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      12-15-2009, 12:04 PM   #1
vasillalov
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BMW Oil Question

Folks,

I have read quite enough about oils and what works for our cars. I've also done a lot of oil analysis of oils on my previous car so I quite versed about oils.

Last Monday I took my E90 335i to the dealer for an oil change. This is the second oil change as the first one was done @ 5000 miles based on the annual interval.

The second oil change was done last Monday based on the service date interval stored in my car computer. The mileage was 7700.

In both cases the oil was the BMW Longlife with the right part number. I talked to the Service Rep upon receiving my car about the oil they use:

Me: "So what type of oil do you use in this dealership?"
Him: "We use the BMW long life."

Me: "Yes, but who is the manufacturer? BMW does not manufacture oil, they relabel oils by other manufacturers."
Him: "Its Castrol. "

Me: "But the Castrol 5W-30 synthetic oil in USA is NOT approved according for the BMW Long Life specs. How is it that you are putting Castrol 5W-30 in my car and you reset my car computer for 15000 miles?"
Him: "Its what we have to use."


So naturally I am SUPER concerned. I need to know the following:

1. Is the BMW Longlife oil used in USA dealerships really supplied by Castrol?
2. If so, is it the USA version of the Castrol Syntec?
3. If so, is it the Castrol Syntec 5W-30 or the 0W-30? The first one is not approved, but the second is!
4. Why is that they reset my car computer for Nov 2011? Shouldn't it be Nov 2010?

I am almost ready to raise hell at my dealership. I am also planning on sending an oil sample from my engine for oil analysis to determine what's the deal with this BMW oil.

Discuss....

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      12-15-2009, 02:28 PM   #2
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      12-15-2009, 02:56 PM   #3
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4. The service indicator on my car measures 2 years. You can still take it in after a year and get the low mileage oil change.
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      12-15-2009, 03:52 PM   #4
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The BMW Castrol 5w30 is not the same as Castrol syntec 5w30.
It's the same as euro castrol 5w30.

There are many oils that are BMW LL01 approved. Castrol Edge 5w30 is one of them.
Good luck getting Castrol 0w30 here in the US.

It's like Mobil1 0w40 and Mobil1 5w30. 0w49 is BMW approved and 5w30 isn't, but compare the wear properties to the 0w40 is much higher and is a much better oil.
All synthetics are NOT the same!---Jimmie!
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      12-17-2009, 12:35 AM   #5
vasillalov
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Castrol Syntec 0W-30 is very easy to find in USA. They sell it at my local NAPA store here in Chicago. I also see it all the time in Autozone. You can even buy it online on Autozone!

As far as Mobil1 goes, I have some real world experience with it and I can tell you right now that this is one of THE WORST synthetic oils that I've ever seen. Its not even Grade 4 synthetic oil.

Here is the summary of the oil analysis that I did a while back for my VW. The analysis was performed by BlackStoneLabs and if interested, I can provide you with all the original reports from the laboratory.

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      12-17-2009, 08:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vasillalov View Post
Its not even Grade 4 synthetic oil.


I think what you mean is Group IV. Very few oils are 100% Group 4. In non-racing applications Group IV isn't significantly better than highly refined Group III. Many synthetics are a combination of III/IV.

As for your UOA, I'd be curious to see what the wear properties were prior to 60k miles and what oil you were using back then (Why the fuel and H20 in your oil?). I have and many in the BMW community have
used M1 0w-40 (Euro forumla) for a couple years with higher change intervals than this and never saw that kind of wear.
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      12-17-2009, 11:33 AM   #7
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I can't provide you with data before 60K because I bought my VW used @ 55K miles. What must be noted is that the engine was and still is in fantastic shape.

I've heard rumours that Mobil1 actually reformulated their 0W-40 grade 3-4 years back in order to correct some complaints about poor performance of the grade. Another thing about Mobil1 oils that bothers me is their relatively low TBN (Total Base Number). The higher the TBN the better and longer the oil resists acidic compounds produced by blow-by gasses.

I've found that Valvoline has one of the highest TBN numbers out there from the "non-exotic" oils.

Anyway, I would like to thank all of you who answered my questions. I think I will either buy the BMW oil or stick to my Valvoline. Of course, some serious oil analysis will be due as well.
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      12-17-2009, 04:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vasillalov View Post
Castrol Syntec 0W-30 is very easy to find in USA. They sell it at my local NAPA store here in Chicago. I also see it all the time in Autozone. You can even buy it online on Autozone!

As far as Mobil1 goes, I have some real world experience with it and I can tell you right now that this is one of THE WORST synthetic oils that I've ever seen. Its not even Grade 4 synthetic oil.

Here is the summary of the oil analysis that I did a while back for my VW. The analysis was performed by BlackStoneLabs and if interested, I can provide you with all the original reports from the laboratory.
Interesting data you have there.
I also think it's interesting how I can't find 0w30 in Southern California but you can find it in Chicago.

I'll agree that Mobil1 5w30 is crap but I'm surprised about the 0w40 results.
It's going to be interesting with the results that I find with the 5w40 that I'm trying.
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      01-16-2010, 01:57 PM   #9
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i just got my oil changed today..i uslally get castrol syntec 5w-30, but the place where i usually get it done at ran out of the castrol and i had to put in mobil 1 synthetic 5w30..from what ive read mobil 1 is crap so what should i do?
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      01-16-2010, 03:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nando View Post
i just got my oil changed today..i uslally get castrol syntec 5w-30, but the place where i usually get it done at ran out of the castrol and i had to put in mobil 1 synthetic 5w30..from what ive read mobil 1 is crap so what should i do?
Neither one is right. You want the Castrol Syntec 0W-30 or the Mobil 1 0W-40. Both of these oils meet the BMW LL01 specification. Castrol Syntec 5W-30 and Mobil 1 5W-30, both as sold in the United States, do not.

Or of course the BMW 5W-30, which while it comes from Castrol is not like the 5W-30 that we buy at the parts stores.

If it were me I would not panic, but I would change it much sooner than the CBS calls for.
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      01-17-2010, 09:41 AM   #11
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Just make it easy on yourself and buy an oil change kit from Tischer. The per-quart price for the BMW 5W-30 is very reasonable and you don't have to guess if the oil is suitable for use in your car.
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      01-17-2010, 10:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 742 View Post
Neither one is right. You want the Castrol Syntec 0W-30 or the Mobil 1 0W-40. Both of these oils meet the BMW LL01 specification. Castrol Syntec 5W-30 and Mobil 1 5W-30, both as sold in the United States, do not.

Or of course the BMW 5W-30, which while it comes from Castrol is not like the 5W-30 that we buy at the parts stores.

If it were me I would not panic, but I would change it much sooner than the CBS calls for.
After reading through the numerous posts on this subject, I decided to just get the castrol syntec 0w-30 european formula...I swapped out the oil yesterday. I bought my car with 17k miles and now it has 27k miles. The whole time i was using castrol syntec 5w-30 but atleast now i learned my lesson and now i have the right oil...i guess its good i dont drive the car that hard since i had bad oil for 10k miles
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      01-17-2010, 11:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nando View Post
After reading through the numerous posts on this subject, I decided to just get the castrol syntec 0w-30 european formula...I swapped out the oil yesterday. I bought my car with 17k miles and now it has 27k miles. The whole time i was using castrol syntec 5w-30 but atleast now i learned my lesson and now i have the right oil...i guess its good i dont drive the car that hard since i had bad oil for 10k miles
I would not lose any sleep over it. The Syntec 5W-30 is not right, but neither is it a bad oil. It meets ACEA A5, which is no small thing.

But the 0W-30 -- that has the BMW LL01 approval along with a cult-like following among gear heads. And it must be good since it is made in Germany
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      01-21-2010, 08:25 PM   #14
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I went to the dealerhip today to buy 7 qrts of oil and a filter to do the first oil change on the E90 (325i). They sold me the BMW 5W-30, although I was expecting 0W-40. I guess it's all good and I shouldn't panic.
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      01-21-2010, 08:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NISMOFO View Post
I went to the dealerhip today to buy 7 qrts of oil and a filter to do the first oil change on the E90 (325i). They sold me the BMW 5W-30, although I was expecting 0W-40. I guess it's all good and I shouldn't panic.
You're fine. I don't believe the dealerships sell 0W-40.
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      01-23-2010, 04:05 PM   #16
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Bmw Oli Vs Gc 0w-30

Hey - Don't have a 335i -- but my 328i has hydraulic valve lifters that are very noisy on acceleration when on the BMW 5W-30 -- THe GC really quiets the lifters as I am sure that other quality oils do as well. Unfortunately I rotate between the BMW oil & GC --- When the Dealership changes under warranty vs my garage change every 7.5K.
.
.
So - out of warranty - will end the 5W-30 oil. Thinking that every 5k with GC in a 335i would be a good thing.
.
.
BTW - I can't hear a difference in the X5 -- following the same routine BMW vs GC.
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      01-24-2010, 01:15 AM   #17
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I've been doing my oil change on my previous cars using 5w-30 or 10w-30 not even thinking if it's the right one.. And just lately since I will be changing oil on my 335, I tried to look around for a good one and found 0W-40.. Saw that it's recommended for turbocharged or supercharged vehicles.. BMW LONGLIFE OIL 01 approved as well.

Here's the specs:
http://www.mobil.com/USA-English/Lub...lPropertyTitle

Check out the Q/A thread at Mobil1:
http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/...ewer_BMWs.aspx

The following is also a thread but pretty much not a BMW vehicle. Check it out too cause it kinda talks about temperatures "Cooking" on turbo engines:
http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/...ne_Coking.aspx

Anyway, just my two cents..
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      01-24-2010, 01:44 AM   #18
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Mr. 5 --- Castrol 0W30 is at every Autozone in Southern Cal - BMW LL-01

I think I paid like $6.99 a quart.........
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      01-24-2010, 04:27 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NaTuReB0Y View Post
Mr. 5 --- Castrol 0W30 is at every Autozone in Southern Cal - BMW LL-01

I think I paid like $6.99 a quart.........
I just got 0w-40 Mobil 1 yesterday at Pepboys for the same price..

I guess GC is only up to 0w-30..
Although Castrol is BMW's technical sponsor, I still went with Mobil 1 0w-40.. i guess I'm just gonna try this out.. I live out in the dessert so heat is my concern.. I'll just see what are the results.. Either way, both were recommended.. 0w-30 was recommended by Castrol...
On the other hand, 0w-40 w/ euro formula was recommended by Mobil 1..
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      01-24-2010, 09:28 AM   #20
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GC vs M1 Euro

If Heat is the concern - M1 does shear down thinner than GC as the miles add up. So I would still say (both are GREAT OILS) but GC may be best for your application and location.
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