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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 06-29-2008, 07:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Newbie w/93 325 e36 Oil questions

Hi all,

Recently purchased a 1993 325i e36 for my son. I'm not new to BMW's, worked for BMW for a few years up to 1976, after leaving Porsche. Currently I drive a 1987 528e with only 137k miles, excellent car, will probably outlast me. Anyway my question about the 325 pertains to oil: type and quantity. Haynes repair manual recommends 20-50 weight, 6.8 quarts when change includes filter. I went with Castrol GTX 20-50 since it is the same as I use in the 528/M20. I ended up pouring in 8 quart's to get the correct reading on the dip stick. Was the hayne's manual wrong? With that volume of oil I would expect more than 3000 miles between changes, am I correct? Would synthetic be a better choice. What does the factory recommend? All replies appreciated.

Bob in VA.
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Old 06-29-2008, 09:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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recommended volume with oil filter change is 6.5liters/5.7 qts

However, the latest BMW Technical Service Bulletin also specifies that ideal oil level should be within the upper third level of that space between MIN & MAX marks.

* i have actually experienced putting 7.5ltrs to achieve full level, and then that drops a little bit after you have run the engine a few mins, because the oil filter takes up about half a qt or so :-)

choice of multigrade viscosities is dependent on the average temp in your area. If u live in colder climate/s choose the lighter grade... if u are in a place that has near tropical weather, choose a heavier grade.

If you are diligent with the 3000 miles oil change, petroleum based oil and synthetic presents minimal difference.
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Old 06-30-2008, 06:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by VA325 View Post
Hi all,

Recently purchased a 1993 325i e36 for my son. I'm not new to BMW's, worked for BMW for a few years up to 1976, after leaving Porsche. Currently I drive a 1987 528e with only 137k miles, excellent car, will probably outlast me. Anyway my question about the 325 pertains to oil: type and quantity. Haynes repair manual recommends 20-50 weight, 6.8 quarts when change includes filter. I went with Castrol GTX 20-50 since it is the same as I use in the 528/M20. I ended up pouring in 8 quart's to get the correct reading on the dip stick. Was the hayne's manual wrong? With that volume of oil I would expect more than 3000 miles between changes, am I correct? Would synthetic be a better choice. What does the factory recommend? All replies appreciated.

Bob in VA.

My 92' 325i has always taken at least 7 qrts to fill plus some after you let it run. I personally believe full synthetic is the way to go. I use Mobil 1 15-50W for summer and 10-30W for winter.

P.S. Get a Bentley manual, it will save your life. (Haynes not so good)
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Old 06-30-2008, 06:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Interesting, it took a full 8 quarts with a new filter, still did not reach the upper mark on the dipstick. I try to maintain the 3000 mile change, I base it more on color.

Thanks for all the replies.
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