European Castrol for BMWs and Minis?

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I have never posted a question in this part of BITOG, but I ran across some information that I wanted to check out. I read about "European Castrol" fully synthetic engine oil. This oil is supposedly recommended by BMW for use in their cars (BMWs and Minis). It is not the same as the Castrol Syntec that you can buy at Wal-Mart. It is made by "Castrol Of Europe" and is a 100% synthetic that meets ACEA: A3/B3 and API: SL/CF Service. It is about $4.00 a quart and is available in the U.S., only from BMW/Mini dealers. Is the oil described above made by "Castrol of Europe", what is referred to as "German Castrol"? If this oil above, is better than Castrol Syntec you buy off the shelf, does this mean that it contains PAO's like Mobil 1? Any ideas or opinions on the information I came across? Thanks in advance!
 
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It is not the GC every one refers to here. GC is sold at Auto Zone is 0w-30 and has "made in Germany" on the back. It meets BMW - LL01 and A3/B3, B4 along with other MB / VW specs and is porsche approved. My MBW dealer sells the BMW 5w-30 for about $10 a quart even though the BMW accessories catalog shows a price of $4.60 a quart. There are a couple of VOAs of this oil: BMW synthetic 5w-30 The oil is ACEA A3/B3 and BMW LL01 approved. Not many 5w-30s will meet the ACEA A3 rating. A3/B3 Stable, stay-in-grade oil intended for use in high performance gasoline and car + light van diesel engines and/or for extended drain intervals where specified by the engine manufacturer, and/or for year-round use of low viscosity oils, and/or for sever operating conditions as defined by the engine manufacturer. ACEA European oil specs
 
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I'm new to this site, and trying to make sense of (what seem to be) numerous lube specs which are new to me. I drive a 2 litre BMW 3-series turbo-diesel, (150bhp): the oil which BMW used and recommended last year is Castrol SLX 0W30 API SL/CF ACEA A3/B3/B4, MB 229.3. BMW longlife etc. Today it was serviced (12k or so) and they've used "SLX LL04". This oil has an additional ACEA rating of C3, but they've dropped the API ratings. Both state "Manufacturered in the EU" You may be interested/shocked to learn that it's on my bill at the equivalent of $24 per litre Hence I'd like to be able to buy this, or its equivalent, independantly. I'd be happy to supply photographs if anyone is interested.
 
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I'd be happy to supply photographs if anyone is interested.
Sure that would be good. [Cheers!] I think what was put in your car was the new low SAP 0w-30 Formula. It's basically the lower Calcium, Gold version we might be seeing here in the US. Not positive though.
 
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In order to prolong the durability of the DPF the so called ‘Low SAPS’ oils are required. Castrol’s `Clean Performance TechnologyTM` is a totally new ‘Low SAPS’ formulation containing lower levels of Sulphated Ash, Phosphorous and Sulphur compared with conventional oils.
LOW SAPS is most likely the Gold GC. Lowered the Calcium and raised the Mg. [Smile]
 
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Originally posted by Jonnybrit: I'm new to this site, and trying to make sense of (what seem to be) numerous lube specs which are new to me. I drive a 2 litre BMW 3-series turbo-diesel, (150bhp): the oil which BMW used and recommended last year is Castrol SLX 0W30 API SL/CF ACEA A3/B3/B4, MB 229.3. BMW longlife etc. Today it was serviced (12k or so) and they've used "SLX LL04". This oil has an As is this...New GTX9 additional ACEA rating of C3, but they've dropped the API ratings. Both state "Manufacturered in the EU" You may be interested/shocked to learn that it's on my bill at the equivalent of $24 per litre Hence I'd like to be able to buy this, or its equivalent, independantly. I'd be happy to supply photographs if anyone is interested.
This is probably what you got. This is interesting too..Longlife III As is this...new GTX 9 I would like to see spec sheets on these 3 new oils to see if they are all A3/B3; I suspect Longlife III is A5/B5 but I don't know. It's a shame what they charged you for the oil because GC is a $21/litre oil in Europe but we get it for around $5.00. I am believing your BMW dealer gets it for far cheaper than what he is charging you for it. [Frown]
 
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Jb and Paranoil, Many thanks for your info: I printed the LL04 page...some interesting notes: LL04 is indeed C3; it is also SM, 12.3 cSt (thick), HT/HS 3.5 AND the TBN is only 6.7. I will tell you all (and it probably has already occurred to you faster minds), as Euro blenders target specific specs/OEMs with their oils, we need to be careful about our recommendations. For example, an oil that works magnificently at long intervals in a BMW designed engine with 8L capacity may NOT work well AT LONG OCIs in some other engine. I think this increases the importance of UOAs...PROPERLY INTERPRETED. (I think what makes GC is SO great is that it is not SO SPECIFICALLY formulated as some other of Castrol's oils.
 
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All of this makes me hesistant on trying the GC. Their are so many variations of this oil that it's kind of ridiculous. How do I know what oil I am getting without doing all this research? This is why I usually prefer the Mobil's, Redline's and Amsoil's bc they chemistry is consistant across the board and ALL the blending is done by the Actual companies themselves. Reality is, Castrol makes one stellar oil...the rest are nothing to brag about. My .02.
 
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Originally posted by buster: All of this makes me hesistant on trying the GC. Their are so many variations of this oil that it's kind of ridiculous. How do I know what oil I am getting without doing all this research? This is why I usually prefer the Mobil's, Redline's and Amsoil's bc they chemistry is consistant across the board and ALL the blending is done by the Actual companies themselves.
buster, If you lived in Europe you probably would not change your own oil and the change facility would use the properly targeted oil for you; nonetheless, if you did change your own oil you might find that only the broader spectrum oils (like regular SLX) would be mass marketed. Even then, as an enthusiast you would know which version to use. The problem we have, although we can get a good perspective from the specs on the bottle, is we don't know for sure which version of SLX we are getting in GC. I suspect Castrol is using one of the broader targeted versions...they don't need any unhappy consumers with the bias they already (in some cases justifiably) experience. An interesting note...note how quickly Castrol, a true global marketer, I would say even different in perspective than Mobil, responds to changes in American specs. I think it is quite interesting that LL04 is ALREADY SM.
 
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pscholte that is a good point. I guess I'm looking at it from a convenience perspective. If I lived in Europe, I wouldn't want someone to be changing the oil for me if I could go out and buy a better product elsewhere and do it myself, much like most of us do on here already. Then again, if I lived in Europe I'd be trying a very small matchbox car or would be taking public transportation most of the time.
 
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Originally posted by buster: pscholte that is a good point. I guess I'm looking at it from a convenience perspective. If I lived in Europe, I wouldn't want someone to be changing the oil for me if I could go out and buy a better product elsewhere and do it myself, much like most of us do on here already.
I think you would find the culture and environmental concerns (e.g. oil disposal) would put great pressure on you to let someone else do it. To show you how different things are, when I lived in Germany in the early 80s you were not to disturb peace with a gasoline mower (we used a "pusher") and you could get in trouble if a neighbor could smell your grill (that is if YOUR fumes DRIFTED into THEIR yard). Now let me point out, the Germans were VERY FRIENDLY and CORDIAL neighbors...that is just the way things are viewed there.
 
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You have a point. BTW, on the way home from Lake Tahoe I was sitting next to a nice German Girl. She was only 20. Had a strong accent, but it was cute. Very nice girl. Lived in a town outside of Frankfurt (about 1.5 hours away) that began with a "K". Can't remember. She shared some interesting things about Germany.
 
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Originally posted by buster: You have a point. BTW, on the way home from Lake Tahoe I was sitting next to a nice German Girl. She was only 20. Had a strong accent, but it was cute. Very nice girl. Lived in a town outside of Frankfurt (about 1.5 hours away) that began with a "K". Can't remember. She shared some interesting things about Germany.
Karlsruhe? Kaiserslautern?
 
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Hmmmm...more like the second I believe. My wife's two friends from High School both live and teach in Germany. They love it. I know from my work experience with the Germans I work with, and this car I met on the plane, that they seem to like Italy. Good weather and food. In fact, her favorite Euro country was Italy. [I dont know]
 
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