2008 BMW M3, BMW TwinPower Turbo 10W-60, 4931 mi

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11,856
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PA
Previous UOA here. Now at 110107 miles on the engine.

Ignore the "fluid added" quantity. Consumption has jumped to ~1 L / 1500 mi, which is roughly where it was when I bought the car with leaking valve cover gaskets. I fixed those (which cut consumption in half) and haven't noticed other leaks, though I have noticed what look like traces of oil on some of my spark plugs (pic attached).

PCV system is another suspect. Had a BMW crankcase pressure test done recently and was right in the middle of the normal range, though that was only at idle. On this engine, that includes oil separators that condense oil out of the crankcase vapor and drop it back into the sump. A while back, I was advised to replace those separators preventatively just based on mileage. I didn't then, but decided to do it this time to see if it helped the consumption. Wanted to replace the PCV valve as well, even though it's not known to go bad on this engine, but it's in a horrible location and I chickened out.

Fuel dilution is at its highest level to date. Maybe leaky injector(s) plus lots of downtime due to COVID, and maybe that's causing the consumption? Hoping it's something like that rather than blow-by causing both the dilution and the consumption. I'd rather not think about shelling out for a rebuild on this engine....

Copying the numbers here because I don't like how Polaris's reports are formatted:


Wear Metals

Iron -7
Chromium - 0
Nickel - 0
Aluminum - 3
Copper - 2
Lead - 0
Tin - 1
Cadmium - 0
Silver - 0
Vanadium - 0

Particle Quantifier (PQ) Index - 12


Contaminant Metals

Silicon - 7
Sodium - 4
Potassium - 1


Multi-Source Metals

Titanium - 0
Molybdenum - 52
Antimony - 1
Manganese - 0
Lithium - 0
Boron - 53


Additive Metals

Magnesium - 23
Calcium - 2458
Barium - 0
Phosphorus - 824
Zinc - 935


Other Contaminants

Fuel Dilution - 2.1% (GC)
Soot - <0.1% by vol.
Water - <0.1% by vol. (FTIR)


Fluid Properties

Viscosity @ 100º C - 18.3 cSt
TBN - 4.44
Oxidation - 12
Nitration - 11
 

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d00df00d

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11,856
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I am wondering how heavy W50 would do? Something like Redline?
Yeah, people run xW-50 / Red Line in this car all the time. There's actually a fairly experienced S65/S85 engine builder who is known for insisting on Red Line 5W-50 with supernatural enthusiasm.

AFAICT, it's the same story with this engine as with every other engine: tons of opinions, some of them very strongly held, and basically no good evidence to back it up. Or at least no evidence that seems compelling enough to throw away my UOA baselines and stray from nearly-free oil changes through FCP Euro. I set a pretty high bar for straying from OE recommendations, especially when those recommendations are as narrow and strongly made as BMW's for this engine.

If you've heard otherwise, I'm happy to be enlightened.
 
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12,774
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Colorado Springs
Yeah, people run xW-50 / Red Line in this car all the time. There's actually a fairly experienced S65/S85 engine builder who is known for insisting on Red Line 5W-50 with supernatural enthusiasm.

AFAICT, it's the same story with this engine as with every other engine: tons of opinions, some of them very strongly held, and basically no good evidence to back it up. Or at least no evidence that seems compelling enough to throw away my UOA baselines and stray from nearly-free oil changes through FCP Euro. I set a pretty high bar for straying from OE recommendations, especially when those recommendations are as narrow and strongly made as BMW's for this engine.

If you've heard otherwise, I'm happy to be enlightened.
Yeah, I get what you saying. I know that there are more opinions about that engine than anything else. And I am all for approvals, you know that, but wondering what results would deliver.
 

d00df00d

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I asked Polaris to re-run the fuel dilution test and they came back with 1.6%. The plot thickens....
 
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34,489
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NJ
I spoke to a guy from Bimmerworld (I know they buy from Red Line) and he said they noticed cleaner engines and more durability from Red Line. Who knows if that is true. FWIW.

My brother has a X3 M40i and I had called them to get their opinion out of curiosity.
 
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12,774
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I spoke to a guy from Bimmerworld (I know they buy from Red Line) and he said they noticed cleaner engines and more durability from Red Line. Who knows if that is true. FWIW.

My brother has a X3 M40i and I had called them to get their opinion out of curiosity.
If they were not in bed with Redline I would say, OK.
 

d00df00d

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Had a chance to chat with James Clay from Bimmerworld last year. Cool guy.

They are definitely Red Line fans. James told me they were getting a ton more synchro life with Red Line trans fluids than with OE fluids. That was at the track, though.

I also have friends who've put a ton of street AND track miles on their M cars with OE fluids and done just fine... 🤷‍♂️
 
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12,774
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Colorado Springs
Had a chance to chat with James Clay from Bimmerworld last year. Cool guy.

They are definitely Red Line fans. James told me they were getting a ton more synchro life with Red Line trans fluids than with OE fluids. That was at the track, though.

I also have friends who've put a ton of street AND track miles on their M cars with OE fluids and done just fine... 🤷‍♂️
Yeah, they are definitely fans of Redline. IDK, I just ordered D4 for my gearbox, so will see how it behaves. I have some OE fluid on shelf for differentials, but my Toyota has all Redline products in driveline (except tranny) parts.
 

d00df00d

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I asked Polaris to re-run the fuel dilution test and they came back with 1.6%. The plot thickens....
They offered to run the fuel dilution test a third time to see if we could get a consistent number, and I said to go ahead. The result was 1.1%. That's a drop of 0.5% each time they have re-run the test: first 2.1%, then 1.6%, and now 1.1%.

Any thoughts about why this might be? I asked them for some feedback but would love to have some more input. Is fuel evaporating from the sample over time? Could the fuel have risen to the top of the sample bottle so that it was more concentrated in the earlier tests than in the later ones? Is it more likely that there's just this much variation in their testing?
 
Messages
12,774
Location
Colorado Springs
They offered to run the fuel dilution test a third time to see if we could get a consistent number, and I said to go ahead. The result was 1.1%. That's a drop of 0.5% each time they have re-run the test: first 2.1%, then 1.6%, and now 1.1%.

Any thoughts about why this might be? I asked them for some feedback but would love to have some more input. Is fuel evaporating from the sample over time? Could the fuel have risen to the top of the sample bottle so that it was more concentrated in the earlier tests than in the later ones? Is it more likely that there's just this much variation in their testing?
That is definiately not consistent. I would run next UOA using different lab. Not sure why it is not consistent. They should shake sample before testing. Evaporation? Depends where it is stored. At this point I think sample is compromised.
 

d00df00d

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Couple of updates:

1. Polaris said changes can indeed happen to the sample over time, which suggests we can't tell what the “true” number is at this point. They also said the first number should have been flagged for immediate re-test, and that they’ll keep that in mind for future samples.

2. I’m hearing that these engines can sometimes consume more oil with shorter trips and light throttle usage. That lines up with my trends; my lowest oil consumption was in the OCIs with the most highway miles and hard usage, and it increased the most when my usage was the mildest. It also lines up with comments on page 28 of the attached PDF from SK/TRW/Pierburg.
 

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Messages
35
Location
FL
I can't recall the 2008 M3 coming with the TwinPower turbo motor? Your pictures clearly show eight spark plugs which is more in line with that vintage of the M3...
 
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5,267
Location
South Carolina
Wear numbers look great to me, not sure why you would look to change to another brand, how can it get any better?

Its not oil brand that will solve any of the mentioned issues.
 
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