Good point. I think the Mobil1 oil at WalMart is only either the 5w30
(which is what I use) or 10W30, 20W50, etc. However, for my older BMW
cars ('94, '95, '97) this is just what the doctor ordered. There is no
need for LL-01 spec oil because the service intervals per the SI lights
is not as long as on the later models.
as always... YMMV,
If you've got a Kwik-Fit near you, they supply Mobile 1 from bulk and
change the oil and filter at a price hard to beat. I know some don't have
a good opinion of them but my local branch is excellent - and you can
watch them doing the work. And if you'd rather, you can supply the filter.
*Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.*
Dave Plowman firstname.lastname@example.org London SW
On Mon, 18 Apr 2005 19:55:55 +0100, "Dave Plowman (News)"
Thanks Dave but I have a mech who looks after all the family's cars
and I will show him Clives post and the chart and leave it to him.
When he changes the oil and filter he will do anything else that needs
to be done too. Thanks
I was responding to the point that the OP made that he had been using the
SAME SHOP for a long time, and they just now asked if he wanted synthetic
oil when the car calls for synthetic and he assumed he was already getting
it. This wasn't a case of the shop undertaking an initial interview of the
client to determine what the needs were, it's a case of the same mechanic
that had already been doing the service and hence should already know what
the needs are.
I agree that you should ask Mrs. Smith what her usage is with her car. but,
should you ask her on every trip to your shop? Should you NOT ask her on the
first 5 or 6 trips, then suddenly spring this/these question/s on her on the
I think when Mrs. Smith comes to your shop, you are smart to find out if she
drives several hundred miles a month from your part of the island to the
remore northern reaches to visit her sister, or if she only drives into town
on Tuesdays to get fresh milk, eggs, and bread. Then, based on the outcome
of this interview, you tailor your service to her needs and budget. If she
wants the Cheap Service and drives alot, then part of your job is to explain
that she perhaps is making a poor choice in electing to get the cheap
service. But after she has been coming around for a while and getting her
oil changed, you don't change the service you have been giving. This is what
the OP was pointing out.
> a case of the same mechanic that had already been doing the service
Same shop but was it the same mechanic? It could be that an another
mechanic thought that maybe the car was being over serviced and just
offering an alternative thinking of the customers pocket(as I do). I
would find your comments offensive if you had made them about my ability
considering I have serviced these cars all my working life. Maybe you
are just "shooting the messenger" You say: > Clearly you can get
cheaper service than the dealership > provides, but > that should be a
function of lower overhead, not less > trained > technicians or
substandard attention to service > requirements.>
I feel this is a bit harsh.
The other point is, why do you think the car "calls for synthetic"?
Admittedly it has used this in the past but is it necessary? I am sure a
main dealer would think it was because of the profit he makes.
I don't want to get fired up about this, I just see it as a guy asking
the customers preference. BMW Technical recommend using quite a range of
semi-synthetic oils to suit different conditions etc for all their
models and unless it is out of temperature range or cheap rubbish there
is no "wrong oil" that is going to ruin an engine. You are quite welcome
to a copy of their recommended oil specs if you would like it.
With reference to your first paragraph: I do Ferraris and Porsches as
well but I still feel I can do BMW's correctly!! But I see you have your
If you can get back to the original post and then consider my comments in
that context, they are not nearly as offensive as you make them out to be.
My mechanic is cheaper than the dealer because his overhead is lower. He is
every bit as good as the dealer mechanics, but his costs to keep the doors
open on his shop are a fraction of the dealer's costs so he has lower hourly
Assuming you are factory trained, then you should be as good as the dealer
mechanics too, and your costs to keep your doors open are less than the
dealership's, so you should be able to offer lower hourly rates too.
I wasn't dissing the independents, I am suggesting that they can be just as
good, and be cheaper than the dealer technicians.
As for who asked the questions, the shop owner or the technician, you'll
need to ask the original poster. The way he told the story, it sounded like
the same guy has been servicing his car for a long time, and just now is
asking if he wants synthetics when the OP thinks that is it very clear that
hd car requires synthetic oil.
> the doors open on his shop are a fraction of the dealer's costs so
he > has lower hourly rates.
Well, now we agree! I think that the problem has been that OP panicked
not realizing he had an option and thinking his car HAD to have
synthetic oil. I felt I had to stick up for the independents as we do
get a lot of bad press, people thinking we have half a brain and no
training. Over the years I have seen some horrendous main dealer
work(not just BMW) and have even suceeded where they have failed. Now I
am pleased to say my local BMW & Mercedes and myself have an excellent
relationship and work well together, especially Mercedes who mail me on
a regular basis asking if they can be of help in my work. Not so Porsche
and Ferrari dealers, who still think I wear the wrong overalls!! I
realize I am off topic but just wanted say how I felt and I appreciate
your comments in your last post. Oh yes, I know there are still a lot of
cowboys out there and any owner should pick his man by "word of mouth"
recommendation, not just by fancy advertising. I am sure owners benefit
from a "one to one" with the mechanic rather than speaking to a
receptionist at a dealer, after all vehicle symptoms do get "lost in
translation" and the problem doesn't get sorted. Sorry to drone on, but
I have enjoyed this discussion and maybe some have learned a little from
it. Regards Clive
Since you say you've had the car for 1.5 years and that you've done oil
changes plural, I'm guessing you haven't done more than 7500 miles per
oil change, which will it I wouldn't make a habit out of it, won't have
done any damage. In fact, for the first two years the 540 came from the
factory with regular oil (I have one of the first to use Synthetic,
which isn't specified in the engine bay so every time I take it
anywhere I have to specify that it uses synthetics as opposed to most
98 models that use regular). Those service intervals for this car are
very expensive (just wait till you need an Inspection II), but I think
you'll find that 99% of the stuff you can do yourself without getting
dirty and that will save you a lot of money to just tell the shop
specifically what to do.
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