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oil for BMW m50tu and m52tu #4784882
06/12/18 12:17 PM
06/12/18 12:17 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3
colorado
kentd98 Offline OP
kentd98  Offline OP
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3
colorado
Hi all,
I have 2 older BMWs ('94 325i m50tu and '99 528i m52tu) and I'm a bit out of date on my oil knowledge, so I'm posting to ask for some advice. Previously I've used:

325i => Mobil1 0w40 (LL98 I think) => Sunny day car, autox, rare winter day driver
528i => BMW 5w30 (LL01 I think) => Year round car, some very short trips

For my next oil change, I planned to use the following:

325i => Castrol EDGE 0w40 (LL01)
528i => Castrol EDGE 0w30 (LL01)

I found the 0w40 at Walmart for $25/5qt, but the cheapest I can find the 0w30 is at Amazon for $8.25/qt. Seems like a big price delta. I also found some threads here mentioning that EDGE 0w30 and EDGE 0w40 are all but identical?

My question is whether or not the 0w40 is appropriate to use in both engines. What are your thoughts?

Thanks,
Kent

Re: oil for BMW m50tu and m52tu [Re: kentd98] #4784915
06/12/18 12:54 PM
06/12/18 12:54 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,208
Upper Midwest
kschachn Offline
kschachn  Offline
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,208
Upper Midwest
Any of the ones you list are appropriate. Buy the cheapest Longlife-01 oil you can get which is no doubt Castrol 0W-40 at Walmart. Grade is irrelevant for oils that carry LL-01, they all meet a minimum HTHS.

And it took you ten years to make your first post? shocked


1994 BMW 530i, 234K
1996 Honda Accord, 264K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 404K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 279K
Re: oil for BMW m50tu and m52tu [Re: kentd98] #4785008
06/12/18 03:02 PM
06/12/18 03:02 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,168
Lyndhurst NJ
Audios Offline
Audios  Offline
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,168
Lyndhurst NJ
Honestly, you can look into some 10/40 and 15/40 syn blends for a reasonable interval, we used to run this all the time at the private shops i was at before opening my own place. Im actually running 10/40 maxlife syn blend in my old 92 525i that my buddy is using.


2002 VW Golf TDI-Mobil 1 5/40 TDT
2007 Mercedes GL320 CDI Fuchs 5/40 GT Pro XTL
2005 BMW M3 BMW Twin Power 10/60
2003 BMW M5-Fuchs 5/40
1998 BMW M3/4/5 Fuchs 5/40
Re: oil for BMW m50tu and m52tu [Re: Audios] #4785258
06/12/18 07:53 PM
06/12/18 07:53 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 82
Boise, ID
RustyH Offline
RustyH  Offline
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 82
Boise, ID
I bought a 94 325is 2.5 years ago. The well-respected European car shop owner/mechanic told me that 10W30 was fine for the M50tu. So I have been using my favorite, Pennzoil 10W30. Engine performs well, sounds great. ON the whole, Boise climate is not too hot save for 2-3 weeks late July-early August.

Re: oil for BMW m50tu and m52tu [Re: kentd98] #4785322
06/12/18 09:04 PM
06/12/18 09:04 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,574
Oregon
1JZ_E46 Offline
1JZ_E46  Offline
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,574
Oregon
Just about any synthetic with a HTHS >3.5 will work. Oil technology has come a long way since the M50/2 engines were engineered.

Most xW-30 grades youíll find on the shelf are not sufficient (ones with GF-5 spec). They all have a HTHS around 3.0.

Look for CK-4, A3/B4, C3, or E6/E9 specs.


2007 X5 4.8i: M1 HM 10W-30
2016 Countryman S: EDGE 0W-30
Re: oil for BMW m50tu and m52tu [Re: kentd98] #4785396
06/12/18 10:57 PM
06/12/18 10:57 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 5,487
Colorado Springs
edyvw Offline
edyvw  Offline
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 5,487
Colorado Springs
Originally Posted By: kentd98
Hi all,
I have 2 older BMWs ('94 325i m50tu and '99 528i m52tu) and I'm a bit out of date on my oil knowledge, so I'm posting to ask for some advice. Previously I've used:

325i => Mobil1 0w40 (LL98 I think) => Sunny day car, autox, rare winter day driver
528i => BMW 5w30 (LL01 I think) => Year round car, some very short trips

For my next oil change, I planned to use the following:

325i => Castrol EDGE 0w40 (LL01)
528i => Castrol EDGE 0w30 (LL01)

I found the 0w40 at Walmart for $25/5qt, but the cheapest I can find the 0w30 is at Amazon for $8.25/qt. Seems like a big price delta. I also found some threads here mentioning that EDGE 0w30 and EDGE 0w40 are all but identical?

My question is whether or not the 0w40 is appropriate to use in both engines. What are your thoughts?

Thanks,
Kent



For both cars get Castrol 0W40. You can even go with Castrol Edge 10W40. But for CO winters I would go with 0W40.


15' Toyota Sienna AWD (Mobil1 0W20 EP+ 2qt of M1 0W40 + FRAM Ultra).
11' VW Tiguan 2.0T (Castrol 0W40+MANN filter)
Re: oil for BMW m50tu and m52tu [Re: kentd98] #4786586
06/14/18 09:46 AM
06/14/18 09:46 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3
colorado
kentd98 Offline OP
kentd98  Offline OP
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3
colorado
Thanks to all for the replies. I've decided to keep it simple and cheap and use Castrol EDGE 0w40 for both cars.

Should keep them happy for many more years. The '94 325i only has 81k miles and the '99 528i only has 106k. smile

Thanks again.

Last edited by kentd98; 06/14/18 09:47 AM.
Re: oil for BMW m50tu and m52tu [Re: kentd98] #4786590
06/14/18 09:53 AM
06/14/18 09:53 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,208
Upper Midwest
kschachn Offline
kschachn  Offline
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,208
Upper Midwest
Originally Posted By: kentd98
The '94 325i only has 81k miles and the '99 528i only has 106k. smile

That should be right about when everything starts to break, if it hasn't already wink


1994 BMW 530i, 234K
1996 Honda Accord, 264K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 404K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 279K
Re: oil for BMW m50tu and m52tu [Re: kentd98] #4787097
06/14/18 09:54 PM
06/14/18 09:54 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 5,487
Colorado Springs
edyvw Offline
edyvw  Offline
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 5,487
Colorado Springs
Originally Posted By: kentd98
Thanks to all for the replies. I've decided to keep it simple and cheap and use Castrol EDGE 0w40 for both cars.

Should keep them happy for many more years. The '94 325i only has 81k miles and the '99 528i only has 106k. smile

Thanks again.

Are they manual?


15' Toyota Sienna AWD (Mobil1 0W20 EP+ 2qt of M1 0W40 + FRAM Ultra).
11' VW Tiguan 2.0T (Castrol 0W40+MANN filter)
Re: oil for BMW m50tu and m52tu [Re: kentd98] #4787127
06/14/18 11:03 PM
06/14/18 11:03 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 336
PR CA, USA
2strokeNorthstar Offline
2strokeNorthstar  Offline
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 336
PR CA, USA
Can vouch for that. 100k+ miles on those motors can be expensive until you get caught up. Iím at 165k on my m52 but it took some commitment and $$. Cooling system is no joke on these. Self destruct no matter the maintenance.

Re: oil for BMW m50tu and m52tu [Re: kentd98] #4787498
06/15/18 11:59 AM
06/15/18 11:59 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3
colorado
kentd98 Offline OP
kentd98  Offline OP
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3
colorado
Both are manuals, yes. The 528i is actually a Touring, which is rare to find with a manual.

I've had the 325i since 33k miles and the 528i since 55k miles, and both have been very, very reliable.

I did do preventative maintenance on the 325i cooling system long ago... water pump, expansion tank and radiator... but that year came with the old, old plastic impeller that would shatter. The 528i still has the original cooling system with the exception of a new thermostat that I replaced this winter (it was stuck open so coolant never warmed up fully). I do need to rebuild the vanos on the 325i as it has the rattle.

The 528i has required more maintenance, but it is also my daily driver.
- VANOS seals upgrade (I was one of the first beta testers for Beisan)
- A/C compressor
- Alternator (cooling duct was packed solid with leaves)
- More window regulators than I care to admit
- Ignition coils
- Tailgate & tailgate glass struts

The only issues right now are a sunroof that collides when closing (528... just push it up with your hand as it closes) and the 325 has broken plastic gears on the recline mechanisms. I'm going to fix the gears but I don't think the sunroof is worth messing with. smile

Re: oil for BMW m50tu and m52tu [Re: kentd98] #4787888
06/15/18 10:52 PM
06/15/18 10:52 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 5,487
Colorado Springs
edyvw Offline
edyvw  Offline
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 5,487
Colorado Springs
Originally Posted By: kentd98
Both are manuals, yes. The 528i is actually a Touring, which is rare to find with a manual.

I've had the 325i since 33k miles and the 528i since 55k miles, and both have been very, very reliable.

I did do preventative maintenance on the 325i cooling system long ago... water pump, expansion tank and radiator... but that year came with the old, old plastic impeller that would shatter. The 528i still has the original cooling system with the exception of a new thermostat that I replaced this winter (it was stuck open so coolant never warmed up fully). I do need to rebuild the vanos on the 325i as it has the rattle.

The 528i has required more maintenance, but it is also my daily driver.
- VANOS seals upgrade (I was one of the first beta testers for Beisan)
- A/C compressor
- Alternator (cooling duct was packed solid with leaves)
- More window regulators than I care to admit
- Ignition coils
- Tailgate & tailgate glass struts

The only issues right now are a sunroof that collides when closing (528... just push it up with your hand as it closes) and the 325 has broken plastic gears on the recline mechanisms. I'm going to fix the gears but I don't think the sunroof is worth messing with. smile



Well if you decide to sell it, let me know:)
I will have to sell X5 and get some bigger family hauler, but then I will get some E series with manual. I do not want these new F model BMW that feel like Lexus not BMW.


15' Toyota Sienna AWD (Mobil1 0W20 EP+ 2qt of M1 0W40 + FRAM Ultra).
11' VW Tiguan 2.0T (Castrol 0W40+MANN filter)
Re: oil for BMW m50tu and m52tu [Re: kentd98] #4787928
06/16/18 02:16 AM
06/16/18 02:16 AM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 336
PR CA, USA
2strokeNorthstar Offline
2strokeNorthstar  Offline
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 336
PR CA, USA
You are more lucky than me.. I have a 98 328i manual 5 speed. I had the whole cooling system replaced around 130k. Including the head unfortunately. Still donít know why. It never overheated on me from when I got it at 100k. Rebuilt vanos at that time.. in addition to that, vanos oil line, cam sensor, o2 sensor, air boot, PS pump, alternator, rear bearing, drive shift guibo, clutch, trans shift pin detent to stop the cold leaning shifter syndrome, seat recline gear 2 times
A couple tips, window regulators get over stressed from worn out felt channel, sunroof repair is surprisingly easy just a little intimidating. There are a couple plastic pieces that break and cause most issues. If you fix them before it breaks other parts itís cheap and easy.

Re: oil for BMW m50tu and m52tu [Re: kentd98] #4788217
06/16/18 10:20 AM
06/16/18 10:20 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 526
Indiana
Touring5 Offline
Touring5  Offline
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 526
Indiana
Originally Posted By: kentd98
Both are manuals, yes. The 528i is actually a Touring, which is rare to find with a manual.

I've had the 325i since 33k miles and the 528i since 55k miles, and both have been very, very reliable.

I did do preventative maintenance on the 325i cooling system long ago... water pump, expansion tank and radiator... but that year came with the old, old plastic impeller that would shatter. The 528i still has the original cooling system with the exception of a new thermostat that I replaced this winter (it was stuck open so coolant never warmed up fully). I do need to rebuild the vanos on the 325i as it has the rattle.

The 528i has required more maintenance, but it is also my daily driver.
- VANOS seals upgrade (I was one of the first beta testers for Beisan)
- A/C compressor
- Alternator (cooling duct was packed solid with leaves)
- More window regulators than I care to admit
- Ignition coils
- Tailgate & tailgate glass struts

The only issues right now are a sunroof that collides when closing (528... just push it up with your hand as it closes) and the 325 has broken plastic gears on the recline mechanisms. I'm going to fix the gears but I don't think the sunroof is worth messing with. smile




I, too, own a '99 528i Touring. A great solid car, IMO. As you say, manual transmissions are really rare in tourings and I envy those few who have them. The mentioned Castrol 0w40 seems to work great in mine.

As one who does as much repair and maintenance on this car myself, two tips:

1) Definitely keep an eye on your cooling systems (radiator, expansion tank, water pump, fan clutch, and even the fan itself. There are stories about the plastic blades getting brittle due to the high heat and 'grenading'.)

2) Consider replacing your rear subframe bushings. This issue seems to be mostly isolated to tourings and at this age (and presumed mileage) it is all but certain that they are shot. When I replaced mine, it was the most significant improvement in the car I ever did (vanos seals included). The factory bushings are heavy rubber with fluid inside. After around 60K miles they will be cracked and void of that oil. In order to inspect them you have to remove the bolt and metal cup - you can't necessarily see the condition otherwise. The tricky part is getting the removal/installation tool, since these are fairly few in number here in the states. There are a couple of guys that rent theirs out for about $50 and the replacement bushings aren't terribly expensive (many of us have replaced the original fluid filled ones with Meyle HD solid bushings). Prior to replacement I got a harsh ride from the back end over bumps, that was cured by replacing the bushings.



FIRST LAW OF DEBATE
Never argue with a fool - people might
not know the difference.
Re: oil for BMW m50tu and m52tu [Re: kentd98] #4790542
06/18/18 10:40 PM
06/18/18 10:40 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 336
PR CA, USA
2strokeNorthstar Offline
2strokeNorthstar  Offline
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 336
PR CA, USA
The fan exploding is usually from bad motor mounts. I replaced those as well and front control arm bushings. In the e36 you can use the e30 bushings which are solid and last longer. Water pump and fan clutch go OEM. Expansion tank get a brass bleeder and e30 slightly lower psi cap is a nice way to put a little less stress on cooling system.

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