For the paint work, after waxing apply a silicon resign polish which
seals the paintwork from the elements. Do this 2 to 3 times a year.
I've used Auto Glym Super Resin polish in the past, not sure if you can
get it in the USA.
For the interior, protect from bright sun light as much as possible,
valet once or twice a year.
For the mechanicals serviceing by the book from a BMW dealer or
independant specialist who knows what they are doing. Always keep in
mind that the majority of engine, gear box etc. wear occurrs when the
car is below operating temperature, i.e. in the first few miles of
driving. Avoid short trips, do not warm up the car by idling it on the
drive, this is the most damaging thing you can do to the engine. In
winter try to garage the car so it does not get so cold. If the
winters get really bad consider an engine block heater, popular in
Canada and Northern states. Some taxis are know to rack up 500,000 to
1,000,000 miles before dieing, This is because they are running 24x7,
so the engine is never cold.
Lastly financially plan for replacing this car once it as about
250-300,000 on the clock. What ever you do it will not last forever
and get expensive to maintain. I'm still really impressed you got 243K
miles and 16 years out of the last car.
Thanks for your advice. When you say "valet" the interior, is that the same
detailing it? (Clean & protect the leather, clean carpets, dust,...)
So when you start the car, you should immediately start driving? And you
should take it easy on the throttle until it gets above the blue mark on the
Regarding my old car, I bought it with 190,000 on it in 2000 and put the
remaining mileage on it. It was a good car and I really like the look of
it. I miss her but this newer model heelps keep my mind off of it.
Ah, I've just learned the term "valet" never made it into US English.
Yep, "detailing" stop the grime building up
Yes, start up and get moving as soon as possible, take it easy until
normal operating temperature somewhere well above the blue mark.
Modern engine management control systems minimise fuel use at idle
(better than old carbertters) which means at idle the engine stays cold
for much longer, which means more time for the engine to wear.
Synthetic oil is very good, I noticed a small improvement in fuel
economy and perfromance when I started using it on my last car.
Probably best to stick with what the manual says as that will be the
oil the engine is designed for.
Change oil every 3000? Mmm no thats a waste of perfectly good oil. I
agree with the "stick with what the service indicators say" advice. I
have a new E91 3 series 320d (Diesel) with 3500 miles on the clock, the
service indicator is telling me 18,000 miles(!) (or at 12 months) for
the next service.
The 3000 mile change should be for dino oil. If you use synthetic, you
can extend that to 7500 or so depending on the type of driving you do,
i.e., city or heavy stop and go should probably require more frequent
changes like every 5-7500 miles; all freeway could require less changes
or every 7500-10,000 miles.
You should also flush your brake fluid every 2 years; every year if you
track your car.
Coolant should also be changed every 2 years.
Transmission and differential fluids should be changed every 30,000
miles or so. Use a good synthetic like Redline or Royal Purple.
The only way that 3000 miles makes sense is if that is how far you drive
in a whole year...
Perhapss , but the car doing 12,000 miles between changes might have
more difficulty going 300k miles. A more aggressive schedule, (such as
the lower end of what you quote), would be more likely to produce the
On Wed, 01 Mar 2006 13:44:52 +0000, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:
Speaking of oil,
I have 1994 320i E36, 153k miles, in UK, takes 10w40 as standard.
I've used 10w40 for last 4/5 years from 87k miles.
A shop was selling 5w40 half price, and it was the last day
of the promotion, so I bought two (6.5litre sump).
Should I put this in my car? or should I put it on Ebay (the oil that is !!)
You can use that in your car, the two oils you mention will both be the
same viscosity at full temperature, But I would keep it for when the
ambient temps are lower and you can make use of the lower winter (cold)
weight. That's the first number, BTW.
Already see that you are getting conflicting advice on oil changes, so I might
as well stir the pot some more.
I have a 97 328 - same engine - and follow the service interval lights.
Engine runs like a dream at 128K now. My recommendation for oil, and I think
this is the secret, is to use the 15W-40 dino oil recommended in the manual.
1. These oils are diesel rated - more antiwear additives etc.
2. My oil is still quite clean even at the 7500-8000 mile intervals that the
service indicator comes up with.
3. I use the Castrol, and this oil clings very well to the engine parts even
after the car has been sitting for over a week. Absolutely no tappet noise,
or whatever upon startup.
4. I think it extremely important to have the recommended viscosity (40
weight) as this affects the oil spray pattern to the pistons, across the
5. Most important, the single step Vanos on these engines appears to be more
reliable than the later, continuously variable, dual vanos, as it apparently
does not need as high a pressure for operation. Mine works seamlessly, and I
think much of the credit goes to using the 15W-40 oil. Again, these oils are
diesel rated, and when you pour it in, you'll notice it is quite different
from either 10W-30, or 20W-50 oils rated for gasoline engines only. I just
think the clearances and vanos system on these engines are designed for this
oil. Using it (plus premium gas) just makes the engine emit a mesmerizing
soft purr between 4 and 5K in 2nd and 3rd gear.
There, that's my advice for what it is worth. I'm going for 200K plus miles
That's good that this seems to be working for you, Frank. But all kinds
of actual scientific evidence shows that what you say is wrong. While
the oil you use is among the best available *petroleum* oil, full
synthetic oil of the proper grade will run circles around it in
performance and longevity.
In fact, there is only one negative about using synthetic: cost.
However, in light of how infrequently the oil actually gets changed
(let's just say 10k miles, round numbers), and the impact it has on the
engine longevity, the actual operating cost difference is not
8 quarts X $1.50 = $12.00 vs. 8 quarts x $4.50 = $36.00
Consider that over the same 10k miles you will have bought more than 400
(US) gallons of gasoline (roughly $1,000) and you see what I mean...
No argument Fred. I'm not using the dino oil for cost reasons, though - I just
it. I've tried to follow all the discussions here on oil, as well as researching
various sites on synthetics. Finally decided that it is a tough call, and
at least somewhat, 6 of one, half a dozen of the other.
Ended up choosing to go with the 15W-40 dino because
1. BMW recommends it for my engine (I'd never suggest someone use this with the
newer, double vanos engines) As I mentioned previously, there's no drainback
more than a week of the car sitting unused - extra additives in the oil - and if
can take the temps and stress of a diesel engine, seems like it should handle a
gasoline engine with no problem.
2. Have never had an engine run so quietly and smoothly as my M52 when using
oil. Dealer here (during my 'free' maintenance period) put in 10W-30 once and I
didn't notice it on the invoice. Driving home I was going ballistic as to what
wrong with my engine, because of all the noise. Found the problem and
changed oil myself, and have never gone back to dealer for any service again.
So.... I dunno. I'll try to report back when I've got 200K on the car.
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