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Old 10-07-2012, 05:30 PM   #20
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Canberra, ACT, Australia
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My Ride: Ex 325CI owner
Originally Posted by jdstrickland View Post
Since winter is coming, you should have gone from a normal purchase of 10w30 to a winter purchase of 5w30, you went backwards. 5w30 is thinner when cold, 10w30 is thicker. The thin oil circulates easier in cold temps, therefore it gets to the critical points sooner. Where's Tracy, near Sacramento, right? If I am right, then you live in a climate where 10w30 or 5w30 is no big deal, if you lived in Fargo then you would probably want to know more about oil viscosity so you do not make this mistake again.

I was in a BMW parts department a few weeks ago, and looked at every bottle of oil on the shelf in the customer area of the store, not one listed itself as LL-01. The Owner's Manual says that API Grade SM or higher is good. I believe the API Grade on the shelf at Walmart these days is SR. I have never seen a bottle of oil that says it is LL-01, except I did see that spec once about a year ago at my local dealership, but on a recent trip I did not see it. There is no published spec in any User Documentation that says, LL-01. All available user documentation says API Grade SM.

You can, and should, use the best quality oil you can find, and this includes the suggestion that you use LL-01, but your motor will not turn to a heap of molten metal on the way to work someday because you bought motor oil at Walmart. It is far more likely to turn to a pile of molten metal because the viscosity is way too heavy or way too thin, or it is some old motor oil you found in the corner of Grandpa's barn that he bought in 1950. If you buy the highest API Grade, which I think is about SR or ST today, and it is the correct weight for your climate, then your car will be fine.
The owners manual says LL01. It also says if not available then ACEA A3, B3 oil is OK. Oh that is everywhere except the U.S where they omitted it.
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