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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #51  
Old 10-14-2011, 03:57 AM
AH673000 AH673000 is offline
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Use syn over dyne in all cars

One benefit of using synthetic oil over dyne oil is often not discussed...it does offer you another level of protection if you loose your engine cooling for ANY reason. Sin oil is way more stable at elevated temperatures. Personally I use Mobil 1 in all my cars. 1967 Austin Healey, 1997 BMW 528i, 2000 Mazda Miata, and 2002 Jeep GC V-8 ..... All have > 100k and running great. The Jeep burns zero oil between 10k oil changes.....wish I could say that about the BMW...been burning a quart every 3k since new. The Healey may be a 2 cycle...add a quart every other tankful!
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  #52  
Old 10-23-2011, 05:19 PM
HeliBarney HeliBarney is offline
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After careful, thorough reading, and thoughtful consideration... I'm using Castrol - because it's recommended by the guys who designed the car, easily available, on sale, and I like the packaging. It's either that, or lavender infused extra virgin olive oil imported from Italy.
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  #53  
Old 10-23-2011, 06:21 PM
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Last edited by poolman; 10-23-2011 at 06:23 PM.
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  #54  
Old 11-17-2011, 10:39 PM
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For the record, there was a good explanation on why you don't need separate oil for winter and summer for your bimmer over here:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > oil recommendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
Are you shopping for an answer you like, or do you want to know what the manufacturer recommends?

This is what BMW recommends:
http://www.bmwusa.com/Standard/Conte...ngineOils.aspx

There is really no reason to use different viscosity oils for different seasons. That is why we have multi-viscosity oils, so you don't have to do that. According to BMW as long as you use an LL-01 rated oil, a 5w-30, 0w-40 or 0w-30 should carry you through all seasons, from extreme cold to extreme heat. My personal preference is Castrol Syntec Edge (european forumula) 0w-30 (LL-01 rated and approved by BMW). It is well liked at the www.bobistheoilguy.com web forum, and both new and used samples have tested well. Mobil 1 0-40 tests okay, but does shear down to a 0w-30 within 1500 to 2000 miles. Castrol 0w-30 is tests more like a "thin" 40 weight, and actually stays in grade, so seems superior to the Mobil 1.

The BMW factory 5w-30 High Performance Synthetic Oil also tests well, and can be a good value, depending on what your local dealer charges for it (varies a lot) and if they give a discount for your BMWCCA membership.
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  #55  
Old 10-09-2012, 11:47 AM
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For reference, this was posted just now (with pictures):

Quote:
Originally Posted by aioros View Post
Here are a few examples of some of the car manufacturers' oil specs.
The ACEA is the Asociation of Automobile Manufacturers of Europe. I believe their specs are tougher than their USA counterpart, the API or American Petroleum Institude.
Note that these specs don't call out grades of oil nor 'winter' spec. Most of the tougher specs use the oil base A3/B4-04, which is the only 100% synthetic oil base.
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  #56  
Old 10-09-2012, 07:48 PM
josemedeiros007 josemedeiros007 is offline
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Nice write up on Syntethic Oil Choices. This is why I only use synthetic oil in my BMW. Here's a video on Mobile 1's Million Mile BMW.
http://www.mobil1.com.sg/performance/miles.aspx
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  #57  
Old 10-18-2012, 08:03 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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If you live in the Caribbean, Texas, Florida etc., don't read further...

But if you live near the Canadian border, see this video re Mobil1 5W30 below. It is a cool test video.

Re "Pour Test", you can do some "ghetto" simple experiment at home. The typical freezer at home has a temp of about -20C.
Next time you do an engine oil change:
- Place your favorite oil (whatever brand, grade etc.) in the freezer overnight the day before.
- Next day, you can see how it pours into the engine filler hole during the oil change (just take the bottle from the freezer at the last minute and pour it straight into the engine).

Here is the Mobil1 5W30 test:

http://video.advanceautoparts.com/v/...n-with-mobil1/



.

Last edited by cn90; 10-18-2012 at 08:07 AM.
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  #58  
Old 10-18-2012, 08:26 AM
josemedeiros007 josemedeiros007 is offline
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Interesting test, while I like Mobile 1 oil, this test does not seem fair, the oil that was used by the competitor was semi-synthetic. Why didn't thy use a fully synthetic competitor oil?

I also like the Million Mile BMW video that Mobile 1 did.
http://www.mobil1.com.sg/performance/miles.aspx


Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
If you live in the Caribbean, Texas, Florida etc., don't read further...

But if you live near the Canadian border, see this video re Mobil1 5W30 below. It is a cool test video.

Re "Pour Test", you can do some "ghetto" simple experiment at home. The typical freezer at home has a temp of about -20C.
Next time you do an engine oil change:
- Place your favorite oil (whatever brand, grade etc.) in the freezer overnight the day before.
- Next day, you can see how it pours into the engine filler hole during the oil change (just take the bottle from the freezer at the last minute and pour it straight into the engine).

Here is the Mobil1 5W30 test:

http://video.advanceautoparts.com/v/...n-with-mobil1/



.
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  #59  
Old 10-19-2012, 04:49 AM
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So can I go wrong going with 0W40 Mobil1 YEAR ROUND where I do experience cold winters and hot summers? Salt Lake City, to be specific.

Last edited by senser; 10-19-2012 at 04:51 AM.
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  #60  
Old 10-19-2012, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
If you live in the Caribbean, Texas, Florida etc., don't read further...

But if you live near the Canadian border, see this video re Mobil1 5W30 below. It is a cool test video.

Re "Pour Test", you can do some "ghetto" simple experiment at home. The typical freezer at home has a temp of about -20C.
Next time you do an engine oil change:
- Place your favorite oil (whatever brand, grade etc.) in the freezer overnight the day before.
- Next day, you can see how it pours into the engine filler hole during the oil change (just take the bottle from the freezer at the last minute and pour it straight into the engine).

Here is the Mobil1 5W30 test:

http://video.advanceautoparts.com/v/...n-with-mobil1/



.
LOL...!
That video reminds me of this video:

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  #61  
Old 10-19-2012, 11:04 AM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by senser View Post
So can I go wrong going with 0W40 Mobil1 YEAR ROUND where I do experience cold winters and hot summers? Salt Lake City, to be specific.
All of the BMW Approved LL-01 oils are tested and approved to work at all reasonable temperature extremes. http://www.bmwusa.com/Standard/Conte...ngineOils.aspx
Because they have to meet the LL-01 spec, the 0w-40 and 0w-30 and 5w-30 on the list, are all actually very close in viscosity specs if you read their individual data sheets. The numbers printed on the bottle are only a "general" indicator of viscosity.

If you are in Fairbanks, AK in the dead of winter where it is -25 overnight, or racing on a track in 120 degree ambient temps, then you might need something different.

I've actually been to Fairbanks in winter, I was surprised to learn many folks still use 5w-30, they just use an engine block heater and plug in, where ever they park. And yes, there are outlets at most parking lots and garages. Daytime high is -9....seriously. I religiously plugged in my rental Ford Escape at each stop. Hertz even includes a 25 foot extension cord sitting on the passenger seat.
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  #62  
Old 10-19-2012, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
LOL...!
That video reminds me of this video:

Yes, that is why you cannot trust the numbers printed on the bottle, and must read the individual spec data sheets for each oil. Just because an oil is a "0W", they will NOT all act similarly at low temperatures.

And at -50C, you would want an engine block heater anyway, as that 0W-20 is likely still too thick to let an engine turn over fast enough to start...and even if it did, there would be no lubrication to the upper parts of the engine and valve train for a few minutes, until it warmed up and became more viscous. That would mean a LOT of wear.

If anyone has a couple hours to kill, read this, for more info:
http://ferrarichat.com/forum/faq.php?faq=haas_articles

Now I don't necessarily believe everything he says about using super thin oils, but it is a decent article about oil properties.
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Last edited by 540 M-Sport; 10-19-2012 at 11:25 AM.
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  #63  
Old 10-19-2012, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
Yes, that is why you cannot trust the numbers printed on the bottle, and must read the individual spec data sheets for each oil. Just because an oil is a "0W", they will NOT all act similarly at low temperatures.

And at -50C, you would want an engine block heater anyway, as that 0W-20 is still too thik to let an engine turn over to start...and even if it did, there would be no lubrication to the upper parts of the engine and valve train for a few minutes, until it warmed up and became more viscous. That would mean a LOT of wear.

If anyone has a couple hours to kill, read this, for more info:
http://ferrarichat.com/forum/faq.php?faq=haas_articles

Now I don't necessarily believe everything he says about using super thin oils, but it is a decent article about oil properties.
He-he...

Thanks for the link Sir...!
I have seen and read it before...

I am debating using Mobil 1 0w-40, or Castrol 0w-30 Euro in my wife's 2009 van which uses 5w-20 from the factory....
I am still not sure...

Thanks!
Jason
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  #64  
Old 10-19-2012, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
He-he...

Thanks for the link Sir...!
I have seen and read it before...

I am debating using Mobil 1 0w-40, or Castrol 0w-30 Euro in my wife's 2009 van which uses 5w-20 from the factory....
I am still not sure...

Thanks!
Jason
I would use 5w-20 or 0w-20 (Mobil 1 makes a 0W-20). You need the "20" at operating temperature, that is what the manufacturer specifies. The lower number of "5", can be even lower, as that is for cold starting.

What benefit are you expecting by using a thicker viscosity oil at operating temperature? I would expect a slight decrease in MPG.
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Last edited by 540 M-Sport; 10-19-2012 at 11:32 AM.
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  #65  
Old 10-19-2012, 11:37 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Jason,

You are in Kansas, I am in Nebraska. The coldest temp here was about -25C for only 1-2 days or so many years ago.

I use Synthetic 5W30 and the car starts fine. Just put your favorite Synthetic Oil in the freezer overnight (put a thermometer in there so you know how cold it is), then pour it into the engine the next day.
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  #66  
Old 12-20-2012, 10:01 AM
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Good information in this thread posted by dvsgene today:
Quote:
Originally Posted by dvsgene View Post
While most of us will agree, the 5w20 oil did not destroy the engine, we need to keep in mind that quoting the dated owner's manual or service manuals for 1997-2003 is kinda useless as it typically recommends based on available viscosities at the time of printing and/or production.

5W20 was introduced in 2002 and only adopted by Ford and Honda at the time for CAFE requirements.

Same goes for LL-98 vs LL-01 vs LL04 oil specs as being recommended due to then current oil technology.

Take a look at most recent BMW manuals and I'll bet we'll see 5w20 and 0w20 recommendations on many model lines many of which are backwards compatible and some will argue flow quicker, so protect faster than older higher viscosity oils.
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
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  #67  
Old 12-20-2012, 12:06 PM
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I bought Pennzoil Ultra 5w30 full synthetic , going to to New Orleans this Christmas
Some said total garbage some approved by BMW
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Last edited by champaign777; 12-20-2012 at 12:10 PM.
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  #68  
Old 01-01-2013, 12:00 PM
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This thread on the E46 side may be of interest:
> E46 (1999 - 2006) > New addition to the LL-01 spec'd oils.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Washburn View Post
Just FYI, esp. for peeps who only stick to oils that are LL01 spec'd:

This is new: Castrol Edge 0w-40 Euro formula (will probably replace the Edge 5w-40)
LL01 approved, and made in Belgium ...


Available at most Adv Auto Parts currently..

Specs:
http://msdspds.castrol.com/bpglis/Fu...E-8K8KHJ_0.pdf
Discussion at Bitog:
http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums...2846492&page=1
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #69  
Old 04-29-2013, 10:37 PM
bmw4te bmw4te is offline
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Maybe an old thread but anyway ...


Lubrication axiom: "as thin as possible, as thick as necessary".


One thing that I believe is often overlooked when discussing which motor oil to use is that other parts of the engine also use oil to function and therefore the oil viscosity chosen will affect them too. Furthermore the permeability of the oil filter with increased oil thickness should also be considered to avoid triggering bypass mode too often.

For reference, viscosity of BMW genuine oil is about 12.2 cts at 100 Celsius. Castrol 0W-30 European formula is 12.1 (so maybe BMW oil is Castrol after all ) while Mobil 1 0w-40 is 13.5 - quite a difference there ...

Take VANOS for example. Based on my personal experience a thicker oil than 12.1 cst @100 degrees will not only decrease your mgp, but will also affect VANOS performance albeit making it quieter if the seals are old and pistons have some play.

I have never tried an 0w-20 weight oil and have no intention of attempting that ever on my e39. I wonder what the VANOS and lifter noise would sound like when a 0w-20 is used in these cars .

I used Castrol 0W-30 European mostly in the past but it's just too expensive these days (basically $9 on the shelf), hard to find (Advance Auto Parts and Amazon as far as I know) and rarely if ever on sale. And I just cannot forget that ultimately it's made by BP ...

I have changed my VANOS seals last summer and with 85K on the ODO, I'll stay away from Mobil 1 0w-40 for now until I reach 100K. A not too distant dealer sells BMW oil for $6.50 a quart which it's pretty much a no brainer at that price
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  #70  
Old 04-30-2013, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw4te View Post
Lubrication axiom: "as thin as possible, as thick as necessary".
Thanks for the axiom and explanation.

Next time someone asks 'what oil', I'll respond with that, along with my standard response which is that the oil someone chooses is based more on their personality than on engine characteristics, as explained here:
- BMW algorithms specific to motor oil selection (1),
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Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #71  
Old 05-01-2013, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw4te View Post
Maybe an old thread but anyway ...


Lubrication axiom: "as thin as possible, as thick as necessary".


One thing that I believe is often overlooked when discussing which motor oil to use is that other parts of the engine also use oil to function and therefore the oil viscosity chosen will affect them too. Furthermore the permeability of the oil filter with increased oil thickness should also be considered to avoid triggering bypass mode too often.

For reference, viscosity of BMW genuine oil is about 12.2 cts at 100 Celsius. Castrol 0W-30 European formula is 12.1 (so maybe BMW oil is Castrol after all ) while Mobil 1 0w-40 is 13.5 - quite a difference there ...

Take VANOS for example. Based on my personal experience a thicker oil than 12.1 cst @100 degrees will not only decrease your mgp, but will also affect VANOS performance albeit making it quieter if the seals are old and pistons have some play.

I have never tried an 0w-20 weight oil and have no intention of attempting that ever on my e39. I wonder what the VANOS and lifter noise would sound like when a 0w-20 is used in these cars .

I used Castrol 0W-30 European mostly in the past but it's just too expensive these days (basically $9 on the shelf), hard to find (Advance Auto Parts and Amazon as far as I know) and rarely if ever on sale. And I just cannot forget that ultimately it's made by BP ...

I have changed my VANOS seals last summer and with 85K on the ODO, I'll stay away from Mobil 1 0w-40 for now until I reach 100K. A not too distant dealer sells BMW oil for $6.50 a quart which it's pretty much a no brainer at that price

I have ran a few oil analyses with Amsoil 0w-30 Signature Series, and Amsoil 5W-40 Euro, and now recently, another with Mobil 1 - 0w-40.

The Mobil 1 - 0w-40 report came back with much more improved numbers, at least for my car, and how I drive my car...

Plus, I was able to buy Mobil 1 - 0w-40 (each quart) for ~$5.00 / qt. when on sale from most auto part stores (AutoZone, O'Reilly's, Advance Auto, etc. ...).
That is quite a bit more affordable than most oils IMO.

Thanks!
Jason
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  #72  
Old 05-16-2014, 06:50 PM
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Saw this posted today and realized we didn't list the volumes in this thread:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Oil change on a 2001 bmw 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by carlos12 View Post
Does anyone know how many quarts of oil a 2001 bmw 530i take?
So, I pulled the volumes out of the glovebox printout of all fluids in the E39:
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
- Engine oil (E39 1999 & later): 15W40 LL-01 mineral oil BMW PN: 07.51.0.017.868 (amazingly, only one SAE weight is specified! Don't be confused because Bentley page 020-11 lists only SAE 15W40 while page 020-9 confusingly lists only SAE 5W30 & SAE 15W40 but page 020-11 appears to be the specific listing to follow). Various dogmatic camps differ on 'opinions' (1) but there is only one BMW-approved list (1). [Volume: I6=6.9 quarts, V8=7.9 quarts]. Replacement Interval: The instrument cluster Service Interval Indicator (SII) will determine when necessary by lighting the yellow light and indicating "OIL SERVICE". On average, most seem to change oil & filter (Mann, Hengst, or Mahle only!) & 36mm 6-point socket oil-filter cap o-ring (91x4mm) & copper crush washer roughly thrice a year at about 4,500 miles; most replace the smaller lower oil-filter-post o-rings every five years or so (7x2.5mm). Keep a spare 17 mm drain bolt handy on the I6 as it's hollow and can break from over tightening (M12x1.5x18mm). Torque filter cap to 18 ft-lb, drain bolt to 21 ft-lb. Note: Mixing oil types (mineral vs synthetic) is permissible; but bear in mind "synthetic" is an advertising term and quite a few oils labeled as such are not PAOs or diesters (1). Best to use either the oil-pan gravity-drain method or the MityVac vacuum-extraction method (don't use the Motive vacuum extractor). Most replace the oil filter & oil-filter-cap o-ring on every oil change and the lower small o-rings on every other change. Keep a spare oil drain plug handy, especially in the I6 as the bolt is hollow and prone to breaking when over torqued.
- Engine oil (gas, E39 1997 & 1998): Synthetic 5W-30 LL-01 (aka long-life 2001) BMW PN: 07.51.0.017.866 (amazingly, only one SAE weight is specified! This is confusing because Bentley page 020-11 lists only SAE 5W30 while page 020-9 confusingly lists only SAE 5W30 & SAE 15W40 but the 020-11 appears to be the specific listing). [Volume: I6=6.9 quarts, V8=7.9 quarts]. Replacement Interval: The instrument cluster Service Interval Indicator (SII) will determine when necessary. Note: Mixing oil types (mineral vs synthetic) is permissible. On average, most seem to change oil & filter roughly thrice a year at about 4,500 miles.
- Engine oil (diesel): I can't find anything in the Bentleys; but the euro owners manual lists on page 152 "ACEA: A3/B3 or ACEA: A3/B4" specifications which all long-life-01 oils meet (according to that owners manual). Most people here say to use LL-04 approved oils (1). Replacement Interval: The instrument cluster Service Interval Indicator (SII) will determine when necessary.
See also:
- Glovebox printout: BMW E39 fluid summary printout for your glovebox (1)
- Motor oil: BMW approved motor oils (pdf) & tribal motor oil recommendations (1) (2) (3) & gravity oil change DIY (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & vacuum extraction DIY (1) (2) (3) & drill pump DIY (1)
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Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #73  
Old 06-11-2014, 09:17 AM
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The question came up again today ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Engine oil
Quote:
Originally Posted by orangesurfing View Post
I'm new to e39. I have 2002 530i. Can you guys provide recommendation on the engine oil.
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See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #74  
Old 07-14-2014, 09:14 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Yet another today ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Oil for 2001 BMW 525i
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronnbaker View Post
Hello Bimmerfest people : I was just trying to find out what oil I can use in my 2001 BMW 525i ?
I will be changing my oil soon.
Thank You
Ronn
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Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
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  #75  
Old 08-08-2014, 11:53 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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This post to this thread seems to show that viscosity all merges together at around 100 degrees F (roughly 50 degrees C) ... which is lower than engine temps ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > what kinda motor oil does a 2000 bmw 528i take?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Let's look at these two numbers and just use "conventional wisdom".

The 0W and the 10W only matter for five minutes.
I didn't look where you live, but that would tell me which I would use.

I'd use 0W for the first five minutes if I lived in 0 degree (F) country; otherwise, I'd use either one. For example, I'm in California, and the first five minutes barely exists, given our mild temperatures. So, the W is nearly meaningless in comparison.

Now, let's move on to the rest of the ride, after the first five minutes. You are looking at a 30 or a 40. Neither is much different. All you have is a slightly thicker oil, so, what's the big deal. If you feel you want to use the thicker oil, go ahead. If not, then don't.

It really won't matter either way.

Notice, for example, what happens to the viscosity of multiple oils as the temperature goes up.
It's all the same, when it's warm.
It only matters when it's cold (and we're not talking NY City cold, we're talking Minnesota cold.); and even then, it only matters for five minutes.

See also:
How to choose the right motor oil for your E39 (by quality, cold-start, warm viscosity, slipperiness, and cost)
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See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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