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Most recommended maintenance charts will give a year and mileage (usually 15,000/ year). After 10 years you could have a car that is at 100,000 miles yet your performing 150,000 mile maintenance on it.

With that said do you prefer to perform maintenance year by year or by mileage?
 

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Mileage, unless the car is rarely driven (think, less than 5k a year).

However I drive a lot, so I change my oil every 7,500mi. or 3 months, whichever comes first. For me, it's usually the mileage since I'm averaging about 3,000mi. a month.
 

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2003 M3 6MT Slicktop
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I think one needs to use common sense and do a combination of both in certain circumstances.
 

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Those recommendations are to provide general policies for dealers and owners to follow so there's some standard of reference for wear items.

If you own a 10 year old BMW and you're doing your own work, those recommendations aren't all that relevant. Physically looking the car over to determine what's worn, and keeping a log of when parts were last replaced makes a lot more sense. If you are unsure of when fluids were last changed or when a part with a high failure rate was changed, change it.

As a side note, I used to daily drive an Integra GS-R. I did all my own maintenance and always used OEM stuff from the dealer. I had a very good relationship with the parts guys there. Because they had my info, I would get mailers from the service department...

"Hello Nick, our records indicate that it's time for the 213,517 mile service for your 1998 Integra GS-R. Please contact us to schedule an appointment.

These letters always cracked me up. I owned the car for over 10 years and put over 150,000 miles on it. I knew far more than the dealer about what parts were in it, when they were last changed, and when they needed to be changed again. I sold the car with 215K on it, and gave the new owner a burned CD with the spreadsheet of maintenance records and he picked up where I left off. He didn't pick up the owner's manual and start going based on the recommendations in there. Ya know what I mean?
 
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