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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

Picking up our F55 Cooper on Wednesday, I've noticed BMW is specifying 30k or 24mths between oil changes. Can anyone tell me what brand and spec of oil BMW uses and when did service intervals jump from 10-15k out to 30k.

Does anyone else have concerns about the extended time between oil changes or am I over thinking things? I've never owned a car where the manufacturer specifies 2 years, to me that seems such a long time.
 

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Hi guys,

Picking up our F55 Cooper on Wednesday, I've noticed BMW is specifying 30k or 24mths between oil changes. Can anyone tell me what brand and spec of oil BMW uses and when did service intervals jump from 10-15k out to 30k.

Does anyone else have concerns about the extended time between oil changes or am I over thinking things? I've never owned a car where the manufacturer specifies 2 years, to me that seems such a long time.
Lots of people have commented on what seems an excessive interval between oil changes. Some have changed their oil after 1000 miles.

I am going to assume BMW knows what's best for their engines and follow the recommended interval.
 

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I don't trust them at all,you want to see the sate of the oil in my wife's roadster s after 5000.these are turbo engines and are very hot,they destroy oil,am changing mine every 6000 as I want to keep our cars past warranty,call me cynical but I never had coking in my r56 s on this regime!
 

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I, too, wonder how often we should be changing the oil. 15k does seem excessive but then I used to think you had to do it every 500 miles lol.
 

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15000?, here in the uk we have a service indicator that works out when a service is due based on the driving you do eg shorter journeys equals quicker need for a service. Mine is on 3600 miles and saying service in 17000. That's a total of 20600. Far too many.
 

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This is always a hot topic and another one of those where so much of what you were taught comes into play... lot of disinformation out there too. You could literally write a dissertation on motor oil and when to change it.

First off, BMW oil, at least here, is just Castroil. Nothing special. Second, just because BMW recommends the oil and the interval, does not mean it's what is best for the car because they made it. The real key to the oil question for extended service interval cars is having a motor oil that is designed for extended service intervals. Amsoil, Royal Purple, and LiquiMoly are three examples in the US. From everything I can learn over the months I've been looking into the whole Mini oil situation, the BMW/Castrol stuff does not fall into this category.

I'm not going to get into a debate over which is the best oil to use. For my taste, I'm an Amsoil man, having had near zero engine wear in 3 vehicles running the stuff over a combined 400,000 miles. I also help maintain two ice resurfacers (which use small 4 cylinder engines - got one running a Nissan engine and another with a VW) which are high revving 6 ton monsters. One runs Mobil 1 and once we replaced the engine in the other, it came right off Castrol and went on Mobil 1 as well based on what the boss man saw. That's just me, though, and the folks across the pond have a whole different range of good quality options. Get into the no-kidding test results online - there are a number of articles showing independent test results between brands - and choose a good, reputable oil made specifically for long service intervals.

Personally, after my 2k break-in period, I'm dummping the Castrol as fast as it will run out of the car.

Here's a video I found interesting. The mechanic is fond of LiquiMoly, but he knows his stuff too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igjZ3ukjyIk
 

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To qualify, drove an mr2 for 160,000 changed the oil every 6000 with mobil 1 initially but then supermarket fully synthetic of the same SAE, and it ran at 160000 as if it were new. shame the car was rusting away around the brilliant engine; however I do think that 0w 40 mobil one has to be superior to the 5 w 30 stuff mini put in the car; the Castrol oil I am sure is fine but I just think it needs changing more often than they say regardless of how the oil is supposed to be designed-it is black already and that must be soot and impurities. it might not be quite so good for economy who knows. mind Castrol do 0w 40 as well; I am not beholden to a brand but fully synthetic is a must and regular changes are as important. I once read that regular changes of a cheap oil beat long changes of expensive oil, but there are loads of threads about this. I shall just change my oil every 6000 miles, and ignore bmw; they want the car to look cheap to run! saying that I managed to get some PETRONAS 5w30 mini specific oil very very cheap from eurocarparts so that'll be going in soon-if it's good enough for the Mercedes f1 team etc etc!!!! I just feel uneasy about the 5w30 sae, and feel 0w 40 must be more protective? Any thoughts anyone(sorry I've rambled)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Double checked with BMW Australia, after1year/15k they check fluid levels and after 2 years/30k they change the oil. They did say it was up to me if I wanted to change it more frequently.

Our last car was a 2010 Honda Accord with Honda specifying oil changes at 6 mths or 10k.
A huge difference and I would love to know the rationale behind BMW's decision.
 

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I watched the video, and have to agree ; it's what I've always thought, and on reading about oils, the evidence says; can't really see why Castrol of the same weight would be any worse than mobil or any other, but I shall revert to 0w 40 after my 5w 30 PETRONAS foray! Every 6k for me! regardless of what BMW say-certainly can't harm can it!
 

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I watched the video, and have to agree ; it's what I've always thought, and on reading about oils, the evidence says; can't really see why Castrol of the same weight would be any worse than mobil or any other, but I shall revert to 0w 40 after my 5w 30 PETRONAS foray! Every 6k for me! regardless of what BMW say-certainly can't harm can it!
You should be able to get much more than 6k. Not 30k, but depending on the oil you get, you should be able to double that easily with no issues whatsoever. Mobil 1 will guarantee their product in your engine for 15k, and some higher end synthetics can go longer... not that I would drag it out much longer (and that assumes I'm keeping an eye on the oil itself which is a lot harder with no dipstick, but I digress). Changing at 6k won't necessarily hurt, but it's not doing your wallet a bit of good, it's not actually helping your car, and you're just adding perfectly good oil to the used oil disposal process.

I suspect he found the same thing that we did with the Castrol... it just didn't perform as well. Performance takes into consideration a number of factors including how well it protects metal sufaces from wear and also how well it fights deposits/sludge and keeps things clean. On both counts we felt we could do better... and I consider the Mobil 1 to be a cheap, baseline product personally.

I should also add: If you are going to use a high performance, higher drain interval oil, make sure you have a filter that is also a high drain interval product! No good if your oil can go the distance but your filter can't.
 

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How can you find out which are t h e better oils here in the uk mobil1 is very expensive if not t h e most expensive!
Well... I've never bought oil in the UK, so I've been googulating here for longer than I care to admit trying to get semi-familiar with what's available there vs what's available here and looking at test results that might be helpful. [I don't have work or hockey today, so aside from cleaning the house, I've got nothing better to do anyway]

In general, you get what you pay for. That doesn't mean that if you spend a lot you'll get a better product, just that you will generally pay more for quality. Annnd we all knew that already, so where am I going with this?

Finding independent lab results is sticky... it can be hard to find truly independent, relevant, research that may include all the brands that you're interested in, and sometimes it's hard to find research that doesn't make your brain hurt when you read it. For example, I've just spent the last hour going through the engineering data from a guy that did some excellent testing on an extensive collection of lubricants, and his detailed analysis was just butt-jarringly boring even for me... and in a previous life, mashing through ultra technical test results was my job and I like reading those things. Holy cow.

Anyway, my takeaway from this Uber Study and the smaller ones I've read is that, yes, the oil I use is a spectacularly good oil and the manufacturer claims (and the manufacturer provided "independent test results") are predominantly valid... and most of the other big name brands [specifically: Amsoil, Royal Purple, Penzoil, certain types of Castrol, Mobil, and to some extent Shell, Elf, and Gulf], while not as spectacular, are still really quite good. The differences are there, but in most cases, they aren't big differences... in fact, some are very small depending on the specific test performed. Stay with me... I'm getting there

So... the real question boils down to how fine do you want to split the hair and how much do you want to pay for it? For that, I leave you to your own research, but not empty handed. Below are links to a few studies that I consider reasonable.

http://www.thedirtforum.com/oils.htm [No idea when they did this study]

http://www.amsoil.com/lit/g3115.pdf [An advertising tool of Amsoil, but the testing was independent and I'm satisfied the individual tests should stand alone as a comparison of different products]

http://www.pqiamerica.com/March2013PCMO/Marchsyntheticsallfinal.html [Obviously specific to the US, but a number of the products should be available to you.]

http://themotoroilevaluator.com/members-blog/#axzz3VFhTdKIf [This site claims to objectively help you sort through the 8 billion different oils and help you decide which is the best for you. You have to create an account to use it, though, and I wasn't gonna go there.]

https://540ratblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/motor-oil-wear-test-ranking/ [This is the aforementioned study that hurt my brain.]

And may God have mercy on my soul...
 

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however I do think that 0w 40 mobil one has to be superior to the 5 w 30 stuff mini put in the car; [snip] mind Castrol do 0w 40 as well; I am not beholden to a brand but fully synthetic is a must and regular changes are as important. [snip] I just feel uneasy about the 5w30 sae, and feel 0w 40 must be more protective? Any thoughts anyone (sorry I've rambled)
Sorry - I didn't actually answer this one.

The quick and dirty answer is: It depends. The SAE rating isn't really an indicator of which is a better brand of oil, it just describes the operating limits of a product.

The W viscosity rating it means that this oil viscosity has been tested at a cold temperature. The numbers without the W are all tested at 210° F or 100° C (approximating normal, higher engine operating temps). Sooo, a 5W-30 motor oil performs like a SAE 5 motor oil in the cold (quickly bathing those dry metal parts in luxurious lubrication and preventing wear), but still has SAE 30 viscosity at a toasty 210° F (100° C). So, if everything else is equal, a 0W-40 is protective for a wider temperature range at the upper and lower limit than the 5W-30. It doesn't necessarily mean it's a better oil. [Personal opinion alert] I think you'd do fine with either grade. I'm going to consult my personal mechanic (and best friend since I was 14) and see what he recommends for the Mini based on my operating range, but I strongly suspect JD will tell me to keep on with my usual 5W-30 (which I've run in the truck at temperature extremes from the Front Range of Colorado to New Mexico high desert to the mixed bag of Alabama.
So what's the right oil? According to SAE themselves: "To come up with the right answer, you need to consider the type of driving you will do over the next oil drain cycle. Is it high-speed freeway driving, or will you be making short trips in cold weather? Then, dig out your owner's manual and select the vehicle manufacturer recommendation that best fits your driving plans. You now have identified the most suitable SAE grade to use. It will provide the best protection for your vehicle." http://www.sae.org/news/releases/rightoil.htm

And there's plenty more reading on the intergalactic repository of all information.
 

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That's brilliant tiger thank you. Will have a look at those articles but peace of mind says buy a big brand fully synth and it should be ok. Thank you again great post. J
 
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That's brilliant tiger thank you. Will have a look at those articles but peace of mind says buy a big brand fully synth and it should be ok. Thank you again great post. J
My pleasure! It was good for me to just sit down and separate the wheat from the chaff in my own mind with solid data, too.

And you've bottom-lined it beautifully:

Buy a good, big brand name, full synthetic, in a reasonable SAE for your operating range, check it often, change it at reasonable intervals, and the experts agree - your engine will live a long and healthy life. Boom.
 

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I read bmw has partnered with shell now and they have developed a new process to formulate the oil, this is global.
Thanks for bringing that up. I just caught something about that out of the corner of my eye as I was looking at other things yesterday - I didn't go back and look at it, but meant to. I'll have to go back and ponder it deeply
 

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mmm mini used to recommend mobil, now Castrol, shell next; don't think it is re quality but more about who gives them a preferential deal on the factory fill, knowing that owners are then most likely to replace like with like; tyre makers do this too apparently-big business!
This has been really interesting and informative, many thanks once again tiger. Kind regards
J
 
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