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      09-16-2012, 04:09 PM   #1
72dan
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Things BMW doesn't do in the "maintenance included"

My 2009 M3 is three and a half years old now and has 15K miles, always garaged. I have had many wrestling matches with BMW on maintenance.

1) HVAC filters, one dealer said not included so I bought two sets online at $100 a set, then another dealer said they are included.

2) Oil changes, they no longer want to do annual oil changes, only based on mileage now.

3) I am having power steering trouble at low speed, loss of power steering. I checked the power steering fluid level and it isn't even touching the dipstick. Shouldn't they be checking this when I take it in for service. The cap leaks. Now I want them to flush the fluid as I am sure it has overheated from being low and they should extend the warranty on the power steering pump as they didn't do their maintenance.

4) Oil cap is leaking and has for a long time, the washer doesn't seal. Critical to maintain engine vacuum in addition to the black streak on the valve cover.

5) Trans fluid. I have the 7 speed DCT. I can't believe their maintenance guidelines. I think they want to do the least possible during the 4 year maintenance included to keep costs low.

6) Differential oil - never been changed. I see a thread here about clicking. Even if it isn't when the discs have friction you end up with particles in the fluid. If the car is still going to be in good shape in a few more years it should be done.

7) My battery just went out. BMW didn't want to cover it. The dealer told me $350 for the battery and $140 in labor and the battery needed to be programmed to the car. I laughed and told the dealer if they didn't change it for free I would file a complaint. I got a new battery no charge. Really? $490 for a battery?

8) Radiator fluid, checked that today as it has been running just past the 210, granted it has been a hot summer here in LA. That was just a bit low also, bet nobody has ever checked that either.
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      09-16-2012, 04:12 PM   #2
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1. filters included

2. annual included

5. meant to be lifetime fluid, fwiw

6. should've been changed at 1,200.

8. mine always been just above 210
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      09-16-2012, 07:47 PM   #3
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5. The DCT is completely sealed from the factory and is never have it's fluid changed ever. You cannot even buy the special fluid and any BMW certified shops are forbidden from opening the DCT transmission.

It is engineered to last the life of the car with no maintenance whatsoever.
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      09-16-2012, 08:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Lassiter View Post
1. filters included

2. annual included

5. meant to be lifetime fluid, fwiw

6. should've been changed at 1,200.

8. mine always been just above 210
...and...

3. should've been checked with each service (or by you), don't over fill it, wrap a cotton wrist sweatband around the cap secured with a Velcro cable-tie

4. easily removed, cleaned, put a film of engine oil on the mating surfaces of the valve cover and the gasket, re-install; if you flip the oil filler cap upside down some oil can run into the cap and then leak out as well, I suggest another cotton wrist sweatband around the the filler neck as insurance

7. it's possible they were claiming "too few miles driven" resulting in excess wear on the battery, some truth to this but it's not like 15k in 3.5 years isn't somewhat decent (I have way less), I don't recall what BMW's "low mileage" threshold is but they should have explained it; BMW parts and installation are expensive, the "programming" refers to letting the car know it has a new battery as it does some form of battery life management of its own

A note on 2. Low annual mileage and engine oil changes are specifically documented by BMW under Service Information Bulletin SI B 01 04 10. Your Service Advisor should know this.

OH, and consider changing dealerships. Which one was this one?
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      09-16-2012, 08:12 PM   #5
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except of the DCT fluid which is lifetime I've got every thing mentioned above done even the battery (on both cars) and I drive less than 6000 miles / year. Change the dealer.

Last edited by racedoc11; 09-22-2012 at 06:46 PM.
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      09-16-2012, 08:39 PM   #6
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Sounds like your dealership is a piece of trash.
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      09-16-2012, 08:42 PM   #7
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1) I THINK that's covered (not sure though), but either way definitely change at least every 30K miles or so, more if you use AC a lot and/or live in a dusty area. Same for the engine air filter.

2) Annual is definitely still covered. I got an oil change at the 1-year mark even though I was only 2800 miles short from the mileage marker. Not only that, but my SA said that BMW's guidelines specify that the service reminder should NOT be reset when oil is changed based on time, so they changed my oil only to change it again 2800 miles later, both covered under Ultimate Service.

3) Power steering is claimed to be lifetime but Mike Miller's Old School Maintenance Guide recommends every 30K. If you run at the track a lot, perhaps even more often because the M3 is known to spew power steering fluid out of the cap area when worked hard. There's even a known "shop rag" mod to catch some of that: wrap a shop rag around the power steering reservoir cap and secure with a rubber band. Doesn't keep the fluid in the reservoir, but keeps the rest of the engine bay cleaner.

4) Don't have that problem myself.

5) Trans fluid on DCT is "lifetime", i.e. the life of your transmission, which when it fails it will probably be from never having had its fluid changed. (I'm kidding here...partially.)

6) Diff oil is supposed to be changed at every third oil change. That's in the Service and Warranty Information booklet, of which I have a PDF.

7) These batteries are definitely pricey, but $140 for programming is a joke. Battery registration DOES need to be done if you want the new battery to perform properly and not fail prematurely, but that takes about 30 seconds. There's a DIY on the forums.

8) Coolant is also "lifetime". BMW won't cover it, but I'll be changing it every other year per Mike Miller's recommendations. But the gauge you're referring to is oil temp, not coolant temp. They're correlated, of course, but not the same. But a hair past 210 is a completely normal operating temp for these cars.

Last edited by jphughan; 09-17-2012 at 08:21 AM.
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      09-16-2012, 08:57 PM   #8
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Per #8, you're talking about the gauge under the tach? That's oil temp..
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      09-17-2012, 02:35 AM   #9
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What dealer?

.
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Let me get this straight... You are swapping out parts designed by some of the top engineers in the world because some guys sponsored by a company told you it's "better??" But when you ask the same guy about tracking, "oh no, I have a kid now" or "I just detailed my car." or "i just got new tires."
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      09-17-2012, 09:16 AM   #10
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Dealers seem to vary on what's covered and when. I went in for my last covered service and only got the annual oil change, cabin filters and wipers at 36K miles. I was expecting to at least also get spark plugs as others have mentioned but nope, system didn't indicate that they were needed and I was denied. BMW should get some consistency in this area.
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      09-17-2012, 08:58 PM   #11
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5) Lifetime Fluid.... Seriously? I'm not a believer of that.
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      09-20-2012, 08:05 PM   #12
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1, 2, 3, 6, and 7 have all been covered under either warranty of maintenance for my wife.

Sounds like you have a bum dealer :\
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      09-21-2012, 06:34 PM   #13
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+1 on shady dealer.
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      09-22-2012, 01:39 AM   #14
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My warranty just ran out last week, and on my final service I got my diff fluid changed, spark plug swapped out, new wipers and oil changed (i was 4k shy of the scheduled change)..also my worn out steering wheel cover was replaced.

i have also had my battery changed free as well....

i would go to another dealership. unfortunetely for us, we have only ONE haha. so far it's been ok
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      09-22-2012, 09:02 AM   #15
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I just got my spark plugs, rear diff fluid and engine oil changed at 30,000 miles. The SA told me that the cars maintenance program indicated that all these items were due, definitely sounds like your dealer is the problem.
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      09-22-2012, 03:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legion5 View Post
5. The DCT is completely sealed from the factory and is never have it's fluid changed ever. You cannot even buy the special fluid and any BMW certified shops are forbidden from opening the DCT transmission.

It is engineered to last the life of the car with no maintenance whatsoever.
Who told you that? The fluid is Pentosin FFL-4 and is available. There is even a diy link on this site. Nobody believes that fluids in automotive applications are "lifetime" except the people that would otherwise have to pony up cash to pay for said fluids (BMW).

If you track your car it is definitely worth changing for peace of mind, and even if you don't it is probably a good idea.

link (thanks a ton to OP of the diy thread!): http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthr...3#post12720863
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      09-22-2012, 04:04 PM   #17
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I can't believe some dealers would say stuff like that to gauge the people. Which dealer in LA? You can PM me
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      09-23-2012, 06:30 AM   #18
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#4 - There's an updated oil cap.
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      05-11-2013, 07:47 PM   #19
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Belts/manual transmission fluid not covered

Dealer said neither extended maintenance nor BMW original owner extended warranty covers worn belt in engine or manual transmission fluid that looked bad and needed replacement. They will replace the transmission fluid at the scheduled replacement time but now even if the fluid is bad.
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      05-14-2013, 06:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torxist View Post
The part about MT fluid is true, they go by schedule not "look". The belts is false.
After pointing the dealer to the maintenance page on bmwusa.com, they will cover my drive belt. The SA probably didn't know it was covered because not too many E90-93 M3s have has belt failures yet, but here I am at 60k miles.
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      05-14-2013, 10:09 PM   #21
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Microfilters are connected to the brake flush, done every 2 years regardless of mileage.
Annual oil services are done, regardless of mileage.
Differential and manual transmission fluids are connected to the 3rd oil service by mileage.
Spark plugs are done at 37k on the M3, I believe.
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      04-07-2014, 06:22 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilehighM3 View Post
Microfilters are connected to the brake flush, done every 2 years regardless of mileage.
Annual oil services are done, regardless of mileage.
Differential and manual transmission fluids are connected to the 3rd oil service by mileage.
Spark plugs are done at 37k on the M3, I believe.
I called my dealership, and immediately, my SA started quoting parts plus labor. Why is it so hard to get things covered when it is clearly included in the "free maintenance" program. Unreal. They ordered the filters, but I'm not bringing my car in unless they tell me I will not owe.

My car is 2011, have 25k miles. It's been more than 2 years since my purchase so it's overdue. Had to dig up the Service and Warranty INformation manual to make sure it SHOULD be covered.
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