I changed my wife's 98 ML320 oil and filter at 5000 mi. The FSS said about 10,700 at the time. The manual says that there is a sensor that measures the conductivity of the oil and varies the FSS. I eagerly awaited that first interval as I wanted to see how sensitive the system was.
Immediately after the change the interval increased to about 11,200. Over the next 5,000 miles the interval kept creeping up till the first A service became due at 11,600 miles. BMW has used a flexible service plan for years that factors in engine temps, loads, rpms, etc. I don't think any of them change the basic interval more than 5-10% no matter what you do.
As it turns out we see very, very little oil related faiures anymore since the engines started running so clean. I have seen more than one car bought off lease that probably had no oil changes in 50,000 miles. This may not be good for the motors (bg).
Reguarding the service/warrantee policy. I have had BMW customers bring their cars in for oil changes because the dealer can't change the oil early unless they want to pay for it. These are cars that the services come with the original purchase and the cost of services is shared, but only the called for servoces get reinbursed. Which brings up a couple other issues. The manufacturer can not require you to use their dealers for service UNLESS they pay for the service. A number of cars now come with certain amounts of service covered under the original purchase. The warrantee requirements can be different on these cars.
The other issue is when are you going to change your transmission fluid??????
Owner 24 bay BSC
Bosch Master, ASE master L1
26 years MB technician
[This message has been edited by stevebfl (edited 10-25-2000).]