BMW N55 - forced to choose something new

Craig in Canada

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Regarding the bearings - I was never saying "everyone with an N55 watch out! It's inevitable!". There's a lot more rod bearing chatter about the last decade of BMW engines to begin with, and the E90/F30/F10 community has observed a disproportionate number of 2011 N55s being posted about. Looking around, we can see that short block and some other related part numbers were changed several times around 2011 in much more rapid succession than is typical before and after.

It's all theory, but it was enough to get me off my butt and doing UOAs again - no harm done. I don't believe I need any exotic juice for my bearings, but I do want to ensure appropriate juice is used. If it is particularly good at keeping things clean, that's of significant interest to me.

I might just stop thinking about this and run PP Euro 5W40, but I'm still thinking about PP Euro L 5W30 and ensuring I continue short changes and do UOAs with TBN/TAN check for a bit. I'm happy to see PP Euro well regarded around here which is valuable guidance.
 
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I will do UOA on PP Euro 5W40. I still have some 1,000 miles. Though mine is N52, so port injection and no turbo.
After that Castrol 0W30 to see how it does.
 
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I currently own a M54, two N52, a N54, a N55 and a 63. As I stated I have never heard of bearing issues with these motors. Perhaps I have not looked deep enough to find some complaints about bearings. All of these motors have their issues but I haven't heard much about bearings. I guess I've been lucky lol.

It happens once in a while on the N55 when driving in freezing temps. The motor will just randomly seize. Not nearly as bad as the N63, but often enough. Very important to get oil up to temp in the winter to boil off the moisture. BMW still does not know exactly why it happens. I have a feeling something is failing in the variable displacement oil pump (which the N55 and N63 share) causing the issue.

OP: I use PP Euro 5W40 in both my cars. Changed every 5k.
 
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I have a '14 BMW 535i N55 with a Stage 1 flash tune and I was looking for an LL-01 oil that would have more protection during spirited drives/autocross than the BMW LL-01FE 0W-30 oil. I would prefer a 0W-40 oil but since almost all are losing their LL-01 certification, I am looking elsewhere. Since we now know that LL-01 (2019) has been changed for better wear protection and deposit control, it would probably be good to stick to oil that continues to meet LL-01 (2019). I've been scouring through BITOG and have learned a lot but thought I would ask for some specific advice.

I have been looking at either the Motul X-cess Gen 2 5W-40 or PP Euro 5W-40 but I was worried about cold weather performance in the Detroit, MI area where temperatures during winter can be 0-10 F, and occasionally lower. I came across Ravenol's VST 5W-40 and it seems to have very good specs on paper. While still a 5W-40 oil, its KV40 and KV100 values are noticeably higher than Motul and Pennzoil. On the other hand, the CCS viscosity is very low: 4700 mPa*s vs. ~6000 for Motul and Pennzoil. Other specs like pour point, HTHS, and NOACK are also great. It seems like this has the cold temperature performance and robust high temp stability I'm looking for, essentially behaving like a 0W-40 it seems.

Thoughts? Seems too good to be true? Should I just run the BMW LL-01FE 0W-30 during the winter and switch to one of the 5W-40 oils during the summer only?
 
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I have a '14 BMW 535i N55 with a Stage 1 flash tune and I was looking for an LL-01 oil that would have more protection during spirited drives/autocross than the BMW LL-01FE 0W-30 oil. I would prefer a 0W-40 oil but since almost all are losing their LL-01 certification, I am looking elsewhere. Since we now know that LL-01 (2019) has been changed for better wear protection and deposit control, it would probably be good to stick to oil that continues to meet LL-01 (2019). I've been scouring through BITOG and have learned a lot but thought I would ask for some specific advice.

I have been looking at either the Motul X-cess Gen 2 5W-40 or PP Euro 5W-40 but I was worried about cold weather performance in the Detroit, MI area where temperatures during winter can be 0-10 F, and occasionally lower. I came across Ravenol's VST 5W-40 and it seems to have very good specs on paper. While still a 5W-40 oil, its KV40 and KV100 values are noticeably higher than Motul and Pennzoil. On the other hand, the CCS viscosity is very low: 4700 mPa*s vs. ~6000 for Motul and Pennzoil. Other specs like pour point, HTHS, and NOACK are also great. It seems like this has the cold temperature performance and robust high temp stability I'm looking for, essentially behaving like a 0W-40 it seems.

Thoughts? Seems too good to be true? Should I just run the BMW LL-01FE 0W-30 during the winter and switch to one of the 5W-40 oils during the summer only?
grabacrone, just days ago we had a member named Elnur troll an "N55 thread" about this very question. It was his first post, and your first post is very similar. Your post seems a bit suspicious to me.

Here is the other thread. https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/threads/bmw-n55-recommendations.327596/

Between all the replies on these two threads, exactly what hasn't been answered?

Scott
 
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I have a '14 BMW 535i N55 with a Stage 1 flash tune and I was looking for an LL-01 oil that would have more protection during spirited drives/autocross than the BMW LL-01FE 0W-30 oil. I would prefer a 0W-40 oil but since almost all are losing their LL-01 certification, I am looking elsewhere. Since we now know that LL-01 (2019) has been changed for better wear protection and deposit control, it would probably be good to stick to oil that continues to meet LL-01 (2019). I've been scouring through BITOG and have learned a lot but thought I would ask for some specific advice.

I have been looking at either the Motul X-cess Gen 2 5W-40 or PP Euro 5W-40 but I was worried about cold weather performance in the Detroit, MI area where temperatures during winter can be 0-10 F, and occasionally lower. I came across Ravenol's VST 5W-40 and it seems to have very good specs on paper. While still a 5W-40 oil, its KV40 and KV100 values are noticeably higher than Motul and Pennzoil. On the other hand, the CCS viscosity is very low: 4700 mPa*s vs. ~6000 for Motul and Pennzoil. Other specs like pour point, HTHS, and NOACK are also great. It seems like this has the cold temperature performance and robust high temp stability I'm looking for, essentially behaving like a 0W-40 it seems.

Thoughts? Seems too good to be true? Should I just run the BMW LL-01FE 0W-30 during the winter and switch to one of the 5W-40 oils during the summer only?

5w is no problem at -10, it is "good" to about -25 or so.

Of course if the car never actually parked outside overnight the oil itself will never get that cold anyway.
 
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grabacrone, just days ago we had a member named Elnur troll an "N55 thread" about this very question. It was his first post, and your first post is very similar. Your post seems a bit suspicious to me.

Here is the other thread. https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/threads/bmw-n55-recommendations.327596/

Between all the replies on these two threads, exactly what hasn't been answered?

Scott

I see. I have no relation to this other user. The reason for this post was to have a discussion on the Ravenol 5W-40 oil which seemingly has better performance than the Motul and Pennzoil that have previously been recommended. Furthermore, the Ravenol formulation also seems to have changed (for the better?) a few times since the last extended discussion thread in 2016-17, since the specs are different from what I see in that thread. The question was if this PAO-based 5W-40 would have better cold-weather performance and shear stability than the others.

Sorry for coming across as a troll but I have been a member for over a year, and this just happens to be my first post.
 
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No, an oil with a 5W winter rating will have substantially the same performance as any other oil with the same winter rating. If it is better than the criteria for a 5W rated oil then it must be labeled as a 0W rated oil.
 
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I see. I have no relation to this other user. The reason for this post was to have a discussion on the Ravenol 5W-40 oil which seemingly has better performance than the Motul and Pennzoil that have previously been recommended. Furthermore, the Ravenol formulation also seems to have changed (for the better?) a few times since the last extended discussion thread in 2016-17, since the specs are different from what I see in that thread. The question was if this PAO-based 5W-40 would have better cold-weather performance and shear stability than the others.

Sorry for coming across as a troll but I have been a member for over a year, and this just happens to be my first post.

According to the spec sheet the Ravenol is a "better" performing oil (more pumpable) in the cold compared to the Pennzoil. The Motul does not list a spec for it. Neither are as good as a 0w or as mentioned they would be labeled as such.
 
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Cranking differences will be minimal within the same rating, and as long as the oil does not gel in the vicinity of the pickup tube under shear both will be pumped.
 

Craig in Canada

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FWIW I've settled on PP Euro 5W40 for my next OCI which will be going into winter. M1 FS 0W40 is still in the back of my head, but I'd have to hear from someone else who observed "M1 noise" to see if it's gone with recent formulae. If it's the same as 15 years ago - I'm not interested. I'm not attempting to take this thread off topic on that, please note.

@grabacrone - I was previously unaware that the revisions to LL-01 were focused on deposits and cleanliness. In light of that I agree with you that sticking with an LL-01 (2019) certified oil could have advantages. I still flirt with the idea of going against BMW and running LL-04 / low SAPS while being diligent about UOAs until I get a feel for things. But the yellow bottles are already in my stash so... :)

[Not that anyone asked, but I didn't feel grabacrone sounded anything like the other guy]
 
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I still flirt with the idea of going against BMW and running LL-04 / low SAPS while being diligent about UOAs until I get a feel for things. But the yellow bottles are already in my stash so... :)
Is using a Longlife-04 oil going against BMW? With low-sulfur fuels now in widespread use throughout North America, what material difference in properties is there between LL-01 and LL-04?
 

Craig in Canada

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Is using a Longlife-04 oil going against BMW? With low-sulfur fuels now in widespread use throughout North America, what material difference in properties is there between LL-01 and LL-04?

Well - the up to date recommended oils in my country and with my engine is LL-01. Other engines are -04, -12, -14 but mine is -01.

For all I know, they'll issue an update bulletin tomorrow saying it's OK to run LL-04 in the US and Canada in the N55, but to my knowledge they haven't yet. There's a specific footnote that says something to the effect of "no LL-04 in gasoline engines outside of Europe".

So - ya - going against BMW 😆

I think it was mentioned here that the Canada ULSG regulations are averages and batches are allowed to substantially exceed the required average. With that sort of thing you wonder if "batches" of high octane might not end up high sulphur all the time or who knows.... With "averages" and no "limits" one would just have to proceed carefully. "Averages" achieve the environmental goals but can still leave the individual vulnerable.

If I did it, I'd be doing UOAs for sure.
 
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Yes, I've participated in those discussions about the averages and so forth, but I got educated that it really isn't a problem. I could try and find the threads but the bottom line is that it's a non-issue. If I had a BMW that cared I would not go through the time and effort to do UOA.

And that restriction in the old BMW bulletin about "outside of Europe" is way outdated considering the subsequent reduction in sulfur here in NA.
 
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I've used LL-04 rated oils a few times in my car (which requires LL-01) here in the US and have two UOA's showing a good TBN number remaining after 7500 miles. Both were Pennzoil Platinum Euro L 5W-30. I would not hesitate to use an LL-04 oil in an LL-01 application.
 
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Thanks for the insight. Due to the current pandemic and upcoming winter, I might be doing shorter, local trips with some longer, spirited drives. It will be garaged and low temps <0 F (-18 C) are maybe only seen a few days a year so perhaps I can switch to a 5W oil and be fine. @Craig in Canada The latest formulation of PP Euro 5W-40 with API SP is LL-01 approved so I assume it meets the 2019 standard.

It seems that to meet LL-01 (2019), only 5W-30/40 oils and BMW's own 0W-30 continue to meet the standard. It is hard to say why a lot of 0W oils have lost LL-01 (as has been discussed on other threads) but LL-04 0W oils still exist. I would assume if the standard was updated for "oxidation stability, deposit control, and oil life," LL-04 would also require the same since it is just a low-SAPS formulation. I might consider moving to an LL-04 oil to get more choice in 0W oils.
 
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Craig in Canada

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@Craig in Canada The latest formulation of PP Euro 5W-40 with API SP is LL-01 approved so I assume it meets the 2019 standard.

That is also how I interpret the PDS and label, and why that was my choice at the conclusion of this exercise.

It seems that to meet LL-01 (2019), only 5W-30/40 oils and BMW's own 0W-30 continue to meet the standard. It is hard to say why a lot of 0W oils have lost LL-01 (as has been discussed on other threads) but LL-04 0W oils still exist. I would assume if the standard was updated for "oxidation stability, deposit control, and oil life," LL-04 would also require the same since it is just a low-SAPS formulation. I might consider moving to an LL-04 oil to get more choice in 0W oils.

I agree, I may still go LL-04 in the end.
 
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Thanks for the insight. Due to the current pandemic and upcoming winter, I might be doing shorter, local trips with some longer, spirited drives. It will be garaged and low temps <0 F (-18 C) are maybe only seen a few days a year so perhaps I can switch to a 5W oil and be fine. @Craig in Canada The latest formulation of PP Euro 5W-40 with API SP is LL-01 approved so I assume it meets the 2019 standard.

It seems that to meet LL-01 (2019), only 5W-30/40 oils and BMW's own 0W-30 continue to meet the standard. It is hard to say why a lot of 0W oils have lost LL-01 (as has been discussed on other threads) but LL-04 0W oils still exist. I would assume if the standard was updated for "oxidation stability, deposit control, and oil life," LL-04 would also require the same since it is just a low-SAPS formulation. I might consider moving to an LL-04 oil to get more choice in 0W oils.
LL01 (2018 update) has even more stringent oxidation requirements. That is where the issue is. Update has new engines tests (N20/26 and B generation). For N51/52/54 and 55, it really does not matter these new requirements. Any MB229.5 oil would be fine.
BMW's 0W30 is not ACEA A3, C3, heavy 0W oil, but ACEA A5, with HTHS around 3.
 
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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.
As of January 2020 all gasoline sold in the US must be ultra-low sulfur gasoline. So, and LL04 oil is now safe to use in a gasoline engine.
 
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