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BMW 5-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • auaqauaq Posts: 12
    I used the Mobile 1 oil 5W30 as per the spec given in the book. The K&N filter is the same size as the standard filter. I am aware of such tune-ups where one removes the whole air box and the airflow sensor and being replaced by aftermarket air intake system which runs all the way to the throttle body. However, this is not the case with mine. I am not one of those typical tuner where I seek power or anything. I have used K&N filter before in other cars and I have seen some difference (namely improvement in performance). However, I am not going to ignore your advice as I shall observe the performance for over a period of time. If I think it is not giving me any improvement/advantage but instead problems, then I shall replace it with the standard filter.

    I appreciate your concern very much.

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "I used the Mobile 1 oil 5W30 as per the spec given in the book."

    You need to read it again; unless you're using the Mobil 1 ESP 5W-30 then your oil is incorrect and insufficient for use in your car. The only two Mobil 1 oils sold in North America that are BMW LL-01 certified are Mobil 1 0W-40 and Mobil 1 ESP 5W-30 (which is an expensive low SAPS oil meeting the VW 504.00 and 507.00 oil standards as well).
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    I couldn't find an LL-01 certification on the Mobil 1 oils. The last letter I saw showed them as an alternative for a top off IF you couldn't find one of the LL-01 oils. Now, not sure it they would actually meet the spec, as they'd probably have to pay for it and may not care to. So, as I read it (and I could be wrong), they should not be used during a full oil change. Probably won't hurt, but possibly could.
  • auaqauaq Posts: 12
    Do you mean this?....

    On the website I put my vehicle's information to find the right oil grade and it tells to use the following:

    Do you think I should redo oil change with the right spec?
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    I do not know what the difference between LL-04 and LL-01 is, but Mobil lists the former and not the latter in it's specifications, which is what they now specify. I'm new to BMW, and have no experience. I won't get mine back from the European delivery until the end of the month, so it'll be a long time before I have to pay for an oil change, but I've been looking to see what's around (not much, and hard to find).

    What you might want to do is send some oil out for analysis after maybe 3K miles, and see what it's doing. SHort enough where it probably won't do much, but early enough to see if it is lacking. But, at the cost of the analysis, I'm not sure...this isn't my area, just going on what I read.
  • auaqauaq Posts: 12
    Same thing here. I do not just buy things blindly without doing some research. Even though I have worked as a mechanic for about one and half years I do not have much experience on european vehicles. I have mainly worked on japanese and some american ones. So I need more time to know about my car, and general BMW(s) information and maintenance records.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited June 2011
    BMW Long-Life 2001 (aka. LL-01) is BMW's required oil specification for ALL late model BMWs with a gasoline engine (except "M" series cars).
    BMW Long-Life 2004 (aka. LL-04) is BMW's required oil specification for ALL late model BMWs with a diesel engine.

    Mobil 1 oils which meet LL-01:
    -- Mobil 1 0W-40
    -- Mobil 1 ESP 5W-30

    Mobil 1 oils which meet LL-04:
    -- Mobil 1 ESP 5W-30

    Simple as that. :)
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    Couldn't find LL01 for the Mobil 1 ESP 5W-30 (only the LL04 rating), but LL01 is listed for the 0W-40. The 40W is probably not going to be the most fuel efficient weight for your BMW, but it is approved. If the vehicle can maintain the rated oil pressure when fully hot with a 30W oil, a 40W oil will add drag. If you regularly run it on a track, then the 40W might end up protecting more, but as long as the oil pressure is maintained, the lightest oil that can do that will create the least drag and improve efficiency while keeping wear in line. ALL oils are too thick at cold start, so a synthectic with a lower number is better - NO car needs more than that 0W, but some will need a higher second number, depending on design and use.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Please don't let the grade specification get in your way; there will be absolutely zero difference in power or fuel economy between a 5W-30 and Mobil's 0W-40 (which if you read the Virgin Oil Analysis reports is at the very light end of the xW-40 spectrum). As I understand it, any oil which meets LL-04 by default meets LL-01 (in the same way that all LL-01 oils by default meet the previous LL-98 standard); I'll confirm that and report back.

    Long story short, in this era of published oil specifications by the various vehicle manufacturers, it is Oil Spec first and grade second. Said another way, if your two choices are a 5W-30 which is not LL-01 certified versus a 0W-40 which is certified, the 0W-40 is the oil you should pick.
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    edited June 2011
    BMW LL04 spec'ed oils appear to have a lower starting TBN than the LL01 oils and the sulphur in the US fuels depletes the TBN, exposing the engine to corrosion once the TBN is depleted. This is especially detrimental on the long oil change intervals BMW specifies - you'd have less margin of safety with LL04 oils. So, with this in mind, and BMW's apparant recommendations, you should NOT use an LL04 oil in a gasoline engined vehicle in the USA, only an LL01 variety. It appears that the EU fuel specs are much more stringent, and there, they may be interchangable, but not here.

    Given more than one LL01 oil, though, I'd opt for the lower 30W over a 40W unless I was exposing the engine to extremely high temperatures caused by continued high RPM or heavy loads that might be experienced during racing or autocrossing. Don't think many people actually pull a trailer with their BMW's, but if they do, then that may point towards the higher weight. As long as the pressure is maintained at speed, the lowest weight oil will flow better with the least restrictions while maintaining protection. A thicker oil will flow less, and may heat up more since it won't go through the cooler as often with the slower flow. As long as pressure is maintained, you get no additional wear protection with the heavier oil. Your driving style, the environment, and engine may dictate a particular weight, so no one oil is best for everyone.

    AutoZone appears to carry the Castrol European formula 0W-30, at least at some stores for $8.49/qt. Might be a good source, especially if you can find it on sale. About what BMW sells it for, I think.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    FWIW, the last oil I purchased from my local BMW & MINI dealer was $6.50/qt, cheaper than what I can buy synthetic oil from WalMart.
  • auaqauaq Posts: 12
    I found this website from BMWusa so I guess I follow this recommendation next time.
  • garojangarojan Posts: 1
    I just got 03 530I and it has the same problem.Passenger seat`s left side does not go up or down,only right side.Driver`s seat seems having that problem on and off.
  • I have an '03 540i with the driver's seat failing. The outside moves up and down and the outside back tilt also works but the inside of each action does not. I stopped by the dealer last Friday and the service adviser said it sounded like a drive mechanism was disconnected. The Bentley shop manual shows five motors in my seat, one for each type of motion. Without better photos I can only conjecture that each motor drive must be connected to both sides of the seat by some form of rod, gear, cable or combination. The manual describes/shows removal of the seat but does not explain how the mechanism works or specify troubleshooting steps. Any first hand experience would be greatly appreciated.
  • I found a great response to the problem at the above post by searching on the word 'seat'. Cudos to Winfred and Peter K!
  • rar5rar5 Posts: 2
    Were you able to solve the issue addressed above? I have the same issue with my seats on my 03 530i
  • rar5rar5 Posts: 2
    garojan, did you correct this issue? I have the same problem and am looking to see if is something I can correct myself or need to find a pro. thanks,
  • mhutchinsonmhutchinson Posts: 17
    edited July 2011
    See post #2112 for the full repair explanation with photos.
    There are alternative solutions.

    The post refers to Winfred @ E34 forums.
    also try Search on E34 Seat Cables Fix
  • robwaltonrobwalton Posts: 1
    just found this forum. I just reset my oil service lites using the above instructions. worked like a charm. now i help my neighbors also.

    rob walton
  • Hello , my name is Ilya Igdalev. I had a problem with a BMW . An electric sensor was acting up and shutting down the car.
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