5w-30 or 10W-60 in an M54 @ 140 000 km now ?

Discussion in 'BMW M5 Series' started by Scott Dorsey, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. Scott Dorsey

    Scott Dorsey Guest

    If it's 5W-30, it's 5W-30. It _has_ to meet a specific viscosity curve
    and the temperature at the two points in the curve _have_ to be the same.

    So it's not really thinner oil, although the base oil might be thinner.
    The viscosity is the same as of the old oil.
    Why not try using the Castrol LL04 again? Get a case of it, take it to the
    dealer, ask him to use it when he changes the oil. He should give a
    substantial discount for letting you provide the oil yourself.
    Scott Dorsey, Oct 20, 2010
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  2. Scott Dorsey

    frischmoutt Guest


    Until mid 2008, my BMW dealer used to put Castrol oil (SAE 5W30 LL04) in
    my Z3 (M54 Engine).
    Before last November, BMW rationalized their stocks, restricting the
    At the last Oil Service, they put a thinner oil, rebranded "Original BMW
    Quality Longlife-04 SAE 5W-30", made in Germany exclusively for BMW AG...
    Basically it's the same quality level but more fluid in hot temps.

    The result is that the oil consumption increased from 0.32 to 0.57 l/1000 km
    (when new it was 0.28 l/1000). Although the car had 132 000 km on it,
    immediately after the oil service, It began to burn oil. Now, the black
    deposit at the exhaust is quite solid, barely hard to be removed.
    Appearently no leak, at least no stain on the garage floor tiles.
    I always had a rather high oil consumption with my different BMWs, mainly
    because I'm heavily using engine braking but it's not the reason of the
    sudden increase. I suspect that the viscosity of this new oil is the first
    thing to focus on.

    The questions are:
    - Although BMW doesn't recommends 10W-60 (reserved to the M3s), does anybody
    have feedback using this grade in his M54 ?
    - Besides the price effect on the wallet thickness, what would be the
    drawbacks, especially at very low temperatures (0°c) ? Uh! I'm living on the
    French Riviera ;-)

    Thanks for your help.
    frischmoutt, Oct 20, 2010
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  3. Scott Dorsey

    frischmoutt Guest

    Sooo sorry !

    Reading your reply, I just realized my mistake. It was 5W-40 until mid-2009
    then it has been replaced by 5W-30.

    My first attempts to find the Castrol not being successful, my idea was to
    stick with BMW homologated oils. Hence my question.

    frischmoutt, Oct 21, 2010
  4. Scott Dorsey

    bfd Guest

    BMW synthetic oil appears to only be available in either 5W-30 or
    10W-60. The cost is substantially different. At this particular
    dealers the 5W-30 sells for $5.43/quart. The 10W-60 is $11.00:


    If you do a search, you'll find that Advance Auto Parts has 5w-30 syn.
    oil for about $7/qt; 5w-40 for about $8/qt. Good Luck!
    bfd, Oct 22, 2010
  5. Scott Dorsey

    Floyd Rogers Guest

    In North America (most of us here), BMW uses LL-01 oils - the low ash LL-04
    is restricted to diesels. Something to do with pollution equipment and
    possibly gas formulations/additives.

    If you look on the BMWNA website, you can find a list of the LL-01 oils they
    specify. The one many people use is Mobil 1 0W-40, which might well meet
    your needs. The LL-04 oils are very hard to find in the US.

    You should Google for LL-01 and LL-04 oils at EU retailers. Note that LL-01
    is equivalent to the European ACEA A3/B3, and LL-04 is ACEA A3/B3/C4, which
    you can also search for.
    Floyd Rogers, Oct 22, 2010
  6. Scott Dorsey

    Scott Dorsey Guest

    If that is the case then you may encounter higher oil consumption at higher
    temperatures but not lower ones.

    You may also want to just do a basic check on engine seals too, if you
    are leaking that much oil. If you have valve guide seals or VANOS seals
    going bad, they will just get worse. If you have enough oil consumption
    that your plugs are fouling, it's probably something you want to check
    before it gets worse.
    The issues in the US are all different than they are out there. Here,
    most of the Castrol Syntec oils are different (and cheaper) formulations
    that can't be sold as synthetic in Europe. The _exception_ is the 10W-40
    which does actually meet current BMW standards. So here we have the opposite
    issue, with people substituting the 10W40 for whatever was originally

    Call your local Castrol automotive rep at 0 33 (0) 134 227 600 and ask
    them where you can get the stuff in your town.
    Scott Dorsey, Oct 25, 2010
  7. Scott Dorsey

    frischmoutt Guest

    First, thanks a lot to all who replied.

    About the leaks, I'd easily agree with piston rings or valve seals going bad
    but I barely understand how vanos seals, except external oil leak, which is
    not the case, might be considered. May you provide a little bit more
    information ?

    Thanks for the phone number.

    frischmoutt, Oct 25, 2010
  8. Scott Dorsey

    Pete Guest

    Castrol Syntec 10w-40 in the US does not carry any BMW certifications,
    although it does carry ACEA A3 rating, on which the BMW spec is loosely

    Castrol Syntec 5w-40 carries BMW LL-98 spec.
    Castroly Syntec 0w-30 carries BMW LL-01 spec. Syntec 0w-30 is actually
    made in Germany and is the equivalent of the European Edge 0w-30, which
    means it is a different (better) formulation than all the other Syntec

    Pete, Nov 1, 2010
  9. Scott Dorsey

    Pete Guest

    Here is some reading about VANOS seals going bad as well as the whole
    replacement procedure, but as far as I know, failing VANOS seals don't
    result in increased oil consumption...


    One thing that can lead to excessive oil consumption is a clogged up CCV
    (crank case ventilation/oil separator). These things tend to clog up
    relatively easily. If you haven't had yours replaced, I'd say look into

    As far as what oil to use, I'd look into any 5w-40 oil that meets LL-01
    spec... there's quite a few of them out there. Lubro Moly (Liqui Moly),
    Pentosin, Mobil1, just to name a few.

    Pete, Nov 1, 2010
  10. Scott Dorsey

    Scott Dorsey Guest

    You are correct. Sorry, my typo.
    Hmm... my FLAPS doesn't even have that stuff in their book. Is it available
    from the US distributors?
    Scott Dorsey, Nov 1, 2010
  11. Scott Dorsey

    frischmoutt Guest

    Hello Pete, Floyd, Scott, BFD853,

    I throughly read all the information that you guys provided the past days
    and followed your recommendations.

    I read about the breather valve on a forum (I think that it's the same as
    you're speaking about), it's connected to the base of the oil gauge tube.
    The guy said that he replaced it (and a procedure is provided) withourt any
    major improvement. Of course it's not a reference !
    For the moment I didn't consider it since the oil consumption increase
    coincidates with the new oil service made with 5W-30 and the work needing to
    be performed is rather consequent.
    I'll do it in a second attempt if the oil consumption doesn't get back
    within the rails.
    I've numerous figures to compare to because I'm a kind of paranoid,
    monitoring oil consumption since 0 km.

    Concerning the oil, I definately abandoned the idea to use 10W-60. I did a
    search on google and found several possibilities for 0W-40 & 5W-40..
    Considering some facts, and as already pointed out in a previous message you
    sent, I'm wondering if LL-04 is really necessary: The car has been built in
    Aug. 2001, it's not a diesel, in consequence, I may assume that LL-01 grade
    could be used, although today BMW specifies LL-04. LL-04 has been developped
    for diesels engines and may also be used in gas engines. LL-01 satisfies
    current BMW's needs. So, the reply looks to be "No".
    OTOH, in 2007/2008 the BMW dealer even put 5W-40 Labo Carat and in
    2008/2009, 5W-40 Castrol TXT Softec that both were LL98 specified !

    Mobil-1 0W-40 looks to be a good deal, however my fear concerns the
    hydraulic tappets that might get noisy until the engine is warm enough. For
    an analog reason (clearances due to wearing) I also fear a loss of oil
    pressure in cold.
    => Any advise please ?
    I had this issue with my old E30 (180000 km), I tried all sorts of
    oils/viscosities and did not manage to cure it. Not worth to replace the
    tappets, I left them clicking until I sold it.

    For Floyd's information, about the LL-04 oil in the US, I read that it has
    some bad reaction with the ethanol and may causes problems. For this reason
    BMW wouldn't recommend it outside Europe

    Best regards
    frischmoutt, Nov 1, 2010
  12. Scott Dorsey

    David Guest

    I was told that Castrol Edge was the retail name of the bulk supplied
    Castrol SLX III.


    David, Nov 1, 2010
  13. You can't rely on any name. Just the actual spec. The name - like Syntec
    or whatever can apply to many different specs over time. Think Mobil 1.
    Dave Plowman (News), Nov 1, 2010
  14. Scott Dorsey

    Pete Guest

    In the US, Syntec 0w-30 (Made in Germany) is only sold at AutoZone and
    PepBoys, as far as I know. If you're near Canada, Canadian Wal-Marts
    carry it, too.

    Pete, Nov 2, 2010
  15. Scott Dorsey

    Pete Guest

    If you don't like M1 0w-40, and since you're in France, why not give
    Motul a try? Their 8100 X-cess 5w-40 should work well in your

    Pete, Nov 2, 2010
  16. Scott Dorsey

    David Guest

    Or even GTX. ;-)

    I had an Audi that used dealer supplied SLX LongLife, but could not use SLX
    LongLife II, and when the dealer started using SLX III, I emailed Castrol
    for the specs.
    They replied something like 'SLX III is available retail as Edge'.

    Confusingly, there are more flavours now.


    David, Nov 2, 2010
  17. Indeed. I've seen different versions of Magnatec (same viscosity) on the
    shelves of Halfords at the same time and the same price.
    Dave Plowman (News), Nov 2, 2010
  18. Scott Dorsey

    frischmoutt Guest

    Sorry, probably a misunderstanding due to the language.
    I said that M1 0W40 was on the top of my selection.
    however, prior to using it I need to get advices concerning the potential
    draining of the hydraulic tappets after several hours (days) of rest.
    Best regards
    frischmoutt, Nov 2, 2010
  19. Scott Dorsey

    David Guest

    Really ??

    No wonder there is so much confusion around which oil to use...

    How about this, in 2004 I bought a 320d SE that was two years old. The
    handbook stated that the oil in the engine must meet BMW LL-01, the same as
    in their six cylinder petrols, but the viscosity was not as important as
    meeting BMW LL-01.
    The book also stated that the four cylinder petrols (valvetronic), must only
    use oils meeting BMW LL-01 FE spec, and the two were not interchangeable.
    Now, though, all those engines can use BMW LL-04 spec oils.

    I tried Magnatec a few years ago, the additive package was exhausted after
    about 3,000 miles or 7 months ish. I liked the idea of the oil molecules
    clinging onto the surfaces. Whether it did or not I don't know.

    BTW, a while back, Mr. Plowman, you were asking about a set of oil seals for
    your 528(?) and there was one that you didn't know where it went. I was
    wondering if it could have been for the oil filler cap as the seal ?


    David, Nov 3, 2010
  20. Ah. Didn't think of that. But it was the sort of seal that goes on a shaft
    of some sort - rather like the sort between crank pulley and front cover.
    But not so large.
    Dave Plowman (News), Nov 3, 2010
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