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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > BMW USA Oil Recommendations



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      07-05-2008, 08:52 AM   #1
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BMW USA Oil Recommendations

I just wanted to let you know that after the numerous discussions and questions that have been fielded in regards to what types of oil can be used in current BMW models I went ahead and discussed these issues with some sources. After several weeks I am pleased to announce that BMWUSA will soon be adding a page to their website with the oil requirements. They have been working on it and have an understanding of the issues enthusiasts are having with making sure the proper oil is in the car. The issue will be further muddied when the diesels enter the states.

My sources indicate that part of the issue in the US is the sulfur content in the fuel being variable and inconsistent based on where the fuel was refined and where it will be used. BMW is taking a conservative approach and has successfully identified certain characteristics and types of oil that will work across the spectrum.

I will further update as more information comes in.

-M
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      07-05-2008, 01:29 PM   #2
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Just oil, or will they provide specs for all the fluids?
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      07-06-2008, 12:28 AM   #3
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Thanks, mapezzul-fleet!!!
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      07-06-2008, 10:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 742 View Post
Just oil, or will they provide specs for all the fluids?
Just oil, as BMWs official response to the other fluids is that they are lifetime and there is no need to change them.
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Originally Posted by voltron1011 View Post
Thanks, mapezzul-fleet!!!
LOL.... just trying to help out! Whatever happened to the original Fleet?

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      07-06-2008, 12:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mapezzul View Post
Just oil, as BMWs official response to the other fluids is that they are lifetime and there is no need to change them.
If the other fluids are lifetime then why did my car require me to change my brake fluid last December after two years?
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      07-06-2008, 02:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoYank View Post
If the other fluids are lifetime then why did my car require me to change my brake fluid last December after two years?
Brake fluid absorbs water, which leads to corrosion problems and possible loss of the brakes if it should flash to steam during prolonged heavy braking. This is the root of those driver’s ed lectures about brake pedals going to the floor when coming down a mountain.

This should really be done in all cars, not just German ones.
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      07-06-2008, 02:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 742 View Post
it should flash to steam during prolonged heavy braking. This is the root of those driver’s ed lectures about brake pedals going to the floor when coming down a mountain.
Wow, I learn something new everyday..
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      07-06-2008, 02:46 PM   #8
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Can someone explain the difference between Longlife 01 and Longlife 04? I just know that 04 is a more current criteria for BMW oils. But does Longlife 01 still apply for 2007 turbo cars and up?
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      07-06-2008, 03:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Can someone explain the difference between Longlife 01 and Longlife 04? I just know that 04 is a more current criteria for BMW oils. But does Longlife 01 still apply for 2007 turbo cars and up?
This is at the heart of the situation in the USA. Currently LL01 is what is recommended but with the coming diesels they will require LL04. LL04 is currently only available in the EU/elsewhere b/c the US has inconsistent sulfur content which (so I have been told) creates an issue with certain types of oil. This will all be addressed shortly by BMW USA on the website... I will keep you updated as we get closer!
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      07-06-2008, 03:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoYank View Post
If the other fluids are lifetime then why did my car require me to change my brake fluid last December after two years?
Brake fluid is standard high temp DOT approved fluid.
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      07-06-2008, 03:40 PM   #11
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I was able to locate 2 BMW LL-04 approved oils that can be purchased online. I don't know if these can be found OTC.

http://www.amsoil.com/storefront/afl.aspx
http://www.polepositionusa.com/produ...e-oil-1665.cfm
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      07-06-2008, 08:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by number335 View Post
I was able to locate 2 BMW LL-04 approved oils that can be purchased online. I don't know if these can be found OTC.

http://www.amsoil.com/storefront/afl.aspx
http://www.polepositionusa.com/produ...e-oil-1665.cfm

Like I said before LL04 is NOT for use in the US it is only for EU cars.

LL-04 oils will only be recommended in the US for diesels
LL-04 oils can be used in markets, like Europe where the sulfur content
is consistently low. With the advent of ULS diesel in the U.S., it will
also work with vehicles designed specifically for that fuel. The sulfur content of gasoline in the US is very inconsistent. If the vehicle is run only on gasoline with relatively low sulfur content, it would be fine.

Because of the inconsistency of the fuel, however, BMW won't recommend
LL-04.

I will be able to expand upon this more in the future.
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      07-06-2008, 09:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mapezzul View Post
Like I said before LL04 is NOT for use in the US it is only for EU cars.

LL-04 oils will only be recommended in the US for diesels
LL-04 oils can be used in markets, like Europe where the sulfur content
is consistently low. With the advent of ULS diesel in the U.S., it will
also work with vehicles designed specifically for that fuel. The sulfur content of gasoline in the US is very inconsistent. If the vehicle is run only on gasoline with relatively low sulfur content, it would be fine.

Because of the inconsistency of the fuel, however, BMW won't recommend
LL-04.

I will be able to expand upon this more in the future.
Thanks for prying this info loose.
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      07-06-2008, 09:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by number335 View Post
I was able to locate 2 BMW LL-04 approved oils that can be purchased online. I don't know if these can be found OTC.

http://www.amsoil.com/storefront/afl.aspx
http://www.polepositionusa.com/produ...e-oil-1665.cfm
Beware of Amsoil. "recommended for" is not the same as "approved". It may be good oil, but it has not earned the approvals that are implied.
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      07-06-2008, 10:36 PM   #15
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I will be most interested to see how the recommendations vary vs the various internet DIY posts over the years and if they have any more information than what has been previously stated.

The idea of "lifetime fluids" seems like still a joke to me although I understand that is their position. It may be lifetime upto and until their 6yr max extended warrenty or 100,000 miles (which ever comes first). It seems to anyone logical that fluids break down over time and need to be replaced -- also, depending on the conditions you drive, for example, if you have an unpaved road or driveway, that the dust/dirt or whatever will get in and contaminate the fluid -- or, at the other extreme, if you drive in very hot or very cold areas of the country or areas that lay down a lot of salt, that once again, fluids become contaminated. I would love to see how many miles a BMW as a NYC Taxi Cab would last. If a BMW used a Taxi cab could hit 200K miles on the service regiment they have, then I would be impresed. I know there are BMW police cars in various countries, I wonder if they follow the same recommendations. Given all the possible conditions and various environments, I find it hard to believe that they have found some miracle fluid that is appropriate for 100% of all conditions.

I don't keep up with all the various makes and models that are available, but have the Germans (Audi/VW, Mercedes, BMW, Porsche) found a magic fluid that the rest of the auto makers have not, or it this just a planned obsolence strategy given a set time ( 6yrs more or less) when they want you to buy a new car?

That said, using my own judgement, my brother and I have been keeping my mother's '92 BMW 525i going and it now has 375k+ miles. Not sure what would have happened if we followed the current recommendation. Not sure what I will do when I get my 335i, but I will be shocked if I can get 375K out of a current BMW.
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      07-06-2008, 11:08 PM   #16
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      07-07-2008, 02:18 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mapezzul View Post
Just oil, as BMWs official response to the other fluids is that they are lifetime and there is no need to change them.
I guess that's one way to sell more cars... What a load of crap.

I just changed my oil/filter at 1100 miles, and am about to do the differential. I would like to do the tranny as well (well, HAVE it done), but even Mike Miller of 'Roundel' sounds a bit skittish about doing this one. Has anyone here had it done?

J
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      07-07-2008, 09:44 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by MrClean View Post
I guess that's one way to sell more cars... What a load of crap.

I just changed my oil/filter at 1100 miles, and am about to do the differential. I would like to do the tranny as well (well, HAVE it done), but even Mike Miller of 'Roundel' sounds a bit skittish about doing this one. Has anyone here had it done?

J
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      07-07-2008, 10:32 AM   #19
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Will do.
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      08-28-2008, 01:35 PM   #20
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Did the oil requirements ever get posted?
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      08-28-2008, 02:12 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noro View Post
Go ahead, waste your money
Actually I am not so sure about that. I can't find the links but I've seen used oil analysis that says engine oil is depleted of additives at around 10k miles, well before the 'recommended' 15k change interval.

If you want 'lifetime' to extend past the extended warranty period, I think changing the differential and transmission oil at regular intervals is a great idea. There is nothing magic about BMW transmissions and gear oils that allows them to last 'forever'. This is just a way for BMW to lower their maintenance liability and advertise lower cost of ownership

My car is leased, so whatever, I'll just do the 'recommended' free services, but if my car was a keeper, I would be changing oil/coolant/brake fluid regularly and doing used oil analysis to validate the need for the changes in between the OE recommendation
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      08-28-2008, 03:42 PM   #22
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BMW auto transmissions are apparently a bitch to do - lot of people are a bit ticklish about messing with them. I was going to have the fluid in mine replaced at 1500, but was encouraged to leave it be.
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