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Discussion Starter #1
Hello folks,

I trust the weekend is going well for all of us.
I'm at the point of deciding to purchase an F15 2014 X5 x35i. I have pulled the carfax record for this SUV, but I've read on other forums that carfax often doesn't hold the entire service history in detail. Is there some other database that holds very accurate service history for BMW vehicles besides carfax? Please share if you have info about this.

Being a 2014 year model at 64k miles, its absolutely important that I know what the car has been through and how it was maintained by previous owners before I commit to buying.

Thanks in advance for your help, suggestions and advice with buying and owning this vehicle.

This will be my first BMW vehicle by the way.
 

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Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 99K miles NOKIAN WR G3 12K miles
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BMW Service Center has access to the complete dealer service and warranty work record, but it is work product closely held and not likely released until after your purchase of rights to the information .
 

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E90 : 09 328xi N51 E46: 05 325xi M54
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Carfax has service history. It’s only as detailed as the shop made it. I have a carfax membership and just started playing around with it a little more and it’s actually pretty neat. I think my membership includes unlimited cars so if you want me to plug in your vin just send me a pm.


Honestly tho IMO,
Any car older than 3 years or more than 50k miles is a gamble. Even if you do have full service history from a dealer, you don’t know how it was actually driven. Once you start to get above that, any part can fail, even with good maintenance.
Receipts from the owner would be more of interest.
I think service history is more valuable to show what’s already broke and been fixed. Parts wear out no matter how well it’s maintained. If you are looking for condition of the engine - oil samples are perfect for that.


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Discussion Starter #4
Carfax has service history. It’s only as detailed as the shop made it. I have a carfax membership and just started playing around with it a little more and it’s actually pretty neat. I think my membership includes unlimited cars so if you want me to plug in your vin just send me a pm.


Honestly tho IMO,
Any car older than 3 years or more than 50k miles is a gamble. Even if you do have full service history from a dealer, you don’t know how it was actually driven. Once you start to get above that, any part can fail, even with good maintenance.
Receipts from the owner would be more of interest.
I think service history is more valuable to show what’s already broke and been fixed. Parts wear out no matter how well it’s maintained. If you are looking for condition of the engine - oil samples are perfect for that.


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Thanks alot for your reply. I already got full Carfax report for the it. Was wondering if there could be more detailed info about the car out there somewhere that I could get access to. I'm interested in knowing what work exactly had been done on the SUV, when last the fluids and oils were replaced and all that. The carfax report isn't this detailed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
BMW Service Center has access to the complete dealer service and warranty work record, but it is work product closely held and not likely released until after your purchase of rights to the information .
Thanks for this feedback. I had hoped there is another database that' can be easily accessible like Carfax.
 

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E90 : 09 328xi N51 E46: 05 325xi M54
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Thanks alot for your reply. I already got full Carfax report for the it. Was wondering if there could be more detailed info about the car out there somewhere that I could get access to. I'm interested in knowing what work exactly had been done on the SUV, when last the fluids and oils were replaced and all that. The carfax report isn't this detailed.
Did you get the carfax {maintenance} history?
Unless the vehicle was ONLY serviced at a bmw dealer, or the owner has all the receipts, it’s pretty much taking his word for it and going by what other info you can dig up online. The thing about vehicle service, is it’s hard to tell what was done. For example if you go to some random garage or dealer (our e46 was serviced by a ford dealer) there’s no telling what fluids they even used... did they use bmw approved oil? Or do they only have a 55gal drum of cheap penzoil and that’s all they use. Was the shop using cheap store brand parts that isn’t going to last a year or did they use genuine/Oe parts that will most likely last another 5 years? My e90 has maintenance history from the dealer which I bought it from as having the cabin air filter cleaned/replaced... it wasn’t til a year later when I heard what sounded like leaves and nuts in my blower motor that I found that someone (the dealer I bought it from) had REMOVED the cabin air filter.
Here’s a shot of what the carfax vehicle service history looks like. So far I’ve check both our bimmers as well as the escape a family member just bought.


It does give a good idea of how often it was serviced and who did the work. My e90 looks like it’s been serviced by actual dealers and garages. Our e46 was done by bmw and ford dealers up until the last owner(young kid only had a short period of time and was selling it due to financial hardship) didn’t have it serviced at all then entire time he owned it ( only 6 months)
Both of our cars have pretty simple history early on, it looks like they both got inspected every year, had tires and alignments about every three years. That’s about it for the first 5 years. After that is where you start to see repair maintenance and things being fixed.

Don’t forget about the people who do their own maintenance too, that won’t be documented anywhere online, as well as the one man shops or low budget “half assed” shops.

Which leads me to my next point- for all of us who do our own work- track all your maintenance!! I’ve got every receipt for everything neatly kept in a filing cabinet as well as a very nice excel spreadsheet to track everything and have some nice repair order paperwork to go with the receipts. You would think a shop was doing lol. But it does help immensely when looking to see what has been done, what hasn’t, tracking lifespan of different brands (had a cheap store brand wheel bearing last only 12k miles) and not that I intend on selling any of my cars, but if I do I have the lifetime maintenace prior to my ownership, which was pulled from carfax, as well as all my maintenace and receipts.



So unless you have some very detailed maintenance records from a reputable dealer, or something like I do, be on the safe side and just expect that all the previous owners only did repair maintenance - as in only fixed things that broke and expect they used the cheapest lowest quality parts they could get. When you buy something, especially with over 50k miles - do all the preventative maintenance - change the oil, trans/diffs, coolant etc. people don’t generally do that to vehicles they know they are going to get rid of anyway. I’ve also had a fair share of defective new parts, so if you buy something and see maintenace history for having a part being replaced - you can’t really rule that out.

My thoughts are either go new or go old if you go in between it’s more of a gamble.
If you buy a car 3 years old 40k miles you probably won’t have a lot of maintenace cost the first few years. If you buy something 10yrs old with 120k miles there’s a good chance most of the issues have been replaced by that time. Go in between 3-10 years and 40-120k miles and that’s where most of the service happens.
Don’t buy a vehicle based in that part of its life based on service history and think it will be maintenance free.



Here is a really good example. Again this is the carfax vehicle maintenance history. This would have been before the owner sold it to the kid I bought it from. You can see it looks like it was sold by a ford dealer after having a fair bit of maintenance work done and inspected (getting ready for sale) at 55.8k miles. Then the only thing I see over the next 4 years is only one alignment and the owner putting on about 20-40k miles a year and it was serviced by a generic garage shown as “inspection station” for an annual state inspection, but the last year they owned it it must have went 3 months past the annual inspection, at which point they put the most miles on it and sold it 2 months later. And judging from the issues we have with the car currently they probably fixed just what they needed to to get it inspected and sold it. Which is what I was saying about people not really doing maintenace, or good maintenace to vehicles that plan on getting rid of and using cheap shops.

Hope this helps everyone out. I think more can be learned about the overall condition of a vehicle they are going to or already have purchased- not so much as what has or will need fixed specifically or what fluids need changed but over service and condition.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I was in a similar situation when I bought my 2006 Z4M. I started with CarFax and used that to determine where the prior owners resided. Then I called the BMW service centers in those areas. One of them wouldn’t release the information but another one did and gave me all the details I needed. Keep trying and you’ll eventually find a service advisor who will help.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Did you get the carfax {maintenance} history?
Unless the vehicle was ONLY serviced at a bmw dealer, or the owner has all the receipts, it’s pretty much taking his word for it and going by what other info you can dig up online. The thing about vehicle service, is it’s hard to tell what was done. For example if you go to some random garage or dealer (our e46 was serviced by a ford dealer) there’s no telling what fluids they even used... did they use bmw approved oil? Or do they only have a 55gal drum of cheap penzoil and that’s all they use. Was the shop using cheap store brand parts that isn’t going to last a year or did they use genuine/Oe parts that will most likely last another 5 years? My e90 has maintenance history from the dealer which I bought it from as having the cabin air filter cleaned/replaced... it wasn’t til a year later when I heard what sounded like leaves and nuts in my blower motor that I found that someone (the dealer I bought it from) had REMOVED the cabin air filter.
Here’s a shot of what the carfax vehicle service history looks like. So far I’ve check both our bimmers as well as the escape a family member just bought.


It does give a good idea of how often it was serviced and who did the work. My e90 looks like it’s been serviced by actual dealers and garages. Our e46 was done by bmw and ford dealers up until the last owner(young kid only had a short period of time and was selling it due to financial hardship) didn’t have it serviced at all then entire time he owned it ( only 6 months)
Both of our cars have pretty simple history early on, it looks like they both got inspected every year, had tires and alignments about every three years. That’s about it for the first 5 years. After that is where you start to see repair maintenance and things being fixed.

Don’t forget about the people who do their own maintenance too, that won’t be documented anywhere online, as well as the one man shops or low budget “half assed” shops.

Which leads me to my next point- for all of us who do our own work- track all your maintenance!! I’ve got every receipt for everything neatly kept in a filing cabinet as well as a very nice excel spreadsheet to track everything and have some nice repair order paperwork to go with the receipts. You would think a shop was doing lol. But it does help immensely when looking to see what has been done, what hasn’t, tracking lifespan of different brands (had a cheap store brand wheel bearing last only 12k miles) and not that I intend on selling any of my cars, but if I do I have the lifetime maintenace prior to my ownership, which was pulled from carfax, as well as all my maintenace and receipts.



So unless you have some very detailed maintenance records from a reputable dealer, or something like I do, be on the safe side and just expect that all the previous owners only did repair maintenance - as in only fixed things that broke and expect they used the cheapest lowest quality parts they could get. When you buy something, especially with over 50k miles - do all the preventative maintenance - change the oil, trans/diffs, coolant etc. people don’t generally do that to vehicles they know they are going to get rid of anyway. I’ve also had a fair share of defective new parts, so if you buy something and see maintenace history for having a part being replaced - you can’t really rule that out.

My thoughts are either go new or go old if you go in between it’s more of a gamble.
If you buy a car 3 years old 40k miles you probably won’t have a lot of maintenace cost the first few years. If you buy something 10yrs old with 120k miles there’s a good chance most of the issues have been replaced by that time. Go in between 3-10 years and 40-120k miles and that’s where most of the service happens.
Don’t buy a vehicle based in that part of its life based on service history and think it will be maintenance free.



Here is a really good example. Again this is the carfax vehicle maintenance history. This would have been before the owner sold it to the kid I bought it from. You can see it looks like it was sold by a ford dealer after having a fair bit of maintenance work done and inspected (getting ready for sale) at 55.8k miles. Then the only thing I see over the next 4 years is only one alignment and the owner putting on about 20-40k miles a year and it was serviced by a generic garage shown as “inspection station” for an annual state inspection, but the last year they owned it it must have went 3 months past the annual inspection, at which point they put the most miles on it and sold it 2 months later. And judging from the issues we have with the car currently they probably fixed just what they needed to to get it inspected and sold it. Which is what I was saying about people not really doing maintenace, or good maintenace to vehicles that plan on getting rid of and using cheap shops.

Hope this helps everyone out. I think more can be learned about the overall condition of a vehicle they are going to or already have purchased- not so much as what has or will need fixed specifically or what fluids need changed but over service and condition.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks alot!
This is very helpful. I guess it's safest to assume inspections and checks may have been skipped and just do a thorough check or go through the scheduled maintenance for 60k if I do buy this car.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I was in a similar situation when I bought my 2006 Z4M. I started with CarFax and used that to determine where the prior owners resided. Then I called the BMW service centers in those areas. One of them wouldn’t release the information but another one did and gave me all the details I needed. Keep trying and you’ll eventually find a service advisor who will help.
Yes I have sent an email today to the dealership that did the last service on the vehicle as shown on the Carfax report. I'm hoping I get a response by tomorrow. Fingers crossed.
Thanks alot.
 

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E90 : 09 328xi N51 E46: 05 325xi M54
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Thanks alot!
This is very helpful. I guess it's safest to assume inspections and checks may have been skipped and just do a thorough check or go through the scheduled maintenance for 60k if I do buy this car.
If you aren’t very knowledgeable about what you are looking at do as much research on that particular model as you can on here in that specific sub forum. Ask some questions to the seller to get a basic idea on their take on the maintenance - such as where they usually have their works done (dealer or cheap back yard mechanic) ask them what kind of oil they usually use (do they use bmw approved oil or cheap Walmart oil) you can get a good idea of how well someone treats their vehicle with that kind of info. Do some research on the typical things that go out early on those and do them as a preventative maintenance, rather then waiting for it to break. If you are really concerned you can ask to take it to a shop to have them look it over. Good luck with your purchase


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Discussion Starter #11
If you aren’t very knowledgeable about what you are looking at do as much research on that particular model as you can on here in that specific sub forum. Ask some questions to the seller to get a basic idea on their take on the maintenance - such as where they usually have their works done (dealer or cheap back yard mechanic) ask them what kind of oil they usually use (do they use bmw approved oil or cheap Walmart oil) you can get a good idea of how well someone treats their vehicle with that kind of info. Do some research on the typical things that go out early on those and do them as a preventative maintenance, rather then waiting for it to break. If you are really concerned you can ask to take it to a shop to have them look it over. Good luck with your purchase


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Yes I'm already doing alot of research on this particular model, Reading up posts on the forum. I've gotten some helpful insight from some posts. I've also looked up scheduled maintainance for the F15 at 60k miles.
I live in Nigeria and I intend to ship the vehicle out here as soon i purchase it. Here we have Castor Oil and Mobil 1. Both synthetic Engine Oils. Is there specific Oil recommeded by BMW for these vehicles?
 

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E90 : 09 328xi N51 E46: 05 325xi M54
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Castrol 5/40 and 5/30 both have then bmw long life01 approvals bmw-LL01

In your case I would try to find something from a bmw dealer, like a 2 owner vehicle that has been maintained by that dealer where you could see service records.


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Discussion Starter #13
Castrol 5/40 and 5/30 both have then bmw long life01 approvals bmw-LL01

In your case I would try to find something from a bmw dealer, like a 2 owner vehicle that has been maintained by that dealer where you could see service records.


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Oh ok.
I will look out for more options and Will a take a buy decision this week. I still on the look out for another x35i xline trim to compare reports and pick one.
Thanks alot.
 
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