Oil feels very thin despite being 10W-50

Joined
Dec 3, 2021
Messages
2
Hi,

I am a new member of the forum. I've got a question which really made me concerned. I've recently changed the oil of my E34 with Unil 10W-50 (feedback for the brand would be much appreciated as well). When I researched the brand, I didn't find any negative comments and I had 5 liters laying around, it meets specs, that's why I used it. Now, whenever I pull the dipstick the oil feels very thin. Like as soon as I pull it out, oil drips. In my experience, it takes a second or two before a drop forms and falls.

Engine has no issue whatsoever with mixing coolant and oil, level is fine, color is sort of gray though. (I may attach a picture if needed).

Now what concerns me is: Is oil thickness (judging by the dipstick) a good metric of oil quality? Am I overthinking this? The engine works good, no ticking and has even become quieter since I changed the oil.

I would really appreciate your feedback, cheers.
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2006
Messages
127
Location
United States
Which 10W-50 has the required BMW approval?

And feelings are useless in this instance.

Well, let me see...this one for instance:

s-l640.jpg
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 17, 2021
Messages
1,653
Location
open range
Now, whenever I pull the dipstick the oil feels very thin. Like as soon as I pull it out, oil drips. In my experience, it takes a second or two before a drop forms and falls.
......
Is oil thickness (judging by the dipstick) a good metric of oil quality? Am I overthinking this?

That's why oil viscosity is measured instead of felt. :whistle:

Yes, you're overthinking it, or better call it 'overguessing'.


Just to be clear ;)

A motorcycle example doesn't clearify anything, it's muddying things.
The bottle (clearly) states 'for BMW motorcycle engines', meaning it's
for BMW motorcycle engines only'.
.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 6, 2019
Messages
82
Location
Sweden
A 10W50... God knows what is inside that bottle. SAE standard is 10W-50. When not even printed correctly on the bottle = run away.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2005
Messages
21,534
Location
Upper Midwest
A 10W50... God knows what is inside that bottle. SAE standard is 10W-50. When not even printed correctly on the bottle = run away.
What are we talking about here? That BMW oil is appropriate for a BMW motorcycle regardless of what is or is not on the label. But here we are discussing a BMW automobile which has an approval requirement unlike the motorcycle. And as far as I can tell that's not even the oil the OP indicates he is using. The OP mentioned "Unil" brand oil and stated it "meets specs" (whatever that means since there is no "spec" but rather an approval), yet I cannot find any Unil oil with any BMW automobile approvals much less one that even says it "meets specs".

This is a good Friday thread...
 
Joined
May 17, 2021
Messages
1,653
Location
open range
.
Just guessing:


This might be the 10W-50 he's running. A quick google search reveals that
Opal is quite popular in Russia and widely unknown or even unobtainable
in NA and most of Europe. No idea on their quality though.
On an M20 or M50 engine I'd probably run a 5W-40 (MB 229.5/LL-01/A40),
perhaps some 0W-40 or even 0W-30 during the colder season. Sibiria sees
temps as low as -65°C, which calls for a PAO 0W-20 or just letting the engine
run the whole night like some Russians in Nowosibirsk etc. use to do.
.
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2019
Messages
82
Location
Sweden
The problem is they don't label the oil correctly viscosity wise. None of the engine oils at their web page does. 10W50 corresponds to no standard. That is a big red flag for that the content is not what you'd expect it to be. And that makes approvals or "specs" nowhere to be seen. I would not consider that appropriate for a BMW motorcycle any more than a BMW passenger car engine.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2003
Messages
12,392
Location
Illinois
Hi,

I am a new member of the forum. I've got a question which really made me concerned. I've recently changed the oil of my E34 with Unil 10W-50 (feedback for the brand would be much appreciated as well). When I researched the brand, I didn't find any negative comments and I had 5 liters laying around, it meets specs, that's why I used it. Now, whenever I pull the dipstick the oil feels very thin. Like as soon as I pull it out, oil drips. In my experience, it takes a second or two before a drop forms and falls.

Engine has no issue whatsoever with mixing coolant and oil, level is fine, color is sort of gray though. (I may attach a picture if needed).

Now what concerns me is: Is oil thickness (judging by the dipstick) a good metric of oil quality? Am I overthinking this? The engine works good, no ticking and has even become quieter since I changed the oil.

I would really appreciate your feedback, cheers.
Unless you are feeling it at 100 degrees C, it's probably going to feel like a 10w30 as you are closer to the 10w aspect of the multigrade than the 50 aspect. At ambient temps where humans are comfortable touching and feeling the oil, they are going to feel pretty much the same.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2005
Messages
21,534
Location
Upper Midwest
The problem is they don't label the oil correctly viscosity wise. None of the engine oils at their web page does. 10W50 corresponds to no standard. That is a big red flag for that the content is not what you'd expect it to be. And that makes approvals or "specs" nowhere to be seen. I would not consider that appropriate for a BMW motorcycle any more than a BMW passenger car engine.
Nothing more is required on a manufacturer branded oil. Some don’t even list their own approvals but they doesn’t mean it isn’t a proper oil.

The picture oil says it is API SG/SH and JASO MA, what other specs do you need on a BMW labeled oil? Actually you don’t even need those, all you really need is the BMW part number. Unless of course you’re trying to argue it’s counterfeit but that’s an unrelated problem to the labeling. If it was purchased from an authorized BMW dealer and carries the correct part number for the intended application then it’s the correct oil. That’s how it works with manufacturer labeled brands.
 

ZeeOSix

$100 site donor 2022
Joined
Jul 22, 2010
Messages
32,413
Location
PNW
Now, whenever I pull the dipstick the oil feels very thin. Like as soon as I pull it out, oil drips. In my experience, it takes a second or two before a drop forms and falls.
At what temperature are you doing this? A second or two at say 60F seems about right. If you did this with hot oil it would drip off in less than a second.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2005
Messages
21,534
Location
Upper Midwest
It's an E34 man. lt predates all BMW oil specifications.

View attachment 79918
Yes his vehicle predates Longlife-01 just as it did for my E34. However it is still the correct oil for that car just as it was for mine since “Special Oils” went to Longlife-98 then to Longlife-01.

Besides it was the OP s who noted the oil he was using “meets specs”, so what “specs” is that oil meeting if it isn’t Longlife-01?
 
Top