Help me pick an oil :-)

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I just picked up a 1992 BMW 325is. What oil would you recommend? Thanks! BTW- I live in NorCal; the owners manual says you can use an oil as high as 20w-50 and as low as 5w-20 depending on the ambient temperature...
 
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for the temp range in your area, you will probably find that either 10w40 or 5w40 is the best. I would seek out a 5w40 "European" oil (amsoil and mobil 1 have one) as it should meet all of the BMW specs
 

BimmerMan

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 Originally Posted By: jorton
Do you know if the previous owner used the same grade every oil change? Was it synthetic?
I don't know about the same grade, but the current oil smells like Mobil 1. Mobil 1 has a distinct smell to it...hehe
 
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I would run a decent 15w-40 HDEO as long as my ambient temps permitted it. I doubt if you would ever have a day of trouble doing this....temperature permitting.
 
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 Originally Posted By: BimmerMan
 Originally Posted By: jorton
Do you know if the previous owner used the same grade every oil change? Was it synthetic?
I don't know about the same grade, but the current oil smells like Mobil 1. Mobil 1 has a distinct smell to it...hehe
I don't have any Mobil 1. By any chance does it smell a little like bleach?
 
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In NoCal I'd say you are ok with 15w-40 all year, but 10w-40 Hi-Miles is a good pick too. If you take short trips and/or have minimal consumption, you might want to experiment with 10w-30 in cool temps. I would start with 10w-30 dino and Auto-Rx. Interesting the manual permits 5w-20. can you get an image of that? TIA.
 

BimmerMan

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 Originally Posted By: Audi Junkie
Interesting the manual permits 5w-20. can you get an image of that? TIA.
Here you go... Oil
 

BimmerMan

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 Originally Posted By: jorton
I don't have any Mobil 1. By any chance does it smell a little like bleach?
I don't think I would say it smells like bleach...But I don't know, it's hard to describe.
 
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 Originally Posted By: BimmerMan
 Originally Posted By: Audi Junkie
Interesting the manual permits 5w-20. can you get an image of that? TIA.
Here you go... Oil
After looking at your manual,it looks like 15W50 or 20W50 would be your best choice since you`re in a warm/hot climate.
 
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Yeah, it seems biased toward thicker oil. Funny to see the 5w-20 there, down near +18f! Thanks for getting that pic though. I'd still consider 10w-30, especially if you are going to do a UOA. I used GTX 10w-30 in the Volvo and it did not burn a drop. MaxLife 10w-30 might be good too, with all that moly. Newer oils can protect better with a thinner visc grade than their older cousins could.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Audi Junkie
Yeah, it seems biased toward thicker oil. Funny to see the 5w-20 there, down near +18f! Thanks for getting that pic though. I'd still consider 10w-30, especially if you are going to do a UOA. I used GTX 10w-30 in the Volvo and it did not burn a drop. MaxLife 10w-30 might be good too, with all that moly. Newer oils can protect better with a thinner visc grade than their older cousins could.
+1 on MaxLife 10w-30
 
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 Originally Posted By: BimmerMan
 Originally Posted By: jorton
I don't have any Mobil 1. By any chance does it smell a little like bleach?
I don't think I would say it smells like bleach...But I don't know, it's hard to describe.
YEAH, I noticed that my last oil change, M1's distinct smell, its kinda funky.
 
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I did a lot of research on the topic of oil and came to the conclusion that Royal Purple was my choice. Even after running Mobil 1 synthetic forever. I read every post on Bimmerforums and just about every Google hit on the topic. The initial recommendation to me by them(RP Engineer) was 10W -30, living in the Southeast. The particular guy I spoke to, races in GT3 SCCA competition. So he has some experience to say the least. They say to run the thinest oil your car can take. If consumption was noticable, then go up to the 5W - 40. My car doesn't consume much, if any, which I was surprised after reading about other M3's. It didn't consume a drop after a weekend at VIR full course. The cost is not much more than Mobil 1 but a heck of lot less than the BMW Castrol 10W - 60. So start with 10w30, then go to 10w40 or 5w40. Penn YB and V WB are also excellent choices as well as PP and V synthetic. So PP, V/S or RP would be my choices. Thick oil does not necessarily lube better. You just need oil of sufficient tenacity and film strength, and anything thicker just makes the engine more sluggish, but does not prolong its life.
 
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