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Thread: New oil concerns

  1. #1
    DSC Off hapc's Avatar
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    New oil concerns

    I have been told by my good friend Chris Braun, Braun?s Automotive, about the recent change in oils which may influence all of us in California and possibly other states. It seems that the government has decreed that the oil companies remove the phosphates from the oil provided by the large oil companies. The phosphate additives have been used in oils for many years to protect camshaft and other moving components, which are subjected to high dry loading experienced when the engine is just starting. GM has provided a break in lubrication called EOS for many years that is rich in phosphates. EOS has been used as an assembly lube for years to coat new cams and valve train components and can be used as a high lubricity additive even today. The phosphates may cause damage to the latest generation catalytic converters, especially in engines that use some oil. So here is a trade off, flatten your cam or damage your cat. Hmmmm a difficult choice to be sure. Apparently EOS is still available and can be added as an additive and some of the smaller oil suppliers may not be required to remove the phosphates, but regardless we need to pay attention to this possible problem with our high performance engines ? actually all of the engines we use. I will be adding some EOS to both of our Lexus and other in the fleet. Something to consider
    Hap

  2. #2
    This is something that has been talked about a lot on the Lotus board, and it seems that the best bet for oils that haven't been compromised is the Redline line of lubricants. I will be changine all my oils for Redlines in the near future, and intend to keep to that brand will full changes every 5,000 miles (2+ years at my current rate of use).
    Andrew Macpherson

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  3. #3
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    Something to keep in mind when talking about oils:

    As we all know, the S62 engine uses two VANOS units to control the camshafts. These are high-pressure VANOS operated by oil pressure. The pressure inside the VANOS is around 100 bar, if I remember correctly.
    Hence an oil is needed that not only can lubricate the engine, however, it also has to serve the VANOS, which is a delicate thing anyway as we know from experience.
    Small differences in oil pressure between the two VANOS units may lead to errors which cause the famous yellow light to come on.

    So I am very cautious about which oil I use, and I stay with those oils recommended by BMW, no additives.
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

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    Sport Button On - DSC Off Juergen Wunderlich's Avatar
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    BMW recommendation on CASTROL TWS 10W-60

    To second Dieters post! There are a few Z8 owners who have had an engine failure for several reasons e.g. cooling problems AND problems because the wrong oil and additives were used.
    You can easily see the difference in using BMW recommended oil on the attached picture of the VANOS units which ran about 60.000 miles. The unit on top got only CASTROL TWS 10W-60, which has a special recommendation from BMW AG, the unit below ran with “cheaper” oil. The S62 engine is very “sensitive” on oil quality and I highly recommend to use the CASTROL TWS 10W-60, which in Germany is only available at BMW dealerships.
       
    Last edited by Juergen Wunderlich; April 6th 2007 at 13:00. Reason: spelling
    Best Regards,

    Jürgen

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    Team Z8 RRZ8's Avatar
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    Good idea to show this issue Juergen Together with a bunch of other very interesting stuff that saturday at Nowack's, I was surprised to see such a huge difference in the usage of different brands of oil.


    p.s. maybe we should explain that we have to look at the right inside of the Vanos part, where we can see that the lower one is completely stained with oil residu ?

  6. #6
    What is a big concern here in the USA is that all the major oil companies have just started using a new oil formulation with less phosphates, and this is leading to higher/faster cam and valvetrain wear. There has been a lot of discussion about this on other boards, especially ones that deal with high performance race and track engines. I had a quick look this morning to try to find the threads about these new oil formulations for gas engines, and of course I now can't find them, but there is a list out there of oils companies with the new formulas and the ones sticking to the old ones. In a nut shell all the big companies are being forced to change by the EPA, but the small ones are slipping under the radar.

    This is a real issue here in the USA, and when I find all the information again I'll post on it. The reason I hadn't alerted everyone here as yet because I'm still trying to get a full understanding of it myself. I'll follow on with everything I learn here, but I'm about to go off line for a few days, so I'll follow up with more info next week.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  7. #7
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    Andrew,

    this is understood. However, if the old oil is no longer available or legal, there should be a new recommendation from BMW that considers the requirements mentioned above.

    Other high-performance engines may simply not have high-pressure VANOS, which makes it a significantly different case.
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  8. #8

    Dates anyone?

    For those of us who have had more recent oil changes, is there any dependable date range as to when these new oils came on the market?

  9. #9
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juergen Wunderlich View Post
    To second Dieters post! There are a few Z8 owners who have had an engine failure for several reasons e.g. cooling problems AND problems because the wrong oil and additives were used.
    You can easily see the difference in using BMW recommended oil on the attached picture of the VANOS units which ran about 60.000 miles. The unit on top got only CASTROL TWS 10W-60, which has a special recommendation from BMW AG, the unit below ran with ?cheaper? oil. The S62 engine is very ?sensitive? on oil quality and I highly recommend to use the CASTROL TWS 10W-60, which in Germany is only available at BMW dealerships.
    It is my understanding that the 10W60 was the approved weight for earlier S62s, but in mid-2001, the spec was changed to 5W30 due to the updates in the engine, including the VANOS unit.
    thegunguy

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    Quote Originally Posted by thegunguy View Post
    It is my understanding that the 10W60 was the approved weight for earlier S62s, but in mid-2001, the spec was changed to 5W30 due to the updates in the engine, including the VANOS unit.

    In my manual (2001) the 5W30 oil is specifically mentioned, but after intensive research and speaking to 'oil-specialists' (including technical manager Castrol Netherlands) I am convinced that TWS Motorsport 10W60 is technically best for our S62 engines.

    Does anyone here know why they changed to 5W30 ? Just because it is thinner (less noise?) or are additives significantly different ? Juergen ?

  12. #12
    This is the best tech sheet I have found so far on the recent changes.

    Extended Drain Interval and other API licensed engine oils are not the same products as they were a few years ago.
    As Comp Cams recently pointed out in a Tech Bulletin, "Today's engine oil is just not the same as it used to be, thanks to the ever tightening environmental regulations."1 The EPA, car manufacturers, and the American Petroleum Institute (API) have done a great job reducing emissions and extending the life of emissions control equipment. However, the reduction in emissions has coincided with a reduction in traditional, performance proven anti-wear additives (i.e. zinc dithiophosphates). In the years ahead, the levels of formulated anti-wear will be further reduced. While this is great for the environment, it is bad news for your racing engine.

    As stated in the book "Lubrication Fundamentals","In heavily loaded applications (i.e. racing engines), flat tappet cam followers operate on partial oil films at least part of the time. Lubricants with anti-wear additives are necessary if rapid wear and surface distress are to be avoided. The oil additive Zinc Dithiophosphate is to provide anti-wear activity for the camshaft and lifters. With the increased use of roller follower cams (in production cars), the requirements for anti-wear have been changed to prolong the life of emission control devices."2 The increased RPM and related increase in valve spring pressure in today's racing engines require higher levels of formulated anti-wear, especially in flat tappet engines. Again, the book "Lubrication Fundamentals" sums this up, "Loading on the rubbing surfaces in the valve train may be high, particularly in high speed engines, where stiff valve springs must be used to ensure that the valves close rapidly and positively. This loading can result in lubrication failure unless special care is taken in the formulation of the lubricant."3

    This is where Joe Gibbs Racing found ourselves in the late 1990's. The valve train loads in our flat tappet NASCAR Nextel Cup engines exceed 500 psi in order to turn over 9,000 rpm. The high loads and long duration races (up to 600 miles) required more formulated anti-wear chemistry than even the best API rated synthetic passenger car oils offered. Joe Gibbs Racing Oil was born out of the need for a high quality, synthetic oil that could protect both our flat tappet Nextel Cup and roller follower Busch engines without giving up horsepower. Over the last seven racing seasons, we've developed a family of lubricants that provide the necessary levels of advanced formulated anti-wear chemistry to protect highly loaded racing engines from break-in to endurance race conditions.

    We've also learned a few things about oil that can help you make better educated decisions about which oil to use in a particular engine.

    * Additives make a difference - As referenced earlier, having the correct additives in the correct amount formulated into the oil separates racing engine oils from passenger car engine oils. You wouldn't use a stock piston in a built race engine, and the same goes for oil.

    * Surface finish matters - "The minimum safe film thickness is a function of the roughness of the surfaces. Rougher surfaces require thicker films (higher viscosity oil) to prevent contact of surface asperities through the film. On the other hand, the finer the surface finish, the lower minimum safe film thickness (lower viscosity oil) and the less clearance is necessary. Since film thickness decreases with increases in unit loading, if the minimum safe film thickness is lower as a result of finer surface finishes, the allowable unit loading is higher.”4 The improvement of surface finishes through chemical polishing and tape polishing has enabled JGR to lower the viscosity of oil we use without sacrificing wear. Especially at break-in, the better surface finish you begin with, the fewer problems will be encountered during break-in. The polished foot flat-tappet lifters currently available provide superior surface finish compared to non-polished lifters.

    * Choose the correct operating viscosity – Viscosity is a measure of an oil’s resistance to flow, and viscosity decreases (flow increases) as temperature increases. With that in mind, the operating temperature of the oil plays a major role in the selection of the proper viscosity oil. Too high a viscosity oil can result in excessive heating and lower mechanical efficiencies. Too low a viscosity oil can lead to excessive metal to metal contact of moving parts. When oil is of the correct viscosity and has adequate anti-wear characteristics, wear due to metal-to-metal contact is kept at a minimum. As previously stated, improved surface finishes allow the safe use of lower viscosity oil for better cooling and improved efficiency (horsepower). In addition to operating temperature, engine speed (RPM) and load also effect the operating viscosity and film thickness of an oil. Higher engine loads (cylinder pressure) decrease film thickness, but higher engine speeds (RPM) increase film thickness.

    What can you do? – Check your oil bottles for the API donut. If the oil you currently use carries an API donut, it probably lacks the amount and type of formulated anti-wear chemistry found in a true racing oil. Choose an engineered fluid like Joe Gibbs Racing Oil that’s designed to meet the higher anti-wear needs of your racing engine. For more technical advice and product descriptions, call our tech line at 866-611-1820.

    Comp Cams, Technical Bulletin dated 11/28/05, Flat Tappet Camshafts
    Lubrication Fundamentals, Second Edition, By D.M. Pirro and A.A. Wessol, Published By Marcel Dekker, Inc., Copyright 2001 Exxon Mobil Corporation, Page 229
    Lubrication Fundamentals, Second Edition, By D.M. Pirro and A.A. Wessol, Published By Marcel Dekker, Inc., Copyright 2001 Exxon Mobil Corporation, Page 259
    Lubrication Fundamentals, Second Edition, By D.M. Pirro and A.A. Wessol, Published By Marcel Dekker, Inc., Copyright 2001 Exxon Mobil Corporation, Page 180
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    Quote Originally Posted by RRZ8 View Post
    In my manual (2001) the 5W30 oil is specifically mentioned, but after intensive research and speaking to 'oil-specialists' (including technical manager Castrol Netherlands) I am convinced that TWS Motorsport 10W60 is technically best for our S62 engines.

    Does anyone here know why they changed to 5W30 ? Just because it is thinner (less noise?) or are additives significantly different ? Juergen ?
    I have heard from several sources that the TWS 10-60 is the best choice, but haven't seen any authoritative documentation to support this. The latest BMW bulletin on engine oil is SI 11 08 98 dated October 2005 that confirms that Z8 can use either BMW High Performance Synthetic 5W-30 or the Castrol TWS Motorsport 10W-60. I currently run the 5W-30 as recommended by my mechanic as he feels it better suits my easy-going driving style, plus our climate here in Vancouver is not particularly hot. Does anyone have any authoritative documentation to support the TWS 10w-60 over the BMW HP Synth 5W-30?

  14. #14
    Yes, please refer to this PDF from the Z8 Club.
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    Here is another interesting bit of info about these specialty oils:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=265292

  16. #16
    For those that are members of BMW CCA, get Roundel Magazine and are fans of Mike Miller and Tech Talk (like me), there was another discussion of oils in the July publication. On page 117, a guy asks about oils for an e39 M5 he is thinking of purchasing and Mike?s response was "BMW?s current standard engine oil is their own brand 5W-30W High Performance Synthetic Oil, except for current M cars which get the BMW 10W-60. Anyone who doesn?t run the BMW 10W-60 in any S62 engine is nuts."

    My Z8 has gotten the BMW 10W-60 since new, that?s four oil changes in 5K because I believe in changing the oil once a year regardless of mileage. I do it myself and it just gives me another excuse to spend quality time with the Z8. In fact, I?m now using the BMW 10W-60 oil on my other two M cars. Anyone here not using the BMW 10W-60 might want to reconsider, or you might be labeled "nuts."
    C.A. Cardenas (AKA Dan)
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  17. #17
    Sport Button On - DSC Off FWK-Z8's Avatar
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    I just purchased a quart from Peter Pan and they recommended the BMW high performance 5W-30 over the 10W-60 for my Z8

  18. #18
    They usually are 100% dead on, but in this instance I would take the word of the Club and AG, and stick to the Castrol 10-60, but each to their own.
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  19. #19
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    My dealer did the same to me a year ago. I'm going to switch back to the 10w 60 next oil change

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    Quote Originally Posted by Norcal View Post
    My dealer did the same to me a year ago. I'm going to switch back to the 10w 60 next oil change
    Same here, I was strongly advised by the dealer to go against the recommendation on this board. Next oil change will be a nonnegotiable 10w60.

  21. #21
    go against the recommendation on this board
    Now that just makes no sense to me, why would you argue with BMW AG?

    Can they really think they have more knowledge of the S62 the engine because they've had a few in the shop than the factory that designed, built and constantly revised the motor? I'd change shop before letting them change my oil!
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    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    Now that just makes no sense to me, why would you argue with BMW AG?
    Andrew, I think you are getting confused here. BMW NA, who is the official representative of the factory in NA has stated in no uncertain terms that the oil for our cars may be either the BMW special 5W-30 or the TWS 10W-60. I have not found any other official statement from BMW that says the 10W-60 is preferred or is the only acceptable oil. This is what the dealers are being told too. Since the 5W-30 is considerably less expensive, I'm not surprised that a dealer might recommend it.

    As far as I have seen, there is no authoritative documentation from BMW AG that says we should prefer the 10W-60. So going against the board is, in fact, going with BMW AG, not argueing against it. Isn't it?

  23. #23
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    The information on using 10w60, regardless of production year, was first made aware to me through the Z8 Club newsletter (2007), not this board. In the technical section of the newsletter, the use of 10w60 for the entire range of production is suggested via an alluded statement from BMW available in their Technical Information System (TIS). As such, it appears that the Club is aware of a technical document/specification from BMW that recommends 10w60 for all cars. Perhaps J?rgen can post the source of this documentation for us.

    Also, to be clear, the change over from 10w60 to 5w30 occurred during 3/00 production.

    I too would like definitive clarification on this as everything that I can find from BMW recommends 5w30 after 3/00 when the rings in the S62 were altered. However, I highly value the Club's recommendation for 10w60 across all years.

    Personally, I'm inclined to lean toward 10w60 as I believe the move to 5w30 was done more for cost savings than true requirement, particularly due to the fact that the VANOS is oil actuated. Don't forget that the S62 uses oil for more than lubrication.
    thegunguy

  24. #24
    Harvey, read post #4 on this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juergen Wunderlich View Post
    The unit on top got only CASTROL TWS 10W-60, which has a special recommendation from BMW AG, the unit below ran with ?cheaper? oil.
    Anyone know what "cheaper" oil? I hope not 5w30

    I guess the dealer is simply going by the BMW NA recommendation (http://www.bmwz8.us/pdf/zz-Engine_Oil_Specs.pdf) and so did I until I came across this thread.

    However, it is clear that the 10w60 is a superior choice and I'll be switching to it from now on.

    I am surprised that cost is even an issue when we're talking about a $100K+ car

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by redz8 View Post
    I guess the dealer is simply going by the BMW NA recommendation (http://www.bmwz8.us/pdf/zz-Engine_Oil_Specs.pdf) and so did I until I came across this thread.
    That's very interesting. Thanks for posting it.
    C.A. Cardenas (AKA Dan)
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    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    Harvey, read post #4 on this thread.

    I did, several times, but that post is simply someone saying that they think BMW prefers the TWS. This is hardly authoritative. I would need to see a document from BMW AG or a test report from an independent lab. I also corresponded with Mike Miller and was not satisfied by his response either. He had no engineering information to back up his statement that one would be crazy not to use the 10W-30, he only had a gut feeling based on his experience. Again, good information, but not authoritative.

  28. #28
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    More info from J?rgen

    As a privilege of being a Club member (SHAMELESS PLUG), I corresponded with J?rgen over the confusion on this issue. He is currently headed to the fall Club event in Dresden, but when he returns he will try to get the document from BMW recommending the use of 10w60.

    Quote Originally Posted by redz8 View Post
    Anyone know what "cheaper" oil? I hope not 5w30
    In the meantime J?rgen notes that the recommendation to use 10w60 for all production dates is supported by conversations that he has had with the engineer at the M division that developed the S62. Also, the photo comparison in post #4 is illustrates 10w60 (clean) and 5w30 (dirty). So, yes, the "cheaper" oil is the 5w30.

    When you look at the SI bulletin 11 08 98 in some of the previous posts, it is EXTREMELY clear that 10w60 is the only oil to be used in pre 3/00 cars. However, for the cars in question, post the 3/00 piston ring redesign, the message is mixed. On page one in the table "Synthetic Engine Oil Recommendations" in the section for production dates after 3/00 it lists both BMW HP 5w30 and Castrol TWS 10w60, implying that both are "recommended". Then, on page 3 in the section for cars produced after 3/00 there are two bullet points concerning the use of 5w30. The first bullet point says that the redesigned rings "permit" the use of 5w30. The second bullet point says that 5w30 is recommended. However, the word "permit" isn't exactly strong language. Compared to how they address the use of 10w60 in pre 3/00, where its use is extremely clear with the use bolded sections and words like REQUIRES, MUST, and ONLY, the "recommendation" on 5w30 is pretty weak. If you read the three sections in order, the ?recommendation? for 5w30 is pretty weak.

    My paraphrased assessment:
    1. ?If you don?t use 10w60 in a pre 3/00 engine your car will explode.?
    2. ?For post 3/00 cars you can use either oil.?
    3. ?Okay, in post 3/00 cars we?ll ?permit? you to use 5w30.?
    4. ?Alright, in post 3/00 cars we recommend 5w30.?
    5. ?Damn, you Z8 owners are a pain in the ass. Have fun with those run flat tires.?
    Okay, I added the last point, but I think you can see what I?m saying. Without being dramatic, here?s what the SI 11 08 98 states in summary:

    Prior to 3/00 - use Castrol TWS 10w60 exclusively in BIG BOLD LETTERS
    Post 3/00 - both Castrol TWS 10w60 and BMW HP 5w30 are allowed. 5w30 is "permitted" and "recommended".

    If you ?look behind the curtain,? I believe what happened here (some of you may already know where I?m going) is a marketing/legal treatment in reaction to the oil consumption from early production cars. The S62 and its derived S54 were both designed with ?race-bred? piston rings that consumed more oil than your normal ?street? car. As what happens with so many new models on initial release is that much of the production ends up being bought by people with more money (or more credit) than ?car sense?, only to be dumped a year later for the next shiny new toy.

    So, you have your Beverly Hills housewife (Andrew can tell you about them) cruising around in her brand new M3, M5, Z8, thankful her credit cards still work after just surviving the Y2K meltdown. When all of a sudden her CEL comes on (service engine soon in this case) because the engine is a quart low. Remembering that there?s a Starbucks across from the BMW service center, she drops the car off to get that pesky light checked. With a flick of her bleached hair and in her bitchiest tone she scolds the service tech for needing to already service her brand new car. Furthermore, she?s appalled she has to spend $10 for a quart of oil and demands it be done for free.

    Now, multiply this scenario a few thousand times and you?ve got the BMW NA marketing and legal team on high alert. They call back to M?nchen demanding a solution to the oil ?problem?. The engineers retort: ?Ja, it is a high performance engine, and requires special oil. The customer must check the engine often.? NA Marketing/Legal are unsatisfied with the response because they?re concerned at the cost free quarts of Castrol TWS and even further worried as they don?t want their customers actually opening the hood of the vehicle for fear that they may inspect the strut towers (glad we can laugh at this now), and they demand a solution which leads to a change in the rings and oil. So, the redesign was all so that customers aren?t concerned with oil consumption, and so that the cost of service is less of an issue.

    To further support my ?conspiracy? theory, this all happened shortly after BMW NA started marketing their ?total service? campaign in 1996, I think. As most of us know, this program was made financial possible by moving out the service intervals, no technological magic. Since then, BMW NA seems to be looking to cut service costs at every step to help support this highly competitive campaign.

    So, while we wait for J?rgen to get documentation, I?m still strongly in the 10w60 camp across all dates. BMW?s own documentation never makes a clear/strong case for 5w30, and it still shows that 10w60 is allowed for use. The Club?s technical notice on the deposit comparison on engines using 10w60 vs. 5w30 is certainly telling on the high quality of 10w60. Furthermore, as I know from my own conversations with BMW AG engineers and others involved in the design/production/development of the Z8, what?s best from the engineering perspective is not always what makes it to the customer after passing the marketing/legal filters. The recommendation from the engineer that developed the S62 to use 10w60 is about the best recommendation you can get.

    In the end, everyone can make a choice on what to use in their car. BMW says you can use either oil. For me, it?s Castrol TWS 10w60 ? hands down.
    thegunguy

  29. #29
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    I spoke with my mechanic who has been working on various BMW's I have owned since the early 80"s. His opinion is regardless of production date, he will only use Castrol 10W60. Period.

  30. #30
    Knowing that the 'cheaper oil' in that comparison photo was the 5-30, and that the man who designed the S62 motor says to use 10-60 is all I need. Whether or not those two vital facts make it onto a piece of BMW letter headed paper or not will not change their relevance to the long term care of our cars.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegunguy View Post
    Also, the photo comparison in post #4 is illustrates 10w60 (clean) and 5w30 (dirty). So, yes, the "cheaper" oil is the 5w30.
    That's enough to convince me.

  32. #32
    Team Z8 RRZ8's Avatar
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    The picture that J?rgen took of the Vanos units (clean c.q. dirty) was taken at Nowack tuning in Germany, march 2007. That day (arranged perfectly by Dieter) we all had very interesting discussions about the Z8, and particularly the S62 engine. There was no doubt that Oliver Nowack (not a BMW representative but an absolute S62 engine specialist) recommended to use Castrol TWS, and showed us the 2 Vanos units..... Seeing is believing....... Immediately afterwards I changed my (Mobil) oil to Castrol TWS.

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    I was in Santa Monica last week and stopped by Santa Monica BMW to buy a quart of oil due to the light coming on. The parts guy gave me 10w-60 after checking some listing and telling me that the 5w30, which I questioned, is not what they use for the Z8. I later called my service advisor at Bob Smith BMW and he told me the same thing. Two independent dealers could not have come up with this by accident. Therefore, it's 10w60 for me.

    Bob Adler

  34. #34
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
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    For what it is worth, my dealer's master tech sez 10-60 for the M5 engine.

    Now, where is everyone getting theirs? Cost?

    Scott