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  #1  
Old 02-05-2008, 04:23 PM
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Approved oils for R56 MCS

I have been looking at a lot of threads on NAM and some BMW sites about approved motor oils. The manual for my 07 MCS says use only synthetic oils with the API SH specification or higher in 5W-30 or 5W-40. I called MINI USA and they said that the approved oils were Castrol, Mobil 1 and Valvoline in full synthetic 5W-30 and 5W-40.

After that I looked into oils that had the highest ACEA standards and BMW LL standards. I found that Castrol Syntec 5W40 meets ACEA A3/B3 and BMW LL98, Valvoline SynPower 5W-40 meets ACEA A3/B3 and " meets requirements of BMW, etc", and Valvoline Max Life Full Synthetic 5W-30 meets ACEA A3/B3 and meets BMW LL01. All of this from the manufacturers web sites.

I then called Valvoline to ask about the SynPower 5W-40 "meets requirements" wording. I was told that the SynPower 5W-40 meets BMW LL01.

I wanted to know what the "meet the requirements" meant so I called Valvoline. They said that the SynPower 5W-40 meets BMW LL01.

If you are interested in the ACEA specs, here is a link.

http://www.acea.be/images/uploads/pu..._LD_and_HD.pdf

I have not been able confirmed the BMW LL specs, but I think they are change intervals of 25,000 Km (15,500 mi)for the LL98 and 30,000 Km (18,600 mi) for the LL01. I would like to confirm that as it seems that either would suffice for the MINI. Anyone know the BMW LL specs for sure?
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  #2  
Old 02-05-2008, 05:18 PM
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Thanks for the information.
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:42 AM
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As this is mostly a Peugeot engine with BMW adding their valve timing stuff, I don't know that BMW has dealt with the lubrication requirements of this engine to say if an LL-98, LL-01, or the really tight LL-04 is needed.

Also, when BMW and Peugeot say fully synthetic oil they mean Group IV and V oils built up from scratch base stocks. When printing the manual for the US I don't know that BMW NA knows the different between EU law that states for an oil to be synthetic it can't be made from modifying Group III or lower oils that come out of the ground. In the US they can say that. The main difference is the Group III synthetics these days offer as much protection but for not as many miles. Does the ACEA A3/B3 spec deal with oil life or performance over time?

Valvoline, Castrol (expect for German made 0w30), Pennzoil are Group III synthetics.

So it's interesting that the 5w40 Castrol meets A3/B3.

Hmm, the spec linked does mention A3/B3 includes for extended drain intervals, but I haven't looked through the rest of the documents.
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johne123 View Post
As this is mostly a Peugeot engine with BMW adding their valve timing stuff, I don't know that BMW has dealt with the lubrication requirements of this engine to say if an LL-98, LL-01, or the really tight LL-04 is needed.

Also, when BMW and Peugeot say fully synthetic oil they mean Group IV and V oils built up from scratch base stocks. When printing the manual for the US I don't know that BMW NA knows the different between EU law that states for an oil to be synthetic it can't be made from modifying Group III or lower oils that come out of the ground. In the US they can say that. The main difference is the Group III synthetics these days offer as much protection but for not as many miles. Does the ACEA A3/B3 spec deal with oil life or performance over time?

Valvoline, Castrol (expect for German made 0w30), Pennzoil are Group III synthetics.

So it's interesting that the 5w40 Castrol meets A3/B3.

Hmm, the spec linked does mention A3/B3 includes for extended drain intervals, but I haven't looked through the rest of the documents.
The Valvoline SynPower 5W-40 also meets the A3/B3 and meets LL01, at least verbally from Valvoline.

I thought it was more interesting that the Valvoline SynPower 5W-30 meets A3/B3 but not LL-01 yet the Valvoline Synpower Max Life 5W-30 meets A3/B3 and LL-01 in writing on Valvoline web site. Valvoline claims this oil is fine for new engines and will not void warranties. It seems like a good choice to me. I found it at a local auto supply store for $6.00 quart. Still deciding.
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:22 PM
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The valvoline 5w-30 synpower max life is the one i want to get, but it was sold out, where did you find it for $6/quart?

Thanks
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:51 PM
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The valvoline 5w-30 synpower max life is the one i want to get, but it was sold out, where did you find it for $6/quart?

Thanks
O'Reilly Auto Parts. I was price at $6.19, but the guy said if I bought a case, he would give it to me for $6.00.

http://www.oreillyauto.com/EW3/FindAStore.do
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  #7  
Old 02-06-2008, 02:04 PM
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MINI branded oil

The ACEA A3/B3 rating deals with things like:
Shear stability
Viscosity at high temp. & high shear rate
Evaporative loss
Sulphated ash
Oil / elastomer compatibility
etc.

The BMW LL (LongLife) ratings deal with the useful life of the oil.

The MINI branded oil that you can get at your dealer is produced by Castrol (Made in the USA from foreign and domestic components) especially for BMW. I believe that the BMW branded oil is the same oil. Both meet ACEA A3/B3, and BMW LL01.

I bought the MINI branded oil at MINI of Mountain View, CA for $5.40.

Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.
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Last edited by Robin Casady; 02-06-2008 at 02:09 PM. Reason: Added photos
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  #8  
Old 02-06-2008, 07:37 PM
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Anyone ever use RED LINE Synthetic? I use that in both my BMW's with much success. Great OIl but pricey - $9 a quart, but well worth it!
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  #9  
Old 02-06-2008, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Casady View Post
The ACEA A3/B3 rating deals with things like:
Shear stability
Viscosity at high temp. & high shear rate
Evaporative loss
Sulphated ash
Oil / elastomer compatibility
etc.

The BMW LL (LongLife) ratings deal with the useful life of the oil.

The MINI branded oil that you can get at your dealer is produced by Castrol (Made in the USA from foreign and domestic components) especially for BMW. I believe that the BMW branded oil is the same oil. Both meet ACEA A3/B3, and BMW LL01.

I bought the MINI branded oil at MINI of Mountain View, CA for $5.40.

Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.

That's hilarious. I spent an hour searching oil company web sites only to find the OEM oil is cheaper than the after market I sourced. I didn't even check with Mini. I will tomorrow. Good education on oil specs.

Did you find the LL01 on the Mini oil? I don't see it on the bottle. I am certainly not questioning the Mini oil, but I wonder if the Mini requires LL01.
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  #10  
Old 02-06-2008, 10:52 PM
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i just get Castrol synthetic from walmart for 20 bucks per 5 quarts. Ive honestly never heard of ANYONE having problems using this kind of oil. If you dont race, you dont need that super high end stuff. Your car will probably last just as long.
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Old 02-07-2008, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ghosthound View Post
i just get Castrol synthetic from walmart for 20 bucks per 5 quarts. Ive honestly never heard of ANYONE having problems using this kind of oil. If you dont race, you dont need that super high end stuff. Your car will probably last just as long.
Tell that to all the VW owners with 1.8T engines that failed due to oil sludge problems when using oil that didn't meet VW's specs. In this case you're technically complying with the manual's recommendations for oil, but you're using an oil of lower standards that what Mini put in it in the first place.
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  #12  
Old 02-07-2008, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Casady View Post
The ACEA A3/B3 rating deals with things like:
Shear stability
Viscosity at high temp. & high shear rate
Evaporative loss
Sulphated ash
Oil / elastomer compatibility
etc.

The BMW LL (LongLife) ratings deal with the useful life of the oil.

The MINI branded oil that you can get at your dealer is produced by Castrol (Made in the USA from foreign and domestic components) especially for BMW. I believe that the BMW branded oil is the same oil. Both meet ACEA A3/B3, and BMW LL01.

I bought the MINI branded oil at MINI of Mountain View, CA for $5.40.
Can you get this stuff by the case from the dealer and do all dealers charge the same? I'm thinking about picking up a case when I pick up my car. Guess I should ask my specific dealer, huh?
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  #13  
Old 02-07-2008, 08:50 AM
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We use Royal Purple 5w-30 it is above the "spec" and sells for $6.99. It has shown HP on the Dyno and every customer thinks i am crazy when i tell them the car is going to run better on this oil....they then call me on the way home and tell me that i am right and thank me for getting them such a great oil.

Chad
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Old 02-07-2008, 08:50 AM
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On BobIsTheOilGuy there are several references to Pennzoil's new Platinum Synthetic as one of the best-performing oils on the market. There is a PDF data sheet for Platinum which gives all the tech specs. The 05W-30 formulation meets ACEA A5/B5. I'm not certain how that compares to A3/B3 - better or worse? Pennzoil Platinum would seem a good candidate for an MCS oil change. Thoughts?
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Old 02-07-2008, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by locogringo View Post
That's hilarious. I spent an hour searching oil company web sites only to find the OEM oil is cheaper than the after market I sourced. I didn't even check with Mini. I will tomorrow. Good education on oil specs.

Did you find the LL01 on the Mini oil? I don't see it on the bottle. I am certainly not questioning the Mini oil, but I wonder if the Mini requires LL01.
Yea, I can't understand why people insist on paying more $$ for a lower quality oil.

I'm not sure where I saw the BMW LL-01 (LongLife) rating, but since they are recommending 15,000 miles between changes, they have to be using an oil with a long life rating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjtull View Post
Can you get this stuff by the case from the dealer and do all dealers charge the same? I'm thinking about picking up a case when I pick up my car. Guess I should ask my specific dealer, huh?
I've heard that the price may vary from dealer to dealer. You might tell them that MINI of Mountain View has been selling it for $5.40, if they have a higher price.

I've also heard that BMW dealers charge more for their version.
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Old 02-07-2008, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by agokart View Post
We use Royal Purple 5w-30 it is above the "spec" and sells for $6.99. It has shown HP on the Dyno and every customer thinks i am crazy when i tell them the car is going to run better on this oil....they then call me on the way home and tell me that i am right and thank me for getting them such a great oil.

Chad
Detroit Tuned
Where can you buy Royal Purple?
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Diploman View Post
On BobIsTheOilGuy there are several references to Pennzoil's new Platinum Synthetic as one of the best-performing oils on the market. There is a PDF data sheet for Platinum which gives all the tech specs. The 05W-30 formulation meets ACEA A5/B5. I'm not certain how that compares to A3/B3 - better or worse? Pennzoil Platinum would seem a good candidate for an MCS oil change. Thoughts?
From a PDF on ACEA specs:

1.3 Viscosity at high temp. & high shear rate:
A5 = min 2.9, max. 3.5
A3 = ≥3.5

So, the minimum for A3 is the maximum for A5.
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:22 AM
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My dealer charges $6.40 a quart. That is roughly $2.00 more per oil change than the Valvoline I had sourced locally. I will have to have it shipped in as I am 4 hours away. That's what I am going to do this time. I will pick up enough for several changes next time I am at the dealer.

Also, the ACEA specs show the A3/B3 being for extended drain intervals, but it does not define the interval. A1/B1 does not state for extended intervals. The LL01 may be a redundant spec for A3/B3 or a spec to formally define the interval.
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by agokart View Post
We use Royal Purple 5w-30 it is above the "spec" and sells for $6.99. It has shown HP on the Dyno and every customer thinks i am crazy when i tell them the car is going to run better on this oil....they then call me on the way home and tell me that i am right and thank me for getting them such a great oil.

Chad
Detroit Tuned
I see that the Royal Purple web site says that 5w-40 meets ACEA A3, but they only list SL for 5W-30.
http://www.royalpurple.com/motor-oil-m-pp.html
Could you explain further about 5w-30 being above spec.? More hp and mpg sounds good.
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:38 AM
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Where can you buy Royal Purple?
We sell it, it's just not up on our web page yet. $6.99 a Qt. and you will need 5 Qt's. we also sell filters for the R50-R53 (the same) and R56. we will even throw in a set of rubber gloves to help keep you clean. We also include how to directions for your car (they will be on the web very shortly). we also sell the oil by the case of 12 for $80.00. it's a great item to add to any order.
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Robin Casady View Post
I see that the Royal Purple web site says that 5w-40 meets ACEA A3, but they only list SL for 5W-30.
http://www.royalpurple.com/motor-oil-m-pp.html
Could you explain further about 5w-30 being above spec.? More hp and mpg sounds good.
A 5W-30 that meets ACEA A3/B3 is a rare thing. The only ones I have found are the MINI oil and the Valvoline SynPower Max Life which is actually made for cars with over 75,000 miles. Several brand of 5W-40's meet it.
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Old 02-07-2008, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Casady View Post
I see that the Royal Purple web site says that 5w-40 meets ACEA A3, but they only list SL for 5W-30.
http://www.royalpurple.com/motor-oil-m-pp.html
Could you explain further about 5w-30 being above spec.? More hp and mpg sounds good.
I did a little research on ACEA and it looks to be a European spec only, and is basically a spec you need to buy into to get rated like that. kind of like GM having it's own set of specs for all of there cars. here is what i found:

“A3/B3 Stable, stay-in-grade oil intended for use in high performance gasoline and car + light van diesel engines and/or for extended drain intervals where specified by the engine manufacturer, and/or for year-round use of low viscosity oils, and/or for severe operating conditions as defined by the engine manufacturer.”

http://www.acea.be/images/uploads/pub/070308_ACEA_sequences_2007_LD_and_HD.pdf

Above is a PDF with a lot of info to wade thru. i would need some time to go thru it and look at all the numbers, but a lot of it looks like the same tests done for SL and CF test which the RP scores very high in.

i am actually switching to the XPR 5w-30 soon since i track the car some much. http://www.royalpurple.com/xpr-racing-oil.html it is the same as 5w-30 but with more additive to wear and heat, and it costs a bit more.
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by locogringo View Post
...I will have to have it shipped in as I am 4 hours away....
This is the same as BMW-branded oil, so any nearby BMW dealer should stock it. Of course, if you are 4 hours away from a BMW dealer, then yeah, buy MINI.
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:46 AM
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This is the same as BMW-branded oil, so any nearby BMW dealer should stock it. Of course, if you are 4 hours away from a BMW dealer, then yeah, buy MINI.
Actually, until someone confirms they are the same part number, we don't know for sure if Mini 5w30 and BMW 5w30 are the same oils.
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:02 PM
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I did a little research on ACEA and it looks to be a European spec only, and is basically a spec you need to buy into to get rated like that. kind of like GM having it's own set of specs for all of there cars. here is what i found:
It looks like they bought into it for their 5w-40, but not 5w-30.

Quote:
“A3/B3 Stable, stay-in-grade oil intended for use in high performance gasoline and car + light van diesel engines and/or for extended drain intervals where specified by the engine manufacturer, and/or for year-round use of low viscosity oils, and/or for severe operating conditions as defined by the engine manufacturer.”

Yea, that's a somewhat useless description. They say almost the same thing for A5.

Quote:

http://www.acea.be/images/uploads/pub/070308_ACEA_sequences_2007_LD_and_HD.pdf

Above is a PDF with a lot of info to wade thru. i would need some time to go thru it and look at all the numbers, but a lot of it looks like the same tests done for SL and CF test which the RP scores very high in.
The thing that I've noticed that seems to be different about A3 is the "Viscosity at high temp. & high shear rate" rating of ≥3.5. Below that and it gets an A1/A5 rating (down to 2.9).
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