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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 > Oil - A different topic



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      05-16-2009, 02:46 PM   #1
P2
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Oil - A different topic

I have read just about every engine oil thread in the past 3 years I have belonged to this forum. I have no problem using the oil that BMW recommends, which is 5w30 BMW synthetic oil and plan on continuing.

My question is:

What is really so different with the N52 BMW engine that it "needs" this oil? I cannot understand why everyone keeps saying (here on the forum, my SA, etc) that I'll ruin my engine if I put it say Castro 10W-30 Dino. No one can explain, but they insist that my engine will fail, implode upon itself sucking in the rest of the earth and cause a black hole. . I have put Dino in other cars with no problem for 100K+.

Anyone know what is so different with this engine?

p2

Last edited by P2; 05-16-2009 at 06:52 PM. Reason: Edit of oil wt.
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      05-16-2009, 03:39 PM   #2
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Primarily? Higher oil temps.

Also, AFAIK BMW approved oils (LL-01) are only available in 5W-30 & 0W-40; someone please enlighten me if I am mistaken.
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      05-16-2009, 06:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piezo View Post
Primarily? Higher oil temps.

Also, AFAIK BMW approved oils (LL-01) are only available in 5W-30 & 0W-40; someone please enlighten me if I am mistaken.
Ya, 5w-30. Typo and I will edit my post.

Higher oil temps. Interesting. Anyone else?
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      05-16-2009, 08:20 PM   #4
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I use the Royal Purple 0/40W in between the BMW service points. I think it to be an excellent alternative and have had nothing but positive results in using it.

With the RP in place my car's operating temperature typically averages 15 degrees F cooler during in city driving and averages 20 degrees cooler with extended freeway driving. RP claims a HP increase of 3 but then again my butt isn't sensitive enough to confirm this. Every local area BMW garage recommends this oil after break-in period due to it's longevity effects on the internal parts' condition.

The car's idle has also become much smoother as has the quickness of the engine start-up. I've never experienced long cranks and the car has always started within a second of pushing the start button. Since I began using the RP the car starts quickly enough that I find myself startled at times. Yeah ......... wasn't sure how else to explain that one.

By the way, RP is not of BMW's LL-01 approval rating however, it is widely used within the BMW community and regarded as being one of the best alternatives available. The fact that RP is not LL-01 approved means little to me since all that is needed for the approval code is to test the oil brand within the specific manufacturer's parameters. Since these tests can be extremely expensive; many oil manufacturers will not go the distance. In the case of RP, the 0/40W offered is their "branded" European blend which generally falls within the specs of the German automobile manufacturers as a whole. The European blend was just recently released within the past couple of years in line with the newer engine designs.

RP is a FULL synthetic which truly seems to have made a noticeable difference in my car's performance.

Side Note ....... I have heard good things referencing Redline engine oil as well.
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      05-16-2009, 08:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P2 View Post
Ya, 5w-30. Typo and I will edit my post.

Higher oil temps. Interesting. Anyone else?
The European approach to oil standards is fundamentally different than that taken in the United States. In Europe the car manufacturers control the standards, not the petroleum industry. Not surprisingly the resulting standards are more demanding than generic 5W-30 that is sold (cheaply) over the counter in North America.

What is different? The ability to withstand high temperatures has already been mentioned, and high engine temps are becoming the norm for both emissions and efficiency. Add to this the ability to also provide good protection at higher temps and you have the HTHS spec.. BMW approved oils will have an HTHS of 3.5 or better, which you won’t find in cheaper American oils.

These European standards also require the oil to stay in grade over extended runs, which is not a minor thing and something that cheaper oils just can not do.

For deeper reading, much of which is over my head, you could look up information on ACEA A3. This is the starting point for BMW approval.

And this is not just a BMW thing. VW and MB also have their own oil standards.

Finally, BMW LL01 oils can be 5W-30, 5W-40, 0W-30 or 0W-40.
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