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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 09-01-2007, 12:15 PM
Variocam Variocam is offline
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A few quick oil-related questions

I know, this topic has come up many times before, but I really don't feel like wading through the 8400 posts on oil to answer a couple of simple questions, especially since the search feature seems to venture beyond E92's, so here they are:

1. My 328i will be hitting the 7500 mile mark in a few weeks, so I'd like to change the oil at that time. I plan to do so every 7500 miles, as this seems to be a reasonable compromise, based on the research I've done. I'm planning to use a good quality synthetic like Red Line or Amsoil. I assume the dealer will be using a BMW-specific oil at the regular service intervals. Is there any issue with alternating between two different oils like this? I've always stuck with one brand as long as I've owned a car, so this is something new for me.

2. The manual says to use either 5W-30 or 5W-40, but doesn't really make a strong recommendation one way or the other. I live in Austin, Texas, which is a warmer-than average climate (though not this year, as we've had by far the coolest summer in the 16 years I've lived here, and much cooler than much of the rest of the country - take that, Al Gore!). Any thoughts as to which weight I should go with? I'm leaning toward the 10W-30, since the lighter the oil, the less resistance to rotation.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 09-01-2007, 01:47 PM
bufasion bufasion is offline
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Why not just use the dealer's oil, and ask which weight they use in your area? The price for BMW-branded oil from my dealer is quite reasonable.
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  #3  
Old 09-01-2007, 02:18 PM
2nynbak 2nynbak is offline
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Seeing as that you are changing the oil before the manufacturer suggest it be done why don't you send it out and have it tested. It cost a lot less than the oil change and you may be pleasantly surprised at how the oil is continuing to perform. If you continue to test it you will be able to track all the chemicals and metals in the oil as well as how the additive package is holding up. The oil is probably good for 20k miles but it's worth it to see how it may have degraded in 7,500 miles.
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  #4  
Old 09-01-2007, 07:30 PM
DHC8 DHC8 is offline
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ACEA A3, which is the starting point for BMW approval, can be either a "thick" 30 weight or a thin 40. So the SAE viscosity number on the bottle does not mean that much, especially since what they appear to be looking for is a relatively high HTHS.

I would stick to oils with BMW approval, meaning LL-01 in the United States.

Here is a pretty good blurb on BMW oil issues:

http://bimmer.tribe.net/thread/cf7e7...a-d7c8ab637182
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  #5  
Old 09-02-2007, 06:33 AM
X72 X72 is offline
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Variocam, if you are changing the oil every 7.5k miles, then I assume you are planning on keeping the car past the warranty period. If you are leasing and definitely not keeping the car past the warranty, it is a waste of money to change oil beyond what BMW is requiring you to do. That doesn't make it wrong; in fact it is downright altruistic since you would be trying to help the 2nd owner by doing more frequent oil changes.

In my opinion, the LL spec is irrelevant if you are changing out the oil every 7.5k miles or approximately 6 months.

The LL spec is important in Europe where the oil change intervals are approximately every 2 years. BMW is paying for an oil change a year while the car is under warranty here in the US. So you will do one oil change at 6 months and BMW will do one at the one year mark.

The A3 spec isn't important unless you are running the car at autobahn speeds above 90mph for sustained periods of time.

That is why BMW says Mobil 1 5W-30 is ok in the owner's manual even though it is an A1/A5 oil and doesn't meet the LL specs.

In summary, any name brand synthetic 0W or 5W - 30W or 40W is fine at the 7.5k interval you are contemplating. If you feel safer having a BMW approved oil, then go for that. The Castrol oil you can buy at the BMW dealership is a fine oil. Mobil 1 0W-40 is widely available, meets BMW LL-01, and is also a fine oil.

If you want to fine tune your oil selection, google search Dyson analysis and send in an oil sample to Terry Dyson for his expert opinion.

As far as cost, it is not that expensive to change the oil if you do it yourself. If the dealer is changing the oil, then oil change cost becomes more of a factor.
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  #6  
Old 09-02-2007, 06:58 AM
DHC8 DHC8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X72 View Post
...That is why BMW says Mobil 1 5W-30 is ok in the owner's manual even though it is an A1/A5 oil and doesn't meet the LL specs.....
There are versions of Mobil 1 5W-30 that do meet LL specs, you just can not get them in the United States. Likewise, the Mobil 1 5W-40 that the warranty book mentions meets LL specs but is only available in Europe. At the same time there are excerpts from BMW service documentation that make it clear that at least LL-01 should be used in these engines, and given a conflict between a poorly edited warranty booklet or the frequently updated service information I would certainly go with the later.

That said, I do agree that on a 7.5 oil change interval it probably does not matter—EXCEPT—note what happened at VW with the 1.8T. As that engine developed sludge issues those owners who followed (and documented their compliance with) VW’s service recommendations got an extended warranty. Those that did not received no assistance.

For this reason alone I respectfully suggest that it is always prudent to stick with clearly approved fluids and to keep good documentation. And before anyone starts a VW Sucks/BMW is Great rant, BMW itself has had a few long term engine issues over the years.
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  #7  
Old 09-02-2007, 12:19 PM
Variocam Variocam is offline
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Oil-related threads always seem to produce interesting and thought-provoking responses. To answer X72's question, yes, I am planning on keeping the car past the warrantee period, and it is not a lease. And I understand that between the much cleaner combustion of today's electronically controlled engines, superior materials, and much improved oils, the change frequency can be extended dramatically beyond yesteryear's rule of thumb of 3000 miles. And I realize that given all that, even a 7.5K change interval is pretty conservative, especially since it's my wife's car, and seldom sees anything over 3500 rpm, nor does it see much stop-and-go traffic.

I'm not even sure I'm going to stick with 7.5K intervals long term; I just thought that for the first change, 7.5K seemed reasonable. But at the price of today's synthetic oils (Redline and Amsoil go for around $7 a quart ), even doing it yourself is fairly pricey, so I may go ahead and have the oil analyzed at, say, 15K (thanks for that tip), and use that to determine the change frequency. Of course, that depends on the cost of the analysyis. So, in any event, it makes sense that with a change interval in the 7.5 to 10K range, any decent oil will do a fine job.

Thanks for all the advice.
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  #8  
Old 09-02-2007, 05:11 PM
x986 x986 is offline
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Redline, yes; issues mixing, no.
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  #9  
Old 09-02-2007, 07:11 PM
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fun2drive fun2drive is offline
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My dealer charges 9.11 for the BMW 5w-30 LL with my BMW discount I get it for 8 bucks a qt and the 10w-60 is something like 14 bucks a qt.

I plan to change the oil out with whatever meeting ACEA- A3 and I could care less about the LL spec as mine will be changed too well before the yearly change. However if BMW oild is close in price to other syn's that are quality why not use them...
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  #10  
Old 09-02-2007, 08:10 PM
67bmer 67bmer is offline
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on the bar that goes across the front of the car above the radiator, there is a decal on the 328i that says to use p/n 07.51-0 002 545 which I suspect is 10W40. I wish that is what I used.

I just bought oil yesterday from the dealer (before I saw the decal) and the parts guy gave me 07-51-0-017-866 which is 5W30. I was told that this is the standard on all BMWs except M cars since 1999.

I paid $4.32/qt at Russel BMW since I am doing it a 4890mi I wanted there to be no argument over the warrenty about the quality of oil. Its also cheaper than Wal Mart if you buy quarts. Last week I did my 94 325is and I paid $19.95/5qt bottle of Castrol synthetic 10W40 at Wal Mart.
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  #11  
Old 09-02-2007, 08:23 PM
67bmer 67bmer is offline
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one more thing, according to the lit. the car has an oil cooler. I found two hoses to a radiator that looks like an oil cooler.

I am not sure if the oil drains from the radiator and lines during an oil change. If not, the car actually has a greater than 6.5qt capacity and it does not get changed. Hence, there will always be some residual oil left over. If it does flow back to the pan, its strange that it does not take a long time to build up oil pressure unless there is an oil thermostat.

not sure how this works yet.
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