First off, hello everyone. I just picked up a 1992 E36 as a daily driver/beater. I am trying to perform all kinds of maintenance to make sure the car stays together for 50k miles.
Car currently has 192k miles on it, all kinds of oils were used in its past but it was 20w50 for the first 140k miles. The subsequent owner used 10w30 and 5w30. There are a few small oil leaks, I already know about the valve cover gasket and the oil pan gasket reaplacement procedures so that shouldn't be a problem.
But to get to my point. Can I use 20w50 in the engine? Reason I am asking is since it is such a high mile engine I wanted to use thicker oil. I would have changed it over already, but after I added about .5 a quart of 20w50 to top off the engine yesterday, I had a bit of valve noise this morning. I believe there is currently 10w30 in the engine.
Is it safe to use 20w50 or should I use a different grade oil. I would use synthetics but at this mileage it seems like a waste of money and it could potentially make thing worse and create leaks around seals etc..
well, there are 2 ways to think about this... If the car has a lot of miles on it and leaks, you can use a thicker oil to stop some of the leaking, but that will also make it harder for the engine to pump the oil. Also, if the car was newer, there would be some clearance issues in the lubrication system with the thicker oil. I would never suggest that you use a thicker oil in a newer car, but it is a possibility in an older car with some wear on it. Being that you are in CA, I don't see why you would have much trouble with the thicker oil.
The other way you can look at it is, BMW says that you should use 5w30 in the winter and 10w30 in the summer. They say these are the best oil combinations for their engines...
Your choice. Good luck!
__________________ 1997 E36 M3 - running stocker style right now...
Actually, if you look at the first few pages in the bentley it will show an engine oil index which i believe recommends 15w50. If i were you i would stick with mobil 1 synthetic. i have used it on my 92 325 with 178k on the clock and no leaks or probs.
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I'm telling you all you need to use a lighter oil than that. I personally use 10W30 in mine because the oil feed holes for the hydraulic i.e. oil lifters are very small and do not work properly without a thinner oil.
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i run a 15w-50 but than again my car only runs summers and shes usually driven pretty hard. i do agree a 10 is probably the proper low temp to use, for those in colder climates a 5 or 0 even is a good fit.
you guys car re-read up on oils and weights in the FAQ forum if your still deciding on what you want.
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