So, you’re a proud owner of a BMW. Congratulations! You’ve got a great car on your hands. But now, it’s time to start thinking about maintenance and service. And that’s where things can get a little tricky. Inside JMP’s complete BMW owner’s guide, we will give you the best BMW maintenance schedule, BMW tips, and BMW tricks dealerships don’t want you to know! Below is a quick overview of the topics you might find in our guide:
- Benefits of Taking Your BMW to an Independent BMW Service Center
- Which should you use: OEM or Aftermarket parts?
- How To Find A BMW Service Center Near You?
- Most Common BMW Maintenance and Service Procedures you can do TODAY!
- The BEST BMW Maintenance Tips For Beginners!
Is an Independent BMW Service Center For You?
See, BMW dealerships are notorious for being expensive. And they’re not always the best place to get your car serviced. In fact, there are a number of reasons why you might want to ditch the dealership and take your BMW to an independent shop. If you are a cost-conscious BMW vehicle owner, then this option is for you; Independent BMW Service Centers.
There are a number of benefits to taking your BMW to an independent shop. First, independent shops are often much cheaper than dealerships. They don’t have the same overhead costs, so they can pass those savings on to you. Second, independent shops are often more experienced with BMWs. They’ve seen it all, and they know how to fix your car right the first time. Third, independent shops are often more honest. They’re not trying to upsell you on unnecessary repairs. They just want to keep your car running smoothly.
Do Independent BMW Service Centers use OEM parts?
To answer the question that most BMW owners are worried about when opting to go with an independent BMW service center: Do independent BMW service centers use aftermarket or non-OEM parts? The short to that is, it depends.
We at JMP Autowerkz and the majority of reputable independent BMW vehicle service providers use the same parts network that official BMW dealerships use! In a lot of cases, we buy parts directly from the dealership! Depending on your budget, we can outsource parts that would better match what your budget is to spend on your vehicle by buying aftermarket (non-OEM) parts.
Long story short, by opting to have an independent BMW service center work on your vehicle, you aren’t sacrificing quality in exchange for cheaper costs! When in actuality, you can get the same part official BMW dealerships sell but with a lower markup. As well as, the full warranty associated with those parts!
Genuine, OEM, and Aftermarket parts?
Not sure what parts you want? In this section of our guide, we go over the differences between Genuine, OEM, and Aftermarket parts and help you make an educated decision for your next BMW part purchase or BMW vehicle repair.
The parts you use during any service, maintenance or repair is essential to ensure the reliability of your vehicle, but there is a huge misconception regarding the terms used to describe vehicle parts. The most common over-the-phone question we get at JMP Autowerkz are regarding the use of “Genuine” parts over “OEM” parts. More specifically, calls regarding service and repair on European cars, such as: BMW, MINI, Audi, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz.
What are Genuine Manufacturer Parts?
Let us use BMW in this example. BMW uses the term “Genuine BMW part” to describe parts purchased from a BMW Dealership. The term “Genuine BMW part” does not mean that BMW manufactured the part, rather the part was outsourced by BMW and mass-produced by another company for BMW under a contract.
It is important to note, when you buy a part from the dealership as a “Genuine” part, it does not mean they manufactured it. To paint you the bigger picture, companies like BMW send mechanical design specifications for manufacturing companies to produce parts and bid manufacturing contracts prior to vehicle production. The company that ends up matching BMW’s manufacturing bid request will be the official part manufacturer for that contracted part.
Don’t get us wrong, BMW does manufacture their own parts, but are only limited to exterior pieces, interior trim panels, vehicle wiring and other easily manufactured components. This also applies to other vehicle manufacturers. Let’s get into a few Pros and Cons of using Genuine parts:
Pros of Using Genuine Parts?
- Manufacturer Branded Part
- Warranty backed by the dealer
- No fitment issues
- Sourced directly from the dealership
Cons of Using Genuine Parts?
- Premium Cost
- No improvements to failure points or longevity
What are OEM parts?
OEM or Original Equipment Manufacturer is basically the definition in itself. The part is produced in a similar, better or lower, specification by a part manufacturer not contracted to the vehicle manufacturer. OEM parts are essentially genuine parts with a cheaper price tag, since these OEM-priced parts are catered to cost-conscious vehicle owners or people looking for similar part options outside the official vehicle part manufacturer.
When certified automotive repair shops offer you OEM parts instead of Genuine, it does not mean they are offering you a low(er) quality part. In most cases, OEM parts are identical in design with the same reliability, warranty and materials without the high price tag genuine parts have.
As an example, the spark plug present in BMW vehicles are not made by BMW themselves, but are contracted and made by NGK. The suspension in BMW vehicles are branded as BMW, but are produced by Bilstein. If you haven’t figured it out yet, contractual manufacturing is big business in the automotive industry, hence, the different OEM brands available on the market. So next time you receive a repair quote or repair estimate for your vehicle, don’t be afraid when they offer OEM parts.
Pros of Using OEM Parts?
- Similar or Exact quality to Genuine parts
- Similar or Cheaper price to Genuine parts
Cons of Using OEM Parts?
- Possible fitment issues
- Shorter warranty period than Genuine parts
What Are Aftermarket Parts?
Aftermarket parts are parts produced outside of a vehicle manufacturing contract. These companies produce parts to improve and exceed on original manufacturing design flaws. For some, it might be a better option to use aftermarket parts on their vehicles, since it solves the design flaws and is cheaper than genuine parts. Aftermarket parts cover most of the replaceable parts in a vehicle. The whole idea of aftermarket parts industry stems from providing better performing and longer lasting product than OEM or Genuine parts. The amount of options you have in the aftermarket parts space is endless. You just have to do your homework.
Pros of Using Aftermarket Parts?
- Fixes and Improves on design flaws in Genuine or OEM parts
- Equal if not cheaper in price than Genuine or OEM parts
- Endless catalog options
Cons of Using Aftermarket Parts?
- Possible fitment issues
- Shorter warranty period than Genuine part
How to Find an Independent BMW Service Provider?
You should always look at the Google and Yelp reviews of any independent automotive service provider. This is so you can gauge whether the service that the business provides is up to par with the services you are looking for and if they are providing a high level of customer satisfaction. The customer reviews of the business should be in good standing and allow you to get a better idea of the quality of service they provide you.
JMP Autowerkz is the top-rated BMW Service Center in Los Angeles!
If you are based in the Los Angeles area, JMP Autowerkz has specialized in servicing, maintaining, and repairing BMW vehicles for over 14 years in the San Fernando Valley. From Woodland Hills, Porter Ranch, Agoura Hills, Northridge, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Granada Hills, Hidden Hills, and Canoga Park, we service anyone with a BMW.
Our main goal is to provide dealership quality service at a fair and affordable rate for BMW owners in Los Angeles while delivering 100% customer satisfaction. Our vehicle services and repairs are accompanied by a 24,000-mile or 24-month warranty on parts and labor (exclusions apply). Combined with the expertise of our ASE-Certified technicians, you can be sure that you are receiving BMW dealership quality service and repair.
JMP Autowerkz is the only independent BMW service center in Los Angeles with over 400 five-star ratings on Google and Yelp combined! Contact our BMW service advisors today to request a service or repair consultation at 818-457-4967.
Most Common BMW Maintenance and Service procedures
Every BMW car is different. While we wish we could list the cost to maintain every BMW car ever produced, that list would be too long. Instead, we recommend getting ahead of any repairs by actively doing preventative maintenance. How do you do preventative maintenance on your BMW? Follow and Inspect the short list of components below the next time you bring your BMW to the shop:
- Brake Pads
- Brake Rotors
- Engine Mounts / Motor Mounts
- Water Pump
- Coolant hoses
- Engine mounts
- Oil Filter Housing
- Serpentine Belts
- Timing Belts
- Control arm bushings
- Valve cover gaskets
You might think that the list we’ve created might be extensive, but if you’re already scheduled to do your oil change, why not do the inspection then? Inspecting the aforementioned components in the list shouldn’t take a technician more than 15 to 20 minutes to inspect. Performing regular inspections during oil changes will help you get ahead of any major repairs in the future. Saving you time and money.
BMW Maintenance Tips for Beginners
Congratulations! You’ve made it this far in the guide. It’s your first BMW and you’re excited to hit the road. The only thing is, you’re not sure where to start as far as your BMW maintenance journey. In this section, we’ll give you every tip and trick to know to ensure your BMW is going to last you a lifetime!
Warming Up Your Engine
This is the most basic routine every new and current BMW owner must do. We say this because it is essential to allow the engine oil in your BMW to circulate to ensure proper lubrication of the engine parts. It takes about 15 seconds for the oil in your engine oil pan to travel to the top of the engine and another 5 to 7 minutes for the oil to warm up near operating temperature.
Properly warming up your engine helps prevent premature wear of engine components, seals, and gaskets, which can turn easily into an expensive repair if your engine components are not lubricated properly. If you are really in a hurry to get on the road and are unable to warm up your engine to operating temperature, we recommend at least keeping the engine RPMs under the 3000-3500 range until the engine oil temperature and engine coolant temperature gauges become stable at operating temperature.
BMW Brake Service
BMW is known to provide one of the best brake systems in the business. They are known for this partly because most BMWs use softer brake compounds in their brake pads than most vehicle manufacturers. Resulting in increased performance, but increased wear on the brake pads. A double-edged sword you might say.
Keeping the braking system in your BMW in check isn’t only reserved for maintenance purposes, but to ensure your vehicle can safely come to a stop when you need it to. Trust us, when we say it’s worth inspecting them when you can.
Importance of a BMW Brake Fluid Service
A commonly overlooked maintenance routine is the BMW brake fluid service. Changing your BMW Brake Fluid will not only ensure your BMW will stop on a dime, but prevent possible damage and corrosion to your brake-related systems.
Signs you need a BMW Brake Fluid Service
- Total braking system failure
- Soft brake pedal
- Illuminated Anti-lock Braking System Light (ABS)
- Malfunctioning Brake Pads
- Burning Smell
Why Should You Change Your Brake Pads and Brake Rotors?
First and foremost, not changing your BMW brake pads and brake rotors, is a safety hazard. If your brake pads and brake rotors are worn out, your vehicle will need to travel a longer distance to be able to slow down.
When should I replace the brake pads and brake rotors on my BMW?
JMP’s recommended BMW brake pad maintenance and service interval is every 25,000 to 30,000 miles. While your BMW brake rotors are to be serviced every other brake pad change, which is usually somewhere between 50,000 to 60,000 miles. These are rough estimates of when you should routinely change your brake pads and brake rotors on your BMW, since your driving style and road conditions play a big role in affecting how fast the wear of braking components are in your BMW.
Symptoms of worn BMW brake pads or brake rotors
Diminished Braking Performance
Let us say you can’t hear the sound of your BMW brake pads scraping —we know BMW manufactures one of the best stereo systems, so we understand— but you can definitely feel when your brakes need servicing.
The best ways to tell if your brakes need servicing are when it takes longer distances for your vehicle to come to a complete stop when your brake pedal sinks to the floor when you apply the brakes, or a jittery brake pedal when you apply the brakes.
Brake Service Light or Squealing Brake Pads
All vehicles are fitted with a brake pad wear indicator. In more modern BMWs, an electronic sensor sends a signal to your vehicle to notify you that your brakes are in need of replacement. On older BMWs, the tell-tale sign for this would be a squealing noise when you press on the brake pedal as you come to a stop. At this point, you should contact a trusted BMW service provider to properly inspect your BMW braking components.
Soft Brake Pedal Feel
Are you applying more brake pedal pressure than usual? Does it feel like the brake pedal is closer to the floor than it used to be?
This is a sign of worn-out brake pads. As well as, air being trapped inside the brake lines of your BMW. We recommend having your vehicle brake pads inspected and performing a brake fluid flush during your brake pad service.
Low Pad Thickness
While you can eyeball the thickness of your brake pads to get an idea of whether it is worn out or not, it isn’t recommended. To get an accurate reading, we recommend having your vehicle professionally inspected by a reputable BMW vehicle service provider.
The recommended thickness to replace the brake pads on your BMW is at the 3-millimeter mark. To give you an idea, new brake pads have a thickness of about 10-12 millimeters. So you would have gone through at least 70% of your brake pads before you replace them.
Brake Pedal Vibration
If you feel vibrations coming from your brake pedal as you slow down, it could be a sign of warped brake rotors. The warping of your brake rotors is caused by producing a large quantity of heat and is a safety hazard and should be addressed as soon as possible by replacing the brake rotors on your BMW.
Pulling during Braking
As you press on the brake pedal to slow down, if you feel like the car is pulling to one side, then your vehicle might have put uneven wear on your brake pads. You can address this problem by replacing the brake pads on your BMW.
What does it cost to replace my BMWs Brake pad and Brake Rotors?
Not sure how much it might cost to replace your BMW brake pads and brake rotors? Check out our price breakdown on the estimated costs associated with Brake Pad and Brake Rotor services for BMWs. As well as, a scheduled service interval for this service!
If you are local to the Los Angeles area, you can also contact us directly at JMP Autowerkz (818)514-7981 for immediate over-the-phone assistance regarding the cost associated with replacing your BMWs brake pads or brake rotors.
Timely Oil Changes
BMW normally recommends having the engine oil and engine oil filter in your BMW changed every 10,000 miles. We at JMP believe the BMW-recommended oil service interval is too long. Speaking from experience, we’ve come across more BMWs than we can count on our fingers that have used the same engine oil for at least 10,000 miles; diligently following BMWs recommended 15,000-mile oil change service interval.
And when we tell you the engine oil didn’t look pretty, the oil looked like a chocolate milkshake that came out of a blender.
Remember, that the purpose of your engine oil is to keep the engine components in your BMW properly lubricated and clean of impurities. If the engine oil gets too broken down or overused, the engine oil will start to have a more sludgy texture and lose its effectiveness in lubricating engine components. While most modern BMW vehicle owners opt to get the ever-popular “Synthetic Oil Change” to extend their BMWs oil change service interval, it is still subject to the same loss of effectiveness over time as conventional motor oils.
When Should I Change the Oil in My BMW?
JMP recommends scheduling your oil change every 5000 to 7000 miles depending on the driving conditions you subject your car to. It is important to consider how often you drive your car relative to how often you have your engine oil changed.
For more modern and turbocharged BMWs, we recommend our customers get an engine oil and filter change every 7000 miles or at least once a year. It is important to note that doing an oil change more frequently won’t hurt your engine. Anything past 7000 miles, and you risk your engine oil being overused and resulting in premature wear for any engine components due to decreased effectiveness over time.
For older, naturally aspirated, non-turbocharged BMWs, we recommend scheduling your vehicle’s oil change every 5000 miles or about twice a year.
What engine oil should I use for my BMW?
If you were wondering what type of oil should your vehicle use? There would be too many options for us to list down and recommend in this guide, but you can find the required engine oil type in your BMW Owner’s Manual or consult a BMW service provider on the recommended engine oil for your BMW. Different driving conditions and environments dictate the type of engine oil you use, so it is different for every owner and every car.
Still not sure what oil you should use for your BMW? Contact us directly at JMP Autowerkz by calling (818)514-7981 for immediate over-the-phone assistance regarding the specific oil of your BMW.
How much does it cost to change the oil in my BMW?
It is important to note that European vehicles have more expensive oil changes than Japanese cars. For BMWs specifically, this number can range from as low as $130 to upwards of $300. This all depends if you have a vintage naturally-aspirated BMW or a more modern turbocharged BMW.
More modern BMWs have longer oil change intervals than older BMWs, so the frequency of your oil change is something you have to take into account in your yearly maintenance expenses.
Not sure how much the oil change in your BMW will cost? Give JMP Autowerkz a call at (818)514-7981 to get a price estimate for your vehicle! As well as, schedule your next oil change appointment with us!
BMW Factory Wheel Alignment
Do you feel like your vehicle is pulling to one side, even if your wheel is pointed straight? Do you notice uneven tire wear?
We recommend getting a factory wheel alignment if you haven’t gotten one. This is a fairly inexpensive service for most BMW vehicle owners, ranges from about $100 to $150, depending on the shop that is performing the wheel alignment.
A few benefits of getting a wheel alignment:
- Reduce uneven tire wear
- Improve vehicle handling
- Inexpensive service
JMP Autowerkz offers BMW Factory Wheel Alignments starting at only $135 for BMW with factory suspension. For BMW vehicles with aftermarket or lowered suspension, JMP Autowerkz offers custom wheel alignment services that start at $155. If you are located in Los Angeles, contact us at (818)514-7981 to schedule your wheel alignment appointment!
Inspect Your Vehicle For Oil Leaks
Engine oil leaks tend to start small and worsen over time if not addressed. We have listed the most common places for oil to leak in your BMW for you to inspect the next time you visit the shop:
- Valve Cover Gasket
- Engine Oil Drain Plug
- Oil Filter Housing Seals
- Oil Cooler Seals
- Oil Pan Gasket
- Timing Cover Gasket
- Front Crankshaft Seal
- Rear Crankshaft Seal
Why Does My BMW Leak Oil?
The number 1 reason for engine oil leaks is premature wear of rubber gaskets and seals, which is totally normal as you drive your BMW. This process is sometimes sped up by exposure to different weather conditions or unaddressed oil leaks, which no one can really prevent.
How Much Does It Cost To Fix My BMW Oil Leak?
Depending on where your BMW is leaking oil from, the cost of repair will vary. Different BMW models use different parts, so nothing is universal. We recommend having your vehicle inspected and diagnosed to find the exact location of the engine oil leak and create a repair estimate.
How Do I Know If My BMW Is Leaking Oil?
The most common signs and symptoms of your BMW leaking oil are:
- The smell of burnt oil in the cabin
- Oil puddles or spots on your garage floor
- Smoke coming out from the engine bay
- Visible oil residue around the seals and gaskets in your engine
- Oil residue on your engine drive belts
Need Help Diagnosing Your BMW Oil Leak?
JMP Autowerkz has been diagnosing BMW oil leaks for BMW vehicle owners in Los Angeles for over 14 years. We’ve seen everything from a mild oil drain plug leak to severe valve cover gasket leaks on almost every BMW.
Contact us to schedule a BMW oil leak diagnosis and we’ll professionally inspect your BMW to ensure it is going to run