11-14-2012, 06:14 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
My Ride: 2004 330xi, 3 pedals
Alright hang on, there's some confusion here.
Originally Posted by DenverSooner
My oil cap say "Castrol Recommended" and the manual says 5w-30 so I made the assumption that Castrol Syntec 5w-30 was fine. Knowing that most guys like M1, as opposed to Castrol, I made another assumption that using M1 5w-30 was a better choice. I was unaware there was a different model for Walmart, as opposed to a european or German-made formula.
A quick look at the referred website shows that Mobil 1 0W-40 is an approved LL-01 oil. Not wanting to make the same mistake, should I be looking for a specific european formula of this oil, something I can only get at a dealer or specialty store, or can I use the M1 0W-40 I find at a local auto store or Walmart?
I had no idea there was a difference between the "American" version and the Europen version of an oil by the same name. Thanks for clarifying!
On a last note, does anyone think that using M1 5w-30 for the last 20,000 miles has done any damage?
1.) There are four (4) different kinds of LL-01 oils widely available in the US. They are: M1 0W40, Castrol 0W30, some Valvoline one which is hard to find, and OEM BMW 5W30. There are tons of other LL-01 oils but they are very difficult/expensive to find in the US. They are, however, widely available in europe.
2.) The OEM BMW 5W30 from the dealer oil is made by Castrol. This is different from the Castrol 5W30 you'd find on the shelf anywhere else.
3.) M1 5W30 is a widely used oil that's recommended for Hondas, Toyotas, Fords, GM cars, etc. That's why it's available everywhere. It isn't LL-01 rated so using it in your car isn't going to fly.
4.) M1 0W40 is the same formulation no matter where you get it. There is no European formula or American formula as this oil is almost exclusively used in European engines. See #3 for what other manufacturers use. You can get this, as well as Castrol 0W30, at any auto parts store. Wally world carries M1 0W40 but not Castrol 0W30. As far as I've been able to find, O'Reilly's is the only place that carries Castrol 0W30.
5.) Castrol 0W30 is often referred to as German Castrol or GC. This does not mean that there is a non-German 0W30, it's called this because it is used exclusively in German engines.
6.) Unless you've been doing oil changes at 15k intervals, you likely haven't caused any damage to your engine. If you have changed at more than 8k intervals, the only thing you can do is immediately change oil and filter to the right stuff and hope for the best.
7.) Don't change at 15k intervals no matter what oil you use, it's dumb to do that. I change at 7.5k-8k intervals. I think a lot of forum members do the same thing.
8.) What filter do you use? Please say it's an OEM filter.
9.) Your cap only says "Castrol Recommended" because Castrol pitched some cash in for it to say that. It means nothing, you can use any LL-01 oil from any brand.