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Discussion Starter #1
I've put 2,600 miles on my '01 since I got it last October. It was serviced 20 miles before that when I bought it, and now it's a quart down. I know it has the 5/30 sticker, but after reading a bunch of threads re: 10/60, I bought a case of that today from my local dealer at $11 each (couldn't find it anywhere else). Question: is it even remotely bad to add a quart of 10/60 to the car if it is full of 5/30?

Off the topic - as a feeler only, while I was at the dealer I inquired about a clutch job....$2,600 and change - without the flywheel!!!!! Bloody highway robbery.
 

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You live in Clayton. If it were me, I would take it back and exchange it for 5/30, unless you ABSOLUTELY HAD NO PLANS (thanks, Doug, I had to read it more than once, too ... old age creaping up on me) to drive up into the mountains (snow) ocassionaly (and, park it overnight).

(Just answering your specific question, not trying to open up another oil fight.)
 

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i'm not a fan of mixing either, though you'd probably not have any problems.

Heck, i've got some 5w30 bmw longlife on my shelf if you want a quart!
 

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You live in Clayton. If it were me I would take it back and exchange it for 5/30, unless you drive up into the mountains (snow) regularly (and, park it overnight).

(Just answering your specific question, not trying to open up another oil fight.)
I've read this post a few times John and I don't get it - you think he should go with 5W30 unless he is going to park it in the snow / cold overnight? I would have expected that to be a reason to change to 5W30, not to avoid it...

d-
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Funny you guys should mention snow - I plan on visiting family between Placerville and Tahoe this week to show off the new baby. Currently, there is snow there, and highs during the day hit low 40s....

Aside from this, this is strictly a bay area driver, so cold exposure isn't an issue. If the consensus says trade the 10/60 for 5/30, I will.

Thanks in advance...
 

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My 2 cents:

If you are intending to do high performance driving in a hot environment, use 10W60.

If you are intending to use the car as a daily driver with the occasional high speed run, but not on a track, use 5W30.

This all assumes you are using BMW oil - personally I prefer Mobil1 0W40.

d-
 

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What is 0W40 recommended for as far as weather and track use?
 

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I've read this post a few times John and I don't get it - you think he should go with 5W30 unless he is going to park it in the snow / cold overnight? I would have expected that to be a reason to change to 5W30, not to avoid it...

d-
You're right, AGAIN, Doug ... I, too, had to read it a couple of times to get it right ... just shows that advice here is worth what you pay for it ... ouich
 

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I guess my position is, Ledfoot, I would use what is listed under the hood, UNLESS unusual conditions (like track use in hot weather) are to be expected.
 

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What is 0W40 recommended for as far as weather and track use?
Mobil1 0W-40 is the equivalent of BMW 5W-30.

Daily drivers or other vehicles that rarely see an oil temperature over 210 can use 0W-40.

Anything much higher than that and you need to start considering a heavier weight oil.

d-
 

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Mobil1 0W-40 is the equivalent of BMW 5W-30.

Daily drivers or other vehicles that rarely see an oil temperature over 210 can use 0W-40.

Anything much higher than that and you need to start considering a heavier weight oil.

d-
Does that mean that Mobil 1 5W-30 is not the equivalent of BMW 5W-30? :eek: Because that is what I've been using!
 

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Does that mean that Mobil 1 5W-30 is not the equivalent of BMW 5W-30? :eek: Because that is what I've been using!
Exactly correct.

Mobil1 5W-30 is nowhere near BMW 5W-30. For that matter, neither are most other 5W-30's. BMW 5W-30 is a thin 5W (the ratings for oil viscosity are ranges) and a thick 30.

Mobil1 0W-40 is a thick 0 and relatively thin 40. Thus, the 2 are pretty close to the same.

For comparison, another very similar oil is Castrol 0W-30 from Europe. It is a thick 0W and a thick 30 and is again very similar to the BMW 5W-30.

I'm far from an expert on this, but I have done a whole lot of reading and I've got a degree in Chemical Engineering, so I'm not dumb on it either.

Were I you (and I was, btw, before I did my reading. I used Rp 5W-30 and went through a quart in <2000 miles! Switched to Mobil1 and no usage) I would immediately switch over to Mobil1 0W-40 or Castrol 0W-30. I chose Mobil1 for no reason other than availability. Castrol makes the BMW oil, but the 0W-30 is hard to find.

In general you want an LL-01 or an LL-04 approved oil. There are many of each; in addition to the 2 I gave you already, there is also Valvoline 5W-40 (a thin 5W thin 40).

Remember: This ONLY applies if you are NOT using the car on the track. If you are tracking your car then you want a 0W-XX where XX is something considerably thicker than 40, and probably close to the 60 in BMW10W-60.

d-
 

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Excellent write up Douglas.

That will save some people a few £££$$$!
 

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I personally use Valvoline 20w-50 in between oil changes when I need to top off the engine. Normally I use ELF 10w-50. It is approve for "M" cars and have no trouble with it. It is also cheaper than BMW's Castrol 10W-60. It is about 8 dollars a quart from RM European.

http://www.rmeuropean.com/

That is my two cents.
 

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I personally use Valvoline 20w-50 in between oil changes when I need to top off the engine. Normally I use ELF 10w-50. It is approve for "M" cars and have no trouble with it. It is also cheaper than BMW's Castrol 10W-60. It is about 8 dollars a quart from RM European.

http://www.rmeuropean.com/

That is my two cents.
My list is certainly not all inclusive, and I do agree that ELF has some appropriate oils. Given, however, that it is not readily available, it didn't make my list.

For reference for those that wish to use it:
  • ELF Solaris 5W-30 is LL-04 approved (meaning a standard that supercedes LL-01, but was put in place after our vehicles were out of production).
  • ELF Excellium Full-tech 0W-30 is LL-01
  • 10W-50 is not an LL approved oil. The below link does have it as Motorsport approved.
I'm sure there are plenty of other good oils. In fact, there is a thread over on Bimmerforums that is intended to be a compendium of all the approved oils.

d-
 

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Discussion Starter #17
This turned out to be an extremely helpful thread....kudos to myself.


Seriously - thanks a ton for the info. I've always been a big fan of Mobil1, and it is readily avail, so I'll make the switch.
 

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Very good info, I appreciate you taking the time to share your research with us. Let me ask you this... if I live in a 4-season environment and I plan on tracking about 1-2 times a year but I will not consider doing an oil change just to go to a track for a few hours and then change it again. Is Mobil 1 0W-40 or Castrol 0W-30 still a good oil for me or should I consider something else? BTW I also appreciate readily-available oils.
 

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Very good info, I appreciate you taking the time to share your research with us. Let me ask you this... if I live in a 4-season environment and I plan on tracking about 1-2 times a year but I will not consider doing an oil change just to go to a track for a few hours and then change it again. Is Mobil 1 0W-40 or Castrol 0W-30 still a good oil for me or should I consider something else? BTW I also appreciate readily-available oils.
I should probably try to persuade you to change your oil for the track days, but frankly, that type of arm twisting over the internet is difficult, so instead, I'll potentially frighten you into doing so.

The basic issue is this: At any given temperature, an oil has a given viscosity (thickness) and provides a certain level of protection to the engine.

For those of us who do not track our cars, that temperature is about 210F (roughly 100C). For those folks who do track there cars, that temperature is up to about 300F. These two temperatures are not "close enough" for the same oil to suffice. Obviously the exact temperature is determined in part by the environment - a race car at the North Pole will run cooler than one in the Arizona Desert. In fact, depending on where you race, it may be cool enough that your track operating temperature is close enough to 210F. Since I wasn't smart enough to read your location before replying, you'll have to figure out which applies to you :)

So you have a tradeoff you can make: use an oil that is too thick for the street (like TWS) or use an oil that is too thin for the track (like BMW 5W-30) if the track is hot.

If you choose an oil that is too thick for daily driving you oil will be too thick at operating temperature. This will cause little or no damage during low rpm runs, but will lead to insufficient oil lubrication at higher rpms during daily driving (I would estimate that "higher rpm's" means above 4-5K). Why? Because the oil is thicker than intended the oil pump will not be able to pump as much as necessary - the oil bypass valve will open. Thicker oil causes higher pressures when pumped and the oil pump has a max pressure. Your goal is to find an oil that causes the pump to produce it's maximum pressure when you hit your maximum rpm. In this case you have caused the pump to hit maximum pressure before you hit maximum rpm and therefore are not providing enough oil.

Or you can choose an oil that is too thin for the hot track. In this case there will be no damage during daily driving (other than normal wear and tear). On the track, however, you oil will be too thin (because it is hotter than intended) and will therefore not provide enough oil through most if not all of the rpm band. Why? The same discussion as above applies, but in reverse - your oil is now too thin and the oil pump does not produce enough pressure to supply the amount of oil needed for any given rpm.

So, damned if you do, damned if you don't, right? Sort of. If your track operating temperatures don't push much over 210F then you should stay with the Mobil1 0W-40/Castrol 0W-30. If your track operating temperatures are higher, then you are foolish not to change oils. Don't underestimate how much damage you can do in a hundred miles on a track with inadequate lubrication.

Either way, 0W-40 is the best choice for a daily driver. If you choose not to change it for track use, just bear in mind you are causing some increased wear to save 30 minutes and $40.

One last note, that 5K oil interval you run (adjust as you see fit) is only about 1.5-2K for track use. If you do track your car without changing the oil, please shorten your oil change interval :)

d-
 
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