Many BMW owners are a little bamboozled by exactly what service is required for their car and when. It’s easy in today’s world of complicated computer-controlled cars to be complacent and leave servicing to the onboard software. While it definitely will let you know that your BMW needs to be serviced, what it won’t tell you is where you should have it done and, in some cases, exactly what service it needs.
Before we dive into different types of services and have a look at exactly what the maintenance end of BMW ownership entails, I think it’s only fair to start with a warning. Do not ignore the BMW service light and don’t go for more than a year between services.
BMW’s are well-engineered vehicles and can take a lot of abuse; ignoring your service intervals probably won’t be a problem initially. The car will run fine for a while until something finally goes and when it does its liable to be a very expensive exercise. You worked hard to buy your vehicle, and sticking to the service schedule will ensure that it retains its value if you come to resell it. So, with that in mind, let’s look at servicing.
When Should I Have My BMW Serviced?
At Foreign Affairs Motorsport we typically recommend that you service your BMW between 5,000 and 10,000 miles depending on the exact model. You can usually find this information in the service booklet, but if you are unsure (or own an older model like an e30,) take 7,500 miles as your cutoff.
Usually, the computer (service interval system) will tell you which one of these services is due:
Standard Intermediate Service
This is contained in another basic service called an Oil and Safety Service (occurs every year or 10,000miles).
It is exactly what it’s called; an oil and filter change (good oil is more important than you think). Additionally, it includes critical safety checks like tires, brakes, lights, and indicators as well as a fine-toothed check through the vehicle for faults.
BMW Inspection I (Every 30,000 miles)
To discuss the finer details of the BMW Inspection Services is not in the scope of this article, but it basically entails a thorough check and adjustment of all the vehicle systems, an oil change, and wheel hub greasing.
BMW Inspection II (Every 60,000 miles)
This is everything in Inspection I but also new spark plugs, air filters, parking brake linings, rubber boots, and a corrosion check.
To simplify this, here is an example of a BMW e30. If you hit 7,500 miles before the year is out, you need to have the Standard Intermediate Service done. At the end of the service year, or if you hit 10,000 an Oil and Safety Service is due. Otherwise every 30,000 miles, she needs to undergo an Inspection I and every 60,000 miles an Inspection II.
In most cases, (BMWs after 1999) the computer will warn you that a service is due and also tell you what type. If your car has i-Drive fitted, service information can be found under ‘vehicle status’ (on the main screen) → ‘service required.’ From there you can select subsystems like ‘engine oil’/ ‘vehicle check’ / ‘front brake pads.’
BMW Service Center In Pompano Beach
To sum things up, a computer is just another machine; often what it thinks is wrong with your vehicle is incorrect. Your BMW is only as reliable as your mechanic is, and at Foreign Affairs Motorsport our ASE team has been working on the marque for over 30 years. I think it’s fair to say we know what makes it tick.