BMW CBS Maintenance: Condition Based Service Explained
To give you an understanding of how your BMW CBS “Condition Based Service” with the iDrive system
functions. The CBS system checks several maintenance items and will also alert ahead of time when the
vehicle needs servicing. The CBS specifically monitors the engine oil (most newer BMW vehicles do not
have a dip stick, they use and oil level sensor inside the oil pan), cabin air filters, brake fluid, front and
rear brakes, as well as spark plugs. The indicator lights for each of these service items are viewed
through the display screen and are also color coded. The green indicator light means ok, yellow/amber
indicator light means it is due (roughly about 20% remaining life) and the red service indicator means
service is past due.
BMW manufacturer recommends oil changes to be done every 15,000 miles using a high performance
5W-30 synthetic oil, most BMW engines hold 7 to 9 quarts of oil. It is not known why BMW does not
take into consideration traffic jams, stop and go driving, idling at stop lights, and just the normal wear
and tear on these cars. All these factors take a toll on the engine, pistons, and cylinders that going
15,000 miles without fresh oil can damage these parts, especially on a vehicle with higher mileage. Haus
of Minis & BMW would recommend servicing your BMW every 6 months or 5,000 miles.
The cabin air filters are monitored by the climate control module and clean the air that comes into the
interior of the vehicle though the heating and air conditioning system. The filters catch pollen, dust, and
other particles in the air. If you drive in an urban area that is highly polluted, The Haus
would recommend to replace the cabin filters every 12-15,000 miles. However, BMW recommends to
replace the filters every 32,000 miles. BMW estimates this based off of the ambient air temperature
sensor, heater usage, driving speeds, fan speed, rain sensor, time and distance since the last oil change.
The brake fluid is a time based service that needs to be performed every 24 months regardless of
Spark plugs are a mileage based service and need to be replaced every 100,000 miles.
Front and rear brakes are a wear item, meaning that there is no specific time or miles that the vehicle
would need to get them replaced. Average life for brake pads is anywhere from 20,000-30,000 miles,
some can last even longer, Haus of Minis & BMW have seen customers who’s brake pads have lasted
upwards of 80,000 miles! Brake wear is based solely upon the habits of the driver and driving conditions,
so no two cars brakes will wear the same. There is a common flaw with the CBS system that will cause
the brake light to come on prematurely (with 50-60%) remaining still. If you take it to the BMW dealer
they will sell you brakes even if your vehicle does not need them yet simply because the light is on. We
always perform a visual inspection before replacing any brakes, if the brake pads are still good the light
can be reset, then wait until the brakes actually need to be replaced.
Please call 855-572-6464 (MINI) to schedule an appointment