Originally Posted by SLO Town
That was an interesting thread, but the official factory BMW documentation is what I'd put my faith in. As I said,t he thread you refer to was quite informative, it's just that there was no DIRECT official statement in there from BMW.
Frankly, I think all this approved oil discussion is nearly worthless. BMW approved or not, virtually all of today's modern synthetic oils are more than adequate. How many other manufacturers do you know that specify not only oil viscosity, but the brand you're supposed to use? Not many. I think BMW's position is simply one of being somewhat warranty unfriendly.
The most important thing in your oil choice is viscosity. I'm not saying to do this, but I'll bet any quality synthetic in a 5w-30, 10w-30, 0w40, or 5w-40 would not cause any problems. Most certainly you wouldn't want to run a 10w-30 or 5w-40 in the dead of winter in a cold climate, but that oil would probably be a good choice in mild climates where cold starts are not an issue. I've read that some members of the forum and others use 5w-50 or 15w-50, and I think that would be a mistake (as would 0w-20 or 0w-30).
FWIW, in all my new cars I'll always do a 750 mile first oil change, then change again at 3,000 and 6,000 - using "factory approved" oil. At that point, I think the motor has proven itself as being defect free and from then on I use the brand of my choice, so long as the viscosity is in the range of what the manufacturer recommends.
In fact, on my 2003 330Ci is was using Redline 5w-40. I chose 5w-40 because it is an approved viscosity, and where I live it seldom gets below 45 degrees, even on the coldest winter nights (plus my car is garaged). If I lived in a cold weather climate I would use 5w-30.
I just switched back to Mobil 1 from Redline. While Redline is IMO a superior product, it's hard to find and the place I normally order it from had the 5w-40 on backorder for over a month. So I changed back to Mobil 1 from the convenience standpoint and will use it from now on.
Not to insult anyone, but if someone doesn't believe my claim about the oil recommendations in the BMW Service and Warranty booklet, let me know an I'll scan page 4 for you.
PS Sorry, gotta do this. But my oil's going to get hot today. Supposed to be in the mid 70s. Absolutely gorgeous! Going for a bike ride first.