Right around the late 90’s BMW decided, for some reason, to change the ‘Check Engine’ light to read ‘Service Engine Soon’. One problem I have found on the consumer level is that most people see ‘Service Engine Soon’ and feel as though it is time for an oil change, which makes sense. Check Engine has been the standard for years throughout the automobile industry, so I’m not quite sure why they changed it, and I’m not going to call and ask.
I feel as though my first duty to everyone is to get them on the right track as far as maintenance is concerned. Let’s talk about Oil Changes. BMW is now telling it’s customers that they only need to change their oil every 15,000 miles. DO NOT follow this maintenance schedule!!! You must change your oil every 5,000 miles, or twice a year if you put fewer than 10,000 miles on your BMW. My first encounter with the end result of this program came on a 2001 BMW 525it with 86,000 miles. It had a leaking valve cover gasket, so we removed the valve cover and uncovered what is now a growing problem: