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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 04-24-2016, 02:28 AM
aleks001 aleks001 is offline
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BMW E90 N52 325i - Testing 10w-50 oil

Hi All,

I've been searching for someone who is running 10w-50 in their N52 and even google is vary scarce on results. So I thought I would try it and see how it goes. I live in a hot climate so I can't say what impacts this oil would have in a cold climate. The oil is Australian based Penrite 10w-50 (HPR 10). Penrite themselves don't/won't recommend this oil for this engine.

So most of you are thinking, well why are you putting an oil in your car that isn't made for you car. The answer is the car currently has 200,000 KM's/124miles. It has been burning 1 Liter every 4000Km's since I've had it (with 5w-40). I bought it with 100,000Km's. Thicker oil made a lot of sense to me for a lot of reasons, but mainly I wanted to see if I could slow the oil consumption rate down.

The car had a quick start and warm up yesterday after I changed the oil pan, but I haven't got any feedback yet as to effects etc. Stay tuned, I'm happy to be the guiny pig for this, I'm fairly certain the engine will benefit from a thicker oil.

Here are the oil specs for those of you interested:
TYPICAL DATA

Density at 15C, kg/L 0.866
Viscosity, Kinematic, cSt
at 40C - 127
at 100C - 18.6
Viscosity Index 165
Cold Cranking Viscosity, cP at -25C 6574
Zinc, Mass % 0.108
Phosphorus, Mass % 0.098
Sulphated Ash, mass % 1.21
Base Number 10.0
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  #2  
Old 04-24-2016, 04:35 AM
CALWATERBOY DUE's Avatar
CALWATERBOY DUE CALWATERBOY DUE is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aleks001 View Post
The car had a quick start and warm up yesterday after I changed the oil pan....

Wait....didn't you remove the pan for a gasket leak, early 2015?

Pics of interest if ya got 'em....
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  #3  
Old 04-24-2016, 02:55 PM
aleks001 aleks001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY DUE View Post
Wait....didn't you remove the pan for a gasket leak, early 2015?

Pics of interest if ya got 'em....
Not the oil pan might have been the valve cover. I got no picks, if i took any it would have been me crying while doing the pan, im embarassed to say but i really struggled with the pan took me 14 hours! It's a really hard job for the garage floor. Best tips i can give you if you end up doing it is drop the subframe completely and remove it and also remove the two transmission lines that run next to the engine. If i had done that life would have been a lot easier.
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  #4  
Old 04-25-2016, 10:38 AM
moeelganem moeelganem is offline
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am doing the liqui-moly 5w-30 and its amazing in power and temp.

i dont recommend this oil grade unless your living in a very hot climate such as GCC.
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  #5  
Old 04-25-2016, 03:42 PM
aleks001 aleks001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moeelganem View Post
am doing the liqui-moly 5w-30 and its amazing in power and temp.

i dont recommend this oil grade unless your living in a very hot climate such as GCC.
I think you need to re-read my post, I didn't switch the oil because of temperature or power issues, I switch because I have high oil consumption.

On a side note, I went for my first drive this morning with the new oil, all I can say is that the engine seems to run a lot smoother. We will have to wait for a while to see it's affect on fuel and oil consumption.
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  #6  
Old 04-25-2016, 03:50 PM
moeelganem moeelganem is offline
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im sorry for not reading the entire post i dont know where my brain was ..

any way i dont recommend changing the oil grade for oil consumption , you see since you already have oil leaks in your engine you better fix it ASAP.

oil change might strike oil pump , valve mechanism and even the wear rate in your cylinder head.

you have to resize your cylinder head according to the next size of the rings available at BMW dealer , it shouldn't cost you much .

i would recommend to change cylinder head gasket top and bottom , and perform a check on your lifters as well.

i had this problem with my e92 when i used castrol 15w-40 , it used to burn 1 liter at 5000 , i was in shock so i went to the dealer to ask and he told me that they are using another brand and another grade as i mentioned in my earlier comment , so as soon as i switched to 5w-30 consumption stopped and no more knocking noise at starting the engine on cold weather .

on the other hand , on diesel engines we actually use the method of changing oil grade to avoid major overhaul specially if we need to keep the engine running for a limited time until we actually perform the required repair .

good luck anyway
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  #7  
Old 04-25-2016, 04:14 PM
aleks001 aleks001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moeelganem View Post
im sorry for not reading the entire post i dont know where my brain was ..

any way i dont recommend changing the oil grade for oil consumption , you see since you already have oil leaks in your engine you better fix it ASAP.

oil change might strike oil pump , valve mechanism and even the wear rate in your cylinder head.

you have to resize your cylinder head according to the next size of the rings available at BMW dealer , it shouldn't cost you much .

i would recommend to change cylinder head gasket top and bottom , and perform a check on your lifters as well.

i had this problem with my e92 when i used castrol 15w-40 , it used to burn 1 liter at 5000 , i was in shock so i went to the dealer to ask and he told me that they are using another brand and another grade as i mentioned in my earlier comment , so as soon as i switched to 5w-30 consumption stopped and no more knocking noise at starting the engine on cold weather .

on the other hand , on diesel engines we actually use the method of changing oil grade to avoid major overhaul specially if we need to keep the engine running for a limited time until we actually perform the required repair .

good luck anyway
I think what you fail to understand is the country I live in lol Labour rates here are insane. It would probably cost close to $3000 to do the head gasket yet alone removing pistons etc. I would rather the car die then spend that money.

To give you a bit more background on the issue the car used the following oils and these were the consumption rates, so this is not that random that I went to 10w-50. I have also sorted all my oil leaks.

Ow-30 - 1L/3000Km's
5w-40 - 1L/4000Km's
10w-50 - Awaiting results :P

My car has no knocking or ticking noises, i sorted most of that out :P
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  #8  
Old 04-25-2016, 05:09 PM
moeelganem moeelganem is offline
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well i hope for the best to you and your car .

maybe i should come and open a garage at your country then xD

good luck bro.
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  #9  
Old 04-25-2016, 05:33 PM
aleks001 aleks001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moeelganem View Post
well i hope for the best to you and your car .

maybe i should come and open a garage at your country then xD

good luck bro.
Thank you

You absolutely should, I will be your first customer
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  #10  
Old 04-26-2016, 03:31 PM
aleks001 aleks001 is offline
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Just a little update for those interested in this thread. I've now been driving on this oil for a couple of days. I am almost certain the engine is a lot more smoother it feels like some additional power has been restored, maybe the oil is helping the pistons seal better, I don't know but the car is definitely quieter and smoother all though this could all be a placebo affect.

The important things though.
Engine has not developed any ticking during cold starts (It use to tick sometimes on my old oils), I wonder if the thicker oil is staying longer in the cylinder head.

My next update will on the affects the oil has had on my oil consumption and fuel consumption, might be a couple of months away so it's more accurate.
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  #11  
Old 04-26-2016, 11:00 PM
marvel.marv marvel.marv is offline
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Is this oil mineral or synthetic?

I'd say that the producer doesn't recommend this oil for good reason. It really gives me shivers to use "almost-truck" oil in a present day, hi-tech engine like N52.

1L / 4000 km isn't that bad. 1L per 1000 km is bad

There are more usual suspects for oil consumption in N52 than just the piston seals. There's the oil separator, there are the valve seals... Even the defective valve cover might eat away some oil.

Even if the pistons are problematic, you can "move" the hardened seal rings using oil additives. I dunno if it's available down under, but Archoil AR9100 / AR9300 is the go-to one here in Poland.

Mine consumes oil at the rate of 1L/2k km and I'm just before the oil separator and valve seals replacement. It's a lot cheaper and might do the job.

What is your date of production and production plant? Or just give the last 7 digits of your VIN

Best regards
Marvel.marv

Last edited by marvel.marv; 04-26-2016 at 11:02 PM.
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  #12  
Old 04-27-2016, 02:47 AM
aleks001 aleks001 is offline
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Ok Lets get answering :P

Quote:

Is the oil mineral or synthetic ?

I'd say that the producer doesn't recommend this oil for good reason. It really gives me shivers to use "almost-truck" oil in a present day, hi-tech engine like N52.

The oil is fully synthetic and (I don't know how) has even obtained the BMW LL-01 rating. (Penrite is a trusted company in Australia)

1L / 4000 km isn't that bad. 1L per 1000 km is bad
This is true but it really annoys me as I'm concerned at what damage it could be doing to my spark plugs, catalytic converter and oxygen sensors.

If I notice even a hint of a problem I will be immediately switching back. Most likely next I will go to Shell Helix Ultra 5w-40 as this is what BMW Australia has switched to.
Quote:
There are more usual suspects for oil consumption in N52 than just the piston seals. There's the oil separator, there are the valve seals... Even the defective valve cover might eat away some oil.
This is all true, I don't seem to be having an issue with the oil separator from what I've seen on the internet but I'm not 100% sure on how to test it. I don't think its the valve seals as the oil consumption is in no way affected by my driving style. I tried driving for one month really aggressively ( I did enjoy it :P Made 0 difference to my oil consumption) My car also doesn't smoke.


Quote:
Even if the pistons are problematic, you can "move" the hardened seal rings using oil additives. I dunno if it's available down under, but Archoil AR9100 / AR9300 is the go-to one here in Poland.
No we don't have that additive here, we do have liqui-moly additives I may try one if the consumption gets worse.


Quote:
Mine consumes oil at the rate of 1L/2k km and I'm just before the oil separator and valve seals replacement. It's a lot cheaper and might do the job.
That would drive me crazy lol Let me know how you go I'm interested in your results. Is there anything specific that you've noticed/tested that makes you think it's an oil seperator or valve seals issue ?


What is your date of production and production plant? Or just give the last 7 digits of your VIN

Car is 2006 325i E90 ROSSYLN PLANT South Africa. I'm happy to PM you my VIN if you're interested in something specific
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  #13  
Old 04-27-2016, 03:27 AM
marvel.marv marvel.marv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aleks001 View Post
This is true but it really annoys me as I'm concerned at what damage it could be doing to my spark plugs, catalytic converter and oxygen sensors.
Yeah, makes sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aleks001 View Post
If I notice even a hint of a problem I will be immediately switching back. Most likely next I will go to Shell Helix Ultra 5w-40 as this is what BMW Australia has switched to.
On this side of the pond we don't trust BMW's choice of oil that much. Castrol is the most non-recomended brand on any forum here and BMW not only recommended it, but set the oil change interval to 30k kms

Best bet here is Millers, Amsoil, Motul. But I've heard no negative opinions on Shell as well

Quote:
Originally Posted by aleks001 View Post
This is all true, I don't seem to be having an issue with the oil separator from what I've seen on the internet but I'm not 100% sure on how to test it.
I have some excessive oil in my intake mainfold and on the DISA valves. And the separator is almost 200k kms old.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aleks001 View Post
I don't think its the valve seals as the oil consumption is in no way affected by my driving style. I tried driving for one month really aggressively ( I did enjoy it :P Made 0 difference to my oil consumption) My car also doesn't smoke.
Mine does, white smoke from time to time. Once I felt like a diesel driver when accelerated rapidly and left a huge smoke cloud behind. Something like this:


Quote:
Originally Posted by aleks001 View Post
That would drive me crazy lol Let me know how you go I'm interested in your results. Is there anything specific that you've noticed/tested that makes you think it's an oil seperator or valve seals issue ?
As above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aleks001 View Post
Car is 2006 325i E90 ROSSYLN PLANT South Africa. I'm happy to PM you my VIN if you're interested in something specific
I'm asking because there's a known case of pistons made by KS that have problems with seal. From what I gathered the problem spans from Sep '05 to Mar '10, but only on cars assembled in the German plants (Munich and some other I don't remember). From what you say you might be lucky with that I'm lucky as well (build date April 2005)
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  #14  
Old 04-27-2016, 04:12 AM
aleks001 aleks001 is offline
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Quote:
Yeah, makes sense.


On this side of the pond we don't trust BMW's choice of oil that much. Castrol is the most non-recomended brand on any forum here and BMW not only recommended it, but set the oil change interval to 30k kms

Best bet here is Millers, Amsoil, Motul. But I've heard no negative opinions on Shell as well
Castrol has built itself quite a good reputation in Australia a lot of people will recommend it. Here BMW's recommendations are 28,000Km/s or two years. I change my oil every year and about 12,500KM's.

Motul has an excellent reputation here but is a little hard to find and expensive.

Quote:
I have some excessive oil in my intake mainfold and on the DISA valves. And the separator is almost 200k kms old.
Me and you have very similar cars and age, I think the only difference is that your's was built in germany and mine in South Africa. I'm at 192,000Km's now.

I also found some lite oil in my intake manifold. Most people said that it is not uncommon to have a little oil in there. I have thought about the changing the seperator but I was going to wait for the oil consumption to get worse.


Quote:
Mine does, white smoke from time to time. Once I felt like a diesel driver when accelerated rapidly and left a huge smoke cloud behind. Something like this:
I wouldn't 100% blame this on your valve stem seals you could be blowing money. As you are burning oil just like me it means it is going through the exhaust system, so when you floor the car it most likely just pushes out all the built up residue that's left in your exhaust. I had this same issue, only would smoke if I would go full throttle.

How I rulled out that it was the valve stem seals is that if you floor it multiple times I bet you the second time you floor it it will stop smoking. If it was smoking from the valve stem seals it would be smoking every single time you put the pedal to the floor.

Try it and see. When I would floor mine it would take 2-3 months before I could make it smoke again. That's why I think it has nothing to do with the stem seals and is just the oil that our cars are burning and is being left behind in the exhaust system.

What you can also do to test the valve stem seals, find a big bill and while you are driving down down shift a gear or two if it doesn't smoke then, your seals are most likely fine as this should create a lot of vacuum in the engine.

Quote:
I'm asking because there's a known case of pistons made by KS that have problems with seal. From what I gathered the problem spans from Sep '05 to Mar '10, but only on cars assembled in the German plants (Munich and some other I don't remember). From what you say you might be lucky with that I'm lucky as well (build date April 2005)
My actual build date of the Car is October 2005. I wouldn't be supprised if this has been the same since the car was new. I bought it used so I have no way to confirm. I would guess its been burning the same amount of oil from new as I've had it now for 100,000KM's and the consumption has not changed at all, one would expect it to get worse.

Last edited by aleks001; 04-27-2016 at 04:14 AM.
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  #15  
Old 04-27-2016, 04:28 AM
marvel.marv marvel.marv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aleks001 View Post
Me and you have very similar cars and age, I think the only difference is that your's was built in germany and mine in South Africa. I'm at 192,000Km's now.
Yup, I'm @ 192 700

Quote:
Originally Posted by aleks001 View Post
I also found some lite oil in my intake manifold. Most people said that it is not uncommon to have a little oil in there. I have thought about the changing the seperator but I was going to wait for the oil consumption to get worse.
But in my case "lite" is not the best way to describe - actually I see oil on the bigger DISA's outside. If it goes through the seal than it's no drop or two.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aleks001 View Post
I wouldn't 100% blame this on your valve stem seals you could be blowing money. As you are burning oil just like me it means it is going through the exhaust system, so when you floor the car it most likely just pushes out all the built up residue that's left in your exhaust. I had this same issue, only would smoke if I would go full throttle.

How I rulled out that it was the valve stem seals is that if you floor it multiple times I bet you the second time you floor it it will stop smoking. If it was smoking from the valve stem seals it would be smoking every single time you put the pedal to the floor.

Try it and see. When I would floor mine it would take 2-3 months before I could make it smoke again. That's why I think it has nothing to do with the stem seals and is just the oil that our cars are burning and is being left behind in the exhaust system.

What you can also do to test the valve stem seals, find a big bill and while you are driving down down shift a gear or two if it doesn't smoke then, your seals are most likely fine as this should create a lot of vacuum in the engine.
I'm not 100% sure of your logic. I think that the oil just drops down through the valves at idle, and if it's already in the chamber it gets evaporated when flooring. Shouldn't flooring create bigger pressure inside of the combustion chamber, effectively sealing it from further oil leakage or blowing the oil upwards?

My reasoning seems to be confirmed by the fact that some users raport a "fart" after turning on the engine after a night or two.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aleks001 View Post
My actual build date of the Car is October 2005. I wouldn't be supprised if this has been the same since the car was new. I bought it used so I have no way to confirm. I would guess its been burning the same amount of oil from new as I've had it now for 100,000KM's and the consumption has not changed at all, one would expect it to get worse.
Let me reverse the way of thinking. If not the pistons, valve stem seals and the separator, then what?

Still, both the seals and the separator aren't that expensive (around 200 US$ for the seals and 100$ for the separator, incl parts and labor here in Poland) so for the peace of mind I'm gonna do it anyway

Last edited by marvel.marv; 04-27-2016 at 04:37 AM.
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  #16  
Old 04-27-2016, 04:37 AM
aleks001 aleks001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marvel.marv View Post
Yup, I'm @ 192 700


But in my case "lite" is not the best way to describe - actually I see oil on the bigger DISA's outside. If it goes through the seal than it's no drop or two.


I'm not 100% sure of your logic. I think that the oil just drops down through the valves at idle, and if it's already in the chamber it gets evaporated when flooring. Shouldn't flooring create bigger pressure inside of the combustion chamber, effectively sealing it from further oil leakage or blowing the oil upwards?

My reasoning seems to be confirmed by the fact that some users raport a "fart" after turning on the engine after a night or two.



Let me reverse the way of thinking. If not the pistons, valve stem seals and the separator, then what?
I can't comment to much I'm far from an expert. The only reason I say it is pistons is because my consumption rate has been consistent for a long time and my driving method doesn't seem to affect it, but really, I don't know for sure what the issue is. My car has never farted so maybe we do have different problems :P

Let me know the results of your oil consumption when you change those parts I'm very interested.

I've pretty much given up chasing the problem. The oil change to thicker oil is my final experiment. I will update this thread with the results and if I stay with the thicker oil or go back to a thinner oil. Remember also I live in Australia so we don't have a cold climate, the colder it ever gets is like 5 degrees lol Usually even through winter it's like 15 degrees outside ahaha So even if this does make a huge difference for me, might not be a good idea to try in a cold climate.
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  #17  
Old Today, 02:40 AM
aleks001 aleks001 is offline
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An update My cars engine blew up ...

jokes hahah

On a serious note I don't think the car likes the thick oil. There has definitely been a sound change I can't explain it but the engine sounds different, more muted I guess. When you turn the ac on it amflies a small rattling sound from the engine, I thought it was AC related but it's too much of a coincidence to happen right after the oil change, when I turned of the AC it can still be heard. It sort of sounds like when you open your engine oil cap while the engine is running except now you can hear it outside. I think the oil is really messing with the pressures inside the crankcase.

Fuel economy = 0 difference, well nothing I have noticed anyway, but it's hard to measure this as my weekly fuel consumption can normally range from anything between 10L/100KM to 12.5L/100KM, let's just say it's still in that range somewhere.

So where to from here ?
Well first of all it would be great if BMW didn't build an engine that didn't burn so much oil and then I wouldn't have to mess with oils so much lol

I would recommend to everyone to stick within the BMW guidelines for the N52, I've seen some guys running 10w-50 and 10w-60 in the N54 with no issues or maybe they just haven't noticed.

I will most likely be switching to Castrol Edge A3 5w-30, as I've always wanted to try this. I'm just going to wait for my oil level sensor to drop a bar so I can calculate what my oil consumption with the thicker oil as I'm sure others are interested as well.

For the nerds out there who would like to see the castrol edge A3/B4 australia PDS:
http://msdspds.castrol.com/bpglis/Fu...PXE-9P9HK3.pdf

Will continue to update this thread as I'm sure it will be useful to someone in the future
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  #18  
Old Today, 04:03 AM
moeelganem moeelganem is offline
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check this picture , the sound is coming from the hydraulic lifters .

this is the knocking i was talking about earlier , try the 5w-30 again and im sure it will disappear.

if you keep the thicker oil you might damage your seals and gaskets , be careful and keep an eye for any leaks here or there.

remove the engine cover for a better view of the valve cover and cylinder head .
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  #19  
Old Today, 04:04 AM
moeelganem moeelganem is offline
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and btw i tried castrol it sucks on this engine , go for Liqui-Moly 5w-30 ( German made )
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  #20  
Old Today, 05:08 AM
aleks001 aleks001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moeelganem View Post
and btw i tried castrol it sucks on this engine , go for Liqui-Moly 5w-30 ( German made )
Is the castrol you tried the same as the one here in Australia or similar, it seems to vary alot across the globe. Was it their titanium bla bla line ?

Problem with the liqui moly is that its hard to find here and expensive and it is very expensive when your engine is burning it lol

I might see if i can find some others

The thick oil will only be in the engine for about 1000-2000 kms and rattling is only at idle i doubt im causing long term damage for such a short time. I'm also very sensitive to noisez i doubt a lot of people would even hear it.
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  #21  
Old Today, 06:46 AM
u3b3rg33k u3b3rg33k is offline
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Isn't The issue with the N52 motor inadequate flow to the valve lifters? In that case you'd want an oil that flowed more easily at startup, like a 0W40?
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  #22  
Old Today, 11:43 AM
motoguy128 motoguy128 is online now
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Mobil 1 does make a 0W50 racing oil. I'm not sure how long it retains the "50" weight. If I remember right, with multi-weight oils, the lower number is the base stock. It's modified to retain higher viscosity as temperatures increase. When it breaks down, oils with a lighter base stock will lose their upper end value a little. At least thats what I remember reading.
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