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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,
I haven’t been able to find a good preventative maintenance schedule for my 2011 535GT xDrive. I just turned 85,000 miles. I change the oil and brake fluid when the condition based monitor calls for it but have not done any other preventative maintenance. What are the recommended intervals for the following items?

-Coolant Flush
-Trans Fluid Replacement
-Spark plug replacement (also, when the plugs are replaced, are the ignition coils also done)?
-Differential oil replacement

Also, are there any other items that I should be doing? Fuel filter perhaps? I’m pulling a trailer from Atlanta to Chicago and get the vehicle in good shape before the trek.

The Indy shop I go to quoted me $380 for the plugs which seemed a bit high but I haven’t seen how involved it is to reach them. Coolant and brake fluid flushes are only $70 each which I though was very reasonable.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I thought I would follow up with some info on the above question from the dealer.

-They told me that spark plugs should be replaced every 5th oil change (about every 5 years)
-They recommended a coolant flush every 2 years
-They recommenced against replacing the transmission fluid. They stated it may cause issues and that it***8217;s lifetime fluid.

I***8217;d still be interested in any other info that others on the forum follow for these items... thanks.
 

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FWIW, I change my oil annually since I don't drive much, (the car is a 2011 and just passed 40K), so it's really the number of miles that's more reasonable gauge when to consider changing them. The gap doesn't erode as much or as fast on modern spark plugs as they once did. As long as they aren't fouled, they can last a long time.

Change your brake fluid every two years, though, to avoid expensive corrosion in the braking system.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input guys. I***8217;m curious if the 2011s also had lifetime coolant. I***8217;ll do a little research as I might be able to forgo that service. I***8217;m definitely overdue for the spark plugs according to this maintenance schedule.

It***8217;s interesting to me that BMW pushes for brake fluid changes every two years. None of the other vehicles I have had had any interval for the brake fluid specified (that I***8217;m aware of). Any ideas why BMW is different in that regard?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was able to find the rest of the info for the 2011 535GT. It looks like the coolant was indeed lifetime as well. Here***8217;s the synopsis of the maint requirements. Note that the tire rotation is for the Bridgestone potenza run flats I have and may be different depending on the type of tires you have. The rest is from the service manual, which I finally got ahold of. For some reason, the service manuals you can download from the bmw website cover the 2011 5 series, 1 series and z4 but never mention the GTs; the one I found in hard copy specifically mentions the GT models.

-Coolant is lifetime
-Transmission fluid is lifetime
-Brake fluid every 2 years
-Spark plugs are every 60k miles
-Oxygen Sensor every 120k miles
-Ventilation microfilter every 2 years
-Engine air filter every 3rd oil change
-Rotate tires every 5k to 7k miles (or with each oil change)
 

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GT''s have the same moving parts as the sedans.

BMW's use DOT 4 brake fluid. It holds up to high temperatures better, but can absorb water vapor. My dealer only charges $99 for the a brake fluid change.

A lot of BMW's have staggered tires (wider in the back than in the front). If they're the same size (call a "square set-up"), rotating the tires will even out the wear. My back tires were twice as fast, and wear differently (more on the inside half of the tread) than my front tires.
 

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It's interesting to me that BMW pushes for brake fluid changes every two years. None of the other vehicles I have had had any interval for the brake fluid specified (that I'm aware of). Any ideas why BMW is different in that regard?
Brake fluid change interval has been a long time BMW thing...I don't know if or why other car manufacturers don't use or recommend something similar unless they use a different type of brake fluid that isn't hygroscopic.

Here's some info as to why BMW recommends 2-3 yr brake fluid change:



 

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There are test strips and meters that can test your brake fluid. Considering the costly components part of anti-locking brakes, it's cheap insurance to help ensure there is no corrosion inside that might impact their operation. It was quite awhile ago now, but I had a Saab that did not recommend this...cost over $1000 to replace the main hydraulic part that caused them to pump. You might have different results if you live say in FL near the coast versus in the desert of Arizona. The rubbers are probably better, but any non-metallic component in the brake system can allow moisture to get in and that can cause contamination and corrosion. Dropping the boiling point is not a good idea if you're flying down the autobahn or from a mountain peak and find out your brakes are no longer working. It's cheap insurance.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
PHP:
On a related note, I changed my engine air filter and cabin air filter last night. Engine air filter was a breeze. The cabin air filter was a pain. Poor design for something that they expect to replace regularly. It was a pain getting the panel under the glove box back together...
 

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Reason why Trans Fld can cause problems if you change it are that trans fld is a cleaning agent as well as lube. Many car owners have waited until 100 thou miles before they change the fld, and by that time there is gum and fiber residue from the clutch plates in the valve body. Introducing new trans fluid at this time will loosen the gum and fibers and will get stuck, or clog a point in the valve body. If you plan to change the fluid at some point, do it before 80 thou ( I do it at 60 thou) so there is less chance of clogging.
As for spark plugs, find out what metal is used on the tip, this will give you an industry standard of how long they can be used. Warning- try not to go over 100 thou, the tips may be fine but the plugs could seize in the block
 

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I was able to find the rest of the info for the 2011 535GT. It looks like the coolant was indeed lifetime as well. Here's the synopsis of the maint requirements. Note that the tire rotation is for the Bridgestone potenza run flats I have and may be different depending on the type of tires you have. The rest is from the service manual, which I finally got ahold of. For some reason, the service manuals you can download from the bmw website cover the 2011 5 series, 1 series and z4 but never mention the GTs; the one I found in hard copy specifically mentions the GT models.

-Coolant is lifetime
-Transmission fluid is lifetime
-Brake fluid every 2 years
-Spark plugs are every 60k miles
-Oxygen Sensor every 120k miles
-Ventilation microfilter every 2 years
-Engine air filter every 3rd oil change
-Rotate tires every 5k to 7k miles (or with each oil change)
Coolant lifetime ***x1f642; every 2-3 years i recommend
Transmission every 70 000 km
Air filter every oil change (max 15 000 km)
 

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I do not agree with BMW on their ***8220;lifetime***8221; fluids and replace all fluids. It sounds like you have a trusted Indy, but if you use the dealership be prepared for them to balk heavily on the transmission fluid flush request. I had to strongly insist (they don***8217;t want the responsibility/headache of creating a transmission issue due to debris/gunk getting knocked loose), it wasn***8217;t inexpensive and only had ~42k miles on the odometer when I had ours done.
Other than that, I follow autoputzers posted intervals.
 
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