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BMW 5-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • gardisgardis Posts: 185
    I have a CPO 5 series, 2007 530i which I love. It still has til JUN2012 on the warranty. I am finding that every 3,000 miles or so, I am adding one quart of oil. I've gotten the oil warning on the iDrive when this happens. I spoke to my tech rep whom I've known over the years and I trust her (she and her husband have a CPO 7 series 2006 so she put her money where her mouth is) and she tells me these newer engines (i used to have a 1996 3 series) this is typical useage of oil, that BMW specifies that it's normal to put a quart in every 1000 miles even. Nothing to worry about. The car is definitely not burning oil, but I don't remember adding oil to my 3 series. Otherwise I love the car, it has 40K miles and is beautiful.
  • gardisgardis Posts: 185
    update this morning: got into the car, all systems show normal on the iDrive. I didn't add the quart yet. I'm waiting to see what happens. But still why would that warning come on? And it has happened in the past. The last time I added was about 3000 miles ago.
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    edited November 2011
    Year-to-year, there are differences in how the sensor works. I've got a 2011, and it needs the motor to be on for more than a few miles before it can measure the oil level. Mine's a 535, and I've got about 8K miles on it (it's pretty new), but it still shows max oil level once it can actually report it. I've heard that the V-8's regularly use more oil than the I-6. In some ways, I miss a dip stick. I'd like to be able to check it while in the garage, before I leave, rather than having to wait to have driven enough so it can get an accurate measurement.
  • gardisgardis Posts: 185
    guys, I guess it had to register, yup, I'm needing to add that quart.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,408
    edited November 2011
    Well a shop can do whatever it wants but it's possible their shyness is due more to a lack of knowledge. I deal with two tire shops and both repair RFTs just as happily as you please, presuming it CAN be repaired of course.

    If I were an RFT owner (not any longer, got rid of 'em) and I had a flat, I'd do whatever was possible and prudent to avoid buying another RFT, and if the other 3 RFTs on my car were say down to 4 to 6 / 32nds, I'd just ditch the 3 good tires and start over with normal tires, get the spare kit or whatever, and live happily ever after like I did. I have a better ride, better handling and oh, so much quieter. :)


  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Four weeks? At a BMW dealership???

    I suspect there is more to this issue than we are seeing in your posting.

    After all, there are a finite number of things that would keep any car from running...
  • yes BMW service center.
  • I am not a real fan of the legal climate in the US, but when a company repeatedly denies the existence of customer complaints, it is time for a class action wake up call.
    A quick follow through of a web search of “ventilation odor” or other similar term produced hundreds of owners who have had smell issues with their BMW. My 3rd and likely final BMW due to this issue is a 2009 535xi. What a great car. This followed my X5 and along the way we picked up a Z4. All good. All fun. All solid.
    Four months ago the 535 began to smell. As widely described on the internet, a smell when you turn the car on that passes. My fix was to turn the fan off until I drove it for 5-10 minutes, then turn the system on. Then the service department did the air freshener thing. Then they did a clean out. Well, things are a smidge better but still not tolerable. How bad is it? Please don’t judge me, but I have begun to prefer driving our Lexus 250hs over the 5-series. Sad but a glorified golf cart is winning out over a real car because of the smell.
    Well, the lease is up and I took it in for one last shot at service. My service writer, who is tremendous, gave me the following word from on high, “Complaints of this nature are not caused by defects of material or workmanship, but rather by the environmental conditions in which the vehicle is operated. Consequently, there is no warranty reimbursement for labor or materials associated with the disinfection of the evaporator.” Much less replacing it, which is what is actually required to fix the issue. Bull feces, bull feces, bull feces.
    Consequently I will dump old stinky on some unsuspecting soul and NEVER buy a BMW again.
    My dealership has no jurisdiction to resolve this. Is there anyone out there who has contact data on the high level management people who handle BMW customer complaints? I would like to let them know why they lost a good customer.
  • Within 5 days of each other, the fuel gauge suddenly dropped to empty and the airbag warning light came on, both while driving the car down the road. I have disconnected the battery twice now, after refueling, as I am using the trip meter to avoid running out of gas. Any suggestions on why these items might be failing? Could this be a fuse or computer problem? Might there be another "reset" solution?
  • To Shipo, How do you come to the notion AMSOIL is "snake oil" ??? The company has been around since 1972 and was the first to have a API rated fully synthetic engine oil for passenger cars ???

    Here's two links you can check:

    By the way when a product is a gimmic / snake oil product that company doesn't stay in business for over forty years and manage to become 100% debt free.

    So next time your wanting to give free advice please have your facts correct. And if you want please visit the Federal Trade Commision web site and perform a search of cases against AMSOIL for fraud and misleading advertisment. Then check the other motor oil companies. After that judge for yourself.
  • Well, if a certain brand of oil is "required" by a manufacturer it has to be provided to the consumer free of charge by the manufacturer.

    You may want to read the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975 before giving out advice.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,408
    edited February 2012
    Please don't post any hot links about AMSOIL if you sell it--this is regarded as soliciting and posts can be removed by your host.

    If you aren't a dealer, we have specific topics on oil such as SYNTHETIC MOTOR OIL and I'd invite you on behalf of your host, to talk about comparative qualities of oil in one of those topics.

    here's another topic you might enjoy: FUEL AND OIL ADDITIVES

    Let's keep this topic on target for BMW 5 Series Maintenance and Repair


  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Just my opinion, but you do know you responded to a 3 year old posting, don't you?

    I can't say, but was the oil shown in the PDF your post displayed available (with the same specs as in the PDF) in March 2009?

    A lot can change in 3 years.

    And, it's certainly not beyond the imagination to think that independent shops would recommend a product that is contrary to the manufacturer's recommendations...

    Just sayin'...
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    BMW's stand (as I understand it) is that for best, long-term performance, knowing their specific metalurgy, they want you to use oils that have passed the LL-01 testing procedure (the M-series uses a different testing and certification). As far as I know, Amsoil does not have an oil that has submitted to or passed that test certification. that doesn't mean it may not be a good oil, but that it has not elected to try to pass that test. So, the user is in a quandry - use an oil they know is acceptable to the manufacturer (there are probably at least 5 or so available that I've found), or something else, they aren't sure about. At least during the warranty period, the oil changes are free, so that decision is put off for at least a few years.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited February 2012
    I remember looking this up a year or so ago, and at the time, could only find 2 oils officially meeting BMW's recommendations that were available in the US.

    One was Mobil 0W40, and the other was Castrol... At least, that's how I remember it.

    Since I can buy BMW oil cheaper at my local dealer using my BMWCCA discount than I can buy Mobil 1 at Walmart, I didn't dig any deeper.

    Here is what BMW currently states:

    I don't believe either of the oils listed in the poster's PDF links are BMW LL-01, but are LL-04...
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    BMW, if I remember correctly, has three different specs for their engines: Non-M's, M's, and diesels. There may also be a difference between what they spec for Europe verses the USA.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Agreed. The M series use 10w60 as the primary recommended viscosity.

    I have no idea if Eurpoean models have different recommendations.

    Frankly, I couldn't tell you the difference between LL-01 and LL-04. I'm guessing the LL stands for "long lifetime"...
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    You'd have to find a copy of their specifictions, and then, you'd probably not know unless you were in the industry. Never looked for it, it might be easily found.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,666
    LL does stand for LongLife..

    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,408
    BMW even specs LL brake fluids.


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