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      09-25-2018, 02:06 PM   #1
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Current Recommended Oil for M3

I have a 2018 M3 and wanted to look into using a different oil than what BMW is currently using. The other reason I want to switch is it seems BMW can't seem to make up its mind on what weight oil the S55 should be getting.

A recent trip to my dealer and they were telling me that BMW is switching all M engines to a heavier weight oil which seems odd considering the variation amongst all the M engines.

So instead of relying on BMW to come up with what oil to put in the car (which seems to change every year) I think I am going to stick with a brand and weight that meets the requirements of the engine. My plan was to go with Liqui Molly. Any recommendations on which weight from that brand would be the go to for the S55......Ow40???? Was also going to add ceratec to the oil when I do this oil change.

Thanks in advance
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      09-25-2018, 03:29 PM   #2
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Weight/grade is somewhat irrelevant as certification/specification is what matters most. For example the LL-01 spec has oil grades ranging from 0w30 to 5w40 and everything in between. Any engine spec'd for LL-01 can run any grade without issue as the specification calls for certain minimum requirements.

That said, BMW's recommendations have indeed been somewhat confusing as they have recommended LL-01 and/or LL-01FE oils in different owners manuals and in different model years. I would just make sure that whichever oil you choose that it meets the specification requirements called for in your particular owners manual.

On another note, any particular reason you would like to use Liqui Molly? You can surely find another oil which will meet the BMW spec for less cost and more readily accessible.
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      09-25-2018, 04:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorfast View Post
Weight/grade is somewhat irrelevant as certification/specification is what matters most. For example the LL-01 spec has oil grades ranging from 0w30 to 5w40 and everything in between. Any engine spec'd for LL-01 can run any grade without issue as the specification calls for certain minimum requirements.

That said, BMW's recommendations have indeed been somewhat confusing as they have recommended LL-01 and/or LL-01FE oils in different owners manuals and in different model years. I would just make sure that whichever oil you choose that it meets the specification requirements called for in your particular owners manual.

On another note, any particular reason you would like to use Liqui Molly? You can surely find another oil which will meet the BMW spec for less cost and more readily accessible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorfast View Post
Weight/grade is somewhat irrelevant as certification/specification is what matters most. For example the LL-01 spec has oil grades ranging from 0w30 to 5w40 and everything in between. Any engine spec'd for LL-01 can run any grade without issue as the specification calls for certain minimum requirements.

That said, BMW's recommendations have indeed been somewhat confusing as they have recommended LL-01 and/or LL-01FE oils in different owners manuals and in different model years. I would just make sure that whichever oil you choose that it meets the specification requirements called for in your particular owners manual.

On another note, any particular reason you would like to use Liqui Molly? You can surely find another oil which will meet the BMW spec for less cost and more readily accessible.

Thanks for the quick reply. As far as Liqui molly I have no issue sourcing it. The other option is the Castrol syntec which I have always used in all my other cars that I do my own oil changes.
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      09-25-2018, 04:33 PM   #4
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I use Castol as well (0w40) in my M3. It carries the LL-01 certification (along with virtually every other German manufacturer spec) and is about $27 for a 5qt jug at Walmart or Amazon. Cant beat it. Just did a fresh oil change with it this past weekend actually
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      09-25-2018, 08:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorfast View Post
I use Castol as well (0w40) in my M3. It carries the LL-01 certification (along with virtually every other German manufacturer spec) and is about $27 for a 5qt jug at Walmart or Amazon. Cant beat it. Just did a fresh oil change with it this past weekend actually
Can you send me link to the exact one that you are using. Plus my owners manual says ll-01 FE and the one from liqui molly I was thinking of running does not meet that spec.
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      09-25-2018, 09:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AIRHEIR View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorfast View Post
I use Castol as well (0w40) in my M3. It carries the LL-01 certification (along with virtually every other German manufacturer spec) and is about $27 for a 5qt jug at Walmart or Amazon. Cant beat it. Just did a fresh oil change with it this past weekend actually
Can you send me link to the exact one that you are using. Plus my owners manual says ll-01 FE and the one from liqui molly I was thinking of running does not meet that spec.
This is it right here. Should be the only 0w40 formulation that Castrol makes for the US market.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Castrol-E...SABEgIvNfD_BwE


This oil is LL01 though and not FE. As far as I know, LL01 is now an older certification which BMW no longer specs and has instead moved to LL-01FE and LL-14FE which are lighter grades of oil and help with fuel economy.

If you want to stick with an LL-01FE oil as recommended by your manual then I don't think you have many, if any, options outside of the OEM Bmw branded oil (which is high quality and perfectly fine to use).
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      09-26-2018, 08:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorfast View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by AIRHEIR View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorfast View Post
I use Castol as well (0w40) in my M3. It carries the LL-01 certification (along with virtually every other German manufacturer spec) and is about $27 for a 5qt jug at Walmart or Amazon. Cant beat it. Just did a fresh oil change with it this past weekend actually
Can you send me link to the exact one that you are using. Plus my owners manual says ll-01 FE and the one from liqui molly I was thinking of running does not meet that spec.
This is it right here. Should be the only 0w40 formulation that Castrol makes for the US market.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Castrol-E...SABEgIvNfD_BwE


This oil is LL01 though and not FE. As far as I know, LL01 is now an older certification which BMW no longer specs and has instead moved to LL-01FE and LL-14FE which are lighter grades of oil and help with fuel economy.

If you want to stick with an LL-01FE oil as recommended by your manual then I don't think you have many, if any, options outside of the OEM Bmw branded oil (which is high quality and perfectly fine to use).
Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorfast View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by AIRHEIR View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorfast View Post
I use Castol as well (0w40) in my M3. It carries the LL-01 certification (along with virtually every other German manufacturer spec) and is about $27 for a 5qt jug at Walmart or Amazon. Cant beat it. Just did a fresh oil change with it this past weekend actually
Can you send me link to the exact one that you are using. Plus my owners manual says ll-01 FE and the one from liqui molly I was thinking of running does not meet that spec.
This is it right here. Should be the only 0w40 formulation that Castrol makes for the US market.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Castrol-E...SABEgIvNfD_BwE


This oil is LL01 though and not FE. As far as I know, LL01 is now an older certification which BMW no longer specs and has instead moved to LL-01FE and LL-14FE which are lighter grades of oil and help with fuel economy.

If you want to stick with an LL-01FE oil as recommended by your manual then I don't think you have many, if any, options outside of the OEM Bmw branded oil (which is high quality and perfectly fine to use).
Thanks man. Yeah since manual states the FE I guess I have no choices at the moment.

I will hold off switching until castrol or someone else makes the FE one. I'm sure oem one is fine but I am a big believer in sticking with an oil and not changing it up all the time and the way BMW has been operating with this they have been all over the place.

Thanks so much.
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      09-26-2018, 11:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AIRHEIR View Post
Thanks man. Yeah since manual states the FE I guess I have no choices at the moment.

I will hold off switching until castrol or someone else makes the FE one. I'm sure oem one is fine but I am a big believer in sticking with an oil and not changing it up all the time and the way BMW has been operating with this they have been all over the place.

Thanks so much.
Manual doesn't really matter to be honest for this car, as long as you stick w/ LL-01 and FE like @gatorfast said. In 2015 they recommended LL-01 5w30 / 0w40 and 2016 the manual said 5w30, now all cars say FE.. strictly a fuel economy thing. 0w40 was originally M specific oil only, then they discontinued it and everyone uses 0w30 FE now across the line. So yea, long as it's LL01 / FE certified.
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      09-26-2018, 12:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesGames View Post
Manual doesn't really matter to be honest for this car, as long as you stick w/ LL-01 and FE like @gatorfast said. In 2015 they recommended LL-01 5w30 / 0w40 and 2016 the manual said 5w30, now all cars say FE.. strictly a fuel economy thing. 0w40 was originally M specific oil only, then they discontinued it and everyone uses 0w30 FE now across the line. So yea, long as it's LL01 / FE certified.
Thanks bud. I guess I just have to decide which one I am going with. The one dealer I work with said if I supply my own oil they wont be able to charge out the labor to BWM for even the oil changes that are in line with the time/mileage interval. Which is no big deal. Just found it a little odd.

Looks like Im leaning towards Castrol or Liqui molly...
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      09-26-2018, 04:48 PM   #10
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I'm still running 0W40 European formula synthetics just like I have in all my previous BMW's they keep going with lighter oils for MPG reasons only. The tolerances haven't gotten tighter.
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      09-27-2018, 09:36 AM   #11
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Also OP I would advise against adding ceratec to your oil. Any oil carrying the LL-01 or LL-01FE certification is all you need.
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      09-27-2018, 12:28 PM   #12
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For the OP (or anybody curious about the oil specs for our cars) you should do some research on the "FE" rating/spec. As others have mentioned, it is only for Fuel Efficiency. With all of the pressure on the OEMs to make the most fuel efficient cars (regardless of performance category), it would not surprise me if the primary motivation for BMW (or any other OEM) to now only recommend FE oils was not based on performance, but rather to maximize fuel efficiency numbers.

After learning about the differences between the FE and non-FE oil specification, I decided to use non-FE oils. I have been putting in the now discontinued 0W-40 BMW M oil ever since I got the car - and I have 20K+ miles on the clock now, conducting mid-interval oil changes at 5k miles. It is difficult to find BMW 0W-40 BMW M oil, but there is still some out there, including at some dealers.
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      09-27-2018, 05:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmciver View Post
For the OP (or anybody curious about the oil specs for our cars) you should do some research on the "FE" rating/spec. As others have mentioned, it is only for Fuel Efficiency. With all of the pressure on the OEMs to make the most fuel efficient cars (regardless of performance category), it would not surprise me if the primary motivation for BMW (or any other OEM) to now only recommend FE oils was not based on performance, but rather to maximize fuel efficiency numbers.

After learning about the differences between the FE and non-FE oil specification, I decided to use non-FE oils. I have been putting in the now discontinued 0W-40 BMW M oil ever since I got the car - and I have 20K+ miles on the clock now, conducting mid-interval oil changes at 5k miles. It is difficult to find BMW 0W-40 BMW M oil, but there is still some out there, including at some dealers.
The FE oil is thin. I've seen UOA and it's definitely on the thinner side, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's not protecting. Is it protecting as well? Common sense says it doesn't, and according to BMWs original oil choice graph the heavier weighted oil does protect better. Keep in mind oils with a bigger range such at 0w40 will create more carbon buildup on the valves / blow by than let's say 0w30FE or 5w30.


My personal choice, if I really wanted to split hairs, is BMW OEM 5w30 or Pennzoil Ultra platinum GTL 5w30 (which I believe is the same formula or similar to OEM twin power 5w30). The Gas to liquid oils that SOPUS has made (Pennzoil / OEM twin power) has low NOACK which is better for DI turbo engines.. Lower NOACK usually correlates to less carbon valve buildup.

Again with that said, if it's time for an oil change, to make it simple; LL-01 or FE, any, is fine, especially if you're just changing the oil in-between the annual free maintenances. This is the main rule to go by.
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      09-27-2018, 06:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesGames View Post
..... Common sense says it doesn't, and according to BMWs original oil choice graph the heavier weighted oil does protect better. Keep in mind oils with a bigger range such at 0w40 will create more carbon buildup on the valves / blow by than let's say 0w30FE or 5w30....
This is the basic conclusion I came to which is why I chose to stick with the 0W-40 and not go with the FE oil. Regarding the extra carbon buildup/blowby piece, I had not heard that before. But then I have an oil catch can installed and do oil changes every 5k miles so I think I am covered there pretty well.
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      09-27-2018, 06:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmciver View Post
This is the basic conclusion I came to which is why I chose to stick with the 0W-40 and not go with the FE oil. Regarding the extra carbon buildup/blowby piece, I had not heard that before. But then I have an oil catch can installed and do oil changes every 5k miles so I think I am covered there pretty well.
BITOG has a lot of info.. same with the SAE research articles, but that is boring. If you are bored and want some reading you can start here for NOACK. https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forum...Number=3133625
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      09-28-2018, 10:47 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesGames View Post
The FE oil is thin. I've seen UOA and it's definitely on the thinner side, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's not protecting. Is it protecting as well? Common sense says it doesn't, and according to BMWs original oil choice graph the heavier weighted oil does protect better. Keep in mind oils with a bigger range such at 0w40 will create more carbon buildup on the valves / blow by than let's say 0w30FE or 5w30.


My personal choice, if I really wanted to split hairs, is BMW OEM 5w30 or Pennzoil Ultra platinum GTL 5w30 (which I believe is the same formula or similar to OEM twin power 5w30). The Gas to liquid oils that SOPUS has made (Pennzoil / OEM twin power) has low NOACK which is better for DI turbo engines.. Lower NOACK usually correlates to less carbon valve buildup.

Again with that said, if it's time for an oil change, to make it simple; LL-01 or FE, any, is fine, especially if you're just changing the oil in-between the annual free maintenances. This is the main rule to go by.

I thought they had solved the carbon buildup on the valves issue associated with direct injection? Didn't they add a mechanism to spray a small amount of fuel on the back of the valves? That being said my 08 335 that never had anything but 0W40 did not have significant carbon buildup at 65K miles when I finally had the walnut blasting done.
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      09-28-2018, 12:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceCowboy View Post
I thought they had solved the carbon buildup on the valves issue associated with direct injection? Didn't they add a mechanism to spray a small amount of fuel on the back of the valves? That being said my 08 335 that never had anything but 0W40 did not have significant carbon buildup at 65K miles when I finally had the walnut blasting done.
N54 was the worst, N55 got significantly better, S55 from what I've seen doesn't really have this issue; however, at the end of the day the S55 is still DI turbo, not port injected so nothing washes back of valves. Some cars do utilize the dual technology to help, Lexus comes to mind (RCF).

Last edited by JamesGames; 09-28-2018 at 12:51 PM..
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      09-28-2018, 02:28 PM   #18
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thanks everyone that replied to my post. It has been really helpful. I think I am going to go with the Ow40 castrol cause its pretty easy to source. thanks again
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      09-30-2018, 08:07 PM   #19
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use 5w-40 (Motul), live in Portugal (minimum temperature is +10-12)
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      09-29-2020, 10:07 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AIRHEIR View Post
I have a 2018 M3 and wanted to look into using a different oil than what BMW is currently using. The other reason I want to switch is it seems BMW can't seem to make up its mind on what weight oil the S55 should be getting.

A recent trip to my dealer and they were telling me that BMW is switching all M engines to a heavier weight oil which seems odd considering the variation amongst all the M engines.

So instead of relying on BMW to come up with what oil to put in the car (which seems to change every year) I think I am going to stick with a brand and weight that meets the requirements of the engine. My plan was to go with Liqui Molly. Any recommendations on which weight from that brand would be the go to for the S55......Ow40???? Was also going to add ceratec to the oil when I do this oil change.

Thanks in advance
Hello
Iím using Motul Specific 5W-30 with LiquMoly Flush and Ceratec. Doing it myself every 6 months or 5k miles. Live in Atlanta.
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      09-29-2020, 11:26 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Missil3 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by AIRHEIR View Post
I have a 2018 M3 and wanted to look into using a different oil than what BMW is currently using. The other reason I want to switch is it seems BMW can't seem to make up its mind on what weight oil the S55 should be getting.

A recent trip to my dealer and they were telling me that BMW is switching all M engines to a heavier weight oil which seems odd considering the variation amongst all the M engines.

So instead of relying on BMW to come up with what oil to put in the car (which seems to change every year) I think I am going to stick with a brand and weight that meets the requirements of the engine. My plan was to go with Liqui Molly. Any recommendations on which weight from that brand would be the go to for the S55......Ow40???? Was also going to add ceratec to the oil when I do this oil change.

Thanks in advance
Hello
I’m using Motul Specific 5W-30 with LiquMoly Flush and Ceratec. Doing it myself every 6 months or 5k miles. Live in Atlanta.
What is the process and how do you use Ceratec? Was looking at it the other day. How much do you use and how often?
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      09-29-2020, 11:53 AM   #22
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Quote:
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What is the process and how do you use Ceratec? Was looking at it the other day. How much do you use and how often?
I want to say that I've read somewhere in the BMW manual... something to the effect of "do not use engine oil additives." I've heard that LM makes some good oils (synthenergy comes to mind) but many of the additives are snake oil.

As an aside - I've used good 0W30 or 0W40 oil with a high quality synthetic media filter (WIX) at generous intervals and i've been very happy.
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