Liqui Moly Top Tec 6600 0W-20 (BMW LL-17 FE+) | 7,540 miles | 2019 BMW X3 | High Sodium??

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Oct 21, 2021
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This may be the first UOA of Liqui Moly Top Tec 6600 0W-20, which is a BMW Longlife-17 FE+ oil.

The previous UOA was performed on the oil that was in the vehicle when I purchased it. It either has 1k or 6k miles on it, depending on when it was last changed. I posted that UOA here previously: https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/t...-17-fe-maybe-6k-oci-maybe-2019-bmw-x3.347040/

I'm highly concerned about the sodium level and the possible coolant leak. The coolant level was slightly low recently which triggered the low coolant light. From what I read on the X3 forums, this happens to owners around the 30k mile mark and simply requires a coolant top-up. If it was true coolant in the oil, would the UOA not also show some water content as the coolant is a 50/50 mix?

Could it be possible that Liqui Moly uses sodium as part of its additive package which is causing the high sodium value? The "mechanical coolant pump" was replaced under warranty at 18.5k miles.

The oil had 7,540 miles on it and the TBN is 1.6. Given that BMW generally has a 10k mile OCI, the TBN seems quite low.

What does everyone recommend I do next?
 

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Typically will see potassium as well as sodium with coolant.

I would contact LM and find out if they say with regards to the sodium in the oil. It may very well be part of the additive package.

If you have any LM from when you did the oil change, might consider sending unused sample for oil analysis.
 

pavan87

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Did you buy it as a CPO? If so I'd be taking it to the dealer pronto.
Unfortunately, it wasn't a CPO and the factory warranty expired in August 2022.
Typically will see potassium as well as sodium with coolant.

I would contact LM and find out if they say with regards to the sodium in the oil. It may very well be part of the additive package.

If you have any LM from when you did the oil change, might consider sending unused sample for oil analysis.
I called Liqui Moly and the representative was not sure if Top Tec 6600 0W-20 contained sodium in the additive package. He asked that I send the UOA report to him so he could send it on to the home office in Germany. I hope to hear back from him soon.

I need to double check but I do believe I have a little bit of Liqui Moly left over from the last change. If Liqui Moly is not able to answer the question regarding sodium, I may go ahead and submit a sample for a VOA.
 
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Talk to your local BMW dealer about a goodwill repair. You pay for the diagnostic.

Is the engine at stock power and/or does it have stock components?
 
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...The oil had 7,540 miles on it and the TBN is 1.6. Given that BMW generally has a 10k mile OCI, the TBN seems quite low.
This also stood out to me as concerning. What are you driving conditions and climate? Also curious how many months the oil was in service?

All of my BMWs also "consume" a small amount of coolant despite having sealed systems. Usually add a splash every few months when checking them. Unless potassium spikes or there's milkshake in the oil sump (unrelated to short tripping) I'd sleep easy.
 
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B48 has issues with coolant leaks somewhere. It seems to be a mystery. But in your case, you have evidence. Do you have any oil leaks on the oil filter housing? That is a place where oil and coolant might come in touch. Do you have any measurable drop in the coolant level or a rise in the oil level?
I would take it to BMW. Show them this.
 

pavan87

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I heard back from Liqui Moly and they said the sodium was within expected limits for this oil. I asked ALS if they had previously done a VOA for this oil but they had not. I reached out to Blackstone and they had two different VOAs on file for this oil. On those VOAs, the sodium content ranged between 70-75ppm. It seems sodium is part of the additive package for this particular oil. Luckily, that means there is no coolant mixing with the oil.

Talk to your local BMW dealer about a goodwill repair. You pay for the diagnostic.

Is the engine at stock power and/or does it have stock components?
Engine is completely stock with no mods or add-ons. I recently had them to a goodwill repair for an unrelated issue so not sure how willing they will be to do another goodwill repair but always worth the ask.

This also stood out to me as concerning. What are you driving conditions and climate? Also curious how many months the oil was in service?

All of my BMWs also "consume" a small amount of coolant despite having sealed systems. Usually add a splash every few months when checking them. Unless potassium spikes or there's milkshake in the oil sump (unrelated to short tripping) I'd sleep easy.
I'm in Dallas, Texas so the vehicle saw some extreme heat this summer but our winters are relatively mild. It probably is a 50/50 mix between highway and city driving with most trips lasting at least 20 minutes. This OCI had 3-4 longer trips on it as well. The oil was in service for 13 months.

B48 has issues with coolant leaks somewhere. It seems to be a mystery. But in your case, you have evidence. Do you have any oil leaks on the oil filter housing? That is a place where oil and coolant might come in touch. Do you have any measurable drop in the coolant level or a rise in the oil level?
I would take it to BMW. Show them this.
When changing the oil recently, I didn't notice any oil leaks by the oil filter housing. This vehicle does not have a physical dipstick to check oil levels. Instead, it is measured electronically by the car so I don't know if there has been an increase in the oil levels. There was some loss in coolant which I estimate to be around half of a quart. When I changed the oil last year, I don't recall checking the amount of coolant in the tank so I don't have a good baseline. It may have already been somewhat low and became lower over time. I do not see any coolant puddles on the garage floor to indicate a major coolant leak.
 
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When changing the oil recently, I didn't notice any oil leaks by the oil filter housing. This vehicle does not have a physical dipstick to check oil levels. Instead, it is measured electronically by the car so I don't know if there has been an increase in the oil levels. There was some loss in coolant which I estimate to be around half of a quart. When I changed the oil last year, I don't recall checking the amount of coolant in the tank so I don't have a good baseline. It may have already been somewhat low and became lower over time. I do not see any coolant puddles on the garage floor to indicate a major coolant leak.

BMW does not have a dipstick since 2004 on gas engines (new V8 do).
B48/58 have issues with coolant loss. But as I said, it is a mystery. They have two coolant systems, one to cool of the engine, one for the intercooler.
Check www.bimmerpost.com forum and section with B48 engines. There might be some chat about it. If it is not head gasket (highly doubt), it could be OFHG, or a heat exchanger.
 

pavan87

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BMW does not have a dipstick since 2004 on gas engines (new V8 do).
B48/58 have issues with coolant loss. But as I said, it is a mystery. They have two coolant systems, one to cool of the engine, one for the intercooler.
Check www.bimmerpost.com forum and section with B48 engines. There might be some chat about it. If it is not head gasket (highly doubt), it could be OFHG, or a heat exchanger.
Thanks, I'll see what I can find on those forums.

Given the low TBN and sodium content, I'm wondering if I should continue using this oil or switch to something else. There are not many 0W-20 LL-17FE+ certified oils available yet. While I can use a non-certified euro oil, I'm leaning toward using only certified oil in the event I need to request a goodwill repair in the future.
 
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Thanks, I'll see what I can find on those forums.

Given the low TBN and sodium content, I'm wondering if I should continue using this oil or switch to something else. There are not many 0W-20 LL-17FE+ certified oils available yet. While I can use a non-certified euro oil, I'm leaning toward using only certified oil in the event I need to request a goodwill repair in the future.
You can use LL01 or LL04. Both are used in B48 on other markets.
But listen, even if you stay with LL17FE, get BMW TPT. IMO, it is better to oil than Liqui Moly.
 
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Thanks, I'll see what I can find on those forums.

Given the low TBN and sodium content, I'm wondering if I should continue using this oil or switch to something else. There are not many 0W-20 LL-17FE+ certified oils available yet. While I can use a non-certified euro oil, I'm leaning toward using only certified oil in the event I need to request a goodwill repair in the future.

I have used Total Quartz Ineo Dynamics on my sister's Mini a few times. I don't have any UOA's but I have been happy enough with it.
 
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