Reply to Thread

Post a reply to the thread: Acceptable Synthetic Oils?

Your Message

Click here to log in

Please correctly re-type the phrase f o o t d o c t o r in the form box. Re-type it without the extra spaces and put the one space where it should be. We apologize for having to do this but this silliness helps slow the spammers.


Additional Options


Topic Review (Newest First)

  • 10-15-2012, 06:28 PM
    Depends on the year, engine and geographic region. BMW recommends Castrol as well as Mobile 1 on the synthetics. IN general. Prior to 2000 Mineral based was predominate 15w-40. Full synthetic was an option 5w-30 (Castrol). More recent models REQUIRE full synthetic due to how hot they run and only use the Castrol or Mobile 1 5w-30. Now the high performance M-series used the Castrol RS SAE 10w-60 or the TWS Motorsports 10w-60.
  • 03-12-2011, 05:21 PM

    Re: E46 motor oil


    and again I say
  • 03-04-2011, 10:55 AM

    I wish we could have more Oil threads

    ================================================== =======

    Michael G. vH

    1999 528it
    1994 325i (sold)
  • 03-04-2011, 09:52 AM

    Re: Acceptable Synthetic Oils?

    FYI...Mobil 1 0w - 40 at NAPA in DE is $5.79 / qt. till end of month. Not sure if this a nationwide sale.
  • 02-28-2011, 06:58 PM

    My dealer just sent a newsletter to me:

    one of the articles was about BMW oil.

    BMW Synthetic Oil – The Only Choice for BMW Automobiles
    High grade BMW synthetic lubricant protects engines like no traditional oil can.

    BMW automobiles are known for their high performance capabilities – in particular, the ability of their engines to provide an excellent balance of horsepower and fuel mileage. It is only logical, then, that in order to maintain the engines found in BMW cars and crossovers it is necessary to use the highest performing engine oil in the business: synthetic oil.

    What is synthetic oil, and how is it different from traditional engine oil? Conventional engine lubricants are based on petroleum products which have been refined from crude oil, and while they do an adequate job of protecting most engines from wear and tear, their natural origins and characteristics limit their ability to address extreme conditions or special engine needs.

    Synthetic oil is an engine lubricant that is typically created in a laboratory and which contains a specific mix of additives that are designed to meet the high pressures and temperatures found in modern engines. With complete control over the size of each oil molecule as well as the composition of the lubricant itself, synthetic engine oil often contains properties that cannot be found in traditional engine oil.

    Synthetic oil also has to meet much higher performance standards than standard engine oil. Synthetic oils resist thermal breakdown (the propensity of oil to lose is viscosity due to heat) better than traditional lubricants and as a result they offer better performance over extended intervals, allowing oil changes to occur less frequently than with standard oil. Synthetic oil also flows better at very low temperatures, which reduces engine wear at engine startup in winter climates. The additives in synthetic oil further play an important role in cleaning out engine deposits and other unwanted debris, helping to keep the valve train cleaner and running more efficiently than standard oil.

    Given the benefits provided by synthetic oil versus traditional engine oil, it is no surprise that BMW requires its use in each and every one of its automobiles. In fact, BMW provides its own brand of synthetic oil to its dealerships: BMW High Performance SAE 5W-30 Synthetic Oil. BMW M cars see their own unique formulation of synthetic engine oil from the company (BMW Long-life rating LL-01 Synthetic), a lubricant that is specifically designed to meet the rigors of the race-bred motors found in these automobiles.

    Heading to your local BMW Center for an oil change is the best way to ensure that your BMW is refreshed with genuine BMW synthetic oil. However, if you are ever caught in a pinch without access to BMW-branded synthetic, the company does offer a list of alternatives that should see you through until you can get to a BMW Service Center and have your oil completely changed. These oils, which are listed online at the BMW website (, have been judged to meet the German automaker’s high standards for synthetic oil performance.

    There are no substitutes for the important technological advantages offered by synthetic oil when properly maintaining your BMW.

    Direction to acceptable oils
  • 02-16-2011, 02:30 PM

    Thanks everyone! That's what I was looking for.

  • 02-16-2011, 02:08 PM

    long duration oil & filter quality

    MANN+HUMMEL oil filter media have been specially developed
    for use in modern engines. Their distinctive feature is
    their high dirt absorption capacity, filter fineness that
    is exactly coordinated with the engine requirements,
    and high resistance to chemicals. The service life
    of these long-life filter media is already 50,000 km
    in the passenger car sector and 150,000 km for
    trucks. With the fully synthetic filter media
    from MANN+HUMMEL even the increasing demands
    of future generations of engines can be met.

    and from BMW service bulletin
    back in May 2001:
    A new oil filter element has been developed and
    must be uses on all BMW Models with extended
    service intervals (approx. 15,000 miles/12 months)
    whenever an oil service is performed.
    The new oil filter element incorporates improved filter
    paper, which prevents filter deterioration caused
    by high engine oil temoeratures over extended time.
    The new oil filter element was phased into production
    on M54 powered vehicles in 09/2000 and on all
    M62(V-8) and M73(V-12) powered BMW's in 07/2000.

    so if your using poor quality oil filter element,
    the paper may turn crispy, and blackened from oil heat
    over extended periods(12 month oil change intervals).

    The moisture buildup is from the climate,
    and type of driving . Changing it often
    is the best way to remove the moisture
    if your driving is for short durations, and not building up enough
    heat in the oil to burn off the moisture with every drive.
  • 02-16-2011, 11:50 AM

    Re: Let me re-phrase the question

    Moisture and impurities both contribute to sludge build-up. Hence why timely oil changes with the proper oil and filter is always the single biggest insurance you can buy for long engine life. No other standard maintenance effort even comes close.

  • 02-16-2011, 11:32 AM

    Re: Let me re-phrase the question

    I have learned much form the other guys on this board. But I will buy only ACEA A3 oil for my E46 (ie Mobil 1 0w-40). In regard to the properties and disintegration of the oil, I do not think the filter will make any difference stopping the oil from turning to sludge over time. But others are better qualified than me to confirm this. Cheap filter will mean problems, but you need the right oil, and all oils filters will collect inpurties to various degrees.
  • 02-16-2011, 10:56 AM

    Let me re-phrase the question

    Given use of proper oil (LL01) and a good filter (Mann/Mahle). How would more frequent filter changes help with the condensation related sludge buildup in the crank case ventilation system? I guess what I am getting at is that sludge is condensation related and not because of debris in the oil ... or is it?

  • 02-16-2011, 08:35 AM


    No, the filter can not correct the use of a poor oil choice. Regardless of which filter you use, it will not change the proporties of the oil. Use the correct oil.
    BUT--also use a good filter to keep the oil clean.
  • 02-16-2011, 06:35 AM

    please expand yer question

    there are right , and wrong filters
  • 02-16-2011, 01:11 AM

    Re: E46 motor oil

    Could you explain why the filter alone can help resolve this issue?

  • 02-15-2011, 10:59 AM

    E46 motor oil

    BMW states the oil spec for your motor is
    A3B3 - which is for ALL seasons, long term(1year)and
    high(12,000 mile) oil change intervals

    BMW Castrol 5w/30
    MOBIL 1 0W/40
    meet that requirement

    want a cleaner motor?, and prevent the dreaded
    frozen crankcase vent system freeze-up? and
    engine damage resulting from that? - then
    change the oil and filter at least every 6-months,
    or a max of 5,000 miles - if you plan
    on keeping your car running

  • 02-15-2011, 08:12 AM

    Re: Acceptable Synthetic Oils?

    I asked this same question in December when I purchased Mobil 1 0W-30 instead of my normal Mobil 1 0W-40. All the feedback was excellent, but the bottom line is that even though I was able to get Mobil 1 at a discount for 0W-30, I returned it to Walmart.. It is not the same specs as Mobil 1 0W-40. I concluded based on the feedback that it probably would have no effect on my engine because I change oil every 4K, but why not just get the right oil.
    PS --AutoZone has a great sale NOW (as of last week) on Mobil 1 0W-40 on the 5 qt size, and you must buy a Mobil 1 oil filter. Since my store does not carry the Mobil 1 oil filter I just discarded the filter they gave me for another car, and still much cheaper with the deal. Check it out.
  • 02-14-2011, 11:11 PM

    The OP asked in his initial post if Mobil 1

    was OK to use. Later in the thread he pointed out that the manual says to use 5W-30. I get from that he intends to use Mobil 1 5W-30...which is not a recommended oil. The way I read your post I thought you might be advising the OP that his "easier to find" Mobil 1 5W-30 was "fine".
  • 02-14-2011, 09:17 PM

    Re: Wow, 10-W60 for M cars.

    A great alternative to this oil is Elf/Total Quartz Racing 10W50.
  • 02-14-2011, 05:19 PM

    Who said anything about Mobil 1 5w-30?

  • 02-14-2011, 04:17 PM

    Mobil 1 5W-30 is NOT recommended by BMW or

    Mobil 1.

    Mobil 1 look up...
  • 02-14-2011, 12:36 PM

    5w-30 is fine, so you're Ok. Even the link

    he provided lists Pennzoil and Valvoline 5w-30 as having an LL-01 rating, so it's just as within spec as the Mobil 0w-40.

    There are others available these days that qualify as well, but I can't find the link I'd seen from another board. If I find it, I'll share it.

This thread has more than 20 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
1e2 Forum