What is the Recommended BMW Maintenance Schedule?
Buying a new or used BMW can be incredibly exciting. After all, the manufacturer is known for producing luxurious, high-quality vehicles. For those who are making the switch from another brand, things can get a bit confusing.
There are some basic maintenance guidelines that apply to all cars, but BMW has also designed a specific maintenance schedule designed to keep every one of its vehicles operating at peak levels for years. The good news is that it’s just fine for drivers to have questions about BMW maintenance. Skilled maintenance techs and service advisors are available to answer questions and provide the ongoing care that every BMW needs.
Preventative Maintenance for BMWs
The official BMW factory maintenance schedule indicates that every vehicle should be taken in for routine preventative maintenance at least once every 5,000 miles. If the vehicle isn’t driven very often, its driver should schedule preventative maintenance visits two to three times a year. During these routine preventative maintenance visits, a skilled mechanic will:
Inspect the front and rear brakes
Check the brake fluid
Inspect the cabin air filter
Check the coolant
Inspect the engine
Check the engine oil
Perform a tire rotation, if necessary
Inspect and replace the wiper blades as needed
Perform a basic vehicle inspection
If a service tech notices that any of the fluids are low or the air filter is dirty, these minor maintenance tasks will be performed during the same appointment. The need for replacing components will be evaluated with the help of the BMW’s Condition-Based Service monitor, so there’s no need to worry about whether every maintenance task will be completed on time. Just schedule routine maintenance visits and let the experts take care of the rest.
BMW’s 10,000-Mile Maintenance Visits
BMW also recommends taking vehicles in for a more comprehensive preventative maintenance visit once every 10,000 miles or every two years. During this appointment, the oil and air filters will always be changed, as will the engine coolant and wiper fluid. If the fuel filters are dirty, they will also be replaced, although this maintenance task is typically required only once every 20,000 miles.
The technician will also perform a full safety inspection, which involves examining essential systems and components, including:
Dashboard warning lights
Rubber belts and hoses
The mechanic will also check the tire pressure, adjust it as needed, and look for fluid leaks. Technically, BMW does not consider this appointment a major service. Both Inspection levels 1 and 2 level major services involve performing this inspection plus other specialized tasks.
Factory-Recommended Major Service Schedule
With new vehicles, it’s best to follow BMW’s factory-recommended major service schedule from the very beginning to avoid getting off-track. Drivers who have recently purchased used BMWs should ask the service experts about when and how to schedule maintenance appointments. Otherwise, here’s what the manufacturer recommends.
First Major Service: 30,000 Miles
The first major service visit will be an Inspection level 1 check, which should be performed every 30,000 miles. During this service visit, the mechanic will inspect every component of the vehicle thoroughly to make sure that all of its complex systems are operating as intended. The inspection involves not just basic oil and safety checks but also verifying engine temperature, checking the brakes for wear, cleaning brake pad contact points, inspecting the front control arm and bushing, and more.
Inspection level 1 check also involves reading the diagnostic system to identify any potential issues and checking the interior and body to make sure everything from the lights in the instrument panel to the air blowers and defoggers work properly. The tire and wheel checks usually involve looking for signs of excessive or uneven wear and greasing the wheels’ center hubs.
Finally, the mechanic will replace the brake fluid and, if the car has a manual transmission, the transmission fluid when the vehicle hits the 30,000-mile mark. The transmission fluid will continue to be replaced every 30,000 miles, but the brake fluid changes can be switched over to 60,000-mile maintenance schedules after the first Inspection level 1 visit.
Second Major Service: 60,000 Miles
BMWs need to be brought in for an even more comprehensive Inspection level 2 service visit every 60,000 miles. This inspection is even more in-depth than an Inspection level 1 check and includes an examination of the parking brake lining, flexible boots, and the undercarriage to look for leaks, wear, and rust.
During this visit, the mechanic will also replace the engine air filter and the spark plugs. If the brake inspection indicates that the pads or rotors are beginning to show signs of wear, they will also be replaced, as will the transmission fluid in automatic-transmission vehicles.
It’s worth noting that BMW’s New Vehicle Limited Warranty expires at 50,000 miles or four years. While there aren’t any specific inspections or maintenance tasks required at the 50,000-mile mark, drivers often take their cars to BMW Raleigh mechanics for an extra check as they near the end of the warranty period. That way, any repairs on covered parts can be taken care of before the warranty expires. To avoid voiding the warranty, drivers will need to take their vehicles in for scheduled maintenance and follow other regulations regarding the appropriate use of the vehicle.
Drivers who have purchased used BMWs should note that extended warranty protection may still be available. Extended warranties can be purchased either through the manufacturer or through a third-party provider. There are different levels of extended warranty protection available, but none of the manufacturer-provided options extend beyond seven years or 100,000 miles, and every plan has different coverage options. Be sure to read the fine print.
Schedule a Maintenance Appointment
Already know it’s time to have a beloved BMW maintained and want to find the right mechanic? At Bimmer Performance Center, we specialize in maintaining, repairing, customizing, and restoring BMWs. We use all of the same state-of-the-art equipment used at official BMW dealerships and take great pride in offering our customers, not just professional repairs but also exceptional service. Call (919) 501-2090 to schedule a maintenance visit.