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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Purchased my Shadow Edition 2019 March from new, now that it is 3.5 years old, I think that it is reaching its 4th service.
It has low mileage because of the Covid crisis, I have been able to work from home ever since and the lock down means that this vehicle was hardly used.
Do I really need to change the spark plugs at this kind of mileage, I only drive on local roads and quite reasonably and it is garaged.
The cost for a full service + sparks plug is just under £600 from a main dealer Nov 2022.
I look after my car very well and would not want to cut costs but I would not want to waste money, I had rather spend it on quality petrol E5/
Could another 140 driver share their opinion ?
Thanks
 

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According to the BMW service schedule, on a low-mileage car, the full service including spark plugs is due 4 years after the date of build, which will be printed on the inside of the driver's door along with the tyre pressure information.
When my 2018 M240i (same engine as yours) was coming up to its four-year service date, I had a conversation with an independent BMW specialist. He told me that, with low mileage, it is not essential to change the plugs, and any benefits from changing the plugs would be negligible. So no, you do not "really need" to change the plugs from a point of view of maintaining performance, efficiency, or mechanical good order.
Nonetheless, I still had the full service done, at a main dealer.
Do you have an extended warranty, like me? - if so then not following the standard BMW service schedule will invalidate the warranty.
Do you plan to ever sell the car, or trade it in? - if so then not following the standard BMW service schedule will reduce the value of your car, probably to a greater extent than the cost of getting the spark plugs changed, given that you're going to need to get the oil changed anyway.
 

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Purchased my Shadow Edition 2019 March from new, now that it is 3.5 years old, I think that it is reaching its 4th service.
It has low mileage because of the Covid crisis, I have been able to work from home ever since and the lock down means that this vehicle was hardly used.
Do I really need to change the spark plugs at this kind of mileage, I only drive on local roads and quite reasonably and it is garaged.
The cost for a full service + sparks plug is just under £600 from a main dealer Nov 2022.
I look after my car very well and would not want to cut costs but I would not want to waste money, I had rather spend it on quality petrol E5/
Could another 140 driver share their opinion ?
Thanks
If it's 4 years old and out of warranty get the plugs and the major Inspection service done at a good independant BMW service centre. As soon as my warranty expired at 3 years old I never went back to a main dealer. Better service and cheaper at a good independant BMW service centre. The one I use have BMW trained master technicians trained to work on M cars and M Lites, they give good practical advice and care about their business and customers. BMW main dealers don't care and damaged my car twice in 3 years, once damaging the oil filter housing which I subsequently had to pay for!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
According to the BMW service schedule, on a low-mileage car, the full service including spark plugs is due 4 years after the date of build, which will be printed on the inside of the driver's door along with the tyre pressure information.
When my 2018 M240i (same engine as yours) was coming up to its four-year service date, I had a conversation with an independent BMW specialist. He told me that, with low mileage, it is not essential to change the plugs, and any benefits from changing the plugs would be negligible. So no, you do not "really need" to change the plugs from a point of view of maintaining performance, efficiency, or mechanical good order.
Nonetheless, I still had the full service done, at a main dealer.
Do you have an extended warranty, like me? - if so then not following the standard BMW service schedule will invalidate the warranty.
Do you plan to ever sell the car, or trade it in? - if so then not following the standard BMW service schedule will reduce the value of your car, probably to a greater extent than the cost of getting the spark plugs changed, given that you're going to need to get the oil changed anyway.
Ideed very similar, my car was manufactured in 2018 November, so it has indeed reached its 4 year anniv. Noted that from a technical perspective, it would not be required to change those spark plugs but then it is important to comply with official servicing based on the manufacturer for reselling purpose.
I intend to keep mine for as long as I can given the context we are all in, this kind of cars will never be made any more, so that is once in a life opportunity for us to own these kind of cars.... literally :-(
No, never was proposed, nor paid for pre-paid servicing ever, so I am free go wherever I want to.
Never modified my car as well, so many of these cars get modded, but then this would have impacted the longevity. So I may go for an alternative solution like Jonathan proposed
Thanks for taking the time to post about your experience and what you did for your 240, I can imagine that you also want to keep it in prime conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If it's 4 years old and out of warranty get the plugs and the major Inspection service done at a good independant BMW service centre. As soon as my warranty expired at 3 years old I never went back to a main dealer. Better service and cheaper at a good independant BMW service centre. The one I use have BMW trained master technicians trained to work on M cars and M Lites, they give good practical advice and care about their business and customers. BMW main dealers don't care and damaged my car twice in 3 years, once damaging the oil filter housing which I subsequently had to pay for!
It is good to hear about your experience with none franchised dealers. This is what I would have expected as well and like I said to Henry, I do not have any prepaid servicing, so I can go wherever I want to, in fact already did before for one interim service. The only catch is that this is a variable of where you live, so you may lucky to live not too far from a good independent service centre.
The other catch is that sometimes their pricing may not be much below that of a franchised dealer, large corporations like QuikFit may not always be competitive pricewise. Once I had them change my tyres and they broke the tyre pressure sensor, to their credit, they admitted their fault and paid for the cost of the replacement.
So not an easy choice, but that is really nice of you that you shared your experience. Thanks.
 

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The other catch is that sometimes their pricing may not be much below that of a franchised dealer.
I think you're probably correct about independent dealers not being much cheaper.
I suggest you have a look at the BMW monthly service plan, which beings the main dealer price down and also throws in some extra stuff.
If you go for this monthly plan, the 'major' (4 year) service includes a brake fluid change, which is not part of the standard 'major' service.

The standard monthly plan cost £720 when I purchased it earlier this year, and it included:
1 'standard service' (oil and micro-filter) - March 24
1 'major service', including brake fluid change - March 26
1 MOT
7 seasonal health checks (done twice a year)
2 sat nav updates

I paid an extra £100 on top of the £720 to get an additional 2 brake fluid changes, so I will have the first one when it is due in March 23, and the second one when it is due in March 25, so the one that comes with the major service in March 26 will not really be necessary but it will mean from that point on I can have the brake fluid and oil change done at the same time every two years.

On alternate years I will take the car to an independent BMW specialist just to get the oil changed (not the oil filter) and give the car a look over.

What persuaded me to do to a BMW main dealer is the tendency of the oil filter to disintegrate when changing it, which then requires the whole filter housing to be changed, and no independent garage is going to do that without charging you, unlike a main dealer.

I would take it with a pinch of salt in an independent garage told me their technicians were 'Master M-lite specialists'. The B58 engine is used across numerous different BMW platforms, not just the M lites, and all the car's electronics, etc. is pretty standard, I think. There are BMW franchised garages with good reputations.
 

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I inspected my 40,000 mile plugs after changing them out, and they looked like brand new. Gaps were all perfect, no pitting, no damage, if someone had of told me they’d only done 1,000 miles I would have believed them.

On such a low mileage car, I would personally leave them, but you might want to inspect one plug (from an easy to reach cylinder at the front) for peace of mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think you're probably correct about independent dealers not being much cheaper.
I suggest you have a look at the BMW monthly service plan, which beings the main dealer price down and also throws in some extra stuff.
If you go for this monthly plan, the 'major' (4 year) service includes a brake fluid change, which is not part of the standard 'major' service.

The standard monthly plan cost £720 when I purchased it earlier this year, and it included:
1 'standard service' (oil and micro-filter) - March 24
1 'major service', including brake fluid change - March 26
1 MOT
7 seasonal health checks (done twice a year)
2 sat nav updates

I paid an extra £100 on top of the £720 to get an additional 2 brake fluid changes, so I will have the first one when it is due in March 23, and the second one when it is due in March 25, so the one that comes with the major service in March 26 will not really be necessary but it will mean from that point on I can have the brake fluid and oil change done at the same time every two years.

On alternate years I will take the car to an independent BMW specialist just to get the oil changed (not the oil filter) and give the car a look over.

What persuaded me to do to a BMW main dealer is the tendency of the oil filter to disintegrate when changing it, which then requires the whole filter housing to be changed, and no independent garage is going to do that without charging you, unlike a main dealer.

I would take it with a pinch of salt in an independent garage told me their technicians were 'Master M-lite specialists'. The B58 engine is used across numerous different BMW platforms, not just the M lites, and all the car's electronics, etc. is pretty standard, I think. There are BMW franchised garages with good reputations.
Great info, good to read about your full history, this is certainly a safe approach. Ultimately, my query was driven by cost.
Yes, it did cross my mind that claims from specialist garages should be taken with a pinch of salt.
It is indeed the b58 engine, there are even several variants it seems. I will go for the risk free approach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I inspected my 40,000 mile plugs after changing them out, and they looked like brand new. Gaps were all perfect, no pitting, no damage, if someone had of told me they’d only done 1,000 miles I would have believed them.

On such a low mileage car, I would personally leave them, but you might want to inspect one plug (from an easy to reach cylinder at the front) for peace of mind.
Thanks Marco Polo, you are probably right but the catch is basically that I do not have the mechanics skills to check. Clearly my car was driven far below average, the servicing intervals are calculated based on averages. Now the consumer does not have as much freedom as they should, BMW pushes that electronic service book which intentionally restricts options. So I will end up replacing them anyway, but I feel bad about this waste
 

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Is there a market on fleabay for lightly used plugs? If so ask the garage for your old ones and flog them there. Might be a lot of hassle though for little reward but would save waste.
 
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