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Breaking all the rules!

 
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Charles
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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 8:48 pm    Post subject: Breaking all the rules! Reply with quote

As a scientist, if I need to experiment with something, then there is an unbreakable rule that you should only change one variable at a time in order to measure the effect of that change.

In the last couple of weeks, I have been thinking about the upcoming oil change on #049 (I change the oil every 7k miles) and was reflecting on oil usage.

The normal pattern after an oil change is the first litre gets used up after about 3k miles, the second litre after 2k miles and the third one just about gets me to the next service. As such, the Castrol 0W-30 that I have used religiously appears to degrade over the interval between changes as demonstrated by the worsening oil consumption.

Now I know that some of you would kill for 3k miles per litre or even 2k miles per litre but the engineer in me has been nagging for a while to look at an alternative grade of oil to see whether this would stabilise the oil consumption and/or improve it.

After careful consideration and recalling various posts here, I have decided to experiment with 5W-40 for the next oil change interval to see what happens. However, this is where I broke the cardinal rule for experiments as I am also trying a different brand Shocked

To cut a long story short, I had a long chat with Ben at Opie Oils who agreed with my reasoning and choice of grade change and then suggested trying Shell Helix Ultra Pure Plus Fully Synthetic (LL-04) because I could get 10 litres for the price of 8 litres of Castrol.

Now that the oil has arrived and with the oil change due on Thursday, I am all a twitter about the fact that I have changed two variables at the same time.

What's a man to do Question
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jolls
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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GAR19GJ wrote:
My 2002 3.3 uses hardly any oil. I use Castrol TWS 10-60as advised by Alpina.


The above is a quote from a previous topic on oil consumption. The previous owner of my E46 3.3 wrote to Alpina and I have a the letter in my service history file confirming this so I don't believe there's I hard and fast rule. I've switched to the recommended 0-30 grade as I don't do many miles. With your mileage Charles it will be interesting to see how you get on.
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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*Cries as he had's another 1L of 10w60 to the M5 because it was started three times in a week*
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jolls wrote:
GAR19GJ wrote:
My 2002 3.3 uses hardly any oil. I use Castrol TWS 10-60as advised by Alpina.

The above is a quote from a previous topic on oil consumption. The previous owner of my E46 3.3 wrote to Alpina and I have a the letter in my service history file confirming this so I don't believe there's I hard and fast rule. I've switched to the recommended 0-30 grade as I don't do many miles. With your mileage Charles it will be interesting to see how you get on.


As there was some discussion regarding Alpina's recommendations on oil grades for the B3S engine in my RS I contacted Sytner about this and...
Sytner wrote:
that Alpina support the use of either grade of oil with the thicker oil being particularly suitable for higher-mileage engines or engines that exhibit excessive oil consumption. They added that if the owner didn't express a preference they would now use 10w60 at a service as the majority of B3S engines consume more oil as they get older/higher mileage

To ensure that this was accurate I sent Axel Rimpler an email and received the reply quoted below
In a reply to my email, Axel Rimpler wrote:

Dear Mr. Gunn,

thank you very much for your e-mail.

We recommend Longlife 04 specification for the BMW ALPINA B3 S and BMW ALPINA Roadster S or the special 10W-60 oil:
Castrol Edge Professional1) SAE 10W-60 Castrol Limited
Castrol EDGE SAE 10W-60 Castrol Limited

For the longlife 04, we recommend:
Castrol Edge Professional LL04 SAE 0W-30 Castrol Limited

Best regards

Axel Rimpler
Leiter Produktion / Head of Production
Leiter Kundendienst / Head of Customer Service
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ALPINA Burkard Bovensiepen GmbH + Co. KG
Alpenstraße 35-37
D - 86807 Buchloe

In short, it looks like ALPINA are happy for either grade of oil to be used and leave the customer to decide which is the most appropriate for their engine.
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Charles
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back in the early 2000s, there were a batch of 3.3 engines that suffered from excessive oil consumption (both B3 and B10) and ALPINA's response was to jump to 10W-60 to try and improve consumption. In the meantime, they continues to supply cars with 0W-30 from new which, I guess adds to the confusion.

I have always used 0W-30 - apart from one 7k mile period after a full engine rebuild when I used 10W-60 - and, thankfully, my oil consumption has always been very acceptable and in the range of 2-4k miles per litre which is well above what ALPINA deem as acceptable.

At this stage, as stated above, I am interested in understanding why fresh 0W-30 is consumed at about 3000 miles per litre and this then declines down to 2000 miles per litre over a 7k mile period - hence why I am exploring a slightly thicker grade (both cold start and at operating temperature). Some might argue that I should do this in stages by adjusting either the cold start viscosity (ie 0W-30 to 5W-30) first and then adjusting the operating temperature viscosity (ie 0W-30 to 0w-40) to see which (if either) makes a difference.

To be honest, I am not that anal and so a small shift in both viscosities to 5W-40 seems a reasonable first step. Given that I am not noticing any blue smoke at cold start and the only real issue is the reducing consumption over the lifetime of the oil, my instinct is that the viscosity at operating temperature is the key one.

So let's see what transpires - and as for the change in brand, thankfully I am not completely beholden to the marketeers apart from those from Buchloe Very Happy
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Broch
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I note that Axel only mentions Castrol. Something I'd want to keep to even if I were to change viscosity.
Charles, I'm in no way engineering minded, but I think you have your answer in Perry's post.

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PerryGunn
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Broch wrote:
I note that Axel only mentions Castrol. Something I'd want to keep to even if I were to change viscosity.
Charles, I'm in no way engineering minded, but I think you have your answer in Perry's post.

Onzie

TBH that was probably because of the commercial tie-in between BMW & Castrol, now that BMW have formed a new partnership with Shell, I'd expect Alpina to follow suit and start recommending the equivalent Shell products
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Charles
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PerryGunn wrote:
Broch wrote:
I note that Axel only mentions Castrol. Something I'd want to keep to even if I were to change viscosity.
Charles, I'm in no way engineering minded, but I think you have your answer in Perry's post.

Onzie

TBH that was probably because of the commercial tie-in between BMW & Castrol, now that BMW have formed a new partnership with Shell, I'd expect Alpina to follow suit and start recommending the equivalent Shell products

My thoughts too - both Castrol Edge and Shell Helix are fully synthetic LL04 spec products, so they tick the boxes in terms of being suitable for BMW/ALPINA engines.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not very scientific but I've now done just over 2500 miles since the oil change to 5W-40 and the dipstick suggests that I've only used 0.5 litres of oil. The seat of pants suggests no loss in performance either.

Promising but let's see how it goes for the remaining 4500 miles up the next change
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have always used 5w40 in all bmw's including m3's. Purely as most of the wear that is oil related happens when the engine is started.

See this, it explains why. 5w40 always 'works'
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i've been telling you for years to go 5-40! My B3S barely uses a litre every 4k. I've changed the oil every 8-9k and only top it up once normally.

Its only ever run this grade since i rebuilt the engine. Fuchs titan racing 5-40 as its the shizzle ester based synthetic

BMW just recommend what their oil partner says and alpina go along with it. 0-30 is like piss and good for nothing but getting an extra MPG for the emissions test when they're new
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