Oil changes and Oil sensors

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Hello.
I bought my very first car, a BMW 6 Convertible. I love it.
Now, I've gotten about 3000 miles on it, and from what I've been reading, I should change the oil in my car every 3000 miles. The car
manual says nothing about it.
And there's also an Oil sensor with iDrive that tells me if the car needs new Oil. The oil sensor hasn't gone on.
So... do I change the oil in my car? Or do I wait til the sensor goes on? It's not like I'm trying to save a few bucks on oil, I just want to do what's right for my car. Thanks!
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Did they make 6 Series 50 years ago? 'Cause that when I last remember 3000 mile oil changes.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Uh-uh. He's probably in America and there they like to change oil every 3000 miles, irrespective of what any silly old manufacturer or trip computer might say.. :-)
DAS
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"Dori A Schmetterling" wrote

Yeah, although just about the only places still touting the 3K mile oil changes are the likes of Jiffy Lube. One would have to be out of their mind to buy a $70-80K BMW and then take it to these good-for-nothing grease monkeys at JL for oil changes. :)
I'm thinking the once-a-year or every 15K mile OCI might be OK if good quality synthetic oil is used, although a lot depends on one's driving patterns. I'd probably go ahead and do it every 7.5K like John, but that's just because I'm an oil freak. I change the oil on my A4 1.8TQ every 5K miles, but that thing only has a 3.7qt oil sump and I tend to drive it pretty hard.
Cheers,
Pete
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For an interesting read, see the "Synthetic Oil Life Study":
    http://neptune.spacebears.com/cars/stories/oil-life.html
Granted, it's only one data point, but the highlights from this site are:
* A simple filter change and associated top-off oil goes a long way towards extending oil life (it's the top-off oil that helps the most).
* Engine wear appears to decrease with oil age. There's some evidence that frequent oil changes increases engine wear, although it's unclear (to me) if the increased wear is actually significant.
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Darryl Okahata
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"Darryl Okahata" wrote

Yup, I'm very familiar with this study and I know the guy who performed it from another message board (BITOG).

Yeah, if you have to add a quart of oil every 1K miles, you could practically go on without ever having to change your oil. :) Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), my 1.8T doesn't consume any noticeable amount of oil between oil change intervals.

Possibly because at every oil change you make the engine run pretty much dry with no oil pressure for the first couple of seconds until all the new oil is properly distributed around the engine. It helps to prefill the new oil filter with oil. But yeah, whatever the wear that it causes, it's most likely insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
Regards,
Pete
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Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

You know that is not true. I guess American bashing is just too much fun to resist...
-Fred W
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Though it's a bit of a tease (certainly not "bashing)" I am afraid that a lot of the posts in this NG and the Chrysler one I follow do suggest there's a lot of it (3000-mile changes) about.
DAS
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First of all, changing oil at 3000 mile intervals is rather outdated. Oil has been changed dramatically since that old rule of thumb, and it lasts much longer these days. This is due to in part to the fact that your car carries 7 quarts of oil, whereas most cars carry only 5 quarts. You get an extra 40%, and this translates into longer change intervals.
Second, doesn't BMW take care of that for you under the warranty program? I thought that BMW did all of the routine maintenance under the warranty. The idea being that BMW wouldn't take on costly maintenance if it didn't have to, therefore they must know that there isn't any maintenance required. Basically, they know that the oil lasts a long time and they don't need to change it, so they offer to change it free every time it is needed.
Third, the car keeps track of your driving habits and what the car is asked to do, and it uses this information to determine when to change the oil. The system works pretty well, and it is safe to trust it. Don't worry, be happy.

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Jeff Strickland wrote:

Yeah, what Jeff said.
Except, if I just dropped the cash for a brand new 6 series, I'd change the oil once (at my own expense) in between each of the on-board computer's "recommended" intervals, (and don't reset the counter) which usually work out to be somewhere around 15k miles.
Since you anticipate the service reminder coming on at 15k (and BMWNA picking up the tab for that one), you do yours at 7.5k, 22.5k, 37.5k, etc.
Y Oil Changes MV, -Fred W
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Why? Do a search on synthetic oil.
Or - have a sample of your oil analysed at 7500 miles. And again at 15,000, or whatever. If it's showing problems, then you're right. Otherwise you're simply throwing away money.
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Nope. It's cheaper than the psychiatrist's bills that might arise as a result of anxiety.
DAS
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

To have an analysis done would probably cost as much as just doing the oil change (yourself).
There is some evidence around that suggests shorter intervals for the first few cycles, I guess until the engine breaks in and then I suppose the internal parts wear slower and contaminate the oil less.
Perhaps a happy medium might be to just change the filter and top up the oil at that previously mentioned time frame.
As I said, YMMV, -Fred W
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And I always thought that the decision whether to top up was made on the basis of the oil level seen after checking the dipstick.
DAS
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Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

Yes, that's right. And after replacing the oil filter is a real good time to check that oil level on the dipstick and top it up. I just didn't mention the dipstick part because it seemed so obvious.
-Fred W
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You only need the analysis done once - to satisfy you the oil is still ok at the change point.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Ah, OK. Gotcha. That's not a bad plan.
-Fred W
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"Malt_Hound"

You only need to do the UOA once, maybe twice (once at 7.5K and then at 15K) to see if changing oil at such an interval is not doing harm to your engine. Once you establish that, you don't need to do more analyses.
Regards,
Pete
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Pete wrote:

Thanks Pete. Yeah, Dave set me straight on this analysis stuff. Sounds like a reasonable plan.
-Fred W
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Hey Fred - you might want to check your computer's clock, as your last 4 posts are dated 4/13 & today is still 4/9 (last time I looked.
Tom
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