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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 10-16-2012, 11:18 AM
8355adam 8355adam is offline
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Is Mike Miller Maintenance for me?

Im trying to get a reliable maintenance schedule for my 330i. I've read that mike miller is popular but could be outdated for my model. If it is outdated then what would you guys recommend and if mike miller is still good where the heck do you get a copy because everywhere i've searched has nothing.
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  #2  
Old 10-16-2012, 11:20 AM
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Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout is offline
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E-mail Mike Miller at Bimmerfest magazine or through Roundel. He'll send it to you.

And, yeah, the plan should work well for your vehicle.
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  #3  
Old 10-16-2012, 12:23 PM
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Mike Miller updates his "Old School Maintenance Schedule" regularly so I don't know why you think it might be outdated, especially for a 330i which is definitely an older, non-turbo model, so not a long of things to update there anyway.

As KT said above, e-mail Mike directly for the latest version. You can only get the Roundel magazine if you're a BMW CCA member. If you're not a member you should join...by clicking on my link below.
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:37 PM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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I know I won't be the most popular guy for saying this but I have seen no evidence to suggest following Mike Millers maintenance schedule does anything to increase the longevity of our vehicles.
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by sunny5280 View Post
I know I won't be the most popular guy for saying this but I have seen no evidence to suggest following Mike Millers maintenance schedule does anything to increase the longevity of our vehicles.
So what do you recommend?
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Last edited by laser; 10-16-2012 at 12:48 PM.
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  #6  
Old 10-16-2012, 12:52 PM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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So what do you recommend?
Following whatever maintenance schedule you feel comfortable with.
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  #7  
Old 10-16-2012, 02:19 PM
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As Mike states in his Old School Maintenance Schedule, he is merely repeating the maintenance schedule that BMW used to push before they had the 4 year/50,000 free maintenance program. Since the current selling model for BMW is to have buyer to lease a car for 3-4 years and then trade in on the latest model or update to a different/higher model, these buyers will never pay for maintenance and thus have no need for the Old School Maintenance Schedule. For some people, this is a great way to have a relatively new, maintenance-cost-free vehicle.

For people who buy their car with the intention of owning it for more than 3-4 years, or possibly 10 or more years, and want it to last 100,000-200,000 miles, then one might want to change the oil more often than the 15,000 miles now recommended by BMW based on their current sales model. These are most likely those that also buy a used BMW, probably out of warranty already, and want it to last another 5-10 years or more. Many of these people will also do their own maintenance at least relatively simple things like oil changes, brake fluid flushes, and brake pad and rotor replacement.

Mike also recommends proactively replacing parts are historically known to be weak or historically have a known service life before they fail to avoid more expensive maintenance costs when these parts do fail.

And a sample rate of one person is far from statistically significant.
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  #8  
Old 10-16-2012, 02:42 PM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD Z4MR View Post
As Mike states in his Old School Maintenance Schedule, he is merely repeating the maintenance schedule that BMW used to push before they had the 4 year/50,000 free maintenance program. Since the current selling model for BMW is to have buyer to lease a car for 3-4 years and then trade in on the latest model or update to a different/higher model, these buyers will never pay for maintenance and thus have no need for the Old School Maintenance Schedule. For some people, this is a great way to have a relatively new, maintenance-cost-free vehicle.
Things change over time. What was applicable yesterday may no longer be applicable today. For example we no longer replace spark plug wires, distributor caps, adjust carburetor jetting / floats, etc. All things we used to do and pretty much not applicable to today's vehicles.

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Originally Posted by SD Z4MR View Post
For people who buy their car with the intention of owning it for more than 3-4 years, or possibly 10 or more years, and want it to last 100,000-200,000 miles, then one might want to change the oil more often than the 15,000 miles now recommended by BMW based on their current sales model. These are most likely those that also buy a used BMW, probably out of warranty already, and want it to last another 5-10 years or more. Many of these people will also do their own maintenance at least relatively simple things like oil changes, brake fluid flushes, and brake pad and rotor replacement.
To date I have seen no evidence to suggest following BMW's recommend 15K oil change interval has resulted in increased engine wear.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunny5280 View Post
Things change over time. What was applicable yesterday may no longer be applicable today. For example we no longer replace spark plug wires, distributor caps, adjust carburetor jetting / floats, etc. All things we used to do and pretty much not applicable to today's vehicles.



To date I have seen no evidence to suggest following BMW's recommend 15K oil change interval has resulted in increased engine wear.
Do you ever offer suggestions or insights of value or just criticize other's posts?
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:20 PM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Do you ever offer suggestions or insights of value or just criticize other's posts?
Nothing critical about my post. Just presenting a different point of view.

And yes, I do provide suggestions and insight...take a look at the thread about locking the key in the trunk. It was my advice which solved the problem. Despite the criticism of others regarding said advice.
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  #11  
Old 10-16-2012, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunny5280 View Post
Things change over time. What was applicable yesterday may no longer be applicable today. For example we no longer replace spark plug wires, distributor caps, adjust carburetor jetting / floats, etc. All things we used to do and pretty much not applicable to today's vehicles.

To date I have seen no evidence to suggest following BMW's recommend 15K oil change interval has resulted in increased engine wear.
Sunny's statement is not based upon his singular experience, it's based upon watching posted Blackstone Lab results, and looking at pictures of other people's valve cover replacements. We diesel owners have been very interested in this (our recommended interval is different, oil is different), and it appears that the recommended interval is ok and set to expire when the lubrication properties (TBN and other factors) start to reach unacceptable levels. There have been no oil-related failures that I can remember being posted on the diesel forum - that's over 100 people; certainly not singular either.

Although I respect Miller's expertise, current engines and car systems are so different that I believe his recommendations are too conservative, even for people keeping cars 200K or more.
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  #12  
Old 10-16-2012, 04:16 PM
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Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laser View Post
Do you ever offer suggestions or insights of value or just criticize other's posts?
He was offering an insight of value. The fact that others here don't agree with Sunny doesn't make his opinion any less valuable.

And, in this case, he has a good point. There is ZERO evidence that BMW's suggested 15,000 mile oil change schedule interferes with engine durability. In fact, there is good evidence to the contrary. In most areas of the country, 3-series are leased more often than purchased. Leased vehicles typically don't get more than the standard factory schedule. Accordingly, the 3-series fleet in America is largely on the 15,000 mile schedule. yet, according to Consumer Reports, the 3-series has had excellent engine reliability.

I'll continue to change my oil every 7,500 miles - its good insurance. But, I concede Sunny's point.
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  #13  
Old 10-16-2012, 05:04 PM
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Back to the point, the OP's question as to Mike Miller's advice...
Mike's advice will ensure that your car is as reliable as humanly possible for as long as possible. Is it overkill? Not if you plan to keep your car a long time, and also want to be sure that you can get into your car on any given day and leave for the opposite coast without worrying about whether you'll make it or not.
It's a pricey plan, too, but people are willing to pay for peace of mind. There are tens of thousands of BMW owners, probably the majority of new BMW owners, who have no problem with keeping their cars in primo condition.
Two examples (I won't be specific because Mike requests that his suggestions not be quoted on the internet, for obvious reasons): Radiator replacement and oxygen sensor replacement. Mike suggests that these very expensive items be automatically replaced at set mileage intervals even though there is nothing wrong with them! Why? Because he knows that they are going to fail eventually and failure could be a much greater inconvenience and expense. That's good enough reason for many people.
I own a garage and service many older and on-warranty BMWs. My plan may differ from Mike's, and it does in some significant ways, but in the end it's the owner's call when all the cards are on the table.
In closing I will make one more point. If I were taking a trip in a small plane, and Mike Miller were an airframe mechanic, I'd want my mechanic to be following his plan.

Last edited by DSXMachina; 10-16-2012 at 05:17 PM.
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  #14  
Old 10-16-2012, 05:13 PM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Originally Posted by Kilgore Trout View Post
He was offering an insight of value. The fact that others here don't agree with Sunny doesn't make his opinion any less valuable.

And, in this case, he has a good point. There is ZERO evidence that BMW's suggested 15,000 mile oil change schedule interferes with engine durability. In fact, there is good evidence to the contrary. In most areas of the country, 3-series are leased more often than purchased. Leased vehicles typically don't get more than the standard factory schedule. Accordingly, the 3-series fleet in America is largely on the 15,000 mile schedule. yet, according to Consumer Reports, the 3-series has had excellent engine reliability.

I'll continue to change my oil every 7,500 miles - its good insurance. But, I concede Sunny's point.
The 3 series for which the 15K interval is recommended does not yet have enough fleet mileage to say for certain what the situation will be at 150K miles. The average mileage of the early cars is probably in the 65K range.
And then you say you change your oil "every 7,500 miles", why, you like crawling around under engines?
(PS Always a fun thread when we get talking about oil change intervals, eh?)
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:19 PM
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Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout is offline
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Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
Back to the point, the OP's question as to Mike Miller's advice...
Mike's advice will ensure that your car is as reliable as humanly possible for as long as possible. Is it overkill? Not if you plan to keep your car a long time, and also want to be sure that you can get into your car on any given day and leave for the opposite coast without worrying about whether you'll make it or not.
It's a pricey plan, too, but people are willing to pay for peace of mind. There are tens of thousands of BMW owners, in fact probably the majority of new BMW owners, who have no problem with keeping their cars in primo condition.
Two examples (I won't be specific because Mike requests that his suggestions not be quoted on the internet, for obvious reasons): Radiator replacement and oxygen sensor replacement. Mike suggests that these very expensive items be automatically replaced at set mileage intervals even though there is nothing wrong with them! Why? Because he knows that they are going to fail eventually and failure could be a much greater inconvenience and expense. That's good enough reason for many people.
I own a garage and service many older and on-warranty BMWs. My plan may differ from Mike's, and it does in some significant ways, but in the end it's the owner's call when all the cards are on the table.
In closing I will make one more point. If I were taking a trip in a small plane, and Mike Miller were an airframe mechanic, I'd want my mechanic to be following his plan.
I do follow Mike Miller's schedule, for various reasons.

However, my own personal feeling is that his recommendations MIGHT help reduce engine/mechanical problems.

The monster in the closet with BMW is always going to involve electrical problems. That, and the failure of plastic parts (like my plastic fuel tank developing cracks) are what worries me. Changing oil and doing preventative work is probably not going to do much to head that stuff off.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:30 PM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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The 3 series for which the 15K interval is recommended does not yet have enough fleet mileage to say for certain what the situation will be at 150K miles. The average mileage of the early cars is probably in the 65K range.
The 15K change interval has existed since at least the E46. To say there is not enough mileage to draw a conclusion about the change interval is reaching.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Kilgore Trout View Post
I do follow Mike Miller's schedule, for various reasons.

However, my own personal feeling is that his recommendations MIGHT help reduce engine/mechanical problems.

The monster in the closet with BMW is always going to involve electrical problems. That, and the failure of plastic parts (like my plastic fuel tank developing cracks) are what worries me. Changing oil and doing preventative work is probably not going to do much to head that stuff off.
You have no idea how right you are! I am for instance seeing a big surge in the number of VVT related problems.

The average shade tree mechanic is not going to have a chance at proper diagnostics, and won't have the tools to do the job even if he could diagnose the problem.

(Here's my quick over-the-phone diagnostic on any E9x 328 with rough start/ rough idle/ Check Engine Light; "Your cam angle sensor has crapped out. Which one? Wellll, we'll have to test for that... Just a minute and I'll connect you with the Financing Dep't and you can set up a payment plan.")
At least with a plastic part you can see the crack and subsequent fluid leak, and be fairly confident in figurig that the part is bad.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:33 PM
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The 15K change interval has existed since at least the E46. To say there is not enough mileage to draw a conclusion about the change interval is reaching.
I was unaware the 15K interval went back to the E46.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
Back to the point, the OP's question as to Mike Miller's advice...
Mike's advice will ensure that your car is as reliable as humanly possible ...
It's a pricey plan, too, but people are willing to pay for peace of mind.
Two examples: Radiator replacement and oxygen sensor replacement.
Good words of reason (what? we're trying to reason with each other?)

Three points I'd like to make: On my E46 330xi, I replaced most of the cooling system at 100K. Didn't replace the pump, which was still good at 145K (water pump failures don't immediately toast the engine if you're half alive and watching the gauges). YMMV, but there's the other side of the bell curve, too.
I replaced all the tranny and diff fluids on Mike's schedule. My front diff broke. And I got rid of the car because the center diff was in the process of failing.
I changed oil at 5K-7.5K intervals, and the thing used a quart of oil in 1200-1500 miles at tradein. CVV worked perfectly. Still perfect compression, engine valvetrain was spotless.

Face it; parts are gonna break and many times insane maintenance regimes don't matter.
Having owned vintage ('77 530i and 320i) BMWs that needed more maintenance, I can assure you that todays are much more reliable, even if you just went with BMW's reccos.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by floydarogers View Post
Good words of reason (what? we're trying to reason with each other?)

Three points I'd like to make: On my E46 330xi, I replaced most of the cooling system at 100K. Didn't replace the pump, which was still good at 145K (water pump failures don't immediately toast the engine if you're half alive and watching the gauges). YMMV, but there's the other side of the bell curve, too.
I replaced all the tranny and diff fluids on Mike's schedule. My front diff broke. And I got rid of the car because the center diff was in the process of failing.
I changed oil at 5K-7.5K intervals, and the thing used a quart of oil in 1200-1500 miles at tradein. CVV worked perfectly. Still perfect compression, engine valvetrain was spotless.

Face it; parts are gonna break and many times insane maintenance regimes don't matter.
Having owned vintage ('77 530i and 320i) BMWs that needed more maintenance, I can assure you that todays are much more reliable, even if you just went with BMW's reccos.
True, and that's the fly in the ointment of Mike Miller's recommendations. He only knows what he knows, what he doesn't know is what nobody knows- which doodad, gizmo or whatchamacallit that didn't even exist 10 years ago is going to blow a transistor at midnight in the middle of a snowstorm?
The computers are in charge of our cars now, for better or worse. How many of us change our perfectly working hard drive, modem, or transformer just because they could fail tomorrow?
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:51 PM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
True, and that's the fly in the ointment of Mike Miller's recommendations. He only knows what he knows, what he doesn't know is what nobody knows- which doodad, gizmo or whatchamacallit that didn't even exist 10 years ago is going to blow a transistor at midnight in the middle of a snowstorm?
The computers are in charge of our cars now, for better or worse. How many of us change our perfectly working hard drive, modem, or transformer just because they could fail tomorrow?
Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't it you who was recommending Mike Millers suggestion to replace parts before they fail so as not to have them fail at inopportune times?
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
The 3 series for which the 15K interval is recommended does not yet have enough fleet mileage to say for certain what the situation will be at 150K miles. The average mileage of the early cars is probably in the 65K range.
And then you say you change your oil "every 7,500 miles", why, you like crawling around under engines?
(PS Always a fun thread when we get talking about oil change intervals, eh?)
While I have no issue with the 15,000 mile oil change interval, the E90 has been around since 2006 means late 2005 on the road which is 7 years so certainly there are cars with 150,000 miles and I'd guess the average mileage for a one owner car is closer to 80,000 miles.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:19 PM
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Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't it you who was recommending Mike Millers suggestion to replace parts before they fail so as not to have them fail at inopportune times?
Yes, I did recommend Mike's schedule and often do. In context it was the right thing to suggest. I don't recommend it every time, and sometimes would strongly argue against parts of it. Back to the radiator example for instance. I have never recommended a customer change their non-leaking, non clogged radiator just because of mileage. But if that same customer told me they were driving to their new home in San Diego (from NH) with their elderly mom in the car, and their car had 120k on the clock and cost were no object (it isn't for many of my customers) I would suggest a new radiator, among other things.


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While I have no issue with the 15,000 mile oil change interval, the E90 has been around since 2006 means late 2005 on the road which is 7 years so certainly there are cars with 150,000 miles and I'd guess the average mileage for a one owner car is closer to 80,000 miles.
I was using a 5 year ownership span with the EPA reported national average 13,000 miles a year. Even going with your 80K, that's less than half the lifespan of the vast majority of engines. I don't think it's enough to say that 15k intervals will work in all parts of the country. If sunny is correct about 15K intervals on the E46 then that would be additional evidence in your favor.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
True, and that's the fly in the ointment of Mike Miller's recommendations. He only knows what he knows, what he doesn't know is what nobody knows- which doodad, gizmo or whatchamacallit that didn't even exist 10 years ago is going to blow a transistor at midnight in the middle of a snowstorm?
The computers are in charge of our cars now, for better or worse. How many of us change our perfectly working hard drive, modem, or transformer just because they could fail tomorrow?

Funny enough, this fellow did. I downloaded a SMART reader (reads on-drive diagnostics) and it indicated that, based on some statistics done by Google with their tens of thousands of hard drives, meant quick or imminent failure of my hard drive. Therefore, I bought a newer, bigger drive and cloned the old stuff onto the new one. The old drive is now on my external enclosure.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
Yes, I did recommend Mike's schedule and often do. In context it was the right thing to suggest. I don't recommend it every time, and sometimes would strongly argue against parts of it. Back to the radiator example for instance. I have never recommended a customer change their non-leaking, non clogged radiator just because of mileage. But if that same customer told me they were driving to their new home in San Diego (from NH) with their elderly mom in the car, and their car had 120k on the clock and cost were no object (it isn't for many of my customers) I would suggest a new radiator, among other things.
These two statements seem at odds with one another.

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If sunny is correct about 15K intervals on the E46 then that would be additional evidence in your favor.
I am correct about it having owned a 1999 328i.
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