DIY Servicing: BMW 120d
While you won’t thank BMW for fitting an undertray attached by 28 screws, servicing a 1-Series diesel at home isn’t too tricky. Just give yourself plenty of time, advises
Although BMW dabbled in the small car market in the 1950s and 1960s, its move upmarket in subsequent decades had kept it away from this area. Its smallest offering was the 1993 3-Series compact hatchback, but it was only in 2004 that it truly targeted the sub-compact market with its 1-Series.
First-generation cars were available as hatchbacks, coupés and convertibles, along with an M-branded sporty variant. Sales were healthy – in 2008, the 1-Series accounted for approximately a fifth of all the company’s sales – but the styling by Christopher Chapman under the eye of BMW’S chief designer, Chris Bangle, was controversial. The second-generation 1-Series, known internally as the F20/ F21, came along in 2011 and has more restrained styling in-keeping with the rest of the BMW family. In the UK, it is only available in hatchback form, with threeor five-doors. The coupé and convertible options of the earlier incarnation have been reinvented as 2-Series models.
The car here is a five-door 120d with 181bhp, one of the more powerful of the diesels. Despite increasing technology limiting certain aspects of the servicing – you’ll need diagnostic equipment to reset the service interval reminder on the central info screen – DIY servicing is quite straightforward. However, certain aspects, such as renewing the fuel filter and changing the pollen filter, are time consuming, while dealing with all the plastic covers BMW has scattered around the place is just a pain. Nevertheless, with time and patience, one of these cars is perfectly within the scope of a home mechanic with a decent toolkit.