Replacement for BMW 15W40 non-synthetic

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Jun 24, 2009
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CT, USA
Hello, My wife has a 1993 525i BMW with 140,000 miles on it. It is not driven hard. I've always used BMW branded oil but the dealer is over an hour ride and their prices are always inflated. Can someone recommend a replacement oil that is as good if not better than BMW's that I can pick up at a local parts store? I've tried Mobile 1 in the past but the car started using oil. I switched back to non-synthetic BMW and it doesn't use any. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Frank
 
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15W-40 Amsoil 15W-40 Rotella 15W-40 Delvac 15W-40 Redline 15W-40 Motul 300V With a M-1 or Amsoil oil filter
 
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Nice. Well, if there are any other specs on the BMW label, like "API CH" that could be a guide to picking out a replacement oil, by matching them to the specs of otc oil. Likely, the BMW oil is just rebottled from a major blender, like Shell, or even their "Official" supplier, Castrol. If anything, it's not as good as the otc oil. Are you shure it's 15w-40? Usually it's 5w-40 for winters, I see you are in CT. 15w-40 would be a great oil above +20f. I usually recommend plain 10w-40 too, better in cold. The other option is a 10w-40 Hi-Miles oil, like MaxLife...which has similar properties to the diesel engine additives in 15w-40. That is, imo the best option, changed on a seasonal basis. (x times a year)
 
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15w-40 was the originally specced oil for a lot of BMWs before synthetics were widely adopted. They still make it and sell it for some owners of those older cars.
 

Bartman1ct

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Wow, what an amazing board. Thank you for the quick responses. Here's what it says on BMW's package. SAE 15W-40 High Performance Motor Oil - BMW High Performance MOTOR OIL, for use in all BMW cars with gasoline engines, is one of the most advanced motor oils available today. It surpasses both API and SAE specifications for motor oil. Meets API Service Cl-4, CH-4, CG-4, CF/SL
 
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 Originally Posted By: Bartman1ct
Wow, what an amazing board. Thank you for the quick responses.
We've all called each other's bluff. So we just sit here waiting around for someone new to show up and bluff them. :)
 
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Get some 5W-40 Rotella synthetic. This oil works great in these engines and excellent for year round use. Best place to buy is Wal-mart for $19/gal (around here at least). 15W-40 conventional is a bit too viscous for CT winter use and the 5W will help in this regard especially. You should not see consumption issues with this oil in your engine, even though it is synthetic. It is somewhat different than M1 synthetics. I will also second the recommendation for Maxlife 10W-40 as a replacement for the oem oil. This oil is great for reducing consumption and any leaks or seepage of older gaskets and seals. Plus it will help keep the engine clean. I am curious as to which Mobil 1 oil you tried. I have used the High Mileage 10W-30 and 10W-40 oils in these engines with good results. The only other M1 oil I use in these engines is 5W-40 TDT. Sometimes when a synthetic oil that has some cleaning ability is first used, the engine will consume some oil as things are cleaning up a bit. This usually levels off after the first or second oil change. I have not seen this happen ever since we began using Auto-Rx before switching an engine to synthetic oil.
 
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Any major 15W-40 will be a good option - Delo, Delvac, Rotella. For synthetic, Rotella T Synthetic 5W-40 would be a good option.
 

Bartman1ct

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I don't recall which M1 I used. It was a few years ago. My guess would be 5W-40. Does anyone know who's oil BMW's is? I have a 2002 325ci that has Castrol on the oil fill cap. That doesn't mean that BMW doesn't have additional standards for their oil. My guess is the only difference is the price. I've searched all over the internet and can't believe that someone that bottles the oil for BMW hasn't posted anything.
 
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Is it possible to post a picture of this 15W-40 BMW oil that you have, both front and back of the bottle? I have personally never seen this oil.
 
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That BMW 15W-40 is most likely made by Castrol for BMW. I have found qt bottles of Castrol 15W-40 with the exact specs you listed at my local Advance Auto. Not anything special, imo. In your 2002 325, I would stay with a recommended oil like (German) Castrol 0W-30 found only at AutoZone. It goes on sale every so often. The M1 0W-40 would be another option and is on sale right now at AZ, although you would end up with a M1 filter for use on another non-BMW car or truck. You're not using the 15W-40 in the 325, are you?
 
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M1 15W-50 is also a good substitute. I've run it with great success in M10, M30, M42, and S38 engines. I'd also consider M1 5W-40 TDT as well as Rotella T 5W-40 synthetic.
 
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The thick BMW 5w-30 Castrol is a superior product. People have it on EBay cheap. It's good for extended oil changes, if you desire that. I tell people to first decide how often you WANT to change oil and go from there. Notice I said how "often" not how many miles. That's the second question. So, if you only want to change every 6 months or a year, synth oil is better if that means over 5000-6000 miles. If you like changing it ever 3 or 4 months, maybe a plain dino oil (10w-40) is fine IF NOT BETTER. I would also say to experiment with different oils, but since it the wife's car, maybe it's not worth worrying about. I put good oil in my wife's car, but it's simply the stuff I already have and don't want for my car. I suppose she does a lot of lightly driven short trips, and the occasional hwy blast to the Mall? If so, thinner oil will serve you better. Even a thin dino 30 weight might work in her case, if it's a good blended semi synth with the Euro specs of A1...Castrol Syntec Blend 10w-30, for instance. I also say to observe the oil temps, if she rarly cracks +100c (+200f) a thicker oil is not needed at all. If so, the Shell Rotella Synthetic 5w-40 is among the best 5w-40 oils. If you feel adventureous, grab the German Syntec 0w-30, a thick 30 like the BMW 5w-30 which flows like a thin oil but protects like the thick 5w-40s. Many people here mention Auto-Rx, it works great with the dino 15w-40 that is good for summer. It should do wonders for the engine. Take her car out yourself and run it hard to heat it up with the Auto-Rx in there nd it'll melt away any deposits. After that, it's actually hard to go wrong if you match the oil temps to the visc (hotter=thicker oil) and the "w" ratings to the seasons. Anything over 10w is not good in Northeast winter. 10w-40 summer and 10w-30 in winter is an IDEAL combo and dino oil will serve you well (Motorcraft, Pennzoil, Havoline). Add some Auto-Rx and you are SET! Even if you decide on synth oil, it's best first to get the engine clean a bit for the synth oil to work right. http://auto-rx.com
 

jaj

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BMW's recommended replacement for the BMW-branded 15w-40 is BMW-branded 5w-30 High Performance Synthetic Oil that Audi Junkie talks about above. You can get it and genuine BMW oil filters at reasonable prices online. In fact http://www.getbmwparts.com has "kits" that include oil, filter and freight at a reasonable price. That said, any quality 5w-40 synth or 15w-40 HDEO (Delvac, Rotella, Chevron Delo, Castrol, etc) will work just fine.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Bartman1ct
How do you post a photo if you don't have a server?
You create an account on a free public server such as photobucket.com. There are a few others.
 
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