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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 03-12-2008, 06:19 PM
cnp55 cnp55 is offline
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Question Maintenance and Service Questions

I had my 2006 X3 in for its first service since I bought it. It now has 14495 miles on it ... and *somehow* the service writer knew exactly the mileage ... and I don't think it was a lucky guess. He didn't have me in the computer yet ... since I bought the car from a non-BMW dealer, but the car had been in to see them on 12/1 with the dealer. Which was 3495 miles ago. Is there a simple explanation for this? Is my car communicating telepathically with the mothership?

When the work on my car was completed (oil change and brake fluid flush and a few other little things), he said the car didn't need to come back for 15000 miles.

Do they *really* mean that it doesn't need an oil change for 15 THOUSAND miles? Really?
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  #2  
Old 03-12-2008, 06:25 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Originally Posted by cnp55 View Post
Do they *really* mean that it doesn't need an oil change for 15 THOUSAND miles? Really?
Yes. Welcome to the world of "Free" maintenance.

Many of us change the oil in between the "Free" ones at our expense. You may or may not choose to do the same.
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  #3  
Old 03-12-2008, 06:56 PM
dashiell dashiell is offline
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Cnp, your key gives them all the info on the car, the service advisor has a key reader on his desk.
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  #4  
Old 03-12-2008, 07:00 PM
FitzLA FitzLA is offline
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The key even tells them how much gas is in your car. It's like big brother is watching you.
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  #5  
Old 03-12-2008, 07:55 PM
cnp55 cnp55 is offline
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Ah ... so the KEY is communicating telepathically with the mothership. I never would have guessed!

LOL

Thanks.

So what oil change intervals do *you guys* recommend? The standard 3K or something longer or shorter?
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  #6  
Old 03-12-2008, 08:13 PM
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STE92VE STE92VE is offline
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Originally Posted by FitzLA View Post
The key even tells them how much gas is in your car. It's like big brother is watching you.
...and make sure you wear clean underwear the next time you bring it in for service. You don't want to provoke any strange looks..
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  #7  
Old 03-12-2008, 10:08 PM
Ninja333 Ninja333 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnp55 View Post
Ah ... so the KEY is communicating telepathically with the mothership. I never would have guessed!

LOL

Thanks.

So what oil change intervals do *you guys* recommend? The standard 3K or something longer or shorter?
i have the similar issue - i'd have thought 15,000km service interval is a tad too long for engine oil and filter change. what would you guys recommend? what oil do you use?

i reckon 7,500km would be ideal?!?
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  #8  
Old 03-13-2008, 12:40 AM
Sonoman707 Sonoman707 is offline
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Did the early changes at my expense with the '02 330Ci. Have gone with the recommended indicator (15K +/-) since I bought my '04 X3 new.

No issues - no oil usage - seems to work.
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  #9  
Old 03-13-2008, 01:01 AM
Hofmeister_NV Hofmeister_NV is offline
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I have spoken to the service manager both at: (1) the BMW dealership where I bought (leased / took delivery) of my X3; and (2) the BMW dealership where I take my X3 to get serviced. Long story short: I personally know the sales manager at dealership (1), but it's 120 miles away, so not convenient for servicing.

Anyway, to get to the point . . .

The two answers I've received to the question of "How often should I do oil changes?" are:

(A) The service manager at dealership (2) is adamant that *nothing* needs to be changed before the prescribed service interval.

(B) The service manager at dealership (1) has said that he "splits the difference" and gets his oil (in his BMW) changed at 7,500 miles, notwithstanding the recommended oil-change service interval of 15,000 miles.

(Of course, as you probably know by now and has been stated on this board numerous times, the base 15,000-mile interval may in actuality wind up being even longer than that, owing to what the on-board computers record as to your driving style and the conditions. For example, I have approximately 10,500 miles on my X3 at the present time, but when I start up the vehicle, the dashboard readout tells me my next "prescribed" oil change service will be in 6,900 more miles, which would mean at 17,400 miles for my X3; and the oil change service countdown has never been reset.)

As per page 46 of the X3 owner's manual: "The remaining distance is determined on the basis of the past driving style."

Fortunately (or not, depending on how you look at it), the oil in my X3 has already been changed 4 times up through the current 10,500-mile mark: 2 of these changes I just coughed up the (roughly) $100 to have done for my own "peace of mind." The other 2 changes were done because the oil-level sensor has gone out twice on my X3 already, and in the course of testing why that was not working (the first time around, they changed the oil level sensor outright; the second time around, they downloaded some sort of software or firmware "fix" to address the problem) . . . they wound up draining the oil and refilling it as a cross-check to see if the oil-level sensor problem would just "go away" if they drained the oil and re-filled it to spec. In neither case (even when they purposefully filled it a quart low to see if the sensor would produce an "overfull" reading (which was the problem)) did draining the oil and refilling it solve the problem.
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  #10  
Old 03-13-2008, 02:28 AM
dashiell dashiell is offline
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I just read an article in the L.A. times last week that was all about the unnecessary over-changing of oil due primarily to the advertising campaigns of businesses like Jiffy Lube. They went on to quote numerous experts who said to go by the recommendation in your owners manual. Jiffy Lube's spokesman of course begged to differ. They also gave the figure of how many millions of barrels of oil were wasted each year and how much pollution was caused by improperly disposed of same. I personally used to change my oil every 3 to 5 thousand miles, so I have been guilty and am therefore not preaching. I do now however lease my vehicles and it seems to me that BMW would want what is best for their cars, so I choose to believe their research... FWIW
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  #11  
Old 03-13-2008, 04:03 AM
cnp55 cnp55 is offline
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Hmmm ... well I *own* my little car. And I figure I've got it for 10 years or so. Which should get me to 100K or better.

Drove the last one (a US built big sport ute) for 9 years and 153000 miles, including 101000 on the 'new engine'. Both engines bit the dust due to oil sludge despite oil changes per owners manual. So I'm a little gun shy. Although my last vehicle, if you believe the internet chatter, had a known *issue* with oil sludge.

Any more opinions?
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  #12  
Old 03-13-2008, 05:18 AM
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Andrew*Debbie Andrew*Debbie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnp55 View Post

Any more opinions?
Always.

BMW recommends once a year or when the service counter reaches zero. For us, that is more like every 10K miles. If you hit 12months before the counter reaches zero, be sure to ask for a "low mileage oil change" not an oil service.

BMW specs a synthetic oil which does have a longer lifespan than conventional oil. The service intervals are the same in Europe where free service isn't included with the car. BMW didn't push the intervals out to save money in the US. The oil filter is a good size too.


If we were keeping our X3 for the long haul, I would use oil analysis to determine a reasonable oil change interval. Changing your oil early won't hurt the motor but it is expensive. It is also a tiny environmental hit. Used oil is nasty and often not recycled properly. Small, but everything makes a difference.

Go to http://www.blackstone-labs.com/gas_engines.html or google used oil analysis. Order up a sample kit.

Do your next oil change at 7,500/6 months and send off a sample. If the oil is clean, the TBN looks good and you don't see any sludge building up, try pushing that out to 12K/9 months and repeat.
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Last edited by Andrew*Debbie; 03-13-2008 at 07:18 AM. Reason: Fixed typo
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  #13  
Old 03-13-2008, 07:15 AM
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Andrew*Debbie Andrew*Debbie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnp55 View Post

So what oil change intervals do *you guys* recommend? The standard 3K or something longer or shorter?

Unless you race, changing synthetic oil every 3,000 miles is about as useful as burning $20 bills.


My Mazda dealer insists the MX-5 needs a 3 month/3,000 mile change interval. I went 4 months and had the oil analyzed. It was clean and right in the middle of the correct viscosity range. It could have run longer. 3 months is too often, even with conventional oil.
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Last edited by Andrew*Debbie; 03-13-2008 at 07:24 AM.
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  #14  
Old 03-15-2008, 02:31 PM
Lance Alot Lance Alot is offline
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I only have 1300 miles on the X3 so far, but I think I might actually wait the recommended 15K miles this time around for my oil services. I changed my oil every 7,500 miles on my E46, but the idea of 15K oil changes was relatively new at the time, and I didn't want to risk waiting that long.

When I did my European Delivery, my customer representative (who seemed very knowledgeable) was adamant that it is a waste of money to get intermediate oil changes. He said that BMW has done extensive testing on oil life, and they even have some test vehicles that have gone 100K miles without an oil change. Again, I'm not quite sure what I plan on doing yet, but I will probably just take BMW's recommendation.

BTW, I'm not what I consider an aggressive driver, and I plan on keeping the car for 5-7 years. If I was leasing, I would definitely not get intermediate changes.
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  #15  
Old 03-15-2008, 08:28 PM
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STE92VE STE92VE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Alot View Post
I only have 1300 miles on the X3 so far, but I think I might actually wait the recommended 15K miles this time around for my oil services. I changed my oil every 7,500 miles on my E46, but the idea of 15K oil changes was relatively new at the time, and I didn't want to risk waiting that long.

When I did my European Delivery, my customer representative (who seemed very knowledgeable) was adamant that it is a waste of money to get intermediate oil changes. He said that BMW has done extensive testing on oil life, and they even have some test vehicles that have gone 100K miles without an oil change. Again, I'm not quite sure what I plan on doing yet, but I will probably just take BMW's recommendation.

BTW, I'm not what I consider an aggressive driver, and I plan on keeping the car for 5-7 years. If I was leasing, I would definitely not get intermediate changes.
It's your vehicle and you can change the oil how often or not you wish to. But think about this, especially if you plan on being the long term owner....do you want the all the fillings that come off the cylinder walls during break-in moving around in your engine for 15,000 miles? I didn't and changed my oil @ ~2000 miles....
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2014 E84 xDrive28i 8AT-Alpine White/Black Nevada/Silver Matte w/ZMV,ZLP,494 - DD 3/14/14
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