I'm questioning my own Sanity. Considering 0W20 in stead of 5W40..

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Jun 17, 2003
Montreal, Canada

I think I've hit rock bottom, and need (as pscholte so eloquently said) "good counselling."

Little bio on the car in question, it's a 1999 BMW 328i. So that makes it an I6.

Manufacturer requires A3 rated oil. Thus far I've been using the elixir of life during the winter time (GC) and M1's 0W40 during the summer time. I've now just tried Motul's 5W40 and am quite pleased with it.

But, I think I've smelled too much of the Motul oil during the oil change, because now I want to try 0W20 this winter, and possibly all year round.

Help.... I need someone to knock some sense into me.
I wouldn't do it, but it would be a great experiment. If you go only 3,000 miles, it probably woudn't do any harm.
What are the requirements?? If it calls for a 40 wt oil then personally I wouldn't do it.

I did a mix of 50/50 Redline 20 wt. and 30 wt. But there are several issues here: First a 30 wt is called for, its a cheaper car, the Redline has lots of Moly and a better base (Ester), and the mix still puts it in the lower 30 wt. class. The oly reason to lower viscosity is economy. Probably not an issue for you
I am reluctant to go outside the envelope of what my owners' manual says, and I doubt yours saws XW-20 under any circumstances. Still engines don't read engine manuals. It is just like the dogs, where I actually know what I am talking about. They don't read books either, although sometimes digest them. There have been some amazingly good UOA's posted here on XW-20, and I doubt your engine has radically larger clearances and lower volume oil pump than theirs. It is cold in Montreal in the winter. Do you do lots of cold starts and short trips? Do you get on the Queen's highway and go pounding off to Toronto? In some driving, the 0W-20 may have enough better flow to give the engine better protection.

I would do an UOA with the winter fill before risking it in the summer.
Oh wow! I thought I couldn't leave well enough alone. I had decent results with M1 0W-40 in my VW 1.8T so I decided to try Amsoil 5W-40 and now I'm doing a run of Pentosynth 5W-40.
Asmodeus, please take pictures of your camshaft, cam lobes, and cam bearings after you get the new parts installed.
I'm glad that some of my sanity is returning.

Firstly, I thought Motul's 0W20 was A3 rated.

Montreal winters get very cold. -35C is not unheard of, it's actually quite comon.

Most of my driving is either home to university where the car is parked outside, clubbing where the car is once again parked outside and Church, where you guessed it, outside again.

the BMW manual doesn't speak of any oil other than the BMW high performance engine oil, which isn't much more than Castrol syntec 5W30. 0W30 is used in the wintertime given how a TSB was issued concerning the VANOS (BMW's answer to Vtec
)would clog up on cold starts.

Price wise, it's the same thing between 5W40 and 0W20, roughly $35 for a 2L jug.

After slapping myself around a bit, I thought of doing a 1:3 mixture of Motul 0W20 to GC as a winter blend.

And I don't go past 5000Km between oil changes, with the current exception of xW40 for which I change the filter after 5k Km, then do a full oil change at 10k Km.

Mind you, I'm thinking of going from M1's 0W40 to Motul's 5W30 for the summer time, IF Motul's is as shear stable (or more so) than M1's.

Only 25 and I'm already having an oil mid-life crisis.
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