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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N54 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications - 335i > 10w-60 oil for N54?



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      05-10-2010, 07:17 PM   #1
BayerischeMW
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10w-60 oil for N54?

This should probably be posted in the Maintenance category, but since this is a thread specific for the N54 I found this category to be more suited.

I've been using the Castrol 0w-30 LL04 oil since my first oil change, but I never use the car during the winter. This means my car only sees temperatures above 0 C (32 F) - in reality only above 5 C (41 F). I've never thought of that when choosing oil for the 335i. Never have I really seen any negative effects from using this oil, temperature is normally at 110 (230 F), but reaches 120 C (248 F) when pushed during summer (I've seen as much as 125 C ~ 257 F). My car has the standard oil cooler.

For those who don't know, 0w-30 means viscosity during cold (actually means winter, first number designated w) and when the oil is hot (second number). This means the 0w-30 is the best oil for use during winter because of the low viscosity when it's cold outside.

Here in Europe we get Castrol 10w-60 which is essentially for racing in hot climates. This oil is not for use in cold climates, but it's better at dealing with higher temperatures than the regular 0w-30 oil. Seeing as I don't use the car during the winter, shouldn't this oil be usable? Plus, the N54 is known for operating at high temperatures (getting even hotter when pushed on a track).

PS. What are the temperature capabilities of the 0w-30 and the 10w-60?
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      05-10-2010, 07:45 PM   #2
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These are some great questions, Im really interested in the answers.
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      05-10-2010, 07:46 PM   #3
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E92Fan ran this for some time and had a few problems with it clogging up the cyclonic filtration system. See the post below.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showpo...25&postcount=5
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      05-10-2010, 10:35 PM   #4
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i run quartz 10w 50 from total. runs like a champ, no issues on cold start either. it's a racing oil, and i do track often so it fits the bill. it's reallly quality true synthetic oil from what ive read and heard. check it out, it really eased my worry about the high temps .
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      05-11-2010, 01:32 AM   #5
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I run Mobil 1 0W40 and I'm very happy with it. It is a BMW Longlife-01 oil, too.
In the summer months 10W60 would be better, but unfortunatly it has no BMW approval.
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      05-11-2010, 01:39 AM   #6
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I run 5-30 with no problems. I use to run 5-40 on my TL-Type S in the track with no problem either. IMO running 10-60 is to high unless you racing a racing built engine or your driving through dessert(110F+).
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      05-11-2010, 07:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackRat View Post
FYI - Racing oils are not particularly good for street vehicles as the additive package is not tailored for street applications. Race engines operate in a different environment than street engines and the oil is changed often. Most oil companies tell you not to use race oils in street applications. If your car is still under warranty and you value your warranty then you most definitely need to use the proper BMW spec oil and viscosity.
haha i guess u dont know my mods or what i plan on doing, looking at your post count it seems you're a vet here, more posts than me! but your join date says otherwise, and i guess what why u dont know my handle here. if i were to take my car to the stealership (which by the way it hasn't been back since Jan '07, i do all my oil and maintenance and also my 3rd gen pump change) they would just laugh, i have so many mods, although completely reversible, that it's not worth the time to have to take it to a dealer and claim 'warrenty!'. if i honestly blew the motor? i would consider building it stronger, i already know of a couple companies who make aftermarket internals for the n54.
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      05-11-2010, 10:05 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by TrackRat View Post
You missed the key points of my posts...

Racing oils are not intended for street use and a 60 weight oil should only be used in an engine with the proper clearances for a 60 weight oil. Heavier weight oil is not necessarily better unless the engine clearances require it. My comments were for everyone's edification not just yours and that's why I included the BMW warranty requirements of the proper spec and viscosity oil for the application. A 10W-60 oil is not a good choice for your engine. A 0W-40 or 5W-30 BMW LL-01 spec oil would be better.

BMW actually tests to determine the proper oil for your engine. If you could see your engine running in BMW's engine dyno cell you'd understand that your track use is nothing compared to the 400 hours of WOT durability test on an engine dyno.
honorable response, my choice however is 10w-50, so its in between your 40 and your 60 claim and I'd be curious to see an engine dyno for the n54, would LOVE to see that 400 hrs test, and hopefully the camera is pointed at the hot side of the engine
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      05-11-2010, 10:58 AM   #9
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I ran Mobil1 turbo diesel 5w40 in my engine for a couple track days at Laguna Seca and the oil analysis came back perfect.
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      05-11-2010, 11:11 AM   #10
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i have been running 10-60W TSW for the past 6 months with no issues.
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      05-11-2010, 11:51 AM   #11
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I was always under the impression the last viscosity rating is at 215F degrees. Thats the temp manufactures rate them at.

So regardless the viscosity will change on this car as nobody ever drives around at 215 and closer to 245.
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      05-11-2010, 12:25 PM   #12
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I use a 5W-40 oil, which is better than '60 for the engine during cold starts and the warm up phase. A 40-oil will never have the same high viscosity at 150 deg C as the 60-oil, but it is specified and rated at 150 Deg C with a viscosity that is good enough, i.e. surpasses BMW's requirements for minimum viscosity at 150 Deg C. I haven’t seen near such high temperatures in my engine even during hard running at the Nurburgring at +30 Deg C ambient temperature (90 F). Peak oil temperatures were then 260 F (127 C). The temperature can of course be much higher than this in some parts of the world including the United States, and a higher viscosity may be beneficial in some extreme cases, or for some applications. We don’t know it it is ever needed though and if it would I’m sure BMW would have give such recommendation for extreme conditions. The belief a high viscosity oil is safer just since it is thicker is a myth, a fresh engine will not break when oil per the manufacturers recommendations are followed, and if a real thick oil is needed due to high wear to keep the oil pressure on a safe level it is soon by-by anyway. As long as the minimum requirement for oil pressure is met, and it will also with a 30-oil, the oil film will not break since the oil is not compressible. Not even water that is on the other extreme regarding viscosity would break and cause metal-to-metal contact, but has limited lubrication properties…

High viscosity oils have drawbacks. They are unnecessary thick for 99.99 % of the time, if not always depending of where you live, and they are normally only appropriate for old engines with large tolerances to avoid broken oil film and to keep the oil consumption down at the price of increased fuel consumption. Some cars that are badly engineered from the beginning like e.g. some Alfa Romeo versions use 60-oil to keep oil consumption down and make the engine noise bearable.

I'm not sure a 60-oil is perfectly safe in the long run for the N54 engine with its modern tight tolerances and special gismos that rely on good oil flow, such as e.g. the Vanos mechanism. A 40-oil is though, so this is what I will keep on using without saying a 50 or 60-oil is totally wrong.

The 1 million dollar question - why is 60-oil a recommended option for new M3's but not for the N54? I don’t have the answer and this MAY be a sign that it will not harm the N54 engine but only the engineers at BMW would be able to answer this for sure.
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      05-11-2010, 12:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R1000K3 View Post
I use a 5W-40 oil, which is better than '60 for the engine during cold starts and the warm up phase. A 40-oil will never have the same high viscosity at 150 deg C as the 60-oil, but it is specified and rated at 150 Deg C with a viscosity that is good enough, i.e. surpasses BMW's requirements for minimum viscosity at 150 Deg C. I haven’t seen near such high temperatures in my engine even during hard running at the Nurburgring at +30 Deg C ambient temperature (90 F). Peak oil temperatures were then 260 F (127 C). The temperature can of course be much higher than this in some parts of the world including the United States, and a higher viscosity may be beneficial in some extreme cases, or for some applications. We don’t know it it is ever needed though and if it would I’m sure BMW would have give such recommendation for extreme conditions. The belief a high viscosity oil is safer just since it is thicker is a myth, a fresh engine will not break when oil per the manufacturers recommendations are followed, and if a real thick oil is needed due to high wear to keep the oil pressure on a safe level it is soon by-by anyway. As long as the minimum requirement for oil pressure is met, and it will also with a 30-oil, the oil film will not break since the oil is not compressible. Not even water that is on the other extreme regarding viscosity would break and cause metal-to-metal contact, but has limited lubrication properties…

High viscosity oils have drawbacks. They are unnecessary thick for 99.99 % of the time, if not always depending of where you live, and they are normally only appropriate for old engines with large tolerances to avoid broken oil film and to keep the oil consumption down at the price of increased fuel consumption. Some cars that are badly engineered from the beginning like e.g. some Alfa Romeo versions use 60-oil to keep oil consumption down and make the engine noise bearable.

I'm not sure a 60-oil is perfectly safe in the long run for the N54 engine with its modern tight tolerances and special gismos that rely on good oil flow, such as e.g. the Vanos mechanism. A 40-oil is though, so this is what I will keep on using without saying a 50 or 60-oil is totally wrong.

The 1 million dollar question - why is 60-oil a recommended option for new M3's but not for the N54? I don’t have the answer and this MAY be a sign that it will not harm the N54 engine but only the engineers at BMW would be able to answer this for sure.
+9. OP you have your answer
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      06-02-2010, 04:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R1000K3 View Post
The 1 million dollar question - why is 60-oil a recommended option for new M3's but not for the N54? I don’t have the answer and this MAY be a sign that it will not harm the N54 engine but only the engineers at BMW would be able to answer this for sure.
The answer is below:

Quote:
http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums...344#Post908344 :

This is one of those stories that deserves a better tale, but actually doesn't have one.

It began in 1999, when BMW released the E39 M5 to the world outside North America. The "ONLY" specified oil was either Castrol RS 10w-60 or the equivalent Veedol Synthetic Z 10w-60 (both BP subsidiaries, presumably the two oils were actually the same product). In 2000, the car arrived in North America and six months into production the oil was re-specified from TWS-only to BMW "High Performance Synthetic Oil". In the rest of the world HPSO was called "LL-98". HPSO was 5w-30 and LL-98 was mostly xw-40. 10w-60 had disappeared from the radar.

Then the E46 M3 arrived in 2000 as a 2001 model. HPSO was specified as the lubricant. Then things started going wrong - the rod bearings started failing and blowing engines up. Unceremoniously, HPSO was replaced with the new oil product "TWS Motorsport" from BMW, which was actually the same oil as RS 10w-60 before Castrol reformulated the RS products for retail distribution. TWS is just RS from the "API SJ" era.

In my imagination there was there was a brief conversation between the "M Division" engineers for the E46 M3 and the BMW AG management. The "AG" division guys said "M3 engines are failing" and the "M" division guys said "we told you that would happen with that thin engine oil". After that, ALL "M" engines were switched to use TWS exclusively, although the E39 M5 continued to use either TWS or HPSO/LL98 or LL01 oil until the engine ended production in 2003.

Later in life, it turned out that the M3 engines were failing because of defective bearings delivered by the manufacturer - the failures were not oil related, and those that kept records said that failure rates were not statistically different between HPSO and TWS. But the M engineers' point had been made and to this day all new "M" engines are produced with TWS in them and they stay that way for life.

It would make a great movie...

Cheers
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      06-02-2010, 06:01 AM   #15
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I was using 5W-40 Castrol oil for 2,5 years. However, I'm switching to 10W-60 (Castrol TWS) tomorrow.
I have spoken to many people that know A LOT about engines and oil - from BMW's head of technical department to rally racers. For a turbo engine 10W-60 is way better as turbo engines produce much more heat than NA engines. I drive really hard, my oil temperature reaches 240-260F or even more quite often, even though I've got aftermarket oil cooler installed. That is why all of the people suggested to use 10W-60 - it handles high temperatures much better. 5W-40 loses it's lubricating characteristics when it gets really hot. 10W-60 doesn't.
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      06-02-2010, 08:16 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oddjob2021 View Post
if i honestly blew the motor? i would consider building it stronger, i already know of a couple companies who make aftermarket internals for the n54.
would you please give info on the companies that makeN54 internals? I'm very interested in gettin some internal parts( forged pistons, camshaftes, etc)

I know Mahle is very reputable. any other manufacturer you know of?
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      06-02-2010, 09:34 AM   #17
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+10 interesting thread
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      06-02-2010, 09:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackRat View Post
I think you misunderstood what informed people may have told you. No oil loses it's lubrication properties when it gets hot. Viscosity changes with temp. Thicker is only better if the engine requires it due to the component clearances. If your engine wasn't built with clearances for a 60 weight oil, you're better off with 40 weight oil so that you have the proper oil flow rate thru the tighter clearances to cool and lubricate the components. Thicker 60 weight oil won't flow thru the bearings or get into tight clearances like valve guides as well as 40 weight oil.
I understood everything correctly. 5W-40 loses it's characteristics when gets very hot. The primary function of oil is to lubricate. Sorry, but I choose to take head's of bmw technical department advice rather than yours. And he recommended me to use 10W-60.
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      06-02-2010, 10:35 AM   #19
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Quote:
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You can do whatever makes you happy. If however you believe that oil loses it's properties when it gets hot, you need to do a lot of reading on engine oil. A little information is dangerous.
At high temperatures it becomes thin/fluid and "spashes" (don't know how to explain in English). 10W-60 doesn't. Period.

I wonder how come so many people that DID a lot of reading recommended me the same thing and used same arguments... But you probably know more than they do (including head of bmw technical department)
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      06-02-2010, 10:54 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackRat View Post
FYI - Racing oils are not particularly good for street vehicles as the additive package is not tailored for street applications. Race engines operate in a different environment than street engines and the oil is changed often. Most oil companies tell you not to use race oils in street applications. If your car is still under warranty and you value your warranty then you most definitely need to use the proper BMW spec oil and viscosity.
First of all this oil is BMW LL01, since you value that rating so much. Second, here is the chemical breakdown from the MSDS:

Base Oil: synthtetic Polyalfaolefins

ZDDP: 1,400ppm
Alkrylalamine: 700ppm
long chain calcium alcrylsaliclylate: 1,400ppm

Calcium is what is present in most "street" oils to prevent oxidation. It is deleted from most hardcore race oils, and is a cause for concern. The Total however, has this added, so it should be fine for street/track use.

Last edited by Turkeybaster115; 06-02-2010 at 11:00 AM.
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      06-02-2010, 11:10 AM   #21
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Quote:
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haha i guess u dont know my mods or what i plan on doing, looking at your post count it seems you're a vet here, more posts than me! but your join date says otherwise, and i guess what why u dont know my handle here. if i were to take my car to the stealership (which by the way it hasn't been back since Jan '07, i do all my oil and maintenance and also my 3rd gen pump change) they would just laugh, i have so many mods, although completely reversible, that it's not worth the time to have to take it to a dealer and claim 'warrenty!'. if i honestly blew the motor? i would consider building it stronger, i already know of a couple companies who make aftermarket internals for the n54.
Brother, I'm with you, F**K the stealerships! Bro, I run Total Quartz 0W 30, Total Ineo MC3 5W30, and Total Quartz Racing 10W50.

Last edited by Turkeybaster115; 06-02-2010 at 01:10 PM.
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      06-02-2010, 11:15 AM   #22
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Quote:
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A 10W-60 oil is not a good choice for your engine. A 0W-40 or 5W-30 BMW LL-01 spec oil would be better.
How so, when he manufacturer specified 5W30, and wrote that right on the engine. Where do you get that 0W-40 is then ok? and if a 40W oil that is known to shear, is ok, then why not a 50W racing oil?


Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackRat View Post
BMW actually tests to determine the proper oil for your engine. If you could see your engine running in BMW's engine dyno cell you'd understand that your track use is nothing compared to the 400 hours of WOT durability test on an engine dyno.
Which engine though? The M5 or the 325I? is it a V10? Twin Turbocharged? 9,000rpm redine? or are all engines the same?
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