By Andrea Wittler.
The special thing about BMWs is how they feel; they feel better and drive better than almost any other car built in the world. They are performance cars, you know, and a lot of people may or may not necessarily use them for that, but that is what they are. They’re a high-performance car, they have high-performance engines, high-performance transmissions, that are more stable than almost any other car built in the world. You know Audi and Volkswagen and Mercedes try to do the same thing as BMW, but for some reason BMW just seems to have it dialed in better than anybody else.
To keep these fine cars running optimally, it really is only three things: maintenance, maintenance, maintenance. That’s what keeps them on the road. Fluids, filters, things like that. They, they need to be changed on a consistent basis, BMW claims that they have lifetime fill on their transmissions well that’s the lifetime of the transmission, not the lifetime of the fluid. We are still strong believers that the fluid needs to be changed every you know 60,000 miles to keep that transmission alive and keep the maintenance costs down over the long haul. That keeps performance at optimal levels over the long run, and properly maintained, these cars will last a long long time. But you’ve got to stay on top of them because what BMW recommends, it’s not necessarily what’s going to keep that car on the road for an extended period of time without having a major repair cost. Ironically enough, they’re more worried about emissions, and anytime there’s a called-for replacement of fluids, that’s considered emissions, so they get penalized by the EPA. The problem is that you then end up buying a transmission or rear differential, and that is a major expense.
For the cars, we maintain over the long term at Hans Wittler’s, we don’t do a lot of transmissions and engines because for cars maintained at the highest levels it just isn’t necessary. One thing many people notice is that you often see lots of vintage cars including many BMWs when you come to our shop. That isn’t an accident. Because these vehicles have been well maintained, they last long enough to become vintage. These vehicles had the regular maintenance required that allowed them to stay on the road performing at a high level.
Longevity for German cars, that’s our specialty. Because if you want your BMW to last a long time, we’re the shop for you. The people that follow our maintenance philosophy are going to be a whole lot happier in the long run because of far fewer major repairs. When people talk about how long you go between oil changes, what’s required in the way of filter changes is this thing called under normal driving conditions.
New Mexico is a dry place and there’s almost always dust in the air, and “normal” driving conditions in New Mexico require more frequent filter and fluid replacements than in many other places. “Normal” driving conditions are something like 70 degrees with 50% relative humidity. That is not normal for New Mexico for most of the year. In addition, “normal” miles have a lot of freeway miles included. If you drive your car mostly on short trips around town, more than “normal” maintenance will be needed.
Our climate has a lot of heat and a lot of dust much of the year, and heat and dust are hard on engines and transmissions and cause more wear and tear; fluids break down, filters get dirty, spark plugs work harder. Everything works harder because of the extra heat that New Mexico climate produces.