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From digest.v6.n773 Sun Jun 15 07:24:36 1997
From: "Brett Anderson" <>
Date: Sat, 14 Jun 1997 19:33:18 -0400
Subject: Re: RE: E36 M3 Oil Analysis

I pity the poor bastard that buys this car used,

> 96' E36 M3 this test from about 9000
>miles total, with around 8000 miles since the previous change.

I don't give a rats ass what the oil analysis results show, engine oil has more than one job, it may be a fine lubricant after even 15000 miles, but it also has to clean the engine, it has to remove the deposits that gasoline introduces, after 4 - 5 K miles, it can no longer do this effieciently, resulting in oil journals, some of which are less than 1 mm in diameter, becoming restricted, eventually leading to mechanical failure. I have seen the inside of more BMW engines than I can count, and as soon as I remove the valve cover, I can tell you how often the oil was changed. The first to go is usually the timing chain, it relies on several small orifices to lubricate it and keep pressure on the tensioner, I recently had a V8 with 42K miles on it, 5 recorded oil changes, I had to replace the chain and all tensioners as a result of a lack of oil changes, this was not the first and will not be the last example of the extended oil change bullshit
You will notice that the Caterpillar tests with oil changes every 100K miles use a filtration system that literally recylces the oil, returning it to the engine as clean as it was when new, allowing it to pick up these contaminants during the next cylce of service. Your cars do not do this.

And don't get back to me with the BMW recommended oil service interval crap, read your owners manual, Under normal driving conditions, use the lights for oil change intervals, I am willing to bet there is not one BMW owner in the States that uses their car under BMW's interpretation of "normal conditions".
Start, stop driving, short trips, extreme temperatures, all are conditions outside of normal driving conditions, cruising down the Autobahn at 80 - 120 miles per hour for 4 hours a day, everyday, with no other driving in between is what BMW considers normal driving. Its all about the maintenance cost illusion, Ford and others are doing it also, ever see the ads for 100,000 mile tuneups, they neglect to tell you that it only refers to spark plugs, the filters still have to be changed at more frequent intervals, and the tune up as it was once known, simply does not exist anymore.

Don't forget, BMW does not give a shit how long the engine lasts, once the car is out of warranty, and the chance of engine failure with 10K mile oil changes before 50K miles is slim, but if you want the engine to last 200K miles, you had best start changing the oil a little more often.

Brett Anderson

BMW and ASE Master Technician

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