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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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  #1  
Old 03-15-2011, 03:50 PM
Redion Redion is offline
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Castrol vs. Bmw

can someone please explain to my why on the owner's manual and on the oil cap it says that bmw recommends castrol but when you go to the dealer to buy oil they give you bmw high performance. i never seemed to understand it
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  #2  
Old 03-15-2011, 04:43 PM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Don't go to the stealer for that stuff, any BMW LL-01 approved oil (such as Redline or Mobil 1 0w40) will meet or exceed BMW's spec.

Castrol has a contract with BMW for oil. All BMW fluids and most parts are not made by BMW. Oil is no exception. Castrol makes the oil for BMW at least in the US. There is no benefit to using Castrol or BMW's oil, provided the oil you are comparing to is LL01 approved. The LL01 designation is primarily to ensure the oil will perform reasonably well on BMW's nutty oil change schedules. It is highly recommended that you ignore BMW's oil change schedule and at least double up the frequency of change
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  #3  
Old 03-15-2011, 04:48 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redion View Post
can someone please explain to my why on the owner's manual and on the oil cap it says that bmw recommends castrol but when you go to the dealer to buy oil they give you bmw high performance. i never seemed to understand it
It has been discussed before. Did you search for it?

There was a thread, with pictures of the cap (joking which way to put the cap on, with the Castrol facing this way or that).

Screenshots and web sites were given, IIRC, where it was simply a Marketing ploy. Nothing more. Nothing less.

And we all know how much we love M A R K E T I N G!

In essence, the oil cap words are meaningless.

However, in contrast to what you intimate, if you look at ANY of the zillions of 'what oil' threads, you'll see they all point to the list of "BMW Approved Oils", and, IIRC, on that list, are quite a few Castrol formulations.

I'll see if I can dig that up on the next list (but it does look like I'm doing the work for you who should have done it first and said that you did).
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  #4  
Old 03-15-2011, 05:59 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Here is the canonical thread for the BMW Approved List (look for Castrol):
- BMW approved oils

And see this quote about Castrol:
Quote:
I never choose motor oil by brand (except as it relates to the above criteria). That's why it's so hilarious to see "USE CASTROL" embossed on all our oil-filler caps! Even Castrol makes oil that doesn't meet (all) BMW specifications!
Quote:
- 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). 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.
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  #5  
Old 03-15-2011, 06:49 PM
Redion Redion is offline
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thanks for the reply....i did search but i guess not enough and as thoroughly as i should have.....very informative and btw i always put my cap the way its in the pic thanks
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  #6  
Old 03-15-2011, 06:52 PM
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DominguesE30 DominguesE30 is offline
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Here in Australia, I went to my local auto store and in their handbook castrol was not recommended as it did not have the ll01 that BMW estates must be used. I ended up buy liqui moly which is recommended. I had the choice of that or mobil 1 which was freaking expensive as!


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Old 03-15-2011, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redion View Post
can someone please explain to my why on the owner's manual and on the oil cap it says that bmw recommends castrol but when you go to the dealer to buy oil they give you bmw high performance. i never seemed to understand it
Because the BMW high performance synthetic is manufactured by Castrol.
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  #8  
Old 03-16-2011, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_n00b13 View Post
Don't go to the stealer for that stuff, any BMW LL-01 approved oil (such as Redline or Mobil 1 0w40) will meet or exceed BMW's spec.
For me, it's more ecconomical to go to the dealer. I have three E39's, and one E34. My dealer charges $6.50/qt. Advance Auto charges $8.00/qt. for Mobil1 0W40. That saves me about $40.00 every time I change to oil for the fleet.
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  #9  
Old 03-16-2011, 10:38 AM
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doru doru is offline
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I actually use the German Castrol 0 x 30 (LL01 approved). No issues.
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  #10  
Old 03-16-2011, 12:20 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
I actually use the German Castrol 0 x 30 (LL01 approved). No issues.
So that every question already has an answer (over time), I added the following to the bestlinks just now:
- Why does BMW say "Use Castrol" on the motor oil filler cap (1) (2)

In that reference thread, you'll see this interesting marketing blurb:

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  #11  
Old 03-16-2011, 12:39 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I really don't know why I do this, it's a laziness disease I think (I hate looking stuff up twice), so I just updated the links after re-reading those threads:

- Why does BMW mold "Use Castrol" on the oil filler cap (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) & what is the definitive list of BMW-approved motor oils (1)

BMWCurrentListing_of_SyntheticOils.pdf

Notice the marketing horseradish in the top and bottom of this link (below):

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  #12  
Old 03-25-2011, 12:35 PM
rmaher rmaher is offline
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oil sale

FWIW - Advanced Auto is selling 5 qts of Mobil1 and any Mobil1 filter for $32.99 through the end of the month (March 2011).
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  #13  
Old 03-25-2011, 12:45 PM
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