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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Because not using the search button is not an option. I took time out this afternoon after work to make this video:

Points Covered-

1. How to check your E46 oil level
2. How to top off (aka add more) oil to your E46 engine
3. How to quickly diagnose the 3 most typical E46 oil leaks
4. Power Steering-ATF Fluid leaking vs. Oil leaking


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymcxmBg911s


Required maintenance work or services should be performed for your vehicle by your authorized BMW center.

BMW High Performance Synthetic Oil
is recommended for scheduled engine oil changes.

BMW High Performance SAE 5W-30 Synthetic Oil* (BMW part number 07 51 0 017 866)

* Does not apply to M vehicles - see below

BMW recommends that you check your engine oil level whenever you add fuel to your vehicle.

If you need to add oil between oil changes and BMW High Performance Synthetic Oil is unavailable, you may top up the oil level with one of the following approved synthetic oils. For information on checking your engine oil level refer to your vehicle's Owner's Manual.

The oils listed below meet BMW's Long-life rating and are acceptable for use in BMW Passenger vehicles and SAVs in the US market with gasoline engines.

BMW Long-life rating LL-01 Approved Synthetic Oils for the US Market:

Castrol Syntec European Formula SAE 0W-30

Mobil 1 SAE 0W-40

Pennzoil Platinum European Formula Ultra SAE 5W-30

Valvoline SynPower SAE 5W-30



Use only oils with an API rating of SM or higher.

The choice of the right SAE grade is based on the climatic conditions in the region in which you normally drive your BMW.

To best determine which SAE grade is best suited for your vehicle, contact an authorized BMW center.

The following is the only recommended and approved synthetic oil for BMW M (Motorsport) vehicles in the US market with gasoline engines, at the present time.

BMW Long-life rating LL-01 Synthetic Oils for BMW M vehicles equipped with S54, S62, S65 or S85 engines:


Castrol TWS Motorsport SAE 10W-60 Synthetic Engine Oil

Castrol Formula RS SAE 10W-60 Synthetic Engine Oil (BMW part number 07 51 0 009 420)


If Castrol High Performance Synthetic Oil is not available and you need to add oil between oil changes, only use synthetic oils with the following specifications for M vehicles:

Viscosity - preferred SAE 10W-60

Alternative - SAE 10W-40, SAE 5W-50 or SAE 10W-50



Use only oils with an API rating of SJ/CF, SK/CF or higher.


The following is a listing of synthetic oils recommended and approved for use in the BMW B7 ALPINA in the US market:

BMW High Performance SAE 5W-30 Synthetic Oil (BMW part number 07 51 0 017 866)

Castrol Syntec European Formula SAE 0W-30 Synthetic Oil
 

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quick newb question, you mentioned that the power steering cap has a hole, and is it normal to leak? mine has some ATF fluid around the cannister, always wondered if that was normal.
 

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quick newb question, you mentioned that the power steering cap has a hole, and is it normal to leak? mine has some ATF fluid around the cannister, always wondered if that was normal.
^ From what I've read, yes, it's normal. I just wipe it down occasionally and check the fluid level every once in a while.
 

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quick newb question, you mentioned that the power steering cap has a hole, and is it normal to leak? mine has some ATF fluid around the cannister, always wondered if that was normal.
Clean the vent hole with a cleaner...carb/brake cleaner. I don't think that stuff melts plastic, but don't go crazy. Also, get new PS reservoir gasket for $2.

Nice Del...I think! Haven't watched; but I will!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
quick newb question, you mentioned that the power steering cap has a hole, and is it normal to leak? mine has some ATF fluid around the cannister, always wondered if that was normal.
Yeah I only found this out recently and what is more alot of other car manufactures seem to now have this on their car's (Infinity for one) and that I learned whiles at the NYC Auto Show last April.

There is a mod that some folks do I think called the gym socks mod where they put a clean gym socks over the reservoir to soak up the always leaking fluid.

I just realized I made a mistake in the video Power Steering/ATF has a much lower viscosity than engine oil when it leaks.

So a Power Steering/ATF leak will be red, runny and tend to leak on the ground and spread out in a thin layer. It will also have a strong "machine/gear oil smell to it".

Where as regular oil will leak in droplets and pool in thick coagulated clumps with not much spreading out.
 

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First, I was that guy who questioned whether your oil was LL-01, Del...I had to! Sorry.

Second, I'm not sure I'd call the sock mod a mod...more like an embarrassment.

I believe the vent tube gets clogged from years of neglect. The hole thus clogged, allows a little rise in the PS fluid, from heat, sloshing around to then translate into it pushing out the vent. I've never really leaked badly from there. I keep my fluid clean (turkey baster) and although I've just replaced my reservoir, before I did, I cleaned that vent...and replaced gasket (mine was only $2 last X-mas...gave those gaskets as gifts!).

Makes me want to do a cooling vid, but I'm afraid I'd just go crazy and yell at everyone!
 

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Clean the vent hole with a cleaner...carb/brake cleaner. I don't think that stuff melts plastic, but don't go crazy. Also, get new PS reservoir gasket for $2.

Nice Del...I think! Haven't watched; but I will!
carb cleaner AKA "gum cutter/2+2" is not safe to use on plastic, it does melts plastic. Brake cleaner can clean it without any harm.


Delmarco, I haven't watched the video but i know it definitely has helpful info.
 

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carb cleaner AKA "gum cutter/2+2" is not safe to use on plastic, it does melts plastic. Brake cleaner can clean it without any harm.


Delmarco, I haven't watched the video but i know it definitely has helpful info.
Good to know...I'll remember!

It has a lot of helpful info!
 

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nice vid, but aren't you using the wrong oil for top off?
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
nice vid, but aren't you using the wrong oil for top off?
yeah...someone already told me. The bottle was empty already and just used as a prop. I picked it up from the trash to use in the video.

:lmao:

As long as you have 5W 30 and Synthetic Oil you will be fine. I have Castrol bottle in the video
because that is what I always get at the oil change place
but I have topped off with Mobile brand that had a BMW logo on the bottom.
 

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yeah...someone already told me. The bottle was empty already and just used as a prop. I picked it up from the trash to use in the video.

:lmao:

As long as you have 5W 30 and Synthetic Oil you will be fine. I have Castrol bottle in the video
because that is what I always get at the oil change place
but I have topped off with Mobile brand that had a BMW logo on the bottom.
ha. was wondering why it was empty
 

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yeah...someone already told me. The bottle was empty already and just used as a prop. I picked it up from the trash to use in the video.

:lmao:

As long as you have 5W 30 and Synthetic Oil you will be fine. I have Castrol bottle in the video
because that is what I always get at the oil change place
but I have topped off with Mobile brand that had a BMW logo on the bottom.
That explains why you showed pouring the oil in without removing the cap from the bottle! LOL

If that's what they use at the oil change place, it's really not correct. At higher mileages you might have certain characteristics of the oil drop below spec.

Anyway, because it's you, I'll let you slide. Wasp might have other ideas-- don't turn your back on him just to be safe!

Why don't you change your own oil? That doesn't seem very fanatical!
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
That explains why you showed pouring the oil in without removing the cap from the bottle! LOL

If that's what they use at the oil change place, it's really not correct. At higher mileages you might have certain characteristics of the oil drop below spec.

Anyway, because it's you, I'll let you slide. Wasp might have other ideas-- don't turn your back on him just to be safe!

Why don't you change your own oil? That doesn't seem very fanatical!
Not the best advice IMO. But good job on the video overall!

Why is that oil the wrong oil? I don't have the bottle on me to re-read it but I just grabbed the first bottle out the Auto-Zone trash bin that said
Castrol - Synthetic - 5W 30 to use in the video?

I believe that those are the numbers in the manual for the oil.
 

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I think the only Castrol 'technically' an LL-01, last time I cared to look, was the 'German Castrol 0-30' aka Castrol Syntec 0/30

Also, among approved oils (for topping up...technically) there is a range from 0/30 to 5/40, but they all are LL-01, and are pretty close in viscosity.

One synthetic 5/30 might be very different than another. As in M1 5/30 not good. BMW Castrol 5/30 is good.

Complicated stuff if you read as many oil threads as I used to! Solved the issue myself with Total 0/30 (LL-01). Haven't burned a drop in around 9K miles now. Still tastes great!
 
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