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What type of oil should I use for my BMW E36?

22nd April 2007

What type of oil should I use for my BMW E36?

posted in Engine, Performance, Technical Info |


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Hi Guys,

 

Oil types make me feel sick because I usually don’t understand them. What weight is better?! operating temperature! thick oils and how this will affect the performance and the age of my engine. Anyway, today I felt like reading about these stuff to make sure I won’t feel sick next time I hear someone talking about this. I think you should read this article because it will definitely add something to your knowledge that you just didn’t learn (well, or hear about before). The article was found here. Thanks Cary for the article (the author).

 

 

Disclaimer: Use this info at your own risk!! I’m not responsible for your mistakes man! :D

1) New BMW’s require synthetic oil. As far as weight, only certain production dates of M3′s and M5′s require the use of Castrol TWS 10w-60.

 

2) The Factory BMW Synth 5w-30 is a version of Castrol TXT Softect sold overseas. A few important things about the BMW oil:

  1. It is a Group III hydrocracked oil which cannot be called synthetic in Europe.

  2. It is a heavy 30 weight (30 weight can run from 9.3-12.5cst@100c, the BMW oil is about 12.2cst).

  3. It is a ACEA A3 oil which means that it is approved for longer change intervals and has a HTHS (High Temperature High Shear) measured at 150c of greater than 3.5.

3) In the US, the only Group IV PAO Synthetics that are available are

  1. Mobil 1.

  2. Amsoil (but not the Xl-7500).

  3. Royal Purple.

  4. German Castrol 0w-30 (it has the red label and says on the back, “Made in Germany). Redline is a Group V PolyEster based oil. All other Castrol, Quaker State, Pennzoil, Valvoline “synthetics” are a Group III hydrocracked oil. It is debated how much better Group IV base oils are than group III, but generally they are considered better.

4) When looking for oil for any BMW that does not require Castrol TWS 10w-60, you want to purchase an oil that has either/both of the following ratings:

  1. ACEA A3.

  2. BMW LL-98 or LL-01.

5) Note that Mobil 1 0w-30, 5w-30, and 10w-30 are NOT ACEA A3 or BMW LL approved oils. This is because they all are thin 30 weight oils (approximately 9.8-10 CST@ 100c) and have HTHS of approximately 3.1. Mobil 1 0w-40 and 15w-50 are A3 rated and the Ow-40 is BMW LL-01 approved. For 99% of climates and users 0w-40 or 5w-40 is the appropriate grade. There are some 0w-30 and 5w-30 oils (like the BMW 5w-30) that are formulated on the heavier end of the 30 weight scale and are accordingly rated A3. These oils will work well also. LOOK FOR THAT ACEA A3 rating. If the oil doesn’t have it, pass on it.

 

6) Some people seem confused about how oil thickness is measured. The first number (0W, 5w, 10w, 15w, etc) is a measurement of how thick the oil is at temperatures of -35c- -20c (depends on the grade). The lower this first number the thinner the oil is at LOW temperatures. The second number (30, 40, 50) refers to oil thickness at 100c (operating temperature). 30 weight can be from 9.3-12.5 cst, 40 weight from 12.6-16.2 cst, 50 weight from 16.3-22cst (approximate). So you can have two oils, one called a 5w-30 (i.e. bmw oil) another 0w-40 (Mobil 1) that are very similar thicknesses at operating temperature. Compare this to Mobil 1 Xw-30 which is close to a 20 weight oil at 100c.

 

7) BMW’s recommended interval of 12,000-15,000 miles is too long. Used oil analysis has shown the BMW oil is generally depleted at 10,000 miles. Running it longer results in excess wear. It is highly recommended that you change your oil once between each BMW recommended interval (approx 7000-7500 miles). If you want to run your oil the BMW recommended interval, I would suggest that you use Mobil 1 0w-40 or Amsoil 5w-40 and change the oil filter at 7500 miles. I would encourage a full oil change at 7500 if you want your engine to last.

 

8) If you want to spend a few hours learning about oil, go to www.bobistheoilguy.com! But it’s like a different language…. so which one do you suggest if you were going to change your oil?

 

 

Unless you have an M3, in the following order:

 

  1. Mobil 1 0w-40.

  2. Mobil 1 0w-40, and

  3. Mobil 1 0w-40.

 

If you can’t find the 0w-40, the Mobil 1 SUV 5w-40 is a great oil. Can’t find either of these, then go to your dealer and get the BMW 5w-30.

 

The Mobil 1 0w-40 is a great oil, widely available (Walmart, Checker, Kragen, Autozone), and moderately priced. It is factory fill in Mercedes AMG, Porsche, and Austin Martin.

Wait for more from . . . BMW E36 Blog

 

Best regards,

Tony Sticks.

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There are currently 56 responses to “What type of oil should I use for my BMW E36?”

Why not let us know what you think by adding your own comment! Your opinion is as valid as anyone elses, so come on... let us know what you think.

  1. 1 On April 25th, 2007, Mic said:

    Interesting enough, I just had a Service II done today on my M3 1999 and the dealership used a 15W40 BMW oil. It’s my understanding that the BMW oil would be the Castrol TXT (semi-synthetic) that you mentionned above.
    I usually go to a performance garage for my oil change and they use Castrol Syntec 5W30 (every 5,000 miles). The BMW oil is just $1.90 a quart when the Syntec is over $4.00.

  2. 2 On April 25th, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    I think you will need to learn boxing for such situations, LOOOL!

  3. 3 On May 3rd, 2007, newkid said:

    What about an older model, in my case a ’94 316i (my first BMW)? Would the Mobil 1 still be the best choice?

  4. 4 On May 4th, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    Newkid, yes, I think Mobil 1 is your best choice.

  5. 5 On July 1st, 2007, Morea Grun said:

    Mobil 1 is great, been using it with EXCELLENT results for years.

    Trying to decide between M1 0w-40 or 15w-50 for my recently aquired, 150k, 318i 5spd???

    Doesn’t appear to be burning any oil . . .

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks for the site!

  6. 6 On July 1st, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    I personally prefer the Mobil 1 0w-40.

  7. 7 On July 12th, 2007, SammyJ said:

    thanks for the details and info on oil. unfortunately we don’t get Mobil 1 here, which sounds great. We have to resort to the 5w30 oil from the dealers.

    does this oil also not hold up to the recommended service intervals specified by the agents?

    Why would they specifiy a longer service interval if it would be detrimental to your motor?

  8. 8 On July 12th, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    SmmyJ,

    AFAIK, the BMW 5w30 oil is great too and it should hold up.

  9. 9 On July 28th, 2007, Kevin F said:

    I recently picked up a 1997 328i with 109k miles. Previous (original) owner stated that the dealer said only use regular oil, no synthetics, and he has done that. I read a thread for BMW E36′s where they recommended not to switch over to synthetic if you have used regular oils. Apparently the synthetics can have adverse affects on the seals; taking a previously dry engine and making it a leaker. Do you agree with that assessment? By the way, great info on the synthetics.

  10. 10 On July 28th, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    Kevin, I don’t really think that switching to syntetic oil can cause leaks to your engine by itself. I can point you to the following websites which talk specifically about this issue.

    http://www.allpar.com/eek/synthetic.html
    http://www-d0.fnal.gov/~jkrane/cars/synth_survey.html

  11. 11 On October 9th, 2007, Kenzo said:

    I just bought a 1999 m3 coupe. the maintenance history on the vehicle shows usage of mobile 1 15w-50 through it entire life, 55,000 miles. Is this the best oil grade for my car, or would it be a better idea to switch to the 0w-40 grade you are recommending. i live in so cal & the car has been in so cal its entire life, just to give you a climate.

    thanks.

    Ken

  12. 12 On October 27th, 2007, Bradley said:

    Hi Everyone, I have a 1995 BMW 318is MSpec, done 120kms, what type of oil shouldi use, also, should i let the current oil run right down, it is half-full at the moment. Thanks for the help!! And does anyone know why the ‘inspection light comes on’, ive just had a service at a perfermance garage and i dont really want to have to get another one by BMW to make the light go off. Thanks alot.

  13. 13 On October 28th, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    Hi Bradley,

    Mobil 1 maybe the best choice to go with. About the inspection light, it’s not related in any way to the status of oil in your car. It simply depends on the distance. So, you can reset it using the procedure I’ve provided here:
    http://www.bmwe36blog.com/2007/02/24/reset-bmw-e36-oil-service-light/

    hope this helps.

  14. 14 On November 29th, 2007, odessa91 said:

    Kevin, No problem switching from regular oil to synthetic oil. I switched on my ’96 328i when car had about 110kmi, currently I have 160kmi, and I do not see any problem. I am using BMW synthetic oil 5w30 from dealer

  15. 15 On December 15th, 2007, sach767 said:

    I,ve been using ELF 15W/50 Semi-Synthetic’s on my 1997 328i…never had any problems, smooth and reliable. But I change them every 5000km’s…cheers

  16. 16 On December 20th, 2007, GibsoN said:

    Slighty off topic but i had an oil and filter change done by a garage about 1 month ago, however they have over filled the engine with oil(oil level above max on dipstick by a fair bit). I plan on fixing it myself, but wonder weather i NEED to change the filter too. Or can i just drain the oil and refil?

  17. 17 On December 21st, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    Gibson,

    Are you saying that you will need to drain all the oil from your car? If the oil was changed recently, then just drain a little until the dipstick shows the oil at the max point. No need to refil unless it’s time for this oil to be changed. About the oil filter. I don’t think you’ll need to replace that.

  18. 18 On February 2nd, 2008, Marlon white said:

    I have a 1996 523 manual. I have owned it from new. I used mineral 10/40 which is changed every 5000 miles. Yes this is quite cheap oil but the car does not require top ups between services and has done 270,000 miles. The most important thing is not which oil but the regularity of change. The gear box and diff oil has been changed twice and are original. So is the timing chain!

  19. 19 On February 6th, 2008, Gene said:

    I have a 1994 325i at about 145,000 miles. I was just wondering what type of oil change I need to get… and how often. Every oil change service area I goto charges about $80-$85 + tax instead of regular $24.95, because they say it’s “bmw”. But seeing it as such an old car, I’m not sure if it’s really necessary. So please let me know, what type oil change I need and how often.

  20. 20 On February 9th, 2008, Frank said:

    Hi guys, totally noob here bout cars here and i jus got this bmw 316i 1995 model, unfortunately i wudnt be able to start my car from having my engine turn on for couple of hours so i can listen to music while i was cleaning how ever wen i try to change th cd, it turns itself off prolly coz of ttoo hot but now i cant even turn the ignition on as it says “oil service” in the buttom of the “km/ph.. monitor” so i chek the oil its nearly down to the las line bout 5mm but it is normal to not to start?????

    and whats a good descent oil does it require?

    Thanks guys

    Frank

  21. 21 On February 9th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    It’s not normal for the car not to start before the oil reaches the lower mark. Did you check your battery? Maybe that’s what is causing the problem.

  22. 22 On February 9th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    Hi Gene,

    Sorry for the late reply. I think the Mobil 1 0w-40 is the best choice for your car.

  23. 23 On February 10th, 2008, Gene said:

    Thanks Tony, I’ll try it out next time I get a change. Should I go for the change about every 3 months / 3000 miles?

  24. 24 On February 11th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    Hi Gene,

    I would change the oil every 3000 miles yes regardless of time.

  25. 25 On February 11th, 2008, Frank said:

    hi guys,

    yeh i fixed it now, i called the road serivce assistance and said it was the battery i flattened it out coz i was using it for 2 hours, lol…
    Thanks for your help guys appreciate it! :)

    Frank

  26. 26 On February 11th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @Frank: Glad to help Frank. Please have a nice day.

  27. 27 On March 22nd, 2008, Frank said:

    Hi guys,

    Just wondering wut would be the best oil to use in 316i 1995 model? its auto by the way.

    Thank you

    Frank

  28. 28 On March 23rd, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @Frank: I think Mobil 1

  29. 29 On March 23rd, 2008, Frank said:

    Any kind of Mobil 1 oil would be ok? i’ve read those stuff up there, seems like i should go with these guys here >> Mobil 1 0w-40 and 15w-50.

    Thanks heaps

    Frank :)

  30. 30 On March 23rd, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @Frank: I prefer the Mobil 1 0w-40

  31. 31 On March 25th, 2008, Frank said:

    Hey,

    Thanks for your help, i will try to remember that in future,
    coz i bought an oil yesterday and i thnk it was 20w-50 of Castrol. >:

    have a great day man

    Frank

  32. 32 On March 25th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    You too Frank.

  33. 33 On July 6th, 2008, rock said:

    I just read your statement, I just got a bmw 98 m3 with 175,000m, i just change the oil by myself i use mobil 1 5w30 synthetic. is that wrong or i have to get the 5w30 from the dealer, live in south florida

  34. 34 On July 22nd, 2008, Shane said:

    Regular E36 owners: DO NOT switch to synthetic oil! Always use conventional 5W30 oil from BMW, as the VANOS (variable valve timing intake) units on the M50/M52 engines were designed to use the conventional oil slight pastiness/buildup as lubricant – thus a full synthetic is not advised for this application.

    E36 M3 owners, use synthetic. Which one? view this very detailed thread:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1003372&highlight=oil

  35. 35 On July 28th, 2008, Michellin_E36 said:

    Hey Guys,I have been living in california for 10 years and been back to this stupid island Singapore for 5 years now…However i have been using “Schaeffer oils 9000 fully synthetic with a quart and a half of “EP-Moly” which has MOS2 to protect and coat hte engine block during high revs….and i tell you it is Fuxxking good stuff …
    Been using it for my current rides and you guys should check it out!!

  36. 36 On October 16th, 2008, ali said:

    hey guyz i just bought a 93 bmw 318i i live in toronto canada i just changed the oil in my car i used 15w50 and aftermarket fram oil filter but now when i start the engine in the morning i hear the engine knock for a bit but the knocking stops after 10 mins of idiling
    im not sure if i should just keep using this oil or change to 5w40 which i was recomended by mr lube

  37. 37 On October 28th, 2008, Jeremy Robbins said:

    What about the Mobil 1 “High Performance” they make now, saying it will last 15,000 miles? Is this worth the extra money? I have a 98 BMW 328i convertible.

  38. 38 On December 14th, 2008, Marty said:

    I assume the oils you refer to are for the petrol variants e36′s.

    What about my humble diesel 318tds with 100k+……?

    What would you recommend?

  39. 39 On December 30th, 2008, John T said:

    Hi, I own a 2001 325I and want other BMW owners to know that BMW USA’s website lists Valvoline Synpower 5W-30 synthetic as an acceptable Substitute. So when I ran to Advance Auto to get 5 quarts of it on sale for $30.00 with a filter no less, I thought it was a bargain.
    Before buying it though, I noticed it did not have the BMW LL rating and only an ACEA a1/A5 Rating. So I didnt buy it. After visiting valvoline’s website (see below) for their Synpower Specs, The Synpower you DO want to use is 5w-30MST and NOT their plain Synpower 5w-30.
    You can also use the Synpower 5w-40 which is BMW approved. But in my case, both of these synpower grades arent readily
    available so Im going to stick with using Mobil1 0w-40 since its the oil thats most readily available in the large auto chain stores.

    SAE 5W-30: Is the most recommended grade in today’s new cars. Exceeds all car and light truck manufacturers’ warranty requirements for the protection of gasoline, diesel and turbocharged engines where an API SM, SL, or CF oil is recommended. SynPower 5W-30 exceeds the requirements of ILSAC GF-3 and GF-4 for API Gasoline Engine Oils and meets Energy Conserving Standards and ACEA A1/A5.

    SAE 5W-30 MST: Exceeds European ACEA A3/B3/B4/C3 and meets or exceeds the engine performance requirements for BMW, Jaguar, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Rolls Royce, Volkswagen, Volvo and other high performance vehicles.

    SAE 5W-40: Provides the widest range of protection available in the SynPower motor oil line. Delivers outstanding cold temperature pumpability for rapid oil circulation at start-up. Provides a thick oil film for ultimate wear protection. Exceeds all car and light truck manufacturers’ warranty requirements for the protection of gasoline, diesel and turbocharged engines where an API SL, SM or CF oil is recommended. SynPower 5W-40 exceeds European ACEA A3/B3/B4/C3 requirements and is approved for Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen. SynPower 5W-40 also meets the engine performance requirements for BMW, Jaguar, Porsche, Lexus, Rolls Royce, Volvo and other high performance vehicles.

  40. 40 On January 18th, 2009, Jesse A. said:

    Hi,
    Since we are talking about oil, i was wondering if changing ATF(Auto Trans. Fluid)is bad for the transmission. People had said to me that it is bad because of the mileage that it has which my 1995 325is only has 137k miles. Also my transmission doesnt work properly in first and second gear and i was thinkin it might be the trans. oil that hasnt been changed. Any Help =] Thx

  41. 41 On January 19th, 2009, Mag said:

    hey guys, I have a 1998 328i with 78000 miles and using castoil 10w-30 and its burning oil. Switching to Mobile 53-40 will it help me.

    What would you recommend?

  42. 42 On January 29th, 2009, Dave said:

    Hi
    I have a 1995 E38 7 series w/140K, it runs perfectly. The gas station that’s finally lost my business from ripping me off one last time has been putting synthetic oil in for the last few years. I don’t know what was used prior to that as I bought the car 5 years ago. I’m going to a new place tomorrow, should I insist on synthetic or will any quality oil at the correct weight work? Thanks in advance.

  43. 43 On March 24th, 2009, janko said:

    i was lookong for perfect oil for about 2 days, ifound useful this pages:

    (for engineers )http://www.infineum.com/information/viscosity.html
    (maybe good reference?) https://www.opieoils.co.uk/
    i choose from last oil and becouse :)http://forum.bmwslo.com/archive/index.php/t-54.html
    page is slovenian language, simply use googletranslator

    i have 1999 coupe e36 (316i) and 3rd owner 190k km, used to have castrol txt 5w-40 (must have label bmw longlife), ill use it again!
    btw love your site

  44. 44 On December 22nd, 2010, big dee said:

    i have a 1998 323is and 1997 a 328is what oil should
    i use on these two cars

  45. 45 On January 29th, 2011, Tony said:

    Hi,… statements like “I’d use Mobil this or that” are just space wasting temptations into poor approaches to caring for your engine. Even if correct as things turn out (and it isn’t) it’s not the way to be scientific about such an expensive and essential part of your autocar. The manufacturer has specifications and recommendations, abide by them. These specs include a range of temperatures and conditions. This idea that manufacturers are amateurs in design stems largely from ignorance.Internet forums abound with it and some of the worst advice one could dream up is commonly portrayed. “Performance increases” is one of the worst examples. Tyres are next as are polybushing and so on because people just don’t understand or have experience with suspension tuning. The best suspension people do not instal polybushes by choice, for ewxample. Thicker sway bars bias a comfort/handling compromise. Betetr handling can come from extremely good tyres and no sway bars or light ones. I don’t want to go on as nit picking will arise… Everything is compromise in a car but the motor gear and differential oils are the basis of longevity and warranty.Please don’t lsten to viscosity advice from inerudte peoople…check with the manufacturer and use what they say. Do not use a lower spec oil of that viscocity The old advertisement that “Oils aint Oils Sol”…was sage. Cheers Tony

  46. 46 On April 11th, 2011, ph said:

    My e36 M50 1993 rather old is used more than 26x,xxx km I was forgot to see a mobil 0w-30 I try to seach a suitable lubicant oil for car 18 year ago n0w I use grade 20w-50 for 5000 km and change fuel from oil to LPG

  47. 47 On April 11th, 2011, ph said:

    My e36 M50 1993 rather old is used more than 26x,xxx km I was forgot to see a mobil 0w-30 I try to seach a suitable lubicant oil for car 18 year ago n0w I use grade 20w-50 for 5000 km and change fuel from oil to LPG

    prasit

  48. 48 On June 23rd, 2011, 318ic1994 said:

    Ok, so the proper oil to use in my 318 is mobil 1 0w-40. Is there any specific type of oil filter that should be used? If so, can you give me a list of the top 3 filters to use?

  49. 49 On June 28th, 2011, Richard said:

    318ic1994
    BMW SUPER POWER Oil SAE 5W-40 ACEA:A3/B3/B4. BMW Longlife (LL)98. It is made by Castrol and it’s direct substitute would be Castrol Syntec 5W-40.
    I’ll would recomend to use only BMW OEM oil filter kit,a few $ more will made a big diferance.
    Hope this helps!
    Cheers

  50. 50 On September 19th, 2011, Victor said:

    I have a 98 M3 with 150,000 miles on it. Currently using Castrol 20W-50 per was told by BMW tech because the hot climate in summer in Florida. Is it better to use a Mobil 1 oil? and if so what weight? Thanks

  51. 51 On September 19th, 2011, Tony said:

    Hi fascinating information on oils, I mean that sincerely, fantastic but this question of what oil to use shouldn’t arise unless we are speaking of a 28 Bugatti or a Lanchester or something rare.Some people just have to fiddle thinking the manufacturer who spends hundreds of millions over a series with development and who is ultimately responsible for warranty…can’t know as much as someone on internet, the local speed shop or…….. The fact is they recommend oils after huge testing of all major brands in their own product under the most arduous conditions. What they recommend is not only what you should use will safeguard you in the event of a warranty claim.Under ridiculous conditions such as drag racing no manufacturer will recommend as they may attract liability however that’s where the auto engineering scientists can assist…not a question to ask of people who ‘love’ some particular brand. Cheers Tony

  52. 52 On September 20th, 2011, Victor said:

    Thanks for the info!!I’ll keep using what i use. Its been doing great so far… Thanks!!

  53. 53 On September 26th, 2011, Scott said:

    Hi guys, … I have a BMW E36 328iSE Touring ’98…
    It’s now on 160k miles and been driven quite hard for last 30k.
    I live in UK where temps range from -10c to +28c seasonally.
    I’ve been using Castrol 5w30 year round. My only problems have been my valve cover and PCV getting full of sludge. Had to replace hoses too. I expect this is just down to mileage and not the oil grade. I’ve been trawling the web recently in search of more opinions on correct oils for BMW’s and found this amazing info which will help most BMW owners choose the right oil for the climate in which they live.. Hope this helps as it did me; – Click on the link below;

    http://www.opieoils.co.uk/pdfs/BMW-Oil-Specs-and-Recs.pdf

  54. 54 On September 26th, 2011, Tony said:

    Hi 160K miles is getting up there..heading towards 300K. There’s “hard driving” and then there’s HARD driving..flogging a car which has minimal maintenance etc etc…Your history is minimal…but indicative…Moisture will build up in sump in such wide temperature range (down to 10 below)and exhibit as sludge unless mileage marms engine well. Hard driving over short distances will not help. Oil may need changes more often, filter changed and sump cleaned and attention paid to the dominant temperature…you may be experiencing a worn engine with other problems PCV valve fault etc….Sludge in hoses and vents doesn’t help. For me, I’d do compression tests properly, the typical polluiton gear checks to see crancase pollution gear working well…..drop the sump and clean it….replace oil and filter with advice from BMW itself, not the local expert, and take the car often for and hours casual driving. By the way probaly hundreds if not thousands of V6 engines have been replaced when the problem is blocked hoses…..sludge is a problem. Cheers

  55. 55 On October 17th, 2011, Sal said:

    I’m really skeptical about running synthetic oil in my bimmer (92 325i E36 – 177,000 miles). I purchased it a few months ago and it’s due for a change…. but, I’ve heard about synth oil leaking through the seals and gaskets in engines with a higher mileage or older in general. I came across this site which explained why oil tends to leak and how synthetic oils play a role, “Pros and Cons”

    http://bestsyntheticoil.com/info/seals.shtml

    The decision of weather to use conventional or synthetic oil is really a difficult topic to disscuss. I called up the dealer ship, and they said to use 15W-40 which they sell, they also carry 5W-30 which is for newer BMW’s (Both Synthetic BMW Brands). I’ve read that 15W-40 is a register/trademark oil by and for only BMW, (to be verified), which can pressure you to buying it from them because that’s where you’ll find it. I’m still undecided as other BMW owners recommend Castrol GTX High Mileage 10W-40. Castrol seems to be the oil supplier for BMW Oil. (also to be verified).

    Any Suggestions or Experiences?

    Sal

  56. 56 On October 18th, 2011, Tony said:

    There seems to be a chasm here with oils.Once upon a time Castor Oil was a great asset in racing cars. Today’s mineral and orther oils are not “either-or.”

    There are not just Synthetic OR non Synthetics and a part of the problem is pople not comprehending tha Synthetics ARE found leaking after replacing standard oils with pure Synthetics. Viscocity seems poorly understood and made an eclusive registry…thus statements like “5w-30 seems to be the most popular/ recommended etc”.

    That quasi recommendation is totally irrelevant without a raft of environmental and mechanical issues being considered.

    Yes one could improve engine life with oil changes at 1000kMs and in some condiitons that becomes essential. It makes no sense to say BMW recommend oil changes too long…the fact is they strike medium views on a whole range of environments and THEY control warranty not someone in these columns. The first port of coil for oil recommendations is the manufacturer of the vehicle.

    Not all oils are 100% one type or another and when using synthetic rather than the standard oil you should check with the manufacturer or second at a major BMW servicentre and ask specific questions…not vague ones leading to support of something contra to the manufacturer which you read somewhere.

    All my cars are turbo’s and I practice what I preach. That’s not through sheepishness or ignorance …As a young man I built very high performance street negines (and gearboxes) including Pontiac flat head, Sidevalve Ford , later other Fords, Holden, Oldsmobile, Buick 8 Fiats of various types Alfa Romeo, later SAAB and Cosworth. None ever died from oil problems of any type….except for a 13:1 compression Pontiac 357 built for me by a qualified mechanic posing as a “Pontiac expert” at Granville NSW who was utterly ignorant of high performance engine demands…I was 19 and knew vastly more about the needs required of mechanical alterations than he did as it eventuated..and he was a qualified mechanic, about 40 with a shed full of GTO’s, Furys etc….Te story of the results of his ignorance and his criminal incompetence and his lies would stagger you….

    My first port of call for the oil needs in increasesof power, all co-ordinated and changes to bearing clearances etc was the vehicle maker.If they will help…and don’t give up easily, they are your best source of information. If they don’t seek far and wide but analyse the info and realise you are taking a gamble which cacn lead to considerable expense and to early engine destruction. That’s all I have to say on the subject. Cheers Tony

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