BMW Service Levels
Owners of late model BMW cars may well be delighted with the longer service intervals offered by BMW extending the interval out from a mean value of 12500 kilometres to 25,000 kilometres and they may well believe that this is going to lead to long term lower running costs of their car.
But is this the case?
Sure BMW have moved across to the use of synthetic oils (which cost twice as much), but is not 25,000 kilometres not stretching the interval beyond reasonable boundaries?
In order to be able to recommend intervals such as this car manufacturers need to be very confident that all possible in field variables are not going to effect the stability of the vehicle during this period.
The Mobil premium unleaded petrol saga some years ago demonstrated the point that BMW cannot warrant these longer intervals where unforeseen circumstances may occur which are beyond their control.
A properly maintained and correctly serviced BMW engine using a good quality oil is good for around 400,000 kilometres.
It would only be in exceptional circumstances that this period would be greater than the effective service life of the car.
The big advance in reducing engine wear has not so much been development of engine oils but the evolution of the Bosch Motronic engine management system as fitted to all late BMW cars.
The reason for the Motronic being of such an impact is because of the leaner and more precise delivery of fuel to the engine resulting in drier cylinders and better lubricated engines with reduced effects upon the lubrication system caused by fuel dilution of the oil.
The inter relationship of the fuel and lubrication systems is an important one as further demonstrated by the past fuel contamination events.
The changing of lubricating oils on a reasonably frequent basis may not always be necessary, that is the oil may well be in still good condition when changed, but this is exactly the point.
We all need to ensure that the oil is still capable of lubricating the engine WHEN IT IS CHANGED, it is of no point to wait until the oil is spent, nor is it acceptable that the oil is changed at such a point in time that it is only the most extreme cases that do not make it.
The "extreme" cases in the Mobil fuel situation were those cars driven gently for short cold trips around the city, a situation that the average lay person would not deem to be extreme!
There are other components of service item replacement, checks and balances which have also been sacrificed in order for these vehicles to perform well in a market analysist's cost of ownership comparisons.
The extension in fuel filter, transmission fluids, differential fluid and coolant period to lifetime together with no recommendation on injector cleaning period are prime examples of deficiencies in service levels.
The advent of Condition Based Servicing (CBS) has led to a further deterioration in service levels.
Whilst taking the above into account it should also be noted that longer service intervals on the face of it suit a vehicle owner, as less time would seem to be allocated to concerns over vehicle maintenance but that person also is asked to sacrifice the personal relationship which is often (and should be) developed with the preferred service agent.
The consequence of this deterioration in relationship is that a vehicle owner is more on their own with respect to determination of other issues pertaining to the car such as insurance, tyres, batteries, safety checking, body care etc.
Is this customer care?
How would you like your car to be cared for?
Is this why you purchased a special car like a BMW, to be neglected?
Thus it is now up to you to establish appropriate service levels with your service agent in addition to those recommended by BMW suitable to your local conditions.
Feel free to discuss this matter with us at length.