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General E46 Forum
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:07 PM   #1
cabl3i
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High Mileage and Oil

I tried my best not to be "that guy" (that made an oil thread, lol) today, but this isn't about what oil I can or can't use on my E46.

My car is nearing 85,000 miles and so I'm wondering if our cars really need heavier motor oil as more miles are added to the engine. Would a weight like 10W-40 work better in the long run than the basic 5W-30?

Options are:

BMW Castrol 5W-30

Redline 10W-40

M1 10W-40 (it meets ACEA A3/B3 B4, however doesnt mention BMW LL-01)

I'm avoiding M1 0W-40 because of how hot it gets here (I'm running that right now, but in retrospect, I want to avoid any 0W-X oils from now on).
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:29 PM   #2
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Heavier oil for higher mileage and hotter climates. 5w-40 or 10w-40 is fine. Can't go wrong with bmw oil, and as long as you maintain regular oil changes, you be fine.
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Old 04-27-2010, 08:22 PM   #3
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Dude, your bimmer is no where near high mileage... You haven't even broken the engine in at 85,000 miles. I've been running Mobil 1 0W-40 since 100,000 miles and I'm now at 313,000 with no oil leaks or oil loss. I've just relocated to Florida so I guess I'll see if the theory of warm weather and thin oil holds true to form. Just my two and a half cents worth.
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:43 PM   #4
cabl3i
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thanks for the replies!
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:50 PM   #5
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What's wrong with just using the same oil for the entire life of the car? (not sarcastic)
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Nineteen89 View Post
What's wrong with just using the same oil for the entire life of the car? (not sarcastic)
nothing, really

but I switched to heavier oil after my car developed a lifter tick with 0-w40

it's now 10-w40 and no more lifter tick
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:54 AM   #7
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M1 0W40 is a 40W at operating temperature. A 10W40 can be thinner than a 0W40 at operating temperature. A 40W can range from a 30W at the lowest end of 40W viscosity and a 50W at the upper end of 40W viscosity. And that's why manufactures have a spec (BMW LL01/LL04, MB 229.3/229.5, VW 505.01 etc) that doesn't refer to viscosity as it's meaningless.
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Old 04-28-2010, 04:10 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Nineteen89 View Post
What's wrong with just using the same oil for the entire life of the car? (not sarcastic)
For any relatively new engine, nothing. I've seen well maintained and badly maintained engine internals, and quality engines really last for a long time, sometimes even with crap maintenance. I remember opening up a 1990 mercedes engine with 200,000+ miles that had been totally neglected for oil changes, run on regular gas instead of the required premium, rare spark plug changes, etc... and even though it had tons of carbon buildup and other issues, the cross hatches were still visible, and every internal part and bearing looked like new after a little cleanup.

The only reason I see people switching to heavier oils as time goes buy is because they can't afford to replace damaged or leaking seals and gaskets, or because oil company advertising tells them to.
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:51 AM   #9
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I'm at 146K and running Castrol Syntec 5-50 year round in New England and have no oil issues. So, I would say that for Texas weather this oil or Mobil 1 15-15 would be fine. If going with Redline, 10-40 is a good choice also. This may be outside the party line for this site! Your descision!
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:57 AM   #10
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Personally I wouldn't risk anything other than what BMW says. Mobil 1 0W-40 is LL01 and what is recommended by the engineers who designed the car.

My other car gets full synthetic at it's recommended weight (5W-30 I think) because that is what the company says.

Just my $0.02. On a side note, my BMW has been the EASIEST car I have ever owned to change the oil on.
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Old 04-28-2010, 11:00 AM   #11
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I see, so it's not entirely necessary. Thanks for the valuable input everyone.
I'm not really trying to switch over to a heavier oil as a temporary fix for an issue,
replacing gaskets/seals when the time comes wont be a problem for me.

The only reason I was considering the M1 synthetic 10W-40 is because of the heat and it meets ACEA A3/B3 B4 standards.
Summer here means that almost every day averages from 95-110 F
I'll stop over-thinking it so much.

*edit
Agreed, changing the oil is a real no brainer with the E46.

Last edited by cabl3i; 04-28-2010 at 11:03 AM.
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