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View Full Version : Check your oil filler cap!!!


F1Crazy
09-07-2003, 10:00 AM
This is the picture of 3-series oil cap:

http://mail.roadfly.com/graybimmer/sludge2.jpg

What the hell is that build up?! It doesn't look like regular sludge.
Reportedly this buildup happens when BMW synthetic oil is used.
I don't have it on my car but if you guys can check yours and report your findings, also tell what oil you use.

The RedShift
09-07-2003, 10:03 AM
Almost 15K miles. No build up here :thumbup:

Alex Baumann
09-07-2003, 10:05 AM
Hmm, interesting, I'll check it. I only have 4000 mls though.

Sean
09-07-2003, 10:36 AM
Hmm...not good. :yikes: I've noitced that on one of my BMWs, but I don't remember which one. I'll have to take a look.

mwette
09-07-2003, 10:57 AM
My 03 330 Ci looks clean at 10,500 but I did change oil at 7500.

The Roadstergal
09-07-2003, 11:03 AM
That looks like rust? A rusty dipsitck is usually a sign that the car has been driving on short (not-warmed-to-operating temp) trips for the most part...

F1Crazy
09-07-2003, 11:36 AM
That looks like rust? A rusty dipsitck is usually a sign that the car has been driving on short (not-warmed-to-operating temp) trips for the most part...
Right, it looks like some sort of oxidation!

Alex, I thought that you use TWS Motorsport, if that's the case I don't think you have to worry as the person that took the picture says it happens only when BMW High Performance Synthetic is used (for N.A. it means Castrol TXT Softec Plus 5W-30).
I hope the deposit is not oil related, since BMW Synthetic looks like a very good oil.


Please post not only miles on the car but also what oil you use. TIA.

The Roadstergal
09-07-2003, 12:21 PM
Please post not only mileage but also what oil you use. TIA.

And the length of your commute? ;)

Patrick
09-07-2003, 12:26 PM
My 09/2002 build E39 just turned 12,000km :eeps: and I am due for an oil change. Checked the cap last week - just for the hell of it, after I opened the hood for the second time ever :eek:

I am clean.

:yikes:

-

F1Crazy
09-07-2003, 12:30 PM
And the length of your commute? ;)
OK, I've changed it a little, happy now?! :p
;)

The Roadstergal
09-07-2003, 12:38 PM
OK, I've changed it a little, happy now?! :p
;)

:clap: :AF330i:

Did a moderate overhaul on the ancient E30 engine about 3000 miles ago, cap clean, dipstick clean, Castrol (same make as BMW) GTX dino, never drive it without getting it to temp.

F1Crazy
09-08-2003, 08:18 AM
For comparison this is what oil cap on my car looks like:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/photos/data/500/3042filler_cap.jpg?9179

PABS
09-08-2003, 09:47 AM
Two BMW's - 45k and 160k - both clean oil caps. Always used Castrol Syntec.

vern
09-08-2003, 11:34 AM
This is the picture of 3-series oil cap:

http://mail.roadfly.com/graybimmer/sludge2.jpg

What the hell is that build up?! It doesn't look like regular sludge.
Reportedly this buildup happens when BMW synthetic oil is used.
I don't have it on my car but if you guys can check yours and report your findings, also tell what oil you use.
I change oil and filter about every 6500 miles with Castrol Syntec and have 27,000 miles on the car .All I can find on the in side of the filler cap is a slight film of rust but no sludge.
vern

drmwvr
09-08-2003, 03:18 PM
Here is mine with BMW synthetic. I only have 7k on the odometer so I am not suprised that it looks as clean as it is. I guess you can use this as a base line. :dunno:

LmtdSlip
09-09-2003, 09:55 AM
It would be interesting to do an oil analysis of your current fill and see if it points to anything that could cause that buildup on your cap.

rwg
09-09-2003, 01:05 PM
I seem to remember reading about this on Bimmerforums some time ago. Iirc, the consensus was that sludge buildup on the cap is caused by condensation that gets into the oil b/c the car is driven on quick trips and the oil doesn't have time to warm up enough to burn the condensation out. The type of oil used was not supposed to matter.

Sean
09-09-2003, 01:42 PM
Here are mine. The 1st one is from my 1992 525ia with 133,5XX miles and the 2nd is of my 2001 330Ci with 14,4XX miles.

The oil and filter are changed in the 525 every 3500-5000 miles with Valvoline 10W-30 and the oil/filter in the 330 is changed every 3000-3500 miles with BMW Synthetic Oil 5W-30.

operknockity
09-09-2003, 03:59 PM
Mine looks just like drmwvr's and I've got 21K+ miles on mine. Have changed the oil at 5K, 10K, 15K, and 21K with stock BMW 5W30 synthetic, and will continue to change it on a 7.5K (plus or minus) interval basis, though I may switch to Mobil 1 after a while.

doeboy
09-09-2003, 04:46 PM
Mine looks just like drmwvr's and I've got 21K+ miles on mine. Have changed the oil at 5K, 10K, 15K, and 21K with stock BMW 5W30 synthetic, and will continue to change it on a 7.5K (plus or minus) interval basis, though I may switch to Mobil 1 after a while.

That's interesting... depending on how my car runs on Mobil 1 0W-40, I may be switching back to BMW 5W-30 Synthetic. :dunno: We'll see after my next oil change which is coming up soon... did my first change at 4600... I'm at about 9200 now, so I'm getting close...

operknockity
09-09-2003, 11:46 PM
That's interesting... depending on how my car runs on Mobil 1 0W-40, I may be switching back to BMW 5W-30 Synthetic. :dunno:

A lot of the other SoCal folks, and others on the boards, swear by Mobil 1 and they are much harder on their cars than I am at the moment. And it is available at many more places than BMW-branded oil and almost always at a much better price. So what's not to like :dunno: .

I supose if we wanted to be truly anal about it, we'd be doing the used oil analysis after every change :eek:

doeboy
09-10-2003, 12:00 AM
A lot of the other SoCal folks, and others on the boards, swear by Mobil 1 and they are much harder on their cars than I am at the moment. And it is available at many more places than BMW-branded oil and almost always at a much better price. So what's not to like :dunno: .

Much better price? I always thought (and from what I've seen) Mobil1 was more expensive than BMW Synthetic? :confused:

Guess I'm gonna be experimenting a while.... I've got Mobil1 5W-30 in the car now.... since it's not LL-01 approved, I bought a bunch of Mobil1 0W-40 which is. If I end up not liking it, I'll probably go back to BMW Synthetic or Mobil1 5W-30 unless I can find another similarly weighted oil that is LL-01 approved.

nate
09-10-2003, 06:30 AM
Mine looks like the first one.

50K miles.

Kaz
09-10-2003, 08:31 AM
Mine looks slightly cleaner than the 2nd, clean-looking one. 28k, short-changing after dealer fills (<4000mi), ~4500mi changes with M1 5w-30 otherwise. 28k total.

F1Crazy
09-10-2003, 08:41 AM
operknockity, I have yet to see Mobil1 that is cheaper than BMW Synthetic. The cheapest I've seen it (only 5W-30 and 10W-30) is in 5 quart jugs for ~$19 which comes to $3.80/quart and this is exactly what BMW oil lists for.

Mobil1 5W-30 does not meet BMW LongLife specs, it doesn't even meet ACEA A3/B3 specs. It is a fine oil but it is not suited for extended drain intervals and I wouldn't run it for more than 5K miles without analysis. You see, it is a rather thin oil, with kinematic viscosity @100C of 10 CSt, low part of the scale for 30 weight. BMW oil is 11.9 Cst@100C, reaching the neighborhood of 40weight oils. M1 5W-30 happened to thin out even more in some engines but I don't know how it would do in a BMW.
IMO thin oils may be good for fuel economy but not necessarily for engine life, especially in bimmer engines known to like heavier oils.

doeboy, there is one more 30 weight oil that meets both BMW LL01 and ACEA A3/B3. It is Castrol Syntec 0W-30 made in Germany but it is very hard to find. It is very probable that it is Castrol SLX, the same oil that BMW uses as factory fill in Europe. This is the data sheet for SLX 0W-30. (http://www.manthanein.com/images/Formula%20SLX%200W-30.html) In a few used oil analysis that were done on this oil it performed extremely well with very low wear numbers. I'm going to try it in my car at the next oil change and will post oil analysis.

F1Crazy
09-10-2003, 08:43 AM
Mine looks like the first one.

50K miles.

Sorry to hear that :( but what oil?

doeboy
09-10-2003, 08:47 AM
operknockity, I have yet to see Mobil1 that is cheaper than BMW Synthetic. The cheapest I've seen it (only 5W-30 and 10W-30) is in 5 quart jugs for ~$19 which comes to $3.80/quart and this is exactly what BMW oil lists for.

Mobil1 5W-30 does not meet BMW LongLife specs, it doesn't even meet ACEA A3/B3 specs. It is a fine oil but it is not suited for extended drain intervals and I wouldn't run it for more than 5K miles without analysis. You see, it is a rather thin oil, with kinematic viscosity @100C of 10 CSt, low part of the scale for 30 weight. BMW oil is 11.9 Cst@100C, reaching the neighborhood of 40weight oils. M1 5W-30 happened to thin out even more in some engines but I don't know how it would do in a BMW.
IMO thin oils may be good for fuel economy but not necessarily for engine life, especially in bimmer engines known to like heavier oils.

doeboy, there is one more 30 weight oil that meets both BMW LL01 and ACEA A3/B3. It is Castrol Syntec 0W-30 made in Germany but it is very hard to find. It is very probable that it is Castrol SLX, the same oil that BMW uses as factory fill in Europe. This is the data sheet for SLX 0W-30. (http://www.manthanein.com/images/Formula%20SLX%200W-30.html) In a few used oil analysis that were done on this oil it performed extremely well with very low wear numbers. I'm going to try it in my car at the next oil change and will post oil analysis.

Thanks F1Crazy... Yup I knew about that Castrol oil... the tricky part is finding a place that carries it.... which I haven't been able to do yet... :(

I was thinking of running Mobil1 0W-40 from now on, but some have mentioned that their engines don't run as well with that so I was a bit concerned. Guess I'll have to try it and find out for myself... :)

F1Crazy
09-10-2003, 09:06 AM
Thanks F1Crazy... Yup I knew about that Castrol oil... the tricky part is finding a place that carries it.... which I haven't been able to do yet... :(

I was thinking of running Mobil1 0W-40 from now on, but some have mentioned that their engines don't run as well with that so I was a bit concerned. Guess I'll have to try it and find out for myself... :)

Yeah, the only place that carries that Castrol is AutoZone and all Castrol oils are on sale now! I'm going to stock up on the good stuff.

M1 0W-40 will do fine, post your results, maybe oil analysis...

doeboy
09-10-2003, 09:21 AM
Yeah, the only place that carries that Castrol is AutoZone and all Castrol oils are on sale now! I'm going to stock up on the good stuff.

M1 0W-40 will do fine, post your results, maybe oil analysis...

Hmm... I think I'll have to swing by one of the local Autozones and check if they have any so I know where to go for next time. I already have 12 quarts of Mobil1 0W-40 sitting in my garage so it'll have to wait till the oil change after my next free scheduled one.

nate
09-10-2003, 10:13 AM
Sorry to hear that :( but what oil?

BMW synthetic.

Kaz
09-10-2003, 11:47 AM
I examined a bottle of BMW US dealer synthetic oil, and it makes no mention of meeting any BMW specification. Considering it's a different part than what BMWTIS specifically lists as an approved oil, I don't care that it's from the dealer network; for me it's not any better or worse than anything else that doesn't explicitely state that it meets, say, LL-01, like M1 (other than 0w-40), Redline, Amsoil, etc.

As before, I'm not saying that this should prevent someone from using anything that they like; the above statement is STRICTLY on the basis of meeting BMW's specs by the book.

F1Crazy
09-10-2003, 02:31 PM
Kaz, I believe that BMW oil is Castrol TXT Softec Plus 5W-30, fully synthetic oil that meets ACEA A3/B3 and BMW LongLife specs. This is data sheet (http://www.team-dederichs.de/txt.pdf) , unfortunately from '00 when we didn't have LL01 specs. German Castrol site used to list that oil with its specs if you did a search on it but I couldn't access that page now.

Sean
09-11-2003, 11:32 AM
operknockity, I have yet to see Mobil1 that is cheaper than BMW Synthetic. The cheapest I've seen it (only 5W-30 and 10W-30) is in 5 quart jugs for ~$19 which comes to $3.80/quart and this is exactly what BMW oil lists for.

Mobil1 5W-30 does not meet BMW LongLife specs, it doesn't even meet ACEA A3/B3 specs. It is a fine oil but it is not suited for extended drain intervals and I wouldn't run it for more than 5K miles without analysis. You see, it is a rather thin oil, with kinematic viscosity @100C of 10 CSt, low part of the scale for 30 weight. BMW oil is 11.9 Cst@100C, reaching the neighborhood of 40weight oils. M1 5W-30 happened to thin out even more in some engines but I don't know how it would do in a BMW.
IMO thin oils may be good for fuel economy but not necessarily for engine life, especially in bimmer engines known to like heavier oils.

doeboy, there is one more 30 weight oil that meets both BMW LL01 and ACEA A3/B3. It is Castrol Syntec 0W-30 made in Germany but it is very hard to find. It is very probable that it is Castrol SLX, the same oil that BMW uses as factory fill in Europe. This is the data sheet for SLX 0W-30. (http://www.manthanein.com/images/Formula%20SLX%200W-30.html) In a few used oil analysis that were done on this oil it performed extremely well with very low wear numbers. I'm going to try it in my car at the next oil change and will post oil analysis.

I didn't want to hear this. I have Mobil 1 5W-30 sitting in the garage. :eeps: I do change my oil every 3000-3500 miles though.

doeboy
09-11-2003, 11:40 AM
I didn't want to hear this. I have Mobil 1 5W-30 sitting in the garage. :eeps: I do change my oil every 3000-3500 miles though.

If you change your oil that often, I wouldn't worry about it too much.