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X5 E70 (2007 - 2013)
E70 BMW X5 produced between 2007 and 2013. Discuss the E70 X5 with other BMW owners here.

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  #1  
Old 01-19-2012, 12:41 PM
Mtn Xer Mtn Xer is offline
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Tips with break in on diesel? First long drive, into cold weather

This is my first diesel car that I just picked up two days ago and I am wondering what differences there may be btwn this and a petrol engine for break in. I put about 50 miles of local city/highway driving on it so far, varying the RPMs btwn idle and upto 2500. The dealer said to me "just dont push it over 100 mph in the first 1000 miles." I feel like there might be more to a break in that just speed alone. I've heard things about not exceeding certain RPM, not to use triptronic/downshifting, to vary the speeds on a highway drive, to punch it a little every now and then, etc. Also heard that if you are keeping the car long term, you should do an oil change after the first 1000-1500 miles, is this recommended? Any thing else I should be cautious about, other fluid levels, maintenance stuff, driving style, etc? And does cold weather/winter effect the cars break-in in any way?

Or is this all "break-in" stuff hocus pocus and not relevent with cars nowadays?

Also, I had a trip planned for this upcoming weekend (only have 50 miles on the car) and am going to go on a long drive (~700 miles roundtrip) up to Vermont skiing. Temps up there will most likely be below zero at night. Ive heard stories about the diesel engines having issues starting/running in very cold weather, should I be cautious with anything? Also, I am going to have 5 people in the car, 4 skis, and luggage in the trunk, would this be an issue with the new car (suspension/tires weight load wise)?
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  #2  
Old 01-19-2012, 01:10 PM
kankou kankou is offline
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the manual just says to drive at various engine and vehicle speeds....and keep it under 3.5k RPM and under 90mph for the first 1,200 miles...and avoid full-throttle application.

i'd just follow that and not worry.
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  #3  
Old 01-19-2012, 02:55 PM
Penguin Penguin is offline
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FWIW, here's something I've posted several places in the past in response to similar questions:

----------------------------------------------------
The entire point of break-in is to let the parts themselves do the final "machining" and wear themselves into the best possible fit/mating, without causing any damage while doing it. As machining technology gets better and better, break-in becomes less important... but final "wear-in" is still important, IMHO. You want to wear down the high-points (on a microscopic scale) without doing it so fast or long that your generate localized heat which causes a "microweld/micro galling," leaving a micro pit or bump. As such, very short bursts toward redline (not under load) actually will help "wear-in" the parts. Short burst of acceleration also help, e.g., accelerate for a couple of seconds and then back off every once in a while while doing the break-in. What hurts during break-in are either sustained running at high speed/load, or running at a constant load/speed for a sustained period of time. With different speeds and loads, different areas (again on a microscopic level), tend to be the "high spots." Think of it as trying to hone the parts together as you would sharpen a knife, with the varying speeds and loads as you move the knife to different angles, but not wanting to get the knife blade hot.

Understanding what you are trying to do is more important than slavishly following the rules ("Gee, I just hit 1,000 miles so I can redline it!). Think of the first 1,000 miles as being similar to a ten minute "limbering up" prior to exercise... start easy the first few miles and gradually work up to normal running over the first 1,000.

Will disaster come if you don't do this? Probably not. But doing it will increase the odds that you have a trouble free engine that goes 200,000 miles, vs. one that has a bearing or other problem at 75,000 - 100,000.


Note: When I talk of hitting redline, I'm talking of a very, very short burst of the engine while it is not under heavy load, e.g., a throttle "blip" in neutral or during a lightly loaded upshift. The "couple of seconds acceleration" I mention is under load while driving and should not ever be near the redline of the engine while breaking it in.

Some people propose to "break it in hard," suggesting that this gives more power. Well, there is some truth to that... but not in the way many people think. Most engines (if maintained) will actually hit their peak horsepower during their life somewhere around 30,000 to 50,000 miles. This is the point when parts and clearnaces have worn to the point that friction is reduced; however, not to the point where compression or other power-robbing things happen. So, if you break it in hard, yes, you might see a tad more power. But that's because you have shortened the life of the engine considerably with excess wear aging it prematurely.

P.S. for those who say engines nowadays are already "broken-in" as they come from the factory due to more precise machining, I did an oil analysis on my Z4 from new. In the first 2,000 miles there was approximately five times the wear metals as in the second 2,000 miles.

P.P.S. I also am a believer in an oil change after the break-in period if you are not leasing and plan to keep the vehicle for more than five years or 100,000 miles.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As with oil questions, every will have a different opinion. But, if I am right, then it is wise to do it. If I am wrong, no harm will come from following it as a break-in procedure.
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  #4  
Old 01-19-2012, 03:58 PM
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Just do what the manual states, and vary the revs on longer drives. Under 150km/h and 3500rpm is a good guideline for diesels, and exceeding it once or twice won't kill ya either.

I think the whole fuss with break-in is a bit overblown in the US. Do you think a German car company would have such stringent break-in requirements in its home country, where speeds are high and acceleration is more aggressive? Every new car owner would be run over!

I had a rental Opel Astra Touring a couple years ago that was brand new with 8km on the clock. I read the manual, and there was no specific requirement stated, except to avoid emergency stops with braking.
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  #5  
Old 01-20-2012, 08:53 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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"where speeds are high and acceleration more aggresssive" -- sort of like driving in SoCal I guess.
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  #6  
Old 01-20-2012, 09:17 AM
Mtn Xer Mtn Xer is offline
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So I guess I cant drive it like I stole it (atleast for the first few weeks I guess)
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  #7  
Old 01-20-2012, 09:26 AM
m3the01 m3the01 is offline
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There are way too many opinions on this. Therefore, im not really going to comment on break in procedures.

However, i will suggest if you own the vehicle or plan on keeping it past 4 years get a couple oil changes in the first 5k miles. One at 1k and one at say 3-5k, after that i will be doing oil changes at 8k.
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  #8  
Old 01-20-2012, 10:53 AM
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icuc icuc is offline
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Makes sense and my X5 is closer to 1000 miles... I will do the oil change soon and planning to keep the vehicle for longer time.
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  #9  
Old 01-20-2012, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtn Xer View Post
So I guess I cant drive it like I stole it (atleast for the first few weeks I guess)
Well, there are lots of opinions. But I would add that I have always used my break-in procedure and, at the age of 60, I have never owned a vehicle that required an oil top-off between oil changes, with one exception -- I bought a 1987 BMW K75S that already had 100 miles on it when I bought it, and it used enough oil to require a top-off between changes. I suspect it, being the first of the new K75S's the dealer received, got flogged a bit to "see what it could do" before I bought it.
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  #10  
Old 01-20-2012, 01:56 PM
tonka858 tonka858 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtn Xer View Post
So I guess I cant drive it like I stole it (atleast for the first few weeks I guess)
its a diesel they would catch you any way..

now a 911 turbo only road spikes are going to stop you.
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  #11  
Old 01-20-2012, 02:17 PM
m3the01 m3the01 is offline
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Penguins break in procedure is very similar to mine, on a turbo the rings actually have more expansion room and you need the boost to apply pressure to expand the rings to contact the piston walls. One of the worst things you can do on a turbo vehicle during break in is to be too soft on the throttle, and sustained rpms and load is very bad.
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  #12  
Old 01-20-2012, 06:52 PM
Dennis2011 Dennis2011 is offline
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Can anyone give me suggestion on oil change? I am planning to do an oil change for my new X5 at 3000 miles (should have done it right after 1000 miles), and i am going to do it in one of our locals here in illinois. Is there a specific type of oil most suitable for the car? And, will a simple oil change have effect on the car's maintenance system such as the date for my first car service.

It's my first car, so I don't know much.
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  #13  
Old 01-20-2012, 07:30 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis2011 View Post
Can anyone give me suggestion on oil change? I am planning to do an oil change for my new X5 at 3000 miles (should have done it right after 1000 miles), and i am going to do it in one of our locals here in illinois. Is there a specific type of oil most suitable for the car? And, will a simple oil change have effect on the car's maintenance system such as the date for my first car service.

It's my first car, so I don't know much.
As mentioned in another thread, the oil change intervals are shorter for diesels, so personally I don't feel the need for a break-in oil change unless you want to do one at 2000km (1200mi).

The diesel engines require BMW LL-04 spec oil which is substantially harder to find. It may be best to buy it from your BMW dealer, unless your indy shop has something like ELF Solaris or Motul 8100 X-Clean.

The Condition Based Service should not be affected by the oil change, as long as you don't reset it, of course.
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  #14  
Old 01-20-2012, 07:33 PM
Dennis2011 Dennis2011 is offline
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I am so sorry. forgot to mention that i drive a 35i.
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  #15  
Old 01-20-2012, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis2011 View Post
I am so sorry. forgot to mention that i drive a 35i.
This thread is about the diesel! But in the interest of answering your question: With the petrol engines, LL-01 oil is preferred which is widely available in various forms such as Mobil 1, Castrol 0W-30, or others.
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  #16  
Old 01-20-2012, 09:29 PM
ard ard is online now
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Bad advice here about LL04 and LL01.

For a BMW diesel under warranty there is ONLY ONE oil that is on the list of 'recommended' oils:

Castrol SLX OE Professional 5w30

No other oil is recommended by BMW in the USA for full fill oil changes.
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  #17  
Old 01-21-2012, 07:02 AM
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I'd like to think that BMW states that in the US manual to prevent the average person from messing up, kind of like how in the older BMWs they used to say 91 AKI fuel was required in the US manual.

Personally I think that as long as the oil meets the low-ash requirements given in the owner's manual, it'd be okay. It's not like the service intervals are that long for a diesel. But we can agree to disagree- not going to start another oil thread. The OP can do as he/she sees fit; admittedly it's easier to just go to the dealer since the other oils are hard to find and more expensive than the Castrol SLX sold under the BMW label.
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  #18  
Old 01-21-2012, 10:11 AM
ard ard is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
I'd like to think that BMW states that in the US manual to prevent the average person from messing up, kind of like how in the older BMWs they used to say 91 AKI fuel was required in the US manual.

Personally I think that as long as the oil meets the low-ash requirements given in the owner's manual, it'd be okay. It's not like the service intervals are that long for a diesel. But we can agree to disagree- not going to start another oil thread. The OP can do as he/she sees fit; admittedly it's easier to just go to the dealer since the other oils are hard to find and more expensive than the Castrol SLX sold under the BMW label.

I guess we are saying the same thing- there are many good oils, even better oils, that will be fine or even superior. I am just commenting on the very narrow question of 'what does BMW require?"

Unfortunately, and this is due to the laws around warranty and maintenance, BMW allows LL01/LL04 for top off only in the owners manual/maintenance/warranty manual. Read it in it's entirety and parse the precise meaning of all the words. They must do this otherwise they are 'on the hook' for topping off oil as well as oil changes

There are many fine oils 'that will work'... I am ONLY opining on what "bmw recommends in the US market" if you want to be sure not to risk your warranty.

(Why would you post a non-USA document???????? OUS they have different specs than inside the USA)

There are many posts here, on xoutpost about this issue...so yeah, lets not start another oil thread


A

PS Doing my first change today on my '12 diesel....
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  #19  
Old 01-21-2012, 01:11 PM
m3the01 m3the01 is offline
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Hey ard,

U doing it or taking it in?
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Last edited by m3the01; 01-21-2012 at 02:11 PM.
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