Dealer Oil - BMW *special additives*

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Jul 17, 2003
New York
Is there such a thing as *special additives* designed for a particular brand of a car. Just browswing some bme messageboards and alot always say *Just use the OEM BMW oil since it has special additives that are tuned for car. I know that the BMW Castrol is synthetic can could these additives somehow be better for my car than other oil that I am using and others I'm planning to try (Redline 5W30, GC, Amsoil 2K and also the Mobil SUV).
There is nothing special about BMW synthetic, many suspect that it is rebadged Castrol TXT Softec Plus 5W-30 sold in Europe. There are no brand specific additives AFAIK, you'll be fine with many other oils. If you're still worried just make sure that the oil you use meets BMW LL-98 or LL-01 specs or at least ACEA A3/B3.
I've used BMW 5-30 for over 70k mi.. I doubt it is re-packaged TXT Softec. For one, it's 4.00/qt. Second, nowhere on the bottle does it say it is made in Germany. It does say, made in US by Castrol NA. If it was the same stuff, there would be no reason to have it in the same Euro. bottles as this is how the TWS 10-60 is sold (at $10-13/qt). And we here have established that most liketly it is a group III based on the data (VOA?).

In either case, to answer the original question...I think what's being said is that...due to the OCI's being 10k, only use BMW-spec'd oil as this one has the "correct/necessary/vital" BMW addatives to allow for safe engine operation. eg. M-1 5-30 is not BMW LL, therefore, it would not suffice as a suitable replacement for the BMW synth. 5-30 whereas the GC 0-30 would.
BMW oil is Castrol Syntec 5w30 for the standard engines. Ony the M3, M5, and Z8 use the TWS 10w60.
Any good synthetic will do fine for the 15k intervals that BMW is now using. BMW recommends oil changes at 15k, or annually, whichever comes first.
On the stickers under the hood, there is a recommended oil, like "BMW High Performance Oil", and a phone number to call for other approved oils.
The caps say "BMW recommends Castrol" on some....nothing special. Just be sure to use synthetic oil for the 15k intervals....something that Jiffy Lube probably wouldn't give a hoot about.
BMW High Performance Synthetic oil is not the same as Castrol Syntec. 5W-30 Castrol Syntec is rated ACEA A5/B1 and 5W-30 BMW High Performance Synthetic oil is rated ACEA A3/B3. They are also in a different style of bottles. The BMW HP Syn oil has a high temperature high shear viscosity of >3.5 cSt @150 C while Syntec 5W-30 has an HT/HS viscosity of 2.92 cSt @150 C.

Most oils that are rated ACEA A5/B5, A3/B3, or A3/B3/B4 will work very well for long oil change intervals.

[ February 21, 2004, 02:59 AM: Message edited by: Sin City ]
Correct, BMW Synth. in NOT Castrol Syntec 5-30. It is either the TXT Softec Plus as mentioned by F1Crazy or it is a proprietary BMW-specific formula.

In either case, IMHO and experience only an A3 rated oil will be able to go the distance 10k mi.. An A1 5-30 synth. such as M-1 will not without serious consumption. So is there a difference? You be the judge...
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