Last post on Mar 25, 2013 at 4:00 PM
You are in the BMW 5-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 5 Series, Electrical, Engine, Sedan, Wagon
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#2703 of 2734 Re: Switching BMW Motor Oil to Synthetic Oil [busiris]
Feb 15, 2012 (4:08 pm)
BMW's stand (as I understand it) is that for best, long-term performance, knowing their specific metalurgy, they want you to use oils that have passed the LL-01 testing procedure (the M-series uses a different testing and certification). As far as I know, Amsoil does not have an oil that has submitted to or passed that test certification. that doesn't mean it may not be a good oil, but that it has not elected to try to pass that test. So, the user is in a quandry - use an oil they know is acceptable to the manufacturer (there are probably at least 5 or so available that I've found), or something else, they aren't sure about. At least during the warranty period, the oil changes are free, so that decision is put off for at least a few years.
#2704 of 2734 Re: Switching BMW Motor Oil to Synthetic Oil [james27]
Feb 15, 2012 (9:33 pm)
I remember looking this up a year or so ago, and at the time, could only find 2 oils officially meeting BMW's recommendations that were available in the US.
One was Mobil 0W40, and the other was Castrol... At least, that's how I remember it.
Since I can buy BMW oil cheaper at my local dealer using my BMWCCA discount than I can buy Mobil 1 at Walmart, I didn't dig any deeper.
Here is what BMW currently states:
I don't believe either of the oils listed in the poster's PDF links are BMW LL-01, but are LL-04...
#2705 of 2734 Re: Switching BMW Motor Oil to Synthetic Oil [busiris]
Feb 15, 2012 (10:54 pm)
BMW, if I remember correctly, has three different specs for their engines: Non-M's, M's, and diesels. There may also be a difference between what they spec for Europe verses the USA.
#2706 of 2734 Re: Switching BMW Motor Oil to Synthetic Oil [james27]
Feb 16, 2012 (11:11 am)
Agreed. The M series use 10w60 as the primary recommended viscosity.
I have no idea if Eurpoean models have different recommendations.
Frankly, I couldn't tell you the difference between LL-01 and LL-04. I'm guessing the LL stands for "long lifetime"...
#2707 of 2734 Re: Switching BMW Motor Oil to Synthetic Oil [busiris]
Feb 16, 2012 (7:35 pm)
You'd have to find a copy of their specifictions, and then, you'd probably not know unless you were in the industry. Never looked for it, it might be easily found.
#2708 of 2734 Re: Switching BMW Motor Oil to Synthetic Oil [busiris]
by kyfdx HOST
Feb 16, 2012 (8:33 pm)
LL does stand for LongLife..
#2709 of 2734 Re: Switching BMW Motor Oil to Synthetic Oil [kyfdx]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Feb 17, 2012 (10:51 am)
BMW even specs LL brake fluids.
#2710 of 2734 Re: Switching BMW Motor Oil to Synthetic Oil [james27]
Feb 17, 2012 (12:38 pm)
I'm thinking you're correct about having to be in the industry to understand it, or at least have a specialized degree in the area of petroleum chemistry.
Like tires, I understand sizes and tread patterns and usage indicators, but I wouldn't have a clue when the conversation moved to in-depth compound types.
I can identify a GFT from a RFT, as well as an actual flat tire.
The "LL" guess was a safe one...
#2711 of 2734 Re: Switching BMW Motor Oil to Synthetic Oil [busiris]
Feb 17, 2012 (1:57 pm)
Did not find the wording of the LL-01 spec, but did come up with this: One of the criteria to meet the LL-01 spec is the high temperature high shear value...it must exceed 3.5 at 140-degrees C. Most of the oils are lower, in the 2.5-2.9 range (don't know the units). This measures the ability of the oil to maintain a liquid film on things like a bearing at both high temperature and shear stresses. The higher this is, in theory, the higher the drag, so if wear isn't a concern, using one with a lower value might provide better mileage, but not longer life.
Some people worry about a low value on a multiweight oil, like the zero in a 0-30w. All that figure means is that it can pour easier at a lower temperature...it has nothing to do with the ability to flow properly at design temperature. ALL oils are thicker at low temp that desired, but one with the smaller number in the beginning will tend to flow and start to lubricate when an oil pump might not be able to move one with a higher number. Synthetic oils tend to have less variation in temperature and flow better during startup, so that helps. But, nothing wrong with using a multigrade oil with a low first number in hot or cold climates - they all are in the order of 10x thicker than desired at operating temperature during a cold start, but your oil pressure and flow will improve, and most of the wear (when using the proper oil) is during cold starts...getting the oil where it needs to be faster and easier should be the goal and the better it can flow while cold (not at operating temps) does help.
The 'proper' grade of oil is the one that can maintain the desired design pressure at load...too thick, and the pressure goes up, flow goes down, heat goes up and some stuff doesn't get lubricated. Too thin, the pressure goes down, and you can't maintain the lubrication between the metal parts, and wear is excessive. BMW knows their engines - second guessing what is required is fraught with ignorance and folly. Without knowing what mix of characteristics and features an oil really needs to work properly in one of their engines, IMHO, you're foolish to not use one that has met their specs. What you think may be 'better' for your engine is going against millions of miles of test data and experience. Proceed at your own risk!
#2712 of 2734 Re: Switching BMW Motor Oil to Synthetic Oil [james27]
Feb 17, 2012 (4:29 pm)
That's exactly why I use, in the case of my BMW products, the factory approved lubricants.
Really cheap insurance, and I don't have to worry about compatibility issues.
It's easy for me, because I pay the same at my local dealer as I would usually pay at an auto supply, due to my BMWCCA membership.
I don't mind using regular generic oils on my other cars, since they are generically designed... Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Versa and Altima (all 4 cylinders).
I do use full synthetic in every vehicle I own.