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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Fri, Aug-31-2007, 02:39:45 AM   #1
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Default How long can you drive with service indicator past due?

Here's why I'm asking:

Current miles: 7500
Oil Service due in: 5500
Total miles driven when oil service due: 13000
Last service done: 1200
Miles driven since last service: 6300
Miles driven since last service when oil change due: 11800

OK, so I want to do an oil change now since I've had the car for a year. I was planning on changing the oil every 7500 miles based on 15K services but it seems the M3 has different plans for me. It seems I'm going to need a service every 11.8K miles, so I guess I should be changing the oil in this car every 5.9K miles or so, not every 7.5K.

Makes sense so far? OK so when I get the oil changed now they aren't going to reset the indicator, otherwise it will advance Inspection I too quickly. I'm going to drive 5500 miles and the oil change indicator will go to Zero. At this point I could change the oil but wouldn't it make sense to let it go another 1 - 1.5K miles? This would give me 6.5K oil change intervals.

However if I go 1K - 1.5K miles past the service due indicator, will that then delay the Inspection I service? Or if you drive 1.5K past the service due indicator will it take that into account when it's reset and subtract that from the new service due calculation?

Yes, I've over anyalized this whole thing but when I got the car I thought I had a good plan, 15K service intervals & 7.5K oil changes. But it looks like my M3 is on 11,800 mile service intervals so I should really be changing the oil every 5.9K, right? Or should I just stick to 7.5K intervals but then constantly be driving the car into negative miles since I won't be reseting the service indicator when it says?
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Old Fri, Aug-31-2007, 03:11:41 AM   #2
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just follow the service interval indicator and reset it when it's called for.

when you reset it, it starts off at 15kmiles, so just change the oil when it says 7500miles left, actual intervals are based off of 667gallons of fuel consumption.

most of your post is way too over-complicated.
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Old Fri, Aug-31-2007, 03:12:09 AM   #3
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If I understand you correctly, you want to change the oil between "recommended" oil service intervals and are worried that it won't sync with the service intervals.

I have my oil and filter changed (at my expense) about half-way between scheduled oil service. My SA knows not to reset the indicator. He said it's a very common request of M car owners.

I let the cars computer tell me when that is. It's my understanding that it calculates (approximately) when that service is due by the way you drive, i.e. the harder you drive, the more frequent the service/inspections. In my case, the "in-betweens" happen every 6-7K miles.

I follow the scheduled service and inspections, knowing that if I'm having a busy week, I have an extra couple of hundred miles (actually several thousand in the case of oil service) in the bank. And, should there be a problem, I can document that I've had the car serviced beyond the required minimums.
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Old Fri, Aug-31-2007, 03:39:03 AM   #4
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If I understand you correctly, you want to change the oil between "recommended" oil service intervals and are worried that it won't sync with the service intervals.
yeah right, I don't see why I can't get at least 7.5K miles out of an oil change, especially since BMW says the oil is good for 12K miles, but the whole way this works with the service and inspection intervals makes it confusing. If you change the oil early and reset the indicator then the next inspection comes way too early, however if you try to get 7.5K miles out of changes and your car is calling for 12K service intervals then it's not going to be remotely close to the computer's service intervals, so you would be driving around past due quite often.

I'm ready to just give up and change the damn oil when the compter tells me and leave it at that, so what if I go 12K miles between oil changes? This seems to be the norm for today's synthetic oil and from what I've read BMW has improved the filter to deal with these extended changes years ago.

Another thing I don't get is that a lot of people on this site advocate early oil changes so the engine lasts long, and then you have people with 75K+ miles on their E46 M3's and the car's being talked about like it's a dinosaur.
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Old Fri, Aug-31-2007, 05:02:48 AM   #5
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You don't reset the indicator for the in between changes. This way you stay on schedule. The only thing that happens in between oil changes is that your car gets new oil/filter......it will then continue to count down to the next BMW paid service.
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Old Fri, Aug-31-2007, 10:46:44 AM   #6
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Your car is one year old? Go to the dealer and get your free annual oil change.

Don't need to make it more complicated than it really is. Get your free annual oil change now, and when the service indicator counts down close to 0, go to the dealer again and get another free oil change.
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Old Fri, Aug-31-2007, 12:49:30 PM   #7
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Your car is one year old? Go to the dealer and get your free annual oil change.

Don't need to make it more complicated than it really is. Get your free annual oil change now, and when the service indicator counts down close to 0, go to the dealer again and get another free oil change.
True, it just bugs me that my oil change intervals will be 1200, 7500, & 11800 miles. So I went 1200 miles, then 6300 miles, then 5500 miles. I suppose it really doesn't matter but I would've prefered to split the oil change interval exactly in half. Also, in my owner's manual it says the oil needs to be changed at least every two years regardless of mileage, so I think with the 06 M3 the dealer won't give me a free oil change at one year, but perhaps at the two year marke, if you don't reach the mileage by then. I just wish I would've done the first oil change a few hunderd miles earlier. It really doesn't matter, going 6300 miles on an M3 oil change isn't bad, hell you could let it go 12K miles if you want to and it probably won't damage anything.

I guess the bottom line is it just doesn't make sense to try and get a couple extra thousand miles out of the oil change, just change it in the middle. It's not for the money, it's more to save myself some time and prolong my next trip to drop the car off or wait for an oil change, I just have a busy schedule and I'd like to get 7500 miles out of an oil change, but do do so would meen driving the car way past the oil due indicator. This seems complicated but it's really very simple. I want to get 7500 miles out of an oil change but I can't reset the indicator, this will require driving into "negative" miles on the service indicator that's what makes it complicated.

So the two option that make the most sense are just say screw it and change the oil when it tells you, go 12K miles betwen changes (this probably won't hurt the car, IMO). The other option is pay close attention to the next service due indicator and try to split it right down the middle but in an M3 that will mean a trip to the dealer every 5900 miles, and I just don't have tons of free time right now.
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Old Fri, Aug-31-2007, 01:36:07 PM   #8
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Here's what I do...

change the oil when the car says service is due, and change it when it says service is due in 7500 miles.

Regardless of how far you've driven, 7500 is the half way point, as it starts at 15000 and ends at 0

Do not reset the service interval on the half way point changes or you'll throw off your inspection cycle.
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Old Fri, Aug-31-2007, 04:10:13 PM   #9
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Here's what I do...

change the oil when the car says service is due, and change it when it says service is due in 7500 miles.

Regardless of how far you've driven, 7500 is the half way point, as it starts at 15000 and ends at 0

Do not reset the service interval on the half way point changes or you'll throw off your inspection cycle.

I agree. That's what I was getting at in my long-winded response.
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Old Fri, Aug-31-2007, 07:01:36 PM   #10
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True, it just bugs me that my oil change intervals will be 1200, 7500, & 11800 miles. So I went 1200 miles, then 6300 miles, then 5500 miles. I suppose it really doesn't matter but I would've prefered to split the oil change interval exactly in half. Also, in my owner's manual it says the oil needs to be changed at least every two years regardless of mileage, so I think with the 06 M3 the dealer won't give me a free oil change at one year, but perhaps at the two year marke, if you don't reach the mileage by then. I just wish I would've done the first oil change a few hunderd miles earlier. It really doesn't matter, going 6300 miles on an M3 oil change isn't bad, hell you could let it go 12K miles if you want to and it probably won't damage anything.

I guess the bottom line is it just doesn't make sense to try and get a couple extra thousand miles out of the oil change, just change it in the middle. It's not for the money, it's more to save myself some time and prolong my next trip to drop the car off or wait for an oil change, I just have a busy schedule and I'd like to get 7500 miles out of an oil change, but do do so would meen driving the car way past the oil due indicator. This seems complicated but it's really very simple. I want to get 7500 miles out of an oil change but I can't reset the indicator, this will require driving into "negative" miles on the service indicator that's what makes it complicated.

So the two option that make the most sense are just say screw it and change the oil when it tells you, go 12K miles betwen changes (this probably won't hurt the car, IMO). The other option is pay close attention to the next service due indicator and try to split it right down the middle but in an M3 that will mean a trip to the dealer every 5900 miles, and I just don't have tons of free time right now.
so changing it yourself in your garage is not an option? your response is just laced with over-complication and OCD, so do whatever makes you happy. or read post #2.
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Discussing How long can you drive with service indicator past due? in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)