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BMW Diesel Owners / Enthusiasts
Do you own a diesel powered BMW? Maybe a 335d or a BMW x35d? Come and talk about what makes your car great!

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  #1  
Old 12-27-2011, 10:12 AM
831Doug 831Doug is offline
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Mileage warning for urea tank

How accurate is the mileage warning to refill the urea tank on a 2011 335d? Is it base on the type of driving you're doing?

My warning light came on yesterday while I was on a road trip from Santa Barbara to the Monterey Bay area.

The countdown mileage didn't seem to correspond to the mileage of my commute this morning. I've got a service appointment scheduled for next Tuesday (scheduled prior to tank low warning). I've penciled out the mileage and it will be close.

If I stop by the dealer prior to my service, will they fill it for free?
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  #2  
Old 12-27-2011, 11:14 AM
montr montr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 831Doug View Post
How accurate is the mileage warning to refill the urea tank on a 2011 335d? Is it base on the type of driving you're doing?

My warning light came on yesterday while I was on a road trip from Santa Barbara to the Monterey Bay area.

The countdown mileage didn't seem to correspond to the mileage of my commute this morning. I've got a service appointment scheduled for next Tuesday (scheduled prior to tank low warning). I've penciled out the mileage and it will be close.

If I stop by the dealer prior to my service, will they fill it for free?
The dealer may try to charge you for filling it between service. The capacity of the tank and usage of the urea fluid are enough that you should not need refill between service interval (about 13000 miles). Sometime, the urea tank is not fill properly at the port of entry or at the dealer.

If you pay for the dealer to refill the tank, it will cost you a lot more than doing it yourself.

Here in Atlanta, you can get DEF for about $12 for 2.5 gals
http://www.autozone.com/autozone/acc...er=248484_0_0_
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  #3  
Old 12-27-2011, 11:22 AM
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bimmerdiesel bimmerdiesel is offline
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depends on dealer. I know mine would do it for free. If you are close to oil change then just add some by yourself and you should be good till oil change. Its very easy to add DEF. If you are not close to oil change your dealer should take responsibility for not filling both tanks and do it for free.
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  #4  
Old 12-27-2011, 02:21 PM
831Doug 831Doug is offline
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Thanks for the advice. I'm taking my car in for a regular service/oil change next Tuesday. If I don't think I can make it, I'll stop by the dealer later this week. Btw - do you need a special filling nozzle if you buy DEF at an auto parts store?
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  #5  
Old 12-27-2011, 07:00 PM
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mecodoug mecodoug is offline
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I bought the BMW bottle and just refill it. It has the nozzle.
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  #6  
Old 12-27-2011, 07:12 PM
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Also, my experience has been that the warning is accurate in terms of mileage.
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  #7  
Old 12-28-2011, 07:47 AM
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Yes, it goes on at 999 miles left, then it won't let you restart the car.

Mine went off just prior to my scheduled service interval so I just cruised in without a problem. I got like 12k or 13k between service intervals.
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  #8  
Old 12-28-2011, 08:12 AM
listerone listerone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mecodoug View Post
I bought the BMW bottle and just refill it. It has the nozzle.
My experience is that the easiest/cheapest way to do it is: buy the 1/2 gallon bottle for about $13 at a VW dealership.The DEF *they* sell *is* suitable for BMW,Mercedes,etc.When you've emptied that cut the trimming toward the bottom of the special bottle so that the blue top screws off and back on.Then buy 2.5 or 5 gallon jugs (without special nozzle) for about $5/gallon.Then fill the 1/2 gallon bottle from the larger jugs and voila.Not difficult or time consuming.
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  #9  
Old 12-29-2011, 05:18 AM
Snipe656 Snipe656 is offline
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Originally Posted by mecodoug View Post
Also, my experience has been that the warning is accurate in terms of mileage.
Depends on why it went off though. If the car has a leak or consumption issue then the miles do not line up at all. Mine did not line up at all yet they found nothing wrong with the system.
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  #10  
Old 01-03-2012, 06:04 AM
Pasa-d Pasa-d is offline
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People who don't drive a lot are going to have problems with this type of car. So many things require engine operating time and/or distance to sort themselves out. The larger of the two urea tanks for example needs heat from the exhaust to make sure the urea is liquid so that it can be pumped into the smaller, electrically heated tank to replenish it. This may not apply to the OP but it should be a warning to people who make only short trips around town as their normal driving pattern (not to mention the DPF burnoff issues that will arise from that as well).
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  #11  
Old 01-03-2012, 06:28 AM
listerone listerone is offline
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I think,although I'm far from sure,that there are several "safety" measures built into the system to ensure that ample warning is given before you have a "no start" situation.IIRC one of these measures is that you get one more start *after* you get to zero in order,I assume,to get yourself to a place where DEF is available.Also,I think,the vehicle won't stop dead if you reach zero while driving which is also good.I'm almost certain about these two things but not 100% certain.
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  #12  
Old 01-03-2012, 06:33 AM
listerone listerone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pasa-d View Post
People who don't drive a lot are going to have problems with this type of car. So many things require engine operating time and/or distance to sort themselves out....(not to mention the DPF burnoff issues that will arise from that as well).
I think you're right.I believe that diesels,in general,are far better suited to highway cruising than to city "stop & go"...or even suburban 30mph driving.Fortunately about 90% of my miles are Interstate miles at 70MPH.I've read,more than a few times,that incomplete DPF burnoffs can cause serious and expensive problems over time.
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  #13  
Old 01-03-2012, 06:46 AM
Snipe656 Snipe656 is offline
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I don't drive my car much but when I do drive it then it means at least 40 miles before the engine is turned off. Having been through the low DEF warnings I can say someone would have to be blind and death to not notice the alerts and run out of the stuff. The owners manual does detail what happens if you run dry. I thought if you run out that you got one engine start but I could be wrong on that. Also someone could run out of it simply because something is wrong with the system and the alarms mislead them on how long it would last. The stuff is so easy to get though that I find it hard to believe anyone would get to a no start scenario. I was at six auto parts stores this past weekend and they all had DEF up by their front counters and for cheap.
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  #14  
Old 01-03-2012, 08:41 PM
831Doug 831Doug is offline
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I rolled into the dealer for my regular service today with about 250 miles to spare. They filled the urea tank, changed the oil, did a full inspection and installed some new wiper blades per my request.

I'll probably jinx it, but I have to say my 335d has been flawless so far. I bought the car with 15K miles on it and now has 24K miles. My commute is about 70 freeway miles round trip each day during the week, so I'm loving the great mileage combined with the performance.
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  #15  
Old 01-05-2012, 04:38 PM
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I witness 1st ever mileage warning since delivery last July. I rolled into the dealer for my regular service today with about 1500 miles to spare. They both filled the urea tank & changed the oil free of charge.
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  #16  
Old 01-05-2012, 05:38 PM
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Bayou, why would you roll in with 1500 miles to spare?

BMW won't service the car prior to being due, except for the DEF if you have the warning light, and that has been debated by some dealers.
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  #17  
Old 01-05-2012, 06:25 PM
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bayoucity bayoucity is offline
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Flying,

When I contacted my CA this morning regarding milage warning & I told him my vehicle still had 1500 miles til next oil change. He offerred to kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Since this will save me another trip to the dealership, I didn't bother to suggest otherwise.
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  #18  
Old 01-05-2012, 06:29 PM
Snipe656 Snipe656 is offline
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Yeah, they can do an oil change early. I think it has to be within a month due but someone on here will know the exact amount.
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  #19  
Old 01-05-2012, 08:33 PM
831Doug 831Doug is offline
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God only knows what BMW is monitoring with these cars. The dealer that I bought my car car from called me to schedule a service appointment a couple of days before my car told me it was due (guessing that there's some transmission to the Mothership). The mileage was at something like 1,400 miles until the service was due. Since this was my first service, I wasn't even thinking about the urea tank, so I pushed the service out until after the Holidays. Next time I'll go in sooner than later. ;-)
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  #20  
Old 01-05-2012, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by 831Doug View Post
God only knows what BMW is monitoring with these cars. The dealer that I bought my car car from called me to schedule a service appointment a couple of days before my car told me it was due (guessing that there's some transmission to the Mothership). ...
If you have BMW Assist, the car has a GPS and cell phone built-in. The car reports service needs to BMWNA, which routes the info to the dealer. They seem to get notified early (>1000 miles).
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  #21  
Old 01-05-2012, 09:58 PM
Penguin Penguin is offline
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Originally Posted by Flyingman View Post
Bayou, why would you roll in with 1500 miles to spare?

BMW won't service the car prior to being due, except for the DEF if you have the warning light, and that has been debated by some dealers.

BMW policy is to service the vehicle on request if it is within 2,000 miles of the indicated service.

I suspect this is because of the limited number of BMW dealers in the US, e.g., none at all in Montana or North Dakota. When I take a trip to the West for camping, I often drive 700 miles a day. Getting to a dealer close to the indicated service mileage would be a real inconvenience without their 2K policy. I hesitated to mention this on the forum, as if everyone brought their vehicle in for service 2,000 miles before it is due they might decide to change the policy.

Last edited by Penguin; 01-05-2012 at 09:59 PM.
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  #22  
Old 01-06-2012, 04:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penguin View Post
BMW policy is to service the vehicle on request if it is within 2,000 miles of the indicated service.

I suspect this is because of the limited number of BMW dealers in the US, e.g., none at all in Montana or North Dakota. When I take a trip to the West for camping, I often drive 700 miles a day. Getting to a dealer close to the indicated service mileage would be a real inconvenience without their 2K policy. I hesitated to mention this on the forum, as if everyone brought their vehicle in for service 2,000 miles before it is due they might decide to change the policy.
Completely contrary to what my S/A specifically stated to me, and what others have posted on here. S/A said even if there are two miles till due, they would not do the service as BMW (Corporate) makes the dealer eat the cost vs what is covered under the 50k maintenance. I thought that was very stupid but that is exactly what he said. He went so far as to say I could go drive the additional two miles just to be sure the odometer met the requirement.

Is he BS ing me?
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  #23  
Old 01-06-2012, 04:34 AM
Snipe656 Snipe656 is offline
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Originally Posted by Flyingman View Post
Completely contrary to what my S/A specifically stated to me, and what others have posted on here. S/A said even if there are two miles till due, they would not do the service as BMW (Corporate) makes the dealer eat the cost vs what is covered under the 50k maintenance. I thought that was very stupid but that is exactly what he said. He went so far as to say I could go drive the additional two miles just to be sure the odometer met the requirement.

Is he BS ing me?
They did an early oil change on my car which is how I knew it can be done. Mine was not even down to 2k miles but instead down to X amount of months. My changes have always been time related instead of mileage. When they did it I thought another service was due in upcoming months and asked if they would do it too. He said that one was too far away. Later I noticed that other service was due a VERY long time from that date and I was confused about that.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:10 PM
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Completely contrary to what my S/A specifically stated to me... Is he BS ing me?
He is lying to you.
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  #25  
Old 01-06-2012, 12:11 PM
Snipe656 Snipe656 is offline
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Originally Posted by Penguin View Post
He is lying to you.
Or unknowingly passing on lies
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