Whether your BMW is newly out of warranty or about to turn over 100k (or 200k, or 300k!), performing the BMW factory scheduled maintenance is key to keeping your BMW running safely and reliably for many years to come.
Don't worry, this doesn't mean you'll be visiting your mechanic every 3,000 miles for an oil change -- those days are over. But unless you're a do-it-yourself mechanic, you'll want a relationship with an independent BMW mechanic who can perform these services to factory specifications while saving you hundreds of dollars compared to the BMW dealer.
BMW scheduled services are grouped into three categories: Oil & Safety Service, Inspection I, and Inspection II. Recent BMWs will let you know when service is due, but regardless, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the maintenance schedule.
- BMW Intermediate Oil Service. This service is the most frequent and least costly service. The Service Interval System will let you know when it is time to change your oil, but a typical interval on a modern BMW will be 5,000 - 10,000 miles.
- BMW Oil & Safety Service: This service includes an oil change (with filter) and a safety check of your vehicle that includes crucial items including: brakes, indicator lights, rubber belts and hoses, engine coolant, steering linkage, and suspension components. Additionally, your technician will check for fluid leaks, check wipers and wiper fluid, check tire pressure, check the horn, and check the dashboard warning lights.
- BMW Inspection 1 (Inspection I): The BMW Inspection 1, also known as the Minor Service, is the smaller service recommended by BMW. On 1986 - 1998 models, it is recommended at 20,000, 60,000, and 100,000 miles. On 1999 and later models, it is recommended at 30,000, 90,000, and 150,000 miles.
- BMW Inspection 2 (Inspection II): The BMW Inspection 2, also known as the Major Service, is the larger service recommended by BMW. On 1986 - 1998 models, it is recommended at 40,000, 80,000, and 120,000 miles. On 1999 and later models, it is recommended at 60,000 and 120,000 miles.
Many BMW enthusiasts recommend adhering to the earlier maintenance schedule to increase the longevity of your vehicle, but this is a decision that can be made based on driving style, budget, and personal preference.