Scheduled maintenance for your car: prudent or a ripoff?

Hawki97

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Dec 16, 2001
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You might be able to get a bluetooth OBD2 reader to do that.

I got a Lemur BlueDriver when they first came out (very cheap at the time). Handy for engine codes and resets. I think they were like $30 when they first offered them. More like $100 now I think

I have this one. Lets me do a ton of cool shit with my car. It’s amazing how many things are “locked” in modern car computers.

OBDeleven OBD2 Diagnostic Tool Scanner for Audi Seat Cupra Skoda Volkswagen BMW Mini (Android & iOS, Next Gen Device) https://a.co/d/1nQXyKs
 

JWolf74

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Jan 22, 2012
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one of the great life lessons I learned from my Dad was "Either make enough money to pay someone else to do it, or learn how to the hard way. "

I'm 50 and have never changed my own oil...

I don't mind doing my own oil, but I still have several free oil change coupons for donating blood, so just do that. Plus with oil life now being so good, every time it's due for oil the tires are due for rotation, which is a pain to do at home. Costco does it for free, but my shop only charges like $20 for the rotation and it saves me another appointment.
 
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Rifler

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Jan 26, 2011
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Depends on how long you want to drive your vehicle,.. I have always done the scheduled maintenance on my purchased new, and now 18 year old daily driver.
 

West Duval Nole

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Dec 16, 2013
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Don't get me started on that. The tires wore out criminally fast, at 30K miles, and they weren't cheap. Will certainly be going a different direction once these wear out.
Sports low profile soft tires and you probably drive fast and take turns fast. And it's a BMW, so I can't blame you as they handle so well. But you will eat through tires when you take turns the way a BMW is capable. You can get cheaper tires but it will not handle the same.
 
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Tenacious E

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Dec 4, 2001
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If you have a heavy vehicle, they can wear fast. Our Mercedes GL450 is heavy, and wears tires fast.
It's not that heavy. It has run flats that are notorious for how fast they wear out. For the next set of tires I would consider finding conventional tires, but I don't have room for a spare tire. I suppose it would be cheaper to just get regular tires and then have AAA or some roadside assistance service.
 
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OILCHECKER

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Oct 12, 2001
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I have a Subaru Forester and last winter the heater stopped working. Vehicle is only a couple yrs old and was at approximately 32,000. Turned out it was a thermistor sensor that had gone bad and was under warranty, so the dealer said it was no charge. But since they had the vehicle in the shop, there was some general maint items that were due and he wanted to know if they could take care of them? He read me off a long list and the total was going to be over $800.......for "routine maintenance" on a three year old car with 32,000 miles. No thanks.
 

Joes Place

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Aug 28, 2003
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As it happens, I'm very good friends with a service manager at a BMW dealership. There are a lot of things that are easy to maintain on most cars that require a ton of extra work to maintain on a BMW, i.e., valve cover gasket.

If I had a BMW, I'd find a repair shop that specializes in imports to do most of the work.
Valve cover gasket?

That's a little effort, but requires hardly any special tools. I've done the valve cover gasket and ignition coils on a BMW before. Only thing that was extra useful (which I had) was a torque wrench. Everything else was standard tool stuff
 

Joes Place

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I have this one. Lets me do a ton of cool shit with my car. It’s amazing how many things are “locked” in modern car computers.

OBDeleven OBD2 Diagnostic Tool Scanner for Audi Seat Cupra Skoda Volkswagen BMW Mini (Android & iOS, Next Gen Device) https://a.co/d/1nQXyKs

Yep

That's what the shops basically use to identify anything that needs service. Some sensor pushes a code, and that code details what needs fixing.

Then, if you want you can buy the OEM parts you need and have them shipped for cheap.
 

Finance85

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Oct 22, 2003
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Valve cover gasket?

That's a little effort, but requires hardly any special tools. I've done the valve cover gasket and ignition coils on a BMW before. Only thing that was extra useful (which I had) was a torque wrench. Everything else was standard tool stuff
We'll see how fast you answer. What did you have to remove before you could remove the valve cover gasket on a late model BMW?
 

Joes Place

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We'll see how fast you answer. What did you have to remove before you could remove the valve cover gasket on a late model BMW?
LOLWUT?

Been a while since I did that, but it was a plastic housings or two and the inlet ventilation stuff IIRC. Moving some of the wiring harnesses around/out of the way.

Wasn't a ton of things; it was a job that took an afternoon at most.

I'm sure you can look for a Youtube for whichever specific model you want to find out about. Plenty of people post those.
 

Finance85

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Oct 22, 2003
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LOLWUT?

Been a while since I did that, but it was a plastic housings or two and the inlet ventilation stuff IIRC. Moving some of the wiring harnesses around/out of the way.

Wasn't a ton of things; it was a job that took an afternoon at most.

I'm sure you can look for a Youtube for whichever specific model you want to find out about. Plenty of people post those.
So you were talking out your @ss again. I know what it takes. It's not all that complicated, but it's not like doing a '67 Chevy either.
 

Joes Place

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So you were talking out your @ss again.

No. Really. I changed the ignition plugs on a Bimmer.
Wasn't that much stuff to pull off. But getting the gasket out of the ignition coil cover gasket (which was leaking and needed replacement along with the coils) was a pain.

Maybe you could look up various Youtube vids on the different bimmer engines and what the steps are. This was an inline 6. 3.0 IIRC.
 

Joes Place

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So you were talking out your @ss again.

This guy explains it for you on an M3; similar engine. And, like I'd told you, you take the cabin vent filter stuff off along with some harnesses to access the cover.

Those look simple, but they are a pain to get the clips and attachment points apart.
As I'd noted, it takes very minimal tools; anytime I'm working on anything like this, I look up the torque specs and use my actual torque wrench on them, too. Particularly when it is "gaskets".

GFs car did not have the M3 torsion bar to remove first.

 

TJ8869

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For all the hype surrounding German engineering, you BMW guys sure do have to deal with a bunch of expensive, stupid shit. Leaky gaskets, faulty sensors, malfunctioning pumps, etc.
 

Joes Place

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For all the hype surrounding German engineering, you BMW guys sure do have to deal with a bunch of expensive, stupid shit. Leaky gaskets, faulty sensors, malfunctioning pumps, etc.

Performance engines are finicky, yo

;-)

FWIW, her car was ~15 yrs old and overdue for new ignition coils, valve cover gasket from small oil leaks, etc.

I also replaced an electric window actuator in it. I've done those on 3 different vehicles (all different designs); they are fairly easy to do, but take a lot of time, so any shop will charge you $500-1000 to work on one.

I had to replace my sunroof trolleys in my Jeep ~10 yrs ago, and it cost me $1200. Same problem a couple years ago, and I found the trolley parts are just over $100. It's a bit of work to pull out the headliner and get the whole sunroof mechanism out, but it's an afternoon-job and 2-3 people can get it done w/o much trouble. So, for $100 and some beer, I did that myself when it would have been $1400-1500 this time around...

EDIT: And that sunroof job would have been IMPOSSIBLE w/o someone posting where all the silly clips and things are on the headliner to pull apart. Thankfully, people post that shit for others to learn from.
 

coasterhawk75

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Dec 2, 2001
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I do my own brake pads and rotors (if needed), air and cabin filters, and just decided to start doing oil changes as well. I also did a catalytic convertor replacement recently. Wasn't as bad as I expected.
 
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