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      04-23-2011, 03:47 PM   #132
Brigadier General

Drives: 2011 1M, 2003 330i ZHP
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: California

iTrader: (4)

Originally Posted by MikeTerp View Post
Quite frankly, I find your post appaling. The "free" maintenance offered by BMW has nothing to do with the dipstick issue, and for those who drive their cars more than average, especially many miles on the highway, the amount of "free" maintenance can be quite limited. I got exactly two "free" oil changes and a set of wiper blades before I exceeded 50K miles, with the maintenance being dictated by the on-board computer (I changed the oil myself several other times in between "official" changes).

As for the dipstick issue, beyond what others have said about being able to visually inspect the oil, there is a matter of accuracy. The first time I changed the oil and filter myself, I put in the recommended seven quarts (N52 engine). The car's computer display indicated "full". Fine. Next time I changed it - because of some comments on BMW message boards about overfilling the crankcase, I put in 6.5 quarts. The display again read "full". Next time I put in 6 quarts - "full". I reported this to my dealer thinking I had a bad sensor. They claim they checked and it was "normal". I put in another quart anyway.

The instant question becomes how many BMW owners have dangerously overfilled their engine's crankcases because of some possibly erroneous computer readout? Another one: how much does this sensor cost BMW to install and pass on to their customers, compared to a simple dipstick? I absolutely guarantee you that anyone too lazy to periodically check their oil with a dipstick probably doesn't do it on their I-Drive either.

Hooking everything up to a computer is not always the smartest way to go. Often, simpler is better.