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My car is a 2001 330ci with 108,000 miles on it. End of November 2010 at 105,000 miles the oil was changed; end of February 2010 at 108,000 miles it needed two quarts and I put in what the mechanic recommended: Mobil 1 5w30 synthetic. What is normal oil consumption, or the factors that make "normal" difficult to establish? The car has never leaked oil when parked.
 

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Technically that falls within what BMW defines as normal: 1 litre every 2000km (1200mi). However in your case, it still sounds like a lot especially for the M54 engine. Generally oil consumption is determined by driving style and atmospheric conditions- if you're regularly tracking the car or running high rpms, then oil consumption will be higher than in a mostly-freeway, lower rpm driving style.
 

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Mobil1 5w30 isn't the proper oil for the m54 - too thin. Use mobil1 0w40 or better yet, castrol 0w-30. Several members at e46fanatics have indicated the latter helped their oil consumption issues
 

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My car is a 2001 330ci with 108,000 miles on it. End of November 2010 at 105,000 miles the oil was changed; end of February 2010 at 108,000 miles it needed two quarts and I put in what the mechanic recommended: Mobil 1 5w30 synthetic. What is normal oil consumption, or the factors that make "normal" difficult to establish? The car has never leaked oil when parked.
My 2001 330ci burns a quart every 2k miles, has 132K on it now and has used that much oil since I bought it in 2004 with 53k on it.
I use BMW 5w30 oil since it is per spec and I get a case of it plus a filter for $77 dollars - with my BMW Car Club discount.
A few items can actually be competitive in price, from the dealership, with the 15% off...and occasionally they swing me a 20% discount.
 
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