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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,548
    edited October 2013
    alltorque...I agree. The BMW oil change intervals is probably a function of the dealer revenue stream than it is with the oil breaking down (BMW uses synth oil).

    That said, when I owned my BMW, the oil changes were "whenever the indicator for an oil change comes one, or one year, whichever comes first".

    I remember hearing of people who were going as much as 17K between oil changes because the oil change indicator never came on.

    Don't remember when BMW started doing "free maintenance" with loooonnng deltas between oil changes. But, I would think by now, there would be some evidence that they were detrimental. I haven't heard any complaints, though.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,550
    I don't know - these 2.0 turbos are still only 3 years in service, it is possible that they got some statistically significant results prompting them to shorten the mileage between changes. It wouldn't be visible from an average person's view (his nearest dealer's garage), as not many of those engines reached 100K miles yet, but from corporate view they might be seing emerging patterns for those subsamples of the long mileage engines across the world. Just saying, it's possible.

    If you are right, it would mean BMW gave into paying dealers more, as first 50K miles is on their dime. Not sure why they'd do that - perhaps it was a dealer apeasement move to give them potentially one more BMW-paid changes. 15K+ miles per year would generate four BMW-paid oil changes per 50K/4 year initial warranty period, instead of three, but it would create a justification for more visits after the period ended. It may not be high price to pay for dealer's happyness.

    On other comments, I hear exactly what you are saying. US-based traditional maintenance periods and recommendations (proverbial Jiffy Lube/Joe's Chevy 3 thousand miles on "severe schedule") are RIDICULOUS. They were developed during old "dyno" oil times for engines that were not very well made. As you said, it is very common to see 25K-30K kilometer (15-20K miles) maintenance periods in Europe, even for lowly Toyotas and Fords, often having same/similar engines to those used here. There are differences, though - European practice is "come not very often, but leave a lot of money at each visit and do as we say or else (including exact oil brands and grades) and to maintain warranty you HAVE TO do it with us". American practice has been "come as often as we tell you, but we will charge you relatively small amount of money and use substandard materials, but there is no harm because you change it so often". It's evolving, as manufacturers have stretched those periods here, but as you said yourself - not nearly as much as across the Pond, because dealers wouldn't have it. BTW, one difference is, European authorized service stations are not necessarily attached to sales dealerships - they sometimes function as separate franchises, which here is almost unheard of. This gives manufacturers better leverage there to divide constituancies and play them separately.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,550
    I think is was around early to mid 2000s. There was definitely a coincidence between increasing the period and instituting "free" maintenance.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • Another tidbit to perhaps put someone's mind at ease: the amount of oil that the European cars require at a change is sometimes close to double the oil amount a Japanese "premium" car requires.

    When I had my Acura, I used to take the oil with me for the oil changes -- I would take a 5-quart container of Mobil 1 or some other name brand 100% synthetic oil -- after the change there would still be oil left in the container.

    My wife's X3, for example, however, would take 8+ quarts for an oil change. I am assuming you can safely go further on oil that is less dirty. The more oil capacity the car has the more dirty oil it can handle -- no wonder Infiniti, etc, expects oil change intervals of 3,750 miles -- their cars don't hold much oil.

    Also the Euro cars require synthetic oil, the Japanese cars do not. I assume American cars, for the most part, fall into the no synthetic oil policy, too.

    Oil is better now -- than then. Engines (at least of Euro cars) are better now than ever. Oil change intervals of 10, 15 even 20K miles are probably not an issue for cars with well made and well lubricated engines. :surprise:

    Drive it like you live.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,548
    I know I had a late '80s 325i (first BMW) and an early '00s 330i, in addition to the E92 coupe I had. The last one was the only one I remember having free 4 year maintenance. So, you're probably right Dino.

    Mark....I concur that engines are made more prcisely these days. Plus, it's much easire to measure the fluid effectiveness with the amount of computers on board. Plus, fluids (not just oil) are much better today than they were. Case in point, the use of synthetics.

    That said, I remember when Mobil 1 first hit the market. Their initial claim to fame was "no oil changes needed except for 10,000 mile intervals".

    At least BMW is surpassing that now.

    My Audi takes 10K oil change intervals.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,048
    "Another tidbit to perhaps put someone's mind at ease: the amount of oil that the European cars require at a change is sometimes close to double the oil amount a Japanese "premium" car requires."

    I don't know why Infiniti has such an aggressive oil change schedule but not all Japanese luxury cars(I noticed your slight but won't go there) are like that. Your TL certainly didn't require them that often did it? My Acura just had it's first oil change at 7200 miles and the oil monitor was on 30% oil life remaining. I had it changed because it was at the one year mark. I guess it could have went to 9k or so before the oil life monitor would have indicated an oil change and probably more if I did a lot more freeway driving.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,550
    edited October 2013
    Not to pick on your word choice, but I would call German car schedule "aggressive" and Infiniti's "extremely conservative". Now to answer your question: Infiniti dealers use old-school mineral oil on those still fairly modern engines. For those not to sludge, I suspect you need to have keep this oil new and change it often. I guess the pact is come often, pay small entrance fee (for the oil change) and we will find four opportunities per year to pick your pocket on something else we will "find" or invent. I feel that if Infiniti suddenly changed the schedule to once per year good quality synthetic, the dealers would lose all those revenue upsell opportunities.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,048
    When I used the word "aggressive" I was referring to the aggressive assault on one's wallet so I used the word correctly but didn't use my turn signals to indicate the direction I was coming from. But when someone says they have THE answer to my question and then says "I suspect", "I guess" and "I feel" I have to wonder about their word choice as well. But that doesn't change the fact that I would tend to agree with everything you've said.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,550
    edited October 2013
    Whoa! Now you're picking on my words. OK, here it is: my choice of words was very careful to precisely express that I do not have a real knowledge, just conjecture and constructed narrative. However, I should have not written that's "to answer your question", but rather "to speculate" or something like that.

    Now, on notion of "aggressive" vs. "conservative": I wrote that because it is well established in many different professional communities across the board (engineering, finances, accounting, etc.) that "aggressive" is usually associated with pushing the envelope of established limits, or even going beyond them. "Conservative" is used for practice that is well inside of such limits. In those terms, Infiniti's schedule does not push any limits, it's well within established limits of that community, from Jiffy Lube to Bob's Chevy, driving 3K/3M schedule ad naseam. On the other hand, BMW's schedule pushes the envelope, thus would be called aggressive.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,048
    Whoa, what? I can't question but you can? Yeah, you should have wrote something like "I think I have the answer to your question" You made it sound like you are the authority on Infiniti oil change schedules and then went on with your answer which is a WAG at best.

    Ok, you caught me. i used the wrong word which I'm sure nobody on this forum has the intelligence to understand my meaning and you just had to interpret for them. Now I get you.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,550
    Just playing. For the record: I am NOT an Infiniti authority, nor any other brand.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,918
    This is just getting silly. Let's get rid of the sarcasm and hostility. I'm about in a bad enough mood between this discussion and another one to start removing posting privileges without any notice.

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 31,206
    Our Infiniti doesn't use synthetic.....

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  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,048
    Can't any car use synthetic if you want to?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 31,206
    Yes.. but recommended intervals are based on the oil it comes with... which was my only point..

    Infiniti may be shorter, just because they don't come with synthetic..

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  • jeffm5jeffm5 Posts: 112
    Last July I bought a 2013 S60 T5. I was shocked to find out that the oil change intervals were 1 yr. or 10,000 miles, with synthetic oil, of course. I've been a 3,000 to 4,000 mile oil change type guy, but have never used synthetic oil. Volvo provides the first 5 oil changes, per their schedule, at their expense. So when I took mine in at 5,000 miles for a change on my dime, the tech thought I was nuts. Someone else who I consider knowledgeable in this area said I'm wasting money and resources. I did have the oil changed again at 10,000 miles, free. I've recently come to the conclusion that I will have the oil changed at every 10,000 miles. I guess I'll find out in 5 yrs. or more as to whether this was sound advice.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,548
    Jeff...with synthetic, you should be good. Of course, engines are pretty complex, that operate at extreme temps, both cold and hot, dirty, greasy, dusty, etc. So, something can always go wrong. My guess is, the oil change intervals will not be the culprit, though.

    Kirstie....you have a certain "je ne sais quoi" about you today! ;)
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,042
    Last July I bought a 2013 S60 T5. I was shocked to find out that the oil change intervals were 1 yr. or 10,000 miles, with synthetic oil, of course.

    My 2011 Explorer has 10K intervals with partial synthetic oil. I do it at 10K but with full synthetic.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,550
    edited October 2013
    when I took mine in at 5,000 miles for a change on my dime, the tech thought I was nuts.

    Interesting that Volvo tech would tell you that. Perhaps it was a real tech, not the salesman. My friendly BMW "advisor" would sell me $600 of services at our first meeting (1 yr, car had 15K), if I only bought them, that's of course on top of that "free" maintenance that they are so eager to advertise when they want to sell you the car. Best part, which I really loved (NOT), he printed out a sheet with those three bargain priced ($200 each) services with statement like "customer requests x service". Wow, there is no shame in this world. No, customer does NOT request x service.

    BTW, those "recommendations" were so ridiculous (power steering fluid change and injector cleaning - at 15,000 miles!) that even he didn't have much of a conviction to selling them. He moved immediately into "from those three you really need only this one", which was a bargain-priced alignment at $200. I told him, well, as much as I actually may agree with you on this one, I won't do it at your price. Got one done at $125 by a specialised independent garage. In the process I learned that BMW's alignment is not so easy - tire stores, so eager to sell you one, usually at aroun $70-$80, wouldn't even touch my car. Something to do with electronics. So I'm not surprised the dealer wants $200. If there is no big competition, why not charge arm an leg.

    So kudos to your Volvo guy that he did not jump on the revenue opportunity, but told you what he really thought.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • alltorquealltorque Posts: 535
    edited October 2013
    Volvo S60 T5 in Europe is oil change at 18,000 miles or 1 year, whichever comes first. This assumes correct viscosity and spec. Engines are same on both continents. Volvo oil specs are universal I believe, (SAE 0w-30, ACEA A5/B5), so.................it's all to do with greed and nothing to do with oil quality or engine life. 10,000 mile changes in Europe would be cause for rioting in the streets. Even using ACEA A1/B1 poverty spec it's 12,000 miles. Same old same old.

    I've been running my '06 S60 D5 (185bhp turbodiesel), on correct Volvo oil - as above - and yearly changes and at 94,000 miles, (first year was only 5,000 miles as it was a Volvo UK staff car), it's just getting better; no smoke, good consumption, no oil burn and pulls like a train. What more can I say ?

    Have a look at the recommendation chart here. Basic engines are still the same but some ancillaries may have changed and later engines have more power due to better chipping. For a modest sum Volvo will re-chip my D5 from 185bhp to 205bhp to match current version.

    http://www.volvoclub.org.uk/oil_school.shtml
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,550
    edited October 2013
    I agree, but there is another side of this. It is much easier to get a warranty honored in the US than in Europe, not just with cars, anything manufactured. The manufacturers find many inventive ways to walk away from their obligations with impunity over there. I found there is also much more goodwill here as well (major repairs after warranty with manufacturer's cost participation). One can say the goodwill is "prepaid" in those short intervals.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,109
    edited October 2013
    It seems that Audi, BMW and soon Volvo (among other Euro brands) are quickly becoming car companies that motivate virtually all of their cars with some form of a forced induction engine. Turbo charging seems to be the go-to forced induction technology. Audi and Mercedes use superchargers in some applications -- but the majority of the Euro brands (and also starting to show up in non-Euro brands, to be sure) are not naturally aspirated any more.

    It is my understanding -- and I certainly could be misinformed -- that forced induction engines need to have their oil changed more frequently than non forced induction engines. The reason, I believe, is heat and dirt -- and in the case of turbos, the very high speeds at which the impellers spin.

    It is indeed impressive that these engines, when equipped with large oil tanks and with ever improving oil filtration, can go often a MINIMUM of 10K miles between changes. I do think, however, that there is still no harm in changing the oil by 15K miles, no matter what the on-board computer says. My wife's 2008 X3 engine computer wouldn't let on that it wanted an oil change until 18K miles had passed. At that time, that just seemed crazy to me -- but I was OK with 15K miles.

    Another thing these Premium (ELLPS) cars seem to require (disobey at your own peril) is a "top-tier gasoline" meaning that the gasoline has cleaning additives 5X more than is "required" and so forth. When my sales rep gave me the keys to my 2014 S4 he actually said "use a top-tier" gasoline (your fuel injectors will thank you.) Of course, I always try to use this type of fuel.

    DILYL
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,042
    I believe one might see a shorter oil change interval on turbo engines. I wonder how the oil sensor gizmo on the current BMW turbos schedules it?

    If one throttles a turbo engine regularly, then I could see the need for more frequent oil changes. But in normal everyday driving, the turbo isn't put under much stress, generates less heat and thus doesn't break down the oil.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,313
    edited October 2013
    is ingrained in a truck owner's (doesn't apply to company drivers) daily routine: let it warm up before going full-throttle and, much more importantly, let it and the cooling (oil & water) systems stabilize before shutting the engine down. I let the EGT drop to300 degrees or lower before I shut down (and it often took 2 - 5 minutes) -- prevents coking, among other things. It's not often that a mechanical engineer ends up being a truck driver, but when it happens things can be learned.

    It'll be very interesting to see how car turbos respond, long-term, to the hands-off, ignorant operation & maintenance practices of the American public. These are the people who can't be troubled to use directional signals, so they're likely to come off an uphill run on the freeway, park and turn the car off immediately. It'll be a hide-and-watch moment.

    That said, oil change intervals for a turbo engine certainly need to be shorter than for NA engines. Whether the manufacturers agree remains to be seen.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,548
    cdn...it will indeed be interesting to see what the recommended fluid change intervals will be with turbos and super chargers in more and more engines...especially the brands with longer warranties.

    Mark....I've been using Costco gas for over 12 years. It's usually less expensive, and always offers great performance.
    http://www.costco.com/gasoline.html
  • alltorquealltorque Posts: 535
    Sorry, cannot agree with your statement re warranty in Europe. Can't talk about engines as I don't know anyone who's ever had a failure. However when my '06 Volvo S60, (see above), was annual-serviced 2 weeks ago the Volvo dealer updated the engine management software FOC and checked to see if there were any reported extra safety checks flagged by Volvo, (there weren't). Standard, no hassle servicing.
    Not sure where your info comes from but it's not in line with reality.
  • alltorquealltorque Posts: 535
    Read my above post ref Volvo S60 turbodiesel oil changes. Whilst (relatively) small turbo engines may be fairly new to USA, at least in volume terms, they have been around in Europe and Japan for quite some time; particularly the diesel variety. Oil change intervals of 18,000 to 20,000 miles are not at all unusual from the major manufacturers and these engines seem to go on forever. Of course, abused turbos, (i.e. not allowing a cooling-down period. After a period of high revs a gentle amble around urban roads of 2 - 3 miles will suffice or a 2 min+ idle), will fail sooner than is considered normal.

    To take advantage of their tax laws, Japanese manufacturers have used 660 - 695cc turbo gasoline engines, (yes, 0.7 litre), that are real screamers and some have made it to Europe in more mainstream cars.

    Here in Europe, VW Group have been selling the VW Polo GTi and Skoda Fabia vRS small hatchbacks that have their 1.4 TSI engine which is both turbo- and super-charged to give 170bhp and 250Nm, mated to a 7-spd DSG 'box. Fun little devices. Despite being reasonably highly rated, these engines have official oil change intervals of 1 year or 15,000 miles.........same as the overall service schedule. You have to use the correct spec oil, though. But let's be fair, lube oil is the cheapest component in the car; and one of the most important. To be fair, there were reported software problems with some of the early engines which could cause misfires and potential piston damage but AFAIK that is no longer an issue.

    So, there is no reason that turbo- engines should be saddled with lower oil change intervals - the experience already exists over many years. Unless, of course, it's driven by dealer financial considerations.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,550
    edited October 2013
    I guess it may vary from region to region. Eastern Europe seems to be still "customer service challenged", at least Poland is. Basically any kind of warranty work used to be a torture there, authorized service stations are still not reliable source of quality work (it's a crap shoot), press is full of reports of denied warranties under most bizzarre pretences, or smallest customer infractions. It is getting better, bad publicity and social media are putting more and more pressure. I would not be surprised if Western Europe, having much longer and better established consumer rights and customer service, was much better.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,695
    well, the S3 is going to be the competitor, right?
    The CLA is 300 lbs lighter. That's gotta count for something. Could be an interesting real-world comparison.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

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