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      05-30-2014, 04:23 AM   #1
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Low mileage 2009 6MT maintenance

With a 2/09 production date E92 M3, I just hit 17k miles. Warranty has expired and no plans of an extended contract. What maintenance is a priority?

Car has had 3 services:

1100mi : Oil, Differential oil, Transmission oil
6700mi : Oil
1300mi : Oil

Oil maintenance will remain at 7000mi intervals. Next change at 20,000mi.

Based on age, what should be done or is overdue?
Spark plugs? Power steering? Trans/Diff fluid? Coolant?

BMW calls for Trans/Diff fluid change every third oil change. (Will be my 4th)

Thanks in advance
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      05-30-2014, 11:24 AM   #2
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Plugs are every 37k. It's not part of the CBS reminder, but it is in the owner's manual.

I wouldn't bother with trans or diff fluids for a while. Those are not subjected to nearly the stress nor environmental contamination that engine oil is (the trans and diff are sealed units and don't have to deal with moisture, dirt, etc).

PS fluid and coolant are classified as lifetime, but given your car's age, it would probably be a good idea to change them out now.

Brake fluid must be done every two years regardless of mileage. It's in the CBS so it should've already reminded you.


However, it's your car and if changing all that stuff gives you peace-of-mind, then go for it. You can get most of that stuff done by an indy shop for a few hundred bucks if you provide your own parts and fluids.
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      05-30-2014, 08:27 PM   #3
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I just broke 18k on my 2009 6MT and had the following done:
Annual oil changes (every 4-5k miles)
Brake fluid every 2 yrs. (will continue)
Diff fluid at 14k (was dark, not sure it needed it but got BMW to do it before warranty was up due to a "noise when making sharp U-turns" )

In the 1-2 months around 19-20k I will do the following:
Spark Plugs (fuel is not the best in CA- the spark plugs on the E9x M3 run a second pulse for knock detection and are used up much faster than in other cars)
Annual oil change
Cabin air filter/engine air filter

Transmission fluid will get changed again at 30k. Trans is good to 30k (probably longer but spec'd at 30k).

Diff fluid will likely also be done again at 30k. I change diff fluid every ~2 sets of rear tires. Could be anywhere from every 5k to 30k depending if you live at the track or if you cruise on the highway Like Dparm mentioned, these components are sealed and do not get subjected to the same environmental factors as engine oil. These items are more usage-based than time-based. Frequently tracked S2000's show severe wear in used oil samples with as few as 15-18k miles so many have started to do 5-10k changes, obviously not necessary for street cars.

Will likely change diff bushings at 30k for good measure. Some say to replace them with solid bushings for better response, but I do not want any more vibration or noise, so I will go with new OEM bushings instead. I will change the rest of the bushings (suspension) and motor mounts when the car hits 60-80k but that is a ways off.

Shocks would probably also get changed with the bushings, but it may be earlier. I have a set of Ohlins R&T coilovers in my living room that I am tempted to put on but the OEM struts are still doing quite well for daily driving.

Last edited by smmmurf; 05-30-2014 at 08:48 PM.
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      05-31-2014, 09:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smmmurf View Post
Will likely change diff bushings at 30k for good measure. Some say to replace them with solid bushings for better response, but I do not want any more vibration or noise, so I will go with new OEM bushings instead. I will change the rest of the bushings (suspension) and motor mounts when the car hits 60-80k but that is a ways off.

Shocks would probably also get changed with the bushings, but it may be earlier. I have a set of Ohlins R&T coilovers in my living room that I am tempted to put on but the OEM struts are still doing quite well for daily driving.


Changing bushings and other suspension pieces that early is throwing money away.
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      05-31-2014, 10:35 AM   #5
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For peace of mind, going to do spark plugs @ 20,000mi w/ oil change.

P/S and coolant will be done this week - has it been confirmed they are full flush or top off when done by BMW?

Thanks
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      05-31-2014, 01:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exclusivs View Post
For peace of mind, going to do spark plugs @ 20,000mi w/ oil change.

P/S and coolant will be done this week - has it been confirmed they are full flush or top off when done by BMW?

Thanks
Coolant must be flushed. P/S reservoir has a built in filter, so if you want a full flush, you need to change with it. But I do not think it is necessary.

Are you doing yourself? or by BMW?
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      05-31-2014, 01:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dparm View Post
Changing bushings and other suspension pieces that early is throwing money away.
Possibly. It altogether depends on your use case and sensitivity. A couple well-respected independents in the area have found OEM bushings and motor mounts to be worth changing at at 60-80k- not failed but not as good as factory.

Case in point, E46's regularly needed OEM RTAB's, FCAB's, RSM's by 40-60k. The harder stuff you could replace them with i.e. Powerflex/Rogue tended to last much longer.

Factory bushings on BMW's perform well and have good NVH characteristics but not so great longevity. Generally, pick 2/3 of that list
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Last edited by smmmurf; 05-31-2014 at 01:55 PM.
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      05-31-2014, 01:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exclusivs View Post
For peace of mind, going to do spark plugs @ 20,000mi w/ oil change.

P/S and coolant will be done this week - has it been confirmed they are full flush or top off when done by BMW?

Thanks
Cool. Let us know if you notice a difference in response from the plugs.
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      05-31-2014, 02:00 PM   #9
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Here is an excellent thread by Obioban from M3F on maintenance on how to keep an M3 driving as new or better. It relates to the E46, but many of the ideas are similar (except the E46 specific section like VANOS and subframe). Ian has well over 200k hard miles on his E46.

http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=190111

It's a long list
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Last edited by smmmurf; 05-31-2014 at 02:06 PM.
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      03-07-2015, 04:58 PM   #10
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Bumping thread :

Car will hit 21k mi next week - planning to bring to BMW for Trans/Diff fluid change. Is this too soon? Should I wait? Service advisor recommended every 4 years.
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      03-14-2015, 12:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exclusivs View Post
Bumping thread :

Car will hit 21k mi next week - planning to bring to BMW for Trans/Diff fluid change. Is this too soon? Should I wait? Service advisor recommended every 4 years.
My 2011 E90M3 6MT is shifting a bit rougher than I'd like at 21k miles.

It won't hurt to change it, but if you don't run in super hot weather or track it, you're probably over doing it. Same with diff fluid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dparm View Post
I wouldn't bother with trans or diff fluids for a while. Those are not subjected to nearly the stress nor environmental contamination that engine oil is (the trans and diff are sealed units and don't have to deal with moisture, dirt, etc).
Well, technically neither the diff or the transmission are "sealed" units. Both have breathers to deal with normalizing internal pressures in them. As they heat up (and boy do they if you track them), the expansion of the fluid and air need somewhere to go or they'd be pressurized, enhancing the likelihood of leaks at the seals.
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      03-14-2015, 02:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by admranger View Post
My 2011 E90M3 6MT is shifting a bit rougher than I'd like at 21k miles.

It won't hurt to change it, but if you don't run in super hot weather or track it, you're probably over doing it. Same with diff fluid.



Well, technically neither the diff or the transmission are "sealed" units. Both have breathers to deal with normalizing internal pressures in them. As they heat up (and boy do they if you track them), the expansion of the fluid and air need somewhere to go or they'd be pressurized, enhancing the likelihood of leaks at the seals.
Got both fluids changed - happy I did. Car shifts smoother and that peace of mind is there.
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      03-14-2015, 05:07 PM   #13
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Plugs and rear diff fluid change at around 35k
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