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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After countless oil threads, endless arguments, and much entertainment, I was still none the wiser about WHY, in March 2000, BMW changed their S62 oil recommendation from 10W60 TWS / Edge to the 5W30 that they recommend for all their other models.

Bored of this endless cycle, and being the curious sort, I decided to call BMW and get an answer straight from the horses mouth. I explained the endless debate on the m5board, and the guy I dealt with got quite interested himself, as he is a huge E39 M5 fan. Over the last couple of weeks, on our behalf, he has contacted Customer Services in Germany, the engineering dept at Bracknell (BMW UK HQ) and he even ended up talking to the design team in Munich. Quite a few calls went back and forth between us. In the end we pieced together what we could from all the emails and conversations he had had, and came to a very simple conclusion.....

BMW engineers were adamant that the S62 was developed along side TWS and no other oil should be used. (year was not an issue as far as they were concerned - it is 10W60 or nothing, whether it is pre, or post March 2000.

However, as is far too often the case these days, the BMW marketing team had different ideas to their engineers. The problem was, that back in '98 & '99, there were a growing number of complaints from customers, who were finding they needed to top up the oil rather more often than they had expected. This in itself was not a huge issue - the problem was that they could not just grab a bottle of oil when they filled up with fuel. They had to keep making special trips to the dealer, and this may be many miles away. This was bothering people a lot.

BMW did 2 things in response to these complaints:

The engineers tried changing the piston rings. BMW will not provide any documentation regarding the ring change or why it was done - this is just from conversation. Assuming it was an attempt to reduce oil consumption, then from what I can gather from the board, they only had limited success.

The marketing team however, ignored the engineers and simply changed the oil recommendation to match the rest of their products. This meant you could now pick up a bottle of oil at the motorway service station and feel good that you were using the "recommended oil" and you hadn't had to stockpile it at home, or go out of your way to a dealer on your way to the in-laws for thew weekend.

We could not extract anything in writing from ANYONE at BMW in the UK or in Germany regarding the reasons why all this had happened. People at BMW were even quite reluctant to talk about it to the customer service guy, and were keen to know why he was digging all this up. All I did manage to get in writing was this -

Dear Mr MacDonald

Thank you for contacting <?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = DEFANGED_ST1 /><DEFANGED_ST1:pERSONNAME w:st="on">BMW Customer Information</DEFANGED_ST1:pERSONNAME>.

I have contacted BMW Munich on your behalf and they confirmed to me that Castrol developed this special oil with BMW "M" specifically for these engines. The running characteristics and performance are reliant on this oil being used.
Normally engine changes (piston rings) denote new engine model numbers, however thi<DEFANGED_ST1:pERSONNAME w:st="on">s h</DEFANGED_ST1:pERSONNAME>as not happened in this case. Therefore the recommendation would be to continue to use the TWS oil only as instructed. BMW <DEFANGED_ST1:COUNTRY-REGION w:st="on"><DEFANGED_ST1:pLACE w:st="on">UK</DEFANGED_ST1:pLACE></DEFANGED_ST1:COUNTRY-REGION> also confirmed to me that in March 2000, more oils were tested for the vehicle but they did not have any information on piston rings affecting the oil type required.

I am sorry that I have been unable to find any further information on the subject and thank you for your patience whilst I researched this matter on your behalf. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any further assistance.

Yours sincerely

BMW Group <DEFANGED_ST1:COUNTRY-REGION w:st="on"><DEFANGED_ST1:pLACE w:st="on">UK</DEFANGED_ST1:pLACE></DEFANGED_ST1:COUNTRY-REGION>
Alex Amos
Customer Information Advisor
<DEFANGED_ST1:SEllesfield Avenue
<DEFANGED_ST1:CITY w:st="on"><DEFANGED_ST1:pLACE w:st="on">Bracknell</DEFANGED_ST1:pLACE></DEFANGED_ST1:CITY> RG12 8TA

So there you go. Make of that what you will.........
 

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Well explained buddy, and good research !

I really was in no doubt whatsoever ! It just did'nt add up (5W-30 et al) in my opinion.

I also think SEVERAL members who simply ignore "Oil Threads" are of our and BMW's thinking too !

Long Live TWS !
 

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Thanks for the effort - kinda confirms what has been suggested in those fun oil threads...

T W S cherrsagai

BUT - oil threads, tragically, will never end... :1zhelp: :eek:h: :crying: :confused: ouich
 

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yeah. Cheers for that. Nice to see someone at the dealers with a healthy interest too for a change. Thats settled it then 10 60, as per always!!!
 

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So does this REALLY mean there will be no more oil threads now that it is settled? My money is on seeing another one by the end of the week?
 

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I just got my M5 some 6 weeks ago and the former owner religiously went by BMW recommendation (10-60). As will I. Thank you for hound dogging this oil question for all of us!
 

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Hey Gustav, how about making this a sticky? I mean, it would be fairly accessible. Oh and make it bold and bigger type (nothing less than 72 points).
 

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Nice work and thanks! Finally an oil thread with some interesting information.

A few things still seem strange. First, it is odd that BMW would change S62 oil recs due to market pressures as most (? all) other recent M cars (presumably subject to the same marketing pressures) use TWS. Second, as has been well-documented on the board, BMW-spec Castrol 5-30 is not the same as regular Castrol 5-30 (the BMW-spec acting more like a 0-40 oil as I recall). So, consumers still can't just stop anywhere and get the recommended 5-30 oil.

None the less, thanks for doing the leg work and posting. Interesting to see how unclear this is even deep within BMW!
 

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Good work Sherlock!
 

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Gustav, Positive intentions meant in my post thinking we finally have the answer. Much thanks to 100% Cocoa for his diligence in researching this! Thanks again for sharing what you found.
 

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Rant Disclaimer!

Its these same market pressures that are going to produce Mpowered SUVs. Will the next M3 be a hybrid with 20 cupholders and a flip down rear TV for the kids in the back seat? Its the people that buy Mcars as status symbols and not for their driving capabilities that ruin it for the rest of us. I want to vomit every time I see an Mcar rolling around on cheap all-season tires, or on 20"+ rimzzzz. They are also the same people who use regular gas in their Mcars and get their oil changed at jiffylube with generic oil.

End Rant.


Excellent research BTW. Im glad we could get some concrete history on the issue.
 

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Thanks for your effort and time for adding another input.Despite all the oil threads i still use 10W-60, i wonder what Douglas's reaction will be? Once again this doesn't prove anything 100% but i think the scales are on the side of TWS 10W-60.
 

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OK...so let me get this straight.

Due to customer complaints the engineers were called upon to do "something" to stop the M5 from using so much oil. Oil that had to be gotten at a dealership. The solution was a "secret" piston ring redesign in the middle of the production run. Once complete the engineers still continued to call TWS the oil of choice. In other words tighter rings (for oil consumption) had no effect on their firm recommendation to use TWS for the rest of the motor.

Also during this time of complaints the marketing dept. was looking for a way to make it easier for owners to get the "right" oil without having to visit a dealership. Once the redesign took place the marketing dept. realized newer M's used less oil so it could be recommended to use a thinner oil like 5W-30? So the oil consumption "fix" was used as an opportunity to expand the ease with which owners could get oil for topping up (which they no longer needed by the way) by expanding their options to 5W-30?

That's kinda what I'm seeing...does that sound right?

If that's about right I guess TWS really is and has been the oil of choice all along. Two separate issues were combined making it look as if you have the newer rings then suddenly the rest of your motor (which never changed) no longer needs TWS.

Seems the marketing dept. used the redesign as a chance to switch the recommendation to a lighter oil in newer M's knowing the tighter rings are stopping consumption (this gets most "I don't wanna go to the dealership" complainers off their backs), but in reality was it a case of the barn door being closed after the horses had gotten out? Because after all the redesign did pretty much fix the consumption problem...did it not? If you have new rings and are no longer consuming there's no need to tell people they can use 5W-30 for topping up...they shouldn't even need topping up at all.

Right?
 
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