This article provides important tips for BMW owners to help them save money and keep their BMW running longer.
1. Use Recommended Oil
If you love your BMW, you are already using the recommended BMW engine oil. Besides synthetic oil, make sure to use a quality filter or, even better, a Genuine BMW oil filter. BMW oil filters are inexpensive when bought online.
Many BMW owners mistake using the recommended BMW Synthetic oil but go for a cheap oil filter. Filters designed to be used with conventional oil tend to restrict oil flow and become ineffective after 3,000 miles. It’s worth spending an extra five bucks for the right oil filter.
2. Premium Gasoline Only
BMW and other luxury vehicles require premium gasoline. You shouldn’t cut corners and use regular gas on it. A higher octane (91 or 93 Octane) fuel is required to avoid pre-detonation of gasoline.
You may get away using regular fuel a couple of times, but use regular fuel for an extended period, and you are sure to shorten the life of your BMW engine. When you hear the BMW engine knock, you will regret saving a few bucks at the pump.
3. Quality Parts
It’s okay to use aftermarket parts but ensure quality. Not all aftermarket BMW parts are created equal. BMW is called the ultimate driving machine for a reason. Part of that reason is that they have the best braking system. One of the key reasons why BMW stops so well is because they use softer brake pads. Softer material means quicker wear.
The brake pads will be frequent routine maintenance items for many of you. You know who you are. You should plan on replacing the rotors at the same time.
Most BMW shops will not recommend just installing new brake pads on old rotors. You may be able to get away with turning the rotors once but make sure to replace them at your next brake service. The next time you see the brake wear indicator on the instrument cluster, it is time to order the brake pads. Don’t forget the wear indicator, which should be replaced at the same time as well.
4. Keep it stock
If you are determined to modify your BMW, you will do it regardless of what we say. Let’s be honest; these cars are tuned for the factory’s best performance (and fuel economy). Even if you install a Dinan performance chip, Fabspeed headers, intake, and exhaust, you aren’t going to add much horsepower.
Adding a twin-turbo is a different story. Keep the resale value in mind as you make these mods.
5. Buying Tires
It is not uncommon for original tires to only last 25,000 miles. Even though they are meant to last 50,000, replacement tires for BMW can be expensive. You can save several hundred dollars by buying the tires online and shipping them to your favorite tire shop, even the ones we mentioned.
You can save hundreds on the BMW tires this way. As you compare tire prices online, keep in mind that it will cost an additional $20 per tire to mount, balance, and install by the local shop. Still, this is a lot cheaper than the alternative. One place where you can get cheap and quality tires for your BMW is TireRack.
6. Invest in a Diagnostic Scanner
The single best and most important investment that you can make is to get a diagnostic scanner that is BMW-specific. Don’t worry if you have never used one before or have no idea what it is. A multi-system BMW scanner can be plugged into the OBD-II port found under the dashboard on the driver’s side and can scan your BMW for any fault codes.
Don’t waste your time with a $20 OBD2 scanner. They can only read the check engine light codes. At the same time, you don’t need to spend thousands on a professional BMW dealer scanner. There are a few scanners on the market that range between $100-$200. These BMW/Mini scanners allow you to scan, read, and erase fault codes from multiple systems, including ECU, transmission, SRS/restraint, EPB reset, SAS reset, and more.
If your BMW is still under warranty, that’s great. Not much to worry about then. But if the car is out of warranty, you should consider what you will do if it breaks.
Do you plan on fixing everything yourself? If so, check out the BMW Repair Guides section of our website. If not, consider an extended BMW warranty offered by the BMW dealer or third parties.