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Old 09-08-2010, 11:23 AM
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As with all my cars, I'm going in at 1,200 and every 5,000 after that. Cheap insurance, and I'm convinced all my cars are faster after an oil change (same is true after I wash them)
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Old 09-08-2010, 02:40 PM
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I personally no longer go the 15,000 mile distance in between oil changes. It is possible that the oil is good for 15,000 miles. However, when I changed my oil at 13,000 miles the oil filter was in terrible condition. The oil may have been fine but I think the filter was all but useless. Because of this, I now change my oil more frequently. I usually change it around 7,000 miles. Anyways, it is an easy job, not expensive and very gratifying!!! So, personally I enjoy changing my oil more frequently
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by MRV99 View Post
Urban Myth? I never said there was a conspiracy but there are a number of things which point to the longer intervals on all fluids and the issues which arise due to the extended intervals....

I will ask you this. What is BMW's definition of "Lifetime Fluid"? It is usually till a part fails or 100,001 miles. ..... Tell me why new fluid and filter would not be better for a transmission than an old filter and fluid?....

3)Why build something which will last 20 years or more when you can build something which will last 10 and the consumer will pay the same price and would have to buy twice as many." ....

4) All Fluids break down through heat cycles and contaminates (moisture, dirt and standard fluid breakdown). The way the std person in the urban environment drives their car causes the fluids to accumulate moisture and that alone effects the fluid. Most drives do not even run these cars at high RPM's which these are designed for. Ask a BMW expert and they will tell you the same. The oiling systems on these cars need high RPM to "clean them out". Can you explain the high amount of sludge which is common on the std BMW? Is this from longer oil changes or...... How does this sludge form and why has it become more a common occurrence in modern BMW's


By the way, have you watched your oil temp in your 535 when you drive it hard... Do you know how hot a turbo gets and they share the same oil. 250 degree temps are not good for the oil.
Sorry, missed your response and only saw it today.

A lifetime fluid is one that lasts for the lifetime of the component involved AND one which when it is changed, doesn't statistically impact the length of that lifetime. Examples on your vehicle would be shock/strut fluid, damper fluid, viscous coupling fluid, and transmission fluid. Obviously the fluid degrades over time, but changing it hasn't been shown to be cost effective, or a contributor to longer component life.

New fluid would be good for a transmission if you could clean out all the old fluid and contaminants when you changed it (which would require a tear-down, which isn't at all practical) and if you reset the transmission controller so the computer knew that the fluid had been changed, since it adapts to fluid viscosity changes over time by measuring clutch engagement cycle times. However, new fluid wouldn't necessarily extend the life of your transmission. Many transmission failures have been noted to be caused by sensors, control modules, actuators breaking, and so on, failures which are not contributed to by clean or dirty fluid. So, you could put clean fluid in, but if you did you would only expect to extend the life in respect of failures caused by burnt or worn out fluid.

I suppose an automaker could build a 20 year vehicle. The problem is, none of us apparently want to keep a vehicle for 20 years. Few seem to keep it until it is paid off. And if we keep buying vehicles with more electronics on board, the obsolence cycle will shorten, not lengthen.

I agree that all oils break down, and I read your point 4 as applying more to engine oil. If an owner never uses the upper rpm bands, never gets the engine good and hot, never has a long trip, then that is much harder on the fluids than extending the life of the oil when the vehicle is being used as intended by the designers.

I don't think BMW engines have sludge problems, but I personally define sludge as a byproduct of combustion, suspended in the oil. I don't think of the condensate that forms under the oil filler cap as sludge, but rather as condensate. It comes from short trips, not warming the engine fully, condensation, etc. I don't think it is caused by following the recommended oil change intervals, but I would agree that a series of hot oil changes in quick succession will clean it out. The oil isn't the problem, though, it is the operating cycle.

I don't watch my 535 oil temperature. I do watch oil consumption, and this engine uses far less than my 3.0 in my X5. I get it good and hot, using 6000 rpm once the engine is warm (but not 7000), and so I expect to have fewer issues with condensate. I do make sure that I don't exceed the manufacturer's recommendations for service intervals. I even go about 10% more frequently, to increase the safety factor.

Lots of previous threads on this topic, but always interested to discuss it.
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