Castrol 0W-30 has changed; non LL-01 vs LL-01 versions

Hello:

I've been using German/Belgium Castrol 0W-30 for years on both our BMWs, and more recently on our Passat VR6 (for it's first couple of OCIs).

As must of you know, 0W-30 no longer has BMW's LL-01 approval. As I understand it, it's because BMW LL-01 oils can no longer be 0W-xx. Doesn't matter. Even with the lack of a LL-01 approval, that won't stop me from using it. I think the "Euro" Castrol 0W-30 is good oil and I have several UOAs from two cars to prove it.

Anyway, I recently ordered two cases from Amazon. Although I've ordered it from Amazon before, for this order I wanted to make sure I didn't get counterfeit oil. That's why I did this VOA.

I'm certain the oil I got is the real thing, although the formula has changed since my last 0W-30 UOA/VOAs. The ones I tested in 2014 were the LL-01 versions. This latest 2020 is not. That said, this doesn't mean the LL-01 approved formula hadn't been changed since my earlier UOA/VOAs.

Where before the oil had the somewhat balanced Ca/Mg add pack, the new version has the high Ca/low Mg that seems to be in vogue now days. In fact, it looks a lot like the 0W-40 Castrol Passat VR6 UOA I just posted, just thicker.


And then TiGeo just posted a VOA of Castrol 5W-40. Same add pack combo.


What I see here is that Castrol's A3/B4 oils (0W-30, 0W-40, and 5W-40) have the same add packs now.

The first VOA is from Nov 2020. The other is from Nov 2014. This is not cause for alarm. It's just an FYI for "German Castrol" users.

Enjoy,

Scott
 

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Messages
4,978
Location
Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
Besides being a very good oil for motor vehicles, it is also a good oil for decent size electric motors.

Several years ago the blower motor on our forced air furnace was making a high pitch squealing noise. I removed it from the furnace and took it apart because the seal on the outside around the shaft made it too hard to get oil in. Inside there were felt washers between the cindered sleeve bearings and the motor armature ( on both sides of the motor ). I saturated those felt washers with GC ( German Castrol 0W - 30 ) and put it back together and back in the furnace. It has been running fine ever since then.

And shortly after that fix, the motor for the milling machine section of my Shop-Task combination Mill and Lathe machine started running very slow. That motor is mounted with the drive shaft pointing straight up and a multi step different diameters v belt pulley mounted directly above it. I put some GC oil on the shaft of that motor where it comes out of the frame just below the pulley, and it has ran fine ever since.
 
Messages
158
Location
DFW, TX
Thanks for posting. My OPINION ,although I know I’m right 😂...well, about this anyway: there have been a number of formula changes between your 2014 and 2020 samples. If anyone else still cares about this increasingly hard to find oil, here are my thoughts/experiences over the years. Somewhere in there, they added Ti, maybe shortly after your 2014 sample was manufactured. I have 3 UOA’s: from late 2016, late 2018, and most recently as well. my 2016 sample showed Ti, along with the more balanced CaMg as you mentioned. it’s likely I used USA Castrol 5w30 for the 1/4 - 1/2 qt top up near the end, so not necessarily a true reflection of the GC, but too much Mg in the UOA to blame on 1/4 qt top off. Besides, your 2014 VOA is somewhat consistent with that result. My 2018 UOA showed strong bias toward Ca as you noted on your 2020 VOA. I’m going to guess that 2018 UOA was 2016 or 2017 vintage GC. Odd that Moly went to near zero, but rebounded in my 2020 UOA. Earlier this year, I picked up a single quart of GC with a late 2019 code, basically for free with a PepBoys coupon, and the label had changed, and no more LL01. It’s still on my shelf. I’m going to assume your 2020 VOA reflects its formula. Last week, I found some 2017 vintage GC (with LL01) at Advanced Auto, so picked up 5 qts to get their special Oil Change deal with a bogus filter...not as cheap as it used to be, but still acceptable. Meanwhile, the car is now filled with a mix: 2qt 0w30 GC (2017 vintage) with LL01, and 2.3qt of the 0w40 GC (I should look at the date code, but bought this year...heck, it might not be LL01???).

OK, probably too much obsession with GC, considering it goes into a Subaru.

By the way, for your UOA’s, Amsoil/Polaris will include the TBN, fuel dilution, plus gives oxidation & nitration readings. My most recent UOA, handwritten into the Blackstone table, is from Polaris. This car may only get one more UOA before retirement, since I sample only every 2nd or 3rd fill, but I think GC has been very very good to it.
 

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Last edited:
Messages
1,469
Location
Richmond, VA area
Hello:

I've been using German/Belgium Castrol 0W-30 for years on both our BMWs, and more recently on our Passat VR6 (for it's first couple of OCIs).

As must of you know, 0W-30 no longer has BMW's LL-01 approval. As I understand it, it's because BMW LL-01 oils can no longer be 0W-xx. Doesn't matter. Even with the lack of a LL-01 approval, that won't stop me from using it. I think the "Euro" Castrol 0W-30 is good oil and I have several UOAs from two cars to prove it.

Anyway, I recently ordered two cases from Amazon. Although I've ordered it from Amazon before, for this order I wanted to make sure I didn't get counterfeit oil. That's why I did this VOA.

I'm certain the oil I got is the real thing, although the formula has changed since my last 0W-30 UOA/VOAs. The ones I tested in 2014 were the LL-01 versions. This latest 2020 is not. That said, this doesn't mean the LL-01 approved formula hadn't been changed since my earlier UOA/VOAs.

Where before the oil had the somewhat balanced Ca/Mg add pack, the new version has the high Ca/low Mg that seems to be in vogue now days. In fact, it looks a lot like the 0W-40 Castrol Passat VR6 UOA I just posted, just thicker.


And then TiGeo just posted a VOA of Castrol 5W-40. Same add pack combo.


What I see here is that Castrol's A3/B4 oils (0W-30, 0W-40, and 5W-40) have the same add packs now.

The first VOA is from Nov 2020. The other is from Nov 2014. This is not cause for alarm. It's just an FYI for "German Castrol" users.

Enjoy,

Scott
Looks the same as the 5W40 Edge with a little more Ti. Why are folks so jazzed by this oil?
 
Messages
11,705
Location
Colorado Springs
Looks the same as the 5W40 Edge with a little more Ti. Why are folks so jazzed by this oil?
Bcs. unlike 5W40 it is PAO based with much better shear stability and thermal stability. Similar is true for 0W40 comapred to 5W40.
Yesterday I saw UOA of 5W40 vs. 0W40 in N52 BMW engine after 5K.
5W40
Sheared down from 14.2 to 12.23.
Flash point 400
Higher Iron and AL numbers

0W40:
Sheared down from 13.1 to 12.2
Flash: 440 (basically intact)
Lower Iron and AL.
No lifter tick per owner during start, unlike with 5W40.
 
Messages
775
Location
GA
Bcs. unlike 5W40 it is PAO based with much better shear stability and thermal stability. Similar is true for 0W40 comapred to 5W40.
Yesterday I saw UOA of 5W40 vs. 0W40 in N52 BMW engine after 5K.
5W40
Sheared down from 14.2 to 12.23.
Flash point 400
Higher Iron and AL numbers

0W40:
Sheared down from 13.1 to 12.2
Flash: 440 (basically intact)
Lower Iron and AL.
No lifter tick per owner during start, unlike with 5W40.

The recent Castrol 5W-40 A3/B4 (with MB 229.5 approval) has 100C vicosity of 12.8 (per PDS dated July 28, 2020)
 
Messages
11,705
Location
Colorado Springs
The recent Castrol 5W-40 A3/B4 (with MB 229.5 approval) has 100C vicosity of 12.8 (per PDS dated July 28, 2020)
Did not see that change. This Castrol was prior to that. Highly doubt it will maintain shear stability as 0W40 considering it is still HC oil.
 
Messages
728
Location
EU
Because of HC it would be a 5W-40 instead of a 0W-40, but less "shear stable"? Where's that new coloration coming from?
 
Messages
728
Location
EU
I thought that read as if you highly doubted it would "maintain shear stability as 0W40 considering it is still HC oil" and so I wanted to ask about halfway convincing reasoning.
 
Messages
11,705
Location
Colorado Springs
I thought that read as if you highly doubted it would "maintain shear stability as 0W40 considering it is still HC oil" and so I wanted to ask about halfway convincing reasoning.
I mean it will shear more than 0W40. KV100 will drop, not that oil will become 0W40.
 
Messages
11,705
Location
Colorado Springs
As long as shear stability doesn't become a matter of PAO alkanes against HC alkanes...
Will see what newer UOA says. But looks pretty unremarkable package. What I think they did is lower KV100 to drop Noack so it can be approved for MB229.5. HTHS is probably in range with Castrol 0W30.
 
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