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Maintaining an ‘M’ Car

Posted in Maintaining an M Car, Maintenance

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“It is really distressing that life has so many up and downs. I would dream of a life that goes up always. But real life is different.”

I started with that as it truly sums up the grand relationship you will have with this car. One would dream of a life where there are only ups with it. The ‘M’ cars are described as exhilarating, iconic, jack of all trades; track and street “ultimate driving machines” and they truly are but, and yes there is a but, one has to be realistic when purchasing or maintaining one for, lets say, a lifetime of joy.

Nothing kills your passion like a six digit bill for an engine replacement or rebuild.

There are a few things you would need to do to keep the passion alive.

Firstly no matter what service annually, weather you make the mileage in a year or not.

Then there would be a small list – take heed;


  • Big end bearings drop the sump and do a set before you get to 90 or 100KM. Time wise possibly every 5 or 6 years. See picture below.
  • Have the electronic oil level sensor changed, it’s electronic and not knowing how much oil is in that engine is plain asking for trouble. Models 2006 upwards.
  • The vanos pipe – special steel pipe V10’s
  • Don’t ignore faults, prevention is better than cure, Engine lights etc
  • See M3 E46 – First time client so there was no warning him, possibly the worst I have ever seen, ran a bearing – could not save this engine.




See M5 V10 – The car came in for a service – We saw metal fillings in the oil cap and advised the client to do Bearings immediately to save the engine, fortunately the crank was fine.




  • Refresh gearbox oil every 40000KM


  • Refresh diff oil every 40000Km
  • FM booster additive for noisy diffs – developed and sold at BMW

The Tune-Tech family owns an M5 V10 E60 and they race a M3 V8 E92


Picture: Kerry Hughes


Picture: Kerry Hughes

There’s probably not much that can surprise them on these cars as they have seen it all and done quite a bit to them; mild to wild conversions.

The M3 V8 race car has a custom build 4.4  engine in it – I am not authorised to mention power figures.

Side Note: Currently fitting a DCT gearbox into the M5 – the box it probably should have come with. Keep you posted on this modification.