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View Poll Results: Which BMW branded oil do you use in your N55?
BMW LL-01FE 0W-30 3 15.00%
BMW LL-01 5W-30 9 45.00%
BMW LL-01 0W-40 8 40.00%
Other BMW Viscosity 0 0%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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      07-18-2018, 10:31 AM   #1
NicB.
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N55 Owners: BMW Branded 0W-30 or 5W-30?

Before I get flamed for not searching, yes, I have read through no less than 500 posts and a ton of technical documentation on merits of various oils, viscosities, other properties, etc. Despite all this, I still have questions and thoughts to discuss regarding the BMW branded 0W-30 vs 5W-30.

I have a 2015 335i with MPPK and MPE for which I will do all my own maintenance. I want to take this car past 100k miles and do all I can to keep the engine/turbos healthy. The sticker under the hood specifies using BMW 5W-30 oil; however, the owner's manual specifies a variety of different oils as long as they are LL-01 or LL-01FE. TIS also confirms this:

https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/f...enance/1PSryV8.

I used the 5W-30 oil in my e46 for 12 years without problem. However, it seems BMW released 0W-30 to supersede 5W-30, and in fact, on Bimmerworld's website, they mention 5W-30 will only be available "while supplies last", which makes me think BMW may phase out 5W-30 over time. I found this picture from 1addicts, and it appears as though 0W-30 is "better" than 5W-30:



Similarly, Lubrizol has a nice tool you can use to compare oils and comparing BMW LL-01 to LL-01FE also seems to indicate 0W-30 is better (although with a lower HTHS):



My thoughts:

1. 0W-30 seems "better" for short city driving and/or for colder weather (sub-20F); however, I am concerned it may be less ideal for long-term engine wear (I plan to keep the car 100k+ miles) or for hard driving (which I enjoy). However, I have seen no tangible evidence to support this.

2. 0W-30 is less viscous when cold, which means the car may consume more oil and there is an increased potential for leaks (conversely, from what I read it is supposed to be great for seals and gaskets).

3. 0W-30 is supposedly better at cleaning engine parts and reducing sludge buildup.

4. Both 0W-30 and 5W-30 are 30 oils when hot, so in theory, they should have the same properties when hot; however, the HTHS of the 5W-30 is higher than the 0W-30.

5. The 0W-30 oil is API SN (latest generation) vs the 5W-30 API SL (older generation).

6. The 0W-30 is ACEA A5/B5, whereas the 5W-30 is ACEA A3/B4.

I did email BMW-NA and they confirmed a 5W-30 recommendation for my 2015 335i; however, a dealer I spoke with suggested the 0W-30.

I am annoyed with the ambiguity. It seems like there should be a more definitive answer on this. I am interested in hearing from the masses and also what the statistics say (hence the poll). Plus, who doesn't love a good oil discussion?

NicB.

Last edited by NicB.; 07-18-2018 at 03:54 PM.
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      07-18-2018, 10:49 AM   #2
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According to the chart, only 5W-30 has "patented active cleaning technology for long engine life". Not so for the 0W-30 just to the left of it in the chart. the 5W-30 also scores for "fast engine lubrication" and "price/performance ratio" whereas 0W-30 does not. 0W-30 does score better for wear and temp stability.

As far as the ambiguity between BMW-NA and the Dealer, I'll stick with NA. Dealers might be pushing one of the other from a profit viewpoint more that a technical. Just my thoughts.
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      07-18-2018, 11:05 AM   #3
NicB.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion4 View Post
According to the chart, only 5W-30 has "patented active cleaning technology for long engine life". Not so for the 0W-30 just to the left of it in the chart. the 5W-30 also scores for "fast engine lubrication" and "price/performance ratio" whereas 0W-30 does not. 0W-30 does score better for wear and temp stability.

As far as the ambiguity between BMW-NA and the Dealer, I'll stick with NA. Dealers might be pushing one of the other from a profit viewpoint more that a technical. Just my thoughts.
Yea, I noticed that too. What is strange is the 0W-30 oil is thinner when cold, so it should lube the engine faster, not sure I follow their logic on that one.
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      07-18-2018, 11:40 AM   #4
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Nice work trying to extend the longevity of your vehicle. The OEM N55 charge pipe is made of plastic. Is it still OK? Metal replacements are widely available.
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      07-18-2018, 01:04 PM   #5
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If you want to keep your car running for a long time, changing the oil every 7-8K instead of the ridiculous 15K interval is more important than the tiny differences in oil formulations.
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      07-18-2018, 02:06 PM   #6
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BMW doesn't recommend the same oil for the same engine in different model years. The main advantage to 0w is a slight, and that's a very slight, improvement in gas mileage with a cold engine. If in doubt use what's called for in your manual. It does seem that some dealers are going all 0w, not because they should, but to reduce inventory.
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      07-18-2018, 02:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfitz View Post
BMW doesn't recommend the same oil for the same engine in different model years. The main advantage to 0w is a slight, and that's a very slight, improvement in gas mileage with a cold engine. If in doubt use what's called for in your manual. It does seem that some dealers are going all 0w, not because they should, but to reduce inventory.
While I agree with this advice, manuals have multiple acceptable oil weights including, I think, the ones OP posted. So looking at the manual doesn't help OP per se. For my N20, I don't remember all of the weights listed in my manual, but I think they recommend all of the following: 0W-30, 5W-30 and 0W-40.
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Last edited by adhrp; 07-18-2018 at 02:30 PM.
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      07-18-2018, 02:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ynguldyn View Post
If you want to keep your car running for a long time, changing the oil every 7-8K instead of the ridiculous 15K interval is more important than the tiny differences in oil formulations.
It's a 10k interval now, and usually tells me to change it at 8kish miles. There has been many a thread on this before, but the 15k was still ok.

Also OP: it's a turbo, not turbos (plural).
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      07-18-2018, 02:28 PM   #9
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My OCI is programmed to the pre-10k era, so it shows 15-16k for the next oil change. I just do one half way through (at 8k) and then a second one once the OCI asks for it. The car has received a combination of 5W-30 (dealer), 0W-40 (indy) and 0W-30 (dealer) over the past 77k miles and there hasn't been a single issue or oil leak to date (latest oil change + check-up was last week).
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      07-18-2018, 04:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ynguldyn View Post
If you want to keep your car running for a long time, changing the oil every 7-8K instead of the ridiculous 15K interval is more important than the tiny differences in oil formulations.
Totally agree. I used to change my e46 every 6k. I plan to do the F30 at 7.5k.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfitz View Post
BMW doesn't recommend the same oil for the same engine in different model years. The main advantage to 0w is a slight, and that's a very slight, improvement in gas mileage with a cold engine. If in doubt use what's called for in your manual. It does seem that some dealers are going all 0w, not because they should, but to reduce inventory.
I probably will default to 5W-30 since it is in both the owner's manual, TIS, and on the sticker in the hood. However, both TIS and the owner's manual say other weight oils (like 0W-30 / LL-01FE) are acceptable, and it seems based on my research the 0W-30 will be BMW's "go to" in the future.

I will admit I am a bit obsessive about cars at times, so I am trying to ferret out the pros/cons of the 0W-30 vs. 5W-30 to use the best product I can. It is difficult to discern though.
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      07-18-2018, 04:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfm56d7b View Post
Nice work trying to extend the longevity of your vehicle. The OEM N55 charge pipe is made of plastic. Is it still OK? Metal replacements are widely available.
I will seek to learn more...thanks for your input!
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      07-18-2018, 09:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blubaron79 View Post
It's a 10k interval now, and usually tells me to change it at 8kish miles. There has been many a thread on this before, but the 15k was still ok.
2015s were still on the 15K cycle.

And 15K is never OK if you do want to have a healthy engine at 150K.
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      07-18-2018, 09:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ynguldyn View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blubaron79 View Post
It's a 10k interval now, and usually tells me to change it at 8kish miles. There has been many a thread on this before, but the 15k was still ok.
2015s were still on the 15K cycle.

And 15K is never OK if you do want to have a healthy engine at 150K.
Not true. My 2014 435, and my 2015 335 both had 10k mile internals. I live in the states FYI.
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      07-18-2018, 09:57 PM   #14
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I'm switching my 14' 335 from 5w-30, what previous owner used, to Castrol 0w-40, I ran 0w-40 for most of my e90s life and has never disappointed me. Making the change tomorrow, and will continue to do so. Doing oil change every 7.5k miles. Only because I'd rather do it a little sooner then the recommended 10 interval, $50 every 7.5k miles wont hurt the bank.
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      07-19-2018, 09:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicB. View Post
I will admit I am a bit obsessive about cars at times, so I am trying to ferret out the pros/cons of the 0W-30 vs. 5W-30
0W is better in cold conditions, 5W better in warmer conditions. If you change seasonally use 0W in winter, 5W in summer. If you live in Florida use 5W year round, if you live in Alaska use 0W year round. If you live in the tropics use 10W-50.
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      07-19-2018, 09:21 AM   #16
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You will never, ever, ever notice the difference.
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As long as 3-pedals are an option, I will exercise my right to suffer the handicap and indignity of slower shifts and reaction times.
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      07-19-2018, 10:00 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by kern417 View Post
You will never, ever, ever notice the difference.
Not sure about that. I got my oil changed a few weeks back and they used 0W-30. It's been hot here in NY and I've noticed my oil temperature inch closer to midpoint after a few WOT pulls. My oil temp normally sits right before the mid mark with 5W-30 and that never changed until this last service.
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      07-19-2018, 12:13 PM   #18
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Been using 0/30 in my last 3 Bims. No issues at all. Drive in hot and very cold winter climates in the PNW...no issues at all. Cars warm fast. You shouldn't notice any difference at all.
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      07-19-2018, 12:17 PM   #19
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I use 5w-40
Motul xcess 8100.
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      07-19-2018, 01:04 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XxThe_RemedyXx View Post
Not sure about that. I got my oil changed a few weeks back and they used 0W-30. It's been hot here in NY and I've noticed my oil temperature inch closer to midpoint after a few WOT pulls. My oil temp normally sits right before the mid mark with 5W-30 and that never changed until this last service.
Don't be surprised if your oil gets hotter during the hottest weeks of the year. The fact that they are both 30w oils indicates that they should operate the same at operating temperature. So whatever you're seeing should also happen with 5w-30.

The point is changing oils with different weights when cold don't make a big difference in engine performance. If everything else in the engine is perfect, it's like the difference between it lasting 500k miles and 510k. That's why most OEMs show a combination of 0-xx and 5-xx oils approved for use.
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