What do BMW M3 owner's do below -25C??

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Just got to think this morning as it was -23C and I was starting the car with the Castrol 10-60 that's the only factory recommended grade to be used with BMW M models.... As it is a 10W, what M3 owner's supposed to use when the temperature dips below -25C? eg. Montreal frequently dips below this...or many parts of MN, ND, etc... Is there another factory recommended grade? Anyone know?
 
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First of all, how did the engine crank and sound at -23 C? I would think that a pan and block heater would be the best option if you were to encounter such low temperatures on a regular basis.
 

Dr. T

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Cranked alright...it was pretty cold though...couldn't even touch the steering wheel with bare hands for more than a couple seconds at a time... I'm still getting stuck lifter sounds, but I'm confident that they seem to be getting better with each cold start. The length and frequency is getting shorter...so I'm not completely worried. Just wondering what happens below -25C...or thereabouts...
 
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quote:
Originally posted by moribundman: First of all, how did the engine crank and sound at -23 C? I would think that a pan and block heater would be the best option if you were to encounter such low temperatures on a regular basis.
As usually if the interlayer between steering wheel and seat is OK. Hundred of hot dogs would help too. [Big Grin] Dr.T, I used 10W-60 all the year around and did not feel some problems, at least until - 20-25 C, then it started to be hard. Given my actual knowledge I would use 5W-50 in winter time or add 1.0-1.25 l of SLX 0W-30 to TWS 10W-60.
 

Dr. T

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Primus, what was the coldest you've started the car with the 10W-60? I'd like to know, what happens at -30C? Or -35C?
 
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- 34 C, and though it was really very hard, it seems that it is not only an oil issue since many Audi/VW and MB cannot start already at -25 C with 5W-40 in their crankcase. Think for easy start below - 20 C it is more battery, gas quality and injector design that prevail over the oil choice. And it's difficult to say with what oil grade the wear will be less: with 10W-60 if you still may start, but it is tight for your engine, or with 0W/5W-X, if you need several attempts to start, but then the engine runs quite easy on it.
 

Patman

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BMW owners probably all park their cars in the garage though, where it would be above 0C most of the time anyhow. Anyways, most M3 owners up here would be storing their cars for winter.
 

Dr. T

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Well, I guess the same thing can be said for temps colder than -30C for all cars recommending 5W-30.
 
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Dixie
In Canada, I'd personally run the Amsoil Series 2000, 0w-30, which meets the BMW longlife specification ....My other choices would be the GC, 0w-30 or the Mobil 1, 0w-40. Ted
 
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In years past I have operated a number of cars at -30C to -35C with 10W-30 or 10W-40. Sometimes without resort to engine heaters, starting ether, or jumper cables. My 71 Valient 318V8 would fire up even after setting outside several days in that weather with Valvoline 10W-40. Undoubtedly you have inadequate oil flow and excessive wear until the engine warms up a little. It is very hard on the driver too. Once the engine reaches normal operating temperature, the W rating isn't that important. You could ask your dealer, or if you are doing a lot of short trips try an 0W-highest you can find. Block heaters, heated garages, etc. help too. Note, -30C = -22F. -40C = -40 F. [ January 10, 2004, 11:17 PM: Message edited by: labman ]
 
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quote:
Originally posted by TooSlick: In Canada, I'd personally run the Amsoil Series 2000, 0w-30, which meets the BMW longlife specification ....My other choices would be the GC, 0w-30 or the Mobil 1, 0w-40. Ted
Not in a S54 engine found in M3, manual and numerous service bulletins state that only Castrol TWS Motorsport 10W-60 is to be used. What are the owners supposed to do? It's a great question for BMWNA but I'm afraid that their answer would be: Get a heated garage!
 
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Do you know what your peak oil temps will be when it's < -25C outside, and what effect this will have on the viscosity of the oil in the main bearings? An ACEA A3/B4, rated 0w-30 or 0w-40 will be just fine at that temp. I could care less what the idiots at BMWNA have to say about it .... Ted
 
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quote:
Originally posted by F1Crazy:
quote:
Originally posted by TooSlick: In Canada, I'd personally run the Amsoil Series 2000, 0w-30, which meets the BMW longlife specification ....My other choices would be the GC, 0w-30 or the Mobil 1, 0w-40. Ted
Not in a S54 engine found in M3, manual and numerous service bulletins state that only Castrol TWS Motorsport 10W-60 is to be used. What are the owners supposed to do? It's a great question for BMWNA but I'm afraid that their answer would be: Get a heated garage!

Good questions. Maybe I can find out. I work as a BMW TECH in Texas, where it doesn't get very cold, and I never really thought about the guys up north and the oil that BMW requires. First, a little history on the S54 engine: Early production engines (some) were having rod bearing failures, and some came apart-blew up. We had one in my shop that I recall. This problem was under investigation for a while, and I THINK that BMW changed the oil requirement while they were investigating (the same oil that has always been used in the new M5), to TWS 10w60, thinking that it was an oil problem. Later, a Recall was issued to the effected engines, which required the replacement of all the rod bearings, and a new oil pump. (This may have been the time that the oil requirement was changed, but I'm not sure.......) Anyways, I'm not sure if the oil pump was the main culprit, or the rod bearing clearances were too tight, but we replace both in any case. I'll re-read the bulletin next week. I have probably done about 6 of these recalls myself, and it also includes programming the DME for cold start idle quality improvement. Some of the old rod bearings indicated inadequate lubrication... I'll see if I can get in contact with BMW, and pose the question of the oil in extreme cold. I would imagine, since the bearing failures were not caused by oil type as originally thought, that a different oil may be used. BMW may just be playing it on the safe side. (But don't quote me on that, it's just my theory) Oh, if your car fell into this production range, you should have been notified. The engine warranty for oil related components is also extended with this recall, for customer peace of mind.
 
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Just to add, BMW uses all Castrol engine oil, and some of the oil fill caps indicate "BMW recommends Castrol". I speculated that the requirement of TWS 10w60 is because it is made by Castrol, and is Castrol's most suited oil-not because it is the ultimate engine oil. I don't know if BMW can dispute warranty claims if TWS is not used, but I'm sure that there are other oils that would do fine.
 
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Personally I don't think -10F(-23C) is horrible for a 10W oil. It probably better to have a lower viscosity in the winter but I imagine you are using syntethic anyway. Why worry if it cranks okay.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by yannis:
quote:
Originally posted by Dr. T: J As it is a 10W, what M3 owner's supposed to use when the temperature dips below -25C? eg.
I guess they drive their second or their third car

[LOL!] Yeah, I'd figure they'd slap the snow chains on their X5, or their awd 3 series. [Big Grin] [ January 11, 2004, 03:03 PM: Message edited by: TECH ]
 
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quote:
Originally posted by moribundman: TECH, I've heard of connecting rod bearing failures in some BMW motors before, and from what I heard that was the time when bulletins went out to customers telling them to use only certain (thicker) weight oils. I keep hearing that rod bearings wear prematurely in a few BMW motors. I believe one tuner said the rod bearings should be replaced every 200k km as a peventive measure. I also remember that driving the engine with high RPM was supposedly easier on the rod bearings, and the advice for longer bearing life was to "drive it like you stole it" once the enine was at operating temperature. Another reccurring theme seems to be "soft" camshafts that may show increased wear (on the lobes, I think), especially in modded BMW engines.
The only bearing problems that I'm aware of is with the S54 engine, the new M3 engine-it's also in a small amount of M roadsters. Other than that, BMW engines are pretty much bullet-proof. The M60 was a bad situation due to the metal alloy used for the cylinders. They would wear prematurely due to the sulfur content in US fuel, and idle poorly. BMW has pretty much replaced all those M60 engines. As far a building and modifying go, I'm not into that, so I don't know.
 
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Just saw the article about starts at below 18 C: the wear during each start may be equal or over 200 km, especially in the upper part of cylinders. The use of low viscosity oils do not always help because in a cold engine the oil is washed out from walls by gas. The only solution: stay at home or use a taxi. [Big Grin]
 
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FYI, TWS 10w-60 has a pour point of -42 deg. C, so while probably not ideal, it's probably still OK during those cold -25C days. I agree with others though - engine block heater or a heated garage. If you can afford an M3, I'm sure you can afford nice parking space for it too. [Big Grin]
 
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