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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 08-24-2011, 08:24 AM
fergal286 fergal286 is offline
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oil for a Z3

I'm about to change the oil in my 1997 - Z3 and some tell me to replace it with synthetic. However the dealer says no, 10W40 regular oil is what we use. I had it changed by a local BMW service station that services BMW, Mercedes and Audi, very well known and has a great reputation. Any comments on which I should use.
Thanks for the help
Dave
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  #2  
Old 08-24-2011, 10:34 AM
ghpup ghpup is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fergal286 View Post
I'm about to change the oil in my 1997 - Z3 and some tell me to replace it with synthetic. However the dealer says no, 10W40 regular oil is what we use. I had it changed by a local BMW service station that services BMW, Mercedes and Audi, very well known and has a great reputation. Any comments on which I should use.
Thanks for the help
Dave
Have you looked in your owner's manual yet? While I know that many people praise synthetic, my personal opinion is that either is OK if you're changing the oil at appropriate intervals. I change mine at least 1 time per year and only drive about 5000 miles a year in it. My owner's manual specifically calls out petroleum based oil for the //M so that is what I use. When I ask my local indi shop (known as a really good shop nationally) they agree with me that the real difference boils (sorry for the pun...) down to price. Synthetic is 2X the price so I stay with the lower cost and make sure that I don't go beyond 5K on the changes if not more frequently.
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  #3  
Old 08-24-2011, 11:13 AM
SUNZOUT SUNZOUT is offline
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BMW spec's say Synthetic oil. Synthetic will last longer than standard oil, so not necessarily a saving if your changing oil more frequently.

Given that an oil change ever 5k is normally 6 months to a year or driving for most Z owners, is it really going to hurt you to spend a few extra bucks to use the recommended oil?
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  #4  
Old 08-24-2011, 01:35 PM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is offline
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http://www.bmwusa.com/Standard/Conte...ngineOils.aspx
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  #5  
Old 08-26-2011, 01:48 AM
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BMW switched to synthetic oil across the board in the late 90s.

Full synthetic oil is better for your engine, and can actually save money (better fuel economy and fewer oil changes if you drive more than 3K per year).

I would just run the BMW 5W-30 full synthetic. With BMW CCA discount is it pretty cheap, and is a good oil. Other good choices are Mobil 1 1oW-30 or 0W-40, and the Castrol equivalents. BTW, the BMW oil is Castrol.
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  #6  
Old 08-26-2011, 02:02 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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If you go non-synthetic, change at 3000 miles or 5000 miles max. You should be fine.

I personally use only synthetic and that's what I recommend. I use mobil1 0w-40

I used to use BMW oil but I hate driving to the dealer lol
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:38 AM
fergal286 fergal286 is offline
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Oil 4 my Z3

Thanks for all the help re the oils for my Z3.
The dealer says regular oils but I agree with the forum people that synthetic is the way to go.
I changed the oils yesterday with synthetic and will from now on. Thanks again for the help.
Dave
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  #8  
Old 08-29-2011, 12:26 PM
rj23xpress rj23xpress is offline
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Is there a place in this forum that explain step by step on how to change oil in a 2000 z3? This will be the first time im changing oil with this car. thanks for the help in advance.
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  #9  
Old 08-29-2011, 12:40 PM
fergal286 fergal286 is offline
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Oil Change

Most European cars use a cartridge type oil filter. It's on the top of the engine, usually near the power steering reservoir. Use the proper oil filter cap wrench to remove the cap and filter assembly. Replace the cartridge and related seals, and install a little more than hand tight.

You need to remove the filter before draining the oil pan, or the oil contained in the filter housing will not be changed.

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com

/Q/How_do_you_change_the_oil_filter_on_a_1997_BMW_Z3# ixzz1WRryVZ60

Also Check this link for a video on You Tube.

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  #10  
Old 08-30-2011, 07:13 AM
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Oil change is very easy.

1) Buy Mity Vac oil remover.

2) Get oil and filter

3) Warm up engine

4) Remove dipstick and stick MityVac hose as far as it will go.

5) Pump Mity Vac.

6) While oil is being sucked up, remove filter housing top. Ms use 13mm nut, non-Ms use 36mm.

7) Remove filter, and install new filter. While doing so, replace the O-ring at the time of the oil filter housing blot (comes in package with oil filter), and washer at the top (at least for the Ms). Replace oil filter cap and torque to proper level.

8) If needed, pump MityVac a few more times. Once oil is sucked out, remove Mity Vac.

9) Add oil.
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  #11  
Old 08-30-2011, 08:49 PM
tohbi tohbi is offline
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research i've been doing indicates that synthetic oil molecules suffer higher heat than petroleum based oil before breaking down. they flow better, lubricate better at extremely low temperature and are, therefore best for high stressed use.

however, the best figure i can come up with is that by about 10,000 miles most oil additives have begun breaking down regardless which type the oil is. moreover, the more miles, the greater the contamination to the oil. so, it would seem that using the best oil filter, even changing it mid oil change might be a good idea.

i've been running mobil 1 for 10,000 miles with a mobil 1 filter change at 5000 miles on several vehicles but i'm not offering this as an endorsement without an oil analysis study i'm not willing to devote myself to doing.

a lot of it depends on how hard you work the engine.

theoretically using excellent oil filters and some kind of oil additives, one could extend oil change intervals dramatically, maybe indefinitely if particulates were filtered out and liquids like gasoline and water were evaporated out of the crankcase. still, there seem as many theories as people you ask.
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  #12  
Old 08-31-2011, 06:11 AM
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There is an online test where some guys ran a Camaro without any oil changes. Just a filter change and topping up after the filter change and as needed.

Their premise was that the filter change plus 1 quart replacemetn would be enough to replenish the additives. They were using Mobil 1 oil. They were doing regular oil analysis.

And the last time I looked (many years ago) the test had been runnnig for quite some time and the data looked like they were right.

With conventional multi viscosity oils, they use viscosity improvers, which do break down over time, leaving you with a very light weight oil.
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  #13  
Old 08-31-2011, 09:11 AM
tohbi tohbi is offline
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hey pinecone, would you know where to find this camaro test? i've heard about it and looked for it online but haven't found it yet.

here is a website that gives a site for calculating your tbn: http://neptune.spacebears.com/cars/s.../interval.html

"TBN: The Total Base Number. This is a measure of acid-combatting additives. Oil is essentially expired once it reaches a TBN around 1." blackstone labs says, "The TBN is based on the level of calcium sulfinate in the oil."

i think i'll send in a sample to blackstone labs. cost seems to be $25 for basic test. email them and they'll send a test kit. i'm going to run my mobil 1 for 10,000 miles with a filter change at 5000 and see how the oil tests. blackstone labs: http://www.blackstone-labs.com/

you know, i've found the z3 engine to be so tractable that i seldom need to thrash it. driving moderately gives mid 20s gas mileage and is easier on the engine. of course, it's nice to have that high rev capability if one needs it.
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  #14  
Old 09-01-2011, 04:51 AM
tohbi tohbi is offline
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oh, one more thing about synthetic oil. it's anecdotal but interesting i think. several years ago i borrowed mom's 81 buick, v-6, about 60k on engine. i changed the oil to mobil 1. two weeks later i had to set down the idle speed because the synthetic oil had freed up the engine so it was turning what i would estimate as 200-300 rpm faster.

the stuff is tres slippery.
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  #15  
Old 09-01-2011, 06:21 AM
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Yes.

Also, the old tales of not changing the type of oil is from the 60s and early synthetic oils. Conventional oils have some ight fraction components (solvents) that cause rubber to swell. So using conventional oil, causes the seals to swell a bit then wear based on the swollen seal. Early synthetic oils did not ahve any light fractions, so teh seals would shrink, causing oil leaks.

Modern synthetic oils have some additives to cause the same seal swelling characterics as conventional oils. So you can switch back and forth.
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  #16  
Old 09-26-2011, 10:06 PM
47sgs 47sgs is offline
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I'm new to this forum, and new to BMWs as well. Two weeks ago I bought a 2000 M roadster, 27000 miles, and Dinan intake, engine software, and exhaust. According to the owner's manual, it's recommended to using BMW high performance synthetic oil only, with a minimum API/SH quality. There is nothing in there about using any conventional oils. The viscosity is strictly climate based. Does the Dinan conversions make any difference at all in the oil used for this car ? Also, if this car is only driven 2-3000 miles 8 months a year, would it make any difference if petroleum based oil was used ?
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  #17  
Old 09-27-2011, 06:26 AM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 47sgs View Post
I'm new to this forum, and new to BMWs as well. Two weeks ago I bought a 2000 M roadster, 27000 miles, and Dinan intake, engine software, and exhaust. According to the owner's manual, it's recommended to using BMW high performance synthetic oil only, with a minimum API/SH quality. There is nothing in there about using any conventional oils. The viscosity is strictly climate based. Does the Dinan conversions make any difference at all in the oil used for this car ? Also, if this car is only driven 2-3000 miles 8 months a year, would it make any difference if petroleum based oil was used ?
The Dinan conversions do not change the oil that should be used.

At 3,000 miles a year, per BMW recommendations, the oil should be changed once a year. At this rate, any cost difference in meaningless. I would definitely use synthetic for the its superior cling - which should help reduce the number of dry starts.

Well, this make a measurable difference in the life of engine? Don't know, but I would rather error on the side of safety.
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  #18  
Old 09-28-2011, 08:51 AM
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The BMW advice has always been at least once per year. And they would do so under the maintenance coverage. I had several annual (not mileage based) oil changes down for free on my E46 M3.

BMW used to have the requirement of ACEA A3/B3 for a while. Later cars require oils that meet one of the long life standards.

I use BMW synthetic 5W-30 in our Roadster. And it has a full Turner Motorsport Stage 4 engine kit in it (about 60 - 70 HP boost). My other choice would be any Castrol or Mobil 1 oil. I run Mobil 1 0W-40 in our E36 M3 Lightweight.
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