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Ok, I just bought my wife a 2015 550 with 38k miles. Car seems to be in good shape and well cared for. What should I keep my eyes open for? Is there any special service? Preferred filters/oil? Was planning on 5-30 Mobil 1 full synthetic. What's the best OBD code reader? Hope I won't need it. I haven't followed BMW brand for very long, so is this car a princess or can it be driven and remain reliable without constant repairs? I can honestly say I have my concerns about twin turbocharged V8 on that auto transmission. Maybe unwarranted. Thanks!
 

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Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 99K miles NOKIAN WR G3 12K miles
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Your concerns are righteous as you will find if you read here much.
 

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Woohoo congrats man. You (she) will love it. As long as you have a extended warranty. Most 550's have had their problems sorted. I put 60k with few problems. These cars are FAST. Spark plugs every other oil change, wiper blade inserts is all

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BMW has very demanding engine oil specifications. Mobil 1 doesn't meet them. You should use a BMW Long Life 01 (LL-01) or LL-01FE oil. It's all over the place on the Interwebs at about $9/liter. You'll get slightly better engine protection with the LL-01. LL-01 comes in 5W-30 and 0W-40.

Yeah, the V8's have a bad reputation for burning oil, cooking the rubber valve stem seals (causing the high oil consumption), and leaks. I've read one BF post where and engine flush cleared up the owner's excessive oil consumption. It that's the case, the oil consumption was caused by stuck piston rings, and the stuck piston rings were caused by varnish, and the varnish was caused by the oil breaking down (wrong oil or the right oil being in there too long). The cooked seals and varnished oil are symptoms of these engines running extremely hot. BMW mitigates this by using nine liters of oil in them. That makes for a $100 DIY oil change. Many people, including me, don't trust the 11k mile oil change intervals. I stick with 8k miles.
 

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Ok, I just bought my wife a 2015 550 with 38k miles. Car seems to be in good shape and well cared for. What should I keep my eyes open for? Is there any special service? Preferred filters/oil? Was planning on 5-30 Mobil 1 full synthetic. What's the best OBD code reader? Hope I won't need it. I haven't followed BMW brand for very long, so is this car a princess or can it be driven and remain reliable without constant repairs? I can honestly say I have my concerns about twin turbocharged V8 on that auto transmission. Maybe unwarranted. Thanks!
Ensure you do the oil changes with only BMW Long Life approved oils for your car (as auto said) and if I were you I would investigate who / where the best BMW independent mechanics were in my area so that I knew how to get to them..... just in case of course.

(I dont think anyone, even huge proponents of the V8, would describe that engine as "very reliable". Fast, yes..."very reliable"... I dont think I have heard that description for that engine).
 

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Congrats!

This is the OBD2 code reader I use:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005NLQAHS/ref=psdc_15707381_t1_B01HXGX8V6

Thus far, I've only had to use it once for a bad 02 sensor that was replaced under warranty.

Also recommend following the above advice on ordering the BMW spec oil for your car. I just have the dealer change my oil, but they use BMW 0W-30 LL-01FE in my car. Also, you should carry 2 liters in your trunk as it's likely your motor will drink some oil. Mine consumes 1 liter every 2,000 miles like clockwork.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks to everyone who responded. I read one comment that they changed the spark plugs every other oil change! Wow! Has BMW ever heard of iridium plugs? I will keep my eyes on them. Really though why so often?
Also comments on oil, I said I was thinking about Mobil 1. Looking under the hood on the oil cap it had Castrol stamped into the cap. Also I am like some of you, I don't go further than 5,000 miles due to the added stress of not one but two turbos. I looked on my service screen and it was like 10,000 miles? There is no way I would let a vehicle this expensive go that long without fresh oil.
I just changed the two air filters today, 95.00 for one, 58.00 for the other. Was easy but I thought I felt a secondary filter in the top of the filter cover. I will do a little research.
Also removed the tires and cleaned all the road gunk from them and found that whoever the genius was turning wrenches on this never heard of a torque wrench. The lug bolts were either missing, loose, or so tight I could barely remove them, and I am 6'7 285 lbs.
any recommendations on remote start plug n play systems? The wife wants it warm when it's cold, and cold when it's warm, sorry for rambling. Oh by the way, can the BMW oil be bought anywhere or just the dealer? Thanks again.
 

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Thanks to everyone who responded. I read one comment that they changed the spark plugs every other oil change! Wow! Has BMW ever heard of iridium plugs? I will keep my eyes on them. Really though why so often?
Also comments on oil, I said I was thinking about Mobil 1. Looking under the hood on the oil cap it had Castrol stamped into the cap. Also I am like some of you, I don't go further than 5,000 miles due to the added stress of not one but two turbos. I looked on my service screen and it was like 10,000 miles? There is no way I would let a vehicle this expensive go that long without fresh oil.
I just changed the two air filters today, 95.00 for one, 58.00 for the other. Was easy but I thought I felt a secondary filter in the top of the filter cover. I will do a little research.
Also removed the tires and cleaned all the road gunk from them and found that whoever the genius was turning wrenches on this never heard of a torque wrench. The lug bolts were either missing, loose, or so tight I could barely remove them, and I am 6'7 285 lbs.
any recommendations on remote start plug n play systems? The wife wants it warm when it's cold, and cold when it's warm, sorry for rambling. Oh by the way, can the BMW oil be bought anywhere or just the dealer? Thanks again.
BMW changed their lubricant supplier around 2015 or 2016, from Castrol (BP) to Shell. Your oil fill cap marked with "BMW recommends Castrol" is left over from before they switched. They also started requiring BMW Long Life (LL) oils in new vehicles around at that time. Your owners manual probably only requires ACEA A3/B3 oil. LL oils meet a higher spec.

One of the advantages of the Shell-produced oils is that they're made from natural gas ("gas to liquid" or GTL) base stock. GTL's have a lower volatility. Most of the crud that builds up in the intake ports and in the top of the intake valves in direct injected engines is evaporated engine oil. Shell also owns the Pennzoil and Quaker State brands sold in the U.S., and they market their consumer oils under those brands. But, most of the Pennzoil synthetics don't meet BMW LL spec's.

Shop around on the Interwebs for consumables like filters and oil. A lot of the BMW parts websites are run by BMW dealerships. On-line prices can be about 25% less than over the counter at a dealership.

If your car has a square set-up (same size tires front and back), you would benefit greatly by rotating your tires. Your owner's manual probably says "BMW does not recommend tire rotation." That was mainly because they didn't want to pay for it during the free maintenance period. BMW's has changed their minds about tire rotation. Your car will wear down the back tires about twice as fast as the front ones.

If this is your first BMW, this might be your first experience with run-flat tires (RFT's) and the lack of a spare. There are a million threads about RFT's.

You can buy or assemble a spare for the F10. It's made from the mini-spare wheel off of a E70 X5, and uses a centering ring because the E70 has a slightly larger diameter center hub. The F10 trunk is huge. So, you can still get a large suitcase in there on top of the spare.

The dirty little secret is that you need a spare even with RFT's if you're going to use the car for road trips. Otherwise, you could end up like this guy...

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=917185
 

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