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Old 09-26-2023, 01:00 PM
workingonit's Avatar
Join Date: May 2021
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how I chose oil for my X5; the LL01 requirement was semi-important

Originally Posted by wpoll View Post
You could just use Castrol Edge 5W-40 which is LL-01 rated and don't worry about it.
That's what I chose, too Castrol Edge "Euro Car" 5W-40 A3/B4, after long experience with Castrol, and just learning about BMW's LL01 requirements. Here's my oil choice history, for the last few decades, that led me to that oil for the X5:

I've used Castrol Syntec (now Edge) almost interchangeably with Mobil 1 on many of my cars & trucks for the last three decades or more (as best I can remember), with good results (no oil burning or leaks), with sidetracks to Valvoline and Royal Purple products along the way. I recently tried Amazon Basics as well.

Viscosity choices ranged from 0W-20 in my wife's new (to her) 55k mile '14 Lexus ES 350, to 10W-50 in my wife's old (even then) 100k mile '92 Olds Achieva SC Quad-4, but mostly used 5W-30, with other exceptions.

Prior to the Lexus, I'd never considered 0W oils before (and am already considering a different viscosity, once I learn more about the Lexus engine), since in N.Texas it hardly ever gets to 0 F, and I consider the other parameter (viscosity @ higher temperature) to be more important. For my cars and mostly street-driven trucks, I preferred 5W-30 for everything. And, ever since synthetics came out, I switched to Syn-blends then full synthetics immediately, and wouldn't consider going back to dino oil (ask me about the oil pan packed full of Pennzoil "straight 30 weight" paraffin deposits, in a used truck I bought).

Older car engines (over 75k miles) would usually get Valvoline MaxLife 5W-30 (Amazon Basics High mileage 5W-30 was last used on both the 2.2L '08 Cobalt @133k miles, and the '09 HHR Panel @185k miles), and the trucks (both set up for towing) would get other High Mileage oils: Mobil 1 10W-40 (old '98 GMC 5.7L, 185k miles) and Castrol Syntec 5W-30 ('04 Chevy 2500HD 6.0L, 135k miles). All good grades and well-suited for the driving I was doing. No oil additives were usually needed, until I started rebuilding my engines in the mid-90's. I used several additive packages, mostly high in zinc, but when I returned to drag racing in '97, I used a friend's shop and his knowledge, and discovered Royal Purple racing oil.

I used Royal Purple racing oil religiously in my '66 Chevelle's race engines (327/331 c.i.-11:1 cr, 427/433 c.i.-12:1 cr, and 427/434 c.i.-14:1 cr) and in my tow truck(s) as well (since I was buying large amounts at a discount for my race team). Tearing down my race engines (for end of season inspection) after 250+ runs each (half 1/8 mile, half 1/4 mile), I/we never found any wear or scuffing on any bearings. Great oil, kinda expensive, but worth it. When I found out that General Motors wasn't accepting RP in warranty claims, my GM cars still under warranty didn't get RP anymore.

Now we come to the BMW X5: since the '01 X5 3.0i had 210k miles when I swapped for it, and not knowing its' past oil-change history (except for the previous 3.5 years while my neighbor was prepping it for the Chevelle-for-X5 swap...it got either Mobil 1 or Quaker State 5W-30, I think), I researched what oils I might use, that would meet the Euro specs, LL01 requirements, and be able to handle Texas heat in a very old engine. I chose Castrol Edge "Euro Car" 5W-40 A3/B4, over others meeting those requirements. My previous longtime experience using Castrol swayed my choice, I'll admit, over the Liqui Moly alternatives. Price and ready availability factored-in, also. I don't push my cars hard anymore, nor even drive the X5 that much, so I expect absolutely stellar results from the 5W-40, whether or not it is LL01 rated or not, though it is.

I understand that Euro (and Toyota/Lexus) manufacturers like their specific oil formulations (as domestic makers do now, too) so I'll conform as closely to their specs as I can, to a certain extent. The LL01 requirement may be untested but covered by other certifications, but only a lab could determine if it is. BMW, I'm sure, didn't test all formulations out there to check. There are as many oil experts out there as leaves in a rainforest, so making your best "educated" guess is the way to choose, then your experiences with your oil choices will guide you from there on.

I expect that I'll use (in order of my latest preferences) Castrol, Mobil 1, Valvoline, and perhaps the Amazon Basics oils from now on, getting the best one for my purposes at the lowest price (with six vehicles, I need to keep $$$ low). I never seem to need any when one is on sale, but with a well-stocked Walmart nearby (and Sam's Club, and all the usual automotive chain stores, too) I can get what I want at a low price?? in a few minutes. And then there's Amazon Prime (better, faster delivery than from RockAuto or FCPEuro) for filters.
01 BMW X5 E53 3.0i, 5L40E, 7/13/01
topas-blau, Leder-Montana grau

14 Lexus ES350 3.5L, U660E
09 HHR Panel 2.2L, 4T45E
04 Chevy 2500HD 6.0L, 4L80E
98 GMC Sierra 1500 5.7L, 4L60E

66 Chevelle Malibu 2dr, 327>427c.i., TH350>PGlide/transbrake
08 Cobalt Coupe 2.2L, 4T45E
69 & 75 C10s, 350c.i., TH350
86 S10, 2.8l V6, 700R4
73 Volvo 142 2.0l, man4
73 VW SuperBeetle 1.6l, man4
64 VW 1.2l, man.4
67 Dodge Monaco 500 2dr, 383 c.i., A727
56 Chevy 210 4dr, 265 c.i., PG
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