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Old 10-09-2012, 04:33 AM   #41
jayb328i
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One has to wonder WHY this info was omitted from the manuals............perhaps it is somehow a half a... attempt by the marketing people to get you to do oil changes using their BMW oil, or an assumption that there is not a large population of people out their who are interested doing changes themselves. OR the decision by the U.S. marketing people that they just are not going to support those working on their own cars.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:55 AM   #42
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Or they didn't want to confuse people?
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:05 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by jayb328i View Post
One has to wonder WHY this info was omitted from the manuals............perhaps it is somehow a half a... attempt by the marketing people to get you to do oil changes using their BMW oil, or an assumption that there is not a large population of people out their who are interested doing changes themselves. OR the decision by the U.S. marketing people that they just are not going to support those working on their own cars.
You are onto something...look at this: same part of the owner's manual for US market car (downloaded) and for European market (my own manual, car imported from Germany), respectively...




Notice two highlighted parts. US version says "use only approved BMW high performance oils", German version says "use only approved LongLife oils". Even in the diagram there's a difference and again same thing - BMW high perf. against LL oils...
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:14 PM   #44
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One has to wonder WHY this info was omitted from the manuals............perhaps it is somehow a half a... attempt by the marketing people to get you to do oil changes using their BMW oil, or an assumption that there is not a large population of people out their who are interested doing changes themselves. OR the decision by the U.S. marketing people that they just are not going to support those working on their own cars.
Well, it's not exactly a secret that BMW wants you to bring the cars to them for service. Also, the started the free service deal during the e46 production. Plus, the majority of people in the US who buy new BMW are not exactly the DIY types, and are quite likely to believe their salesman when he tells them they should buy only BMW parts and suplies from the dealership. Hell, someone must be buying the car wax and various cleaners they sell, because they believe they have magic BMW properties. They would be voiding the warranties of owners who did not buy BMW supplies and use BMW service, if the US Government had not stepped in years ago. All manufacturers were starting to do that before the laws were changed to prevent it. There were people who had their warranties voided for installing aftermarket stereos or wheels, before that was outlawed. None of this is exactly a secret.
As far as 2nd and 3rd owners of cars outside of the warranty period, they could care less about us. That owners manual was not even written with us in mind. They purposely make this info obscure, and hard to find, just to create doubt in owners minds, so they use BMW service. But, so does every other manufacturer in the world. Service is a profit center for most dealerships, and the manufacturers have to support that.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:17 PM   #45
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Well, it's not exactly a secret that BMW wants you to bring the cars to them for service. Also, the started the free service deal during the e46 production. Plus, the majority of people in the US who buy new BMW are not exactly the DIY types, and are quite likely to believe their salesman when he tells them they should buy only BMW parts and suplies from the dealership. Hell, someone must be buying the car wax and various cleaners they sell, because they believe they have magic BMW properties. They would be voiding the warranties of owners who did not buy BMW supplies and use BMW service, if the US Government had not stepped in years ago. All manufacturers were starting to do that before the laws were changed to prevent it. There were people who had their warranties voided for installing aftermarket stereos or wheels, before that was outlawed. None of this is exactly a secret.
As far as 2nd and 3rd owners of cars outside of the warranty period, they could care less about us. That owners manual was not even written with us in mind. They purposely make this info obscure, and hard to find, just to create doubt in owners minds, so they use BMW service. But, so does every other manufacturer in the world. Service is a profit center for most dealerships, and the manufacturers have to support that.
They purposely made the info obscure and difficult to find? Is that why it's on the BMW website?
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:32 PM   #46
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They purposely made the info obscure and difficult to find? Is that why it's on the BMW website?
That is why it is not spelled out clearly in the owners manual. And in 2002, who would have had access to the Internet when they were sitting in the parking lot of the local Pep Boys? Not very many people.
I did not say it was impossible. But for the average customer who bought the car new, they tried to make it easier to just trust your dealership to take care of it, so the owner did not have to. Again, I am speaking in terms of the average person who would have bought one of these cars brand new. The majority of them were not DIY types. Those that were could, and still can, find that info.
My point is that this is not some big secret or conspiracy. But, they did make it as obscure as they could, within consumer regulations. Which means the info is there, but it is not going to be in the large print. How many page clicks did it take to get to that info, from the front page of the site, and before you knew where it was?
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:33 PM   #47
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I googled BMW recommended oil and it was the first or second link.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:39 PM   #48
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I googled BMW recommended oil and it was the first or second link.
Which is more effort than someone who does not work on their car would put into it. If they wanted to be clear, the first line in the owners manual in the engine oil section would simply state "Only use oil that meets the BMW LL-01 specifications", because that is about as far as most people would dig.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:42 PM   #49
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So if its someone that doesn't work on their car, why do they care about what kind of oil goes in?

And if its a regular DIYer, he should be smart enough to do thrifty seconds of research.

I guess, though, that I can feel for the plight of the person who is going to DIY for the first time, but can't e bothered with little things like knowing what they're doing.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:57 PM   #50
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So if its someone that doesn't work on their car, why do they care about what kind of oil goes in?

And if its a regular DIYer, he should be smart enough to do thrifty seconds of research.

I guess, though, that I can feel for the plight of the person who is going to DIY for the first time, but can't e bothered with little things like knowing what they're doing.
Wow, you really can get an arguement about anything on here. You are completely missing my point. The post I replied to was pointing out that BMW was not clear about what oil you should use, as if it was some sort of conspiracy. I simply tried to point out why they did it the way they did. There were reasons for it being obscure, and that reason was money. They wanted a new e46 owner to use BMW service. It was a bit of a conspiracy, but it is the worst kept secret around, at this point. I also mentioned that this is common, and every manufacturer does it.
You are making my point for me. If you do not DIY, they want you to just come to the dealership, and buy what oil they hand you. If you do DIY, the info is not spelled out clearly in the owners manual, but it can be found. And yes, there are tons of people who do change their own oil, but have never bothered to find out if they are using the right kind of oil, or even the right weight. You may have noticed the half dozen or so posts that show up here every day asking "What oil should I use?".
I was not defending anyone for not knowing what oil to use. I was pointing out that the owners manual is not the place you will find that info, and why they did it that way.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:05 PM   #51
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You are onto something...look at this: same part of the owner's manual for US market car (downloaded) and for European market (my own manual, car imported from Germany), respectively...




Notice two highlighted parts. US version says "use only approved BMW high performance oils", German version says "use only approved LongLife oils". Even in the diagram there's a difference and again same thing - BMW high perf. against LL oils...
Like I said last week when the "BMW LL-01 oil" spec came up only to be roundly condemned, by some zealots, for encouraging people to "ruin their engines". BMW do not manufacture oil. Maybe they know the German market aren't so gullible. Hence the differences in the manual entries.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:16 PM   #52
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So if its someone that doesn't work on their car, why do they care about what kind of oil goes in?

...
I suspect that most go to Iffy Lube. There it doesn't really matter that they put the wrong oil in. It is more important that they probably didn't put enough oil in (or any) and that they probably stripped out the threads in the oil pan.

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Old 10-09-2012, 04:20 PM   #53
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Like I said last week when the "BMW LL-01 oil" spec came up only to be roundly condemned, by some zealots, for encouraging people to "ruin their engines". BMW do not manufacture oil. Maybe they know the German market aren't so gullible. Hence the differences in the manual entries.
Yes, you brought it up last week, and no one argued the point that BMW does not make their own oil. So, you try to bring it up again?
We all pretty much know that BMW does not make their own oil. But what we understand, and you don't seem to get, is that BMW does publish a specification, BMW LL-01, which is basically a recipie for a particular combination of oil and additives that they reccomend you use in their cars. Any company can take that recipie and make their own version of oil that meets the BMW LL-01 spec.
Again, we already know your brilliant realization that BMW does not make their own oil. No one has disputed that. You seem to be the only one fascinated with that fact.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:24 PM   #54
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I always figured that BMW oil was made by BMW out of BMW created chemicals based on BMW created dinosaur remains.

I learned something today.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:13 PM   #55
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Why does oil have to be such a large argument over you young folks? LOL. Take it from me who's been an oldie and doing oil changes on my car for just about 8 years...this M54 is a tough engine and you don't have to baby it. Any synthetic oil from 0-10w30-40, LL01 or not, generic or brand name, weight blends, brand blends will be fine. The engine will run and not blow up as long as you change it at a decent interval which can be as high as 12K miles which my engine has experienced. If you use or accidentally used dino, just make sure you change it out at a max of around 3-4K miles. I've used every weight in many temperature conditions and there is not one oil weight/type that has caused my engine upset stomach and diarrhea. One prerequisite for what I do is I know my engine has always burned 1 qt of oil every 1-2K miles so I'm always adding new oil every month. Your mileage may vary if your engine is perfect and doesn't burn a single drop. But the moral of the is...the M54 is a much stronger/hardier piece of high performance machinery you think it is.

No one should need to freak out because you use a Duracell or an Energizer battery.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:15 PM   #56
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Do you do a oil filter also at 12,000 miles when changing the oil, or is the oil filter good for every other oil change, 24,000 miles.
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:41 AM   #57
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Do you do a oil filter also at 12,000 miles when changing the oil, or is the oil filter good for every other oil change, 24,000 miles.
Change it with the oil. Going beyond the 15k service interval and you risk it starting to break down, and increased restriction/greater amount of oil is bypassed.
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:41 AM   #58
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Why does oil have to be such a large argument over you young folks? LOL. Take it from me who's been an oldie and doing oil changes on my car for just about 8 years...this M54 is a tough engine and you don't have to baby it. Any synthetic oil from 0-10w30-40, LL01 or not, generic or brand name, weight blends, brand blends will be fine. The engine will run and not blow up as long as you change it at a decent interval which can be as high as 12K miles which my engine has experienced. If you use or accidentally used dino, just make sure you change it out at a max of around 3-4K miles. I've used every weight in many temperature conditions and there is not one oil weight/type that has caused my engine upset stomach and diarrhea. One prerequisite for what I do is I know my engine has always burned 1 qt of oil every 1-2K miles so I'm always adding new oil every month. Your mileage may vary if your engine is perfect and doesn't burn a single drop. But the moral of the is...the M54 is a much stronger/hardier piece of high performance machinery you think it is.

No one should need to freak out because you use a Duracell or an Energizer battery.
Nice theory but utter bollocks. The M54 engine design has a tendency to shear oil, so a HTHS over 3.5 is specced. The VANOS requires a certain viscosity to operate correctly and most XW30's are too thin at operating temperature. Stay off oil threads if you are clueless about oil basics. People here want data, not fairy stories!

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Old 10-10-2012, 07:54 AM   #59
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That is why it is not spelled out clearly in the owners manual...
Not spelled out clearly ONLY in the manual for US version, other markets are OK. (check my post #43)

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Why does oil have to be such a large argument over you young folks? LOL. Take it from me who's been an oldie and doing oil changes on my car for just about 8 years...this M54 is a tough engine and you don't have to baby it. Any synthetic oil from 0-10w30-40, LL01 or not, generic or brand name, weight blends, brand blends will be fine. The engine will run and not blow up as long as you change it at a decent interval which can be as high as 12K miles which my engine has experienced. If you use or accidentally used dino, just make sure you change it out at a max of around 3-4K miles. I've used every weight in many temperature conditions and there is not one oil weight/type that has caused my engine upset stomach and diarrhea. One prerequisite for what I do is I know my engine has always burned 1 qt of oil every 1-2K miles so I'm always adding new oil every month. Your mileage may vary if your engine is perfect and doesn't burn a single drop. But the moral of the is...the M54 is a much stronger/hardier piece of high performance machinery you think it is.

No one should need to freak out because you use a Duracell or an Energizer battery.
No, no, wrong. Again, look at my post #43, second picture, German version of the manual - only approved LL-01 0W-X and 5W-X where X=30;40;50, including, obviously BMW High Performance oil.

Yes, it doesn't matter Duracell or Energizer, but if CHARACTERISTICS of an Energizer battery were to be a little different, for example instead of 1.5V they'd give out 2V then you would be in a lot of trouble risking your electronic equipment.
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:24 PM   #60
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^ LOL I used rechargeable...they're only 1.2 volt... Hahahhaha that's awesome daki!!


As for all the shearing numbers from oil analysis tests...can they prove that these test numbers will be the end all of an engine? Can our operators manual prove it too? Mechanics that I know well have worked on engines for decades and think most of it is just business practice to make the most amount of profit. I'd do the same thing too if that's how the average consumer is swayed to spend more money with my business.

Here's my engine after 153K miles of abuse with no sign of sludge. The VANOS was completely fine other than the predicted hardened seals. I installed a refurbished VANOS though where the cylinders were polished for better than new condition. My old VANOS will be reconditioned the same as my replacement with new seals for the next car.









It gets redlined on every drive at least once after the oil has reached operating temperature...not using the coolant gauge. Compression is all within limits too.
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