Just bought a BMW, looking for advice

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Nov 14, 2002
Rhode Island
Well, just took the plunge and bought our first BMW. I have spent the last several hours researching here on the oil. So far, here is my findings: 1. Factory fill won't go 15K miles 2. Castrol 0W-30 SLW may be a really good way to go 3. I need to change more often, but not reset computer. OK, I am looking for recommendations on oil for my changes. I am leaning to the Castrol 0W-30 (SLX-Green stuff [Big Grin] ) but don't know where to find it or what the bottle looks like. Thanks for any input.
vettenuts what weight is recomended. It is usaly a good idea to start with manufactures recomendation and work up or down from their. If a 30 weight is on the list for ambient temps then their is no reason to not use it. I think a good solid synthetic 30 weight is a good place to start! Their is only one thing that bothers me about GC 0W30. The low amounts of AW/EP additives worrys me a bit.
You could also use M1 0w-40, which unlike the Castrol is widely available and will be here for years to come. Definitely change the oil every 7500 or so and ignore the service lights for the engine oil, contrary to BMW's claims. Also, the transmission can be serviced on that car. Go to roadfly.org and look up your model there should be information about trans fluid changes. If you can't find any information on the trans service, do a search for Kurt Koeller, he can provide information. Cary
SLX 0W-30 is a good choice, it used to be BMW factory fill for European market cars, only recently it has changed to 0W-40. For New Generation Valvetronic engines SLX version FE01 is used as factory fill. You don't have many choices here in N.A. if you're going to keep using oil meeting ACEA A3/B3 and BMW LL-98 or LL-01 specs. The only oils I know of meeting all these specs are German made Syntec 0W-30, M1 0W-40 and BMW Synthetic 5W-30. During break-in period (1,200 miles for initial per BMW, 15K for complete IMO) I changed oil every 5K miles with BMW Synthetic. I haven't seen a bad UOA from this oil. I will do UOA on mine after approx. 7,5K miles and then just out of curiosity will try GC for comparison. Oil change on a BMW is very easy, there are also a few other maintenance procedures you can do yourself, here is a good site with nice DIYs: http://www.bmw325i.net/
Originally posted by JohnBrowning: Their is only one thing that bothers me about GC 0W30. The low amounts of AW/EP additives worrys me a bit.
Why? It's shown excellent wear numbers in UOAs, so obviously their formula is working well. I think the high amount of calcium is helping out in this regard, and perhaps it has other AW/EP additives not detected in a normal UOA. I think Amsoil 5w30 would also be an excellent choice in this car too, as it's also a very high 30wt. Another good choice might be the Belgian made 5w40 Castrol, which I believe many BMW dealers stock. [ September 23, 2003, 07:50 PM: Message edited by: Patman ]
The BMW High Performance Synthetic oil is only about $4.00 per quart at most BMW dealerships. What many BMW owners are doing is changing the oil at 7,500 miles and not reseting the service indicator light on the dash until the next oil change at 15,000 miles is done. If you are getting free oil changes done every 15,000 miles from the dealer than I would suggest using the BMW HP Syn/Castrol oil and changing it at the half way point betweem the free dealer changes and installing a new oil filter at the First 7,500 mile point and then just let the dealer put a new oil fillter on every 15,000 miles along with the free oil change from that point on. My BMW dealer says they will reset the light for no charge if I just bring the car in. My wife has an older BMW that requires an oil change every 10,000 miles so I change the oil every 5,000 miles and I also put a new oil filter on every other oil change at 10,000 miles and have the dealer reset the service indicator light on the dash. The other commonly used choices for oil are are the German Castrol 0W-30 and Mobil One 0W-40.
Also the BMW High Performance Sythetic Oil is an ACEA rated A3/B3 oil so it is superior to the regular Syntec. It is much closer to the "German" Castrol 0W-30 and the Mobil One 0W-40 than to the regular Syntec or Mobil One xx-30.
Originally posted by Sin City: Also the BMW High Performance Synthetic Oil is an ACEA rated A3/B3 oil so it is superior to the regular Syntec. It is much closer to the "German" Castrol 0W-30 and the Mobil One 0W-40 than to the regular Syntec or Mobil One xx-30.
Many here, myself included, believe that BMW High Performance Synthetic is just rebottled Castrol TXT Softec Plus 5W-30. Here is its data sheet if anyone cares to check it out. Does anyone know what color is described as 7,0-9,0, BMW HP Synthetic is reddish amber.
sort of [Off Topic!] I did a Marathon today...13 Autozones in Denver; 2 had GC; 2 had red label mixed component; 1 had no 0W30 at all and the rest had Old Yeller, some of it having a layer of dust on it...you know like a L A Y E R of dust on it. All the GC was from the TAG 785 batch. I have gotten specific and am now only buying the T/W......batch so I didn't buy ANY. Denver members...the GC is there, but tough to find. The stores that had it were the one on 3701 N Kipling in Wheat Ridge and 1194 S Federal Blvd in Denver.
Originally posted by pscholte: All the GC was from the TAG 785 batch. I have gotten specific and am now only buying the T/W......batch so I didn't buy ANY. Denver members...the GC is there, but tough to find.
What is "TAG 785"? What is "T/W"? What is "GC"? Thanks
Patman it worrys me because it is not well tested yet. It seems odd that everyone else requardless of the base stock has been beefing up their additive package. Why lower it to such low levels in GC? What happens when the film is interupted and contact occurs? Well if you do not have enough AW/EP additives that can mean trouble. More importantly how does this affect long drain intervals? We know that over based calcium add's only act as EP/AW additives for 1500-3000 miles or so then they no longer provide this type of protection. Ester base stocks still require flow to best protect. A plated up part does not require flow to protect. I like the idea of organic metalic additve plateing the parts! A prime example of the improtance of additives is the constant improvement by M1 with each reformulation. This can be seen between Tri-Syn and current SS. THe GC is a step in the right direction by Castrol after they sold us out with group III oils. I still do not trust them and am looking forward to alot more UOA on this product. P.S. It would also help if I could actualy buy some and test it myself!! I almost belive the GC is one big joke seeing how it is no place to be found in my state!!! After about months of looking I gave up and ordered some Redline!
"TAG785" and "T/W" are part of the lot numbers of "GC", which is German Castrol. Early "TAG785" batches seem to have higher levels of iron which suggests slight contamination, but at levels not likely to harm anything. BMW specifically approves of Mobil 1 5W-30 in E46s (current 3-series) and E39s ('97-'03 5-series) (what BMW do you have?), but I can tell you that Mobil 1 0W-40 and German Castrol 0W-30 also work well and are probably better because they meet ACEA (European automakers consortium) A3 (extended drain capable with high HT/HS) specifications. The BMW HP Synthetic 5W-30 oil does give decent wear numbers, but it doesn't seem to hold its TBN well, and with time, it seems to leave a brown gunky deposit under the oil filler cap which is hard to clean up. I'm not sure what the significance of those deposits are, but I'd rather prevent them if possible. I'm running GC in an '00 528i, M1 5W-30 in an '01 325i, and M1 0W-40 in an '03 330xi, and so far there's no brown buildup under the oil caps (but only approx 1,000 miles on each of them so far) Congrats on the new car! Jason [ September 23, 2003, 10:46 PM: Message edited by: quadrun1 ]
I'm with f1crazy on this one. I'm able to buy my BMW 5w-30 oil for my 330i for $3.40 a quart. I just changed my oil at 5000 (originally planned on 7500, but couldn't wait) I dunno if it's in my head or not, but it runs smoother and quieter even just after 5K. UOA on my 330i 6-speed is pending from blackstone. I also was originally planning on using GC but these socal autozones rarely have it. I was only able to find 6 qts. 3.0 liter requires 6.5 Plus Kiko and others have been cleaning them out. BTW, which bimmer did you get? [ September 23, 2003, 11:01 PM: Message edited by: magbarn ]
For all you guys running the BMW/Castrol 5W30 in your Bimmers: one of the guys on the board, don't remember who, kept talking about some kind of gunk (to use the technical term) on the metal flange on the underside of the oil filler cap. Don't know what came of that assertion. Would really be interested for you all to report should this happen in your Bimmers. (I'm interested in both the Bimmer and Castrol aspect of the situation.) TNX in advance.
Yes, that was me; F1 also saw some light buildup under his oil cap. Some thought it was rust but I think it's from the oil, the buildup is the same color as the BMW HP Synth 5W-30. I haven't seen this buildup yet with M1 5W-30, 0W-40, or GC, but I'm only 1,000 miles into the interval on those oils.
Car I bought is a 325i with all the trimmings [Wink] I am not sure which way to go at this point. I don't like the looks of that sludge when I did my research on this board. I am using Amsoil 5W-30 in all my other cars, and would like to use it in the BMW as well. Two things holding me back: 1. Is it "Really" A3 approved (Did they test it?) 2. If I run Amsoil and then the dealer installs their oil at each 15K increment, I am going to be mixing a lot of oil. My current change plan is: 1,500 miles 5,000 miles 10,000 miles 15,000 miles (dealer change)
If you're going to be getting the dealer to do the 15k changes, and they won't allow you to supply them the oil, then try to use the same stuff they use for your in between changes. If it were me, I wouldn't even bother with their free oil changes, I'd just use my own stuff on my own terms.
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