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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #326  
Old 05-09-2013, 01:17 PM
Ben-Hur Ben-Hur is offline
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diversity of opinions

The type of engine oil and the viscosity always bring different point of view, i have a 1996 328i (150000 miles) and when i bought it i was wondering about it, i call to 3 different BMW dealers around San Diego and all recommended me 3 different viscosities, and in my local city autoparts (i live in Baja California) i ask for and all recommended me different viscosities too, so i chose the "common denominator" 10w40, and that's it, no more phone calls or questions. About the brand, most of the recommendations were Castrol Full Syntetic, so i bought Castrol Edge Synt.
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  #327  
Old 09-09-2013, 05:22 PM
sdb48 sdb48 is offline
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So.... for us Nor Cal/Bay area folks, 5W30 and a change every 5,000mi should be good?
Sounds like Castro or Mobil1 synthetic are winners.
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  #328  
Old 09-09-2013, 05:28 PM
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Consult the oil viscosity chart in your owner's manual.
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  #329  
Old 09-09-2013, 06:34 PM
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Re: Quick Guide to Oil in Your E36

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdb48 View Post
So.... for us Nor Cal/Bay area folks, 5W30 and a change every 5,000mi should be good?
Sounds like Castro or Mobil1 synthetic are winners.
The M50 & M52 have different requirements. You need to use the appropriate viscosity per the chart like Karl said. Unfortunately I can't recall what the M52 which you have requires.

I can say that you don't need to worry about summer/winter changes unless you make a bunch of Tahoe trips.

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  #330  
Old 09-09-2013, 08:05 PM
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This is the latest guidance BMW provides......
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File Type: pdf BMWCurrentListing_of_SyntheticOils (1).pdf (12.9 KB, 119 views)
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  #331  
Old 09-09-2013, 09:40 PM
sdb48 sdb48 is offline
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Yes, M52.
According to DC's chart:
Castrol Syntec European Formula SAE 0W-30
Mobil 1 SAE 0W-40
Pennzoil Platinum European Formula Ultra SAE 5W-30
Valvoline SynPower SAE 5W-30

The chart in the Bentley manual would have me choose between 5W30 (-20 to +50 degrees) or 15W40 (-10 to +90 degrees) if I'm reading it correctly.
Our temps here seem to be mid 40's to upper 80's max throughout the year. Haven't seen much mention of 15W40 here...
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  #332  
Old 12-09-2013, 06:18 PM
Roo97328is Roo97328is is offline
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10w40 ok? And more on using diesel oil.

Based on the chart above, I put Castrol 10w40 vs. 15w40 in my '97 328is - main reason 15w40 was only available in diesel version at local stores and it is winter. Two questions:
1. The owners manual list 15w40 or 5w30. Will it be ok to run the 10w40 for one cycle and then go back to 15w40?
2. I've read a ton on this forum and other posts re: using the diesel version of Castrol 15w40 on being fine to run in this car. My concern is the cat. Any additional insight? My only option for non-diesel 15w40 is the dealer - too far away and too expensive.
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  #333  
Old 12-09-2013, 06:21 PM
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The diesel version 15W-40 will be fine. It will NOT harm the cat.
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  #334  
Old 12-10-2013, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E36 Phantom View Post
The M50 & M52 have different requirements. You need to use the appropriate viscosity per the chart like Karl said. Unfortunately I can't recall what the M52 which you have requires.

I can say that you don't need to worry about summer/winter changes unless you make a bunch of Tahoe trips.

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  #335  
Old 12-10-2013, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdb48 View Post
Yes, M52.
According to DC's chart:
Castrol Syntec European Formula SAE 0W-30
Mobil 1 SAE 0W-40
Pennzoil Platinum European Formula Ultra SAE 5W-30
Valvoline SynPower SAE 5W-30

The chart in the Bentley manual would have me choose between 5W30 (-20 to +50 degrees) or 15W40 (-10 to +90 degrees) if I'm reading it correctly.
Our temps here seem to be mid 40's to upper 80's max throughout the year. Haven't seen much mention of 15W40 here...
You know this is something I've never understood. The cold temperature ratings I understand, but what is the point of the high temp ranges? The engine is going to be at the same running temperature no matter how hot it is outside, so whats the deal?
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  #336  
Old 12-11-2013, 09:38 AM
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You're thinking about it somewhat backwards. Here's some text from How Stuff Works:

Quote:
At cold temperatures, the polymers are coiled up and allow the oil to flow as their low numbers indicate. As the oil warms up, the polymers begin to unwind into long chains that prevent the oil from thinning as much as it normally would. The result is that at 100 degrees C, the oil has thinned only as much as the higher viscosity number indicates. Another way of looking at multi-vis oils is to think of a 20W-50 as a 20 weight oil that will not thin more than a 50 weight would when hot.
You can either think of 5W30 as a 5 weight oil that won't get thinner than a 30 weight oil when hot, or you can think of 5W30 as a 30 weight oil that won't get any thicker than a 5 weight oil when cold. You need the higher range (i.e. the "30" in 5W30) when you're at normal operating temp and the polymers are fully uncoiled.
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 12-11-2013 at 09:42 AM.
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  #337  
Old 12-11-2013, 10:10 AM
CVans17 CVans17 is offline
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does the 6500-9000 mile interval for a synthetic oil change go for a 1993 325is too, ?

Thanks!
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  #338  
Old 12-11-2013, 10:44 AM
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Personally, I definitely wouldn't go that long between oil changes. My reasoning is twofold:

1) The paper element in the oil filter will break down and clog up before the oil loses its ability to adequately lubricate, and

2) The ultra-long oil change intervals which are frequently recommended for modern engines using synthetic oil do not really apply to our engines, which were engineered in the late 1980s. Our engines have larger mechanical tolerances, and as a result, they contaminate the oil more quickly than an engine in a new car. In other words, new engines run more cleanly, and because of this, they can get away with longer oil change intervals.

I change my oil & filter every 4,000 miles, but that's only about once a year for me. For everyone else who drives more than I do, changing the oil & filter every 4,000-6,000 miles with synthetic oil is what I'd recommend. If you want to know the true effective lifespan of your oil, have an oil analysis performed by Blackstone Laboratories. They analyze the oil in your engine after it has been used, and can take the contaminants found in the oil to calculate a real lifespan based on the wear properties of your particular engine.
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 12-11-2013 at 10:46 AM.
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  #339  
Old 03-28-2014, 07:13 PM
justosM3 justosM3 is offline
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I have a 97 and I just had a buddy of mine change my oil and I used a 0w40 Im pretty sure its called moly just wondering what everyone thought about that please let me know

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  #340  
Old 03-28-2014, 07:27 PM
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If it was 0W-40 Mobil 1 (not Moly) then that is exactly the correct oil to use.
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  #341  
Old 03-28-2014, 07:28 PM
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Could've been this stuff:



I don't know anything about this brand, but I'm led to believe that it's decent stuff.
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  #342  
Old 03-28-2014, 07:31 PM
justosM3 justosM3 is offline
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Why not the moly I was old that is the oil to use and not the Mobil 1

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  #343  
Old 03-28-2014, 07:35 PM
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  #344  
Old 03-28-2014, 07:36 PM
justosM3 justosM3 is offline
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Well mine was the 5l but ya same stuff

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  #345  
Old 03-28-2014, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justosM3 View Post
Why not the moly I was old that is the oil to use and not the Mobil 1

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No that's not correct. Mobil 1 0W-40 is specifically listed as meeting BMW LL01 standards. It also meets API standards SN, SM, SL, and SJ. The Liqui-Moly hasn't been certified to API SN standards and only meets the older BMW LL98 standard. It's not a bad oil, there are certainly worse choices that could have been used, it's just not the best oil to use per BMW's recommendation.
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File Type: pdf BMWCurrentListing_of_SyntheticOils (1).pdf (12.9 KB, 13 views)
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  #346  
Old 03-29-2014, 05:47 AM
justosM3 justosM3 is offline
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Ya I'm new to this whole thing I was just told by a few different people that this would be my best choice based on on my cars ymm

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  #347  
Old 03-29-2014, 06:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justosM3 View Post
Ya I'm new to this whole thing I was just told by a few different people that this would be my best choice based on on my cars ymm

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Let me rephrase the question:

Asking "What is the best oil to use?"

is the equivalent of asking "What is the best cologne to use?" or "What is the best gun?" or What is the best colour of leaves in the autumn?".


It's beyond kinda subjective. Like Don said above, there's what BMW recommends, but that isn't the only factor.
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  #348  
Old 03-29-2014, 10:49 AM
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Not only that, but say given 500,000 miles on two different but the same cars, with all of them having their oil changed at the exact same times, say every 5000miles, and in one car you used mobil 1 full synthetic, and the other you used non synthetic cheap ass **** like Mopar, the difference may not even be measurable. I think what makes the LARGE difference is using a reasonable oil weight for your engine, and changing your oil frequently. That is it.
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  #349  
Old 03-29-2014, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justosM3 View Post
Ya I'm new to this whole thing I was just told by a few different people that this would be my best choice based on on my cars ymm

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Don't get me wrong as I'm not saying the Liqui-Moly is bad oil, they just haven't put it through the BMW LL01 test protocol. Might be because they chose not or might be because it won't pass. That doesn't mean your engine is going to blow up because you use it.

If you ever have the opportunity to open up a high mileage engine that's only had high quality synthetic and an engine that's only had dino oil, you'll see a huge difference. The synthetic oil engine will look like new inside. On the dino oil engine you'll have to scrape away the sludge before you can see the engine.
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  #350  
Old 04-14-2014, 11:19 PM
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Here is what I found this weekend doing the valve cover gasket. 270, 000 miles. Pretty nice, huh? Premium gas and synthetic oil always.

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