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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 11-20-2006, 04:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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what type of oil should i use?

Hey guys, I lost my owners manual and I need to change my oil, and I was wondering what type of oil i should use. I think last time i changed it I used either 5W-30 or 10W-40, do either of those sound right? I live in Texas if that changes the answer because of temperatures and what not. I have a 1988 BMW 325iS.

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Old 11-20-2006, 04:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i use Mobil 1 extended performance synthetic 15w/50 in summer and 10w/30 or 40 in the winter, best combo i have ever used in my life
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Old 11-20-2006, 05:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm use Castrol GTX 10w40
10w40 winter
20w50 summer
BimmerDoc says use 20W50 year round here in San Diego (like Texas?)
I'm looking to switch to synthetic, not sure what yet.
I'd like to get some more feedback.
I'm leaning toward Mobil 1, seems to be popular here for E30's and readily available?
I think Walmart even carries it LOL

Lubro molly?
Lubro molly Voll-Synthese
BMW synthetic?
Mobil 1?
Castrol Syntec?
Penzoil platimum?
Dino oil?
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Old 11-20-2006, 05:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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castrol breaks down too fast, you will find that Mobil 1 extended performance is probably one of the most hardcore oils out there lol
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Old 11-20-2006, 07:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Amsoil is the best, mobil, then castrol. Synthetics are better but costly, I also use castrol gtx 10w40, but change it every 3500 miles. I've used mobil 1 in my other bmw and changed it every 6000 with a filter change at 3000.

This should fill the void:

Mineral or synthetic?

Mineral oils are based on oil that comes from dear old Mother Earth which has been refined. Synthetic oils are entirely concocted by chemists wearing white lab coats in oil company laboratories. The only other type is semi-synthetic, sometimes called premium, which is a blend of the two. It is safe to mix the different types, but it's wiser to switch completely to a new type rather than mixing.

Synthetics

Despite their name, most synthetic derived motor oils (ie Mobil 1, Castrol Formula RS etc ) are actually derived from mineral oils - they are mostly Polyalphaolifins and these come from the purest part of the mineral oil refraction process, the gas. PAO oils will mix with normal mineral oils which means Joe public can add synthetic to his mineral, or mineral to his synthetic without his car engine seizing up. The most stable bases are polyol-ester (not polyester, you fool). When I say 'stable' I mean 'less likely to react adversely with other compounds.' Synthetic oil bases tend not to contain reactive carbon atoms for this reason. Reactive carbon has a tendency to combine with oxygen creating an acid. As you can imagine, in an oil, this would be A Bad Thing. So think of synthetic oils as custom-built oils. They're designed to do the job efficiently but without any of the excess baggage that can accompany mineral based oils.

Pure synthetics

Pure synthetic oils (polyalkyleneglycol) are the types used almost exclusively within the industrial sector in polyglycol gearbox oils for heavily loaded gearboxes. These are typically concocted by intelligent blokes in white lab coats. These chaps break apart the molecules that make up a variety of substances, like vegetable and animal oils, and then recombine the individual atoms that make up those molecules to build new, synthetic molecules. This process allows the chemists to actually "fine tune" the molecules as they build them. Clever stuff. But Polyglycols don't mix with normal mineral oils.

Amsoil do NOT produce or market oil additives and do not wish to be associated with oil additives. They are a formulator of synthetic lubricants for automotive and industrial applications and have been in business for 30+ years. They are not a half-hour infomercial or fly-by-night product, nor have they ever been involved in a legal suit regarding their product claims in that 30+ year span. Many Amsoil products are API certified, and ALL of our products meet and in most cases exceed the specifications of ILSAC, AGMA etc..... Their lubricants also exceed manufacturers specifications and Amsoil are on many manufacturers approval lists. They base their claims on ASTM certified tests and are very open to anyone, with nothing to hide.

So if you have the $$$ I would advise the use of Amsoil in any BMW and change it every 8000 miles with a filter change every 4000.

And again I NEVER advise or recommend the use of any oil additives in any form....

Last edited by Starmavin; 11-20-2006 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Also be concerned about synthetic oils messing up engine seals and fouling pre-1999 VANOS units.
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Old 11-21-2006, 07:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 11-22-2006, 02:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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you like the amsoil eh? just thought of it as overpriced mobil 1 lol i notice no difference except the price with amsoil and mobil 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by M3UOND
Also be concerned about synthetic oils messing up engine seals and fouling pre-1999 VANOS units.
yes this would be relevent if E30s came with vanos lol
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Old 11-22-2006, 06:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Some E30's do. (S50 FTW!!)
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Old 11-22-2006, 09:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotKRAUT
you like the amsoil eh? just thought of it as overpriced mobil 1 lol i notice no difference except the price with amsoil and mobil 1
I don't "like" amsoil, mostly from its cost, but I can't deny what I have found first hand useing it, plain and simple its performance is exemplary. I may put out $90 (cost for oil only) for an oil change useing amsoil in a freshly rebuilt M70, but not in a 250,000+ mile M20.
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Old 11-22-2006, 10:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
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haha ya for sure

Quote:
Originally Posted by ldsbeaker
Some E30's do. (S50 FTW!!)
um, no no they didn't, those are all swapped in after the fact, so my comment still stands,

"yes this would be relevent if E30s came with vanos lol"

so
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