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Old 05-08-2011, 01:23 PM   #1
Table3
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mixing oil brands?

How inadvisable is it to combine different brands of 5W-30 when filling up the oil?
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Old 05-08-2011, 01:30 PM   #2
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How inadvisable is it to combine different brands of 5W-30 when filling up the oil?
BMW actually advises it...sort of.

You're allowed to add one of the approved LL-01 oils if needed to top off a fill of OE oil that's low...when OE oil isn't available.

I'm sure the purists would say don't do it, and I haven't done it myself, but the real key isn't the weight as much as the LL-01.

Oh, the purists like me would also say it's better to top off than run low. But I'd also say that if you've just got the low oil light on now, you could wait until tomorrow to get the same oil, but you should check your oil level when car has been sitting a long time to figure out how much to add.

Don't turn it off, see it's at the bottom notch and add a qt. of oil. As you might end up a half a qt. high. Oil takes a while to settle.

More than you wanted, right? LOL
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Old 05-08-2011, 01:47 PM   #3
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Good info as usual dmax
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Old 05-08-2011, 02:29 PM   #4
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Good info as usual dmax
I'm so glad I didn't say anything to offend you! Some of you Dons seem pretty touchy!
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Old 05-08-2011, 03:16 PM   #5
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I've done it from time to time with no issues...I keep the weight the same obviously.
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Old 05-08-2011, 04:07 PM   #6
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I'm so glad I didn't say anything to offend you! Some of you Dons seem pretty touchy!
Lol. Yeah, I can see how that could be the case at times. I try to keep things mellow as I haven't found a way to put a horses head in somebodies bed via forums yet.
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Old 05-08-2011, 08:12 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the info! Follow up question: what's the difference between "fully synthetic" 5W-30 and "synthetic blend" 5W-30?

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Old 05-08-2011, 08:17 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the info! Follow up question: what's the difference between "fully synthetic" 5W-30 and "synthetic blend" 5W-30?
Have to go to oil threads for that...what you need to look for is a BMW LL-01 rating first...I actually think that's going to be more important than weight. If you need oil 'now,' then get any weight that's LL-01...could be 0/30, could be 0/40 or 5/40.

Failing that, get full synthetic 5/30 (non LL-01 if you have to) and just change your oil sooner rather than later. I'm pretty sure oe oil is full synthetic, but you can also check bmwna for that info...search for oil specifications or fluid specs. It's there.
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:35 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the info! Follow up question: what's the difference between "fully synthetic" 5W-30 and "synthetic blend" 5W-30?
The blend, is a mix usually of conventional oil with synthetic oil. Stick with the full synthetic. Per BMW, here are the LL-01 approved oils: the Mobil 1 0W-40 is the most readily available IMO.

BMW Long-life rating LL-01 Approved Synthetic Oils for the US Market:
Castrol Syntec European Formula SAE 0W-30
Mobil 1 SAE 0W-40
Pennzoil Platinum European Formula Ultra SAE 5W-30
Valvoline SynPower SAE 5W-30
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:36 PM   #10
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To clarify, what does LL-01 mean?
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:01 PM   #11
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Synpower MST 5W30 meets spec (LL01), NOT the common Synpower 5W30.
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:09 PM   #12
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I've mixed different brands and weights before when topping off. As long as it's within specification and meets all standards it's fine. I use the same oil when I do an oil change.
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:14 PM   #13
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I just topped mine off a few hours ago with a different brand. So far my engine hasn't burst into flames.
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:26 AM   #14
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To clarify, what does LL-01 mean?
I could be wrong, but I always interpreted it as 'Long Life circa 2001 spec." oil.
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:31 AM   #15
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It means many things but the important ones are that viscosity is around
12.0 cSt @ 100C, and that HTHS is a minimum of 3.5. Most XW30's don't meet this spec for example M1 5W30.
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:22 AM   #16
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I just topped mine off a few hours ago with a different brand. So far my engine hasn't burst into flames.
Are you channeling from the dark side?
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:52 AM   #17
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ALL oils are compatible with each other.
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:58 AM   #18
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:55 AM   #19
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I'll have to double check when I get home, but I don't recall the bottle referencing LL-01 or LL-anything on it. Is that a bad thing, or am I just not looking close enough?
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:08 PM   #20
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The wrong oil is better than no oil.....
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