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      05-15-2020, 09:16 PM   #1
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F31 N47 maintenance schedule

Since I'm in my 2017 F31d for the long run, I'd thought it would be best to make up a maintenance schedule. BMW doesnt offer a good one other than look at CBS, so I took some cues from a few other sources.

Hope you folks could have a look and offer your feedback or additions. Some notes:
  • I'm not sure where to put the diff and TC fluid changes, so I put them together with the ATF change
  • The manual calls for a O2 sensor change at 150k, but I put it at 120k for simplicity
  • Mike Miller's article recommends replacing all the fuel hoses at 150k, but grouped them to 120k
  • Should gaskets be added somewhere as a preventative measure?
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File Type: pdf F31 Maintenance Schedule.pdf (56.7 KB, 512 views)
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      05-16-2020, 07:19 AM   #2
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Great thread, thanks for starting this.

FaRKle!, if anyone has a comprehensive maintenance schedule for the N47 I bet it's you...
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      05-16-2020, 10:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_slow View Post
Since I'm in my 2017 F31d for the long run, I'd thought it would be best to make up a maintenance schedule. BMW doesnt offer a good one other than look at CBS, so I took some cues from a few other sources.

Hope you folks could have a look and offer your feedback or additions. Some notes:
  • I'm not sure where to put the diff and TC fluid changes, so I put them together with the ATF change
  • The manual calls for a O2 sensor change at 150k, but I put it at 120k for simplicity
  • Mike Miller's article recommends replacing all the fuel hoses at 150k, but grouped them to 120k
  • Should gaskets be added somewhere as a preventative measure?
Great schedule. I would probably split out brake fluid from table since it is time dependent vs. mileage. I have 40K and right at 2 years and some change. Unless you drive 10K per year, most likely the brake change will line up further in the schedule in terms of mileage.

I changed diff fluid at 30K to follow Mike's schedule. Was going to send to Blackstone, but forgot to collect sample at the right time, maybe will do at 60K, and send both diff and transmission fluids for analysis.
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      05-25-2020, 02:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eugene89us View Post
Great schedule. I would probably split out brake fluid from table since it is time dependent vs. mileage. I have 40K and right at 2 years and some change. Unless you drive 10K per year, most likely the brake change will line up further in the schedule in terms of mileage.
Incorporated some edits to reflect above, thanks! I was about to send out a updated version, but I found out that ZF revised their fluid change recommendations as of January 2020.

https://aftermarket.zf.com/remotemed...e-ml-11-en.pdf

Quote:
5-, 6-, 8- and 9-speed as well as 4HP20 automatic transmissions:
ZF 5-, 6-, 8- and 9-speed as well as the ZF 4HP20 automatic transmissions are filled maintenance-free with specially developed semi-synthetic ATF oils. However, due to the many factors influencing the service life of transmissions in individual operation, ZF recommends an oil change after 150,000 km for its transmissions. In operating conditions with high temperatures and loads, orwith unknown vehicle use in the past, it can make sense to change the transmission oil at shorter intervals.
I think above was result of pushback from the vehicle OEMs: ZF was providing guidance that contradicts the OEM's "lifetime" fill stance. Thoughts? Should I keep it at 60k or move it somewhere else?
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      05-25-2020, 09:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_slow View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by eugene89us View Post
Great schedule. I would probably split out brake fluid from table since it is time dependent vs. mileage. I have 40K and right at 2 years and some change. Unless you drive 10K per year, most likely the brake change will line up further in the schedule in terms of mileage.
Incorporated some edits to reflect above, thanks! I was about to send out a updated version, but I found out that ZF revised their fluid change recommendations as of January 2020.

https://aftermarket.zf.com/remotemed...e-ml-11-en.pdf

Quote:
5-, 6-, 8- and 9-speed as well as 4HP20 automatic transmissions:
ZF 5-, 6-, 8- and 9-speed as well as the ZF 4HP20 automatic transmissions are filled maintenance-free with specially developed semi-synthetic ATF oils. However, due to the many factors influencing the service life of transmissions in individual operation, ZF recommends an oil change after 150,000 km for its transmissions. In operating conditions with high temperatures and loads, orwith unknown vehicle use in the past, it can make sense to change the transmission oil at shorter intervals.
I think above was result of pushback from the vehicle OEMs: ZF was providing guidance that contradicts the OEM's "lifetime" fill stance. Thoughts? Should I keep it at 60k or move it somewhere else?
I agree with you and personally think (but have no real evidence to support my stance) that ZF is just complying with BMW push back. When I read Mike's document about BMW continuing to extend intervals since "free maintenance" was instituted, it supports the idea of the manufacturer pushing solely for their benefit and not of the car itself. Before this, fluid changes were more frequent - and I hardly see any harm refreshing fluid more often, especially since cost is not prohibitive (what is $200 every 4-5 years?)

Many people, including my relative who is an engine mechanic, believe that if you delay fluid changes too long, then fluid change itself may cause more harm than good. So if you have a car with 200K miles that never had its transmission oil changed, it will likely start leaking or fail if you ended up changing it then. New ZF went from 60K to 100K, but I still think this is too long given the stresses transmission goes through and small passages oil travels through. So my personal opinion is the oil either needs to be changed at reasonable periods (60K is reasonable for most slushbox ATs, DSG requires at 40K which I do for VW with DSG) or not changed at all if we keep pushing the mileage. Plus, most people on this forum do drive their BMWs harder than your average Toyota owner, so I think it deserves special attention. There is an automotive video on YouTube with a guy putting this thing together. It is a gear inside a gear inside a gear, very complex system unlike many other slushboxes. I think it makes sense to keep it at 60K miles consistent with their recommendation, especially at the first change given that many people find metal shavings after initial break in. Maybe subsequent changes can be delayed, but I will do my first at 60K (currently at 42K). Many ZF fluid changes online, especially for trucks, show metal flakes at first oil change stuck to filter or the magnets. I wonder if this will be another dud, similar to BMW changing to 15K oil changes then backtracking to 10K again after problems arose?
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      05-26-2020, 01:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eugene89us View Post
I think it makes sense to keep it at 60K miles consistent with their recommendation, especially at the first change given that many people find metal shavings after initial break in.
Thanks. I added kept it unchanged. Latest version attached.

For the sake of simplicity, I tried to group all the maintenance items together into simple buckets. Much like the recommended maintenance intervals of other cars.
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File Type: pdf F31 Maintenance Schedule.pdf (62.3 KB, 132 views)
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      05-26-2020, 08:54 PM   #7
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Is it worth including the High Pressure Fuel Pump? 120k? Unknown if this is a real issue but is a catastrophic failure. I'm not sure how folks keep their cars going for their lifetime, but I feel as if this wagon is one I do want to keep for a long while.
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      05-26-2020, 10:51 PM   #8
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From my side, I've been using the following as my active maintenance schedule. Broken up into a few parts which fall into "normal" wear and tear items. Additives which I utilize. Then "semi-normal" wear and tear items - these are tasks which generally are based on needed replacement or the idea of preventative maintenance.

328d N47 Maintenance Schedule
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      05-30-2020, 12:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreaming.haze View Post
From my side, I've been using the following as my active maintenance schedule. Broken up into a few parts which fall into "normal" wear and tear items. Additives which I utilize. Then "semi-normal" wear and tear items - these are tasks which generally are based on needed replacement or the idea of preventative maintenance.

328d N47 Maintenance Schedule
I like how you put the belt, tensioner, water pump, and thermostat at around 110k. By comparison, I replace most of them at 60k and 120k. Yours is less conservative and saves $$$. Not a bad idea.

Ideas to add to my list
  • For my schedule, would it make sense to make the 60k a fluid-only change and push major hardware stuff to the 120k? Much like dreaming.haze?
  • The DPF has a hard-coded life of around 150k. The part itself is about $2k, is it worth including it as preventative maintenance?
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      06-20-2020, 09:45 AM   #10
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Thank you for sharing all of this hard work folks!
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      06-20-2020, 12:27 PM   #11
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Suspension maintenance should be put in there sometime.
The front tension strut on the suspension usually has the bushing that will go out first. It is the thicker of the lower 'control arms'. That bushing puts up with a lot, and greatly affects how the car behaves.
It's easier to replace the whole tension strut sometimes.
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      06-21-2020, 12:15 PM   #12
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Maintenance Schedule Rev B

Rev B is here.
  • Added DPF to 150k
  • Added bushing inspection every 60k
  • Kept serpentine belt replacement every 60k. The replacement process on newTIS is looks pretty simple enough to be cost effective

The 120k service looks to be the sweet spot to either sell the car or invest in it for the long run. On the flip side, buying any N47 car around that mileage deserves some extra scrutiny.
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File Type: pdf F31 Maintenance Schedule RevB.pdf (63.8 KB, 111 views)
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      06-23-2020, 12:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_slow View Post
Rev B is here.
  • Added DPF to 150k
  • Added bushing inspection every 60k
  • Kept serpentine belt replacement every 60k. The replacement process on newTIS is looks pretty simple enough to be cost effective

The 120k service looks to be the sweet spot to either sell the car or invest in it for the long run. On the flip side, buying any N47 car around that mileage deserves some extra scrutiny.
Great work, Captain! Good suggestions from everyone, this will add extra things to change, which I don't mind to ensure car's longevity.

One thing I wanted to poll: what about glow plugs? Generally none of my diesels recommend changing them until they fail. However, videos of glow plug changes suggests that vibration or soot creep end up wearing out their threads. I am not sure if wear happens while screwing them out or while they are in the engine. Once threads wear, it makes it easier to snap a glow plug, requiring taking part of engine apart. For maintenance sake, would it be advisable to replace them at certain intervals? My VW is at 100K, never replaced, but those don't snap like BMW plugs do. Video online shows worn threads at 110K miles. If we did it every 60K or so before they wear out, is it worth it? Taking apart intake manifold is not necessary, as I understand, but give more room and opportunity to clean carbon buildup. Or should we treat glow plugs like we do rocker cover seals - they will leak eventually at one point, so replace as it starts to leak?
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      06-24-2020, 01:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eugene89us View Post
Or should we treat glow plugs like we do rocker cover seals - they will leak eventually at one point, so replace as it starts to leak?
I actually thought about adding periodic inspection items that occur more frequently than a maintenance interval. In addition to tire pressures and engine oil, I also check for signs of leaks around the injectors.

I had to replace a glow plug on my old TDI, but that was a genuine failure. The thing about the threads does worry me a bit.
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      06-24-2020, 01:45 PM   #15
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I saw that some of the videos about the glow plugs wearing out are from Euro E90 N47? I'd be curious of indication of how many miles and how many glow plug changes they've had, and/or technique. Since it can take one previous owner or shop with brute force taking them off to ruin those threads. Then the next ones are going to be easily damaged.
It would be strange to see a first original set to simply have worn threads without anyone messing with them before.

NewTIS says to do it on warm/hot engine, after penetrating fluid.
I think I'd keep the glow plugs as an item to do as they throw codes, pending more info.
It's a good discussion for sure. Metal threads into aluminum are always tricky.
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      07-27-2020, 05:28 PM   #16
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This is a good maintenance list! Thanks for putting it together.

I'm not sure if anyone is still reading or following this thread but there are a couple more items I would add to this maintenance list for those that want to keep their Bimmer purring to 150k, or 200k, and even 300k miles.

I've owned many BMW's over the last 30+ years and meticulous maintenance rewards me and my kid's vehicles a mostly trouble-free life similar to a Honda or Toyota.

- Every 5k replace oil filter. Every 10k replace oil and filter.
- Replace wiper blades at every annual oil change.
- Rotate tires (non-staggered of course) at every OC.
- Spray rubber conditioner on all suspension/drivetrain bushings at every OC.
- Apply water repellent to windscreen at every OC.
- Adjust tire pressures. I've found inflating an extra 3-4 pounds over the factory recommendation will improve tire life by about 20% and increases fuel efficiency.
- Check and adjust spare tire air pressure at every OC.
- Apply leather conditioner at every OC.
- Lubricate sunroof tracks at every OC. Clean sunroof drains with compressed air.
- Check battery output at every OC. Or replace as maintenance item every 5 years.
- Top off DEF at every OC.
- Operate parking brake at every OC if driver never uses it. Adjust if necessary.

As far as my personal fluid change intervals I've always followed the very strict recommendations that the original BMW engineers made back in the days before "free factory maintenance". This means 60k on differential, transfer case, manual gearbox, and cooling system. 60k on automatic trans and power steering.

O2/AFR sensors should be replaced at 80-90k as a maintenance item which greatly improves the chances that the catalytic converter will last the life of the vehicle. Waiting for an o2 to die before replacement usually causes premature damage to the cat due to inconsistent air/fuel ratios causing the brick inside to burn up and fail around 100-150k.

I prefer Amsoil after performing an extensive oil analysis at 3k, 5k, 7.5k, and 10k miles on several popular synthetics. Amsoil is superior to everything on the market - especially at higher mileage OC intervals. If you have a bunch of kids/friends then buying a bulk drum (30-50 gallons) can dramatically drop the price per liter too.

Oil filters loose most of their efficiency after 5k miles so replacing at the midway point in your OC interval keeps the oil fresh and offers maximum engine protection.

Last edited by cporter88; 07-28-2020 at 09:55 AM..
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      09-22-2020, 02:36 PM   #17
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As an update to the maintenance program, I noticed a fault in my error codes of a S 0398 "Power management, battery condition: Battery faulty or worn out" - so looks like it is time to replace things. Have a friend who works at a BMW stealership and get a BMW battery for $175. Something to look for if you have the ability to scan your car and check on battery life. For reference my car was produced 03/2014 and was on the factory battery still.

Further, looks like fcpeuro.com is having a 10% off >$499 sale. Took advantage of this to stock up on a few maintenance items that will be coming up: Oil + Filter / Cabin air filter / Fuel Filter / Wiper Blades / Engine air filter / Harmonic Balancer (Corteco) / Thermostat. Nice way to stack up and have things sitting around when needed vs. making an order and paying for expedited shipping.
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      09-27-2020, 03:19 PM   #18
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I'm thinking about revising the document to show three different tiers of maintenance schedules. It would range from the bare-bones minimum oil and filter changes to the most OCD stuff inspired by forum members. Thoughts?
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      09-28-2020, 05:43 PM   #19
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capt_slow - I'd say those who are on the range of just doing bare-bones are not really going to care about a maintenance schedule. They either take it to BMW already for them to get stuff done OR they just do bare-bones as you noted.

I'd say the two tiers to focus on would be 1. Doing factory maintenance + preventative maintenance which has been described or been needed by other members who have had their cars fixed. 2. Doing factory + preventative + overboard a bit. This would be the OCD crowd similar to your described schedule.
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      10-05-2020, 02:10 AM   #20
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Rev C is here

Here's Rev C of the schedule. I took the feedback and made two separate schedules: Preventative and Proactive. For Proactive, I was considering replacing the diff and transfer case fluids every 30k, to closely match Mike Miller's doc. But ultimately decided against it.

Feedback appreciated.
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File Type: pdf N47 Maintenance Schedule RevC.pdf (98.4 KB, 68 views)
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      10-05-2020, 03:20 AM   #21
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Do US models not get a B47 engine after LCI in 2015?
If so, does the maintenance differ in any way?
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      10-05-2020, 12:42 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neverlast View Post
Do US models not get a B47 engine after LCI in 2015?
If so, does the maintenance differ in any way?
The N47 was the only diesel engine offered in the US-spec F30/F31.
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