Redline Oil Bad for New Engines

Not open for further replies.
Jul 17, 2003
New York
See below. Just saw the reply. Is FM / EP that is in Redlines Oil that bad....I changed the oil out at 3200 miles, and also at 6500 miles just last weekend again with Redline 5W30. I would have figuered the *initial* break in for the rings would have been taken place after 3000+ miles. I varied the RPM (and still do) up to 5K to help the rings set properly. Just new to this but any advice is greatly appreciated ! ____________________ Ugh, why would you void your warranty with Redline? Unless you do a lot of specialized racing, Redline is NOT the oil of choice. Get it out, not for extended drains. Why did you change factory fill at 3k anyway? Isn't the BMW interval 15,000 miles? Your engine will not break-in properly with fresh oil that has tons of FM and EP, bad move. Your rings have to seat while there is cross-hatching still in the cylinder bore. Honestly, at this point, I'd put in a DINO oil and drive it hard, low revs and deep throttle, seat those rings. I guess you *could* just change to a BMW or ACEA A3 approved oil like, M1 0w-40 (not my fav) GC or regular ACEA A3 Syntec 10w-40 or 5w-30. Redline is for cars like nitrous V-tec Civics. Timing-wise, my opinion is 6 month intervals are best, up to 8,000 miles each. Fresh oil for the cold of winter and heat of the summer means changing in Nov and May, forget about miles.
I'm willing to bet if you ask Redline that they'll tell you their oil is not just for "nitrous V-tec Civics." Redline makes some pretty good oils. I've got two cases ready to try in my BMW [Big Grin] [Big Grin] when I'm done with the Amsoil. Whomever wrote that is off base.
Chefwong, I use Synthetics (on avergae) from about 3,000 miles on and have had no oil consumption problems with any vehicle. I started using AMsoil 0W30 in my Frontier at 110 miles with no oil concumption/breaking-in problems. Now using Redline [email protected] 80,000 miles and still no problems.
Copied directly from Mobil's website: When can I start using Mobil 1 with SuperSyn™ in my new vehicle? You can start using Mobil 1 with SuperSyn™ in new vehicles at any time, even in brand-new vehicles. In fact, Mobil 1 with SuperSyn™ is original equipment (it is installed at the factory) in: * Chevrolet Corvette * All Porsche vehicles * Mercedes-Benz AMG vehicles * Dodge Viper * Ford Mustang Cobra R * All Aston Martin cars One of the myths that persists about Mobil 1 is that new engines require a break-in period with conventional oil. Current engine manufacturing technology does not require this break-in period. As indicated by the decisions of the engineers who design these "factory-fill" high-performance cars, Mobil 1 can be used in an engine from the day you drive the car off the showroom floor. Cary
Molekule, is this the Nissan that is hard on the oil? If so, did you ever sample the 0w-30? [Smile]
The funny thing is that UOAs on Honda's factory-fill oil show high (as in VERY) levels of molybdenum - itself not known for high friction characteristics... The prevailing (at least posted) opinions here is that Honda uses a special break-in oil loaded with molybdenum. I've not seen anything in -official- print suggesting this - the molybdenum could just as easily have come from the assembly lube used on the cam. No matter - the molybdenum's THERE in the oil at Honda's recommended change-out time. Now if having a slick AF/EP agent such as molybdenum retards break-in, WHY would a conscientous manufacturer like Honda load their new engines up with the stuff? (While BMW's been around a long time, given its market share worldwide, I'll bet Honda's built, raced, and sold more engines.) While I have no intention to switch to high-priced "designer" synthetic oil (Chevron Supreme 10W-30 dino every 3,000 miles RULES!), someone would have to be a complete anal orifice in claiming the use of Redline would be detrimental to the break-in process of a BMW (or even a Hyundai! [Smile] ).
Okay, we'll get back to the reason that you couldn't run synthetic oil in a Harley Davidson engine. Reason #1. It is TOO slippery, causes the needle bearing to skid and flat spot. Think about this, an oil that is TOO slippery? Does this exsist? I want to buy stock in that company. And, a bearing that is skiding and being damaged by friction from an oil that is TOO slippery? Hmmm, to slippery and friction causing damage from the same lubricant - is this possible? I imagine that all of the FM's in Red Line will reduce the heat that is produced by this new engine during the break-in period. The rings will still seat, and it wouldn't surprise me if the cross-hatch is still visible after 10k miles with any oil. The downfall to running an expensive synthetic oil for breaking in is that it should, in most new engines, be drained too soon to realize the oil's full potential.
Yes, it's the heat that concerns certain engine manufacturers about the use of synthetic oils during break in. Synthetic base stocks have a higher heat capacity than conventional oils. This allows them to carry heat away from moving parts better. Correct seating of piston rings requires a certain amount of heat in order to allow the softer metals to "flow" into shape. If high enough temperatures are not attained during the initial break in period, most of the break in wear will be the result of the high spots on the rings welding and shearing off as wear metal. In the extreme case, this can lead to cylinder glazing, which causes persistent oil consumption for the rest of the engine's useful life. But this is all hypothetical. I really doubt that the difference in heat transfer is significant between synthetic and conventional oils in automotive engines. If you break in an engine properly (alternating load and cool down periods), the base stock shouldn't make much difference. The only possible exception might be in heavy duty diesel engines used in pickups. There, unless the engine is operated under design spec loads during break in, cylinder temperatures don't get high enough to allow proper ring seating. In this application, the use of synthetics early on could be detrimental.
Buster, This Nissan engine is a high power density engine with a small sump and has oil squirters. The most mileage I have been able to put on any oil as yet was about 5.7k, and this was Mobil 1 "tricked." Most oils have degraded quickly from 3.5k on in this engine. What I meant by 3,000 miles: This was the average mileage in which I usually change from factory or dino oil to synthetics, with the exception being the Nissan Frontier. As far as an Amsoil 0W30 analysis, no, since the results would have been skewed by factory "residuals" anyway. This was the oil I had on-hand when I brought the vehicle home from the dealership.
As the author of that response, I stand by it. Chef, refer to your BMW owner's manual for ACCURATE information on oil specs and change interval. As I remember it says, "1st change at 15,000 miles, BMW HP Synth/ACEA A3/BMW Long- Life 01 oil". I am sure the most profitable car company in the World is capable of authoring the exact specs into the manual based on 1000s of vehicles tested. Anyway, all I'm saying is you could have chosen a less contraversial oil with known additive chemistry and the correct ACEA specs...for break-in. That is what I'd do and is the best advice I can give. Wierd oils can affect break-in, period. Few members here have more European engine-building experience and Euro OEM Service experience than my peers and are here spouting on this issue without any basis. You *can* void your warranty with out-of-spec oil, if you want RL later, fine. [ November 14, 2003, 05:52 PM: Message edited by: TSoA ]
Thanks MK. [Cheers!]
I really doubt that the difference in heat transfer is significant between synthetic and conventional oils in automotive engines.
I'm not sure what defines significant but RL and S2k AMsoil can lower engine temps by 15-20F. I highly doubt that small of a change would make an impact though. Is RL's chemistry controversial or are oil analysis companies just not able to read it well?
Curiously, in the 2000/2001/2003 U.S. BMW owner's manuals I've seen, A3 is never mentioned, nor is BMW LL-01 spec. They do name BMW High Performance 5W-30 Synthetic Oil, and Mobil 1 5W-30/5W-40 as acceptable. BMW's oil meets ACEA A3, while Mobil 1 5W-30 does not. We don't have Mobil 1 5W-40 here (yet?) From a 2003 E46 manual:  -
quadrun- thanks for providing that document. I assume the 15,000 mi interval is still in effect. Too bad that BMW did not take the time to survey all the available oils for their US customers. Gotta call that tech line, I wonder what they are saying about GC. (lol) I can only think ACEA A3 would be assumed, so I guess I gave bad advice? [I dont know] Mobil 1 5w-30 is A5, but SJ only for adding...??? OK, so Mobil 1 5w-30 is approved, use that. Why would BMW even mention a Euro blend 5w-40 when it is unavailable here or just define the specs more carefully? Will online BMW techs say RedLine is a good break-in oil? Doubt it. Can OTC 5w-30s go 15,000 miles, no. If someone's soultion to proper break-in procedure and factory oil or ~equlivant~ is $8q "mystery-formula" oil every 3000 miles, PLEASE just go do it. If this is what you have decided, to override factory OCI and fluids, you MUST have thought it out completely and why even post a doubt here just for me to give the RTFM (read the manual) answer that you know already. I don't understand, you (people) picked RL out in spite of ACEA and now don't want to hear that argument! I am sorry for ranting, but it seems every post claims a casulty of a couple of members that I've lost respect for in the last few weeks. To me this is simple, an unapproved fluid at an unapproved interval. [I dont know] [ November 14, 2003, 09:00 PM: Message edited by: TSoA ]
Ok, I am more relaxed now. Many manuals warn against 5w-30 for extended high-speed highway driving. Many manuals warn against changing out the break-in oil early. Many manuals give a spec that cuts across brands, not just one brand, Mobil. Oddly, Mobil 1 0w-40 carries the BMW LL 01 spec along with GC and BMW HP Synth. Wouldn't the 0w-40 be the one to specify in THIS 2003 manual? How could BMW not know this? So much for my theory of BMW being aware of the consumer motor oil market. IMO, this manual was written to increase sales of BMW HP oil. Anyway, I was wondering, Chef, did you change you own oil or send it to BMW dealer for the service? You might regret it if your service writer finds out about the non-spec oil. As for this:
someone would have to be a complete anal orifice in claiming the use of Redline would be detrimental
...a pretty rank way to address another forum member. Just because YOU can't figure out why RL could affect break-in is no reason to lash-out like a frustrated idiot. When is the last time you owned a car that called for an oil spec other than API? tick, tock... I guess I am anal, not wanting to void a new BMW's warranty.
Chefwong you are fine. If you rings had not seated in 3000 miles then they are never going to seat. Modern engine designs are functional broke in with in the first 15-20 minutes of driveing. Even old school 1960-1970 detroit V8's were about 98% finished with their accelerated wear breakin some place between 600-1000 miles roughly. Note that while wear metals may continue to trend down ward even 30,000 miles into an engines life the key to spoting the end of break in is compression and vaccum tests. The UOA while useful is only really accurate as a guide to judge breakin if ferrographic testing is also performed. The size of the wear particules will tell you more then the ppm in terms of break in! Some engine show single digit wear reading in as little as the first 2000 miles while some never get below double digits in the life of the vechile.
Red Line itself says not to use its oil until the engine is broken in. I doubt that 3K miles would be considered "broken in" for this purpose and I'd wait until at least 6,000 miles. A few years ago Land Rover issued a technical bulletin saying not to install synthetic oil before the 7,500-mile service because of break-in issues, so Mobil 1's statement isn't true for everybody either. I assume from the subsequent posts that Chefwong has a new Bimmer. BMW is one of several car companies that has become notorious for trying to slime its way out of covering problems during the warranty period--simply my opinion. If a recent car magazine article is correct, certain of its engines are known for catastrophically failing after nonapproved oil was installed. Use its oil at the approved maintenance periods until the warranty expires, then change to Red Line. And hope for the best. [ November 15, 2003, 01:09 PM: Message edited by: ekrampitzjr ]
BMW dealers in Europe are free to choose the oil they want to sell (no "free" maintenance over there, BTW it's not free here either) as long as the oil meets BMW specs. The only incentive they have to sell BMW branded oil is that Castrol sells it to them at a lower price than Castrol branded counterpart and usually cheaper than competition. When first LongLife specs calling for synthetic oil were introduced circa 1998 the number of oils on N.A. market meeting the specs were nil so BMW HP synthetic was the only choice. To comply with Moss-Magnussen act BMW N.A. had to recommend another oil hence the Mobil1 recommendation, the best widely available synthetic on the market. I bet that nobody at BMW N.A. headquarters thought about it ever since. Dealers are automatically updated with newest specs but nobody bothers with informing customers, they will come to the dealership for service anyway and the enthusiasts will dig up the info themselves. All US dealers sell only BMW branded oils or Castrol oils from special oil list. Initial break-in period for BMW is 1,200 miles and cars come with synthetic oil from factory, no break-in oil is used. I don't think that using Red Line after that initial period is such a big deal. It is very likely that this oil would meet BMW specs and the chances of something going wrong by using this oil are minimal. The only problem I see is that if there is a failure, not even oil related, BMW N.A. will refuse to fix it under warranty and it would take a long time and substantial amount of money to fight them in court. BMW engine failures are a blown out of proportion and most explanations are false, take car magazine articles with a grain of salt...
Not open for further replies.