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      05-01-2011, 04:15 AM   #1
the_stig
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engine oil

my 328's been giving me the "service" light for a couple weeks now (at 26kmiles), and i have a service appointment schedule in 2 weeks for what I think is an oil change and other routine scheduled maintenance. but today, on the way home, the oil light comes on and says "+1QUART". I know BMW uses some special oil, so I don't wanna just go to the local walmart and get some random oil. does anyone know if i can just go to a dealer and get them to top it off for me? and since it's sunday and service departments are usually closed, do you guys think they'll still help me out? and if not, where can i get some bmw approved oil if not at the dealer?

thanks!!
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      05-01-2011, 04:19 AM   #2
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if you're in the maintenance period, the dealership will top it off for free.

check your oil level through the dash and confirm that you're a quart low

This page lists the approved oils for your car:
http://www.bmwusa.com/Standard/Conte...ngineOils.aspx

All of the listed oils should be available at just about any autozone or walmart or any other place selling oil
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      05-01-2011, 04:41 AM   #3
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Even if they will top you up on a Sunday, buy a couple extra quarts from the parts department. I'm still amazed at all the posts of people frantically running to the dealer because they are low on fluids. I couldn't imagine owning a car and not having proper top-up fluids on-hand, at home.
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      05-01-2011, 04:45 AM   #4
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I don't see how they can help you if they are closed?
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      05-01-2011, 04:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_stig View Post
my 328's been giving me the "service" light for a couple weeks now (at 26kmiles), and i have a service appointment schedule in 2 weeks for what I think is an oil change and other routine scheduled maintenance. but today, on the way home, the oil light comes on and says "+1QUART". I know BMW uses some special oil, so I don't wanna just go to the local walmart and get some random oil. does anyone know if i can just go to a dealer and get them to top it off for me? and since it's sunday and service departments are usually closed, do you guys think they'll still help me out? and if not, where can i get some bmw approved oil if not at the dealer?

thanks!!
You can just go to Walmart and pick it up, its just Castrol Syntec 5W30. It will be half the price of the dealer and its the exact same thing.
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      05-01-2011, 06:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_stig View Post
my 328's been giving me the "service" light for a couple weeks now (at 26kmiles), and i have a service appointment schedule in 2 weeks for what I think is an oil change and other routine scheduled maintenance. but today, on the way home, the oil light comes on and says "+1QUART". I know BMW uses some special oil, so I don't wanna just go to the local walmart and get some random oil. does anyone know if i can just go to a dealer and get them to top it off for me? and since it's sunday and service departments are usually closed, do you guys think they'll still help me out? and if not, where can i get some bmw approved oil if not at the dealer?

thanks!!
They say he cant use a search button

welcome to the N52, these engines like a little oil added between oil changes
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      05-01-2011, 06:34 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by CirrusSR22 View Post
Even if they will top you up on a Sunday, buy a couple extra quarts from the parts department. I'm still amazed at all the posts of people frantically running to the dealer because they are low on fluids. I couldn't imagine owning a car and not having proper top-up fluids on-hand, at home.
Again I think we get into this lease vs. own thing. If a car is leased, they're already paying enough to "rent" the car, which has all maintenance and repairs included for the rental period.

What you propose, of course is common sense, you don't drive a car low on oil, you just go into the garage and get some, then top it off.

I dunno which exactly is BMW approved, but it's pretty easy to get some Mobil 1 0 W 40 at Wal Mart. As far as the M cars go, I don't think Wal Mart carries the correct oil. My cousin said his M5 was like $16/qt or something crazy at the dealership.
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      05-01-2011, 02:31 PM   #8
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^TrackRat how does BMW figure out what Oil you used? I mean in the case of voiding your warranty...
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      05-01-2011, 03:00 PM   #9
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^TrackRat how does BMW figure out what Oil you used? I mean in the case of voiding your warranty...
If they are properly motivated then they can analyze it.

That said, if the OP is looking for a top off (the dealer obviously can't him today if they are closed) and he has to drive any significant distance prior to tomorrow, then his local Autozone (or local equivalent) should have LL-01 approved oil. If they don't have it then a top off with an appropriate viscosity range synthetic oil is fine as long as he gets it changed soon. It is better to drive with non-LL-01 than to drive low.
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      05-01-2011, 05:26 PM   #10
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What I don't understand is how they'd be able to determine if it's an oil from the approved list. Is there some sort of signature for each oil? Also doesn't the oil degrade through it's work cycle? How could they even prove one way or the other?
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      05-01-2011, 05:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_stig View Post
my 328's been giving me the "service" light for a couple weeks now (at 26kmiles), and i have a service appointment schedule in 2 weeks for what I think is an oil change and other routine scheduled maintenance. but today, on the way home, the oil light comes on and says "+1QUART". I know BMW uses some special oil, so I don't wanna just go to the local walmart and get some random oil. does anyone know if i can just go to a dealer and get them to top it off for me? and since it's sunday and service departments are usually closed, do you guys think they'll still help me out? and if not, where can i get some bmw approved oil if not at the dealer?

thanks!!
I always have a habit of keeping one extra bottle of oil either at the house or in my trunk for situations like this. In your case topping off with regular M1 won't hurt anything.

Pick up an extra bottle while you're at the dealership or buy 2 bottles of M1 0w-40 or Castrol 0w-30 (both LL01) while you're at the autoparts store.
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      05-01-2011, 09:09 PM   #12
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What I don't understand is how they'd be able to determine if it's an oil from the approved list. Is there some sort of signature for each oil? Also doesn't the oil degrade through it's work cycle? How could they even prove one way or the other?
I HIGHLY doubt they ever could. Maybe if it's brand new, but after 10,000 miles to determine if it's Mobil 1 0w-40 or Mobil 1 5w-40. Castrol Syntec 0w-30 or 5w-30 - unlikely.

I suppose it's technically possible, but that's way beyond the scope of any standard oil analysis lab.

On another note, this would really never happen. A lubrication failure on a modern car using modern oil? It just doesnt happen. I bet you could use a non-synthetic, API SM or SN oil on any non-M E90 and the thing would still run fine for decades. Not with 15,000+ mile OCIs, but 7,500 or so.

Last edited by CirrusSR22; 05-01-2011 at 09:15 PM.
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      05-02-2011, 04:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_stig View Post
my 328's been giving me the "service" light for a couple weeks now (at 26kmiles), and i have a service appointment schedule in 2 weeks for what I think is an oil change and other routine scheduled maintenance. but today, on the way home, the oil light comes on and says "+1QUART". I know BMW uses some special oil, so I don't wanna just go to the local walmart and get some random oil. does anyone know if i can just go to a dealer and get them to top it off for me? and since it's sunday and service departments are usually closed, do you guys think they'll still help me out? and if not, where can i get some bmw approved oil if not at the dealer?

thanks!!
Maybe the drama is now over, but to the OP, hopefully this will help you in the future. Just because the engine is 1 quart low on oil doesn't mean in is in danger of harming the engine. There are still 6 quarts of oil in the engine. The lubrication system in the engine is designed to lubricate all the internal engine parts with much less than 7 quarts of oil. The engine is designed with a large capacity oil sump so as to assure proper lubrication in various driving situations of high G-loading in corners and braking and to disperse contaminates over a large quantity of oil to allow for long oil change intervals.

So when the engine gets a quart low, there is no need to panic. You can wait until the dealership or auto parts store is open to get the proper BMW-approved LL-01 oil.
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      05-02-2011, 10:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackRat View Post
Of course there is a specific chemistry for each approved oil in BMW's database. The additive package can become depleted over time but the basic chemistry does not change.

...and yes engine warranties are voided for using the incorrect oil.
Incorrect oil as in not LL-01 certified?

Also I looked through the Owners manual and didn't see anything about LL-01 and the warranty... do you know where I could you please show me where I can find this?
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      05-02-2011, 03:06 PM   #15
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^Yeah I don't mean to be causing controversy but nowhere did I see anything about LL-01 being required.

The only "required" type language is: "Use only oils with an API rating of SM or higher."

Which, if i'm not mistaken is a very old standard, and basically most modern oils exceed this standard.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.
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      05-02-2011, 03:57 PM   #16
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LL-01 is the required oil for all 2006 onward non-M gas engine BMWs operated in the U.S. The std. is from 2001 but that does not mean that later standards "exceed it". As an example the LL-04 standard from 2004 is for oils that can only be used with low sulfur fuels. Even though the standard is three years newer, it does not "exceed" the LL-01 oil for use with high sulfur fuels.

BMW and other Euro car makers test oils and determine what oil is appropriate for a given application. API stds. are fairly mundane which is why ACEA was formed. ACEA develops the proper oil standards for Euro engines which typically have higher specific output than engines in the U.S. (though this is starting to change) and as a result require superior quality oils and more stringent oil standards.
Still dodged my questions about oils.
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      05-02-2011, 06:21 PM   #17
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Excuse me General, but he asks where you can find these "warranty issues" regarding not using LL-01, and where it states you will not be covered if you don't use LL-01:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArenGh View Post
Also I looked through the Owners manual and didn't see anything about LL-01 and the warranty... do you know where I could you please show me where I can find this?
And THIS is your answer?!?!?!?!
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackRat View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackRat View Post
LL-01 is the required oil for all 2006 onward non-M gas engine BMWs operated in the U.S. The std. is from 2001 but that does not mean that later standards "exceed it". As an example the LL-04 standard from 2004 is for oils that can only be used with low sulfur fuels. Even though the standard is three years newer, it does not "exceed" the LL-01 oil for use with high sulfur fuels.

BMW and other Euro car makers test oils and determine what oil is appropriate for a given application. API stds. are fairly mundane which is why ACEA was formed. ACEA develops the proper oil standards for Euro engines which typically have higher specific output than engines in the U.S. (though this is starting to change) and as a result require superior quality oils and more stringent oil standards.
If the white knight of LL-01 doesn't mind me helping the out TL;DR crowd... the above states: I am regurgitating BMW's literature without any real knowledge.
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      05-02-2011, 09:59 PM   #18
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It is these kinds of idiots that argue for arguments sake that are the reason why I will never buy a used BMW.

If the BMW fluids were 5 times more expensive than the normal fluids or if the LL-01 oils were hard to find, then I could understand the reason to search out cheaper junk, but that isn't the case here. LL-01 oils can be had at nearly every auto supply store.

In the US, for our cars, you need to use LL-01 oils in order to preserve your warranty. This isn't open to debate.

If you don't believe it, bring your car to a dealership with a lubrication related issue and proudly tell them that you've been using Royal Poopie regularly and see if they'll do the repair under warranty.

Are you willing to take a multi thousand dollar gamble just to have bragging rights that you're using designer oils?

With that, I'm done dealing with the ignorant twins.
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      05-02-2011, 10:40 PM   #19
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In the US, for our cars, you need to use LL-01 oils in order to preserve your warranty. This isn't open to debate.

With that, I'm done dealing with the ignorant twins.
I don't know if you're talking about me but I'm not arguing whether its a good idea or not to use LL-01 approved oil.

My question is WHERE does BMW state that using something other than would void your warranty? I'm not even trying to debate the validity, just trying to find out where BMW states this.
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      05-02-2011, 11:15 PM   #20
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I don't know if you're talking about me but I'm not arguing whether its a good idea or not to use LL-01 approved oil.

My question is WHERE does BMW state that using something other than would void your warranty? I'm not even trying to debate the validity, just trying to find out where BMW states this.
No, I wasn't talking about you. You were merely asking a question.

I'm about 1500 miles away from my owner's manual but it IS in there. It is also on the website like TrackRat posted.

Get the online version of the owner's manual and search for "LL-01." It might also be in the warranty booklet.
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      05-02-2011, 11:26 PM   #21
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It is these kinds of idiots that argue for arguments sake that are the reason why I will never buy a used BMW.

If the BMW fluids were 5 times more expensive than the normal fluids or if the LL-01 oils were hard to find, then I could understand the reason to search out cheaper junk, but that isn't the case here. LL-01 oils can be had at nearly every auto supply store.

In the US, for our cars, you need to use LL-01 oils in order to preserve your warranty. This isn't open to debate.

If you don't believe it, bring your car to a dealership with a lubrication related issue and proudly tell them that you've been using Royal Poopie regularly and see if they'll do the repair under warranty.

Are you willing to take a multi thousand dollar gamble just to have bragging rights that you're using designer oils?

With that, I'm done dealing with the ignorant twins.
I've been using M1 0w-40 for certain applications for many years. Relax.


ArenGh asked to see the info in print. It wasn't supplied. The General gets awfully loud for someone who cant supply any evidence.




Regards.
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      05-03-2011, 10:17 AM   #22
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^^^ We've already establish that some folks have a reading comprehension problem.
Others dodge questions, like the specificity of oil weights, used in each BMW vehicle (as clearly seen in the oil part number written in each vehcile), and, the wide use of non LL01 oils in BMW engines, or the testing and certification of LL01 oils, above 0W-40, when "BMW" surpposedly doesn't test oils over that weight.

Too many inconsistencies in the brain washed string of BMW-online-oil-myths= rat dodging.

Last edited by Turkeybaster115; 05-03-2011 at 11:42 AM.
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