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      06-09-2014, 11:12 AM   #1
mestes1999
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5w-40?

So driving on a long road trip yesterday, add 1-quart of oil light comes on. Stop in two auto parts stores, no one has 10w-60. Closest thing was 5w-40. So I added it. Will I be okay or should I take it in for a change asap?

Also, wtf on needing to add oil after only 12k miles? Could it be a leak?
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      06-09-2014, 11:47 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mestes1999
So driving on a long road trip yesterday, add 1-quart of oil light comes on. Stop in two auto parts stores, no one has 10w-60. Closest thing was 5w-40. So I added it. Will I be okay or should I take it in for a change asap?

Also, wtf on needing to add oil after only 12k miles? Could it be a leak?
Is it at least synthetic? You will be totally fine. In the winter I top off 5-40 Castrol and have done 0-40 as well. I always burn oil in winter times through.
Also look at the manual, you can top off with even 5-30 I think.
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      06-09-2014, 11:59 AM   #3
jphughan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mestes1999 View Post
So driving on a long road trip yesterday, add 1-quart of oil light comes on. Stop in two auto parts stores, no one has 10w-60. Closest thing was 5w-40. So I added it. Will I be okay or should I take it in for a change asap?

Also, wtf on needing to add oil after only 12k miles? Could it be a leak?
The M3 Supplement (don't use the regular Owner's Manual for this as stated above) indicates that the following synthetics are acceptable alternatives for top-offs if 10W-60 is unavailable: 10W-40, 5W-50, or 10W-50. Any of those are required to be API SJ/CF, API SK/CF or higher. All that said, 5W-40 is probably fine if you got a full synthetic from a good brand.

As for needing to add oil after "only" 12K miles.... do you mean 12K miles total on the car or 12K miles since your last oil change? This car burns oil faster when new. I noticed that my car started burning significantly less oil after around 25K miles. I used to lose half a quart every track weekend, now I MIGHT lose 1/4 quart. If you've gone 12K miles since your last oil change, then a) having to add oil after 12K miles is not unreasonable in the least, and b) change your oil more often, despite what iDrive says. 7500 miles is a popular interval based on Blackstone analysis and the convenience of being halfway between iDrive intervals.

And fyi, you'll never find 10W-60 in gas stations or regular auto parts stores. The only cars I know of that specify it are M cars (and even that's changed with the newer ones), so it will never be cost-effective for them to stock it. Just buy a quart or two at a dealer or online and keep it in your garage or trunk.

Lastly, I recommend reading the M3 Supplement, if not proactively then at least when you have questions like this. It answers this question and also contains lots of other useful information. And I don't know about you, but I'd be more inclined to trust information found there than random people on a forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRV View Post
Also look at the manual, you can top off with even 5-30 I think.
Despite the picture on the cover, the manual contains information specific to the base Series cars. The Supplement contains information that supersedes what's found in the regular manual, including information about oil, tire pressures, minimum octane, etc, and also deals with M3-exclusive features like DCT, EDC, etc that don't appear in the regular manual at all.
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Last edited by jphughan; 06-09-2014 at 12:13 PM.
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      06-09-2014, 12:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan
Quote:
Originally Posted by mestes1999 View Post
So driving on a long road trip yesterday, add 1-quart of oil light comes on. Stop in two auto parts stores, no one has 10w-60. Closest thing was 5w-40. So I added it. Will I be okay or should I take it in for a change asap?

Also, wtf on needing to add oil after only 12k miles? Could it be a leak?
The M3 Supplement (don't use the regular Owner's Manual for this as stated above) indicates that the following synthetics are acceptable alternatives for top-offs if 10W-60 is unavailable: 10W-40, 5W-50, or 10W-50. Any of those are required to be API SJ/CF, API SK/CF or higher. All that said, 5W-40 is probably fine if you got a full synthetic from a good brand.

As for needing to add oil after "only" 12K miles.... do you mean 12K miles total on the car or 12K miles since your last oil change? This car burns oil faster when new. I noticed that my car started burning significantly less oil after around 25K miles. I used to lose half a quart every track weekend, now I MIGHT lose 1/4 quart. If you've gone 12K miles since your last oil change, then a) having to add oil after 12K miles is not unreasonable in the least, and b) change your oil more often, despite what iDrive says. 7500 miles is a popular interval based on Blackstone analysis and the convenience of being halfway between iDrive intervals.

And fyi, you'll never find 10W-60 in gas stations or regular auto parts stores. The only cars I know of that specify it are M cars (and even that's changed with the newer ones), so it will never be cost-effective for them to stock it. Just buy a quart or two at a dealer or online and keep it in your garage or trunk.

Lastly, I recommend reading the M3 Supplement, if not proactively then at least when you have questions like this. It answers this question and also contains lots of other useful information. And I don't know about you, but I'd be more inclined to trust information found there than random people on a forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRV View Post
Also look at the manual, you can top off with even 5-30 I think.
Despite the picture on the cover, the manual contains information specific to the base Series cars. The Supplement contains information that supersedes what's found in the regular manual, including information about oil, tire pressures, minimum octane, etc, and also deals with M3-exclusive features like DCT, EDC, etc that don't appear in the regular manual at all.
Thx for clarifying
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      06-09-2014, 12:31 PM   #5
mestes1999
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Thanks guys. Yes it was Castrol full synthetic.
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      06-09-2014, 06:11 PM   #6
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BMW sells an oil bag that holds one quart of oil and is Velcro backed to stick to the trunk liner. I keep a quart in the trunk and it doesn't slide around.
I go to the dealer for top-offs, but if I'm on a trip 100 miles from a dealer, I have that quart in the trunk. It provides good peace of mind.
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      06-17-2014, 08:56 PM   #7
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Where does one find the supplement specific to our car?
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      06-18-2014, 07:05 AM   #8
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Where does one find the supplement specific to our car?
It should've come with the owner's manual. If it didn't, the dealer can sell it to you, or you can download it for free on the BMW USA website.
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