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      12-06-2012, 04:20 PM   #1
robbiedawg
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Proposed M3 Maintenance Schedule

A lot of our cars have come off of free dealer maintenance,and many more will be doing so soon.This is what I have worked up as what I plan to do to maintain my car.I hope to keep it a long time,and take pleasure in a car that runs well,so I would rather over-maintain than under-maintain,especially on a high-performance car like the M3.This comes from reading on this forum, from discussions with a friend who is a BMW master technician, and with a friendly SA at my dealer. I also looked at and give credit to Mike Miller's Lifetime Maintenance Schedule.

Disclaimer: I'm not a mechanic. I have very little mechanical ability. Often,I tell my girlfriend I'm "working on my car." What this actually means is that I'm doing something like cleaning the seats and putting Leatherique on them,or maybe something semi-mechanical like checking coolant level,or checking the oil (with a real dipstick on my other car,or by pushing the stupid button on our car.) Working on my car sounds more manly than what I'm really doing. I actually have very few useful skills,although I can get speeding tickets reduced,which can come in handy.I am pretty good at reading,remembering,and pulling stuff together.
This,then is not meant to be THE WORD. It's just a framework for discussion and opinions.I would love to hear from some of the more mechanically inclined members of the forum.I will add in comments and suggestions from other folks from time to time to make this a collaborative effort.

OIL AND FILTER- Every 5k to 7.5k miles,or 1 year, whichever comes first. (robotk says 7500k or 6 mo,meko says get an oil analysis,7.5 k or one year is fine,even with some tracking.davesaddiction got one,and says based on that he'll go as long as 10k,maybe dropping to 7.5 k if he does some tracking.)

MANUAL TRANS,DIFFERENTIAL FLUIDS, ENGINE & CABIN AIR FILTERS- At least every 30k miles. (dreamspeed says 15k for the engine air filter. exmowner notes it might be a good idea to replace the drain plugs when doing the diif/trans oil,especially on the differential which has an integrated,non-replaceable gasket.)

DCT FLUID- BMW says it's lifetime fill. Mike Miller recs every 30k miles

ALSO, EVERY 30K MILES- Inspect brakes, engine and transmission mounts, belts or pulleys (not sure of terminology here), tensioner, idler pulley,hoses. Replace belts, pulleys, hoses,water pump,thermostat and related parts by 100k miles if not sooner. (dreamspeed says 60k for drive belts,or at least visually inspect. Mike Miller says 60k for OE BMW poly-ribbed serpentine belts,more often for lesser quality belts.)

SPARK PLUGS- Every 30k to 37k (The manual says at 37k.)

SHOCKS- 50k to 60k-(elm3 says the shocks last longer than this,so this is probably on the early side.) Change more frequently if doing Baja racing.

BRAKE FLUID- Every 2 years. (This is what the manual rec's)

COOLANT- Every 3 or 4 years (The manual says it's lifetime fill! I don't believe such a thing exists.) (dreamspeed says 2 years.)

POWER STEERING FLUID- Every 30k (dreamspeed says might be lifetime,do by 60k.)

FUEL FILTER- Not really a maintenance item because it's in the gas tank,incorporated into a fuel pump.However, dreamspeed notes that at some point you'll probably see symptoms of a dirty/clogged fuel filter like sputtering or stalling,and that when you're then changing the fuel filter,it might make sense to also change the fuel pump,especially if you're up at 80k miles or so.

ADJUST VALVES- Not needed, the S65 engine has hydraulic lifters which I believe do not need adjustment.Note that phrozen 06 found that oil started seeping out of his vc gaskets at around 129k,so based on that i think it might be prudent to replace these at,say,100k

tiato notes all this should be done more frequently if your car will see much track time,which is a good point.This schedule is geared to a mostly street-driven car.

Anyone have thoughts or suggestions? Have at it.
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Last edited by robbiedawg; 05-10-2014 at 09:55 PM.
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      12-06-2012, 05:46 PM   #2
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SHOCKS- 50k to 60k - very subjective. You really do not have to change these shocks every 50k-60k. Other than that everything sounds good. The fuel filter is part of the pump and we do have two fuel pumps.

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      12-08-2012, 10:40 AM   #3
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Good thread...Ive been trying to research on the subject for stuff like this myself. I believe according to BMW the trans/diff fluids are every 3 oil services, which technically according to them means every 45k miles.

I dont think I would ever go that long on any of them...your 30k mark is probably what I will do. Especially if I go with a lighter tranny fluid
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      12-12-2012, 03:31 PM   #4
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Good topic.

Here is my plan. Keep in mind that Im coming from a racing background and my car will see track time.

Oil/Filter: Every 4-6 tracks days during track season. So thats beginning, middle and end of that period. Other than that, every 5000 miles.

Diff and transmission: Annually

Brake Fluid: Beginning of track season and end. As needed otherwise.

Engine coolant: Water with redline water wetter at start of track season.
Antifreeze at the end of track season.

Shocks: Single adjustable MCS, rebuild every 2-3 track seasons.

Plugs: Every 2 years. 20k miles.

Fuel filter: every 2 years

Brake Pads (BBK): Street, as needed. Track once or twice during driving season.

Rotors: As needed, but probably every 2 seasons.
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      02-20-2013, 11:05 AM   #5
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POWER STEERING FLUID- 30K Miles,based on this thread-

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=806033
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      02-21-2013, 03:00 AM   #6
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Very useful, thanks!
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      02-21-2013, 03:20 AM   #7
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Good thread, should be made a sticky
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      02-21-2013, 08:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbiedawg View Post
A lot of our cars have come off of free dealer maintenance,and many more will be doing so soon.This is what I have worked up as what I plan to do to maintain my car.I hope to keep it a long time,and take pleasure in a car that runs well,so I would rather over-maintain than under-maintain,especially on a high-performance car like the M3.This comes from reading on this forum, and from discussions with a friend who is a BMW master technician and with a friendly SA at my dealer. I also looked at and give credit to Mike Miller's Lifetime Maintenance Schedule.

Disclaimer: I'm not a mechanic. I once changed plugs on an old car,and made sure not to overtighten them on the advice of a mechanic friend.I of course undertightened them,and one blew out of the cylinder,causing the worst engine noise you ever heard (didn't hurt anything.) I actually have very few useful skills,although I can get speeding tickets reduced,which can come in handy.I am pretty good at reading,remembering,and pulling stuff together.
This,then is not meant to be THE WORD. It's just a framework for discussion and opinions.I would love to hear from some of the more mechanically ept (yeah,i know it's not a word) members of the forum.

OIL AND FILTER- Every 5k to 7.5k miles,or 1 year, whichever comes first.

MANUAL TRANS,DIFFERENTIAL FLUIDS, ENGINE & CABIN AIR FILTERS- At least every 30k miles.
DCT FLUID- Not sure,don't have one.
ALSO, EVERY 30K MILES- Inspect brakes, engine and transmission mounts, belts or pulleys (not sure of terminology here), tensioner, idler pulley,hoses. Replace belts, pulleys, hoses,water pump and related parts by 100k miles if not sooner.

SPARK PLUGS- Every 30k to 37k (The manual says at 37k.)

SHOCKS- 50k to 60k

BRAKE FLUID- Every 2 years. (This is what the manual rec's)

COOLANT- Every 3 or 4 years (The manual says it's lifetime fill! I don't believe such a thing exists.)

POWER STEERING FLUID- Every 30k

FUEL FILTER- Don't think this is a maintenance item because it's in the gas tank,maybe incorporated into a fuel pump.

ADJUST VALVES- Not needed, the S65 engine has hydraulic lifters which I believe do not need adjustment.

Anyone have thoughts or suggestions? Have at it.
I was thinking about oil change intervals the other day and was going to go with a 7.5/k or 6 mos, whichever comes first, approach. With a high strung engine, waiting a year makes me a bit nervous.
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      02-21-2013, 01:17 PM   #9
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Get an oil analysis done from blackstone labs or similar company instead of wasting time, and more importantly money, on low mileage oil changes. The lab results don't lie. 7.5k or once a year is more than sufficient even with some track days.
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      02-21-2013, 02:05 PM   #10
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      02-23-2013, 10:19 PM   #11
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Great information in here.

With those that have higher mileage E9X M3s, do you have any input on some of the rubber bushings and mounts? To list a few:

Flex Disc/Guibo - PN: 26112282573
Center Support Bearing - PN: 26122283046
Transmission Mounts - PN: 22312283285
Subframe Bushings - PN: 33312283382 and 33312283383
Different bushings throughout the suspension/axle.....
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      02-28-2013, 05:56 AM   #12
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Vehicle check light is on at 56K. Is anything actually due right now?

Oil is due in another 4000 miles according to idrive. Probably get that done in the next couple weeks.

Spark plugs....were changed at ~33K. Was going to wait until about 65K to change again.

Its a 2010 and brake fluid was changed last year.

Power steering fluid changed at 48K
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      03-07-2013, 09:19 PM   #13
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One of my favorite things about this car coming from an e46 m3 -

ADJUST VALVES- Not needed, the S65 engine has hydraulic lifters which I believe do not need adjustment.
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      03-08-2013, 09:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meko View Post
Get an oil analysis done from blackstone labs or similar company instead of wasting time, and more importantly money, on low mileage oil changes. The lab results don't lie. 7.5k or once a year is more than sufficient even with some track days.
Based on my results from them, I'm sticking to ~10,000 per change. May drop to 7500 if I start seeing the track a lot. Planning my first outing (in the M3) this summer.
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      03-08-2013, 10:20 AM   #15
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      03-09-2013, 10:14 PM   #16
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      03-29-2013, 09:47 PM   #17
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Good topic, should make this sticky.
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      04-02-2013, 05:58 PM   #18
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The fuel filter is inside the fuel tank

Personally I'd go with something similar to this

Oil/Filter change - 5000-7500 depending on your driving habits and how anal you are

Spark plugs - 37k is the factory suggestion I believe and that's what I would go with but a part of me still think platinum plugs should be able to last 60k min

Air Filter - If you have a washable one just wash it every time you do an oil change, if you have the OEM one replace it every 15k miles.

Transmission/Differential oil - 30k miles

Coolant - every 2 years

Engine drive belts - 60k miles but realistically you can just look at it and see if it needs to be replaced (it'll be cracked or start squealing if it's really worn). YMMV

Brake fluid - Every year is the recommendation but PERSONALLY i think every 2 years is not a problem at all unless you drive your car very hard consistently (or track the car).

The following 2 items can vary greatly depending on your driving habits but you can visually see if the pads are worn.

Brake Pads - Every 30k

Brake Rotors - Every other brake pad change so around 60k

Fuel Filter - change on an as needed basis since it's inside the fuel tank and not easy to get to

Power Steering fluid - Personally I think this could very well be an actual lifetime fill item but you might as well just change it around 60k miles
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Last edited by dreamspeed; 01-07-2014 at 05:38 PM. Reason: revised wrong info about fuel filters
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      04-02-2013, 06:01 PM   #19
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i think i remember people saying that the transmission fluid is a lifetime fill, that has changed ?
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      04-02-2013, 06:40 PM   #20
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Great topic, another vote to make it a sticky.

I've been wondering about the same thing myself. As I hope to keep this car for a loooooooong time (like your Acura NSX - wow), I definitely do not plan to follow the "free" maintenance schedule, and would rather be over-conservative as well.
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      04-02-2013, 06:54 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burakkose View Post
i think i remember people saying that the transmission fluid is a lifetime fill, that has changed ?
To be honest quite a few things can be considered "lifetime" fill. The problem is that lifetime would be considerably shorter

I can see most modern cars getting to 100k miles without ever changing the transmission fluid, differential fluid, brake fluid, or coolant...hell you can probably never change your oil and just keep adding oil if necessary. But if you want to get to 150k, 200k, and beyond it's a good idea to do the maintenance.
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      04-03-2013, 04:13 PM   #22
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hmm, where do you guys think water pump would fit in as part of the maintenance schedule? I am used to replacing timing belt/water pumps on other cars at the 100k mark but obviously, we don't have timing belt in the S65.
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