5w-30 or 10W-60 in an M54 @ 140 000 km now ?

Hello,
Until mid 2008, my BMW dealer used to put Castrol oil (SAE 5W30 LL04) in my Z3 (M54 Engine). Before last November, BMW rationalized their stocks, restricting the
varieties. At the last Oil Service, they put a thinner oil, rebranded "Original BMW Quality Longlife-04 SAE 5W-30", made in Germany exclusively for BMW AG... Basically it's the same quality level but more fluid in hot temps.
The result is that the oil consumption increased from 0.32 to 0.57 l/1000 km (when new it was 0.28 l/1000). Although the car had 132 000 km on it, immediately after the oil service, It began to burn oil. Now, the black deposit at the exhaust is quite solid, barely hard to be removed. Appearently no leak, at least no stain on the garage floor tiles. I always had a rather high oil consumption with my different BMWs, mainly because I'm heavily using engine braking but it's not the reason of the sudden increase. I suspect that the viscosity of this new oil is the first thing to focus on.
The questions are: - Although BMW doesn't recommends 10W-60 (reserved to the M3s), does anybody have feedback using this grade in his M54 ? - Besides the price effect on the wallet thickness, what would be the drawbacks, especially at very low temperatures (0c) ? Uh! I'm living on the French Riviera ;-)
Thanks for your help.
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If it's 5W-30, it's 5W-30. It _has_ to meet a specific viscosity curve and the temperature at the two points in the curve _have_ to be the same.
So it's not really thinner oil, although the base oil might be thinner.

The viscosity is the same as of the old oil.

Why not try using the Castrol LL04 again? Get a case of it, take it to the dealer, ask him to use it when he changes the oil. He should give a substantial discount for letting you provide the oil yourself. --scott
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Sooo sorry !
Reading your reply, I just realized my mistake. It was 5W-40 until mid-2009 then it has been replaced by 5W-30.
My first attempts to find the Castrol not being successful, my idea was to stick with BMW homologated oils. Hence my question.
Regards
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10W-60. The cost is substantially different. At this particular dealers the 5W-30 sells for $5.43/quart. The 10W-60 is $11.00:
http://accessories.bmwusa.com/ItemView.aspx?modelId=610&centerId=76837&categoryId=99&productCategoryId=&menuId=5&subItemId=6&productId=343
If you do a search, you'll find that Advance Auto Parts has 5w-30 syn. oil for about $7/qt; 5w-40 for about $8/qt. Good Luck!
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In North America (most of us here), BMW uses LL-01 oils - the low ash LL-04 is restricted to diesels. Something to do with pollution equipment and possibly gas formulations/additives.
If you look on the BMWNA website, you can find a list of the LL-01 oils they specify. The one many people use is Mobil 1 0W-40, which might well meet your needs. The LL-04 oils are very hard to find in the US.
You should Google for LL-01 and LL-04 oils at EU retailers. Note that LL-01 is equivalent to the European ACEA A3/B3, and LL-04 is ACEA A3/B3/C4, which you can also search for.
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If that is the case then you may encounter higher oil consumption at higher temperatures but not lower ones.
You may also want to just do a basic check on engine seals too, if you are leaking that much oil. If you have valve guide seals or VANOS seals going bad, they will just get worse. If you have enough oil consumption that your plugs are fouling, it's probably something you want to check before it gets worse.

The issues in the US are all different than they are out there. Here, most of the Castrol Syntec oils are different (and cheaper) formulations that can't be sold as synthetic in Europe. The _exception_ is the 10W-40 which does actually meet current BMW standards. So here we have the opposite issue, with people substituting the 10W40 for whatever was originally specified.
Call your local Castrol automotive rep at 0 33 (0) 134 227 600 and ask them where you can get the stuff in your town. --scott
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"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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First, thanks a lot to all who replied.
About the leaks, I'd easily agree with piston rings or valve seals going bad but I barely understand how vanos seals, except external oil leak, which is not the case, might be considered. May you provide a little bit more information ?
Thanks for the phone number.
Regards
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"frischmoutt"

Here is some reading about VANOS seals going bad as well as the whole replacement procedure, but as far as I know, failing VANOS seals don't result in increased oil consumption...
http://www.beisansystems.com /
One thing that can lead to excessive oil consumption is a clogged up CCV (crank case ventilation/oil separator). These things tend to clog up relatively easily. If you haven't had yours replaced, I'd say look into it.
As far as what oil to use, I'd look into any 5w-40 oil that meets LL-01 spec... there's quite a few of them out there. Lubro Moly (Liqui Moly), Pentosin, Mobil1, just to name a few.
Pete
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Hello Pete, Floyd, Scott, BFD853,
I throughly read all the information that you guys provided the past days and followed your recommendations.
I read about the breather valve on a forum (I think that it's the same as you're speaking about), it's connected to the base of the oil gauge tube. The guy said that he replaced it (and a procedure is provided) withourt any major improvement. Of course it's not a reference ! For the moment I didn't consider it since the oil consumption increase coincidates with the new oil service made with 5W-30 and the work needing to be performed is rather consequent. I'll do it in a second attempt if the oil consumption doesn't get back within the rails. I've numerous figures to compare to because I'm a kind of paranoid, monitoring oil consumption since 0 km.
Concerning the oil, I definately abandoned the idea to use 10W-60. I did a search on google and found several possibilities for 0W-40 & 5W-40.. Considering some facts, and as already pointed out in a previous message you sent, I'm wondering if LL-04 is really necessary: The car has been built in Aug. 2001, it's not a diesel, in consequence, I may assume that LL-01 grade could be used, although today BMW specifies LL-04. LL-04 has been developped for diesels engines and may also be used in gas engines. LL-01 satisfies current BMW's needs. So, the reply looks to be "No". OTOH, in 2007/2008 the BMW dealer even put 5W-40 Labo Carat and in 2008/2009, 5W-40 Castrol TXT Softec that both were LL98 specified !
Mobil-1 0W-40 looks to be a good deal, however my fear concerns the hydraulic tappets that might get noisy until the engine is warm enough. For an analog reason (clearances due to wearing) I also fear a loss of oil pressure in cold. => Any advise please ?I had this issue with my old E30 (180000 km), I tried all sorts of oils/viscosities and did not manage to cure it. Not worth to replace the tappets, I left them clicking until I sold it.
For Floyd's information, about the LL-04 oil in the US, I read that it has some bad reaction with the ethanol and may causes problems. For this reason BMW wouldn't recommend it outside Europe http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t 22995
Best regards
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"frischmoutt" wrote

If you don't like M1 0w-40, and since you're in France, why not give Motul a try? Their 8100 X-cess 5w-40 should work well in your application.
Pete
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Sorry, probably a misunderstanding due to the language. I said that M1 0W40 was on the top of my selection. however, prior to using it I need to get advices concerning the potential draining of the hydraulic tappets after several hours (days) of rest. Best regards
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"Scott Dorsey" wrote

Castrol Syntec 10w-40 in the US does not carry any BMW certifications, although it does carry ACEA A3 rating, on which the BMW spec is loosely based.
Castrol Syntec 5w-40 carries BMW LL-98 spec. Castroly Syntec 0w-30 carries BMW LL-01 spec. Syntec 0w-30 is actually made in Germany and is the equivalent of the European Edge 0w-30, which means it is a different (better) formulation than all the other Syntec grades.
Pete
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You are correct. Sorry, my typo.

Hmm... my FLAPS doesn't even have that stuff in their book. Is it available from the US distributors? --scott
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"Scott Dorsey" wrote

In the US, Syntec 0w-30 (Made in Germany) is only sold at AutoZone and PepBoys, as far as I know. If you're near Canada, Canadian Wal-Marts carry it, too.
Pete
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I was told that Castrol Edge was the retail name of the bulk supplied Castrol SLX III.
Regards
David
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You can't rely on any name. Just the actual spec. The name - like Syntec or whatever can apply to many different specs over time. Think Mobil 1.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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London SW

I had an Audi that used dealer supplied SLX LongLife, but could not use SLX LongLife II, and when the dealer started using SLX III, I emailed Castrol for the specs. They replied something like 'SLX III is available retail as Edge'.
Confusingly, there are more flavours now.
regards
David
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Indeed. I've seen different versions of Magnatec (same viscosity) on the shelves of Halfords at the same time and the same price.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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London SW

Really ??
No wonder there is so much confusion around which oil to use...
How about this, in 2004 I bought a 320d SE that was two years old. The handbook stated that the oil in the engine must meet BMW LL-01, the same as in their six cylinder petrols, but the viscosity was not as important as meeting BMW LL-01. The book also stated that the four cylinder petrols (valvetronic), must only use oils meeting BMW LL-01 FE spec, and the two were not interchangeable. Now, though, all those engines can use BMW LL-04 spec oils.
I tried Magnatec a few years ago, the additive package was exhausted after about 3,000 miles or 7 months ish. I liked the idea of the oil molecules clinging onto the surfaces. Whether it did or not I don't know.
BTW, a while back, Mr. Plowman, you were asking about a set of oil seals for your 528(?) and there was one that you didn't know where it went. I was wondering if it could have been for the oil filler cap as the seal ?
Regards
David
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Ah. Didn't think of that. But it was the sort of seal that goes on a shaft of some sort - rather like the sort between crank pulley and front cover. But not so large.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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