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2003 M3 oil change

Discussion in 'E46 M3 (2001-2006)' started by axelcoelln, Aug 14, 2008.

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    axelcoelln

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    Hi,
    I have a 2003 M3 and BMW NA upgraded the warranty on the motor to 100,000 miles. I do about 5,000 miles a year and my next oil change is not due for another 6,000 miles. But I like to change the oil since it has been a year and a half since it was changed the last time. I like to do it myself (bad experience with the BMW dealer and not willing to pay their price) but I'm concerned about the proof of oil change in the event I have an engine problem. Any thoughts out there?
    thanks, Axel

    hefferonjm guest

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    If I am not mistaken BMW has a policy of changing the oil on all their vehicles with the 15k oil change maintainence package once a year regardless of mileage. My suggestion would be to shop around and find a dealer that suits you better if you have had problems with the last one you went to. Ask to talk to some of the techs. the dealer should have no problem with that. Take a look around the shop, is it clean and orderly ect... Ask the techs. how long they have been there, when the last time was they had training to get a feel for the people who will be servicing your car. If you find a guy you like request him personally. The issue at hand is even if you could produce proof of the oil change BMW will not honor it if it wasn't performed by them. Check up on the policy I said earlier I believe you should be covered.
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    axelcoelln

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    The BMW dealer wanted to charge me for an annual oil change during the maintenance program and I confirmed that with BMW NA. I was told they stricktly go by milage and not the calender when it comes to the free oil change. BMW NA told be that the syntetic oil does not have to be changed every year if I wanted it changed I had to pay for it.
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    E92Dreier

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    THey change the oil in my 328 free of charge, once a year or @ 15,000 miles, whichever comes first.

    The discrepancy could be between the car's maintenance programs, but the idea that they are nickel and diming you on an oil change in an M is a joke.

    Try a different dealer -- that is BMW NA's first response , usually.

    As far as documentation -- it wouldn't help anyway. If in the future (dog forbid) you encountered motor trouble, BMW would see a long gap between dealer services, as you did your own oil changes. They would then not warranty the engine damage -- your car was serviced by you, not BMW or their authorized technicians. Whether you document your oil change or not, BMW still didn't do it, and neither did a verifiable professional.

    I am not suggesting going to jiffy lube !!!

    A few ideas:

    1) offer to pay 1/2 price on the oil change...see what they say.
    2) buy all of the components privately (ie your oil, filter, gaskets, etc), put them in your trunk, and see if the price comes down
    3)Go to a different dealer.
    4) try 1 and 2 with new service dept.


    if these all fail -- videotape or photograph (in detail) your home oil change, where you follow BMW procedures outlined in the Haynes Manual for your car.


    Good luck...

    edvandan guest

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    Correction to previous post

    I realize that this is several months after the original post, but I want to correct an incorrect statement in the previous posters reply. BMW (or any manufacturer for that matter) cannot require that you service your car at their dealers to honor the warranty. That is illegal. You need to maintain your car as per the manufacturer requirements, but you are free to do it anywher you want. If you do it yourself, you need to make sure you can document it.
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    E92Dreier

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    Like the undead this thread lives on....Spooky!

    edvandan is correct. It is illegal for a dealer or a manufacturer to require you to have your car serviced by them. You always have the benefit of going to a different BMW dealer, an independent shop, etc....

    However, when it comes to warranty disputes, it is my experience that at least some BMW dealerships will try to hammer you if you have not been thorough and precise in your documentation and choice of independent shop.

    All you need is one set of marred lug nuts to raise someone's suspicions that the work performed in the past was not up to par (even if it was). Then they start poking around. It turns out you have other bolts replaced -- oops, they just realized you might have had an aftermarket intake installed, and swapped the factory box back in for service. Check the ECU for fault codes in the MAF ! Oh, look here! The wiring for the radar detector has been loosened over time, and abraded the harness for the sunroof module. Then you get that dreaded, apologetic, but firm, call from your SA explaining that you are screwed.

    I have heard first hand things like, "Oh. You have abused your vehicle's brake pads. We can't warranty that item," and "Your warranty does not cover damage caused by aftermarket/independent service." In the end BMW NA has been very accomodating to me, as has my CCA membership been awesome -- just the use of a membership # goes a longway with the people in NJ AND you get Mike Miller's advice in ROUNDEL and online in a pinch!

    Plus, when it comes time to trade a car back in (on a lease or a trade-in) you might lose money on your vehicle without documentedreputable service. Sometimes a delaer might take your word that you did all the oil changes on your car-- that is easy.

    But if you suddenly experience catastrophic engine failure (rare though it is, this is a hypothetical, exaggerated example) your BMW dealer will be unlikely at best to perform repairs for nothing - because BMW NA will be unlikely to approve them for nothing -- especially if they find evidence of over-torquing the drain bolt, not replacing the o-ring, etc.

    Then you might be unfortunate enough to be in a warranty dispute with BMW while your car is disassembled on a lift somewhere.

    I am not saying don't work on your car or bow down to dealer service. In fact, I have had about 1 good experience in 5 over the years with BMW service - I miss my E36 more for its easy DIY service than for many of its other many attributes.

    When a car gets old enough for its residual warranty to not be of enough financial benefit or expire, the car gets driveway service as often as possible -- it's a new ball game. When I am going to get nickel and dimed by the dealer, I try to hedge my bets and 1) do an off schedule oil change, fluid changes 2) perform all non-warrantied service off site (ie tires through tirerack, mount them at my friend's garage,etc).

    Just trying to at least put it out there that you have to be as careful as possible to not mess with your warranty -- especially now. BMW's "Ultimate Service" is not cheap for them, and they act accordingly.

    /rant

    edvandan guest

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    Good Points

    E92 Dreir makes some good points, but if the BMW dealer (who is in reality just a franchisse) uses a pretext to deny warranty coverage (if the services were correctly performed by a competent shop) then that is a violation of US and state law and the owner shoud contact their state Attorney General for relief (I used to be a Consumer Fraud Assitatnt State Attorney)

    194648 guest

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    What about the Magnuson-Moss Act ?

    Believe the dealer has to Prove, that what you did to the vehicle caused the damage, before they can deny your coverage.
    I have done oil changes on all my cars for years, and I just buy the factory filter when possible, take the cardboard top of the box, that shows the part nbr, etc., and write on the back, the date, mileage, number of quarts of what brand, weight oil, and filter, and keep it in the car with all the other receipts for work. There is a paper trail, and they cant do or say anything about it.
    I have never had a problem with this at a variety of different car dealers/marques..
    Everyone always wants to buy or take my vehicles in trade, because I can prove I took great care of them, they look it, and run like it.
    Good luck with this. Dont forget M cars need the European Castrol 10w/60 oil that is only sold at the dealers or on line, sometimes even on Ebay..
    DanF

    maiorana guest

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    20 Years of service

    The last two responses are right on. Owners can service cars themselves and maintain the warranty. In fact AFTER your car is serviced at the BMW or other dealer, you should at least visually check behind them to be sure plug wires are snug, air intakes are in place correctly, vacuum hoses reattached, etc, etc. I can't tell you all how many times I've found something loose after service/ Just had the valves adjusted on my 86 535i. BMW forgot to tighten the plenum on the air intake causing unmetered air to enter the engine and a rough idle. Jeeeez, I said, but that comes from checking behind them. Had the pass door mirror motor repaired under warranty on my 04 X3 and they forgot to reattach the speaker harness - took me afew days to notice no sound was coming from the passenger side up front.

    Bottom line - document with receipt and box tops, keep a log book, but don't go nuts. At the end of the day, it pays to establish a very good relationship with your local BMW dealer. They can go to bat for you and if things are not "black and white," they can rule in your favor and make the repairs. They shouldn't be jackasses about servicing your car. They are graded as is the whole dealership by BMWNA surveys. You should get a call after service. I would have your scheduled oil services done by them, especially on your 2003 M3 because of the engine issues. To me, its worth the few extra bucks to have it to a dealer every so often. Those early engines had some problems and BMW was very reluctant to make good on them - until Roundel membership and leadership pushed very hard to get the extended warranty. I order most of my parts from bimmerparts.com and change belts, hoses and airfilters, hepa filters, and other easy to do stuff saving hundreds every year. They provide the exact replacement parts from Europe. Mahle oil filters for example with all the O rings and crush ring for the oil plug.
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    chicane

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    Don't worry about that a lot of people change their own oil. You should change the oil in your e46 M3 at least every 7500 or once a year which ever comes first. Simply buy the Castol TWS oil and filters from the dealer (with the BMWCCA discount of course) and keep all of the receipts for the parts.Ten reset the service light on every oil change. Also, keep meticulous records (mileage, date, service done). If you want you can let the dealer change the oil at the 15K intervals (These intervals are too long by the way). If something happens and they give you any heat you will have your records and receipts for all oil changes.

    Besides, how do they know you don't get your car services at an indy shop?

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