I was most surprised by Mr Nicholls’ letter in your November issue concerning the servicing of his BMW 528i and feel that it would perhaps be helpful to those who do not own a BMW with the computerised servicing lights to explain the system.
Once the orange light comes on an oil service or full inspection should be carried out as soon as possible. This light will remain on until the work has been carried out and the system cancelled by the BMW agent using the special tool mentioned by Mr Nicholls in his letter. However the first red light will not come on until some little time further has elapsed and the second one will not light up until much later still.
The whole point of the computerised servicing lights is that they take into account how the car is driven and as far as my 5201 is concerned I have found that very approximately 1,000 miles is covered between each of the lights coming on and if this were the case with Mr Nicholls’ car then he must have driven about 2.000 or maybe 3,000 miles since the orange service light first came on!
From this! would suggest that it is plainly ridiculous for Mr Nicholls to complain that his BMW agent could not carry out the work for one week when he may well have been in a situation that the car required the oil service for several weeks prior to him contacting the garage. My experience with this type of servicing system over the 42,000 miles that my car has done in the last two years is that it is most satisfactory and much cheaper than previous servicing. I would also add that the BMW
agents in Maidstone have maintained my car to an excellent standard and I am of the opinion that any garage who could carry out a routine (as opposed to an emergency) job in less than about a week probably have too low a throughput in their work shops.
I would just add that I started my BMW ownership many years ago with a 3.0S progressing to the original 4 cylinder 5201 and then to a 728 before my existing car which I have found to be virtually faultless and a superb compromise between performance, accommodation, comfort and economy. Pluckley R. E. FINLINSON