San Diego BMW Service and Repair

BMW Service and Repair at Independent Motorcarsbmw service center in san diego

At Independent Motorcars, our BMW service center is focused on what makes sense for you and your car; we keep it simple.

When visiting us for the first time, it is important to develop a clear understanding of the current condition of your car, its immediate needs, and what items it may need down the road.  This allows us to provide an overall profile of your vehicle and the information you need to make proper decisions regarding your wallet and your car.

This approach allows our customers to make informed choices at a fraction of the cost of going to the various dealerships across the San Diego Area.


No Nonsense, No hassle, the Way Service Should Be.


Our philosophy has always been to maintain each car as if it were our own or that of a family member and to also advise our customers in the same way when it comes to any BMW repair need.  This practice has allowed our customers’ vehicles to remain reliable and serve them well. All of our repair work carries the same warranty you would receive from the local dealership.

We employ the latest BMW specialized tools diagnostic software which is essential for proper care and repair of your vehicle.

Our BMW service center is conveniently located in the central San Diego area right off of the 805 and Miramar Rd., about a half-mile from the UTC/La Jolla area. Contact us anytime at, (If you have any questions or would like to speak to one of our experienced BMW mechanics


BMW Oil Change Service

Service Time – 45-60 minutes

Frequency – Every 5,000 miles is recommended

If you are serious about the longevity of your BMW, a proper oil change schedule is essential for many reasons when it comes to your car.  Maintenance schedules have flip-flopped their recommended intervals over the last 20 years.  When BMW engines first switched to synthetic oil in the early 1990s, it was recommended that the oil and filter service be completed every 5k miles to properly maintain the engine.  In the early part of 2000, BMW service recommendations then lengthened this interval to have an oil change service every 15k miles.  This is when we began to see many issues as these cars approached 100k miles.

bmw oil change service in san diego

Read how one BMW owner ended up with costly repair bills after following BMW’s recommended oil change history.

Recently, the BMW service recommendations have again changed their interval to 10k miles for the recommended Oil Service.  At Independent Motorcars, we have stuck to the 5k mile recommendation for this affordable, quick service for a multitude of reasons.  An oil change is the cheapest way to increase the life of your engine, and it puts a professional BMW Mechanic / Technician set of eyes on your car to identify any issues or concerns, greatly reducing your chances of being stuck on the side of the road.

For this reason, you are never required to book an appointment for an oil change, just bring it by!  The average driver logs approximately 13,500 miles per year, meaning you might only get one oil change per year under the 10k or 15k recommendation.

Keeping your engine internals clean and properly lubricated as well as getting an overall check of the vehicle are two things that a regular oil change service will provide.

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BMW Inspection II – The Major Tune-up

Service Time – 4-5 hours

Frequency – Every 30k miles or 2.5 years

The Inspection II is the Major tune-up for your vehicle.  The current BMW maintenance schedule recommends that this service be completed every 30,000 miles for cars built after 1996.  The BMW Inspection II includes an oil change, new spark plugs, as well as all serviceable fluids such as the transmission and differential.  This service also includes changing all filters such as the air filter, cabin filter, and fuel filter.

bmw tuneup in san diego


During this service we also do a thorough inspection of all driving components and vehicle electronics.  This list outlines a sample of the components that we address and inspect:

  • Brake Rotors and pads as well as a brake fluid test
  • Suspension components such as struts, shocks, control arms, and tie rods
  • Tire wear and condition to identify if any alignment issues need to be addressed
  • Cooling system components such as the water pump, radiator, hoses and associated parts
  • Check of all drive and serpentine belts for cracking and the belt tensioners for age or noise
  • Check for any fluid or oil leaks from the cooling system, engine, transmission, power steering, etc.
  • The function of all power windows and sunroof, horn, turn signals, wiper blades, headlights, etc.
  • A complete scan of all computer systems, control modules, and a reset of all service intervals with the diagnostic software.

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BMW Cooling System Service and Repair

Service Time – 4-6 hours

Frequency – Varies by model

BMW cars built after 1992 all have one common issue that can lead to a sudden break-down and a costly trip to your mechanic – plastics in the cooling system.  To increase performance and efficiency, BMW has dramatically increased the operating temperatures in most of their cars over the last 20 years.  In the late 1980’s operating temps were in the 80 degree celsius range and most of the cooling system components were made of rubber and metal.  By the year 2000, this temperature had climbed to 114 degrees at 30psi of pressure while relying on many plastic parts to keep it all together.

In order to save weight and production costs, BMW has also utilized a lot of plastic in their cooling systems in components such as the water pumps, coolant expansion tanks, coolant hoses and the radiators.  At Independent Motorcars, we cannot stress enough the importance of addressing cooling system before it catches up to you.

This article further explains the importance of your cooling system, and what you can do to keep your BMW out of harm’s way.

During a cooling system overhaul, we typically address the following items:

  • Water pump
  • Radiator and radiator hoses
  • Coolant expansion tank and cap
  • Thermostat
  • All drive belts and belt tensioners
  • Complete coolant flush

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BMW Pre-purchase Inspection and Warranty Inspection

Service Time – 1-2 hours

We want you to get the most out of your money when purchasing any used BMW or when it is still under a factory warranty, Certified Pre-owned Warranty, or extended warranty.  A pre-purchase inspection is critical for any car you entertain acquiring as it gives you a thorough picture of the overall condition of the car.  While services like Carfax can give you great information about the past, we are more concerned with the present condition of the car and what the future will hold for any car you are thinking about purchasing.  During this inspection we go through each car with a fine toothed comb in order to identify any service or maintenance issues that are currently present.  We also go through the exterior of the car to identify any repairs made or possible accident history. Having a complete report on a potential car will allow you to plan for repairs or further negotiate pricing if the car is still of interest.

Our warranty inspections are very similar to the pre-purchase. Most warranties are either bought by the customer, or built into the price of the BMW when purchased. At Independent Motorcars we want all of our customers to realize the full potential of their warranty.  It is important to let us know which warranty you have, as well as to identify how long the warranty is in effect in order to take full advantage of it.  It is also highly recommended that you have your newer BMW inspected before your original factory warranty expires in the event that any issues are present and need to be addressed.

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Other Common BMW Repair, Service and Maintenance items:


BMW Suspension

Control arms need to be checked periodically as they provide stability to your chassis by linking together your shocks/springs and steering components to keep the car in proper alignment. Shocks and struts should also be examined for wear or replacement.  Proper suspension performance and alignment is critical for the life of your tires and the handling.


BMW Brake Service and Systems

Proper braking is essential to the safety of you and your loved ones while traveling. When replacing brake pads and rotors it is essential to use the proper equipment for your driving habits.  In many cases, the wrong combination of brake pad and brake rotors (discs) can lead to inferior braking performance.  It is also recommended that you have your brake fluid tested and/or replaced at regular intervals to ensure proper performance and to condition rubber seals and o-rings in the various brake system components.

Learn more about the brakes on your BMW, and what a typical brake replacement looks like.


BMW Power Steering Maintenance

The condition and level of the fluid in your power steering reservoir is a good place to start to understand its current state.  If the fluid is red or green and clear, all is good! If the fluid is dark and cloudy, a good flush of the system will lengthen the life of the power steering pump and other steering components like the steering rack or the steering box.  Power steering leaks can be common and are typically addressed by replacing the hoses that deliver and return the fluid to the various parts of your steering system.


BMW Electrical Troubleshooting and Repair

Modern BMWs are not without electrical issues here and there.  Between navigation, bluetooth, and various active headlight and active suspension features, things can sometimes get complicated.  Having the proper training and diagnostic computers and equipment is key when trying to resolve these problems.  Independent Motorcars has the latest software available. So if it is simply registering a new battery to your car, or more involved procedures such as coding and programming the various control modules, we have you covered.


BMW Air Conditioning repair and A/C Service

Is your Air conditioning on the fritz or just not blowing cold?  This could be something as simple as needing an A/C recharge or you may have a leak somewhere in the system.  It is recommended that you have your air conditioning freon re-charged about every 5-7 years.  In some cases, it could be a sensor or resistor that could be the source of your problems.  Despite the complexities of every air conditioning system, there are many common issues that may arise if you find your BMW not cooling things down inside.


Not seeing your current issue here?

Contact us with any questions or for help with your current needs!  (858) 455-5836


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