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Oil changes every 5,000 km no longer the rule

Rob, I have a 2009 BMW 3 series I-Drive 3-litre 6 cylinder. The BMW people recommend oil and filter changes using Castrol synthetic oil, every 22,000 km, or once per year if mileage is less.

Do you think 22,000 km is too long a distance for a car that is city driven 80 per cent of the time? I would appreciate your opinion on this matter.

Thanks, John

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You know John; you're not the only one thinking these new maintenance intervals are excessive. Many new car owners are struggling with these figures especially those drivers over the age of - well, let's say north of forty.

Not to fear because the manufacturers have these things figured out - they have to; think about the hassles they would have to endure if their engines failed because of bad judgment over a simple thing like an oil and filter change.

Any time a manufacturer or dealership tells you one thing or another concerning warranty or maintenance issues, take it to the bank. If you have any reservations, there is nothing wrong with getting this in writing and taking names. Failing that, if you still feel unsure, always err on the side of low kilometres or time. In your case, an oil and filter change done sooner than later is always the safe bet and one that hedges anything outlined by the engineering department.

These extended periods between service help to keep toxic chemicals such as oil out of the eco loop.

Happy Motoring.

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About the Author
Globe Drive columnist

As associate dean of Motive Power programs at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, Rob MacGregor has nearly three decades' experience in training the province's automotive technicians. He has written extensively on car mechanics, appears regularly on television and is a member of the Autotmobile Journalists Association of Canada. More

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