Skip to main content

Now that I am retired, my 2010 BMW 750 only goes about 5,000 km a year. The car has 90,000 km. I have done regular maintenance of oil and brake fluid. About two years ago I replaced the plugs and all the other fluids too. BMW changed the timing chain and fuel system about five years ago on a recall. BMW Canada won’t tell me what maintenance to do now, they say to ask the dealer. Dealers always want you to do way too much. What do you suggest? I am thinking not just fluids, but what about belts, hoses, suspension and other things I probably have never heard of. – Phil P

Limited-use vehicles such as yours fall into a space where no regular maintenance schedule exists. Therefore, a dealer will typically err on the side of caution and default to over-servicing your vehicle. However, there is one item only that usually makes it into the FAQ sections of many manufacturers’ web sites. Namely, that engine oil and filter should be changed once a year regardless of kilometres driven, using high-quality synthetic products. I would advise that this once-a-year service should also include a full detailed inspection of safety items and filters, etc. Replacement items recommendations should only include pieces that are clearly suspect. Once the technician gives you the all-clear, you should be ready for another year’s worth of driving.

If your dealer is not capable of operating in this manner, perhaps you may need to source out an aftermarket BMW specialist that can function outside-the-box.

Story continues below advertisement


Two questions regarding towing with my 2016 Toyota Tacoma.

1. Why does the manual say not to use cruise control while pulling a trailer?

2. Should I get a snorkel installed in the rear differential for when I'm backing into the lake?

– Patrick M

Using the cruise control while towing on flat surfaces will have little negative impact when driven civilly. The area of concern would be when ascending and descending in hilly areas. Since the cruise control is attempting to maintain a constant speed, the computer may force the transmission to repeatedly hunt through the gears owing to the added load of the trailer. If your truck has a tow-mode switch, this will minimize the frequent gear changes by limiting the use of the over-drive gear. Use your senses – if the truck is struggling, then avoid using cruise control.

Differentials get hot, which causes the air within to expand. Without a proper vent, seals would fail and lubricant would leak out. Therefore, all differentials have a vent port with a plastic dust cap. The vent port is on top of the axle. You only need to be concerned should you find yourself having to completely submerge your rear axle, which, with a little patience can usually be avoided. However, if your launch ramp is of an odd angle, or your boat requires extra depth to launch, then yes, a snorkel style modification would be required to extend the vent tube upward to prohibit water intrusion into the rear differential.

Shopping for a new car? Check out the new Globe Drive Build and Price Tool to see the latest discounts, rebates and rates on new cars, trucks and SUVs. Click here to get your price.

Story continues below advertisement

Stay on top of all our Drive stories. We have a Drive newsletter covering car reviews, innovative new cars and the ups and downs of everyday driving. Sign up for theweekly Drive newsletter, delivered to your inbox for free. Follow us on Instagram,@globedrive.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter
To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies