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What's the best oil / oil change interval?

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What's the best oil / oil change interval?

Old 12-22-2018, 10:34 AM
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I switched to Motul 8100 X-cess 5w-40 a little over a year ago. This is what it looks like after 5k or so. Still full, still has good color. I tend to drive it like I stole it and change the oil around 7500.

Last edited by scotty_r56s; 12-22-2018 at 11:14 AM.
Old 12-22-2018, 10:04 PM
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I have five cars and one truck. A 64, 77, 04, 05, 08 and 09. I use 10W30, 10W50 and 0W40. I mix the viscosites based on time of year temps. I use a high zinc content oil that is not the recommended oil of ANY manufacturer. Here is my opinion on manufacturer's recommend oil, It's WRONG, period. 1000 miles or 10,000 mile oil change intervals and the timing chains or cams still get worn out. It's not the interval it's the oil. Manufactures need to warranty emissions equipment for the life of the car. Zinc and phosphorus hurt those things. They also want an oil with low tension to help fuel mileage. My vehicles are all out of warranty so their useful life has ended according to the manufacturer's. No speed shop with dyno a flat tapped cam with low zinc oil. It will end bad. Timing chains are wearing out for similar reasons. This is only my "insanity" when it come to my opinion on oil. Ive left out the car manufactureres names and the same with the oil, im not preaching one is better than the other. I do change my oil every 5 to 7000 kilometers, closer to 5, depending on when I get to it. That's 3500 to 5000 mile oil change intervals. Ive got 325,000 klms on my truck and its still running great and doesnt burn any more oil then when it was new. Yes this costs lots but these trucks are known for wiping out cams. Plus I've got lots of money to waste on my automotive hobby. Well not lots, I had lots before this hobby LOL. Again I don't think it's the interval that's the problem, it's the oil.
Old 12-22-2018, 10:24 PM
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One more thing to add. ECS had stated in another post somewhere that cheap oil filters loose fibers in the engine and plug off the vanos solenoid. I thought that was a bit of a stretch but possible. When I took out the solenoid from my 08 clubby I'm restoring there was the screen half plugged with what appeared to be filter fibers. Unfortunately i bought four cheap ones online. I will be blowing them out with compressed air before installing them and then only buying good ones from now on. I'll be buying a few different ones to compare quality.
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Old 12-23-2018, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Shiner View Post
For those that are a fan of using AMSOIL, there is a preferred customer discount of 25% that is available. If I purchase a few gallons of 5/30 signature oil that is a huge savings along with free shipping.

True that!

It's worth joining in my opinion.

for the R53 guys with JCW airbox --- the EAAU3570 air filter is excellent and you can get it direct from them for $45 when a preferred customer.

Old 12-23-2018, 11:29 AM
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This is an interesting thread. Clearly MINI people have put a lot of thought and effort into this subject. Thanks, everyone for posting their thoughts.

A couple points...
As was stated in the the first post, the MINI specified oil needing to be “LL-04 or -01” is for long life only. MINI had very high milage oil change intervals early on. I remember seeing service intervals of 20 to 30k miles on our ‘04 when we first got it. If you are changing your oil at ~5000 mile intervals these “LL-“ oils are not necessary. So, as was also said, the oil just needs to be of a high quality synthetic.

Another point is the weight of the oil. 5-30, 0-30, 10-30 weight oils are all the same at running temperatures. That is, they are all 30 weight oils. So, the 5-, 0-, and 10- only influences the cold starting and cold running of the engine. A 10 weight oil would work well in warm climate and the 0 and 5 in Minnesota or the like. Having an oil that flows well when cold will tend to help engine life by helping with cold lubrication of the engine. There also may be a slight benefit with gas milage with a light cold weight oil.

I will chime in as a person who runs their MINI on the track. Other than having installed a Helix intercooler, my engine and tune are pure stock, right down to using the MINI air filter. With the N18 engine I watch water and oil temperatures on a ScanGage when out on the track. Now, the “oil temperature” is not a real temperature measurement. It is a BMW algorithm that estimates the oil temperature from a number of different parameters. Even though it is not a real measurement, it does give an indication of what is going on with the oil. That said, I can say that the N18 engine with the turbo really cooks the oil. With light, street driving the oil temp is about 220-225 degF. Highway driving: 230-235 degF. On the track: 250-265 degF. From experience, I can say that, if the auxiliary water pump that feeds water to the turbo to cool the bearings dies, all of the highway and track temperatures will go up by 10 to 20 degF. On the track I saw oil temps in the 275-285 degF range.

I had chance to talk to one of the principle people with RedLine oil. He also races sports cars. The conversation that I had with him had to do with the high oil temperature I had when my auxiliary water pump went out, but before I knew that the pump had failed. One prominent statement he made was that, in an engine used in racing, an increase in the weight of the oil used (e.g.: going from a 30 weight to a 40 weight) will decrease the oil temperature by 10 to 20 degF. He did not give me a technical reason why this is, however. I will say that I did experience a lower temperature with the heavier weight oil. But, I also believe that the turbo, without a working auxiliary water pump, will still cook the oil, which offset some of this cooling benefit, as I didn’t get the temperature reduction he had said..

I change the oil and filter before every track event, whether it is a 1, 2 or 3 day event, and leave it in until the next event. An event day is typically 4 - 25 to 30 minute sessions. Oils that I have used include Castrol and MINI brand 5-30, Mobil 1 0-40, Redline 5-40 and Motul 5-40. I should also note that my engine uses no oil during these events.

Here are my observations based on how the engine sounds and the oil looks:

Castrol and MINI 5-30: New oil, the engine has the typical MINI N-18 clatter when first changed. After a one day event the clatter has increased slightly and the oil is black on the dip stick.

Mobil 1 0-40: New oil the engine has less clatter than with the Castrol/MINI oils. After a one day event the clatter has increased to the same level as with the Castrol/MINI oils and the oil is black on the dip stick.

Redline 5-40 and Motul 5-40: Both of these oil seem to run about the same. New oil, even less clatter than with the Mobil 1. Even after a 3 day event, the engine sounds better than the other oils after a 1 day event. The oil color is more of a dark brown than black on the dipstick.

Blackstone analyses have not come back with any of the oils not being acceptable. They have pointed out slightly high iron content. That said, based on engine sounds and the black oil on the dipstick, something in the oil changes during each of my track events. Don’t know what. I also don’t have a good handle of the oil temperature change during my track events and this is somewhat dependent on the change in ambient temperature. I generally just watch that it stays within a range that I have come to expect. As for taking better data, I just haven’t taken the time when I am out having fun...

My conclusions, and there is little “science” in these conclusions, I like the sounds of the engine better with the RedLine and Motul oils. The turbo really cooks the oil. The 40 weight oil is better than the 30 weight. The RedLine and Motul oils seem to be about the same; the Redline might be just slightly better. The Motul is less expensive, so that is what I use. I have heard good things about Liqui-Moly and will try that when I get a chance.

All in the name of having fun...

Last edited by Eddie07S; 12-23-2018 at 11:40 AM. Reason: typo and edits
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Old 12-23-2018, 12:15 PM
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Oil turns black from the carbon deposited into it from engine blow-by. There is not a way for oil to prevent piston blow-by other then metal temp control. Oil filters only work down to 5 or 6 microns, carbon is 1 plus microns so it passes through a filter. One type of oil can not get less black than another under the same conditions. Light to dark coloured oil is just the amount of carbon black the oil contains. The carbon comes from our fuel, hydrogen and carbon, the hydrogen is released as water and the carbon by carbon di or mon oxide. Some h2o goes into the crankcase with the carbon. The h2o shows up in the catch cans and the carbon black that isn't co2 stays in the oil. The rest goes out the tail pipe. Long term oil change intervals allow the oil to load up with carbon and turn acidic. The water vapour is acidic. The oil has modifiers to counter act the acidification that come from blow-by but they can only counter so much of it. If an engine has blow by (mini n14) shorter oil change intervals would be recommended.

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