Modern European cars are extremely well engineered in today’s age and can endure through tons of abuse and driving over the years. One thing that they require more than anything is consistent monitoring on their overall health. As you know, a small finger prick on a person can sometimes result in an infection and a common cold or flu resulting in death if not ever addressed. Your vehicle is no different.
We here at MMW have seen more times than we care to mention vehicles come into the shop for a simple oil leak or minor repair, only to surprise the customer with a vehicle that now needs thousands in repairs. Check Engine or Service Engine soon lights, oil and coolant leaks, and new odd noises or drivability issues should be addressed as soon as possible. This is a difficult premise to stand behind as nine times out of ten your car will continue on driving like nothing major is wrong. It continues starting and driving you to work other than a light on the dash or some fluid in your driveway. The issue here is many small minor issues will multiply if left unchecked.
The classic example we use often is a BMW 6 cylinder oil filter housing gasket. This $20 dollar seal is at the top of your engine and keeps oil pressure as it travels from the oil pan to the filter and then back to the rest of the engine. This is one of the few seals on the engine that is under immense pressure and temperature.
This a very common leak point on newer BMW engines. By itself it is a relatively minor repair. Commonly when left unchecked, oil leaking from this failed gasket will contaminate your serpentine or main drive belt that sits directly below the housing. This can in some cases lead to engine failure when the oil soaked belt is ingested into the engine through the front crankshaft seal behind the crank dampener.
This is again an extreme but common issue. To take care of your vehicle long term and keep it soldiering on for hundreds of thousands of miles we recommend establishing a relationship with a great European or German independent repair specialist and plan to see them at least twice a year for an oil change and inspection. An example of an inspection is here. These inspections can bring to light issues that can soon develop into large scale repairs that are costly to you and hinder the long term reliability of your vehicle.