Oil for BMW

Messages
310
Location
Northern California
Hi All, I wanted to get the collective opinion of this group about oil for a BMW. I have a 94 BMW 525i with what is known as the M50 motor (Twin-Cam Hydro lifter engine). The owners manual lists 20w-50 as the proper oil for my climate (Northern California, tempuratures from 30F-105F). I have run Mobil 1 15w-50 since I bought the car in 1998. Looking on the board, I see that the BMW "Special" Oil is a heavy 30 weight and approved as an oil for this engine. I am considering switching to Mobil 1 0w-40 in this vehicle, because 1) it is primarly driven short distances, and 2) I am using the 0w-40 in my other vehicle and would only need shelf space for one oil then. My questions are: 1) Why would BMW say that 5w-30 (abet a heavy 30) is acceptable for this car when the manual only recommends 5w-30 below 40F I believe. 2) Given the Mobil is heavier than the BMW oil, should I worry about running it? 3) Would there be any reason to pick the redline 5w-40 over the Mobil 0w-40? Thanks Cary
 
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23,591
It's similar with my Audi. Audi says I can use 5W-30 full synthetic oil at all temps, but 5W-30 dino is NOT suitable for long distance/high speed driving at high ambient temps. Pentosin makes a BMW-approved 5W-40, which is only a hair more expensive than Mobil 1 and less expensive than Redline. ecstuning carries Pentosynth 5W-40. I'm thinking of using either that or Lubro Moly 5W-40 in my Audi A4 (Runs currently on M1 0W-40). PS: How did the M1 15W-50 perform in your engine?
 
Messages
130
Location
New York
If it ain't broke, why fix it? The engine hasn't changed since it was built (well, if you don't count wear). If they recommended xw50 back then, and it runs well on it now, I wouldn't change it. I don't see any reason for you to go with Redline. At best it's overkill for a normal use passenger car. I think the M1 15w50 is still your ticket. For their new cars, I know BMW is recommending sythetic 5w30 now on the regular line (non-M) I6s. The were recommending 5w40 for a while. Then they cut a deal with Castrol, and overnight they went to 5w30. I actually want one of these cars (a 330Ci). If I got it, I'd run it on either M1 0w40 or the German Castrol Syntec 0w30, if I could find it. I actually wouldn't be suprised if it turns out that BMW's own lable oil is the same as the German Syntec. BTW, they use a service indicator to tell you when oil changes are necessary. This tends to work out to a mileage in the 15,000 range. I'd love to see a UOA on oil that's been in that car for that long. They cover indicated oil changes in the warrantee period. Alot of Bimmerhead seem to be doing intermediated changes, between those indicated, not trusting the oil to go the distance. [ July 08, 2003, 05:03 PM: Message edited by: MikeW ]
 
Messages
47,646
Location
Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
Why not use Amsoil Series 2000 20W-50? An excellent oil for this application - and if I can take it to 10,000 miles in my turbo with zero issues (North of Seattle) - you should be able to go over 10K miles.
 
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33,977
Location
Southern NJ
I'm with Pablo, I think the Amsoil S2k 20w-50 is a good choice, especially hereing his results. Mobil 1 I wouldn't run bc it's too thin IMO. Amsoil's 30wts would probably be better being they are heavier. Delvac 1 would be a good choice but it's a pain to find. M1 0w-40 is a choice too.
 

Cary

Thread starter
Messages
310
Location
Northern California
The reason I am interested in the 0w-40 is for faster lube on start-up and to only need one oil in the garage. I have considered Redline because locally I can buy it for $6.50 quart v. $5.00 for Mobil an minor increase. The 15w-50 has worked fine, except I get a little lifter noise on startup (pretty common for this engine), other than that no complaints. BTW, I do not follow the service lights for changing the oil (on this model they go out about every 10,000). The car only sees about 5,000 miles per year, so I change the oil about every 5,000 or 1 year, whichever comes first. Cary
 
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2,480
DO NOT use the BMW 5-30 in your engine. This oil is designed to for post-`99 engines only. Even then, they've had problems with the M engines due to this thin oil. I've used erroneously for about 60k mi. You will get increased sludge build up because the viscosity is too thin. It is A3 rated, but where did you get the idea that it is thick? It's as thick as other 30 weights within a given range. It is more robust than M-1 5-30 as a result, but there's only so much they can do with a 30 weight... As you've stated your manual (as does mine-1994 850) specs a 5-30 only up to 40F. This is the traditional, tried-and-true European oil grading system. I agree with the other posts...stick with what's already working for you. Now the TWS 10-60 that's being used in the M cars...that's the real deal. I may try this in my car next...
 
Messages
130
Location
New York
The M engines shouldn't be running on the 5w30. They use the 10w60. And even with that, those engines have been blowing. The 5w30 is for the normal line engines.
 
Messages
33,977
Location
Southern NJ
quote:
They use the 10w60. And even with that, those engines have been blowing.
And what does that tell you? Its a **** shame when you spend $65k dollars on a car and then engine has to run a 60wt oil and it might blow on you. [Roll Eyes]
 
Messages
6,388
Location
Washington St.
quote:
Originally posted by Cary: The reason I am interested in the 0w-40 is for faster lube on start-up and to only need one oil in the garage. I have considered Redline because locally I can buy it for $6.50 quart v. $5.00 for Mobil an minor increase. The 15w-50 has worked fine, except I get a little lifter noise on startup (pretty common for this engine), other than that no complaints. BTW, I do not follow the service lights for changing the oil (on this model they go out about every 10,000). The car only sees about 5,000 miles per year, so I change the oil about every 5,000 or 1 year, whichever comes first. Cary
Or you could use Schaeffer #705 20W-50 for just over half the cost you're paying now, and equal or better protection. Ken
 

mdv

Messages
531
Location
MA
quote:
Originally posted by buster:
quote:
They use the 10w60. And even with that, those engines have been blowing.
And what does that tell you? Its a **** shame when you spend $65k dollars on a car and then engine has to run a 60wt oil and it might blow on you. [Roll Eyes]

Except that is was designed as a loose tolerance engine and made for the 10W-60. They've stated this from the start. It's not the oil that was causing those failures anyway, there was a design issue that has since been corrected (after a lengthy process).
 
Messages
450
Location
The Bay Area
All the BMW drivers I know in SF use Mobil 1 15W-50 synthetic. A few use the Red Line products. In my opinion Red Line is the cream of the crop, but Mobil 1 is good, too. [ July 08, 2003, 11:44 PM: Message edited by: mf150 ]
 
Messages
11,006
Location
Canberra ACT Australia
After looking at 525i Castrol, BP, Mobil, Shell sites here (Oz) the M1 15W50 is a good choice. Redline 5W40 could be worth trying if you feel like a change IMO. Is you engine the E34 2.5 litre?
 
Messages
130
Location
New York
Well, it is a >100HP/L naturally aspirated engine. It is just a tad stressed. And there was a design flaw (that has apparently been fixed). The M3 is sort of the bottom rung of the exotic space. I don't know if cars like that can or should be held to the the same levels of reliability as you basic Honda. Then again, the regular line BMWs should (and don't quite make it in that regard).
quote:
Originally posted by buster:
quote:
They use the 10w60. And even with that, those engines have been blowing.
And what does that tell you? Its a **** shame when you spend $65k dollars on a car and then engine has to run a 60wt oil and it might blow on you. [Roll Eyes]

 

Cary

Thread starter
Messages
310
Location
Northern California
I'm going to stay with the M1 15w-50, it looks like there really is no better alternative. For the person that asked it is an E34 525i. The E34 refers to the chassis. In the U.S. the E34 chassis came with two 2.5l motors, from 1989-1991 with the M20 engine (2.5l, single cam, 2v) and from 1992-1995 with the M50 (2.5l, twin came, 4v). The M50 came in three of different versions over the four years, the difference being compression and variable valve timing. Cary
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by buster: I'll take a Vette for $40k, run Mobil 1 of my choice and run 0-60 in 4.0 sec. flat. [Big Grin]
And I'll race you in mine, running Redline, and run my 0-60 in 3.9. [Smile] Of course if I had a C5 it wouldn't be kept stock for very long. [Big Grin]
 
Messages
33,977
Location
Southern NJ
quote:
And I'll race you in mine, running Redline, and run my 0-60 in 3.9
ha!...I might opt for Redline in a Vette myself. [Cheers!]
 
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