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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 11-19-2013, 12:51 PM   #21
hitbyastick
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Originally Posted by m_peterson6 View Post
Can you provide a link(s) to "studies that show changing an oil too early could actually be detrimental"?
I'd like to see these as well. Until I see definitive scientific evidence I will have to discount this assertion. If I see definitive scientific evidence and causality I will concede and change my OCI. I'm not going to hold my breath.
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Old 11-19-2013, 01:09 PM   #22
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If you have access to SAE publications, look up Extended Oil Drain Intervals - Conservation of Resources Or Reduction of Engine Life (Part II)
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Old 11-19-2013, 01:13 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by TerraPhantm View Post
Is 3000 miles typical for you? There are studies that show changing an oil too early could actually be detrimental.


Also, you most likely have an M54, not M56. No XI came with an M56
I typically change it every 7500 miles. However, I was doing the oil pan gasket so I dumped it early and sent them the sample
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Old 11-19-2013, 01:17 PM   #24
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OE oil from BMW is garbage and shouldn't be used in an M54 or M56.
Care to explain? My indy shop insists all OEM parts and oils for non-Ms and sells BMW oil at their shop.
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Old 11-19-2013, 02:28 PM   #25
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For reference, this is my dad's 535 with 17k miles on the OE oil. I know, very different engine, though I would argue that it's harder on oil than any M5x engine.
I'm very surprised at the condition of that oil after 17K miles, especially for a turbocharged engine. I've been using 7500 mile intervals, personally.

Going to do my VCG when I have some free time and I'm very interested in seeing the condition of the engine. If things are squeaky clean, maybe I'll stretch it out to 10K mile intervals.
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Old 11-19-2013, 02:39 PM   #26
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Why are people concerned about chemistry of their used engine oil on a high-mileage decade old car?
If car runs well and has all maintenance done, then give your car high five and keep enjoying it.
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Old 11-19-2013, 03:50 PM   #27
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Something may happen, something may not. However if it drives fine I would not worry about it. You could get 100k more from that motor. If you are going to have to dump a lot of money wait until you have too. I am all about preventive maintenance, but a rebuild due to some numbers is just silly.
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Old 11-19-2013, 05:23 PM   #28
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Why are people concerned about chemistry of their used engine oil on a high-mileage decade old car?
If car runs well and has all maintenance done, then give your car high five and keep enjoying it.
Because decade old engines are still expensive to track down and that by the time it's "not running well" it's often too late to fix anything.
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:07 PM   #29
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Can you provide a link(s) to "studies that show changing an oil too early could actually be detrimental"?
I can't provide a link but at one time there was a web site (my bookmark no longer works) where someone drove I think it was a camaro with mobil 1 synthetic and analyzed the oil every 1000 miles until the TBN was depleted.

It went almost 18,000 miles before Blackstone said to change the oil. Of course all the make up oil kept the TBN up for a longer interval than if the make up oil wasn't added.......

From his several runs of oil in the testing, the majority of the wear metals were found in the oil in the first 2-3000 miles and then the increase in wear metals leveled off dramatically.

Checking for an archive of the web page I found where you can read some of the results: http://web.archive.org/web/200407011.../oil-life.html

http://web.archive.org/web/200407030...es/mobil1.html

HIS opinion from his results:

"While the wear metals all accumulated steadily over the course of the test, the highest concentrations of accumulation per mile occurred in the first 3,000 miles of the test! From the 3,000-mile mark all the way to 18,000 miles, only lead showed an increase in per-mile wear beyond 3,000 miles. Yet even with an increased wear rate, lead wore the least in terms of absolute wear. For iron and copper, the longer the oil remained in service, the lower the wear rate got."
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Last edited by shanneba; 11-19-2013 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:27 PM   #30
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Interesting! I wonder how driving style plays into this.
I would imagine 17K OCI involves lots of highway driving, wear may not level off, or decrease after 2-300 miles if a lot of short trips are taken.
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:27 PM   #31
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I can't provide a link but at one time there was a web site (my bookmark no longer works) where someone drove I think it was a camaro with mobil 1 synthetic and analyzed the oil every 1000 miles until the TBN was depleted.

It went almost 18,000 miles before Blackstone said to change the oil. Of course all the make up oil kept the TBN up for a longer interval than if the make up oil wasn't added...
Incredible how durable today's oils are. Thanks for the info.
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:40 PM   #32
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Why are people concerned about chemistry of their used engine oil on a high-mileage decade old car?
If car runs well and has all maintenance done, then give your car high five and keep enjoying it.
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Old 11-20-2013, 02:47 AM   #33
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OE oil from BMW is garbage and shouldn't be used in an M54 or M56.
And of course you have the multiple UOA's to prove this hypothesis? Please post 'em ASAP, as I'm sure many of us want to read them.
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Old 11-20-2013, 04:12 AM   #34
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Interesting! I wonder how driving style plays into this.
I would imagine 17K OCI involves lots of highway driving, wear may not level off, or decrease after 2-300 miles if a lot of short trips are taken.
You can check out my UOAs at BITOG, most of my UOAs are from the time I lived in Houston, from about Jan 2005 to December 2009 my commute was less than 5 miles. I also have 5000 mile UOAs with BMW 5w-30, it worked well in the 330Ci. You can compare the wear in 5-6000 mile changes to the more recent 7-8000 mile ones.

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums...Number=2709536

The 06/09 dated UOAs are the same fill of oil, I made a trip from Houston to Indiana and back after the first UOA, about 2000 highway miles in two days driving.
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Old 11-20-2013, 08:10 AM   #35
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Because decade old engines are still expensive to track down and that by the time it's "not running well" it's often too late to fix anything.
I do not disagree with you, but from the $$ point of view, it is not for a mainstream engine like m54. One is just asking for a headache when doing so. s54 maybe, but not m54. Fix what's broken, do maintenance, enjoy.


OP, What were the grounds for you to sent the oil out for analysis in the first place??

This test is not the best way to determine health of the engine. It is however a good way to understand how that specific oil performs in that engine, that's about it. You need to do different tests to check the life of the motor....like compression test, emissions test, codes scan ...etc....
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Old 11-20-2013, 08:24 AM   #36
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blah, i change conven every 3k and synth every 5k

i have 66k on my 330, no issues

i have 225k on a 91 civic that i do 90mph for an hour twice a day

treat em and beat em
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Old 11-20-2013, 09:10 AM   #37
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You guys are wayy overthinking it. Start up the damn car and drive it! isn't that what it is about? If you have a major intuition that something is wrong, fix it or get another motor. Not the end of the world.
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:05 AM   #38
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I do not disagree with you, but from the $$ point of view, it is not for a mainstream engine like m54. One is just asking for a headache when doing so. s54 maybe, but not m54. Fix what's broken, do maintenance, enjoy.


OP, What were the grounds for you to sent the oil out for analysis in the first place??

This test is not the best way to determine health of the engine. It is however a good way to understand how that specific oil performs in that engine, that's about it. You need to do different tests to check the life of the motor....like compression test, emissions test, codes scan ...etc....
I sent it out mainly because I had overheated the car a little bit a year ago when my water pump failed. I wanted to see if there was any coolant in the oil. That way I would include the head gasket in my 133k mile overhaul.

I just wanted to see what you guys thought of the metal content. By no means am I going to attempt a preventive engine overhaul. Over the years that I have owned this car, everything that typically fails, failed on me. Luckily I am able to do everything myself thanks to this site. After this overhaul, I am not anticipating anything else failing for a while. I just hope I can join the 200k mile club with this car.
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:14 AM   #39
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You guys are wayy overthinking it. Start up the damn car and drive it! isn't that what it is about? If you have a major intuition that something is wrong, fix it or get another motor. Not the end of the world.
There's wayyyyy too much paranoia happening on these forums. I remember someone made a freakout thread because they floored their car before it warmed up
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:23 AM   #40
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I sent it out mainly because I had overheated the car a little bit a year ago when my water pump failed. I wanted to see if there was any coolant in the oil. That way I would include the head gasket in my 133k mile overhaul.

I just wanted to see what you guys thought of the metal content. By no means am I going to attempt a preventive engine overhaul. Over the years that I have owned this car, everything that typically fails, failed on me. Luckily I am able to do everything myself thanks to this site. After this overhaul, I am not anticipating anything else failing for a while. I just hope I can join the 200k mile club with this car.
I see, makes sense now.

Do you suspect your engine is not running right at this point?

As mentioned already, check coolant temps. Also see if engine burns oil and scan your engine codes. If all of it checks out to be OK, then in my opinion you should not worry much.
For rest assurance, please use proper oil type.
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