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Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
4/1/15 10:45 a.m.
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12,000 miles–that's a lot. It's also the number of miles our BMW M235i rolled onto the odometer as we pulled it into our local BMW dealer. Why? It was due for it's first oil change.

No, no–we aren't vehicular sadists. 12,000 miles sounds like a lot, especially for a turbocharged car that visits the track regularly. But, modern cars and modern oils are pretty darn clever, and BMW told us to wait until 12,000 miles.

Still, though, why the dealer visit? This is GRM, right? We can change our own oil. The answer is simple: time and money. The M235i doesn't have a dipstick, so changing the oil requires graduated cylinders and a keen eye for required fluid amounts. Plus, oil changes are free for a few years if you buy a new BMW. Going to the dealer meant a free continental breakfast, no expensive oil to purchase, and fewer opportunities to drastically over- or under-fill the oil on a new BMW. Sign us up!

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DaveEstey
DaveEstey PowerDork
4/1/15 11:10 a.m.

Are we really praising BMW for not putting a dipstick on a car?

yamaha
yamaha MegaDork
4/1/15 11:13 a.m.

In reply to DaveEstey:

Shouldn't be, but I praise them for actually doing complementary maintenance.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
4/1/15 11:13 a.m.

No, we're saying it makes changing the oil a pain.

z31maniac
z31maniac UltimaDork
4/1/15 11:17 a.m.
DaveEstey wrote: Are we really praising BMW for not putting a dipstick on a car?

How could you possibly infer that from the sentence regarding no dipstick?

z31maniac
z31maniac UltimaDork
4/1/15 11:18 a.m.

You guys didn't happen to keep any to do an oil analysis with, did ya?

DeadSkunk
DeadSkunk UltraDork
4/1/15 11:19 a.m.

No dipstick? Another candidate for the "Why we hate modern cars" thread. How berkleying stupid is that?

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
4/1/15 11:22 a.m.
DeadSkunk wrote: No dipstick? Another candidate for the "Why we hate modern cars" thread. How berkleying stupid is that?

Just wait for the German electronic sensor to tell you when the oil is low, duh!

Oh. Oh wait.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Dork
4/1/15 11:22 a.m.

Seems were confirming the fact that BMW is building cars for people that buy a new one every few years-- and sell before the warranty expires. And for people who don't mind taking a huge depreciation loss because fewer people will buy a car that is so difficult and expensive to maintain, especially in the period of its life that requires more maintenance. I wonder what percentage of sales are leased instead of purchased?

And it confirms that I will not buy a new or used BMW, as much as I think they are great cars to drive.

DaveEstey
DaveEstey PowerDork
4/1/15 11:24 a.m.
z31maniac wrote:
DaveEstey wrote: Are we really praising BMW for not putting a dipstick on a car?

How could you possibly infer that from the sentence regarding no dipstick?

"and fewer opportunities to drastically over- or under-fill the oil on a new BMW. Sign us up!"

slowride
slowride Reader
4/1/15 11:29 a.m.

I assume a BMW dealer would be better (maybe not), but my Mazda dealer included 3 years of oil changes when I bought my car, and I have not found it to be a great service. They use bottom of the barrel filters, pretty consistently put in too much oil, and I suspect they've been using 5w-20 instead of the specified 0w-20 (this will seem weird, but the oil they use smells exactly like Castrol GTX).

I thought it would be convenient since I don't have a garage, but they won't give me a ride to work either, so I have to sit there and wait. Sometimes it takes 2 hours.

Luckily, a friend said I could use his driveway so now I will be doing it myself instead.

HiTempguy
HiTempguy PowerDork
4/1/15 12:14 p.m.

I'd take my car for an oil change if it was included in the price of the car. Oil changes are pretty crappy work. Oil everywhere, having to dispose of said oil, etc etc.

Now, on the other hand, I will not pay a shop to do a $100 oil change with synthetic when I can do it for $40.

4Msfam
4Msfam Reader
4/1/15 12:17 p.m.

My 128i doesn't have a dipstick. Oil changes couldn't be easier... oil filter on top, easy to get to drain bolt on bottom. Done in 15" - 20". I put 5 quarts in, and top off with a 6th. The electronic feature is pretty cool ... you can check your oil from the comfort of your heated seats in the winter.

I will say that I think 12K miles is a LOONNNGGG time! I still change mine every 3-4 months.

The_Jed
The_Jed UberDork
4/1/15 12:22 p.m.

No dipstick!?

How's a guy like me who buys cars when they're old and leaky supposed to keep an eye on the oil level 15 years from now?

No dipstick... There's just... I can't even...

atm92484
atm92484 Reader
4/1/15 12:27 p.m.

To BMW's credit they did replace the unreliable dipstick with very reliable and dependable German electronics. Oh wait....

Pat
Pat HalfDork
4/1/15 12:27 p.m.

I feel like I just read the script of a BMW commercial.

etifosi
etifosi HalfDork
4/1/15 12:35 p.m.

The "no dipstick" thing was an unfortunate result of a blend of cultural and linguistic translation errors. See, when BMW's engineers heard the "...difference between a BMW & a porcupine" joke, they consulted their translators and after lengthy deliberation with a dictionary and thesaurus, decided to remove the obvious source of this particular stereotype.

It appears to have worked, as now I see more "dipsticks" in Audis.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
4/1/15 12:42 p.m.
atm92484 wrote: To BMW's credit they did replace the unreliable dipstick with very reliable and dependable German electronics. Oh wait....

If this were about MINI's and their crappy, difficult to read and easily broken-off-in-the-tube dipstick, I'd be less miffed.

DeadSkunk
DeadSkunk UltraDork
4/1/15 12:48 p.m.

Can BMW's oil sensor distinguish between oil and an oil/coolant mix in case of a head gasket failure?

edizzle89
edizzle89 HalfDork
4/1/15 12:56 p.m.

im going to create an aftermarket dipstick for these cars and become rich!

novaderrik
novaderrik UltimaDork
4/1/15 1:01 p.m.
HiTempguy wrote: I'd take my car for an oil change if it was included in the price of the car. Oil changes are pretty crappy work. Oil everywhere, having to dispose of said oil, etc etc. Now, on the other hand, I will not pay a shop to do a $100 oil change with synthetic when I can do it for $40.

how do you get oil everywhere when doing an oil change?

Jerry
Jerry SuperDork
4/1/15 1:09 p.m.

The Abarth came with 3 free oil changes, used 2 so far. After the 3rd is used up, then it's time to decide worth the hassle in my driveway/garage, or my local SCCA-member owned garage that doesn't charge a fortune.

evildky
evildky SuperDork
4/1/15 1:20 p.m.

I take my tundra to the dealer for oil changes. It takes 8 quarts and they do the job for $30. It also helps me stay on top or recalls.

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed SuperDork
4/1/15 1:26 p.m.

No dipstick? Should be interesting in a few years when that electronic nanny gives out and there is no way to tell at all. I have friend that has a newer land rover that has no drain plug in the oil pan. You have to suck it out through the top. Or rather the dealer has to suck it out through the top. Mere mortals can't do it.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
4/1/15 1:29 p.m.

In reply to Feedyurhed:

Huh? Top-side oil-suckers have been around for years.

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