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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 6,884
    Kirstie....given my recent experiences with Audis, I've seen a lot of the TTs at the dealership. I understand your attraction to them Great looking cars with serious performance credentials.

    Hope you get one. Love to see it when you do.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,886
    I just received an email that reminded me of this discussion we had. The email was a "special offer" to get an oil change service on my 135 at the dealer I used for free maintenance and warranty work. $180!! Ummm... yeah... I will, without a doubt, be changing my own oil on this car for as long as I own it.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • kyfdx%40Edmundskyfdx%40Edmunds Posts: 25,856
    Wow... thought I would start using an independent, once my BMW got out of the maintenance plan, but my dealer had a special for $95, so I got it done there..... and, my dealer is not famous for being cheap...

    $180.. geez... :surprise:

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 6,884
    q.....that's a chunk of change for service. I'm thinking it's time to do it yourself, as you suggest, or find a good independent German car specialist.

    kyfdx....even $95 sounds high to me. But, maybe I'm way out of touch.
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    With engine oil available on sale from as little as $2/qt up to over $10, it really depends on what's used. BMW approved oils, being synthetic, are not cheap. Oil plus filter, not counting labor is a good chunk of that $95. Can't remember how many quarts the thing uses, but think it's nearing 7. Big oil reserve, synthetic, good filter all bare into the recommended fairly long oil service intervals on BMW's.
  • kyfdx%40Edmundskyfdx%40Edmunds Posts: 25,856
    edited April 2013
    BMW approved oils are $10/qt. at Autozone.. My son bought oil at the dealer today for $7, with BMWCCA discount...

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,109
    Most European cars, the Germans in particular, treat their cars much better than the average American does.

    You make some excellent points. I've owned BMW 5 Series cars until 2008. Since then, I have been a Mercedes E350 Sport Sedan enthusiast. It cost me nothing for maintenance on the BMW's. I have a concern regarding their policy of oil/filter changes every 15K miles - a little too long between oil changes. My Mercedes requires oil/filter changes about every 10,000 miles, or once a year for me. Their "A" services run about $300 (10,000, 30,000, 50,000 miles) and their "B" service runs about $500 (20,000, 40,000, 60,000 miles).

    If I had a BMW, I would be changing the oil more frequently - thus I would have to pay for oil/filter changes at 10,000 and 25,000 miles etc.

    I find the differences between Mercedes and BMW to be quite significant. BMW is a Sports Sedan with a true luxury flair while the Mercedes E350 Sport Sedan is a luxury vehicle with a sporty flair. Both are great cars, but quite different in many ways.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever!

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 6,884
    I must be so far behind the times. $7/at for synth oil sounds OK. Don't know what the filters run....say $10/ea. Tire rotation is $20. Then labor charges....maybe $95/oil change isn't that far off the mark?

    abacomike....you just hit on a very heated topic in BMW land....oil change intervals. If you go by the oil life monitor, I've seen change intervals as high as 19K miles. To add to that, BMWs don't come with a dipstick (neither does my Audi). So, you rely on the computer nannies to tell you if you're oil level is low.

    kyfdx probably knows better than me, but I think BMW started these long oil change intervals about 7-8 years ago. So far, I've not heard of any catastrophic engine failures. But, I believe the jury is still out.

    Some of this I attribute to using synth oil. Still, oil gets dirty, regardless of the type of oil you use.

    I used to be religious with 5K oil changes (a throwback to Acura's oil change intervals). Now, I am religious with 10K oil change intervals.

    Speaking of which, the Audi is due. And, the S/C V6 is either using oil, or the computer oil sensor is bad. It keeps saying I'm a qt low (but dealership says oil level is fine). Something's amiss.
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,109
    you just hit on a very heated topic in BMW land....oil change intervals. If you go by the oil life monitor, I've seen change intervals as high as 19K miles

    I remember back when I was buying BMW 5 Series vehicles in the mid to late 2000's, my dealer would do a free oil change every year, not matter how many miles. That was when it was changed at 12,000 miles. But I think it is up to the dealer to do the oil change earlier than 15K miles.

    Yes, my BMW's had an electronically displayed oil dip stick in the NAV screen showing oil level as well as the miles to the next oil change.

    I agree with you - 10,000 mile intervals are perfect for most full synthetic oil engines. That is what it averages for Mercedes Benz engines. I have a dipstick, but there is also a light that will illuminate if the oil level drops more than 1 quart to alert you to check the oil and add the missing amount.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever!

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,886
    As said above, at least with my particular car, it isn't just an idiot light. There is an actual graphical dipstick I can pull up on my display. So its not all that bad.

    I have no followed the change intervals given by the computer. Unfortunately, the first owner who leased it did, I'm sure.

    personally, I'm doing mine at double the pace. So every ~7500.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,109
    personally, I'm doing mine at double the pace. So every ~7500

    Actually, that's a little early - but the length of time the oil is in the engine is just as important as the miles. I put on about 10,000 miles a year, so my oil changes are once a year, on average - that is whenever I keep a car that long - which is rare. (lol)

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever!

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,886
    I drive mine pretty hard, and I also take the turbo into account. If it was a more mundane car with more mundane driving, I'd probably extend it.

    I just did 2 track days with it this week, so I don't think I'll even wait till 7500 this time, as a matter of fact.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    The BMW computer takes into account the way you drive. Personally, I believe that the engineers that build the thing have a clue what is required to keep it running well. At least with my dealer, they'll do a free oil change at 12-months, or at the computer designation, whichever occurs first. Having sent in used oil for analysis on my last car, I believe that a good synthetic oil can easily last as long as the computer thinks it can. I was using mostly Mobil 1 on my last car, and 10-12K intervals were fine after testing verified it. The BMW uses more oil in the sump, a better oil (IMHO), and revs lower than my old car, so I have no qualms about believing their computed oil change intervals. The big thing is the TBN, as long as that stays above zero, and you don't have significant dilutions from fuel or other contaminants (say from a leaking head gasket - antifreeze; or rings, fuel) the oil remains suitable for normal operations. IMHO, replacing the oil/filter earlier is a waste of money.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,886
    And, according to BMW, the trans fluid is lifetime (although the trans manufacturer says otherwise), so I'm still going to opt to not follow manufacturers recommendations, and that includes how they've programmed the oil life computer.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,109
    ...so I'm still going to opt to not follow manufacturers recommendations, and that includes how they've programmed the oil life computer

    I am going to hazard a guess that Mercedes, Volvo, BMW, Audi, etc., program their computer chips to "average wear and tear" specifications and then even provide the owner with "ranges" depending upon use and driving habits. As an example, Mercedes Benz computer chips provide two "wear and tear" specs depending upon usage - one based upon mileage and one based upon "timeframes".

    In other words, if Mercedes states in its manual that the oil should be changed according to the car's "computer" read out, their recommendations are for 1 year intervals or 10,000 miles, whichever occurs first and that is what the readouts provide.

    At first, my "monitor" indicated number of days to the next "A" or "B" service, but then started showing miles to the next service because of the type of usage. I believe BMW and the rest do the same thing.

    I would change the oil in my car at a maximum of 1 year or 10,000 miles, not any longer. BMW uses 15,000+ miles, but dealers offer a complimentary oil change/filter change once each year, no matter what the mileage is. So they too believe that oil should be changed at least once per year.

    If I was going to keep my Mercedes E350 for a few years, I would change the oil every 6-8 months because I do mostly stop and go driving, with a little highway mixed in between. So my engine is being started and stopped frequently.

    I have not seen any long term results of keeping synthetic oil in an engine for 15,000 miles or longer, no matter what the timeframe, but I believe 15,000 miles is too long to wait to replace oil in a high performance engine. Just MHO.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever!

  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    It's not just the car manufacturers that recommend a max of one year, many oil manufacturers do as well. It's my belief that some of the buffers, etc. in the oil have a life based on time once introduced to an engine, whereas many of the wear reducers are more based on heat (not generally a factor for most people) and total rpms. One of the magic numbers is the TBN (total base number)...this indicates the oil's ability to neutralize acids. In all of the tests I've seen, albeit not a huge amount, the TBN was still a decent positive number after 11-12K miles on my old Infiniti. They called for an oil change at a 3750-mile interval! That had less oil, turned about twice as fast on average at cruise, and was a less sophisticated engine and a lesser oil. They used a crude oil based lubricant, I switched to a synthetic, and was easily able to get 3-4x the oil life without showing up any more wear metals when analyzed (I did a baseline test of the crude oil based, then did more as miles accumulated until I found my sweet spot with the oil and vehicle, then just used that interval and tested then...all was well). I will say that testing did save some major work...while it was not obvious on that car that it had started to use some antifreeze, it did show up in the oil analysis, and I was able to fix that before any damage occurred.

    IMHO, instead of guessing, (probably) wasting a significant amount of money, why not just send a sample in for analysis the next time it's changed and see how much, if any, life is left. Depending on what you want them to test for, you can get one done at a certified lab for in the order of $15-50. Those in the $20-25 range cover the major important items: viscosity, TBN, metals, water, gas, and most wear inhibitors. While I haven't done it yet for this car, mine's two years old now, has less than 19K on it, and because of time and mileage, has had three oil changes (strange, but while they'll do a free one at a year, they don't reset the computer, and when it calls for an oil change, they'll do it again - had I driven all of those miles in less than a year, it would have been around 18K miles).
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,109
    It's not just the car manufacturers that recommend

    James, thanks for the info. Well thought out and documented. Appreciate your input.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever!

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,109
    edited April 2013
    I just finished reading a review of the 2014 Mercedes E 350 Sport Sedan (which I will be taking delivery of next week) which revealed that it has an electronically assisted power steering system. I have never driven a vehicle with electric power steering - I have always had power steering driven by hydraulics which was belt driven off the engine.

    I do know that there are pros and cons to this type of power steering such as a lack of "road" feel/feedback to the driver, increased fuel economy due to one less pump driven directly from the engine, over/under steering due to the lack of "feel" of the road, fewer moving parts and reduced overall weight, to name a few.

    If you have any data or opinions regarding this system, I would greatly appreciate your input and feedback. Would I notice any negative handling of the vehicle? Does this system have the same or similar feel of regular variable power steering (hydraulics)? Will I be disappointed with the cornering and handling?

    Thanks, in advance for your input and/or opinions.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever!

  • Why don't you test drive the car first then take delivery.
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,109
    Why don't you test drive the car first then take delivery

    That is exactly what I intend on doing! I always go over a new car with a fine toothed comb - dings, scratches, dents, paint defects, alignment, etc. Once I have accomplished that, and I am sure everything is AOK, I then consummate the deal.

    I always make sure they loaded the tires with *nitro fill, that the car is driving straight, that the steering wheel, when centered, keeps the car in a straight line, etc.

    I go over the paint, sheet metal, etc., even before we finalize numbers.

    I was in the automobile business from 2001 through 2008, as both a salesman and then, for several years, as a sales manager. You'd be amazed at what we used to get from the Port of Jacksonville in terms of damaged, brand new cars. Sometimes it was the "carriers" fault, sometimes the cars were damaged during the unloading process, etc.

    Thanks for the heads up, billyperksii. Appreciate your input.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever!

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