph, and my car is chipped, has an intake and pulleys, and a system in the trunk weighing over 200lbs.
    And worse of all, I don't like driving behind anyone.

    So you all that want to keep following BMWs "new" maintenance free schedule go ahead, but don't expect your engine to last or parts such as that oil seperator, crank case breather tube and all that.

    The crank case breather tube is a simple part but requires quite a bit to get to to replace. Mine was last done at 60k miles according to my service history, and I'm still getting great mileage, thanks to frequent oil changes by myself and the previous owner.

    You all are clube member, you all get roundel. I'm sure you've all read Mike Miller explaining why this no maintenance marketting thing by BMW is bs. But hey, its you car, if you wanna go 15k miles or more on 1 oil change and filter, just be sure to say that when selling, so I'll stay clear of it when its time for #2

Share This Page