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5w30 vs. 5w40 for M (archive)

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Posted by John on November 06, 2000 at 19:14:06:

Now that I've put 10K miles on it, my '00 M seems to be using less oil. Meanwhile my dealer tells me that BMW is now recommending 5w30 instead of 5w40. My guess would be that the thinner 30 weight would cause the engine to burn even more oil. Should I stick to 5w40, and use non-BMW synthetic?

Note that the explanation I've been given for why M engines burn oil is that they are machined with relatively large tolerances between moving parts (e.g., pistons/cylinders), to allow for metal expansion when the engine is beat on and gets hot. Is this in fact the case? My daily driver (VTEC Integra) gets revved up to 8000 RPM routinely and burned less oil in the first 50K miles than my M did in its first 5K.


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