Maintaining a BMW by myself

Amazon LegacyCode
Jan 18 19 Comments

I just bought a very well maintained 2015 228i. I was thinking of doing some maintenance myself. Anybody has any lessons learned? Is there a way of updating the computer state so that the car is aware the maintenance has been made? Any way to update the Carfax record?

I’m just looking for a few pointers from people that already went this route.

BTW, my motivation is the pleasure of understanding the car and to be independent of mechanics for most tasks. Of course I’m willing to pay if the task requires special equipment.

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TOP 19 Comments
  • MZ / Other pXft40
    In my '98 318ti the only way to interface with the computer was to use an OBD-II reader. Not sure if the new models are any different.....
    Jan 18 5
    • MZ / Other pXft40
      Also should specify that I was never able to permanently clear any lights the comp threw.
      Jan 18
    • Amazon LegacyCode
      OP
      Thanks.
      Jan 18
    • The Clorox Company / Eng
      Jalop318i

      The Clorox Company Eng

      PRE
      Dow Chemical Company, DuPont
      BIO
      A B.S. in Chemical Engineering with Process experience in Oil&Gas, Manufacturing, Pharma, and CPG R&D
      Jalop318imore
      MZ, you can clear codes on the older cars by disconnecting the 12V battery overnight and to touch the terminal leads together to discharge any capacitors in the ECU. That’s how I cleared a code in my 96 318i and get it past emissions after changing my O2 sensor. Also, I hope you’ve changed your whole coolant system out by now.
      Jan 28
    • MZ / Other pXft40
      Wow I didn't know any of that :( and no, I haven't changed out my coolant system. Currently it's just sitting in my carport...
      Jan 28
    • The Clorox Company / Eng
      Jalop318i

      The Clorox Company Eng

      PRE
      Dow Chemical Company, DuPont
      BIO
      A B.S. in Chemical Engineering with Process experience in Oil&Gas, Manufacturing, Pharma, and CPG R&D
      Jalop318imore
      Might want to get on that. ALL the coolant flanges, thermostat housing and the radiator are made out of plastic and crack and leak out without warning. On these 90’s BMWs, the coolant system was supposed to be “serviced” every 60k miles. Ask me how I know that lol. On the plus side, if you do ALL your work yourself (9-10hr job) the parts only cost $500-$600.
      Jan 28
  • Schlumberger / Eng Pkippsy
    You can get a Carly OBD reader for BMW from Amazon (~80$) and Carly app from App store (~65$). The app allows you to check for Maintenance status, check engine lights, reset service flags and so on. You can also program some features as well.
    Jan 18 2
    • Amazon LegacyCode
      OP
      Thanks, this is useful!
      Jan 18
    • Intel superrr
      So much for an obd reader and an app? Anything special about them? Have seen some which are just 10$ or so dollars
      Jan 27
  • Garmin uvCr44
    Bimmerforums.com should be tons of info and support out there to get you going on your own. Ive done everything from an oil change to a clutch job on my Audi through the years with info from forums
    Jan 18 1
  • Microsoft Big Pun
    Youtube
    Jan 18 1
    • Infosys kix
      Yeah. OP, YouTube is your best friend or your best friend. I’ve learned diy stuff from either YouTube or my friend showing me. German cars can be a bit complicated depending on the job (i have a VW) but there are many videos online. You shouldn’t have much trouble. It’ll take some time and patience
      Jan 18
  • Udemy Yrgi41
    I have a 2015 228i too. To update the iDrive maintenance there is a hidden reset menu using the dash button. There are YouTube tutorials to get to that menu.

    For advance things get an obdii to Ethernet reader and an old windows 7 or earlier laptop and get yourself a copy of ISTA from bmw forums. That’s the same software dealers use to manage their cars and flash firmware upgrades and shit.

    Not sure about car fax. Just keep a log yourself and give it to the next owner when you sell.
    Jan 18 1
    • Amazon LegacyCode
      OP
      Thanks, that’s useful. Regarding carfax, one of the replies above has some info.
      Jan 19
  • Infosys kix
    For the carfax. You can update the maintenance through their app or online (I’ve only done the app). You’ll have the ability to add DIY stuff, shops report to it as well. It’s how I keep track of all my maintenance
    Jan 18 1
    • Amazon LegacyCode
      OP
      Thanks, this is useful!
      Jan 18
  • Intuit tgfi
    How much did you pay and how many miles on it?
    Mar 2 0
  • Toyota JonSnoow
    Toyota Super is better
    Jan 18 0