Last post on Aug 09, 2011 at 8:41 AM
You are in the BMW 5-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 5 Series, Sedan, Wagon
Sep 03, 2008 (9:32 pm)
I had a '98 528i for 45K miles - it never needed oil added during its stay w/ me. I drove the car moderately most times, always on it hard on the freeway passing people, etc. Great car, saved my life when I was rear ended by a LS400 (I was stopped for traffic on 80 outside SF, the Lexus hit me at about 50mph ... loved that car).
Anyway - I now have an '07 550i, did European delivery so drove around Munich for a few days - occasionally above 120mph and twice at 140mph for a few minutes or so ... the car uses a quart at about 6 - 8K miles which I attributed to a "quick" break-in period on the autobahn, but based on what I am reading here maybe that is normal? I admit I took a chance on being hard on the car during the first 100 miles or so, but only after getting everything very warm/hot and taking better than 20 min cooling off before shutting the beast down.
The 550i is a great car ... cannot see the need for an M5 with insurance and gas mileage, etc. It is just a blast to drive ... cheers.
#16 of 34 Re: OOil ... [nicktherabbit]
Oct 11, 2008 (4:59 pm)
For European automobiles be sure to use oil with a VW 502 or VW 504 rating. These are high sheer oils that meet the demands of european engines.
Some BMW owners have had problems with engine failure at 50,000 miles when they used 5W-30W Castrol oil in their cars. The 0W-30W Castrol must be used.
The ILSAC GF-4 rating is important on oils for these vehicle.
FYI, I was listening to an expert on the radio this morning concerning which oil to use in our personal vehicles.
Just to wet our appetite, he said that Valvoline markets 5 different 5w-30w oils under the same name (synpower). Not all of these oils are acceptable for every vehicle.
Here is the link to the podcast--it may not be on the web yet but just look for the date 10-11-2008.
In summary there were several interesting points.
1. The brand (Castrol)or type of oil (Syntec)is not be trusted by itself--the ratings are the most important.
2. The oils of the same brand and type are not necessarily exactly the same. The oil we buy at a discount store or at an automotive parts retailer may not be the same even though they are packaged the same. The important specs on the bottle may be different.
3. Forget brand loyalty--pick the oil with the proper viscosity rating and ILSAC GF-4 approved or exceeded.
Not "meets engine requirements of GF-4" that means it failed other portions of the GF-4 test.
4. European cars such as BMW, Audi, Mercedes Benz, Saab, should NOT use oils with the ILSAC GF-4 approval, but rather oils with the VW 502 or 504 (best fuel efficiency) rating. These oils have high sheer ratings needed in european engines. Amsoil contains some of these high sheer ratings.
Many BMW owners have had their engines fail at 50,000 miles not because the oil was not changed enough, but rather because they used the wrong oil.
Do NOT use 5-30 in a BMW but do use a 0-30. The oils at least in the Castrol brand are much different.
5. Dealers do not necessarily use the proper oil even though it would be expected that they would.
6. Oil changes too often can damage oxygen sensors and catalytic convertors. If the engine oil monitor is on the automobile the oil should be changed at the indicated interval. Oils contain certain elements that flash out during the first 300-500 miles of use and if they exist more often will damage the oxygen sensors--so oil changes can be done too often! Sulfated ash, elemental sulfur and phosphorus are the compounds that can accumulate and cause damage especially in the inexpensive oils.
7. From this overview I am thinking that the proper oil for the Ridgeline is 5W-20W with a ILSAC GF-4 rating and if available, an additional ACEA A5-B5 service rating.
8. The synthetic "name" is not really important. The proper oil will have the "starburst" emblem on the front of the bottle and will also have "energy conserving". Another rating that is good is API SM. SL/CF.
The best way to determine what oil to use in any of our vehicles is to look up the product data sheets for each brand of oil and see if the data corresponds to what the manufacturer recommends.
It is more difficult to determine the proper type than it may seem.
Sorry, for the limited amount of information contained in this post. Hopefully it does not cause more confusion than necessary. The problem is that there is no place on the web where all the information is condensed or categorized.
These ratings seem important for US and Japanese cars, but VERY important for European automobiles.
I e-mailed the host of the show and if he responds with the proper oil recommendation I will update this post.
I went out an looked on a bottle of Mobil 1, I used at my first oil change, and it seemed to have all of the proper ratings 5W-20W, ILSAC GF-4, API SM,SL/CF, ACEA A1-B1except that it could have had the preferred ACEA
I was going to look on the bottle of Castrol but it was 10W-30W so that would not apply.
Hope this helps everyone.
#17 of 34 Re: OOil ... [sparkland]
Oct 11, 2008 (7:28 pm)
While I'm sure that you meant well with your long post, there are some significant errors in its content.
1) VW's oil specifications are completely irrelevant for any late model BMW.
2) Late model BMWs with gasoline engines sold here in the States require oil that is certified to conform with the BMW LongLife-01 oil specification.
3) The new diesel BMWs that are about to hit our shores require oil that is certified to conform with the BMW LongLife-04 oil specification.
4) While the BMW and VW oil specifications routinely show up on the same oils, it should be noted that there are in fact oils on the market that are only certified to meet either the BMW specifications or the VW specifications, so beware, just because any given oil is VW 502.00 approved, that doesn't necessarily mean that it is BMW LL-01 approved as well.
5) The BMW LL-01 oil (made by Castrol but with a BMW label on it) that you can buy from your local BMW dealership is both a 5W-30 grade and IS NOT certified to meet VW's 502.00 standard..
Nov 15, 2008 (9:55 am)
I'd like some comments on frequency of oil changes. I have an 06 530, and go 13-15 months before dealer will pay for an oil change (under warranty). This seems like a long time.
BTW, the dealer I go to will not change the oil until the indicator says that it's time, even if it's only 200-300 miles early. Anybody else have this experience?
#19 of 34 Re: vokey1 [vokey1]
Nov 15, 2008 (10:39 am)
When I got my first BMW that called for extended OCIs, the BMW oil standard of the day was LongLife-1998 (i.e. LL-98), and BMW required a change every 12 months regardless of how low the mileage was since the last change. When the BMW LL-01 oil specification debuted (oddly enough in 2001), BMW eliminated the annual oil change requirement.
As for your dealer not changing the oil unless you get to the actual threshold, that's absurd. Were I in your shoes, I'd ask them to put that in writing and then send it to BMW and see what they have to say.
#20 of 34 Re: vokey1 [vokey1]
Nov 15, 2008 (8:42 pm)
You probably meant to say that your dealer won't change your oil for "free" under the maintenance program before the indicator light turns. That's because BMW won't pay the dealer for the service if it's done early.
Also note that if you pay for an extra oil change, the dealer is prohibited from resetting the oil service indicator. So you'll still get the free maintenance and oil change when the car says it's time, even if that's within a few hundred miles of the service that you just paid for.
A BMW monitors driving conditions and determines the correct interval for oil changes based on how you drive (i.e. Condition Based Service (CBS). Your car is constantly monitoring dozens of variables that are fed into predictive algorithms that were developed over years by observing and servicing millions of vehicles.
#21 of 34 Re: vokey1 [shipo]
Nov 15, 2008 (8:52 pm)
The annual oil change requirement hasn't been completely eliminated. The scheduled maintenance doesn't follow a calendar time table now, but you can request a free oil change under the maintenance program if the indicator light doesn't signal an oil change within 12 months of purchase (or the most recent scheduled maintenance.)
The 5 series service manual still says: "Note: Change oil at least once a year." That allows you to request an oil change at 12 months. But, the dealer won't reset the service indicator and the next maintenance will still be required as signaled by the vehicle. And this 12-month service is oil change only and doesn't include any other maintenance items.
#22 of 34 ANON3, our understand differs...
Nov 15, 2008 (10:56 pm)
There was a TSB published by BMW and posted here in the Town Hall a couple of years ago that explicitly stated that the one-year oil change was no longer required. Some dealerships may still pay for it, but it is my understanding that most do not.
As for the Oil Life Monitor (OLM), per the technical documentation that I've read on the subject, BMW uses one metric to determine when the oil needs to be changed, and one metric only. And that is? Glad you asked. Said metric is how much fuel has been used since the last reset of the OLM. Drive harder, do more cold starts, operate in extremely cold environments, drive only very short trips, and the OLM will call for an oil change rather quickly. Spend lots and lots of time on the highway in the 30+ mpg zone, and the OLM will call for an oil change that is well in excess of the target 15,000 mile oil change. A rather simple and elegant methodology don't you think?
#23 of 34 Re: ANON3, our understand differs... [shipo]
Nov 16, 2008 (6:56 am)
I'm sure lots of things are posted in this Town Hall. The FACT is that BMW's service manual still states a requirement to change the oil once per year. I cut and pasted that requirement from the 2008 5 series service manual in my previous post. Those are BMW's words. I have used that statement to request a free oil change several times. The service indicator is the primary measurement, but the 12 month option has always worked for me upon request. BMW NA ultimately pays for the oil service costs, not the dealership, so they don't care if they can bill it back to BMW NA.
As for "how" the service indicator operates, if that's relevant, it takes into account more than just fuel consumption. It also measures conditions like engine operating temperature.
#24 of 34 Re: ANON3, our understand differs... [anon3]
Nov 16, 2008 (9:21 am)
We're going to have to disagree on both of these issues.