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  1. #1
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    Service / Maintenance Schedule Question(s)

    First time BMW owner checking in! 2008 X3 20K miles CPO.

    Should I just simply rely on the car to notify me when it needs to be scheduled (as the dealer informed us) or is it better to be proactive and follow a better & more rigorous maintenance schedule? Where could I obtain a service schedule? I'm thinking about purchasing a service manual (just b/c I like to have these things on hand, not necessarily b/c I'd be willing/able to do the work myself). I see that I can obtain a service manual on Ebay (on DVD) for around $15. Is this a worthwhile investment? I just hate the idea of relying on a light to come on in order to know when it's time to service my vehicle.


    Thanks in advance!


  2. #2
    floydr
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    Re: Service / Maintenance Schedule Question(s)

    It's not a real service manual, or if it is you won't be able to get the updates. Real service manuals cost many hundreds of dollars (even on DVD), and you need a $25K GT1 engine computer to use them. You're wasting your money (even if it's only $15). What is being sold on ebay is probably a pirated/ripped copy of something.

    A Bently service guide - which costs about the same - is a much better choice for the home maintainer.

    If you join BMWCCA (probably even if you don't), Mike Miller will email you an "old-school maintenance" guide.

    There is a lot less on these modern cars that need "service" than older ones. In most cases, you should just let the car tell you when to service it. But for fluids, belts, cooling system and a few others, it's worthwhile to service them on a more aggressive schedule.

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    Re: Service / Maintenance Schedule Question(s)

    Thanks floydr for the response.

    As for the service manuals - All I'm really looking for a something that will provide me with basic information for small repair or maintenance issues. For example: How to change the oil, air & oil filters, replace a headlight bulb, etc. I'd like it even more if it were specific to my exact vehicle, the X3. Of course, I don't want to obtain anything 'illegal' but if what's being sold on Ebay will provide me with these types of basic information, then it's probably what I'm looking for. I realize that If there's an update on the vehicle that's not covered in the manual, then I'd probably be better served to have it fixed by a qualified technician.

    Also, I'm wondering if I decide to change the oil (or do any other minor servicing of my vehicle), will it void any factory service warranty? Do any of the 'service indicators' automatically reset when these things are changed by the owners or is that something that's done by a certified BMW tech?

    Thanks again in advance!

  4. #4
    RM
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    Re: Service / Maintenance Schedule Question(s)

    What do you mean by "factory service warranty"? It has free maintenance (it's less than 4 years old and a CPO) and factory warranty on the car in general, not on the maintenance.

    You have to have a technician reset the service indicator, it won't happen automatically. I would let BMW do the annual oil changes under your free maintenance, and if you want to change oil twice a year, only have it reset once annually by a tech.

  5. #5
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    Re: Service / Maintenance Schedule Question(s)

    Here's a question then...

    We just purchased the X3. It was put into service (first owned/leased) in 8/2008 and has 22k miles on it. The service history report only showed 1 oil change/service done at approximately 15k miles. So the car is basically over 2 years old with only 1 oil service done. I would like to keep with the idea of having the oil changed every year, so how do I go about getting the oil changed by the dealer even though there's no 'indicator' telling me it's time to do it?

    Oh, and sorry for my incorrect use of the term 'factory service warranty'. I meant the free scheduled maintenance for the first 4 years.

  6. #6
    RM
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    Re: Service / Maintenance Schedule Question(s)

    The previous owner was going "by the book". But, the free maintenance includes annual oil changes. Note, these are allowed (by BMW) even if the indicator does not show that the service is due yet. Also, you are due for a brake flush after two years under the plan. Go get the oil changed and the brakes flushed.

  7. #7
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    Re: Service / Maintenance Schedule Question(s)

    Thank RM. Where can I find IN WRITING this rule about BMW covering oil changes once per year even if the indicator light is not activated? Same question for the brake flush at 2 years? I've looked all over the owners manual and BMW website and cant seem to find anything that says that.

    Thanks again in advance!

  8. #8
    RM
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    Re: Service / Maintenance Schedule Question(s)

    I don't have documents to show that, but if you call a dealer, they'll say that either an indicator-based oil change or an annual (low mileage) oil change is allowed per calendar year and paid for. I have had it done on several cars (under maintenance plan) at various dealers. The brake flush may have been extended to three years.

  9. #9
    RM
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    Re: more info

    The Service and Warranty booklet states that you should "change oil at least once a year". Brake flushes are due every two years. All that falls under free maintenance.

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    Confirmed with dealer

    Thanks again RM.

    I stopped by the dealer and did in fact confirm that they cover 'low mile' oil changes as part of the 4 year free service. The requirement is that they must take place no less than a year apart. In other words, one year plus one day.

    So here's another question which I should have asked the service guy (but didn't think of it till now):

    The 'year' period from the car's last oil change will be coming up soon (December) but the car will have only put about 8-9k miles since the previous oil change a year before. When I bring it in, will they 'reset' the oil change interval indicator? I assume 'yes'. Can I ask them NOT to reset the oil change indicator and then bring the car back in for another change when it's 'indicated'? I assume 'no' as they don't want to be on the hook for another oil change in 5 or 6 months.'

    I suppose there's really no way to get more than 3 'free' oil changes on a BMW (during the 4 years / 50k period) unless you drive at least 15k miles per year.

  11. #11
    RM
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    Re: Confirmed with dealer

    I assume they will reset it and follow the rule of changing it every 15K miles, or if mileage is not achieved, then allow a low-mileage oil change annually (after one year). If you want the oil changed more often you'll have to pay for it (as a BMW cub member it's about $85), but they won't reset it after the additional oil changes.

  12. #12
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    Re: Confirmed with dealer

    BMW 'Club' Member? Can you elaborate on that please?

    So you're saying that the dealership will do an oil change only for $85? Or is this through an independent shop?

  13. #13
    RM
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    Re: Confirmed with dealer

    With my BMW CCA membership it cost less than $85 at a BMW dealer.

    Join the Club at bmwcca.org you won't regret.

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