UOA on BMW 0w-30 on BMW F10 M5 with S63 TVDI V8

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Attached is my first UOA on my new-to-me 2015 BMW M5 with 9,000 miles. The engine is a Turbo Valvetronic Direct Injection (TVDI,) twin scroll turbo 4.4L V8. The BMW dealer has apparently already performed three oil changes in the first 8,000 miles of the vehicle, so I think this vehicle has been very well maintained. I swapped out the oil soon after I took possession of the vehicle just so I could put in my preferred oil for my Central Texas climate, Ravenol VST 5w-40. The original fill in this vehicle from the factory was 5w-30 but BMW changed from Castrol to Shell and went to a 0w-30 "FE", or Fuel Efficiency. Since I believe BMW was more concerned with CAFE numbers than they were the protection of my motor with this decision, I decided against the 0w-30 viscosity. UOA looks very good with about 800 miles on this oil, which was the BMW 0w-30 which I believe is based of a GTL base stock.

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For DI, use an LL-04 oil instead. Low sulfur fuel in the U.S. now allows it. Keeps valves cleaner. Lubrizol presented something about that years ago, and Europe has been using LL-04 instead of LL-01 for years in gasoline engines. That puts HTHS around 3.6 or so, higher than LL-01FE which is about 3.0. Lubrizol presentation

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AirBull

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Interesting point. While I see what you're getting at, a lot of times it comes down to the specific product available and I'm not certain I like any of the other 5w40 LL04 options much better; (look at the VOA for the Red Line Euro Spec 5w-40, below.) If I were to go to a LL-04 in 5w-40, I'd probably lean towards the Red Line Euro 5w-40 but I wish they would tell me more about their flash point (not terribly concerned because I know they use a full synthetic ester base stock formula, and their pour point is indicative of a good base stock,) but I'm not sure what their sulfated ash content is, (assume it is around .7~.8 whereas my Ravenol VST 5w40 has a 1.05.) While Red Line's Noack of 6 is better than even my Ravenol VST of 7.4, it does also have a higher HTHS of 4.3 compared to 3.8. I don't know, will have to consider the Red Line Euro 5w-40 LL-04 the next time around, even though I do really like the Ravenol VST 5w40 product based off a PAO with USVO. I think Red Line's ester base stocks are pretty good, as well, though. I do run about 4oz of Red Line's SI-1 Complete Fuel System Cleaner at every fill, usually Costco 93 with 5x the detergents as required by the EPA to be classified as a Top Tier fuel.
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LL-01 (2001). API SJ. ACEA A3/B3. SAE 0W30, 5W30, 5W40, 10W60. The first revision with detergents and additives brought in to work with the ridiculous 15,000 mile oil change interval that BMW promoted at the time. At the same time, certain components of the formula were removed or reduced (ZDDP). However, once cars and engines were out of warranty and mileage accumulated the nasty effects of extended oil changes were realized (i.e. oil sludge). LL-01 is compatible with engines approved for LL-98. In 2016 BMW announced new 0W30 to replace 5W30. 0W30 carries the same LL-01 approval with a FE label, making it backwards compatible but also making newer models more fuel efficient. LL-04 (2005). API SN. ACEA C3 (similar to A3). SAE 5W30, 5W40. The LL-04 oils have been greatly misunderstood in the past but this is now in greater demand. Most LL-04 oils are intended for Diesels, although it was also approved for gas engines in Europe and other world markets. BMW never certified LL-04 for the US (see next paragraph). Diesel oil has long been valued by engine builders and tuners because of its higher levels of ZDDP and higher HTHS ratings, both are excellent indicators of engine protection at higher temperatures. LL-04 also has a lower SAPS value which is good news for direct-injection engines (all BMW turbo engines since 2007). You won't find Genuine BMW LL-04 sold here but Red Line Euro-Series oil is produced around this standard. As part of the efforts to make engine oil more environmentally friendly, the US EPA required ZDDP levels to be reduced in gasoline oil. However, Diesel oil was exempt from this ZDDP reduction. BMW never certified LL-04 for the US market because a) there weren't many Diesels for sale here, b) it was incompatible with the high amounts of sulfur and Ethanol in US fuel. However, since 2014 our gasoline more closely matches European formulas and interest in LL-04 has increased. LL-04 and LL-01 are interchangeable/compatible but LL-04 is preferred for its higher ZDDP and low SAPS.
https://www.bimmerworld.com/BMW-Engine-Oil/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjNxfOoouso https://www.bimmerworld.com/Red-Line-Euro-5W40-Engine-Oil-Quart.html https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/3877347/RedLine_5w40_Euro

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One of my favorites for an HTHS 3.5-level Euro oil is Mobil1 ESP 5w30. This would be +0.5 more HTHS protection than BMW's LL-01FE level, so plenty. HTHS, not sae xwX viscosity, is the real measure of high temperature protection. ...Corvettes now use the 0w40-cousin for hard driving. .... https://mobiloil.com/en/motor-oils/mobil-1/mobil-1-esp Unlike Redline euro 5w40, which has no manufacturer approvals, Mobil1 ESP 5w30 has one of the best lists of tests it passes. Even though it does not carry a BMW approval, it does have Mercedes, VW, Audi, GM, Peugeot, and Porsche approvals, which is a mountain of tests, and is 0.8 sulfated ash (SA). Just the Mercedes approval alone is effective ( https://www.aftonchemical.com/Afton/media/PdfFiles/Specification_Handbook.pdf ) and I've heard VW tests are very tough as well....
 

AirBull

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Originally Posted by oil_film_movies
One of my favorites for an HTHS 3.5-level Euro oil is Mobil1 ESP 5w30. This would be +0.5 more HTHS protection than BMW's LL-01FE level, so plenty. HTHS, not sae xwX viscosity, is the real measure of high temperature protection. ...Corvettes now use the 0w40-cousin for hard driving. .... https://mobiloil.com/en/motor-oils/mobil-1/mobil-1-esp Unlike Redline euro 5w40, which has no manufacturer approvals, Mobil1 ESP 5w30 has one of the best lists of tests it passes. Even though it does not carry a BMW approval, it does have Mercedes, VW, Audi, GM, Peugeot, and Porsche approvals, which is a mountain of tests, and is 0.8 sulfated ash (SA). Just the Mercedes approval alone is effective ( https://www.aftonchemical.com/Afton/media/PdfFiles/Specification_Handbook.pdf ) and I've heard VW tests are very tough as well....
BMW used to say that LL-04 was acceptable for gasoline motors but that was only for those in Europe with low sulfur content gasoline. Assuming that one is confident in the US gasoline refineries that they have now reduced the sulfur content in US gasoline down closer to Eu5 standards, (10 ppm average on annual basis,) per Tier 3 standards the EPA began to phase in in 2017, LL-04 may now be acceptable for US motors. Ravenol does have some good looking BMW approved oils under their Racing line, but I'm not sure the slightly lower sulfated ash content is worth the risk? (0.80 vs 1.05) Especially with the associated heat with running twin turbochargers, I'm inclined to lean towards the 5w-40 viscosity as it handles the heat better, but which HTHS, MRV, and viscosity at 100°C would work best for my motor? I don't want a Noack/volatility greater than the mid 7 of the Ravenol VST 5w40, nor a Sulfated Ash content greater than 1.05.

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