BMW N55 - forced to choose something new

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2,050
Location
Toronto-ish, Canada
Although I haven't been active here in quite a while, I've recently spent a bunch of time reading in various places including here and I'm looking for a little advice.

I'm currently running a 2011 BMW 535i X-Drive (N55 engine, turbo, DI) running a stage 1 flash tune. The engine is equipped with the better-than-nothing coolant/oil heat exchanger. I'm in the Great Lakes area, garaged at night. Unfortunately there are plenty of short trips for my work commute to the train station pre-COVID. Generally the oil gets over 70C on these trips (i.e. the oil temp gauge comes off the bottom peg) but not all the way to full temp. Other longer trips are mixed in. The car currently has around 85,000km on it. I change the oil ~twice per year or 6,000-9,000km. This is my only car so it's my DD year round. Winters can be cold. On the other hand in the summer oil temps seem to hit 110-115C even just on cruise control in the country (the coolant may actually be heating the oil in this operating scenario).

I have been happily using Edge 0W40 (and GC 0W30 before it) in my BMWs over the years (M52, N52 engines), dabbling a little with Rotella T6 5W40 around 10 years ago.

I generally grab 5L jugs when Canadian Tire had their 45%-55% off sales. The catch is that all my local retailers seem to have stopped carrying Edge 0W40 at all, forcing me to consider something else. I grabbed Edge 5W40 during the last sale when I couldn't get 0W40 but haven't used it yet. I've been thinking more recently that PP Euro 5W40 might be a better choice. For a variety of reasons, I'm not looking to run M1 at the moment (shearing shown in UOA, noisy engines in the 2000s, but I'm not looking for a fight). I'm also not looking to go "FE" at this time.

I've read all about LL-01 being revised and many oils, especially 0Ws, losing official certification. I'm outside of even extended warranty now since Fall 2018, so it's not a concern like it would have been during warranty. Anything else I should consider, or points for or against PP 5W40? KV100 in the 12s seems a little on the thin side for a "5W40" but maybe I should just look past that...
 
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1,269
Location
Brittany / Canada
The "disappearance" of Edge 0W40 is also concerning to me :( Well, not concerning concerning, but it's becoming increasingly difficult to find at a decent price.
I've personally never seen the Penzoil Euro 0W40 yet at a correct price, but I saw the Total Quartz 9000 0W40 available, sometimes for like $30 a 5L jug.

If you don't want to go the M1 0W40 route (too bad cause it's regularly on sale on WM online if you buy a case of 3 jugs), maybe Rotella T6 0W40 (or apparently the John Deer counterpart, JD Plus 50 II 0W40) could suit you. Or you have the Motomaster 0W40, which is apparently made by Shell (PP 0W40 rebadged?).

Depending on winters, where I am temperatures can flirt with -30° or slightly less, so I prefer keep a 0W, but on your corner of world that's maybe not that necessary, YMMV.


Edit : yeah you also have the Motul X-Max 0W40, if the price doesn't kill you. And the 300V of course. Also some Liqui-Moly, but I think they all have NOACK above 10 (correct me if I'm wrong).
 
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126
Location
Toronto
The "disappearance" of Edge 0W40 is also concerning to me :( Well, not concerning concerning, but it's becoming increasingly difficult to find at a decent price.
I've personally never seen the Penzoil Euro 0W40 yet at a correct price, but I saw the Total Quartz 9000 0W40 available, sometimes for like $30 a 5L jug.

If you don't want to go the M1 0W40 route (too bad cause it's regularly on sale on WM online if you buy a case of 3 jugs), maybe Rotella T6 0W40 (or apparently the John Deer counterpart, JD Plus 50 II 0W40) could suit you. Or you have the Motomaster 0W40, which is apparently made by Shell (PP 0W40 rebadged?).

Depending on winters, where I am temperatures can flirt with -30° or slightly less, so I prefer keep a 0W, but on your corner of world that's maybe not that necessary, YMMV.


Edit : yeah you also have the Motul X-Max 0W40, if the price doesn't kill you. And the 300V of course. Also some Liqui-Moly, but I think they all have NOACK above 10 (correct me if I'm wrong).
Pretty sure if an oil is has a MB 229.5 rating NOACK has to be 10% or less, correct me if I'm wrong as well!

Yeah, CT pulleD 0w40 off the shelves in regards to the larger jugs, however you can get it still in the 1L bottles though. Motomaster, yeah oil is most likely made by Shell but to say it's the same as PP? I'll need to see a VOA or data sheet before I can confidently put it in my euro spec car. I would honestly just pour in PP Euro 5w40. I live in Toronto and I'm not worried about the cold, it has a pour point of minus 36 and that's not the only thing consider with cold temps.
 
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1,269
Location
Brittany / Canada
Pretty sure if an oil is has a MB 229.5 rating NOACK has to be 10% or less, correct me if I'm wrong as well!
Correct :)
But this Liqui-moly doesn't have the actual approval MB 229.5
(Noack is listed at 11% in the PDS, which explains it)

(that was the only 0W40 on their US website, maybe there is/are other version(s)?
 
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7,727
Location
Mahzurrah!
Despite the beating Castrol 5w40 regularly receives on here, it carries all the top specs and consistently shows good UOA's. I'd use that (I am in fact) till something else tickles your fancy but you are not likely to get any better "results".
 
Messages
11,265
Location
Colorado Springs
Pennzoil Platinum 5W40 will definately be better choice than Castrol Edge 5W40. Castrol did get bump to MB229.5, but it still is mediocre oil compare to other available options, like Platinum 5W40.
What you need is light KV100. That means Edge 0W30 would be best option, but probably hard to find there. Edge 5W40 is actually pretty heavy for Euro W40 oils, at 14.2cst, so I would skip it just bcs. of that alone. Pennzoil Euro 5W40 is lighter and has very good HTHS (GTL base). New formulation is around 13.3cst, similar to Castrol Edge 0W40.
Now, what about Pentosin High Performance 5W30? What about BMW TPT 5W30? They are all around 12cst. That is what I would aim at considering you are not bringing your temperature all they up. Go with lightest LL01, that means W30.
Also, I know you said no M1 0W40, but it is very light W40, at 12.9cst. I at least never had shearing issue with it, actually, it always stayed very close to its original KV100.
 
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47
Location
Canada
Well since you're GTAish area, the only true 0w40 approved LL-01 oil that I could find was this


These guys do carry a couple other 0w40 that don't have the approval like liqui moly as mentioned. 65 bucks a 5L jug seems outrageous given that CT has the 5w40 approved oils for 30 bucks on sale... I can't comment on what to use as my knowledge is limited but indeed it does look like it's hard to actually find an approved 0w40...

FWIW, I am taking a chance on the motomaster 5w40 from CT... After i downloaded the spec sheet and compared it to PP euro 5w40 and quaker, motomaster does not appear to be relabled PP or quaker, however, it is made by shell in Calgary, so that for me is somewhat reassuring. I have an old, 385k km jetta tdi so I am not overly concerned
 
Messages
11,265
Location
Colorado Springs
Well since you're GTAish area, the only true 0w40 approved LL-01 oil that I could find was this


These guys do carry a couple other 0w40 that don't have the approval like liqui moly as mentioned. 65 bucks a 5L jug seems outrageous given that CT has the 5w40 approved oils for 30 bucks on sale... I can't comment on what to use as my knowledge is limited but indeed it does look like it's hard to actually find an approved 0w40...

FWIW, I am taking a chance on the motomaster 5w40 from CT... After i downloaded the spec sheet and compared it to PP euro 5w40 and quaker, motomaster does not appear to be relabled PP or quaker, however, it is made by shell in Calgary, so that for me is somewhat reassuring. I have an old, 385k km jetta tdi so I am not overly concerned
0W40 MAX Lost LL01. Those are old batches.
 

Craig in Canada

Thread starter
Messages
2,050
Location
Toronto-ish, Canada
Hi again, and thank you for all of the responses so far!

I'd like to add a few more points to possibly help zero things in....

This isn't exclusively a short tripping train station beater or anything - as my only vehicle that is part of its duty however. Other times I'm not even doing anything fun and I have 110-115C oil temps. That leaves me with nagging thoughts of not wanting to go "thin" (a subjective term, I know) as a primary focus. Intentionally selecting something thinner just to focus on the short trips won't help to counteract fuel and water dilution issues and might it not compromise me in the hotter conditions?

Second, it doesn't need to say 0W40 on the bottle. I've been around here long enough to know that oil grades are brackets - fairly large ones at that. I don't think I'd want a heavy 40 as my winter oil, though. I noticed that EDGE 5W40 was a little heavier than I was looking for in the winter, for instance. I would prefer something I can get at normal retailers that I can scoop up on sale as opposed to boutiques, special orders and lots of effort to get my hands on it.

I feel like I'm having a harder time than ever getting reliable PDS - I see folks pasting PP Euro 5W40 specs that show KV100 in the 13s. I go look and I find it says it's in the 12s. Add some other brands and oils and I keep getting the same thing. Nothing anyone can do about that - just venting. I can't tell if there have been changes in the formula, regional blending differences, or the marketing intern who knows nothing about oil filled in the chart with numbers from another product.

What's the current state of things with Rotella? The engine I had the longest and knew the best was the M52 in my 98 528i. I went a stint using Rotella T 15W40 as a summer only oil, using GC 0W30 or T6 in the winter. That engine "loved" the T - quiet, powerful, excellent VVT operation, no consumption, good UOA, and CHEAP. I also ran it one summer in my N52 and it was the same subjective experience, though I never did a UOA on that combination. I looked in on the state of Rotella and now it's T4, T5 and T6 and at the time I don't think I saw ANY API Sx at all any more while it used to carry both PCMO and HDEO ratings. In an engine as expensive, complex, and functionally so different from the M52 I didn't want to just give it a go in my N55 since there could be serious issues of which I am ignorant. I don't necessarily want to flip/flop based on season, but I could. I DIY all of it and a 6m/6m or 8m/4m oil schedule could be done.

Obviously my goals are to minimize wear, but that's the case with almost everyone. I want to keep things clean - there are some lubrication channels in the Valvetronic system that can easily get plugged up and trash the Valvetronic system. There's also a fair bit of noise surfacing online about rod bearing and other failures on 2011 N55s - I know that's amplified by typical Internet behaviour (you only hear the problems, not millions of "everything's great" posts). There's enough of that noise to make me start doing UOAs again so that if I have a problem it's a rod bearing job instead of a new engine or the crusher. Obviously the N55 is turbocharged and I want to keep those bearings clean and protected.

More subjective - I'd like it quiet. Back when I was an M1 fan in the late 90s/early 2000s it took me a while but I realized eventually that one of their reformulations made my engines hugely noisy (M1 5W30 in an Integra, M1 0W40 in the BMW M52 and M1 15W50 in a Porsche 968). At that time switching from M1 to literally anything else made all of these engines hugely quieter. M1 0W40 UOAs in the M52 showed good wear despite the noise, but it also sheared from a thin 40 to a mid 30 in 3500mi while GC 0W30 remained almost unchanged in the same engine and conditions. I know it's been 15+ years, things might be different and I'm not here to argue about M1 noise but I definitely don't want that racket back in this car. It's purely subjective, but that's the way it is. I'm a little reluctant to go through purchase of an OC of M1 and see what happens without hearing from others who could hear the noise (lots of people never heard a difference) when that was a thing and report that it's no longer an issue.
 

Craig in Canada

Thread starter
Messages
2,050
Location
Toronto-ish, Canada
I just run BMW TPT 5W-30 in my M235i.

The pictures of the TPT 5W30 bottles I've seen say they're LL-04 / Diesel. I can't use that - I don't know about the sulphur levels in my fuel. I'm looking for full SAPS. Or are there multiple part numbers that are "TPT 5W30"?

The pictures I've seen of TPT 0W30 are LL-01FE - wasn't looking for FE either.

I might grab a price from the local dealer, but I cringe to think what it will be. Don't think I have any supply chain to get it anywhere else.
 
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11,265
Location
Colorado Springs
The pictures of the TPT 5W30 bottles I've seen say they're LL-04 / Diesel. I can't use that - I don't know about the sulphur levels in my fuel. I'm looking for full SAPS. Or are there multiple part numbers that are "TPT 5W30"?

The pictures I've seen of TPT 0W30 are LL-01FE - wasn't looking for FE either.

I might grab a price from the local dealer, but I cringe to think what it will be. Don't think I have any supply chain to get it anywhere else.
BMW still sells 5W30 LL01, at least here in the US.
 

Craig in Canada

Thread starter
Messages
2,050
Location
Toronto-ish, Canada
PP Euro 5W40 was 12.8 (I have that one in my N52 now). It is SN+ spec. As of May 2020 they have new PDS, 13.3 cst, API SP.

Alright so the discrepancy I've observed is a true, recent reformulation.

While I continue to research, I returned two jugs of Edge 5W40 and grabbed two jugs of PP Euro 5W40 this morning since CT has it on sale. Both were the SN+ variety.

Any chance you have direct links to known good versions for this market? Especially historical. CT also had the PP Euro 5W30 but almost out of stock.
 

Craig in Canada

Thread starter
Messages
2,050
Location
Toronto-ish, Canada
Messages
11,265
Location
Colorado Springs
Scratch that. The "L" is low SAPS - I don't know that my market has guaranteed low sulphur so not sure I'll go for this, regardless of viscosity specs.

Here's my government's statement, what sulphur level is considered safe to use low SAPS oil LL-04?

https://www.canada.ca/en/environmen...uction/fuel-regulations/sulphur-gasoline.html
I think you are fine. I would still do UOA if LL04 after 7.500km.
But why not using PP Euro 5W40? It is very good oil with according to Pennzoil HTHS of some 3.8 (per email posted here recently. Cannot remember which thread).
 
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1,064
Location
Vancouver
There is no reason not to use low saps oil in Canada really. Audi/VW has converted their cars over the low saps oils as of 2019 model year, BMW is just late to the party. However LL01 might be slightly cheaper.
 

Craig in Canada

Thread starter
Messages
2,050
Location
Toronto-ish, Canada
I think you are fine. I would still do UOA if LL04 after 7.500km.
But why not using PP Euro 5W40? It is very good oil with according to Pennzoil HTHS of some 3.8 (per email posted here recently. Cannot remember which thread).

I'm not not using PP Euro 5W40 (double negative). I have two 5L jugs on the shelf since yesterday because it's on sale this week. It's currently my leading contender for my next OC.
 

Craig in Canada

Thread starter
Messages
2,050
Location
Toronto-ish, Canada
There is no reason not to use low saps oil in Canada really. Audi/VW has converted their cars over the low saps oils as of 2019 model year, BMW is just late to the party. However LL01 might be slightly cheaper.

But is there ever a benefit, considering it's a 2011 vehicle? I suppose if available full SAPS "recommended for LL-01" continue to become more and more limited, I may have no option but low SAPS "recommended for LL-04" oils.

I haven't seen this linked here before:
https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/f10-535i-xdrive-lim_201104/repair-manuals/11-engine/1PSryV8

This is the 2/2019 edition of " Technically suitable engine oils for petrol engines " from BMW themselves. For N55 it still states LL-01 and LL-01FE everywhere, LL-04 and LL-04FE in EU only, regardless of US ULSG. If I had a B58 with PPF that would be another story altogether.
 
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