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  #1  
Old 04-21-2017, 12:00 PM
avsbox avsbox is offline
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Buying a used but still under warranty BMW with missed oil changes

Hi Everyone,

I want to buy a used, but still under warranty BMW as such:

2014 428i Coupe 2.0 twin turbo
Miles: 38,000
Used, but not certified.

I looked at the carfax and the owner only did 2 oil changes in those 38,000 miles. I am attaching a screenshot of the carfax with the maintenance intervals. I have the option of extending the factory warranty to 75k miles, but the vehicle does not quality for the extended maintenance plan anymore, only the factory warranty


My question is: If I bought the car and did regular engine oil changes from now on, would the engine be able to survive? Or is it likely that the engine is shot / ticking time bomb / ruined because of only 2 oil changes in 38,000 miles?

The vehicle is at a BMW dealer, and I could ask the mechanics, but their goal is to sell and not scare me away from a purchase, I doubt they would tell me the real truth of the condition. Please help, much appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 04-21-2017, 12:33 PM
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Carfax helps but they are not always reliable, some reports are incomplete and some routine services are not reported at all. Ask one of the service advisers to check the computer system to find out what they have showing. It looks like the lease owner was probably following the BMW recommended 15K service interval. If this checks out you should be OK. Personally I would do it more often. The service manager at my dealer advised a 7500 miles oil change interval. Additionally, he explained he didn't see any benefit changing more often than that.
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:51 PM
crabu2 crabu2 is offline
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Carfax is nice, but it's not always accurate. I've seen cars that were in accidents show it had never been in an accident.
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Old 04-21-2017, 01:14 PM
avsbox avsbox is offline
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Thanks for the replies guys.

Lets assume carfax in this scenario is correct, is it possible to recover an engine that had 2 oil changes in that 38,000 mile period?
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Old 04-21-2017, 04:10 PM
Glaird Glaird is offline
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Rusty34's idea to check the internal ECU log for the time/miles the service button was reset. Just a number higher than 4 times would be reassuring. Since you are at the dealership, ask them to show you the results of any ECU logs they can (might not be able to, in which case walk away) pull up.
2nd, what if the guy did the oil changes himself or took it to Jiffy Lube or some such? Of course, there is no way to prove that or even get reassurance. [Personally, I keep a hand written maintenance log with each and every one of my vehicles. Just so I can remember when I performed a scheduled service myself. And, I forward that to the new owner.]

If, you are not assured that the oil had been changed or have reason to seriously believe the owner had skipped that maintenance, I'd pass the car on by.
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Old 04-21-2017, 04:32 PM
crabu2 crabu2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avsbox View Post
Thanks for the replies guys.

Lets assume carfax in this scenario is correct, is it possible to recover an engine that had 2 oil changes in that 38,000 mile period?
Any damage done is done. Just remember there might be no damage.

Not getting an oil change isn't the end of the world.. For example.. My dad doesn't believe in oil changes.. I've known his cars to go over 100K.. and one over 200K miles with just an oil change here and there..I remember one car didn't get it's 1st oil change till like 40K miles.. He never had engine problems with any of his cars... He basically would just add oil when the oil light would come on... unless I remembered to do an oil change for him. His current Honda drive him crazy because it has that maintenance minder on it and he doesn't know how to reset it.. so he takes this one car in for oil changes.
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Old 04-21-2017, 04:39 PM
luigi524td luigi524td is offline
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Don't rely on Carfax for service records - they are frequently incomplete. Ask a BMW service advisor to permit you to view the service records ... Take notes. The most cooperative will print a copy for you ... Especially if you're a regular customer.

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Old 04-21-2017, 06:40 PM
Glaird Glaird is offline
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crabu2's story is the exact scenario that rental car companies use. I definitely would not buy an ex rental car. But, people do. They are on the road. What can one say?
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:43 PM
650ixdrive2013 650ixdrive2013 is offline
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That is a good car... buy it.. oil changes don't start till you get 10,000 miles then 10 or 12 thousand miles thereafter... talk to service advisor for more accurate info...
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Old 04-22-2017, 05:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avsbox View Post
Thanks for the replies guys.

Lets assume carfax in this scenario is correct, is it possible to recover an engine that had 2 oil changes in that 38,000 mile period?
Quote:
Originally Posted by luigi524td View Post
Don't rely on Carfax for service records - they are frequently incomplete. Ask a BMW service advisor to permit you to view the service records ... Take notes. The most cooperative will print a copy for you ... Especially if you're a regular customer.

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CARFAX IS NOT GOSPEL! C'mon people, we should all know this by know. Reporting to Carfax is voluntary. Not every shop reports on every car they work on. My father in law had a Camry w/ a clean Carfax but the Autocheck report showed frame damage. Take Carfax (and Autocheck) at face value. If something is on there, good, if it's not, that doesn't mean that a specific service wasn't done or an accident didn't happen. Best bet is to see if the dealer can pull up the VIN and see what was done at a dealer. Again, this would not include DIY oil changes or work at an indy.

New leased car, under warranty, with maintenance included, it was most likely taken in when the car called for it. But let's say that it did only have 2 oil changes. If that makes you uneasy, then pass. Plenty of others out there.

I would be more concerned with needing front brakes so soon. Riding them hard? Then also the t-stat and valve cover gasket would raise the question if it overheated. I could live with the 2 oil changes, but how do I know the prev owner shut it down asap? I wouldn't want an aluminum block that overheated. And then they dumped it a month later? Mhmmm...
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Old 04-22-2017, 09:28 AM
imtjm imtjm is offline
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carfax reports suck. If the car is at the BMW dealership, then have them print out the service record. If they won't then walk away.
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Old 04-22-2017, 09:58 AM
avsbox avsbox is offline
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Thank you all for your responses and comments!

The car is being sold at a local BMW dealership. They pulled up all of the service records that the car records show and it is consistent with the carfax - it only had 2 known oil changes. I doubt the owner did an oil change outside of BMW since the maintenance was free all along.

I will think about it a little more and decide. I am treading into unknown territory buying a car like this with an oil change that was around 24,000 miles between its last oil change. I know its still under warranty but my fear is that BMW would void a warranty cause of the previous owner's negligence if the engine would to have problems
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Old 04-22-2017, 10:36 AM
rhite95 rhite95 is offline
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I would stay away from this one.

If you are having doubts about it that should tell
you something...
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Old 04-22-2017, 11:24 AM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is offline
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Did you look down the oil fill hole with a flashlight? It should be spotless inside the motor. If the car has a plastic oil fill cap, it might have some brown, film deposits. Plastic parts (e.g. the chain guide) will turn brown from absorbing oil. But, all the metal parts should be clean. If there are any brown film deposits (varnish), walk away. If it has black, three dimensional deposits (sludge), run!

A little bit of varnish and sludge used to be o.k. But, modern engines have now have low-tension piston rings. They push against the cylinder walls with less force than they did 30 years ago. This reduces friction and wear. But, they can get stuck into the compressed position (against the piston instead of against the cylinder wall) by varnish deposits. This will cause low compression, low power, low fuel economy, rough running, high oil consumption, high emissions, and eventually clogging of the emissions hardware.

If there are varnish deposits in the relative cool top of the cylinder head, expect there to be a lot of varnish on the piston skirts. The pistons are the hottest lubricated part in the engine.

Here are some fun pictures to look at:

https://www.google.com/search?q=bmw+...L5IhM:&spf=254

Last edited by Autoputzer; 04-22-2017 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 04-22-2017, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imtjm View Post
carfax reports suck. If the car is at the BMW dealership, then have them print out the service record. If they won't then walk away.
I recently pulled a Carfax report against a vehiclehistory.com report. Essentially paid vs. free service. There was NOTHING more on the Carfax report for $40 than the free vehiclehistory.com report. I email Carfax & was issued a full refund. Sorry, didnt mean to hijack, but Carfax is worthless now.

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Old 04-24-2017, 05:38 AM
JimH46 JimH46 is offline
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With BMW's use of high quality synthetic oil, I wouldn't be concerned. At most it missed one "early" oil change due to time versus mileage. And the advice to not take Carfax as gospel and ask to see the BMW maintenance records is spot on.
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Old 04-24-2017, 06:58 AM
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need4speed need4speed is offline
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I wouldn't, but that's just me. IMHO it is crazy to go much more than 7500 miles w/o an oil change in a BMW turbo motor.
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Old 04-26-2017, 11:25 PM
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Update: The dealer let me borrow the car so that I could take it to an local BMW shop and have an independent mechanic inspect it.

Upon lifting the car up with the jack, the mechanic discovered that the vehicle had been in a pretty bad accident and the previous owner tried to have it repaired without reporting it. The frame was bent and you could see it only from the bottom of the car. The BMW dealer somehow missed this when they took the car back in after the previous owner's lease expired. That is probably why they did not bring it back for service after the first oil change.. only until the car was returned to the dealer at the end of the lease did they do that second oil change. They did a convincing repair that was good enough to fool even me, but it was only after passing my hand under the side of one of the doors that I could feel a small gap where the door and side skirt were not perfectly aligned. You couldn't see the damage from the outside, only by lifting the car could you see it.

That explains it!

I'll keep searching... thanks all for your input

Last edited by avsbox; 04-26-2017 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 04-27-2017, 07:37 AM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is offline
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Thanks for the update. Your experience is an example why I don't want to buy an expensive used car from a stranger. I'll take the depreciation hit on a new car, making some of that by keeping my cars to just past 100k miles... sort of buying a used car from somebody I trust... me.
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Old 04-27-2017, 08:09 AM
Glaird Glaird is offline
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I'm glad you caught that, before buying. Allegedly all dealers, including BMW, go to great lengths to advertise that they inspect their own make used cars, before offering them up for sale. I almost bought a used 550i (later bought new off the lot). With my hand I felt a rough edge under the front plastic M-sport facade. It was only after I was given an under chassis inspection by the Dinan tech who changed my oil, that I realized that front facia is a solid piece, fastened way back on a frame member.
Which means the guy who turned the used 550 in, had so mangled the front end on curbs, that he literally cut away all the shredded plastic bits, underneath, out of site.
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Old 05-04-2017, 05:43 PM
skibike skibike is offline
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Oh man, was just going to ask the same question as the OP. Most of the leased CPO vehicles with around 30,000 miles I've been looking at show no oil changes! So is it pretty common even with CPO to have an independent mechanic look at the vehicle? I'm wondering if the OP vehicle he was looking at was not certified for a reason.


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Old 05-04-2017, 06:02 PM
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He probably changed the oil himself. Tell BMW what you found, offer them 60% of blue book but they have to keep the warranty etc like a standard CPO.

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Old 05-07-2017, 07:57 PM
golferken55 golferken55 is offline
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Come on folks!! Not every maintenance task hoes on carfax! Plus some people like myself, perform regular maintenance on our cars and guess what? We don't put it o carfax. It's good for somethings. Like any accident that required a police report is only way it makes its way onto carfax. Or a salvaged vehicle.
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