2016 BMW 340i: First Service Performed, But We'll Have To Go Back
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on August 17, 2016
A few days ago, a "service due" indicator began popping up on our 2016 BMW 340i's driver information display every time I pressed the start button. The timing seemed a little odd to me. Based on our experience with modern BMW products, I expected the first service wouldn't occur until 10,000 to 12,000 miles, yet our 340i was around 6,000 miles at the time. Our 2015 M235i, for example, first went in at 12,000 miles.
But iDrive's vehicle info page said we needed an oil change, so I booked an appointment at my local BMW dealer to get it done.
I showed up at BMW Fresno and chatted with my advisor, Sergio, while he entered the 340i into his system. I told him I was surprised that our 340i needed an oil change so soon. He replied that BMW had altered its service schedules recently so that they now were requiring intervals "more like a normal car." OK, I thought, but at 6,000 miles?
Sergio also mentioned that our 340i had a recall out on it for a software update. Unfortunately, I only had time to wait for the oil change. I said we'd have to postpone the update for now.
I hung out in the dealer lounge and did some work via the free WiFi. About an hour later, Sergio told me the oil change was done but there was a problem: the technician couldn't reset the service indicator, and they didn't know what was going on. "Do you mind waiting a while longer while we figure out what's wrong?" Err, sure.
I waited about 40 minutes more. Sergio finally came back. They ran a battery of tests, he said, and discovered that our 340i has a defective oil-level sensor that was preventing the service-indicator reset. He could order a new sensor, but it would take about 10 days to get in.
I didn't have 10 more days with the car, so I told Sergio to just wrap it up. We'd handle the sensor replacement (and software update) later. But thinking back on it all now, I wonder if the defective sensor triggered a false and premature oil-change request.
Otherwise, it was a pleasant experience. It was also free, per BMW's four-year/50,000-mile free maintenance plan that's effective for 2016 cars. (Note that BMW has shortened it to three years and 36,000 miles for 2017.)
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 6,154 miles