BMW

Useful owner information

Condition Based Service (CBS) was first introduced with the BMW 7 Series and is an evolution of the service interval indicator that has featured on other models in the BMW range.

All current models are equipped with the CBS system except for X3 and Z4.

The CBS system is at the forefront of service innovation, and for this reason we want to ensure that you understand its principles and benefits.

CBS – how it works…

CBS employs sensors to monitor the condition of worn parts and to ascertain the extent to which servicing is necessary. 

A microchip in the vehicle’s remote control in the key saves the data along with other general information such as the odometer reading and the vehicle identification number. 

Maintenance is not necessary until such times as wear progresses to defined limits. This flexibility in defining maintenance intervals and the scope of maintenance work required means that only those components that the sensors show to be due for maintenance are serviced. In essence, this system allows each service to be tailored to the requirements of each and every BMW.

The instrument cluster:
The instrument cluster is the central unit – all your CBS data for the full scope of maintenance work is stored in the instrument cluster. When you turn on your vehicle, one of the service requirement indicators below will briefly appear in your LCD display (in-between your dials):

This symbol represents the overall status of the vehicle assessed by CBS.

In the 1 Series and new 3 Series models, you can manually gain access to further detail on the service status of your BMW via navigating the left indicator as pictured below:

When a service operation e.g. an Oil Service or Vehicle Check Inspection is due, the remaining distance before the next service is due and the absolute latest date for a service will be displayed as below:

In the 1 Series and new 3 Series models, this system is in its fourth level of development. This level of CBS offers the following benefits:

  • The remaining distance and / or absolute service-due date are calculated and shown separately.
  • This calculation includes an integrated interval forecast, which reflects your driving profile.
  • With flexible service intervals (engine oil, micro filter, front and rear brake pads, and particulate filter changes (diesel only)), the last service interval is taken as the new starting value.
  • CBS data is stored in the remote control (key) when the vehicle is in motion; updating it every time you drive.
  • The Service Advisor can then read the CBS data using the Key Reader, which will display all the CBS data and status using the Service Acceptance Module (SAM).
  • From this display, Service Advisors can print off the order-specific service sheet after having co-ordinated the service measures.

 

In the new 5, 6 and 7 Series models, the instrument cluster will send the sorted data to the Central Information Display (CID). There, the data can be selected for display in the Service menu using the ‘I Drive’, which will alert to you what areas of the vehicle need attention via the following symbols:

The symbols: What do they mean?

The following checks are undertaken when the following symbols are illuminated when your BMW is serviced at a BMW Service Authorised Workshop.

Engine oil

CBS models: What’s checked or changed when this symbol appears?

  • The engine oil and oil filter are changed because keeping the oil at the right level and clean is vital to the protection and longevity of the life of movable engine parts. Also, if you do a lot of short journeys, your oil filter will be more susceptible to blockages caused by the condensation of water in the oil.
  • The handbrake is checked – unlike the foot brakes, the handbrake is a mechanical function and therefore has to be checked for any necessary adjustment as standard.
  • With every 3rd oil change:
    • Intake silencer: replace air filter element – this can reduce your fuel consumption by up to 10% as the engine can breathe more easily.
    • Fuel filter: replace main fuel filter (only if diesel) – this will ensure a higher purification level of your fuel.

Micro-filters

CBS models: What’s checked or changed when this symbol appears?

  • Heating, air conditioning or automatic air conditioning: replace micro filter/carbon canister – this is important because micro filters trap 80% of the pollen and traffic fumes before it gets into the cabin, helps keep drivers and passengers alert and helps demist windows quickly even on a rainy winter’s day.
  • Reset indicator.

Front brakes

CBS models: What’s checked or changed when this symbol appears?

  • Brake pads are changed, and the brake caliper cavities are cleaned. Failure to get your brake pads replaced will result in a reduction in braking performance, and if the callipers are cleaned, any squeaking in the brakes should be diminished.
  • Brake discs:
    • Surface and thickness – the importance of having a safe level of thickness in your brake discs is paramount to your driving safety; if necessary, the brake discs will be replaced.
  • Reset indicator.

Rear brakes

CBS models: What’s checked or changed when this symbol appears?

  • Brake pads are changed, and the brake caliper cavities are cleaned. Failure to get your brake pads matched correctly will result in a brake imbalance front to rear on your vehicle, and if the callipers are cleaned, any squeaking in the brakes should be diminished.
  • Brake discs:- Surface and thickness – the importance of having a safe level of thickness in your brake discs is paramount to your driving safety; if necessary, the brake discs will be replaced.
  • Handbrake:
    • Condition, brake lining thickness and function – unlike the foot brakes, the handbrake is a mechanical function and therefore has to be checked for any necessary adjustment. As the handbrake is connected to the rear brake shoes, over time these shoes wear and therefore these will also require inspection to ensure a serviceable condition. (The brake shoes when applied by the handbrake clamps the drums of the rear brake disc, therefore securing the rear wheels in a locked position, the mating surfaces have to be in good order).
    • If necessary, the handbrake or any of its other components will be replaced.
  • Reset indicator.

Brake fluid

CBS models: What’s checked or changed when this symbol appears?

  • Brake fluid is changed. The problem with brake fluid is that it absorbs moisture from the air quickly. This is important because the amount of moisture in your brake fluid affects your vehicle’s performance. As water content in brake fluid increases over time, the boiling point decreases. Fluid with a reduced boiling point (or high water content) can create vapour by boiling in the caliper, or wheel cylinder. Potentially, this could reduce braking performance significantly, and can also contribute to corrosion of parts, such as steel pistons and ABS modulators.
  • Reset indicator.

Diesel filter

CBS models: What’s checked or changed when this symbol appears? (Only on diesel models)

  • Diesel filter is changed. This filter is important to the general efficiency of diesel engines. As the fuel passes through this filter, unwanted particles and residue will become trapped, so that the fuel is passing to the engine is ‘clean’. Therefore, this filter has to be replaced when indicated to ensure that your engine is running at optimum performance.
  • Reset indicator.

MOT

CBS models:

  • Statutory inspection for vehicles 3 years and older.
  • Annual check comprising of over 150 safety related items and exhaust emission system test.
  • Checked items, for example include lights, steering, brakes, suspension and fuel system.
  • Government regulated inspection.

Spark plugs

CBS models: What’s checked or changed when this symbol appears? (Only on petrol models)

  • Spark plugs are replaced. When it comes to fuel efficiently, spark plugs are one of the most critical parts of a petrol car’s engine. Defective spark plugs can result in worsening emissions and increased fuel consumption, and can even result in misfires if not replaced. Replacing these worn spark plugs will improve the performance of the engine.
  • Reset indicator.

Vehicle check

CBS models: What’s checked or changed when this symbol appears?

  • Diagnosis test.
  • Horn, headlight flasher and hazard warning lights.
  • Instrument and indication field lighting, check heater blower.
  • Windscreen wash/wipe system.
  • Body: checked for corrosion.
  • Tyres: tread depths, tread pattern and external condition, check inflation pressures and correct if necessary (spare wheel checked also).
  • Battery: display checked, and if necessary, replaced. – If your car is a few years old it is worth getting your battery checked prior to the onset of cold and damp weather, as these conditions can contribute to deterioration in the battery.
  • Steering fluid reservoir: fluid level checked.
  • Coolant level and refill if necessary: if there’s too little water and anti-freeze in the cooling system, then the engine can overheat and cause potentially serious damage.
  • Windscreen washer system: check fluid level, top up if necessary.
  • Brake lines and connections: checked for leaks, damage, and correct position.
  • Under-body including all visible parts: checked for damage, leaks and corrosion.
  • Steering components: checked for clearance, leaks, damage and wear.
  • Check for roadworthiness
    • Brakes
    • Steering
    • Shock absorbers; and
    • Clutch / automatic transmission

ADDITIONALLY: A Standard Scope inspection is carried out on your BMW when it is brought in for a service. This inspection includes:

  • Check of control messages.
  • Check of telltale and warning lights flagged in the LCD display.

 

Scheduled servicing for non-CBS vehicles – what’s checked?

Non-CBS models: What’s covered in an Oil Service?

  • Change engine oil and oil filter.
  • Heater/air conditioner: change micro filter/carbon canister.
  • Front and rear brake pads:
    • Pad thickness checked with measuring gauge.
    • If changing pads: clean brake caliper cavities.
    • Brake discs: Check surface and thickness.
    • If changing pads at rear: check parking brake linings.
  • Handbrake:
    • Condition, and lever travel- unlike the foot brakes, the handbrake is a mechanical function and therefore has to be checked for any necessary adjustment as standard.
  • Reset service interval indicator.

Non-CBS models: What’s covered in an Inspection I?
Body/electrical system:

  • Lighting system.
  • Instrument and indication field lighting, check heater blower.
  • Horn, headlight flasher and hazard warning lights.
  • Seat belts: check condition of belt strap, function of inertia reel mechanism, locking reel, and belt buckle.
  • Battery: acid level, charge state –
    • if necessary, recharge battery.
  • Heater/air conditioner: change micro filter/carbon canister.
  • Body checked for corrosion.

Engine compartment:

  • Fault memory search.
  • Change engine oil and oil filter.
  • At every 3rd engine oil change: (only on diesel models):
    • Intake silencer and fuel filter are checked.
  • Check coolant level.
  • Reset service interval indicator.
  • Windscreen washer and intensive cleaning systems: fluid levels.
  • Steering fluid reservoir: fluid level.
  • Brake fluid changed as per service indicator.

Chassis area:

  • Brake pads: check pad thickness with measuring gauge.
  • If needed, pads will be replaced and brake caliper cavities will be cleaned.
  • Brake discs: check surface and thickness.
    • If needed, discs will be replaced.
  • Steering components: check for clearance, leaks, damage and wear.
  • Under-body including all visible parts: check for damage, leaks and corrosion.
  • Brake lines and connections: visually inspect for leaks, damage and correct position.
  • Handbrake:
    • Condition, and lever travel- unlike the foot brakes, the handbrake is a mechanical function and therefore has to be checked for any necessary adjustment as standard.
  • Tyres: inflation pressures, correct if necessary.
    • External condition, tread depth and tread pattern.
  • Replace main fuel filter (if diesel).
  • Reset service interval indicator.

Final inspection:

  • Check for roadworthiness:
    • Brakes
    • Steering / power steering
    • Clutch / automatic transmission
    • Shock absorbers
    • Telltale and warning lights
    • Check control

Non-CBS models: What’s covered in an Inspection II?
Body/electrical system:

  • Lighting system.
  • Instrument and indication field lighting, check heater blower.
  • Horn, headlight flasher and hazard warning lights.
  • Seat belts: condition of belt strap, function of inertia reel mechanism, locking reel, and belt buckle.
  • Battery: acid level, charge state.
    • If necessary, recharge battery.
  • Heater/air conditioner: change micro filter/carbon canister.
  • Body checked for corrosion.

Engine compartment:

  • Fault memory search.
  • Change engine oil and oil filter.
  • At every 3rd engine oil change: (only on diesel models):
    • Intake silencer and fuel filter are checked.
  • Coolant level.
  • Reset service interval indicator.
  • Windscreen washer and intensive cleaning systems: fluid levels.
  • Steering fluid reservoir: fluid level.
  • Fuel cooler checked for external contamination.
  • Replace spark plugs (if petrol).
  • Intake silencer: replace air filter element.

Chassis area:

  • Brake pads: pad thickness with measuring gauge.
    • If needed, pads will be replaced and brake caliper cavities will be cleaned.
  • Brake discs: surface and thickness:
    • If needed, discs will be replaced.
  • Steering components: clearance, leaks, damage and wear.
  • Under-body including all visible parts: damage, leaks and corrosion.
  • Brake lines and connections: visually inspect for leaks, damage and correct position.
  • Handbrake:
    • Condition, and lever travel- unlike the foot brakes, the handbrake is a mechanical function and therefore has to be checked for any necessary adjustment as standard.
  • Tyres: inflation pressures, correct if necessary.
    • External condition, tread depth and tread pattern.
  • Replace main fuel filter (if diesel).
  • Reset Service Interval Indicator.

Final inspection:

  • Check for roadworthiness:
    • Brakes
    • Steering / power steering
    • Clutch / automatic transmission
    • Shock absorbers
    • Telltale and warning lights
    • Check control