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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 06-12-2005, 10:57 PM
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icemanjs4 icemanjs4 is offline
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Location: Austin, TX
 
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Oil Observation and question

Since my oil light came on, I checked the dipstick and it was on the low end of the middle section. I decided to add a quart of Mobile One 0W40. Well when adding the oil (I have about 5000 miles on the car), I noticed a drastic difference in color between the oil on the dipstick and the fresh oil. Naturally I'm not surprised, but since I'm new to the oil changing business, I want to know if this is normal coloration, or if I will need to change the oil at 7500 miles. Here are a few pics.

The brown spots are the old oil, and the light yellow (almost appears clear in the pics) is the new oil. What do you think is this normal oil behavior, or is the oil breaking down and in need of a chance in the near future?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 06-13-2005, 06:38 AM
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Artslinger Artslinger is offline
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Location: Evanston
 
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Besides the 5000 miles, if you have the original Castrol synthetic it is dark when new. I have not compared the two but I'd guess the that the Mobil 1 is much lighter than the Castrol synthetic when new.
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  #3  
Old 06-13-2005, 06:52 AM
Adventure Rider Adventure Rider is offline
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It is normal - oil is supposed to discolor, that means it is doing its job.
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  #4  
Old 06-13-2005, 07:15 AM
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norihaga norihaga is offline
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Location: Surrey, UK
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Mein Auto: '93 E30 318is Touring
What the man said - your oil is not supposed to stay clear.


Quote:
Originally Posted by icemanjs4
Since my oil light came on, I checked the dipstick and it was on the low end of the middle section. I decided to add a quart of Mobile One 0W40. Well when adding the oil (I have about 5000 miles on the car), I noticed a drastic difference in color between the oil on the dipstick and the fresh oil. Naturally I'm not surprised, but since I'm new to the oil changing business, I want to know if this is normal coloration, or if I will need to change the oil at 7500 miles. Here are a few pics.

The brown spots are the old oil, and the light yellow (almost appears clear in the pics) is the new oil. What do you think is this normal oil behavior, or is the oil breaking down and in need of a chance in the near future?

Thanks
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  #5  
Old 06-13-2005, 10:40 PM
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FenPhen FenPhen is offline
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Location: California
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 330i ZHP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artslinger
Besides the 5000 miles, if you have the original Castrol synthetic it is dark when new. I have not compared the two but I'd guess the that the Mobil 1 is much lighter than the Castrol synthetic when new.
When I topped off with German-made Castrol 0W30, it came out neon green/yellow.

(And the oil from the dipstick looked like the pics icemanjs4 put up.)
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  #6  
Old 06-14-2005, 06:30 AM
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Artslinger Artslinger is offline
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The BMW labeled Castrol oil I bought from the dealer was darker than most oils I have seen.
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  #7  
Old 06-15-2005, 01:24 AM
Passenger Passenger is offline
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Location: UK
 
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Mein Auto: E46 325ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artslinger
The BMW labeled Castrol oil I bought from the dealer was darker than most oils I have seen.
The BMW/Castrol synthetic has always been a dark amber colour from new. I remember it phasing me the first time I encountered it. Has it's own smell too...for those who are into oil sniffing
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