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Long View

maintenance for the long term

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Hello -

Imagine, if you will, that you'd recently invested in a brand new G31 540i on a four-year PCP. Imagine that you're currently about 3 months / 4k miles into the adventure of ownership, and no real issues had presented themselves. Just fun fun fun, and a more-than-occasional £70 fill-up.

 

Just to humour me, please further imagine that you were seriously considering whether this fine motor might be the last that you ever invest in - whether it might reasonably be expected still to be in fully driveable condition say 15 years from now, just possibly 20 (which, given your current age & state of health, may as well be forever). You'll have to imagine for the sake of this exercise that funds would be available for you to willingly exit the PCP via the final balloon payment, which we all know is not everyone's preferred way to spend their money. But please humour me and just go with it as an assumption.

 

If all of the above was true - how would you be approaching planned maintenance? What would you be doing differently, knowing (or at least: believing that it was entirely possible) that you weren't going to be handing it back after 3-4 years? What lifetime-maximising steps would you be planning, at what point in your ownership? To whom would you look for maintenance, if you weren't the DIY type?

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I think i would be looking at intermediate oil changes over and above that which the car tells you, prompt servicing when it does, some sort of protective treatment to the paint and possibly a rust treatment.

 

Finally make use of any warranty to fix and gripes before the end of the PCP.

 

 

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^^^ What he says (although I'm not on a PCP). I've done the paint treatment (Max-Protect UNC-R) and will be keeping it cleaned regularly (not too regularly :rolleyes:) as well as servicing promptly. Whether or not I keep it 15-20 years depends on what continues to be available to change to (electric doesn't appeal on the grounds of common sense regarding the various eco-claims and I need a minimum of 1000 miles range for my regular trips across europe).

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As well as above mentioned intermediate engine oil changes I think I would be looking at g/b oil changes every 50k miles too.

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Be using the premium fuel. It has been shown to actually keep the engine clean. I would get BMW insured warranty, the first tier or second tier before the factory warranty runs out: cheaper this way

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1 hour ago, Babaikram said:

Be using the premium fuel. It has been shown to actually keep the engine clean. I would get BMW insured warranty, the first tier or second tier before the factory warranty runs out: cheaper this way


I think that premium fuels only serve to clean your wallet out. I’ve certainly not seen any reliable unbiased reports that they have any beneficial effect. 
I plan to keep my car long term but it’s always the cheapest fuel for me.

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16 minutes ago, Boba said:


I think that premium fuels only serve to clean your wallet out. I’ve certainly not seen any reliable unbiased reports that they have any beneficial effect. 
I plan to keep my car long term but it’s always the cheapest fuel for me.

Too lazy now to check online. I believe AA or RAC have objective evidence of cleansing effects in engines

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6 hours ago, Babaikram said:

Be using the premium fuel. It has been shown to actually keep the engine clean.

 

Nonsense I'm sorry. All fuels meet a certain standard and those "cheaper" ones don't gunk up your engine whilst the more "premium" ones certainly clean your wallet out nicely. 

 

AA and RAC reports are not independent btw

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31 minutes ago, duncan-uk said:

There is of course the RON issue normal unleaded being 95 and say Shell V-Power is 99 and some cars ask for min 98RON


They do indeed though very few now and not the current G series, and the higher rating wouldn’t do anything wrt the OP’s long-term maintenance issues.

Edited by Boba

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27 minutes ago, duncan-uk said:

There is of course the RON issue normal unleaded being 95 and say Shell V-Power is 99 and some cars ask for min 98RON

 

 Off topic a bit here.

 

The RON issue is an interesting one for petrol cars. Given that bmw and VAG sell lots of petrol cars in North America and their super unleaded is mostly around 91-93 PON (their method of octane rating) which roughly equates to our 95 Ron therefore using super unleaded here is a waste of time as these manufacturers do thousands of miles testing engines etc and normal 95 Ron here is more than suitable for most cars with the exception of high performance cars. As the octane rating is more than enough for these types of petrol engines. 

 

I tried using v power and Tesco super in my GTI for a while. But it made no tangible difference and actually the mpg was generally not as good compared to using 95. Yet the sticker on the inside of the fuel cap states to use super....... :rolleyes::lol: so went back to using 95 and even with a stage 1 remap that it has now. It positively flies :mrgreen:

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My G30 520d responds much better from 50 to 70mph speed with performance diesel compared to non performance ones

 

My m240i consumes much less fuel if driven hard with 98% compared to 95% octane fuel (100 miles per full tank) but not on long journeys

 

These are real life experiences based on more than 60000 mileage over the past 3 years

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3 hours ago, Babaikram said:

My G30 520d responds much better from 50 to 70mph speed with performance diesel compared to non performance ones

 

My m240i consumes much less fuel if driven hard with 98% compared to 95% octane fuel (100 miles per full tank) but not on long journeys

 

These are real life experiences based on more than 60000 mileage over the past 3 years


no it’s called the placebo effect which you are being sold at a premium of circa 10 pence per litre. 
 

there is no way you would spot any difference on a 2.0 diesel. That engine is produced for several different markets where we have better fuels in Europe and far worse fuels elsewhere in the world. It will always work the same. Better response at that range could be down to a dirty air or fuel filter but unlikely the fuel itself 

 

Also, mood weather conditions (ie no -20C in winters) mean that we do not need any extra additives in fuels, in fact for many many years Bmw specifically put “no additives” on fuel caps which is what you are getting from a “premium” fuel. 

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Thank you for all responses. I'm glad that no-one said it was a terrible idea. I have some follow-up questions, if I may...

 

1. oil change every what - 10k miles?

2. what kind of rust treatment? can we say which parts of this model are likely to be most vulnerable to rot?
3. has anyone here actually done a gearbox oil change on G30/31? or can share links?

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20 minutes ago, Long View said:

2. what kind of rust treatment? can we say which parts of this model are likely to be most vulnerable to rot?

 

I'm not sure we know yet but i was thinking along the lines of the treatment you give restored classic:

 

https://www.rust.co.uk/product/cat/our-complete-rust-proofing-service-24

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- I dont think you need traditional rust proofing on this car . The body panels are aluminium and suspension components are aluminium.  The structure is a mixture of steel and aluminium . How would you access the structural members since they are all covered? . If they are covered up they are protected

 

- An oil change every 12 months or 12,000 miles sounds good

 

- if its a diesel I would get the EGR cleaned out . With the petrols that can be done at 100 k miles

 

- auto box oil change after 8-10 years. Anything which is subjected to repeated cycles of condensation

 

- keep reading the specialist forums - they usually identify long term problems that can be tackled in a preventative manner 

 

 

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34 minutes ago, Carrera77 said:

- I dont think you need traditional rust proofing on this car . The body panels are aluminium and suspension components are aluminium.  The structure is a mixture of steel and aluminium . How would you access the structural members since they are all covered? . If they are covered up they are protected

 

Maybe not but if i planned to keep a car a long time i'd certainly look into it being as cars are built to a budget these days (thinking no lacquer in under body areas) and see what the consensus was.

 

Fairly sure though something will fail finishing the car before it rusts away :(

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I wouldn’t certainly get the car ceramic coated to extended paintwork like and make cleaning easier 

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This post caught my eye.

 

Manufacturers do not make any more money if a car lasts long and there is no legislation that I am aware of requiring them to.

 

They need a car to get through its warranty period without issues and not too far beyond.

 

They have to stock parts for up to 10 years and tend to make more money from servicing/repairs.

 

Most breakdown recovery policies charge more if the vehicle is over ten years.

 

There is not much difference between a BMW and a Ford under the bonnet.  You are paying for the brand and perceived premium experience.  Plastic manifold inlets anyone?

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40 minutes ago, Jimbo07g41 said:

This post caught my eye.

 

Manufacturers do not make any more money if a car lasts long and there is no legislation that I am aware of requiring them to.

 

They need a car to get through its warranty period without issues and not too far beyond.

 

They have to stock parts for up to 10 years and tend to make more money from servicing/repairs.

 

Most breakdown recovery policies charge more if the vehicle is over ten years.

 

There is not much difference between a BMW and a Ford under the bonnet.  You are paying for the brand and perceived premium experience.  Plastic manifold inlets anyone?


you can still get parts for an E46 overnight (if not over counter) and a dealership 

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2 hours ago, sjak92 said:


you can still get parts for an E46 overnight (if not over counter) and a dealership 

I am also sure you will still be able to for years to come.  Long standing dealer franchises wont bin them but might sell them on.   I am guessing you will still be able to access parts in Europe for sometime yet.

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17 hours ago, Carrera77 said:

- I dont think you need traditional rust proofing on this car . The body panels are aluminium and suspension components are aluminium.  The structure is a mixture of steel and aluminium . How would you access the structural members since they are all covered? . If they are covered up they are protected

 

- An oil change every 12 months or 12,000 miles sounds good

 

- if its a diesel I would get the EGR cleaned out . With the petrols that can be done at 100 k miles

 

- auto box oil change after 8-10 years. Anything which is subjected to repeated cycles of condensation

 

- keep reading the specialist forums - they usually identify long term problems that can be tackled in a preventative manner 

 

 

 

Good advice - although I don't think there is a EGR valve as such on a petrol

 

Petrol engines usually achieve EGR using valve timing

 

Changing the oil in between 'official' services is one of the best ways of ensuring engine longevity, as the oil is not only a lubricant but is used hydraulically to operate timing chain tensioners, VANOS etc and clean oil is obviously going to work better

 

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1 hour ago, pt530i said:

 

Good advice - although I don't think there is a EGR valve as such on a petrol

 

Petrol engines usually achieve EGR using valve timing

 

 

you're right - modern petrols with VVT dont seem to have them anymore.

But they still have crankcase breathers I think 

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