How Do Late Model Luxury Car Maintenance Intervals Work?

Posted on: 14 April 2023

Owning any car with a few years behind it and some miles under its belt can mean spending more on repairs and upkeep. Unfortunately, late-model luxury cars have a reputation for being particularly pricey to maintain. While some models may be more troublesome, routine maintenance is the best way to ensure any car remains as reliable as possible.

However, if you've never owned a high-end vehicle, you might wonder where to start and how to keep your car running smoothly. The good news is that most modern cars simplify this task as long as you understand what your car is trying to tell you.

When Do You Need to Service Your Car?

You may be familiar with traditional or older maintenance schedules, which typically list individual mileage intervals for tasks such as oil changes, air filter replacements, coolant flushes, etc. While all cars will still require these basic maintenance tasks, many modern luxury automakers now group them into larger service visits. For example, BMW auto services group these maintenance jobs into Inspections I and II.

If you own an older car, your owner's model will likely list specific intervals for these service appointments and a normal oil change schedule. On the other hand, many newer vehicles rely on their sensors to detect your driving habits and conditions. These systems are particularly common in luxury cars.

For these newer cars, your computer will tell you when the date is approaching for an oil change or one of your major service visits. Your car can also track additional information, such as the time since your last brake pad replacement. While relying on a computer to tell you when to take your car for a service may seem off-putting, this method allows for more precise timing based on your driving habits.

What's Involved in a Typical Maintenance Visit?

While your car has some high-tech systems to tell you when it requires service, the actual service visits will be relatively familiar. For example, sticking to a regular oil change interval is still one of the most critical maintenance tasks. While your car's computer will likely tell you when to schedule your next change, you can also stick to the interval recommended in your user's manual.

The more extensive service visits will typically involve additional items, such as air filter replacements, coolant flushes, and other critical maintenance tasks. Your car's owner's manual should contain additional details, but you'll often note that these visits include inspections of critical equipment such as your braking system, suspension, and more.

Although this work is often less urgent than changing your oil or replacing worn brake pads, it is just as critical to ensuring the reliability of your car. Following your manufacturer's recommended service intervals, including routine inspections, will allow you to avoid many common problems and catch others before they require expensive repairs.