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#1061057 - 01/09/08 05:42 PM BMW Longlife Approval Requirements?
jpr Offline


Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 383
Loc: San Diego, CA
I'm looking for more details on just what technical requirements an oil has to meet and what manufacturer specific testing must be done in order for an oil to be approved under one of BMW's Longlife specs.

Here's what I've gathered so far:

LL-98 - Must be ACEA A3 and at least API SJ plus some sort of requirements after a 370 hour run in a M44 engine with reduced oil volume.

From datasheets I've found, these oils seem to range from a Kvis100 of 11.6 to 15.2, averaging about 13.9. HTHS averages about 3.8, TBN about 9.5, and density about 0.853.

From various VOA's found at BITOG, Zinc and phosphorus levels seem to run from at about moderate levels, mag at moderate to high levels, calcium at very low to low levels, and boron and moly at only trace amounts.

BMW LL-01 - Like the LL-98, also required to be ACEA A3, API SJ, and run a 370 hour test, but the test engine is now an M54 and compatibility with the valvetronic system is a specific test requirement.

From datasheets I've found, these oils seem to run a little bit lighter and the LL-98, with a Kvis100 range of 11.3 to 14.1, averaging about 12.3. HTHS averages about 3.6, TBN about 10.4, and density about 0.849.

From various VOA's found at BITOG, Zinc and phosphorus levels seem to run from low to moderate levels, mag at trace to moderate to high levels, and calcium, boron, and moly vary tremendously from trace to high amounts.

BMW LL-04 - Basically seems to be LL-01 spec with additional test requirements for compatibility with particulate filters on diesel engines.

From datasheets I've found, these oils seem to run about the same as the LL-01 oils, but with a lower sulfated ash content and a lower average TBN of about 7.

I have not been able to find enough VOA's or other info to draw any conclusions about the additive package.

Regrading the BMW specific engine testing, my best guess is that replicates some of the ASTM/CEC test sequences, but with the BMW engine rather than the standard test engine. If that's the case, it would interesting to find out just which tests, as this would be a good indicator of the oil properties with which BMW is most concerned.

A collateral question is regarding the use of oils that are not specifically BMW approved. Understanding that the BMW approval process is surely expensive (not to mention a bienniel requirement) I can see whay some manufacturers, such as Amsoil, Redline, Royal Purple, etc, would choose not to bother with it. But while I don't necessarily hold the absence of the official BMW blessing against them, the fact that many of the properties of these oils (for virgin and/or used samples) are outside or at the extremes of known approved oils does raise what I think are some legitimate questions. How big a concern do you think this should be?

- John

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#1061108 - 01/09/08 07:05 PM Re: BMW Longlife Approval Requirements? [Re: jpr]
Doug Hillary Online   content


Registered: 05/30/03
Posts: 4816
Loc: Airlie Beach Australia
Hi,
jpr - The issue of Maker Approvals has been oft discussed here and quite regularly over many years

I cannot assist with your request regarding the BMW Approvals process but it will be a series of extensions to the ACEA Test sequences and it will no doubt include some BMW specific protocols too

After working with a number of engine Manufacturers over the years and with specific Oil Companies too - on prototype products or on their on-going development - I am sure they know what they are about!!

Porsche's lubricant Approval process for instance includes special Test sequences for viscosity and anti foaming
The anti foaming testing is very important with most Porsche engines due to their dry-sump lubrication system(s)

We are just asked to believe it when an Oil Blender states that a product "meets", "exceeds" or "is suitable" or "recommemded" for an engine when it is not on the Makers Approval list - and, that the product will as good as or better? than one ON the List!

Well, suitable, as good as, better? - we simply don't know

Sorry but I have learnt that the engine Makers know best and if a Blender makes the economic decision NOT to go through the Approval or Licensing processes they should wear ALL of the consequences!

Regards
Doug




Edited by Doug Hillary (01/09/08 07:08 PM)
_________________________
Regards
Doug

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#1061423 - 01/10/08 08:09 AM Re: BMW Longlife Approval Requirements? [Re: Doug Hillary]
jpr Offline


Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 383
Loc: San Diego, CA
 Originally Posted By: Doug Hillary
if a Blender makes the economic decision NOT to go through the Approval or Licensing processes they should wear ALL of the consequences!
You make a good point,I hadn't quite thought of it in those terms before.

From an engineering/design perspective though I understand these sorts of things are often a matter of optimizing a balance of characteristics rather than a simple good/bad. That being the case, BMW's goal is likely to specify pretty good oils for everyone, everywhere. In fact, in BMW's own documentation they state, "BMW longlife oils, as specified for all BMW vehicles since 1998, are tested by BMW to ensure that they
can be used anywhere in the world, at any time of year, regardless of ambient temperature."

But BMW's priorities may not necessarily the same as my priorities. For example, I live at not just anywhere in the world, but at one place with a pretty predictable range of ambient temperatures. Likewise, Canadians will have different oil preferences than Singaporeans.

Even staying with BMW approved oils, different choices will work better for each. Those with a lot of stop-and-go and short trips would likely want to stick to the light end of the BMW vicosity range. But those subjecting their engines to harder uses, such as auto-x, track, or road racing, would want to run at the heavy end of the BMW range.

Taking that a step further, the big name alternative oils generally seem to come in two flavors - too light and too heavy - in comparison to the BMW range. But it seems there are circumstances where that could be advantageous. But (and it's a big one), this would only be worth it if there was no offsetting penalty in one or more other properties.

Which brings me back to missing data needed to make sense of this all. It's hard to really evaluate the pros/cons of going off the BMW approved list without really knowing what it takes to be on that list in the first place.

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#1063015 - 01/12/08 11:53 AM Re: BMW Longlife Approval Requirements? [Re: jpr]
jpr Offline


Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 383
Loc: San Diego, CA
So, do these questions actually have the BITOG'rs stumped, or is there just no interest in the subject?

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#1063053 - 01/12/08 01:17 PM Re: BMW Longlife Approval Requirements? [Re: jpr]
yannis Offline


Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 784
Loc: Greece
_________________________
"Heaven Has No Favorites" by Erich Maria Remarque

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#1063055 - 01/12/08 01:19 PM Re: BMW Longlife Approval Requirements? [Re: jpr]
StoicDude Offline


Registered: 12/30/05
Posts: 210
Loc: Reno, NV
Finding specific test sequences for the manufacturers certification process is not easy. I have been digging for VW stuff, but it is pretty hard. Also, I dont know if that kind of info is proprietary, so that might pose another obstacle in finding and sharing it.

From what I can tell from the VW specs, it seems that the newer specifications have a focus on protecting the emission systems and long drain intervals.

This is over simplified, but it goes something like this (this is mainly for VW gas engine reqs):
502 00 fixed drain interval
503 01 Extended drain interval
504 00 Extended drain with low saps for emission control protection.

Basically the same analysis you had for the BMW stuff.

That said, there are places where you can get specific VW, I would assume BMW as well, test sequence requiremnets so when an oil company claims that they meet a specification, but are not on the list, there might be some truth to this. Official approval costs money, and not everybody wants to pay. Performing the test with an independent company costs far less.
This is one of the main tests for 502 00 approval, in addition to some others:http://www.swri.org/4org/d08/global/volkswgn/default.htm

Car manufacturers formulate oils for the majority of the population, who drive their cars to work, school, grocery shopping etc. As you described the temperature ranges are taken into consideration as well.

If you have specific, other than the norm, requirements, I am sure you will be able to find the solution to your problem. Track days= Redline, for example. M3 engine = 10w-60 Castrol from dealer.

Going into too much detail for oil can give you a big headache. hahah

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#1063057 - 01/12/08 01:23 PM Re: BMW Longlife Approval Requirements? [Re: yannis]
jpr Offline


Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 383
Loc: San Diego, CA
 Originally Posted By: yannis
Nothing new there, but thank you for making the effort.

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#1063058 - 01/12/08 01:23 PM Re: BMW Longlife Approval Requirements? [Re: jpr]
JAG Offline


Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 4513
Loc: Fredericksburg, VA
I'm stumped on the specifics of BMW LL oil requirements. Your first post contains more info on them than I have discovered over years of trying to find out.

A few years ago, Ethyl corporation had a PDF file showing many specifics of many gas and diesel oil specs but even it did not have info on BMW oil specs. It did have VW and MB specs. BMW must be good at keeping the specifics a secret.
_________________________
2003 VW GTI 1.8T 20th Anniversary Edition

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#1063071 - 01/12/08 01:48 PM Re: BMW Longlife Approval Requirements? [Re: StoicDude]
jpr Offline


Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 383
Loc: San Diego, CA
 Originally Posted By: StoicDude
Finding specific test sequences for the manufacturers certification process is not easy. I have been digging for VW stuff, but it is pretty hard. Also, I dont know if that kind of info is proprietary, so that might pose another obstacle in finding and sharing it.

From what I can tell from the VW specs, it seems that the newer specifications have a focus on protecting the emission systems and long drain intervals.

This is over simplified, but it goes something like this (this is mainly for VW gas engine reqs):
502 00 fixed drain interval
503 01 Extended drain interval
504 00 Extended drain with low saps for emission control protection.

Basically the same analysis you had for the BMW stuff.

That said, there are places where you can get specific VW, I would assume BMW as well, test sequence requiremnets so when an oil company claims that they meet a specification, but are not on the list, there might be some truth to this. Official approval costs money, and not everybody wants to pay. Performing the test with an independent company costs far less.
This is one of the main tests for 502 00 approval, in addition to some others:http://www.swri.org/4org/d08/global/volkswgn/default.htm

Car manufacturers formulate oils for the majority of the population, who drive their cars to work, school, grocery shopping etc. As you described the temperature ranges are taken into consideration as well.

If you have specific, other than the norm, requirements, I am sure you will be able to find the solution to your problem. Track days= Redline, for example. M3 engine = 10w-60 Castrol from dealer.

Going into too much detail for oil can give you a big headache. hahah

Ironically, I've actually been able to find out more detail about the VW requirements than the BMW ones. I found a chart from Motul which identifies some of the specific tests, but unfortunately I can't figure out how to attach it nor can I remember exactly where I found it. But here's the data:

Volkswagen Engine Tests
PV5106 Cam & Tappet - 502, 505, 503, 503.01, 505.01, 506, 506.01
M111Sl Sludge – 502, 503, 503.01, 505.01
PV1449 T-4 (gasoline) -502, 503, 503.1, 505.01 substitutes PV1302
PV1431 IC/TD TD IDI – 505, 505.01
PV1451 Fuel Economy – 503, 503.01
RNT TDI-PD VTW – 503 (350hours), 506 (350hours), 506.01 (650hours)
Field Test Passat 1.9 TDI-PD – 506 (100 kkm), 506.01 (100 kkm)
Durability in-house VW/Audi – 503 (gasoline), 503.01 (gasoline), 506 (VEP Diesel), 506.01 (VEP Diesel, PD Diesel)

I've also found this on the defintions (its from 2004,so it doesn't indlude the latest ones 504 and 507, but near as I can tell, those are mainly an attempt to consolidate the specifications rather than new technical requirements.
 Quote:

VOLKSWAGEN
Volkswagen is an engine/vehicle manufacturer who has over the past few years issued the most of the new motor oil specifications (practically every new engine series/design requires a new, different motor oil). For individual motor oils,
Volkswagen issues approvals valid for 3 years.
Currently valid specifications by Volkswagen are:
VW 502.00 Oil for gasoline engines without extended oil fill change interval
(15000 km – 1 year), HTHS viscosity min. 3.5 mPa×s, ACEA A3 +
additional VW tests
VW 503.00 Oil for gasoline engines with extended oil fill change interval (30000 km – 2 years), HTHS viscosity 2.9 - 3.4 mPa×s, ACEA A3 + additional VW tests
VW 503.01 Oil for AUDI turbo-gasoline engines with extended oil fill change interval and Volkswagen W8 and W12 engines (30000 km - 2 years), HTHS viscosity min. 3.5 mPa×s, ACEA A3 + additional VW tests
VW 505.00 Oil for diesel engines without extended oil fill change interval (15000 km – 1 year), HTHS viscosity min. 3.5 mPa×s, ACEA B3 + additional VW tests
VW 505.01 Oil for diesel engines with pump-injector fuel injection system without extended oil fill change interval (15000 km – 1 year), HTHS viscosity min. 3.5 mPa×s, ACEA B3/B4 + additional VW tests VW 506.00 Oil for diesel engines with extended oil fill change interval (30000 km – 2 years), HTHS viscosity 2.9 - 3.4 mPa×s, ACEA B4 + additional VW tests
VW 506.01 Oil for diesel engines with pump-injector fuel injection system and extended oil fill change interval (50000 km – 2 years), HTHS viscosity 2.9 - 3.4 mPa×s, ACEA B4 + additional VW tests

Special quality of motor oils prescribed by specifications VW 505.01 and VW 506.01 is the result of the development of a specific pump-injector fuel injection system i.e. resolving of the problem of lubricating the contact between pump-injector and
camshaft in Volkswagen’s diesel vehicles (Figure 1).

Apart from the above specifications, still appearing on the market are motor oils meeting requirements of the specifications VW 500.00 and VW 501.01, which are officially invalid.
VW 500.00 Oil for gasoline and diesel engines with normal fill without extended interval (15000 km – 1 year), HTHS viscosity min. 3.5 mPa×s, ACEA A3 + additional VW tests
VW 501.01 Oil for gasoline and diesel engines without extended oil change interval (15000 km – 1 year), HTHS viscosity min. 3.5 mPa×s, ACEA A2 + additional VW tests

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#1063075 - 01/12/08 02:00 PM Re: BMW Longlife Approval Requirements? [Re: jpr]
StoicDude Offline


Registered: 12/30/05
Posts: 210
Loc: Reno, NV
Sweeeet!. Thanks for that info. I will have to go through it.

If you find the 504/ 507 stuff post it up, but I think thta is still too new.

If you find anything from BMW that is in German, I will gladly translate. Sorry I couldn't help you out with the BMW stuff.

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#1063090 - 01/12/08 02:34 PM Re: BMW Longlife Approval Requirements? [Re: StoicDude]
jpr Offline


Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 383
Loc: San Diego, CA
I've got another sheet which identifies this:

504 - for Euro IV petrol engines, 30,000 km drain interval, 5W-30 only, HTHS > 3.5, mid SAPS

507 - for Euro IV diesel engines, 30,000 km drain interval, 5W-30 only, HTHS > 3.5, mid SAPS

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#1063260 - 01/12/08 07:42 PM Re: BMW Longlife Approval Requirements? [Re: jpr]
shortyb Offline


Registered: 12/15/02
Posts: 1233
Loc: Simpsonville SC
Hey jpr, welcome to BITOG!

I can't address specific details, but suffice it to say that a certain big name oil blender has paid/been paid to be the exclusive oil for the Roundel crowd. This involves very specific processes and protocols for the LL standards with only general parameters being shared. Some of these you have already found. This is why some oils will meet/exceed the LL standards in general. Just as you've surmised, BMW has based the LL standards as global in scope. Yet another reason to use the blender since it's product is also available worldwide and at any BMW dealership. Starting with LL-01, the focus shifted to a mostly European demand for keeping oil in sump for long drains with an eye on oxidation. Oxidation meant sludge and wear, two main culprits that drove the standard. Also, to a lesser extent, for environmental reasons regarding disposal. TBN adds were designed to fall at a steady rate primarily with steady state (read highway) driving. This is why the algorithm for the oil moniter was changed from a multi-point read and calculation, to a simple fuel use calculation. Use X amount of fuel, time for an oil change. This why we see the wild variances in milage now when the oil is recommended for change. And with the advent of Valvetronic and higher MPG figures, we now see higher averages for OCI, some as high as 19K. Incidently, Valvetronic had a part in the LL-04 standard and not the LL-01.

Now to answer your question regarding the "other" oils. The only real way to see if these oils would work is through UOA. And then, this would only apply to how YOU want the oil to work. Basically, there really isn't anything out there (in recommended grade) that will kill the engine. But just like anything else, if you are using the product for other than average use, you may want to "tailor" an oil used for those specific needs. LL is no "magic bullet" and using an oil without the rating really wouldn't be a concern for me.
_________________________
Watch this space for further incoherent blatherings.

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#1063288 - 01/12/08 08:23 PM Re: BMW Longlife Approval Requirements? [Re: shortyb]
bmwtechguy Offline


Registered: 06/15/04
Posts: 2522
Loc: South Carolina
Shortyb-hello from Inman. Excellent last paragraph/conclusion. Great post.

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#1063305 - 01/12/08 09:03 PM Re: BMW Longlife Approval Requirements? [Re: bmwtechguy]
shortyb Offline


Registered: 12/15/02
Posts: 1233
Loc: Simpsonville SC
 Originally Posted By: bmwtechguy
Shortyb-hello from Inman. Excellent last paragraph/conclusion. Great post.


Hello from Simpsonville, you can probably see me waving from where you are.
_________________________
Watch this space for further incoherent blatherings.

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#1063580 - 01/13/08 09:40 AM Re: BMW Longlife Approval Requirements? [Re: shortyb]
jpr Offline


Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 383
Loc: San Diego, CA
Thanks for the welcome shortyb - I knew you were over here as I've got your UOA's in my dataset, but I didn't know how often you came by.

Anyhow, regarding valvetronic and LL-01, here's the data points I've got:

* A brochure from Elf which describes their lineup in relation to the BMW specs.
*** LL-98 is listed as for "EXTENDED OIL CHANGE INTERVAL" and linked to the Excellium NF 5W-40.
*** LL-01 is listed as "EXTENDED OIL CHANGE INTERVAL" plus "VALVETRONIC COMPATIBLE" and is linked to the XLL 5W-40 and Full-Tech 0W-30.
*** LL-04 is listed as "EXTENDED OIL CHANGE INTERVAL", "VALVETRONIC COMPATIBLE" and "PARTICULATE FILTER AND OTHER POST-TREATMENT SYSTEMS" and is linked to the Solaris LSX 5W-30.

* Valvetronic was first introduced to production in the N42 engine used in the E46 316ti in 2001. If valvetronic compatibility became a testing point, it only makes sense that it would become so at the same time valvetronic was introduced.

* In an older version of the TIS oil table which does not include LL-04, the valvetronic equiped N series engines asre listed as using either LL-01 or LL-01FE. In a more recent version of the table which does include LL-04, the only engines that specifically only require LL-04 are diesels (M47TU2, M57TU2, and M67TU). I believe all of these engines were introduced in the 2004/2005 timeframe.

* An excerpt from Castrol's "Frontiers Magazine" dated April 2002 which describes Castrol as "...the first lubricant developer to meet the requirements for the BMW Valvetronic engines now being supplied in the new BMW 3-series"

But the really exciting news is that while double checking my references on valvetronic, I found something I had overlooked earlier. It's a presentation from 2006 which cites 4 specific BMW in house oil tests:
* BMW N52 FE
* BMW N52 Aeration
* BMW N52 Oil Test
* BMW N42 RNT
Presentation can be found here - http://www.eng.rpi-inc.ru/materials/26/neo364/DAY2/SESSION5/TNasch.pdf
As of yet, I have not been able to discover any details of these tests, but it's a new avenue to search.

Insofar as practical implications of all this go, it's apparent from the UOA's on BMW engines that I've collected that there is no signifcant performance difference amongst the approved oils. The remaining source of concern on non-approved oils is mainly in regards to viscosity. As I understand, one of the driving factors for the manufacturer's specified viscosity range relates to design clearances and desired oil film thickness. With Amsoil, Redline, and Royal Purple they only seem to have two sorts of offerings in relation to the range I've seen for BMW approved oils - too low and too high. One interesting exception is the Amsoil AFL "European Car" 5w-40, which starts within the high end of the range, but then apparently thickens outside of it during use (based on 3 UOA's). Also, Redline oils are interesting in that they have a Moly content about 4~5 times higher than any approved oil and I am unsure what long-term effect that would have.

For the most part though, my interest has gone way past mere pratical concerns and is now driven by pure curiosity. By the way, if anybody would like copies of anything I've referenced, PM me with your email address and I'll send it your way.

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