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Norseman

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I'm about to get my local garage to do an engine oil change on my early '98 523i before the onset of winter. The last but one service bar has only just gone out, but the car has only done just over 6k in the last 17 months with just a couple of long runs in that time, the rest of the miles have been within a radius of around 12 miles.

The garage I have used for years (for various makes/models) uses a 5w-30 semi-synthetic oil & I always specify a filter incorporating a non-return valve.

The car has covered 152k so should I be specifying a slightly thicker grade ?  Since the last service 6+ k ago the car has not used (or leaked) a drop of oil.

 

Thanks in advance guys.

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I would not use semi-synthetic in an E39. Go for fully synthetic 5w-30 or with higher mileage 5w-40 meeting .BMW longlife 01 specification. The replacement filter elements do not incorporate a non-return valve

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5w30 or 5w40 are fine, Mann, Mahle or OEM BMW for the filter

 

I personally use 5w40 and Mann filters. It's not just mileage of the engines now, it's their age too

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10 hours ago, Norseman said:

Since the last service 6+ k ago the car has not used (or leaked) a drop of oil.

 

Check the badge on the front... This doesn't sound like a bmw. :D

 

Seriously, agree with the above re oil. 5w30 or 40 fully synth and a quality filter. 

 

At 150k miles has it had a fuel filter for a while? Often gets forgotten and cheap and easy to do. 

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Definitely use fully synthetic engine oil. I have tried both: 5w30 and 5w40 in my 225k mile diesel engine. To be honest no difference in oil consumption or engine noise. I'm currently running 5w30 mannol oil, going cheap on eBay, or Martin Hind was selling service kits with that oil and all filters for good price. 

About LL-04 vs LL-01, both specifications are correct for Europe BMW engines of that era, but LL-01 is more for US market, that's why you might find it hard to find LL-01, because 9 out of 10 oil packings will have LL-04 on it, which is correct specification oil for EU market.

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1 hour ago, PL523i said:

 

Check the badge on the front... This doesn't sound like a bmw. :D

 

Seriously, agree with the above re oil. 5w30 or 40 fully synth and a quality filter. 

 

At 150k miles has it had a fuel filter for a while? Often gets forgotten and cheap and easy to do. 

 

This! Swapped mine the other week and the original one was still on! :roll: 

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I finally got round to do the same, went to change fuel filter this afternoon but have had to bail as the fuel hose split... If you do change your filter make sure you've got the right filter and oo would recommend new hose and 4 new hose clamps

 

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18 hours ago, stevecvo said:

I would not use semi-synthetic in an E39. Go for fully synthetic 5w-30 or with higher mileage 5w-40 meeting .BMW longlife 01 specification. The replacement filter elements do not incorporate a non-return valve

 

Thank you for the reply, I may be wrong about the oil as it might be fully syn. I'll check with the garage.

Why on earth would any respected oil filter manuf. not include a NRV … does this also apply to genuine BM ?

Edited by Norseman

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8 hours ago, PL523i said:

 

Check the badge on the front... This doesn't sound like a bmw. :D

 

Seriously, agree with the above re oil. 5w30 or 40 fully synth and a quality filter. 

 

At 150k miles has it had a fuel filter for a while? Often gets forgotten and cheap and easy to do. 

 

I like the bit about the badge :rolleyes: Seriously, are these 'sixes normally heavy on oil?  I ran a E34 520i few years ago & don't recall a heavy outlay on oil.

I had a full service carried out when I bought the car last year, including replacement fuel filter, brake fluid & coolant.

 

Thank you for your reply.

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1 hour ago, Norseman said:

 

Thank you for the reply, I may be wrong about the oil as it might be fully syn. I'll check with the garage.

Why on earth would any respected oil filter manuf. not include a NRV … does this also apply to genuine BM ?

 

Why does it need it? 

 

The filters just a paper element in a housing, so not something that can be modified etc.. 

 

These engines don't need that, they run fine, more so when properly maintained. They will use oil when run hot and hard, but keep oil changes regularly (twice a year for me personally) and they're fine

 

And yes, needs to be fully synthetic 

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1 hour ago, Norseman said:

 

I like the bit about the badge :rolleyes: Seriously, are these 'sixes normally heavy on oil?  I ran a E34 520i few years ago & don't recall a heavy outlay on oil.

I had a full service carried out when I bought the car last year, including replacement fuel filter, brake fluid & coolant.

 

Thank you for your reply.

To be honest, I've not driven or owned mine long to find out from personal experience, however I've researched quite a bit and from what I gather some 'use' is normal and some weeping leaks are common. Mainly Oil filter housing, or from the rocket cover gasket above the exhaust heat shield. Also the ccv system can cause a few issues but at the end of the day it's a 20 year old car... Gaskets go hard, things get knocked etc.. 

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A 1998 523i/528i would have specified something like 15/40 semi synthetic oil when new, when the later 530i came out a thinner 10/30 fully synthetic oil was the recommended spec, and the engine would used oil between services, go figure. I would put 10/40 semi in.

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16 minutes ago, Steve van hool said:

A 1998 523i/528i would have specified something like 15/40 semi synthetic oil when new, when the later 530i came out a thinner 10/30 fully synthetic oil was the recommended spec, and the engine would used oil between services, go figure. I would put 10/40 semi in.

 

Where did you get this?

 

BMW LL-98 oil specs: ACEA A3/B3, API SJ/CD, EC SAE 5W-40.

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When I used to run Triumph 6 cylinder saloons  in the 70s and 80s oil on these engines would drain back to the sump from the oil filter and on starting the oil pump needed to fill the filter before oil pressure to the bearings built up again. We used to fit a conversion which allowed the use of filter with a non return valve to overcome the problem but modern engines don't suffer from the same problem.

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2 hours ago, stevecvo said:

When I used to run Triumph 6 cylinder saloons  in the 70s and 80s oil on these engines would drain back to the sump from the oil filter and on starting the oil pump needed to fill the filter before oil pressure to the bearings built up again. We used to fit a conversion which allowed the use of filter with a non return valve to overcome the problem but modern engines don't suffer from the same problem.

 

The center pin on the filter housing works like a drain valve opening a passage to oil pan when the filter housing is lifted.

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14 hours ago, Clavurion said:

 

Where did you get this?

 

BMW LL-98 oil specs: ACEA A3/B3, API SJ/CD, EC SAE 5W-40.

 

I think it was a bmw tech, told me not long after I bought my e39 in 2008, it was 12 years old then. I suppose you think the thinner the oil, the better?

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I think oil tech has moved on a lot in the 20 years since these cars were made. A fully synth oil isn't very expensive nowadays. I would see no reason in using a semi synth nowadays in one of these cars. As for the viscosity range. At the end of the day it's going to be personal preference because none of us can prove one way or the other. 

 

Like the manual says (not that many people seem to refer to it) as long as its the right spec (LL01 or superceded version) it's not worried about viscosity. 

 

We can overthink these things. 

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4 minutes ago, Steve van hool said:

 

I think it was a bmw tech, told me not long after I bought my e39 in 2008, it was 12 years old then. I suppose you think the thinner the oil, the better?

It's never been thinner - better, but there's simply some viscosity for what engine is been built for. A lot of newish engines run on 0w20, just to reduce emissions, but those engines are built to run on so thin oil. Running 0w20 in E39 engines wouldn't be good idea. 

 

And actually first numbers mean cold viscosity, so 15w40 or 10w40 will be the same thin at 100°c as 5w40. For daily use I would use anything else than fully synthetic 5w30 or 5w40 LL-01 or LL-04, if it's modified engine, with a lot higher power output than stock (mostly turbo converter) and getting used for track days, 10w60 or similar can be considered.

 

 

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On 18/10/2020 at 18:05, Norseman said:

 

Thank you for the reply, I may be wrong about the oil as it might be fully syn. I'll check with the garage.

Why on earth would any respected oil filter manuf. not include a NRV … does this also apply to genuine BM ?

Are you referring to a NRV -NON RETURN VALVE or Bypass valve which are commonly fitted to ensure continuous oil feed to the engine should the filter become blocked or if the pressure drop across the filter becomes too high. On the diesel I believe the bypass valve is built into the filter housing and the filter is simply a paper element

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On ‎10‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 10:16 PM, FIBAMAN said:

Are you referring to a NRV -NON RETURN VALVE or Bypass valve which are commonly fitted to ensure continuous oil feed to the engine should the filter become blocked or if the pressure drop across the filter becomes too high. On the diesel I believe the bypass valve is built into the filter housing and the filter is simply a paper element

 

In my ignorance I've only just discovered that BM use a filter element that goes into a housing, rather than the more common spin-on canister :o

In my defence I don't work on cars these days, other than routine checks on fluid levels/tyres & thought the canister variety was common place. The valve to which I was referring is probably better described as a non-drain-back, so your description answers my question … thank you for that explanation.

 

Decision made … I've checked & the 5w30 the garage uses is fully synthetic, but I'm going for 5w40 plus a good filter of course.

Many thanks to all for the advice given.

Edited by Norseman

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