If we’re being honest with ourselves, it’s probably the question we get the most when people are shopping for a new car at our dealership. It’s a question that sticks with us, not only because it’s relevant to an informed buying decision, but because there was a time when service costs carried a stigma for our brand.
Today, a properly maintained BMW is one of the most efficient and cost-effective vehicles on the road. We’ve worked long and hard earning your trust by providing you with San Diego’s premiere Service Center, our expertly trained Service Advisors and Mechanics, and helping you maintain your vehicle on your own.
We want to provide you with an overview of why performing regular maintenance on your vehicle is critical, and adhering to your car’s maintenance schedule is easier than you might think. Service costs do differ between luxury brands, and there is a right and wrong way to think about vehicle maintenance. You will learn the “X” factor of servicing your BMW, and how we partner with you to make sure your vehicle stays on the road and safe for years to come, so you can enjoy the lifestyle and performance you deserve.
Most people who drive off with a new BMW know they are finally in their dream car. While the luxury market is crowded with makes like Lexus, Infinity, Acura, and Audi, it’s better to consider your BMW alongside makes like Mercedes and Porsche. Once you understand what separates these three from the rest, you will better understand how to properly see cars and manufacturers side by side.
There is a maintenance schedule for oil changes, brake and pad changes, air filters, that are dynamically programmed into the vehicle. As you drive it, it learns your habits and is able to predict when these items are coming due. Then there are other services like rotating and balancing tires that you will have to keep an eye on yourself.
Here’s the thing: You really do need to understand your vehicle. While BMW makes certain that every 3 Series comes off the line meeting specific standards, no two vehicles are identical, and no two drivers are the same. So if you feel your car pulling to one side over the other consistently, or hear differences in how the engine revs or how the transmission engages, then you know that you need to bring it in. This is especially true once your vehicle is outside of your factory maintenance and warranty coverages, and we service many happy vehicles that have seen 10+ years on the road with even happier owners.
We want to take a look at these dynamic service costs and show you how often they should be done and how much you can reasonably expect to be charged for it.
We recommend oil changes twice a year, or every 5,000 miles, depending on the condition and age of your vehicle. When you bought your BMW, you may have been told that oil changes for that type of vehicle were higher than most. Owners of non-European or luxury cars can get away with oil and filter changes for about $40. But the average cost for BMW 328i oil change, for instance, is between $135 and $175, says Repair Pal. Some estimates place this higher, up to $250. While that can certainly be the case, BMW of Escondido is now providing three years worth of prepaid oil changes for $199 through our BMW Ultimate Care Oil Services. That way you can service your car on your terms, with unlimited prepaid oil service for just a single payment. When comparing this to an equal model Mercedes, the costs skyrocket up to $190 for a single oil change, with no equivalent option for prepaid oil changes over three years.
● Why should you get an oil change at BMW of Escondido?
● Learn some of our tips on BMW oil changes.
Rotating and Purchasing Tires
Front and rear-wheel drive vehicles should receive a tire rotation every 5,000-7,500 miles. This task should be performed more frequently for all-wheel drive vehicles because each tire is actively engaged at all times. Because of this, your vehicle should have a tire rotation every 3,000-5,000 miles. As with any vehicle service, we always recommend checking your owner’s manual for more specific recommendations. But if you see that tire pressure monitor consistently lights up, warning you of improper tire pressure, then it’s time for you to either fix it on your own or bring it into our service center for an inspection.
When you notice on your own that your tread is wearing thin or if our mechanics notice an issue with tread depth or uneven wear, we will discuss with you the purchase of new tires for your BMW car or SAV. Because we are driving every day on San Diego roads, where traffic is consistently at maximum and braking is nearly impossible to avoid every few seconds, you will most likely change your tires more often than those who live in the suburbs. If that is the case, you can expect to pay between $250 per tire installed and $333 for the BMW X3 xDrive30e. The price here is equivalent or slightly below the installed price of comparable tires on the Porsche Macan, with a total cost of $1364.
● Schedule an appointment to outfit your BMW with new tires or a rotation.
● Find a new set of tires for your BMW.
Does anyone like shopping for brakes?
While there’s a lot of information available on how to change a brake light or what happens when you get into a collision, there’s not a lot of articles that show you the ins and outs of your vehicle’s braking system. The ugly truth is that brakes have long been a point of contention with all vehicle owners. They’re expensive, near impossible to predict wear, dependent upon driver and driving conditions, and expensive. Yes, expensive was said twice, but that’s kind of the issue: How do you best care for your car with a tool that is the most instrumental to your family’s safety?
Depending on how and where you drive, you can expect to replace your brake pads every few years, and your entire brake system every few brake pad changes. While your calipers may be fine over the years, every so often you will need to replace or resurface your rotors. While we understand this doesn’t give you the cost analysis breakdown you are looking for, it will better help you understand the why behind it.
When you are comparing luxury car makers and their service costs, here’s what you can expect: the BMW Z4 and Mercedes-Benz SLC have similar costs for brake pad replacement (around $300 installed) while the Porsche Boxster will be nearly double those costs. Ultimately, brakes are the one thing you cannot skimp out on. They’re not only instrumental to your safety and the safety of your passengers, they’re critical to the proper running and maintenance of your vehicle.
There is some concerning data found in the article and within the charts. When you look at it, BMW comes in as the highest car brand to maintain over ten years. Quite the cart blanc statement, consider all the various models and trims within the brand. Let’s just assume for a second that you just purchased a new BMW 5 Series 540i with Navigation, a very standard build for the series. When you put out a statement like Your Mechanic stating that BMW is the most expensive to maintain, you are making the assumption that all models and trims cost the same. X Series will have varying costs compared to our 3 Series and so on. These kinds of cost comparisons are not helpful and only further cement outdated reputations as well as muddy the waters in an effort to confuse drivers.
The article also outlines that the second most expensive car model to maintain over ten years is the BMW 328i, one of the most popular BMW models in our lineup and a customer favorite. It’s also a model that has been out of production for almost a decade, so it’s not very helpful to see
it in the second place, considering that BMW does not have a single car or SAV in the top 20 most expensive models to maintain over years outside of it. In fact, there are several other luxury carmakers that occupy that list, and all but one are absent from the least expensive cars to maintain.
Your Mechanic is a needed service for you. Not everyone can afford the time it takes to drop off the car at the shop, so they choose to have all the work done at their convenience, at their residence. Maybe people don’t know that we’ll pick up and drop off your car for service? But the picture they’re painting is not fully accurate.
BMW ranks eighth out of thirty-three makers according to JD Power, ahead of other manufacturers like Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi. Consumer Reports scored the BMW 330i a 90% for driving, but decreased the score to 20% based on cost value, while Cars.com ranked it their 8th most popular vehicle with a 4.5/5 score.. This is not about reliability, but about personal preference.
You know what this is really about? It’s about luxury cars. It really is as simple as that. Luxury cars and SAVs cost more to maintain than standard models. They are built with more precision and better components, so it makes sense that their maintenance costs and replacement costs are also more. While BMW ranks a better value than Mercedes-Benz and Audi, they’re all going to cost more than Ford and Toyota.
James Baumer has been maintaining our vehicles and managing our service center for years, so we thought it would be prudent to ask for his insight into the subject. Here’s what James had to say about the BMW brand, its maintenance value, and how you can best care for your vehicles moving forward.
What do our reviews say about the brand and the service center?
What does James have to say about the brand and the service center?
What issues does James see the most, and how can it be avoided?
What is the single most important aspect to car maintenance?
Follow your maintenance schedule and avoid the high costs associated with not servicing your vehicle properly.
Luxury vehicles are often the butt of bad jokes regarding high maintenance costs. While a BMW does cost more to service than a Toyota, their costs are on par with like-make vehicles such as Porsche and Mercedes-Benz. So, why is there such a stigma attached to these luxury vehicle manufacturers? I mean, if these cost so much more, shouldn’t the maintenance costs be lower? This is largely a result of two things: service providers who want your money, and drivers who buy luxury and assume the car will take care of itself. For the most part, our drivers at BMW of Escondido are well educated by our BMW Genius team and understand that their best way forward is a strong adherence to the BMW Maintenance Schedule. While there are those who assume a luxury car equals a car that will never need an oil change or brake pads, that scenario is few and far between.
Before we move to BMW Maintenance Over Time and Mileage, we need to discuss the “x” factor in this equation: you. You bought a luxury vehicle and it needs to be maintained and cared for as such. One of the most important things to remember is that you need to learn your vehicle and advocate for its care. It’s sort of like having a child, so care for it. Please don’t assume that just because you paid $65,000 for a car that it will just work flawlessly forever; you need to care for it over time for things like filters, oil changes, tires, etc… We live in San Diego, and where there’s a large population, there will always be large infrastructure
“Improvements”, meaning road work. This can wreak havoc on your car, so please understand that this means you need to advocate for your car; you’ll thank us later.
A well-maintained vehicle will help safeguard its operational performance, road-safety and its reliability. This is why it is important to follow and perform BMW’s recommended periodic vehicle inspections and maintenance service tasks as indicated by your vehicle’s Maintenance Service Display, along with the other maintenance work described in your service maintenance guide (here is an example maintenance booklet from a BMW 330i).
All BMW vehicles are equipped with an integrated BMW Maintenance System. This maintenance “reminder” system helps ensure that the vehicle inspections and maintenance service tasks are performed at the forecasted intervals that apply to your vehicle. Please note: Damage, including consequential damage, which results from lack of or improper maintenance is not covered under the BMW New Vehicle Limited Warranty for Passenger Cars and Light Trucks.
BMWs that are 2006 and newer have what is called Condition Based Services (CBS). Models built 2005 and older don’t have CBS, but they will have a service countdown on the instrument cluster showing oil, service, or inspection service intervals.
These are the services to expect in line with Condition Based Services (CBS):
BMW 10,000 Mile Maintenance
BMW 20,000 Mile Maintenance
BMW 30,000 Mile Maintenance
BMW 60,000 Mile Maintenance
BMW 90,000 Mile Maintenance
BMW Maintenance After 90,000 Miles
Maintenance intervals on motor vehicles were conventionally based solely on a fixed time period or a specified amount of accumulated driving mileage. However, operational and driving conditions have a major influence on your vehicle’s routine maintenance requirements; the distance traveled is only one of these significant factors. A vehicle used for short trips in the city with numerous cold starts, prolonged periods of idling, stop-and-go driving, and high engine speeds during acceleration may require more frequent maintenance intervals than a vehicle that is driven long distances at moderate engine speeds. Your BMW vehicle uses sensors and algorithms together with the elapsed time and the driving distance/profile to monitor and evaluate your vehicle’s maintenance service needs. This information is then used to adapt dynamically the parameters used to forecast the applicable maintenance service task intervals.
Servicing your car or SAV at BMW of Escondido saves you time, money, and energy, extending the life of your vehicle and improving your quality of life. Regularly servicing your car or SAV and adhering to your vehicle’s maintenance schedule will not only reduce your overall costs but your stress level as well.
BMW of Escondido is not only the highest-rated dealership in San Diego but one of the highest-rated dealerships in the nation, based on Dealer Rater. With a growing approval rating on Google and nearly 500 positive reviews, we consider ourselves at the top of our game, consistently performing well for our customers. In this, it isn’t about BMW versus Mercedes-Benz versus Porsche; it’s about us improving upon the work we started as the only local family-owned and operated BMW dealership in San Diego. We know we have a higher bar than other dealers, but we also know that we love that bar and will always set it higher on our own.
As someone who loves their BMW, the next step will always be yours: care for your BMW on your own, follow your car’s schedule, and work with us to make sure your favorite car is able to last a lifetime.