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  #1  
Old 02-04-2004, 07:06 AM
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First oil change at 15K = engine already broken in at factory?

I wondering....if the first oil change isn't required until 15K, then wouldn't that have to mean the engine is already broken in at the factory? I understand that the sythetic oil & special filter can last that long, but could it on a brand new engine? If the first oil change was at 5K, then 15K and then 30K I would say OK, but from day one if you don't have to change the oil until 15K, then they must do some kind of engine break-in at the factory, right?
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2004, 07:30 AM
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Cool Change the oil sooner......

The cost of an oil change is minimal. If it was my car, I would change the oil at 1,000 and every 3,000 miles thereafter. I'm assuming non-synthetic oil.
  #3  
Old 02-04-2004, 08:38 AM
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The engine is not broken in at the factory, if it was they wouldn't instruct you to limit the revs to 4500 for the first 1200 miles (in the manual). All they do is to run it for a couple of minutes in a test chamber to make sure things are working ok, even then they don't exceed the 4500 rpm soft limit.

It costs about $60-70 to get an interim oil change, you decide if it is worth it if you have bought the car.

Evevr since, BMW started to pay for service in the maintenance program, service intervals got stretched to the limit.
  #4  
Old 02-04-2004, 11:57 AM
mallards mallards is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WAM
The engine is not broken in at the factory, if it was they wouldn't instruct you to limit the revs to 4500 for the first 1200 miles (in the manual). All they do is to run it for a couple of minutes in a test chamber to make sure things are working ok, even then they don't exceed the 4500 rpm soft limit.

It costs about $60-70 to get an interim oil change, you decide if it is worth it if you have bought the car.

Evevr since, BMW started to pay for service in the maintenance program, service intervals got stretched to the limit.
incorrect WAM ...

the engines, from what i have heard, are broken in at the factory ... because you cannot break an engine in properly with synthetic oil ... (they use regular oil at the factory to run the engines in)

also the reason they put a 4500rpm limit on acceleration is to the break the drivetrain as a whole not the engine specifically.... remember the engine isnt the only thing that needs time to break in ...

its also for things like the transmission and rear diff ... (they need time to find their 'nitch [for lack of better words])

therefore, i followed those break in procedures until 1200 miles ...

and to answer the original question ... change your oil every 7500 miles ... that way you pay half and the dealer pays half ...

personally i change my filter out every 2500 and the oil every 5000 (mobil1) ... thats just me (and why not when its so easy to do yourself )

ben

ben

Last edited by mallards; 02-04-2004 at 12:04 PM.
  #5  
Old 02-04-2004, 12:29 PM
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"Breaking-in" also goes back to the days when manufacturing tolerances were much worse. Back then, cylinders weren't guaranteed to be perfectly round, cylinder sleeves & bores likewise, bearings not completely smooth and gears / cogs not quite perfect. So, the breaking-in period ensured two things: the components were "rounded to fit", and that these components were worn in slowly, similar to a slow grind vs. fast tear across something, thus reducing stress in individual components.

Nowadays, engines are made to much finer tolerances, so breaking-in is less critical. There's a lot less excess metal flying round, hence less damage to be done. Hence, you can get away with a 15k oil change without doing excess damage to the engine.

Also, there's a school of thought that says you should run the original oil for the full period, as the extra particulates in the oil increase the wear rate slightly, helping the engine "open-up" quicker - i.e. reduce internal friction.
  #6  
Old 02-04-2004, 02:35 PM
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New engines still need to seat their rings.

If you don't follow break-in procedures (limit RPM for set interval) you will find excessive oil consumption, and less power in the long run.

Since my BMW is leased, I let them do their 15,000 mile changes. Not my worry when it has 75,000 on the clock.

On my Porsche, it is once a year with Mobil 1 (I do about 4,000/year).

On my new G35, it will be 7500 miles with Mobil 1.
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  #7  
Old 02-04-2004, 07:46 PM
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I don't have a problem with the following the normal break-in procedure. This is my 3rd new car so I've been through this before. On thing I am new to though is driving 15K before my first oil change. It just seems so hard to believe that the oil can last this long, especially on the first change. Of course I don't have a problem doing one or even two oil changes before 15K, say one at 3000, then again at say 7500 or 8000, then at 15K and maybe every 10K after that. But then again what do I know? I didn't design the car, that's for sure. If the engine comes already broken in then it make sense, but if not I'm left having to go against everything I've know about cars to not change the oil the first 15K miles I drive it. Then again that might be fine, or as some have suggested even desireable. I'm just trying to figure out what I'm going to do. (what else do I have to do while I'm waiting 7 weeks for the car to arrive )
  #8  
Old 02-05-2004, 01:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mallards
incorrect WAM ...

the engines, from what i have heard, are broken in at the factory ... because you cannot break an engine in properly with synthetic oil ... (they use regular oil at the factory to run the engines in)

also the reason they put a 4500rpm limit on acceleration is to the break the drivetrain as a whole not the engine specifically.... remember the engine isnt the only thing that needs time to break in ...
Everyone hears things differently, ovbiously! Following a recent diff change I asked my dealer if I should follow strictly the running-in instructions again, as per the manual. He said "it's aimed mainly at the engine, really. You should be OK to go over 100 mph/4,500 rpm, only don't go and do doughnuts in the next 1,200 miles!"

As BMW makes nearly 500 engines a day, full running-in simply isn't possible. A few minutes on a test bench to cover basics, and that's it. The BMW Hams Hall website includes (or used to include) a demo of a Valvetronic engine being built - the website alludes to "testing", not "running-in".
  #9  
Old 02-05-2004, 05:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy_thomas
Everyone hears things differently, ovbiously! Following a recent diff change I asked my dealer if I should follow strictly the running-in instructions again, as per the manual. He said "it's aimed mainly at the engine, really. You should be OK to go over 100 mph/4,500 rpm, only don't go and do doughnuts in the next 1,200 miles!"

As BMW makes nearly 500 engines a day, full running-in simply isn't possible. A few minutes on a test bench to cover basics, and that's it. The BMW Hams Hall website includes (or used to include) a demo of a Valvetronic engine being built - the website alludes to "testing", not "running-in".

So what did you decide to do? Did you change at 15K or earlier?
  #10  
Old 02-05-2004, 07:10 AM
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Moderato,
I've looked at several used oil analysis of BMW synthetic oil in 3 series and have yet to find one that shows that this oil will go the recommended distance. The wear numbers usually look good but Total Base Number gets low very quickly showing not much active additives left.

This is analysis done after only 4,887 miles on the engine:



and this one after 53,475 on the engine and 8,500 on oil (gek330i's car):



Take a look at wear numbers: aluminum, iron, copper and lead and notice how much higher they are in the first sample. This is the result of break-in and completely normal but imagine what it looks like after 15K miles.

I suggest an early oil or at least filter change. I've changed my oil every 5K miles for the first 15K miles and then went to 7,5K mile intervals. Analysis results show excellent wear numbers but with my type of driving I can only go 8-9K miles on this oil so I'm going to stick with 7,5K mile intervals.
  #11  
Old 02-05-2004, 08:41 AM
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My statement about no factory break in for engines was based on a Munich factory tour. I asked the tour guide if there was special oil used in the initial fill, he said no, just the regular BMW oil that you get at the dealer.

I have not read anything different from anyone who has toured the factories since then, but I may have missed the post.
  #12  
Old 02-05-2004, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WAM
...I asked the tour guide if there was special oil used in the initial fill, he said no, just the regular BMW oil that you get at the dealer.....
he probably didnt know what he was talking about ... also im not talking about the oil that comes in the car when you buy it ... im talking about the regular oil they put in the engine (where they are assembled) to break it in before the engine is even installed in the vehicle itself ... after they have ran it in ... they drain the regular oil and install synthetic ...

... the tour guide / you are correct in saying the oil that comes in the car is bmw syn. when you buy it ...

... however, the engine is broken in at the factory with regular oil ... simply because you cannot break-in any engine with synthetic oil ... trust me ... thats a known fact ... synthetic oil is too slippery to wear-in/set-in anything

like F1Crazy said - change your oil somewhere between 5000-7500 miles ... its a cheap piece of mind for maybe 100$ more a year ...

ben

Last edited by mallards; 02-05-2004 at 01:51 PM.
  #13  
Old 02-05-2004, 04:00 PM
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Thanks for the info everyone....I'm thinking I will change the oil at 3K, then again at 7.5K then at 15K and every 7.5K after that. That should work.
  #14  
Old 02-07-2004, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moderato
Thanks for the info everyone....I'm thinking I will change the oil at 3K, then again at 7.5K then at 15K and every 7.5K after that. That should work.

I don't know about all you 3 owners, but I would feel a lot better about that 15K oil change interval thing if the engine came with a 100K warranty. You could probably never change the oil and not have any problems the first 50K right? (edit - as long as you make sure to keep the oil topped off)

Last edited by Moderato; 02-07-2004 at 09:44 AM.
  #15  
Old 02-07-2004, 09:32 AM
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100k warranty!!! You're buying a european car, and we don't do 100k mile warranties! BMW don't want you to buy one car every five-eight years - they want you to buy one every three... hence the three year / 50k mile warranty. My last car (also European, but not a BMW) practically fell apart three days after the warranty expired...
  #16  
Old 02-08-2004, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mallards
incorrect WAM ...

the engines, from what i have heard, are broken in at the factory ... because you cannot break an engine in properly with synthetic oil ... (they use regular oil at the factory to run the engines in)
  #17  
Old 02-08-2004, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F1Crazy
Moderato,
I've looked at several used oil analysis of BMW synthetic oil in 3 series and have yet to find one that shows that this oil will go the recommended distance. The wear numbers usually look good but Total Base Number gets low very quickly showing not much active additives left.

Take a look at wear numbers: aluminum, iron, copper and lead and notice how much higher they are in the first sample. This is the result of break-in and completely normal but imagine what it looks like after 15K miles.

I suggest an early oil or at least filter change. I've changed my oil every 5K miles for the first 15K miles and then went to 7,5K mile intervals. Analysis results show excellent wear numbers but with my type of driving I can only go 8-9K miles on this oil so I'm going to stick with 7,5K mile intervals.
Here is the oil analysis from my first oil change at 15000. It's not much different from the one above at 5K and TBN is still good for some more time. Of course, you can change it as often as you want, no harm in that.
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  #18  
Old 02-08-2004, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milski
Here is the oil analysis from my first oil change at 15000. It's not much different from the one above at 5K and TBN is still good for some more time. Of course, you can change it as often as you want, no harm in that.
It says 8,000 miles on the report
Every lab will tell you that if TBN drops below 2 it's time to change the oil, I think TBN of virgin sample of BMW synthetic is 10.
  #19  
Old 02-09-2004, 03:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F1Crazy
It says 8,000 miles on the report
Every lab will tell you that if TBN drops below 2 it's time to change the oil, I think TBN of virgin sample of BMW synthetic is 10.

Yeah it said 8000 miles? Is it 8K or 15K? If the oil is that good after the first 15K, then I will skip the first oil change at 3K and just do the first at 7.5K and then follow 7.5K change intervals for the life of the car.
  #20  
Old 02-09-2004, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F1Crazy
It says 8,000 miles on the report
Every lab will tell you that if TBN drops below 2 it's time to change the oil, I think TBN of virgin sample of BMW synthetic is 10.
It was at 15k although I wrote 8k on the note that you send to Blackstone. I was being paranoyd that they would give me more negative comments/results with the longer interval. In no way that was a smart thing.
  #21  
Old 02-09-2004, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milski
It was at 15k although I wrote 8k on the note that you send to Blackstone. I was being paranoyd that they would give me more negative comments/results with the longer interval. In no way that was a smart thing.

Why was that a bad idea? It shouldn't matter if you tell them 8K or 30K the results should be the same but like you siad maybe they would have more negative results who knows?
  #22  
Old 02-09-2004, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moderato
Why was that a bad idea? It shouldn't matter if you tell them 8K or 30K the results should be the same but like you siad maybe they would have more negative results who knows?
No really bad but not too smart either. After all you have to give them some amount of trust and I would hope that they are more interested in being correct and independent than "cooking" the results with an unknown result. I could have sent them just two containers with different mileages written on them too for a cross check. I doubt it that it is worth it though.
  #23  
Old 02-09-2004, 07:33 PM
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I don't see how any manufacturer can recommend oil change intervals of 15,000 miles. Even synthetic oils will get dirty. The oil may still have lubricant qualities but the moisture, metal shavings, and unfiltered grit will still do a number on the engine. My .02
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  #24  
Old 02-10-2004, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 330Legend
I don't see how any manufacturer can recommend oil change intervals of 15,000 miles. Even synthetic oils will get dirty. The oil may still have lubricant qualities but the moisture, metal shavings, and unfiltered grit will still do a number on the engine. My .02
It's not about longevity, it's about economics. They don't want the engine to last forever. Remember the days when tv's lasted 20+ years? Now you'l be lucky to get five out of one. Why? So they can sell you a new one in five years time. Same with cars. They want you to keep buying them. Otherwise we'd still all be driving Model-T's.
 

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