2nd Gen R56 Engine Oil Viscosity options

Discussion in '2nd Generation: 2007+ R55 through R61' started by D baker, Nov 8, 2021.

  1. D baker

    D baker New Member

    Nov 8, 2021
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    Re: 2010-S, R56 (120K miles) -

    Last year (2020), BMW engineers (& marketing dept ?) instituted engine operating water temperature via the thermostat housing recall - increase operating temp from 185 F to 220 F to achieve increase in gas mileage.

    So what is of concern here? - does recommended 5W - 30 sufficient for 220 F new temperature? OR would a change to 0w-40, 5w-40 or 10w-40 be a better option.? Granted, studies have presented that most engine wear occurs at starting temperatures, not full operating.

    With several bad experiences with BMW, starting with 92" 318is, my concern over what BMW engineering ability has/is diminished over the years. (why are customers taking their 7 series to Germany HDQTRS to set them on fire ??

    Thank you.
     
  2. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Welcome to MA!
    Did this recall include your Mini? just wondering because I have two Gen2 Minis and have not heard anything. But to give you my .o2c worth I think 5w-30 is still fine. Some here have been using 0w oils for some time with good results. @Crashton is one maybe he can jump in here.
    I just run the suggested oil in my Minis. I use 5W-40 in my Lotus but I have a 200deg thermostat on my oil coolers to get higher oil temps. Usually oil temp lags behind water temp. Most problems BMW/MINI have had with oil has been the oil change interval. They made it too long to save money on warranty oil changes and had to buy a few engines. I change my oil often(some would say too often) its cheep insurance. Turbos are hard on oil, so I change mine every 3K but really you can go longer like 5K. Some may say longer.
     
  3. DneprDave

    DneprDave Well-Known Member
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    I use Mobil 10W40 as it was one of the recommended oils in the owner's manual, every 5000 miles. Synthetic oils can withstand much higher temperatures, 220 degrees isn't even close to when synthetic oil will fail.
     
  4. oldbrokenwind

    oldbrokenwind Active Member

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    When the Mini R56 was introduced, 2007, t'stat operated at 215 - 220 deg F and factory recommended oil viscosity was 5W-30. Can't comment on recommendations for BMW's --- different engines and no experience. As for R56, I've read where many people use a variety of viscosities, for a variety of reasons. I choose to remain with a 5W-30 synthetic that has API SN Plus --- works fine with my build and environment.
     
  5. D baker

    D baker New Member

    Nov 8, 2021
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    MCS02:

    Thank you for the reply. To get specific:

    1) Yes, a formal recall was made - took my Mini dealer to be addressed. Unfortunately, the orig recall notice & the invoice detailing the work are currently missing. Mini Of Portland is working to provide me with the documentation.
    2) advice/recommendation about oils are all over the map. Variables include mileage & use of the Mini (street, racing, etc). Yes 5w-30 is the recommendation, but when it was, my car was engineered to operate at 185F. Now, it is 220F because of the new thermostat housing. I originally understood (without facts) there was a mechanical fault. IT WASN'T. The purpose was to increase gas mileage......... truth or facts are out now.
    3) always change oil 3K - 3.5K.
    4) Since my car runs hotter than engineered, and my fan comes on much more often after the housing recall, I am concerned that the original design at 5w-30 oil may not be adequate for the new 220F. That is the question on the table - upgrade to 40 a reasonable move?
    5) I have had an extreme distrust about BMW engineering since 92 & has gotten worse each year. Should I be content with the 5w-30 recommendation ? - I do not put faith in BMW's ability to get it right. (I use the word "faith" because BMW has always been short if non-existent in communication - "what the auto buying public doesn't know can't hurt them....", until it explodes (like BMW series 7's at BMW German HDQTRS).

    Again, thanks for the interest & response.

    d baker
    [​IMG]
     
  6. D baker

    D baker New Member

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    Synthetic oil comment: good news. Have not seen this fact before. It may very well since my Mini was engineered to operate 35 F's cooler, "perhaps" 5W-30 is sufficient. To the lay/occasional mechanic like me (plugs, coil, fuel filter, cabin blower replacement, oil catch can, upgraded air intake system, Marshall gauge kit install, etc), oil viscosity selection can be a bit of a jungle, especially when considerations have to be made concerning geography, climate, use, etc. And lots of folks read online have differing opinions. Thank you.
     
  7. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    This really comes down to preference. The thiner oils are designed to give you a little better gas milage. But in the end they will all do the job even at the higher temperatures. My R57 JCW has the same N14 motor as your Mini. My water temp. is usually between 210 and 220. The oil that runs through your turbo is exposed to much greater temperatures.

    This is the age old oil wars :D
     
  8. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    I would be concerned about oil viscosity in your case. That extra heat may be tough on the oil. Take a sample of your oil & send it off to Blackstone labs. They will be able to tell you the condition of your oil. My wife's MINI is a Justa Cooper with no turbo. I'm running Mobil 1 0w40 synthetic in it. I also run it in my GTI & do 5,000 mile oil change intervals.

    https://www.blackstone-labs.com/
     
  9. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Thanks Chuck. I just sent for a kit.
     
  10. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    I've sent samples in from both of our cars. It's a great to see the health of your engine by what they find in that oil. $30 well spent.
     
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  11. D baker

    D baker New Member

    Nov 8, 2021
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    MCS302:
    Again, thank. Each of our preferences would hopefully depend on engineering advice. That's my preference (ha). I am stuck between three camps, it appears: the 5W-30 team, 0W - 40 & 10W-40. Interestingly, no mention of the 5W-40 - closer to the 30 recommended (?). Believe (don't like that word) the question comes down to 2 points : 1) feeling "engineering safe" with a 40 viscosity, that either the 0W or 5W will easily get to cold cylinder walls; then b) same safety factor when operating @ 220 F (W/ new higher-temp thermostat housing & replacement Marshall water temp gauge firmly seats itself 217-220), that 40 viscosity will provide bit more "protection" (?) with both standard driving AND towing a landscape trailer (300 Lbs) with a BMW R1200 bike (450 Lbs) to dealership maint in the summer. Who knows ?? Appreciate it. But at least we are all within recommended ranges that I have read up on during this research project !!
    d.baker
     
  12. D baker

    D baker New Member

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    Dave: On your use of 10w - 40, is there any concern, notwithstanding your geographic location, that 10W exceeds the 5W recommended ??
    d. baker
     
  13. DneprDave

    DneprDave Well-Known Member
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    I meant Mobil 1 0W 40, not 10W 40. thanks for pointing it out.
     

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