There’s a reason BMW owners often joke the name stands for “Broke My Wallet” and it’s not because these cars are cheap to maintain. But then again — nothing runs quite like a Beemer, elegant and nimble, a BMW is as much an experience as it is a car. However, it can also be an exercise in frustration and regularly lighting money on fire at the mechanic’s for the unprepared and unaware. You already know to read your manual (we hope!) but routine BMW Car Maintenance guide is a whole other ballpark entirely: from tires, to oil changes and injector failures, here’s a few things you can do to avoid the road to ruin!
Find an Independent Mechanic Main dealers will typically charge 40% more an hour to service your car than independent rivals. We recommend finding an independent garage that does the same excellent work at a fraction of the cost. These are independent mechanics reliant on their reputation amongst the local luxury-car crowd so your best bet is probably asking around or hanging out on local online forums and seeing whom everyone else frequents instead of the dealer.
Never, Ever Skimp On Annual Servicing It can be tempting to skip out on servicing your BMW but it’ll end up costing you way more in the long run. Knowing and understanding your BMW’s service intervals is important. Service interval periods will vary from one model and year to the next, so you’ll have to refer to your owner’s manual for information on when it is you should ideally be bringing your car in to a garage. However, in the event that a warning light comes on or you notice a potential problem, it’s imperative you take the car to get checked immediately.
Spend More on A Solid MOT So You Can Save In The Long Run MOTS are the biggest maintenance bill by far, especially when it comes to older BMWS. You’ll find lots of garages offer hugely discounted MOTS, and it’s because they’re hoping they’ll be able to make up what they’ve lost in repairs to your car. That’s why we recommend getting your car checked out at a council run MOT station: yes, it’ll cost more, but they’ve got no reason to fail your car because they don’t perform repairs.
Check Your BMW’S Spark Plug And Air Filters Though newer BMWs have a SII (Service Interval Indicator) that’ll tell you when it’s time for a servicing, the system isn’t going to tell you when to check spark plugs and air filters. Spark plugs have to be switched out at specific intervals on each particular engine and air filters must be visually inspected at every single oil change. The technology is sophisticated, yes, and your newer BMW is a smart car in every sense of the word— but it’s not going to tell you any of this so be sure to periodically bring it in to have the spark plugs and air filters looked at!
Ancillary Fluids Need Changing Too Engine oil isn’t the only important fluid swilling around inside your BMW car but it’s probably the only one that’s regularly changed. Garages will often overlook changing brake fluid, gearbox oil and the steering ATF in older BMW’s in accordance with the car’s maintenance schedule because it’s expensive but it’ll save you the inevitable headache of trying to work out why your car won’t run 6 months down the line.
Flush Your Cooling System Every Three Years In tandem with your tires and engine, the cooling system is what keeps your BMW up and running and you cannot neglect it. We can’t say it enough: if you don’t flush your BMW’S coolant at least once every three years (more if it’s an older model and you live in a hotter climate) you’re wreaking havoc on your engine. Preventative care is way less expensive than replacing an engine, so be sure to flush your system with engine coolant, which’ll keep the moving parts like the water pump, thermostat, and pistons from seizing.
Look After Your Transmission Your BMW dealership will tell you that you’ll never have to change your car’s transmission fluid and that it’s a lifetime fill. This is because they want to sell you a new transmission assembly when yours starts slipping gears at the 70-90K mark not because it’s true. We recommend flushing your transmission every 50K miles instead: it’s vastly more efficient (and way cheaper) than having to pay to replace a transmission! You’ll also want to flush the transfer case, front differential, and rear differential every 50K miles. It works out to about a 1/20th of the cost.
Buy Clean Gas What goes into your BMW is what comes out. Put in a premium, quality oil and you’ll enjoy getting to feel it purr to life under your fingertips for years to come. Skimp and you’re choking your engine to death with sludge.