Mobil 1 Euro 0w40 in a BMW e46 -good idea when without LL-01

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Sorry-got dropped there. As I started to write, There were some concerns raised about Novak levels and HTHS in the Castrol 0w40 reformulation. Any thoughts or also any opinion about flash point? I do like Edyvw’s idea about Castrol 0w30.

Thank you again and looking forward to further discussions with you. Jerry
0W40 will probably have HTHS in 3.6-37cp range. Noack probably around 9%.
It is their premiere product, they can’t drop ball too much.
 

mckenzie333

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0W40 will probably have HTHS in 3.6-37cp range. Noack probably around 9%.
It is their premiere product, they can’t drop ball too much.
I sincerely appreciate your input Edyvw! It goes straight to the heart of the matter. Thanks for all the help!
 
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Jerry, I'm not sure fixing your oil filter housing or changing oil types are going to help your oil loss - which I assume is burning because you mention nothing about it leaking enough to leave spots on the pavement. What does the underside of your car look like? Is it covered with oil?

One problem with BMW engines of the era was that they had low tension piston rings. BMW used these for both power and low emissions. The problem is that when they get carbon build up they don't seal properly. I suspect this is the case with your engine. Your engine is in the "higher mileage" category.

I'm not sure there's much you can do about it short of a teardown. Personally, I do not have faith in "bottle fixes", although I suppose you might try one of them. You have nothing to lose except for a few dollars. I'll leave it to others to suggest those possibilities.

But, lets's hope you have a repairable oil leak that solves your problem, or at least most of it.

PM me with any E46 specific questions.

Take care!

Scott
 
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I would seriously try a bottle of the HPL cleaner and see where that goes if you have that kind of consumption. Once it settles down, ANY of the oils mentioned are a good bet. Just from personal experience in my former E46/M54, Mobil 1 0W-40 FS was "noisy", while GC was not. I did have slight consumption over the OCI of 5K, but after it was Auto-RXed, consumption went to, and stayed at zero. This lends credence to what Scott was talking about with regard to the rings getting carboned up and not sealing properly.
 
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M1 0W-40 LL01 was the dealer oil here in Australia for E46 BMW until it lost its LL01 spec. I think they moved to Castrol 0W-40 that did have the LL01 spec.
 
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Oh, and @ slo town-Scott you KNOW I have dibs on the 330 if the world stops and you decide to sell it. I've only been bugging you for nearly 20 years.
 
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M1 0W-40 LL01 was the dealer oil here in Australia for E46 BMW until it lost its LL01 spec. I think they moved to Castrol 0W-40 that did have the LL01 spec.
Mobil1 never applied for BMW approval when they reformulated 0W40 in 2015. They knew BMW will update approval in 2018 and eliminate 0W30/40 in LL01 and LL04 category. Castrol lost it with that update too.
 

OVERKILL

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Mobil1 never applied for BMW approval when they reformulated 0W40 in 2015. They knew BMW will update approval in 2018 and eliminate 0W30/40 in LL01 and LL04 category. Castrol lost it with that update too.
My sister still uses M1 0W-40 in her E46 330i Performance. She's getting close to 200,000 miles on it now, had the VGC done twice, the rad replaced recently (think I made a thread), the oil filter housing gasket, the plastic coolant reservoir a couple of times. Engine still runs like a top though, doesn't use any oil.
 
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My sister still uses M1 0W-40 in her E46 330i Performance. She's getting close to 200,000 miles on it now, had the VGC done twice, the rad replaced recently (think I made a thread), the oil filter housing gasket, the plastic coolant reservoir a couple of times. Engine still runs like a top though, doesn't use any oil.
I use M1 on and off in my BMW. 2018 update, while increasing oxidation limitations, it is primarily geared to address timing chain guide issues on N20 etc.
I think VCG issues are primarily the result of the very high temperatures these engines run at. I installed oil cooler from 335, and interestingly at 123k, I still have the original VCG. I did have seeping OFHG at 87k and replaced it. Replaced it again at 105k BCS. I added oil cooler which required different oil filter housing with ports for the oil cooler thermostat with lines. It dramatically lowered the temperature when pushing car. I am running mostly 100-105c and on track usually do not exceed 125.
So, interesting to see whether that will affect these parts.
 

mckenzie333

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Jerry, I'm not sure fixing your oil filter housing or changing oil types are going to help your oil loss - which I assume is burning because you mention nothing about it leaking enough to leave spots on the pavement. What does the underside of your car look like? Is it covered with oil?

One problem with BMW engines of the era was that they had low tension piston rings. BMW used these for both power and low emissions. The problem is that when they get carbon build up they don't seal properly. I suspect this is the case with your engine. Your engine is in the "higher mileage" category.

I'm not sure there's much you can do about it short of a teardown. Personally, I do not have faith in "bottle fixes", although I suppose you might try one of them. You have nothing to lose except for a few dollars. I'll leave it to others to suggest those possibilities.

But, lets's hope you have a repairable oil leak that solves your problem, or at least most of it.

PM me with any E46 specific questions.

Take care!

Scott
Hi Scott- Unfortunately the spots under my old faithful. E46 have been more like soccer ball size. The new oil filter gasket I think is helping - I’m watching the oil level closely. My oil pan gasket is also a bit suspect but at $1000 to fix I doing a wait and see. Still your point about the rings seems also well taken. Have you or our oil associates heard an oil with esters (like pentoxide, Amsoil or redline) might slowly help with the rings ? Pentosine is basically free at FCP Euro with their guarantee.
 

mckenzie333

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Hi Scott- Unfortunately the spots under my old faithful. E46 have been more like soccer ball size. The new oil filter gasket I think is helping - I’m watching the oil level closely. My oil pan gasket is also a bit suspect but at $1000 to fix I doing a wait and see. Still your point about the rings seems also well taken. Have you or our oil associates heard an oil with esters (like pentoxide, Amsoil or redline) might slowly help with the rings ? Pentosine is basically free at FCP Euro with their guarantee.
Pentozine from Fuchs that is
 
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Fixing the leaks would help, even if it lowered your oil loss to 1,000 miles per quart. That would be good enough for me given the time on the engine, It wouldn't hurt to try some kind of cleaner, but I don't have high hopes. And who knows, it might kill the main seals or something.

The thing with piston ring deposits, they are very, very tenacious. I've torn apart engines, barely able to remove stuck piston rings. The lands would be coked with deposits. I've soaked pistons overnight in 100% Berryman's B12 Chemtool carb cleaner (nasty stuff) and even then most deposits remained rock solid.

I'n not sure what your budget is and how much you like the car, its overall condition, etc. - but maybe start snooping around for a better engine from a dismantler?

Scott
 
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Mobil1 never applied for BMW approval when they reformulated 0W40 in 2015. They knew BMW will update approval in 2018 and eliminate 0W30/40 in LL01 and LL04 category. Castrol lost it with that update too.
I should have said back when it did have LL01 approval.
 
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My 1999 model year E46 has had all of the usual oil leaks - valve cover, oil filter housing, oil pan gasket and the manual shift shaft in the transmission drips a bit too.

The engine oil leaks, while time consuming, were not difficult to repair and certainly the oil pan gasket repair was not worth $1000. It is the perfect time to do the oil filter housing gasket when you are doing the oil pan gasket because you have to clear the area completely and it becomes a "two birds with one stone" proposition. I always thought that I had a power steering hose leak because everything remained covered in oil. Once I did the oil pan gasket it is now dry as a powder keg underneath my engine.

And to remain on topic... I am using Quaker State Euro 5W40 and have been for the past 10 years. I will say that my oil pan was incredibly varnished in the areas where no oil contacts the surface. There is a windage cover on the bottom of the engine that prevents the otherwise cleaning effect of splashed oil and this promotes the varnish. The underside of the valve cover on the intake side suffers the same plight.
 

mckenzie333

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My 1999 model year E46 has had all of the usual oil leaks - valve cover, oil filter housing, oil pan gasket and the manual shift shaft in the transmission drips a bit too.

The engine oil leaks, while time consuming, were not difficult to repair and certainly the oil pan gasket repair was not worth $1000. It is the perfect time to do the oil filter housing gasket when you are doing the oil pan gasket because you have to clear the area completely and it becomes a "two birds with one stone" proposition. I always thought that I had a power steering hose leak because everything remained covered in oil. Once I did the oil pan gasket it is now dry as a powder keg underneath my
Fixing the leaks would help, even if it lowered your oil loss to 1,000 miles per quart. That would be good enough for me given the time on the engine, It wouldn't hurt to try some kind of cleaner, but I don't have high hopes. And who knows, it might kill the main seals or something.

The thing with piston ring deposits, they are very, very tenacious. I've torn apart engines, barely able to remove stuck piston rings. The lands would be coked with deposits. I've soaked pistons overnight in 100% Berryman's B12 Chemtool carb cleaner (nasty stuff) and even then most deposits remained rock solid.

I'n not sure what your budget is and how much you like the car, its overall condition, etc. - but maybe start snooping around for a better engine from a dismantler?

Scott

side suffers the same plight.
Fixing the leaks would help, even if it lowered your oil loss to 1,000 miles per quart. That would be good enough for me given the time on the engine, It wouldn't hurt to try some kind of cleaner, but I don't have high hopes. And who knows, it might kill the main seals or something.

The thing with piston ring deposits, they are very, very tenacious. I've torn apart engines, barely able to remove stuck piston rings. The lands would be coked with deposits. I've soaked pistons overnight in 100% Berryman's B12 Chemtool carb cleaner (nasty stuff) and even then most deposits remained rock solid.

I'n not sure what your budget is and how much you like the car, its overall condition, etc. - but maybe start snooping around for a better engine from a dismantler?

Scott
Hi Scott and all- A small update- after replacing the oil filter housing gasket and then driving this week 350 miles the car’s oil level changed very little. Keeping my fingers crossed that this keeps up. Car has Pennzoil euro 0w40 right now.
 
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I want to clarify my previous post. I think I may have come on too strong.

First, both kschachn and edyvw are reliable sources of good information on this forum. Any of the oils they suggested would work fine for you. My post was directed at the E46 itself as much as it was oil selection, and is more of a "if you have any questions about your E46, send me a PM" kind of thing.

That said, I do strongly recommend Castrol Euro 0W-40 for no other reason than it has served me very well in my bought new by me E46.

Enjoy your E46. I hope you got a nice, solid, unmolested example. If well cared for and not abused an E46 can be every bit as reliable as even the most reliable Honda. Let me know if you have any questions about your car.

Cheers,

Scott
“ If well cared for and not abused an E46 can be every bit as reliable as even the most reliable Honda.”

The thing about the Honda is that it can be abused and at the same time, remain reliable.
 

mckenzie333

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My 1999 model year E46 has had all of the usual oil leaks - valve cover, oil filter housing, oil pan gasket and the manual shift shaft in the transmission drips a bit too.

The engine oil leaks, while time consuming, were not difficult to repair and certainly the oil pan gasket repair was not worth $1000. It is the perfect time to do the oil filter housing gasket when you are doing the oil pan gasket because you have to clear the area completely and it becomes a "two birds with one stone" proposition. I always thought that I had a power steering hose leak because everything remained covered in oil. Once I did the oil pan gasket it is now dry as a powder keg underneath my engine.

And to remain on topic... I am using Quaker State Euro 5W40 and have been for the past 10 years. I will say that my oil pan was incredibly varnished in the areas where no oil contacts the surface. There is a windage cover on the bottom of the engine that prevents the otherwise cleaning effect of splashed oil and this promotes the varnish. The underside of the valve cover on the intake side suffers the same plight.
Thank you for your thoughtful post. My mechanic said $800-900. I’m of the same mind as Scott and will skip the oil pan gasket if the car goes back to using 1 quart a 1000 miles I’ve heard the Quaker state is great oil and pretty much Pennzoil euro
 
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“ If well cared for and not abused an E46 can be every bit as reliable as even the most reliable Honda.”

The thing about the Honda is that it can be abused and at the same time, remain reliable.
No it cannot. There is a reason that on your average track, European cars, mostly BMWs, are the most popular. I was on track on Thursday and saw 3 Japanese cars, all 3 Miata's.
There is Type-R that Honda has, and it is not any more reliable than your Golf R.
Here are my rear brakes after 120 miles of track time (they have 20k regular driving). Find any Accord or Acura sedan that can abuse brakes like this, and go on the street normally I will give you my BMW.

7AA733B7-46DA-44FF-AD7F-00C8ED8B4601.jpeg
 
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“ If well cared for and not abused an E46 can be every bit as reliable as even the most reliable Honda.”

The thing about the Honda is that it can be abused and at the same time, remain reliable.
Honda and others can tolerate deferred maintenance. That's about it.
 
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Honda and others can tolerate deferred maintenance. That's about it.
Depends. Their VCM engines are going to bomb your transmission bcs. $50 oil pressure switch. My FIL went three times to Honda dealership to complain about shudder and they couldn’t diagnose. I replaced it once it failed and Google offered answer in few seconds. Reading further issues around it is like reading BMW N63 issues, but in a car resembling average refrigerator.
 
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