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Oil Change Intervals

Discussion in 'E46 (1999-2006)' started by 330indy1, Apr 29, 2008.

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Oil Change Interval Regimen of CCA Enthusiasts

3000 to 5000 miles 15 vote(s) 31.9%
5000 to 7500 miles 20 vote(s) 42.6%
7500 to 10,000 miles 10 vote(s) 21.3%
> 10,000 miles 2 vote(s) 4.3%
    • Member

    330indy1

    Post Count: 675
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    please vote for the OCI regimen you actually follow

    3000-5000 miles
    5000-7500 miles
    7500-10,000 miles
    +10,000 miles
    • Member

    Jeff Gomon

    Post Count: 147
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    I do run Non-Synthetic oil in my 91 M5 so I keep my intervals strictly as follows. Every 3k miles it gets dumped or after a Driving School, no matter the mileage. For example, I store the car over the winter for 5-6 months so it only gets about 5-6k miles a year for events and some Driving schools. I end up changing the oil 3-5 times as that's how many DE's I do. I just will not trust an oil, or its additive packages, after running the engine hard for the weekend. Just my schedules and I can say, I removed the valve cover to check valve clearances and there is not a hint of sludge or anything other than the nice gold anodized appearance that Castrol GTX oils (20w-50 for me) leave behind on internal engine parts.

    Just my $0.02 cent.

    Dr Obnxs guest

    Post Count: 122
    Likes Received:1
    I'm kind of like DJ....

    but only a bit. I run Red-Line 5W30 in my car, and let it go long with top ups unless there are any track events in there. Then I change after one or two, depending on how long the oil was in the car before it, and how hard a day of driving I've had.

    Matt
    • Member

    330indy1

    Post Count: 675
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    Does Redline have a 5w-40?
    if so I would consider it.

    but the best 5w40 is I believe LubroMoly's Voll-Synthese
    • Member

    Jeff Gomon

    Post Count: 147
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    I noticed that you mentioned Top-Ups with the oil. My good Friend Chet worked for Delphi for several years and mentioned this to me. They tested a nice V-6 at 90% power and load for the equivalent of 100k miles taking all sorts of readings such as water and oil temp as well as some sensors that measure how the oil is holding up. Wish I knew what it was called. Anyway, they started off with everything fresh and ran the thing 24 hours except to top off the oil and any other fluids. Long story short, they could see the oil Viscosity and lubricity components drop off at a steady rate right down to the point they needed to add a quart. When they did so, the oil sensor reported that the levels were returned to the same levels as when they started with fresh oil. They determined that there was, with one quart, enough of the additive package to recharge the entire oil capacity. This continued throughout the entire 100k mile test. When the engine was torn down...there was almost no wear. Don't know what the moral here is or how it correlates to the oil change interval question except in the fact that those to top off between changes are probably doing fine by reintroducing a fresh quart between changing.

    Jeff

    Dr Obnxs guest

    Post Count: 122
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    Good to know...

    I had noticed that while the oil may be able to take 15k of "standard" driving, there is still a little loss past the rings that the vapor recovery system that burns off the blow by. So if one does do the longer time between oil changes, you still have to check to see if the oil is going down slowly over time.

    Matt

    bradley01 guest

    Post Count: 132
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    OK...I think this poll is a bit confusing as it seems to have confused some of the people who have posted on this thread. Jeff has mentioned that he doesn't use synthetic oil, which means that he HAS to change his oil ~3,000 miles. Those of us whose cars require the use of synthetic oil are capable of going ~10-15k miles between oil changes. I think the poll needs to be specific as to whether or not you are looking for regular or synthetic oil change intervals.
    • Member

    Jeff Gomon

    Post Count: 147
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    Confusion, hopefully, dispelled.....

    Bradley,
    Good catch. After re-reading, it is a bit confusing as I am the "Lone Wolf" who is NOT using Synthetic as my owners manual from 91 states no "low friction oil allowed" so I took that as BMW didn't feel the Synthetic technology hadn't come along far enough for them to recommend its use 18+ years ago. That has now changed, obviously, but I still like to change it after DE's and would have a hard time not changing synthetic either.
    One important item not mentioned here is filter changing, and using the correct filter. The AutoZone "it'll fit" knock offs are, often times, not designed to be used with Synthetic lubricants specifically. I have heard stories of synthetic oils breaking down or softening the pleat adhesives inside the low quality filters that are much less expensive than the correct versions.
    Lots of oil analysis labs concur that while the oil may still be in decent shape after 3k-5k miles, changing the filter and topping off the system at regular intervals is a good idea. Many of the Amsoil dual stage filter systems have seen oil run for long periods of time (20K-40K miles) in cars and double that in Tractor Trailer applications. This does require religious oil analysis and is well documented to work with no increase in internal engine component wear.
    There is also some testing that shows the new additive packages in modern NON-Synthetic oils rival Synthetic oils, but do not last nearly as long. Some of the Synthetic Blends offer comparable initial test results as Full Synthetic oils for less money, but again, do not offer the longer change intervals. Unless you are careful, you can get suckered into buying a "synthetic" oil that is not. Only a percentage of the base stock has to be made of synthetic components to be marketed as a synthetic oil. Amsoil, Mobil One, Royal Purple, BMW Castrol, Redline etc. are, in my recollection, full synthetic.
    I think in the end it is a personal choice that has many variables to take into consideration for each individual.
    This is a great thread.....
    Jeff

    bradley01 guest

    Post Count: 132
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    Great info, Jeff! I use Castrol Syntec in my 3er. It is a full synthetic as opposed to a blend. I have read many threads of people using crappy filters and letting them go the full 15k miles before they change them. The filters break down and then are a b!tch to remove as they fall apart. I am a firm believer in changing my synthetic oil at 10,000 mile intervals and changing the filter every 5,000. Luckily (knock on wood), I have not noticed a drop in oil level in my E46 between oil changes, so topping off is not necessary for me. I currently have ~170 miles on my last oil change. I ordered a Blackstone oil analysis kit, and will be checking my oil at 5,000 miles; 7,500 miles; and then again at 10,000 miles. I will keep everyone posted as to the results of the test. I am fairly confident that the oil will be fine. Been doing it this way for years with NO problems! (again, knock on wood).
    • Member

    330indy1

    Post Count: 675
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    only you guys could make a simple survey confusing! :rolleyes:
    If posters wish to add detail that is what the forum is for, but this assumes 'synthetic' since that is standard fill and has been for years, if not a decade now.
    I realize there are plenty of older Bimmer (I mean older-bimmer :eek: ) owners here. But this is not about dino vs. synthetic. This is about the comfort level of OCIs with CCA members (enthusiasts).
    For example: I run only the best synthetics, but I still keep the OCIs short.
    This is all about the standard (insane) BMW change interval (15k) and how many of us actually subscribe. see? simple. ;)

    bradley01 guest

    Post Count: 132
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    I agree. But I can't believe that 45% of voters change their synthetic oil before 5,000 miles. What a waste!!! I guarantee if you analyze your oil after 5,000 miles of normal driving you will see that it is good to go 5,000 more miles! What a waste!

    Dr Obnxs guest

    Post Count: 122
    Likes Received:1
    Bingo!!!!

    We have a winner!

    While many view the short change intervals as "cheap insurance" it sure takes a lot of oil if every car were to do it. For modern full synthetics, 7500-10k is no problem. Even longer for how many really drive their cars. The track rats beat the crap out of more than just thier oils, but I'm getting more curious and will do some blackstone lab stuff after a track event...

    Matt

    bradley01 guest

    Post Count: 132
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    Great! Then we can compare my non-track results to your tracked results!
    • Member

    330indy1

    Post Count: 675
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    OK guys. that is a good idea.
    What are you doing reading this??!
    Get out there and rack up some miles. We want to see the results. :D

    bradley01 guest

    Post Count: 132
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    HaHaHa! I would if I could, but this whole "working" thing. Granted...it doesn't look like i'm doing much, but it looks bad if I am not in my chair! HaHaHa
    • Member

    330indy1

    Post Count: 675
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    Jeff:
    "owners manual from 91 states no 'low friction oil allowed' "

    that one is confusing.
    what do you think it really means? How could a low friction lubricant possibly be a 'bad thing?'
    • Member

    Jeff Gomon

    Post Count: 147
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    Monkey Wrench Thrower Here.....

    Sorry to throw a monkey wrench in your simplistic poll for actually using, God forbid, NON-SYNTHETIC oil....(tongue firmly planted in cheek). :D I didn't realize there was a disclaimer for what "type" of oil you were using. For what its worth, looks like only one person has responded to changing oil longer than 10k miles :eek: I think your point is being made just the same, and I agree....15k miles seems too long an interval without a few filter changes as a minimum.

    bradley01 guest

    Post Count: 132
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    New Winner!!!!!!!
    • Member

    Jeff Gomon

    Post Count: 147
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    Seriously, I think it means not to use a low viscosity oil, just bad German to English translation. I run 20w50 since the car sits all winter and only sees warm weather conditions for 5k-6k miles a year. Another example is when it says to ALWAYS give the engine a "breath of fresh air" every time it is driven...translation, run it hard and let it breath or it will gum up and need a Porsche tune up. :confused: (Porsche tune up is firmly mashing the go pedal and burning the carbon and cob webs out of it because it has been babied.) I alway follow that advice.:D
    Have a great weekend,
    • Member

    330indy1

    Post Count: 675
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    LOL "Porsche Tune Up"
    I love it

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