BMW "Scheduled? Maintenance

12,000 to 15,000 miles seems like a lot of miles between oil changes on my new BMW. Is this BMW recommendation just beacause they now include the first 4 years of scheduled maintenance in the price of the car? Before they included scheduled maintenance on their BMWs.

Prior to the start of BMW Free Scheduled Maintenance, approximate BMW maintenance recommendations were: automatic transmission fluid (ATF) and filter changes every 15,000 miles, manual gearbox and differential oil changes every 30,000 miles, annual brake fluid changes, and coolant changes every two years. Spark plugs, air filter, and fuel filters were typically replaced every 30,000 miles on most BMWs Later advances in computer engine management and spark plug technology legitimately allow 60,000-mile spark plug life if not more.

Prior to Free Scheduled Maintenance, you couldn?t change engine oil often enough according to most dealerships. And when the car was in the shop it would often be due for this service or that inspection, all at the owner?s expense.

But once BMW began paying for scheduled maintenance the ?schedule? was revised. Now the cars hardly need any maintenance at all. The 1,200-mile break-in service was done away with. Engine oil suddenly lasts 15,000 miles. Manual gearbox and differential oil? BMW says they NEVER need to be changed, it?s ?lifetime fill.? Brake fluid and coolant service intervals were doubled with no change in the original BMW brake fluid and anti-freeze dealers are supposed to use.

Does anyone have an opinion on BMW’s Scheduled maintenance intervals and the oil change intervals?

My fist question would be is that synthetic oil? There was actually a proposal in congress to increase oil change intervals in manuals to save oil consumption, no other reason. Conspiracy theorist in me figures the less cost will get them through the warranty, but not the best option for you if you plan on keeping the car past the warranty.

BMW is not the only car maker that claims their cars are near maintenance free. Many car makers have routinely extended intervals on this, that, and the other and it’s for one reason; the perception by the purchaser they will spend very little taking care of the car.
It aids sales and any problems that occur due to these intervals will likely occur after the warranty, and the owners luck, have run out.

Of course this is bunk and no way would I ever go 12 to 15k miles on engine oil. The interval should depend on driving habits, environmental conditions, and whatnot.
As to the life of fuel/air filters and spark plugs, that’s also very debateable.

If the car makers feel so strongly about these extended intervals then they should extend the warranty on the affected parts or assemblies accordingly.
Lifetime manual gearbox oil? Let them apply a lifetime warranty to that gearbox then is the way I look at it.

It is kind of suspect how now the cars need so little maintenance. And, before the dealers had very frequent and costly recommendations for maintenance. Who pays the bill makes all the difference!

Between synthetic oil, oil quality monitors, and larger oil capacity (isn’t the current BMW over 8 qts) motor oil can go much longer. And I don’t think BMWs used to require 15,000 mile trans fluid changes, that would have been terrible. But you are right, the ‘never change it’ is not good.

It would seem “Maintenance Schedules” depend mostly on who is paying for the maintenance…The LAST thing BMW or any other car maker wants is for their used cars to last 300,000 miles…They are only interested in how the ORIGINAL owner perceives the quality of the car. After about 8 years, they could not care less if engines and transmissions fall apart…Their loyal customers who buy the new cars think they are Great!

Yeah, on some days if is was not for “scheduled maintiance” cars showing up you would be doing very little. So let’s hear it for scheduled maintiance and extended warranty, both keep mechanics busy,something is better than nothing.

IF I was buying a BMW, I would change oil twice as often as the book calls for and pay for it out of my own pocket. Transmission fluid and filter I would change evry 40,000 miles, regardless of what the book says.

The cooling system I would flush every 50,000 miles or 4 years as well.

The owner is the only party who has the need to have the car last long in an affordable manner. The manufacturer sells low mainteance that gets the car just past the warranty period with a low failure probability. The government wants to minimize waste oil and other fluids.

Agree with Caddyman, although fluids have improved, these ultra long intervals spell nothing but trouble.

Industrial companies who buy expensive equipment, use the manual as a guide and based on their operation work out the best fluid change intervals for the longest economic life.