Winter oil recommendation for BMW w/ M54 inline 6

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I'm switching the M54 in my wife's E83 to BMW 5W-30; we'll see how the UOAs compare to M1 0W-40(before it lost the LL-01 certification).
 

OldEuroCarLover

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Originally Posted By: bmwpowere36m3
I've always run 5W-40 in CT.... and the S52 in the M3 always burned a little oil. Now that I don't drive it as much or in the winter, I've used 15W-40 as well. Look in the manual, I'm sure the acceptable range is 5-10W and 30-50... I think you really cant go wrong with 5W-30, 10W-30, 0W-40, 5W-40 or 10W-40.... don't over think it.
The owner's manual calls for 5w30 or 5w40. While I'm confident that any 0w LL-01 oil is still within the correct viscosity range, I'm a bit hesitant to continue with a 10w over winter. I might end up doing so, but I'm nervous about it. I'm really considering a switch to M1 TDT, mainly due to the rebate.
 
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I wouldn't run a "winter" oil, not in NJ. Just run 5W-30, 5W-40 or 0W-40 all-year round. Not special about an M54... Likely it'll die from other causes than oil choice.
 

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Originally Posted By: bmwpowere36m3
I wouldn't run a "winter" oil, not in NJ. Just run 5W-30, 5W-40 or 0W-40 all-year round. Not special about an M54... Likely it'll die from other causes than oil choice.
I'm just concerned about this winter. If I mentioned running different oils for summer and winter earlier in the thread that was my own stupid mistake. Ideally, the car would get LL-01 Castrol Edge 0w40 year-round, with 7.5k changes. Unlike some other bizarre BMW owners, I wholeheartedly agree with you about the generally unremarkable nature of the M54. It's a pretty great inline 6, but it's not a Ferrari motor. It also tends to burn oil for no good reason. I'm almost at 2k miles without the oil light coming on. 150 miles to go. I went through 4 quarts of M1HM 10w40, with another quart of Amsoil 10w40 (on sale for $6.50 at NAPA when I needed oil) on the last change. So I really, truly, seriously doubt that the HM oil has anything at all to do with the consumption. I'm 99% positive it was the PCV mod, with a 1% chance that it could, if the wind blew in the right direction and the stars were aligned, have had something to do with the LM MoS2. So I don't think there's any real reason to continue on with this oil. The most reasonable choice right now, on account of the rebate, seems to be M1TDT before winter hits. It's not all the way to a 0w, so it probably won't do any worse than the 10w40HM consumption wise, and is supposed to be a pretty good oil all around. I've used it in the past, in other cars, without issue. It's basically Mobil's version of Rotella T6, from what I understand.
 
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No, Mobil's version of T6 is Delvac 1, an oil superior to either T6 or M1 TDT. You might also consider either Rotella T5 or Delo 10W-30, both of which can be found at any Walmart. Either would meet the HTHS requirements of your old BMW engine and both of which are reasonably priced. Don't worry about the 10W spec, since according to BMW, a 10W-XX is fine down to -22F and they should know.
 

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Originally Posted By: fdcg27
No, Mobil's version of T6 is Delvac 1, an oil superior to either T6 or M1 TDT. You might also consider either Rotella T5 or Delo 10W-30, both of which can be found at any Walmart. Either would meet the HTHS requirements of your old BMW engine and both of which are reasonably priced. Don't worry about the 10W spec, since according to BMW, a 10W-XX is fine down to -22F and they should know.
What makes Delvac 1 superior to Rotella T6 and M1 TDT? I've seen this mentioned a lot, but I haven't seen any strong evidence to back it up. For the price--roughly $60 per gallon, or $15 per quart--it would have to be A LOT better. For that price, I would probably just go with Redline or Motul. (But I wouldn't buy any of them, because I don't have any reason to.) Where do BMW recommend a 10w down to -22? The owner's manual I've read only states 5w30 and 5w40, without any temp chart.
 
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Originally Posted By: OldEuroCarLover
Where do BMW recommend a 10w down to -22? The owner's manual I've read only states 5w30 and 5w40, without any temp chart.
My 1995 3er's manual contains this chart:
 
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Originally Posted By: MCompact
Originally Posted By: OldEuroCarLover
Where do BMW recommend a 10w down to -22? The owner's manual I've read only states 5w30 and 5w40, without any temp chart.
My 1995 3er's manual contains this chart:
10w40 recommended to -20F by BMW with 1995 spec oils. A M1 HM 10w40 has high zinc and plenty of protection for the temp the OP would experience. Many advances have happened in the last 20 years, even with 10w40s. Yet some folks on here think you NEED a 0wXX anytime you have anything resembling a "winter" north of the Mason-Dixon line.
 

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Is it correct for me to assume that a lower winter weight (0w, 5w) oil is more likely to be burned by an engine that's burning a bit of oil compared to a higher (10w, 15w) winter weight oil?
 
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Originally Posted By: OldEuroCarLover
Is it correct for me to assume that a lower winter weight (0w, 5w) oil is more likely to be burned by an engine that's burning a bit of oil compared to a higher (10w, 15w) winter weight oil?
It is not correct. Why would that be the case?
 
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Originally Posted By: OldEuroCarLover
What makes Delvac 1 superior to Rotella T6 and M1 TDT?
Superior base stocks - however, that isn't going to matter squat to the average user. Most will never stretch the limits of either oil anyhow. Up here, I get Delvac 1 cheaper than T6, and I've already mentioned how outrageously priced TDT is. wink
 
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Thanks to another couple of members for covering BMW's temp/visc chart as well as what makes D1 the superior oil as compared to T6 or TDT. To the OP, around here, D1 is priced the same as TDT. Both have the same $12.00/jug MIR ATM. I've recently bought D1 for less than eight bucks per gallon jug with store deals and the MIR. There is no way on God's green earth that I'd recommend any oil at the prices you've quoted for D1. T6 is a little cheaper, but SOPUS offers only a miserly MIR that you might have to waste time calling for after their opening bid denial anyway.
 

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Originally Posted By: edyvw
Originally Posted By: OldEuroCarLover
Is it correct for me to assume that a lower winter weight (0w, 5w) oil is more likely to be burned by an engine that's burning a bit of oil compared to a higher (10w, 15w) winter weight oil?
It is not correct. Why would that be the case?
I think it's a pretty obvious and common stream of logic for someone to assume that a thinner oil is more likely to get into the combustion chamber and burn. Plenty of people believe this is the case, as you can see through a Google search and a quick viewing of various car forum posts across the internet. So I can assume that Castrol Edge 0w40 (13.5 at 100c) will be only negligibly more likely to burn compared to the 10w40 M1HM (14.71 at 100c) I'm using due to a difference of viscosity (kinematic at 100c) of 1.2? Or is that a very big difference? It would seem that the Edge 0w40 is a bit thin compared to some other 40 weights, but I'm totally open to switching over without any more oil concerns ever again, for this car, if it burns at the same rate as what's currently in there. Why do 5w, 10w and 15w synthetic oils exist at all if 0w30 and 0w40 oils can be purchased for roughly the same price? (That's a serious question, by the way.) I would imagine that a quicker flowing oil at cold temps is always better. Why use 5w30 in a car when you could use 0w30? Assuming they're the same price. Most of these oils are roughly $25 per 5 quart jug at Walmart.
Originally Posted By: fdcg27
Thanks to another couple of members for covering BMW's temp/visc chart as well as what makes D1 the superior oil as compared to T6 or TDT. To the OP, around here, D1 is priced the same as TDT. Both have the same $12.00/jug MIR ATM. I've recently bought D1 for less than eight bucks per gallon jug with store deals and the MIR. There is no way on God's green earth that I'd recommend any oil at the prices you've quoted for D1. T6 is a little cheaper, but SOPUS offers only a miserly MIR that you might have to waste time calling for after their opening bid denial anyway.
Indeed, thanks to the people who posted the charts. The Delvac 1 goes for the price I mentioned online, but I wouldn't hesitate to try it if I found it for the same price as TDT. I was completely floored when I saw the price locally, all the way to the point of asking the manager at the truck stop to check on the computer to see if that price was correct.
 
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Originally Posted By: OldEuroCarLover
Why use 5w30 in a car when you could use 0w30?
What about in your oil burner in winter? I'd rather have a 5w30 high mileage oil in synthetic that provides great start up wear protection for winter plus additives to help with seals and hopefully slow consumption than a 0w30 since I've never seen a 0w30 or 0w40 high mileage specific oil. Whatever slight (probably not perceived) benefit you would never see from having a 0w30 in there may not out weigh the overall benefit of a 5w30 HM oil. It really just depends on the economics and usage of the vehicle. Find me a 0w40 specifically formulated High Mileage oil and thats what id recommend for you (or my Land Cruiser for that matter) year round. Since I've never seen that, I'd rather have a High mileage 5w30 or 10w40 in winter than some 0w30.
 

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Originally Posted By: jayg
Originally Posted By: OldEuroCarLover
Why use 5w30 in a car when you could use 0w30?
What about in your oil burner in winter? I'd rather have a 5w30 high mileage oil in synthetic that provides great start up wear protection for winter plus additives to help with seals and hopefully slow consumption than a 0w30 since I've never seen a 0w30 or 0w40 high mileage specific oil. Whatever slight (probably not perceived) benefit you would never see from having a 0w30 in there may not out weigh the overall benefit of a 5w30 HM oil. It really just depends on the economics and usage of the vehicle. Find me a 0w40 specifically formulated High Mileage oil and thats what id recommend for you (or my Land Cruiser for that matter) year round. Since I've never seen that, I'd rather have a High mileage 5w30 or 10w40 in winter than some 0w30.
First off, like I said in that post, it really is a serious question. Meaning, I really don't know why one would ever use a 5w30 over a 0w30. I'm not even really clear on why any oils have a winter weight above 0 anymore. Especially in light of the response I got with regard to the winter weight having nothing to do with oil consumption. All of this is to say that I truly don't know, not to say that I know otherwise and think it's stupid. I would imagine that so many car companies have recommended 5w30 over 0w30 for all these years for a reason. In my specific case, there isn't any evidence that seals are involved. These engines burn oil due to piston ring issues. Some believe it's due to "ring flutter" and it's solved by increased crankcase vacuum. In my case, increasing the crankcase vacuum has definitely slowed the burn of oil. I'm 50 miles away from 2k without the oil light* coming on. Before, it would come on every 800-900 miles, requiring another quart. Because of that, and the fact that almost 6k with M1HM 10w40 did nothing to slow the consumption, I don't know that the oil is having any effect on the consumption. There are no leaks, either. I selected M1HM 10w40 because it's the thickest of the bunch and I assumed it would help with the consumption better than a 5w40 or a 0w40. Now I'm seeing that might not be the case. If a 0w40 will burn just as much as a 10w40, I would rather the 0w40, assuming the other benefits of an HM oil are not necessary. *The oil light on this car will come on yellow when you shut off the car if the oil level is low. It comes on red, while driving, like on most cars, if the pressure drops. I'm talking about the yellow light at shut off.
 
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Originally Posted By: OldEuroCarLover
First off, like I said in that post, it really is a serious question. Meaning, I really don't know why one would ever use a 5w30 over a 0w30. I'm not even really clear on why any oils have a winter weight above 0 anymore. Especially in light of the response I got with regard to the winter weight having nothing to do with oil consumption. All of this is to say that I truly don't know, not to say that I know otherwise and think it's stupid. I would imagine that so many car companies have recommended 5w30 over 0w30 for all these years for a reason.
Availability. Oils specs are slow to change. From straight 30 to 10w30 being the generic most popular grade to 5w30 being the most popular grade. 5w30 can be used in 99.99% of the country year round. From Florida to Alaska. So if I am an OEM and I am designing a car that can take 5w30 with no issues whatsoever, that is what I am speccing because it can be found nationwide. If you are burning just as much oil with M1 HM 10w40 as 0W40 because of rings and not seals (I didnt know why it was burning), then I'd run the 0w40. Give it a shot.
 

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Originally Posted By: jayg
Availability. Oils specs are slow to change. From straight 30 to 10w30 being the generic most popular grade to 5w30 being the most popular grade. 5w30 can be used in 99.99% of the country year round. From Florida to Alaska. So if I am an OEM and I am designing a car that can take 5w30 with no issues whatsoever, that is what I am speccing because it can be found nationwide. If you are burning just as much oil with M1 HM 10w40 as 0W40 because of rings and not seals (I didnt know why it was burning), then I'd run the 0w40. Give it a shot.
Sorry for the confusion; I've not yet tried the 0w40. I was saying that it seems it won't burn any worse than the current 10w40--which is only a little bit thicker, based on the PDS for each--due to what another user said a few posts back about winter weight not affecting the consumption. I guess the reason we're not seeing many cars with 0w30 recommended is that during the past 10 years or so most car companies have started recommending 0w20? It seems strange to me that 0w30, and even 0w40, are sort of odd outliers still. I guess they're mainly for "performance" engines, and the average car is trending toward the 20 weight due to MPG concerns? Am I correct to assume that--all other aspects of the oil being equal, including price--a 0w30 is always preferable to a 5w30?
 
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Originally Posted By: OldEuroCarLover
Am I correct to assume that--all other aspects of the oil being equal, including price--a 0w30 is always preferable to a 5w30?
No, you can't just assume that. The 0w30 could have more VIIs in it and be less shear stable.
 

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Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Originally Posted By: OldEuroCarLover
Am I correct to assume that--all other aspects of the oil being equal, including price--a 0w30 is always preferable to a 5w30?
No, you can't just assume that. The 0w30 could have more VIIs in it and be less shear stable.
What if it's an oil that has a certification like BMW LL-01 that, presumably, means the oil should stay within spec for the allotted OCI? That's what I meant when I said all other aspects being equal. What if it's a 0w30 and a 5w30 with the same certification? From what I understand about all of this so far, the Castrol Edge 0w40, with the LL-01 certification, should be much better overall than any 5w30 with the same certification. Thicker at operating temp and able to withstand sustained high RPMs, and thinner at winter temps for cold starts. I guess I'm trying to wrap my head around BMW's reason for recommending 5w30 when they could easily recommend 0w40.
 
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Why, why, why... Don't try to wrap your head around it, just change the oil and move on with life. There's a point of diminishing returns and cost. Personally, I think 0W oil is over-rated and the move to lower weight oils is more a "EPA thing" than anything else. Does 0W provide more protection at cooler temps, depends... does it matter in the scheme of things, not unless your operating sub-artic conditions or below freezing year round.
 
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