Mobil 1 Peak Life 5W-50, BMW E39 540iA, 21548 km

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Dear All, Please find below the results of the latest and the previous oil analyses for my BMW. During this oil change interval I started using the Auto-RX additive, which seem to have a quite interesting story associated with it with respect to which reasons led to its invention and the discussions that it raised here in the forum. I am a bit concerned about the increase of the wear values of copper, indicating bearing wear, which seems to be the only part in the M62 engine that has copper in it. Currently, I am assuming that the increase is a result of the high fuel contamination of 0.8% (that probably also caused the low viscosity), which in turn might be the result of a partly malfunctioning ignition coil. I will switch to shorter oil change intervals (15,000 km) to see whether this has a positive effect on the wear values (in the sense of avoiding the increase in wear at higher oil usage values). But from the experts point of view: which threshold should I set for the copper wear to trigger an inspection of the bearings of the engine? Or can I assume that the values shown are still in a non-critical range? I again used 100% E85 fuel and added my favorite oil additives. smile Although it seems that I could not counteract the loss of viscosity by adding the VI improver?! May I ask for your opinions? Philipp
Code:
REPORT                          #6          #5          #4          #3          #2          #1
                                CURRENT     PREVIOUS    PREVIOUS    PREVIOUS    PREVIOUS    PREVIOUS

LABORATORY                      BLACKSTONE  BLACKSTONE  OELCHECK    OELCHECK    OELCHECK    OELCHECK
KM on Oil                       21548       19935       27262       22081       17762       7200
MI on Oil                       13389       12387       16940       13720       11037       4474

WEAR                                                                                        
Iron          Fe      mg/kg     33          33          38          27          17          15
Chromium      Cr      mg/kg     1           1           1           0           0           1
Tin           Sn      mg/kg     1           5           1           0           0           2
Aluminium     Al      mg/kg     12          10          12          6           3           3
Nickel        Ni      mg/kg     1           0           0           0           0           0
Copper        Cu      mg/kg     26          17          23          16          13          6
Lead          Pb      mg/kg     11          8           9           4           3           3
Manganese     Mn      mg/kg     1           1           2           1           -           1
Titanium      Ti      mg/kg     0           0           N.A.        N.A.        N.A.        N.A.
PQ-Index                  -     N.A.        N.A.        < 25 (OK)   < 25 (OK)   26          < 25 (OK)
                                                                                            
CONTAMINATION                                                                               
Silicon        Si     mg/kg     6           4           7           10          10          15
Potassium       K     mg/kg     3           0           3           3           2           1
Sodium         Na     mg/kg     9           6           9           6           7           0
Silver         Ag     mg/kg     1           1           2           1           -           -
Water                     %     0.0           0.0         0.22      < 0.10 (OK) < 0.10 OK   < 0.10 (OK)
IR-Glykol / Antifreeze  -/%     0.0           0.0       negative    negative    negative    negative
Fuel                      %     0.8         < 0.50      < 0.30 (OK) < 0.30 (OK) < 0.30 (OK) < 0.30 (OK)
                                                                                            
OIL CONDITION                                                                               
Viscosity @  40°C     mm²/s     N.A.        N.A.        95.68       111.26      110.95      80.50
Viscosity @ 100°C     mm²/s     12.15       13.63       14.57       17.12       16.90       13.43
Viscosity @ 210°F       SUS     67.0        72.6        N.A.        N.A.        N.A.        N.A.
Viscosity Index           -     N.A.        N.A.        158         169         166         170
Oxidation              A/cm     N.A.        N.A.        9           9           11          18
Nitration              A/cm     N.A.        N.A.        25          16          9           8
Sulfation              A/cm     N.A.        N.A.        5           6           5           9
Dispersing Power          %     N.A.        N.A.        97          95          97          92
Carbon-Particulate Index  -     N.A.        N.A.        < 0.1 (OK)  -           -           -
Flashpoint               °F     375         430         N.A.        N.A.        N.A.        N.A.
Insolubles                %     0.2         TR          N.A.        N.A.        N.A.        N.A.
                                                                                            
ADDITIVES                                                                                   
Calcium        Ca     mg/kg     2397        2471        2291        2475        2703        2179
Magnesium      Mg     mg/kg     310         300         444         134         94          249
Boron           B     mg/kg     26          19          12          16          34          32
Zinc           Zn     mg/kg     788         916         939         938         1072        1009
Phosphorus      P     mg/kg     716         764         695         666         821         826
Barium         Ba     mg/kg     0           0           0           0           0           0
Molybdenum     Mo     mg/kg     56          62          63          60          61          2
Sulfur          S     mg/kg     N.A.        N.A.        2150        2179        2482        3420
                                                                                            
ADDITIONAL TESTS                                                                            
T/BN                mgKOH/g     3.7         3.2         6.39        6.50        8.00        7.27

REPORT #6:
  Subject   : Mobil 1 Peak Life 5W-50, BMW E39 540iA, 21548 km (oil), 168638 km (total)
  Machine   : M62B44TU (E39 540iA, YoC 2002)
  Oil       : Mobil 1 Peak Life 5W-50
  Additive  : Wynn's Oil Stop Leak (as sealant maintenance) (added several times over oil usage, 0.6 liter in total)
  Additive  : Liqui Moly Visco-Stabil (VI improver) (added several times over oil usage, 0.45 liter in total)
  Additive  : Auto-RX (cleaning agent) (added several times over oil usage, 0.25 liter in total)
  Oil Usage : 6.5 month
  Comments  : [of the engineer performing the analysis]
    There's more metal in this sample than there was in May, though this oil
    was run more km than the last, so perhaps that accounts for the extra metal.
    Iron is the only metal that should go up with more time on the oil, though,
    and it held steady. Other metals are going up, showing piston (aluminum),
    wear, and bearing/bronze wear (copper and lead). Note fuel contamination,
    at 0.8% of the sample. The viscosity was a little low too. The TBN was good,
    but use just 15,000 km on the next oil to see if that helps lower wear metals.

REPORT #5:
  Subject   : Mobil 1 Peak Life 5W-50, BMW E39 540iA, 19935 km (oil), 147090 km (total)
  Machine   : M62B44TU (E39 540iA, YoC 2002)
  Oil       : Mobil 1 Peak Life 5W-50
  Additive  : Wynn's Oil Stop Leak (as sealant maintenance) (added several times over oil usage, 1 liter in total)
  Additive  : Liqui Moly Visco-Stabil (VI improver) (added several times over oil usage, 0.6 liter in total)
  Oil Usage : 5.5 month
  Comments  : [of the engineer performing the analysis]
    Universal averages show typical wear levels for this type of engine after
    about 8,800 km on the oil. You ran your oil much longer, putting nearly
    20,000 km on this fill. Your longer oil run will normally generate a lot
    more wear than average, so these levels are not bad considering the long
    run. If you'd like to see less metal in the oil you could try a shorter
    oil change, but if you are okay with these numbers then we'd say run
    20,000 km again. The oil handled the long interval well, with a strong
    TBN of 3.2. Insolubles are very low at a trace. No fuel/coolant found.

REPORT #4:
  Subject   : Mobil 1 Peak Life 5W-50, BMW E39 540iA, 27262 km (oil), 127155 km (total)
  Machine   : M62B44TU (E39 540iA, YoC 2002)
  Oil       : Mobil 1 Peak Life 5W-50
  Additive  : Wynn's Oil Stop Leak (as sealant maintenance)
  Additive  : Liqui Moly Visco-Stabil (VI improver) (added several times over oil usage, 1 liter in total)
  Oil Usage : 10.5 month
  Comments  : [of the engineer performing the analysis]
    The wear values of iron and aluminum are higher than expected, but not yet critical. Possible
    components affected are pistons (Fe) and cylinders (Al). Lead and copper are possibly increased
    due to wear of bearings.
    The water content is higher than normal. Possible causes: condensate formation due to short-time
    duty, leakage of the coolant circuit.
    The additivation deviates from the fresh oil reference in our database. This can most probably
    be traced back to the addition of additives.
    The nitration value (NOx) is considerably increased. Possible causes: increased blow-by, mostly
    caused by poor combustion, insufficient sealing between pistons and cylinder walls or valve
    problems. The gasoline quality or a non-optimal engine configuration may also have an influence.
    Increased sludge formation may be the consequence.
    The base number BN is considerably lower than expected.

REPORT #3:
  Subject   : Mobil 1 Peak Life 5W-50, BMW E39 540iA, 22081 km (oil), 99893 km (total)
  Machine   : M62B44TU (E39 540iA, YoC 2002)
  Oil       : Mobil 1 Peak Life 5W-50
  Additive  : Wynn's Oil Stop Leak (as sealant maintenance)
  Additive  : Liqui Moly Visco-Stabil (VI improver) (added several times over oil usage, 1 liter in total)
  Oil Usage : 6 month
  Comments  : [of the engineer performing the analysis]
    The values of wear increased only slightly. This minimal wear is within normal range.
    The nitration value (NOx) is increased. Possible causes: increased blow-by,
    mostly caused by poor combustion, insufficient sealing between pistons and
    cylinder walls or valve problems. The gasoline quality or a non-optimal
    engine configuration may also have an influence.
    The base number BN is considerably lower than expected.

REPORT #2:
  Subject   : Mobil 1 Peak Life 5W-50, BMW E39 540iA, 17762 km (oil), 77812 km (total)
  Machine   : M62B44TU (E39 540iA, YoC 2002)
  Oil       : Mobil 1 Peak Life 5W-50
  Additive  : Wynn's Oil Stop Leak (as sealant maintenance)
  Additive  : Liqui Moly Visco-Stabil (VI improver) (added after 12500 km usage)
  Oil Usage : 4 month
  Comments  : [of the engineer performing the analysis]
    The values of wear are within normal range.
    The base number BN is slightly lower compared to the fresh oil reference.
    All other values are within normal or expected range.

REPORT #1:
  Subject   : LM Top Tec 5W-40, BMW E39 540iA, 7200 km (oil), 60050 km (total)
  Machine   : M62B44TU (E39 540iA, YoC 2002)
  Oil       : Liqui Moly Top Tec 4100 5W-40
  Additive  : Wynn's Oil Stop Leak (as sealant maintenance)
  Oil Usage : 5 month
  Comments  : [of the engineer performing the analysis]
    The values of wear metals have risen only slightly.
    This low wear is within the normal range.
    The values of additives differ from the values of the fresh oil reference in our database.
    The fuel content is negligible and is below the detection limit.
 
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I'm not familiar with viscosity being measured in mm²/s, I'm used to it being given in cSt. But when I checked a couple online converters, they both said that 12.15 mm²/s = 12.15 cSt. Isn't that very thin for what was supposed to be a 50 weight oil? Or am I missing something?
 
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Originally Posted By: sicko
Isn't that very thin for what was supposed to be a 50 weight oil?
Yeah, it did drop in viscosity quite a bit, possibly due to fuel dilution.
 
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I would drop the additives and just go to straight Mobil 1. To see how it does. You mentioned a bad ignition coil; I assume it has since been replaced? Flashpoint is 375, so Blackstone is saying .8% fuel. Its likely higher. Probably 2-3%.
 
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What are the universal average for copper in the BMW V8? I think that is the pertinent question. Some engines just shed a lot of copper, like GM V8s, others don't.
 

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According to Blackstone the universal average for copper is 6 ppm at 8,800 km.
 

Pinky

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Basically the reason that I am using so many additives is based on the fact that I am a layman with respect to Lubricants and Lubrication laugh (in fact reading the book of the same name did not help much either wink ) When I got my first BMW I tried to figure out which is the best oil and additives to use in such an engine, with the result of currently applying the three additives ...
 
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Originally Posted By: Pinky
with the result of currently applying the three additives ...
I really don't see how they are helping. IMO, these additive are unnecessary. Even BMW themselves strongly advises against the use of any oil additives. Also M1 5w-50 is known for not being very shear stable. I think you'd be better off with M1 0w-40 or some other 5w-40 oil meeting BMW LL-01 spec, for example Shell Helix Ultra 5w-40.
 

OVERKILL

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Use a quality oil changed at a sane interval. I use M1 0w-40, as it is LL-01 approved, and that's what your car calls for. Leave the additives on the shelf.
 

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Of course BMW will not recommend using any additives on their engines, neither will any other car manufacturer. They also do not recommend using oils without the proper specification for a particular engine. But that does not mean that there are better oils available. In fact, if they recommended a particular additive they would have to test it with great expenses. And basically that is not necessary since the oil with the proper specification for an engine already accomplishes the minimum requirements. The question that I try to answer for myself though, is how to improve an already good oil further or at least keep the oil at its initial properties over the oil change interval. If the additives I am using have a verifiable negative impact on the performance of the oil (or the engine) I will of course immediately stop using them. Although I have to admit that my methods of getting convinced that an additive has a positive impact may be questionable as well / in the first place ...
 
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Op Personally I use liqui-moly additives so you won't hear me condemn their use HOWEVER you can't just dump in a witches brew of various products and assume they will all play nice together. You gotta go 1 at a time and track data. Once the data is consistent then add another one and track data. With mos2 I ran 5000 miles without,then 15000 with,tracking every tank of fuel to see if friction was reduced enough to lower my fuel consumption. And if viscosity retention is an issue move up to an hdeo 15w-40 or 20w-50. They won't shear like the 5w-50 does.
 

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Originally Posted By: Pinky
Of course BMW will not recommend using any additives on their engines, neither will any other car manufacturer. They also do not recommend using oils without the proper specification for a particular engine. But that does not mean that there are better oils available. In fact, if they recommended a particular additive they would have to test it with great expenses. And basically that is not necessary since the oil with the proper specification for an engine already accomplishes the minimum requirements.
Exactly. Because an oil is formulated to meet the specific requirements for wear, deposit control, oxidation resistance, viscosity retention, low temperature pumpability, high heat handling, shear resistance....etc that the specs/approvals it bears require. As soon as you add something else to that oil, that all flies out the window. You have no idea which one or ones in that list you've affected, positively or negatively, ergo, you are no longer running an approved product. You are running an unknown. And the "minimum requirements" for tests like those produced by Porsche and Mercedes are actually quite stringent. This is why oils like M1 0w-40, Castrol 0w-30/0w-40, PU 5w-40...etc are "so good" right out of the gates. They have a myriad of manufacturer approvals meaning that they have passed extensive and vigorous testing. The entire purpose of a properly formulated lubricant is to satisfy the needs of the engine. If it required other things to be added to it, it wouldn't be properly formulated wink
Originally Posted By: Pinky
The question that I try to answer for myself though, is how to improve an already good oil further or at least keep the oil at its initial properties over the oil change interval.
Well, the latter part of the above is already covered by all of the European extended drain specifications including BMW's LL-01. The oil is required to hold up for the intended OCI. The former, well, unless you have the ability to perform extensive tear-down testing, you are just guessing. The odds of out-engineering the guys that engineered and tested the oil by dumping "magic in a can" into it are exceedingly slim.
Originally Posted By: Pinky
If the additives I am using have a verifiable negative impact on the performance of the oil (or the engine) I will of course immediately stop using them. Although I have to admit that my methods of getting convinced that an additive has a positive impact may be questionable as well / in the first place ...
Well, what exactly are you trying to deal with? What do you think are the deficiencies of a product like M1 0w-40, Castrol 0w-40...etc that you feel you need to improve upon? What do things look like under your fill cap? Are you consuming oil? Here's my M5's UOA from a winter run (notice the fuel!!): http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2881744 I run about half the interval you do due to fuel dilution, which probably isn't as much of an issue on the M62.
 
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M1 5W50 is an excellent choice! I was a fun of it before my engine refurbishment (SAAB 9-5): pretty good cleaning activity and VERY strong additive package.It helped a lot to reduce the oil burning due to worn piston ring and valve stem seals. Now M1 0W40 works great, no oil burning and no any additives dumping into my engine anymore. You nave a really great car, Pinky!
 
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The BMW M62TU engine is known to have problems with the VANOS unit due to failing seals in the VANOS pistons which harden over time. The idea behind using Wynn's Engine Oil Stop Leak is to increase the concentration of di-isononyl phthalates in the oil to keep the seals flexible. Although I have not been able so far to find scientific papers that support this idea, it seems to work - even after 170,000 km the VANOS units work perfectly. It is always easy to replace a part when it is failing, but the fun that I have in doing this is to figure out ways to prevent it from failing in the first place. Of course, I am not doing this blind folded hoping for it to work as expected. I try to gather as much information to support my idea beforehand, which sometimes (or actually most of the time) is quite difficult when you have not been educated in these fields. It is basically the same with adding the Liqui Moly VI improver where I actually try to compensate the loss of high temperature viscosity over elongated oil change intervals and from fuel dilution. Obviously, as shown by the latest oil analysis, it had not worked out as expected (or maybe it has), maybe just simply due to the high amount of fuel in the oil. So maybe the viscosity would have been even lower without the additive?! There is no way of telling afterwards other than the fact that the VI improver does improve the viscosity (at least claimed by the manufacturer). In the end, this is simply a hobby of mine.
Originally Posted By: OVERKILL
Here's my M5's UOA from a winter run (notice the fuel!!): http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2881744
And what am I supposed to deduce from one sample? I do not know your driving habbits, so maybe you did not heat up the oil beyond the point of the fuel evaporating from the oil. Thus, explaining why the wear metals are quite low, despite the high fuel dilution?!
 

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Originally Posted By: Pinky
The BMW M62TU engine is known to have problems with the VANOS unit due to failing seals in the VANOS pistons which harden over time. The idea behind using Wynn's Engine Oil Stop Leak is to increase the concentration of di-isononyl phthalates in the oil to keep the seals flexible. Although I have not been able so far to find scientific papers that support this idea, it seems to work - even after 170,000 km the VANOS units work perfectly.
It isn't limited to the M62, any of the engines that had the butyl rubber seals (like the M54) are prone to this issue. I'm interested to see how it holds up. The usual fix is to swap in the VITON seals from the S62, which aren't prone to the same hardening and should have been the seal choice for the entire product line. That was BMW being cheap.
Originally Posted By: Pinky
It is always easy to replace a part when it is failing, but the fun that I have in doing this is to figure out ways to prevent it from failing in the first place. Of course, I am not doing this blind folded hoping for it to work as expected. I try to gather as much information to support my idea beforehand, which sometimes (or actually most of the time) is quite difficult when you have not been educated in these fields.
I believe it is the heat/cool cycles that hardens the rubber, but as I said, I'm quite interested to see if this works for you. Another place in the engine with the same materials selection issue is the valve cover gaskets. I've replaced a few of them on the M54 at this point, they get hard as a rock. This is a place they should have used a silicone rubber gasket.
Originally Posted By: Pinky
It is basically the same with adding the Liqui Moly VI improver where I actually try to compensate the loss of high temperature viscosity over elongated oil change intervals and from fuel dilution. Obviously, as shown by the latest oil analysis, it had not worked out as expected (or maybe it has), maybe just simply due to the high amount of fuel in the oil. So maybe the viscosity would have been even lower without the additive?! There is no way of telling afterwards other than the fact that the VI improver does improve the viscosity (at least claimed by the manufacturer). In the end, this is simply a hobby of mine.
But that's accounted for in the BMW LL-01 spec as well as the MB spec that oils like M1 0w-40, Castrol 0w-40...etc carry. That's why I am advocating the use of an approved lube here, as this is part of the testing protocol, so you don't need the VI improver. I'd drop that part of the experiment IMHO and stick to a more appropriate lubricant. Also, keep in mind that whenever you add something to the sump that isn't oil, you dilute the additive package and other essential components of the properly formulated lubricant you have in there smile
Originally Posted By: Pinky
Originally Posted By: OVERKILL
Here's my M5's UOA from a winter run (notice the fuel!!): http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2881744
And what am I supposed to deduce from one sample? I do not know your driving habbits, so maybe you did not heat up the oil beyond the point of the fuel evaporating from the oil. Thus, explaining why the wear metals are quite low, despite the high fuel dilution?!
I drive the car like it is meant to be driven. The issue is that due to the factory tune, it runs rich, AND in the winter (which is discussed in that thread) the oil temperature doesn't get high enough to burn the fuel off. That's part of the reason (the other being salt is awful for the body) I stopped driving it year round. My point is however that there is nothing alarming about my S62 UOA, despite the fuel dilution and the fact that the car is driven hard. I'm using no additives, just an approved lubricant (M1 0w-40). I think you might benefit from the same approach smile
 

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Pinky: Question for you, where did you get your E85 tune? AFAIK, these cars aren't flex-fuel, so I assume you've got an aftermarket chip or tuning device for the E85? Also of note: IIRC, a shorter change interval is dictated for E85 usage due to the corrosive nature of the Ethanol and the detrimental effects it has on the lubricant.
 
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I believe a Teflon outer seal goes overtop of the "rubber" VANOS seals so I don't know how much exposure to oil the inner seals get. I've read the inner seal is what fails and shrinks. When I pulled my VANOS seals after 160,000 km they looked good, although I have a late production car, maybe they changed the formulation.
 
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