A few posts ago, I mentioned that I had to bring my car in for service. It’s a 2008 BMW X5 and apparently these types of cars don’t need service too frequently. As I mentioned in my previous post, I had 15,000 miles on the oil and they wanted me to come back in 3,000 miles when it was ready to be changed. What a difference from a few decades ago.
Anyway, when I asked the service guy at BMW what this maintenance visit would cost me if it wasn’t included in the service plan, he said about $600. I expected that, but still thought it was kind of steep. As I stood there, I wondered two things:
– Do all the things on the “schedule” actually have to be done, and
– Can I bring the car to a European car mechanic after the 50,000 miles or 4 years (whichever comes first) is up?
Let’s take a look at what the dealer did during the 30,000 checkup (and I am taking this directly from the paperwork):
– Completed low annual oil service
– Completed brake fluid service
– Completed microfilter service
– Completed standard scope
– Completed vehicle check
– Check/fill fluid levels, vacuum and wash car
Now, I kind of like walking out of there having only spent gas money. It kind of makes me want to hurry up and drive more so I can squeeze in every last service I can get, but that’s stupid. I would rather have low miles. I am most likely going to miss a brake service though. I can imaging that being costly.
In The Driver’s Seat of the 2008 BMW X5
Anyway, looking at the list above, I can imagine that almost any mechanic worth his salt can complete almost everything. What concerns me is the computer stuff, such as the Standard Scope and the turning off of the service indicator. With this on my mind, I asked myself, What is a Standard Scope anyway?
I found a few answers:
“The BMW Standard Scope is a standard diagnostics check of the vehicle. This checks for faults in the vehicle’s components and computer systems. If diagnostics are not performed when the proper performance of any of the vehicle’s components or computer systems are in question, further damage can occur. A standard scope can also be used to ensure the vehicle is performing properly.” – Karboodle
From what I read on BimmerForums, the new BMWs use Conditional Based Service (CBS). You can read all about that here. Basically, it says that instead of simply relying on fixed time and distance service schedules, the BMW will use an intelligent system that constantly gathers information from modules and sensors fitted around the vehicle. This allows flexible intervals to be created, preventing unnecessary replacement of components that still have substantial service life left.
Okay, that makes sense. So, this leads me to a conclusion – either I find a European car mechanic that has all the computer equipment or continue to bring the car to the dealer. It may actually be less expensive to have the car serviced by the dealer if a regular mechanic is just going to change oil and filters based on a set time.