2009 BMW 128i N51 3.0L, BMW 5W30 Synth, 25,440 Mi

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5
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Rhode Island
Code:
Aluminum, Iron, and Copper have all increased significantly since the last sample.
Is this engine coming unglued?

2009 BMW 128i N51 3.0L, BMW 5W30 Synthetic, 25,440 Miles

MI on Oil		5,240		4,500		4,500		4,656		1,144
MI on Unit		25,440		20,200		10,300		5,800		1,444
Sample Date		08/11/14	07/08/13	07/14/11	08/18/10	10/17/09
Make Up Oil Added	0 quarts	0 quarts	0 quarts	0 quarts	0 quarts
Oil Type		BMW 5W30	BMW 5W30	BMW 5W30	BMW 5W30	BMW 5W30

ALUMINUM		27		14		18		18		10
CHROMIUM		1		0		0		0		1
IRON			32		14		16		19		15
COPPER			37		27		25		24		13
LEAD			0		0		1		1		0
TIN			4		0		1		1		3
MOLYBDENUM		147		162		135		126		0
NICKEL			1		0		0		0		0
MANGANESE		13		4		7		11		13
SILVER			0		0		0		0		0
TITANIUM		0		0		0		0		0
POTASSIUM		7		9		12		28		10
BORON			46		52		45		35		3
SILICON			4		3		4		4		6
SODIUM			10		7		10		10		6
CALCIUM			2063		2339		1927		1906		1211
MAGNESIUM		356		112		169		238		950
PHOSPHORUS		871		1032		865		906		849
ZINC			1045		1225		955		1175		1009
BARIUM			0		0		0		0		0

SUS Viscosity @ 210øF 64.1		62.3		59.5		60.9		62.0
cSt Viscosity @ 100øC 11.36		10.86		10.8		10.48		10.77
Flashpoint in øF      435		405		440		415		370
Fuel %                <0.5		<0.5		<0.5		<0.5		<0.5
Antifreeze %          0.0		0.0		0.0		0.0		0.0
Water %               0.0		0.0		0.0		0.0		0.0
Insolubles            0.4		0.3		0.2		0.3		0.2
 
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11,849
Location
PA
welcome to BITOG! Interesting report, and good job keeping the UOA history going. History is key to interpreting UOAs. Is the car showing any other symptoms of problems?
 
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2,020
Location
.
If these results are from Blackstone, they also report universal averages of all similar engine UOAs they've seen. This UOA showed an uptick in metals, but are they still close to universal averages?
 

mgthompson

Thread starter
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5
Location
Rhode Island
Code:
The N51 engine is SULEV 50 states legal for emissions, and is quite different than the older design 48 states N52 engine. The N51 has an Aluminum block core with Magnesium cast around it, which might account for the high Magnesium levels. Since this engine was new in 2009, and is not produced in the same volume as the N52 engine, I am not sure that Blackstone has much history to work with.

2009 BMW 128i N51 3.0L, BMW 5W30 Synthetic, 25,440 Miles

MI on Oil		5,240		4,500		4,500		4,656		1,144		Universal
MI on Unit		25,440		20,200		10,300		5,800		1,444		Averages
Sample Date		08/11/14	07/08/13	07/14/11	08/18/10	10/17/09
Make Up Oil Added	0 quarts	0 quarts	0 quarts	0 quarts	0 quarts
Oil Type		BMW 5W30	BMW 5W30	BMW 5W30	BMW 5W30	BMW 5W30

ALUMINUM		27		14		18		18		10		5
CHROMIUM		1		0		0		0		1		0
IRON			32		14		16		19		15		14
COPPER			37		27		25		24		13		8
LEAD			0		0		1		1		0		3
TIN			4		0		1		1		3		1
MOLYBDENUM		147		162		135		126		0		104
NICKEL			1		0		0		0		0		0
MANGANESE		13		4		7		11		13		2
SILVER			0		0		0		0		0		0
TITANIUM		0		0		0		0		0		0
POTASSIUM		7		9		12		28		10		2
BORON			46		52		45		35		3		53
SILICON			4		3		4		4		6		5
SODIUM			10		7		10		10		6		9
CALCIUM			2063		2339		1927		1906		1211		2466
MAGNESIUM		356		112		169		238		950		106
PHOSPHORUS		871		1032		865		906		849		829
ZINC			1045		1225		955		1175		1009		1008
BARIUM			0		0		0		0		0		0

SUS Viscosity @ 210øF 64.1		62.3		59.5		60.9		62.0
cSt Viscosity @ 100øC 11.36		10.86		10.8		10.48		10.77
Flashpoint in øF      435		405		440		415		370
Fuel %                <0.5		<0.5		<0.5		<0.5		<0.5
Antifreeze %          0.0		0.0		0.0		0.0		0.0
Water %               0.0		0.0		0.0		0.0		0.0
Insolubles            0.4		0.3		0.2		0.3		0.2
 

mgthompson

Thread starter
Messages
5
Location
Rhode Island
There are no symptoms of bad behavior, no leaks, no oil consumption between the annual 5,000 mile oil changes, and no unusual noises. I usually drive very gently with an occational 7,000 RPM burst for blending with traffic on the highway. The car was delivered in Munich and was driven in Germany for the first two weeks and 600 Miles. I kept it under the recommended 4,500 RPM (almost always), varied the speed on the Autobahn, and kept ot under 135 MPH.
 
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These levels aren't alarmingly high. But the whole pattern is odd. Normally, the factory fill should be loaded with wear metals and they should gradually decrease with subsequent changes. In your case, the pattern seems to be reversed. And wear metals seem to be considerably higher than Blackstone has seen in comparable engines. Maybe there's a problem with the engine. Maybe driving habits are different or have changed (does it sit for extended periods? do you use full throttle before fully warmed up?) Who has been doing the oil changes? It's not unheard of for BMW dealers to use a bulk oil that doesn't meet the factory spec. If the dealer has been doing the oil changes, maybe buy some Mobil1 that meets BMW's spec, DIY and do another UOA.
 

mgthompson

Thread starter
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5
Location
Rhode Island
I did the oil change at 1,144 miles. The local BMW dealer did the next four annual oil changes, but forgot to give me a sample at 15,000 miles in 2012. I just did the oil change at 25,440 miles with BMW oil and will do all of the remaining changes. Next year's annual oil change and lab results will be interesting. The car usually doesn't sit unused for more than a week. I am very careful with it when the engine is cold. Thanks everyone for the advice and commentary.
 
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3,117
Location
Virginia
Hot oil before full throttle is critical. Try to make sure oil temp is at least 180F before you start getting on it hard. My 2 cents.
 

mgthompson

Thread starter
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5
Location
Rhode Island
bigt61, Unfortunately BMW doesn't put water or oil temperature gauges in most of their cars. After about 10 minutes of warm weather driving you can feel the difference in performance, so I would guess that the computers think that it is warmed up.
 

Ndx

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1,878
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IL
Originally Posted By: mgthompson
bigt61, Unfortunately BMW doesn't put water or oil temperature gauges in most of their cars. After about 10 minutes of warm weather driving you can feel the difference in performance, so I would guess that the computers think that it is warmed up.
There is way to check oil temperature, hidden menu but you have to enable it every time you restart car... I don't think it can be coded.. Non OEM Scangauge (blend under mirror) shows all you need torqueapp as well.
 
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2,035
Location
Ontario, Canada
why is this thread a mile wide; cannot read edit: OP if you're going to include comments in your UOA within the "code tags" then you have to manually carriage return your long sentences, otherwise dont include the comments in the code tags and let it wrap lines by itself
 
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