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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 01-16-2016, 07:30 PM
TomNJ TomNJ is offline
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Updated fuild recommendations for a 2005 X3

Read this forum frequently when a relative needs help with his car. I needed an SUV on a budget and picked up a 2005 X3 3.0 with a bit over 120k miles in good condition. I may only hold onto it for a year or so but I want to keep it in good shape.

What would you do in my shoes in terms of fluids/maintenance? I'm located in the northeast us. This is what I'm thinking.

Replace ATF fluid.
It's not on dealer's maintenance schedule around here so not many people have it done.I'm not comfortable working on a car on 4 jack stands and have no other way to get under the car while it's level so will bring it to a shop with a good reputation.

I have a preference for Royal Purple so would like to use their Max ATF unless someone sways me otherwise. Think I read I'll need about 12 quarts to do a proper flush. Does that sound right?

Will change filter at same time.

Replace Engine Oil

I always like to be sure I know when the last time the engine oil was changed and what oil is in it. It doesn't hurt to have fresh oi. I'll probably do this myself. Plan on using Royal Purple API 5w30. Or maybe just their High Performance Street Motor Oil. I know one concern was that an old version used Molybdenum but as far as I'm aware the new versions of either don't.

Any thoughts on oil filters? The Mann filters appear to be popular.

Differential Fluid
People around here aren't buying AWD vehicles to do any offroading but given the mileage, price and relative ease to change. Not sure what to use hear. I'm a big fan of RP but a couple of things I read seemed to indicate that Mobil 1 gear oil might be the better choice here and that's probably what I'm going to go with.

Brake fluid and power steering fluid I'm not that familiar with. Any recommendations here? Otherwise I'll just go with the mechanic says. Likely whatever BMW recommends.

Other consumables like air filter, cabin air filter, wiper blades, at some point tires and brakes when needed.

Anything else?
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  #2  
Old 01-16-2016, 09:17 PM
rooflessvw rooflessvw is offline
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I would (and do!) use Mobil 1 or Castrol 0w40. They are relatively inexpensive at big box stores and you will gain nothing by using Royal Purple but a lighter wallet.

This is the same reason I would (and do!) use Valvoline Dex VI in the transmission. Relatively low cost, synthetic, and what the manual recommends. I used just under 7 quarts when I did my filter change.

For differential fluid, it doesn't really matter. I used Liqui Moly 75w90 because Autohausaz had it on sale when I bought a bunch of other stuff from them, but the differentials would be equally happy with Mobil one or RP in 75w90. I needed 3 quarts to top both differentials off.

Change the transfer case fluid. Use the BMW FLUID ONLY. The manual will say 0.06 liters is the filling capacity, just fill it until it runs out. You can get damn near an entire liter in there.

-Joel

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  #3  
Old 01-17-2016, 10:44 PM
TomNJ TomNJ is offline
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Thank you Joel.

The Valvoline ATF looks good and I'll go with that.

BMW for the transfer case. Thanks for pointing that out!

Mobil 1 75w90 for the differentials.

I really like RP oils and have good experience with them. May use Mobil 1 though.

Any particular reason you chose 0w40 instead of 5w30? Both appear to be on the approved list no?
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  #4  
Old 01-17-2016, 10:52 PM
rooflessvw rooflessvw is offline
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The only 5w30 on the approved list is BMW's. Mobil 1 0W40 is the most available oil that carries both BMW LL01 and Mercedes 229.5, which are two of the most stringent OEM certifications. It also carries VW 502.00, so I can use it in my Phaeton.

It is simply one of the best oils on the market.

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  #5  
Old 01-18-2016, 12:09 AM
TomNJ TomNJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rooflessvw View Post
The only 5w30 on the approved list is BMW's. Mobil 1 0W40 is the most available oil that carries both BMW LL01 and Mercedes 229.5, which are two of the most stringent OEM certifications. It also carries VW 502.00, so I can use it in my Phaeton.

It is simply one of the best oils on the market.

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Your right, I misread a post on another forum. It was for LL-04 approved oils.
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  #6  
Old 01-18-2016, 03:05 PM
TomNJ TomNJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rooflessvw View Post
This is the same reason I would (and do!) use Valvoline Dex VI in the transmission. Relatively low cost, synthetic, and what the manual recommends. I used just under 7 quarts when I did my filter change.
Joel, I ran across the Havoline 226535727 DEXRON-VI Multi-Vehicle Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid. It's a little cheaper and from what I understand Havoline is suggested when the recommended Texaco ATF isn't available.
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  #7  
Old 01-18-2016, 05:51 PM
rooflessvw rooflessvw is offline
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When it comes to Dex VI, I don't think there is a bad fluid. Dex VI specifications are stringent enough that you can use whatever is cheapest or whatever brand name you prefer and it will make no difference.

Valvoline Dex VI is on the Walmart shelf next to Mobil 1 0w40, so... it's what I used. Havoline should suit just fine. Made by Chevron who is known to blend some fine lubricants.

If you're really interested in lubricants, do a search on bobistheoilguy.com. Be prepared for sensory overload.

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  #8  
Old 01-18-2016, 11:33 PM
TomNJ TomNJ is offline
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I spent way too much time on bobistheoilguy.com in the past. That's part of the reason I started using RP even though I'm not sure he's that keen on it. What sold me was when I started using it in a 4 cycle string trimmer. Always had a hard time starting it until I switched to RP and now it starts on the first pull most of the time. Cams always look good when I adjust the rocker arms every spring too.
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  #9  
Old 01-19-2016, 06:04 AM
rooflessvw rooflessvw is offline
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It is a time suck, to be sure, but the information is helpful. It is what helped me settle on Mobil 1 0w40; the SN version is just about the best oil you can get.

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  #10  
Old 01-20-2016, 01:06 PM
TomNJ TomNJ is offline
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I stopped by Walmart today. The Mobil 1 0w40 for European Cars no longer lists BMW LL-01 certification.

Also the only Dex VI ATF I found was Valvoline Max Life. Any thoughts on it?
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  #11  
Old 01-20-2016, 01:13 PM
rooflessvw rooflessvw is offline
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https://mobiloil.com/en/motor-oils/mobil-1/mobil-1

If you click "0W-40" it still shows BMW LL-01 as a certification. Maybe it was an older bottle mixed in? Maybe their website isn't updated and it no longer carries the approval. I wish you would have taken a photo of the bottle. I'll be home soon, I'll have to check it out. If it loses LL-01 I'm not sure what I'll use.

http://www.valvoline.com/our-product.../dexron-vi-atf

This is the one you want for your X3. Blue bottle, it will say "Valvoline Dex VI Fully Synthetic."

Regards,

Joel

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  #12  
Old 01-20-2016, 03:56 PM
TomNJ TomNJ is offline
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I checked a bunch of them, they were stocked on a couple of different shelves. Still has the Mercedes-Benz, VW and Porsche certifications.

I remember reading something that BMW USA no longer has any authorized LL-01 oils other than the BMW branded oil.

To me it's not a big deal as I figured the certification was more that the oil company has to pay for testing and the right to display that it's LL-01 certified on the bottle.

In the original manual it says to use API SH oil. We're up to SN now. If SH was good enough back then, any API SN oil should be plenty good now. So I'm not too concerned. I think I'll go with the RP API oil because I can't find the HPS locally and it's cheaper.

The only Valvoline in a blue bottle was the DEX/Merc which is DEX III http://www.walmart.com/ip/Valvoline-...Fluid/15125788

There was some Mag and SuperTech Dex VI but I want to use brands I'm familiar with. I could have sworn I saw the DEX VI on the wm website yesterday though. Might just get the havoline dex VI from amazon.
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  #13  
Old 01-20-2016, 06:19 PM
rooflessvw rooflessvw is offline
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You could certainly do that. Sometimes two Wal Marts know the same area will have totally different products so it couldn't hurt to check another. Are you doing the filter as well?

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Last edited by rooflessvw; 01-21-2016 at 12:03 AM.
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  #14  
Old 01-20-2016, 07:31 PM
TomNJ TomNJ is offline
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I got a filter kit from bavauto. Going to have a mechanic do the transmission fluid change. Will talk to him first before I buy an ATF.
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  #15  
Old 01-21-2016, 06:56 PM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rooflessvw View Post
https://mobiloil.com/en/motor-oils/mobil-1/mobil-1

If it loses LL-01 I'm not sure what I'll use.
Use BMW oil, it is cheaper than Mobil 1.

ECS still shows bottles of Mobil 1 being approved by BMW. I'm considering testing out Mobil 1 on my next oil change in 1000 miles (in 2 weeks), to see how the thinner oil works in the winter.
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  #16  
Old 01-21-2016, 08:18 PM
rooflessvw rooflessvw is offline
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BMW 5w-30 by Castrol is no longer being made. We have yet to see what the new Shell made oils are all about.

Likely very similar, but I still haven't seen a VOA.

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  #17  
Old 01-22-2016, 09:34 PM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is online now
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I just bought 7 quarts of BMW 5w-30, says BMW right on the bottle. Castrol or Shell is inconsequential to me, as it meets manufacturer specs.
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  #18  
Old 01-22-2016, 09:41 PM
rooflessvw rooflessvw is offline
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Is it the old Castrol oil or the new Shell made blend? I know there is plenty of the Castrol still in the system and it will be a while before it's all gone. There are 3 new formulations to my knowledge: a 0W-30, 0W-30 FE, and an M Power 0W-40. Dealers will continue to stock 10W-60 TWS for the M cars that specify it.

I'd like to get my hands on the new formulations and send them in for a VOA.

There is also a Castrol Edge with Titanium 0W-40 that carries BMW LL01. If I ever see it for sale locally I may try it next.

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  #19  
Old 01-22-2016, 09:50 PM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rooflessvw View Post
Is it the old Castrol oil or the new Shell made blend? I know there is plenty of the Castrol still in the system and it will be a while before it's all gone. There are 3 new formulations to my knowledge: a 0W-30, 0W-30 FE, and an M Power 0W-40. Dealers will continue to stock 10W-60 TWS for the M cars that specify it.

I'd like to get my hands on the new formulations and send them in for a VOA.

There is also a Castrol Edge with Titanium 0W-40 that carries BMW LL01. If I ever see it for sale locally I may try it next.

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Can't say who makes it for BMW, it just says "BMW 5W-30 full synthetic LL-01" on each bottle.

https://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E83-X3...vice/ES250700/
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  #20  
Old 01-22-2016, 10:03 PM
rooflessvw rooflessvw is offline
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Yeah that's the new stuff! Didn't know they kept making the 5W-30, I'll have to add that to the list for VOA.

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  #21  
Old 01-23-2016, 10:37 AM
TomNJ TomNJ is offline
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If the new BMW oil is made by Shell I'm guessing it might be Pennzoil Platinum Euro or something close to it. PP Euro 5w40 is available at my Walmart but only in quart sizes. It has BMW LL-01 certification.

PP seems very good and if the PP Euro is similar to the regular PP I might go with that. It's a little cheaper buying from amazon in 6 packs. Bobistheoilguy seems to rave about PP and I think it's better than mobil 1 but not as good as Pennzoil Ultra Platinum. I contacted Pennzoil and they told me the only oil they could recommend was the PP Euro 5w30 or 5w40 because that's the only one that is BMW LL-01 certified.

They're made from natural gas and not crude oil like other synthetics. I believe that makes them a Group V oil?

RP HPS is cheaper than PP Euro on Amazon which is the only place I can find it. I know it's not LL-01 certified but I still like it so I'm torn.Filled up my snow blower with HPS 5w30 last night in preparation for today's blizzard and it fired up on the first pull.
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  #22  
Old 01-25-2016, 10:54 AM
TomNJ TomNJ is offline
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By the way I called up Mobil 1's support number and they confirmed that Mobil 1 0w40 no longer has BMW LL-01 approval.
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  #23  
Old 01-25-2016, 12:47 PM
rooflessvw rooflessvw is offline
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I saw that on BITOG... You shattered my world, man!

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  #24  
Old 01-25-2016, 01:18 PM
TomNJ TomNJ is offline
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I've seen both 75w90 and 75w140 differential fluid recommend for this vehicle. Any thoughts on which to choose and why?
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  #25  
Old 01-25-2016, 01:57 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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I would only use 75w90 as 75w140 is for limited slip differentials.
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