Oil for 318i ?

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Dec 27, 2002
I recently got a 1991 BMW 318i with 174xxx km, I want to change the oil when it reach 175k. This is the first car I owned by myself.

I wonder should I get those "high mileage" formula engine oil ?
Also should I change to synthetics and what weight I should use?

I live in Vancouver, in the winter, it never go below -10C, in the summer months, it is around the high 20sC. City/Highway is around 80%/20%.

thank you for all the help.

[ August 21, 2003, 03:43 PM: Message edited by: BarF1 ]

You didn't way whether or not you intended to try longer drain intervals nor whether or not your car is using any oil; so, I'll give you options.

First, I would run an AutoRx treatment regimen on the vehicle. If you are not familiar with this product (held in high regard by many on this board) go to the site sponsor section and click on AutoRx. After you run that treatment:

If you are going to do short intervals or if your Bimmer is using oil(6K Km or less), I'd go with 10W30 Castrol GTX or GTX High Mileage (2d choice 10W30 Pennzoil or Pennzoil High Mileage). (If you need something thicker, then go to the 10W40 in either.)

If you want to go long intervals (>6K), and your oil consumption is not excessive, I'd go synthetic and I'd use German Castrol Syntec 0W30. If you are not familiar with this product, you need to know what to look for. The Syntec bottle has a red 0W30 label (don't get the yellow label) and on the back it says "Made In Germany, Imported by: Castrol North America, Inc" It MUST say that on the back. There is apparently a small (relatively speaking) number of red label bottles that are not the German stuff...and the German SLX formula IS what you want. It is available in BC and has shown up at Wal-Mart and Canadian Tire.

[ August 21, 2003, 04:02 PM: Message edited by: pscholte ]
The recommended oils for that car are heavier than 10w-30 (the manual says do not use 10-w30 above 40F). If you use mineral, run 10w-40 in the winter, 20w-50 in the summer. If you go synthetic, you can run 0w-40, 5w-40, 10w-40 year around. You can also use M1 15w-50 year around, but it would be a little heavy on those -10C mornings.

The engine is in great shape, not burning oil at all.

I dont really care about the interval, because oil changes are easy to do.
I'm with Cary on this one, run 10W-40 year round. I'd use Red Line with 7.5K mile intervals, eventually adjusted with UOA.
Ok well, can you get Schaeffer s7000 15w40? Patman should know how in Canada. That should work good year round. Change at 5k miles, more than safe.

Of course I like RL too, but hear its $$$ in Canada.
Is there anyone left in Richmond that does not have a BMW now?
The 318s and 320s are not hard on engine oil from what I've seen.
Synthetics could just be a big waste of money, but a good HDMO 5W40 would easily cover all the conditions your car might see from November to March.
I'm quite sure any brand of API rated CI-4 15W40 would be plenty adaquate for the rest of the year.
Honda, BMW, Mercedes probably is 90% of the cars in Richmond.

I brought it because it was a great car for me to Autox.

I go to Autox through out the summer months, I forgot to mention that.
Either M-1 15-50 or Castrol Syntec 5-50 for your application. Does the dash have oil service light indicators? I believe the proper drain interval is about 9-10k mi. (16k km).

Originally posted by Jason Troxell:
Ok well, can you get Schaeffer s7000 15w40? Patman should know how in Canada.

Yep, if anyone wants the contact info for a good Schaeffer dealer in Canada, send me a PM and I'll send you the contact info for him.

Originally posted by userfriendly:
I forgot about the kids and their *&#@ Hondas.
The 04 Subaru WRXs may be the ones to beat.

I just found out today about the 04 WRX STi, with 300hp, that sounds like a nice little pocket rocket! I'd better watch out for those, I've only got about 280-290hp in my car, and the WRX is probably a good 200lbs lighter than mine (mine is about 3400lbs)
Patman, don't forget about the incredible traction it has too. Carry a ventilator in your car cause you might be breathing it's exhaust in competition. Don't forget the Mitsu EVO which is apparently better balanced and more potent with less than the best drivers

I'd like to suggest a local lube, the Petro Canada, Duron 5w-40 synthetic. This is sold as a HD diesel oil, but I ran some in my Audi 100 and was very impressed with the stuff. You can run it year round with your climate and it will pump well even at much lower temps than you are likely to see ....

The best fluid to come out of Canada since Molson XXX


Actually, I'm not sure if Amsoil is using the PC Group III or the Royal Dutch Shell XHVI stuff made from slack wax in their XL-7500 series oils??? I understand they already get their VI modifiers from Shell, so they may be buying some basestocks as well.

The PC stuff is an excellent value in a group III oil for about $12.00 US per gallon - I recommend it a lot for the VW TDI diesels.

For an older BMW I would recommend any 5W-40 or 5W-50 oil that is ACEA rated A3/B3. I would definitely stay away from any conventional 10W or 15W motor oil in the winter. My wifes car is a 1997 BMW 318i with the 1.9L engine and when I used Mobil One 0W-40 we had very little oil consumption but I do think you may be better off with a 5W-40 or 5W-50 since your motor is the older 1.8L design and has more miles. I would get the cheapest (ACEA A3/B3) synthetic oil in those viscosities that you can find. Also with that many miles it may be a good idea to flush the motor to remove any crud in the motor. If you do decide to do a flush then be sure to follow the directions carefully or damage to the motor can be the result. I suggest that you only keep the oil in for about 3,000 miles for the first oil change you do just in case there is still some crud leftover in the motor then after that just keep using the same brand synthetic oil and change according to the BMW recommendations.

[ August 22, 2003, 09:18 PM: Message edited by: Sin City ]
The 1991-1995 1.8(M42) is for all practical purposes the same design as the 1996-1998 1.9(M44). The M42 is OBD I and the M44 is OBD II. The M44 uses different hydraulic tappets and lacks the forged crank of the M42. As for oil viscosity, I use M1 15W-50 year round in my 82000 mile 1995 318ti. Note that it is rarely driven in ambient temps below 5F(ZR rated summer/track tires don't like cold asphalt/concrete). The 2.8 M52(92000 miles) in the wife's 5er 5W-40 gets Rotella T 5W-40 synthetic year round, though I'm debating whether to change it over to M1 0W-40. Both cars get their oil changed according to the Service Interval light-@8000-9000 miles-unless they see some track action, in which case I change it at 4500 miles. In a 1991 M42 I'd probably run M1 15W-50 in summer and 0W-40 in winter. I'd also change the oil at @4000 mile intervals for a couple of times and then go by the SI lights. One more thing, stick a Conforti chip in the ECU. It makes a very enjoyable difference
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