1998 BMW IL Oil Change Interval?

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A friend has a 1998 BMW IL that he bought new. I was speaking with him the other day and he told me that the owner's manual says that the recommended oil change interval is 100,000 miles. I told him that can't
be so and that I would check and see what I can find out.
What could he be talking about when he says the owner's manual recommends 100,000 miles as the oil change interval?
Thanks.
John
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The Service Interval lights will usually call for an oil change at 7500-12000 miles depending on driving style and operating conditions. The owners manual may be referring to oxygen sensors at 100,000 miles, but certainly not oil changes.
Kyle. 98 740iL 01 525i
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Kyle and Lori Greene wrote:

Transmission fluid begins to degrade below spec at around 100,000 miles although the manual doesn't specify a service interval at all.
Huw
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Does he know how to fill the petrol tank or does he have to get it done for him?
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*Avoid clichιs like the plague. (They're old hat.) *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Aw, that's cruel.
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wrote:

Isn't that a 50,000 mile job (according to the manual)?
Tom K.
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It might refer to the auto trans, which went from XXXXX miles (not sure) to "lifetime" (laughter appropriate here) to 100,000 miles for fluid changes.
Oil change intervals on the V-8, as indicated by the service interval system should run 15,000 miles give or take depending (not sure when the system was introduced) solely on fuel burned: So many liters = oil change.
Oxygen sensors, spark plugs, etc are all on a 100K interval. The service intervals are in the service handbook that is used to schedule and track routine maintenance.
R / John

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No - it's on the lights.

No it doesn't say that, it says according the lights in the dash.
Expect 12- 15k depending on how hard you drive.

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Is he talking about ENGINE oil or Transmission oil? I presume a 1998 BMW IL is a 7 Series, it should use synthetic engine oil that should be changed anywhere from 7500 miles or 15,000 miles depending on the type of driving you do, i.e., city/urban, heavy stop and go should change every 7500; all freeway every 15,000 or when the light changes.
If its automatic transmission oil, his "lifetime" fluid, as well as differential, should be changed every 30,000 miles. Brake fluid and coolant should be flushed every 2 years. This is the *old* maintainence schedule and should be followed for "long-life"....
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Using the 'old' lubricants or the long life ones? Seems to me there's no point in paying for these very expensive lubricants if you're reverting to old schedules. But then using non approved lubricants may have warranty issues...
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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The point I'm trying to make is BMW went to its "lifetime" fluids and extended maintainence plans without making any changes to its fluids. Basically, when it started offering "free maintenance schedule," it no longer required basic stuff like coolant changes every 2 years, brake flush every 2years, transmission and differential fluids changes every 30,000 miles. Why not? To save itself money.
As for using "non-approved" lubricants. If you use good synthetic fluids from reputable companies like Redline and Purple Royal, you shouldn't have any problems! Further, in the US, BMW coolant is Valvoline G-48. Saab offers the same "blue" stuff for 1/2 the price....
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bfd wrote:

That is not correct. The engine oil specification changed to long life synthetic BMWLL98 while the new ZF transmissions without a dipstick or fill hole were designed from the outset to use a special synthetic ATF which has an in-spec design life in excess of 100,000 miles.

I believe there is still a coolant service shedule although with long life coolant it may well be more like four years.
brake

There is no change in brake fluid service schedule.
transmission and differential fluids changes every

Because they are not needed and although the initial cost of the vehicle is more to the customer, the whole life cost is vastly reduced with no significant reduction in viable vehicle life.

Not if they meet the latest BMW oil specification or they are changed every ***** [insert your preferred rediculously short service interval] miles.
Further, in the US, BMW coolant is

Then use it. 50% ethylene glycol with latest corrosion inhibitors is usually good for 100,000 miles or five years use in my experience. The red coolants are even better but not compatible with EGlycol coolant.
Huw
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Huw, Thanks for the update. However, a couple of things. First, if BMW is now selling cars with transmission WITHOUT fill holes, that doesn't speak well for "long-life." Remember, to BMW, *long-life is 100,000 miles*. After that, everyone should get a new one. For many, that may be the case. However, I guess I'm from the old school where cars should be able to go 200K, 300K or more.
Further, I still find it interesting that BMW coolant which in the US is basically Valvoline G-48 is still the same fluid used 10+ years ago. Yet now, the coolant schedule is 4 years rather than 2 years as previously required. With its continued use of plastic radiators and other parts, call me paranoid, but I think owners should still follow the old schedule and change their coolant every 2 years.
Moreover, at least for cars with manual transmission cars, I see nothing wrong with changing transmission and differential oil every 30,000 miles. That's what the old scheduled called for and the fluids haven't changed. Of course, I like my cars to last more than 100,000 miles....
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And you reckon those 'old school' cars went to 300K miles without repairs or overhaul, but simply frequent oil changes? I can remember when it was common to overhaul an engine - perhaps even twice in the life of the car - re-bore and crank grind, etc, when oil was changed near every month. Now it's exceedingly rare as the lack of facilities for such things locally would prove.

The coolant protects the metal parts of the system - doubt it has any effect on the plastic ones.

It would be easy to analyse the lubricant and see if it had deteriorated. After all there should little in the way of contaminates in either a gearbox or rear axle. If there were, filters would be fitted. So it must come down to the oil breaking down if a change is needed. Of course it may do no harm to change it, but then again it may do no good and be simply a waste of money and effort.
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Coolant change schedule is every 4 years on my '99 E46. But the service manual for my 2003 Z4 calls for checking the coolant level (topping off, if necessary) at Inspection I (every 30~35k miles), but no time based change. Since I suspect this is the same for other BMW models, we have obviously had "lifetime" coolant for the past 3 years!
Tom K.
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bfd wrote:

The oil manufacturer estimates that the oil remains within specification for at least 100,000 miles. Even though the quality or performance of the oil steadily declines out of spec after this point there is nothing to say that it becomes unacceptable until long after this point and the transmission last even longer. This is most likely to be the case in intensively used cars and these are, after all, the only ones likely to reach much over 200,000 miles. Cars used in towns or used harshly are likely to fail sooner than average. It was ever thus.
Personally, I would change the fluid with fresh synthetic approved fluid at the first 100,000 miles and forget about it. It is probable that the transmission will fail at some point due to factors unrelated to the fluid, at which point it would have to be repaired and refilled with fresh fluid in any case.

Owners are free to choose their own service intervals. If it makes you feel good to perform supplementary services then go right ahead. The car is just a lump of manufactured alloys and plastics and doesn't feel a thing. Personally I have never found a problem with modern coolant, which has a high corrosion inhibitor level, leaving coolant untouched over periods of some six to eight years. Changing coolant is far less critical than any almost any other maintenance that I can think of. As long as the colour and the specific gravity looks OK then the coolant is OK in my experience. There may be specific exceptions but apart from old engines which needed extra inhibitor added regularly due to cavitation issues with their parent metal bores they are not that fussy. Even all alloy engines run with modern factory coolant are extremely tollerant.

So do I. However you are wrong that nothing has changed. The cut and finnish of gears may have changed. Some fluids have changed. As I have illustrated some transmissions and engines have changed by being designed for low maintenance and a longer life than previous generations despite drastically reduced regular maintenance. This is a win-win situation.
Huw
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bfd wrote:

Apart from possibly the US built X5 they are not filled with Valvolene at the factory. In any case, the G-48 is almost certainly not to the same formulation today than it was much over 10 years ago. Then again I have some vehicles with around 125,000 miles that have never had a coolant change and will only get one if the system needs draining for some important reason like a leak or to change hoses.
With its continued use of plastic radiators and

You think plastic parts appreciate a coolant change? I wonder what your reasoning is?
Huw
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Huw wrote:

If they are filled with BMW branded / labeled coolant then they are. That is what is inside the bottle with the fancy silver BMW label. Valvoline / Zerek G 48. You didn't really think that BMW manufactured their own coolant did you?
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Fred W wrote:

No, but did you really think that the BMW consumer packs available in the US was the same stuff they use in their European and African factories? No Sir. BMW may even derive income from sponsership, which a recomended brand of fluid printed in a manual effectively is unless there is something very special and unique in the specification. The coolant is nothing special AFAIK.
I can assure you that Valvolene is near non-existant as a brand in Europe and is certainly not used as a factory fill in Europe where most of your BMW's are assembled. BMW probably put their coolant needs out to tender every few years and the cheapest supplier gets the deal.
Huw
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Huw,
Actually, BMW coolant is sold in Europe by BASF as Glysantin G 48. It's also made in the US under license by Valvoline and sold as Zerex G 48. It is NOT available thru any retail channels that I know of other than BMW dealers.
You state that G-48 is almost certainly not to the same formulation today than it was much over 10 years ago. I don't have any proof either that it is or isn't the same formulation. However, according to Valvoline's technical bulletin for its Zerex G 48, its been the same since at least 2003. (see www.valvoline-technology.com and go to Zerex G-48).
I agree there are some, if not alot, of car that have over 100,000 miles on it and never changed its coolant. If that's your thing, cool. For me, the cost of changing the coolant every couple of years is cheap insurance even at $25-30/gallon. Then again, I plan on using Saab "blue" stuff the next time I change coolant.
Btw, your'e right, changing coolant probably has zero effect on plastic radiators, etc.
As for the other fluids like transmission and differential, I recently changed my manual tranny fluid and rear differential with Royal Purple and it sure made by car shift nice and smooth, especially when its cold. At $6-8 per quart (you'll need 2 of each), its relatively cheap and easy to do. If you haven't done so, try it! You might like it.
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