1999 BMW Manual

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Mentions ONLY 15w-40 and 5w-30 with the obligatory temp chart. This was w/OLM, API oil, roughly calibrated at 6000 miles. Interesting to see this combo of oils recommended to the exclusion of all others. I don't believe it was referencing the BMW 5w-30, no mention of synth, BMW oil nor extended intervals.
 
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Was it a US manual? IIRC, the cars of that year sold in Europe had to use LL-98 oil. But somehow things get lost in translation when crossing the Atlantic. Remember the VW 502.00 stuff?
 

Audi Junkie

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Err, the car was in PA. Maybe the last year of dino oil. I'm trying to remember the API spec and keep thinking it was SG, but it couldn't be...not even SH!
 
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The intervals and requirements for the E46 are listed in the Service and Warranty booklet, page 4, under sub-paragraph "Oil Service". It's funny but even BMW misspells Mobil-1. They cite it as being "Mobile 1". For the record, it plainly states that BMW Longlife Oil (no viscosity mentioned) and Mobile 1 (sic) 5W-30 and 5W-40 longlife oils are strongly recommended and approved by BMW.
 
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I beleive the only two Mobil-1 products that meet BMW Longlife specifications are the 0W-40 (LL-01) and 5W-30 ESP (LL-04). Not sure where they got 5W-40 from.
 
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I had to go grab my 4/98 E39 528 (M52 engine) manual to check, out of interest. In the writing section, it indicates that API SH, API SH/CD or API SH/CE is required quality. In the graphic, it indicates API SG Energy Conserving II (what??? THe more detailed specs I've ever seen indicates LL-98, LL-01, ACEA A3. Energy conserving is never going to reach ACEA A3) The graphic indicates 5W-30 10*C and below. 15W40 -10C and above (with a cautionary note that below -10C 15W40 may cause the engine to become hard to start and to use special lubricants!) On the other side indicating all ranges from below -30*C to above +30C to use "Special Oils* - most preferable" The footnote* says "Special engine oil individually approved by BMW (low friction lubricants). Contact your BMW retailer for details". I guess this is LL-98. Over its life this car saw a Pennzoil synthetic 5W50 (Penzane days) for the first three years as the choice of the indy who was the friend of the original owner. I used M1 0W40 for a couple of years and GC for the rest. When ARXing or just this summer for the heck of it (and 1/3 the cost of GC) I'm using XD3 15W40 HDEO.
 
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Audi Junkie

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Basicly, we see 15w-40 and 5w-30 recommended under the same ambient temps, +20f to +60f or so. That's like 3/4 of the year here. I didn't see any synthetic LL-anything mentioned.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Audi Junkie
I didn't see any synthetic LL-anything mentioned.
I believe the "specialty lubricants" which are "specifically approved by BMW" boils down to LL-98 synthetics but without stating such since it's only an owner's manual.
 
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The owners manual for my wife's X3 2.5 only calls for a 5W-30 or 5W-40 synthetic and to "Use only oils with the API SH specification or higher". I usually run Mobil 1 0W-40 but I am currently trying 5W-40 TDT for a couple of OCIs. UOAs show good wear numbers but the TBN has drops to 1 or less by 8000 miles.
 
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