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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 09-09-2013, 07:32 PM   #1
jmo69
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Blackstone report

Got the report on my first oil analysis from Blackstone labs. The oil is a forum fav, Mobil 1 0W-40 with approximately 7500 miles and a Mann filter. Wear metals were in spec even beyond the 6000 mile mark, a little concerned about the potassium and sodium but they aren't.
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:10 PM   #2
can0n4
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Good info! Wish we had a comparable chart with non-synthetic and shorter intervals. But good to know the Mobil held up well.
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:33 PM   #3
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Good info! Wish we had a comparable chart with non-synthetic and shorter intervals. But good to know the Mobil held up well.
Why would you want non synthetic?
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:31 PM   #4
can0n4
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Why not? Age old debate. Show me some info that compares one vs another in the same car.

Also, my wife's X3 has a small leak from the oil pan. Because of the design of the X3, in order to replace the oil pan gasket you have to either drop the entire front suspension, axles, drivetrain, etc... or lift the engine from the car. Its possibly one of the worst fixes to have to do for something which pretty much doesn't affect the car (assuming you keep the oil up). A few other X3 owners and i with similar problems have switched to non-synthetic high mileage oil with oil gasket seal additives in order to hopefully slow the leaks if not stop them. Because we'd like to run as many changes as possible through the car to slow the leak we've been running non-synthetic on 3000 mile changes with the additive. So far it has shown great progress.

My 330 is on Mobil 1, and assuming it never leaks or has issues I'll continue to do 7000 miles on synthetic.

Last edited by can0n4; 09-10-2013 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:10 PM   #5
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Why not? Age old debate. Show me some info that compares one vs another in the same car.

My 330 is on Mobil 1, and assuming it never leaks or has issues I'll continue to do 7000 miles on synthetic.
I do what the factory recommends when it comes to fluids. There were probably thousands of engineering hours that went into determining the correct type and viscosity of oil that should go into this engine and I'm not really going to second guess that. You can do what you want but you realize that oil stop additive doesn't specifically affect only gaskets...it affects the entire engine and can gum up things that shouldn't be gummed up. Your best bet is to man up and replace the gasket. Often times the pan bolts get loose and you can fix the leak by retorquing them.

Last edited by SamDoe1; 09-10-2013 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:19 PM   #6
can0n4
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I do what the factory recommends when it comes to fluids. There were probably thousands of engineering hours that went into determining the correct type and viscosity of oil that should go into this engine and I'm not really going to second guess that. You can do what you want but you realize that oil stop additive doesn't specifically affect only gaskets...it affects the entire engine and can gum up things that shouldn't be gummed up. Your best bet is to man up and replace the gasket. Often times the pan bolts get loose and you can fix the leak by retorquing them.
Please tell me more about how the engineers designed the car so perfectly that the tranny and differential fluids are rated as lifetime.

I'd also like to see evidence where removing the wife's car from the road for two weeks while I spend hundreds of dollars on parts and tools to "lift" the engine from her car would make me more "man" than researching the problem for six months and taking the most practical cost effective and realistic approach.

There is a very large difference between using high mileage conventional oil with added gasket re-conditioners compared to using oil stop leak. Two different philosophies, two different methods.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:09 AM   #7
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Please tell me more about how the engineers designed the car so perfectly that the tranny and differential fluids are rated as lifetime.

I'd also like to see evidence where removing the wife's car from the road for two weeks while I spend hundreds of dollars on parts and tools to "lift" the engine from her car would make me more "man" than researching the problem for six months and taking the most practical cost effective and realistic approach.

There is a very large difference between using high mileage conventional oil with added gasket re-conditioners compared to using oil stop leak. Two different philosophies, two different methods.
The engineers didn't design any car for use with "lifetime" rated fluids. If you ask any engineer they will tell you that's crazy and is BS. The business, however, sees it as a means of reducing the expensive maintenance they have to pay for up to 60k miles and hence labels it as lifetime. If the fluid is truly lifetime, they wouldn't have bothered with a drain plug on the bottom of anything.

If you don't have the tools or time, I suggest you find a shop and get the work done properly rather than use the wrong oil in an expensive engine in an effort to save a few hundred dollars. If your gasket is already leaking then no amount of re-conditioners are going to help to put an end to it 100%. All those additives do is cause the gasket to swell and try to stop the leak but this in turn also makes them wear faster. If your gaskets have cracks or tears, they will always be there as there's no miracle cure for this through an additive. FWIW, there are seal conditioners in just about every oil on the market. The thing is that they work great to prevent a problem, but not to fix one.

Let me guess, you're the guy who puts 87 octane in his tank because it still works right?
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:21 AM   #8
can0n4
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The engineers didn't design any car for use with "lifetime" rated fluids. If you ask any engineer they will tell you that's crazy and is BS. The business, however, sees it as a means of reducing the expensive maintenance they have to pay for up to 60k miles and hence labels it as lifetime. If the fluid is truly lifetime, they wouldn't have bothered with a drain plug on the bottom of anything.
Perhaps you didn't catch the sarcasm in my comment. You've just proved my point. I hope you don't use Mobil because the oil cap says Castrol on it. That would be sacrilegious. The transmission says right on it "Lifetime Fluid" yet you say no. The manual says synthetic, yet you say yes, must be right. Which one is it?

lol, no 87. Although I could see how you'd make that connection. Honestly, I'm not trying to get into a pissing match about who's philosophy is right or wrong. I've got a small collection of BMWs now and I've had six others in the past. Its my hobby, my obsession, and my means for getting to and from work for the past twenty years. Two weeks ago I rebuilt the transmission in my 330 as well as an entire clutch overhaul because it was getting notchy in first gear. There is no fear of hard work or spending money here. But you have to be completely nuts if you think that doing high mileage non-synthetic oil changes every 3000 miles is in anyway going to decrease the overall life of the engine with 129000 miles, when in fact slow the oil leak.

Like I said before, other than the manual and what people believe to be right on the forum. Find some evidence that confirms doing this will either decrease my performance or cause engine failure.


Let me guess, your parents bought you an E46 for high school graduation last year?

Last edited by can0n4; 09-11-2013 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:42 AM   #9
EDWAGON
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Got the report on my first oil analysis from Blackstone labs. The oil is a forum fav, Mobil 1 0W-40 with approximately 7500 miles and a Mann filter. Wear metals were in spec even beyond the 6000 mile mark, a little concerned about the potassium and sodium but they aren't.
Good Stuff ! that's all I use Mobile 1 0W- 40 from Walmart
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:56 AM   #10
Kubica
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Mobile 1 is pretty mediocre oil. There are much better options.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:49 AM   #11
SamDoe1
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Perhaps you didn't catch the sarcasm in my comment. You've just proved my point. I hope you don't use Mobil because the oil cap says Castrol on it. That would be sacrilegious. The transmission says right on it "Lifetime Fluid" yet you say no. The manual says synthetic, yet you say yes, must be right. Which one is it?

Let me guess, your parents bought you an E46 for high school graduation last year?
Glad you can play ball on here instead of getting butthurt and making threats/jabs to other people.

Anyway, no I don't use Castrol because the cap says to, I just use one of the approved oils because that's what's recommended. If you ask most BMW techs, they will all tell you to change out the "lifetime" fluid.

I'm not in any position to preach following the manual since I do many things outside of it but replacing a recommended fluid with something completely different is hardly the same as replacing a fluid with the same exact (or very similar) one.

You can do whatever you want and if you think that running non-synthetic is right for you and your car then go for it, I sure won't stop you. It's just not what I or mostly anyone else on here would do.

Also, I bought my 330xi back in 2009 just out of warranty (I didn't want an E9X) before they were able to be afforded by 16 year olds who just got their license. I dreaded the day the cars had depreciated enough to get to this point as much as you.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:00 PM   #12
can0n4
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I see where you're at. I'm of the same beliefs. I run Mobil in my 330 all day. I'm leaking synthetic from my wife's X3 and I've been chasing it for months now. I've gone down all the routes. Until I solve this issue and get it fixed I refuse to spill synthetic on the driveway, just seems like a waste.

I appreciate your thoughts, really. Perhaps hearing you speaking about it just adds to my frustration for the issue. Seems not many have actually replaced the gasket on an X3 and its not as straightforward as a lot think. The few who have, began leaking again. If I take her car off the road right now, she'll have to drive my 330. Thats not happening!

Either way, for conversations like this and in the future with other members, I wish we had some hard evidence on oil use from the same vehicle with different weights, different brands. That won't happen anytime soon.

Last edited by can0n4; 09-11-2013 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:19 PM   #13
EDWAGON
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Mobile 1 is pretty mediocre oil. There are much better options.
what do you use
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:46 PM   #14
can0n4
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what do you use
yah but its a good price in a big jug at walmart
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:11 PM   #15
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yah but its a good price in a big jug at walmart
agreed
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:12 PM   #16
bmwbob89
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Originally Posted by can0n4 View Post
Why not? Age old debate. Show me some info that compares one vs another in the same car.

Also, my wife's X3 has a small leak from the oil pan. Because of the design of the X3, in order to replace the oil pan gasket you have to either drop the entire front suspension, axles, drivetrain, etc... or lift the engine from the car. Its possibly one of the worst fixes to have to do for something which pretty much doesn't affect the car (assuming you keep the oil up). A few other X3 owners and i with similar problems have switched to non-synthetic high mileage oil with oil gasket seal additives in order to hopefully slow the leaks if not stop them. Because we'd like to run as many changes as possible through the car to slow the leak we've been running non-synthetic on 3000 mile changes with the additive. So far it has shown great progress.

My 330 is on Mobil 1, and assuming it never leaks or has issues I'll continue to do 7000 miles on synthetic.
I am going to assume you have already replaced the oil filter head gasket. Am I correct in that assumption?
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:17 PM   #17
can0n4
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I am going to assume you have already replaced the oil filter head gasket. Am I correct in that assumption?
Yes that was the first place. I actually pressure washed and cleaned the entire engine after doing all the usual leaks. Then I drove it a few days, then crawled underneath. It was clear as day. Oil pan leaky. No way to drop it because of the front frame braces on the X3 which support the entire front end. I tightened all of the pan bolts already. No luck.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:30 PM   #18
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what do you use
Motul 300v 5w30. It's about $20/liter.

ALL other fluids are changed at least once per year.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:42 PM   #19
can0n4
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Motul 300v 5w30. It's about $20/liter.

ALL other fluids are changed at least once per year.
you change your tranny and diff and transfer every year?
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:50 PM   #20
can0n4
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Replace the OFH gasket before you go any further. Do a search they always look like a pan leak. The pans don't leak very often. The gasket is cheap and just takes some time to replace. Worth the effort. It will need replaced at some time in the near future anyway. The gasket is rubber and it hardens up.
I did, thank you though.
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