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      06-05-2020, 05:02 AM   #1
Lfk
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Oil at minimum. What to do?

G20 330i with 11,600 kilometers. Message popped up today: "Oil at minimum. Please refill". Is it safe to drive it to the dealership? I measured the oil and it shows its at minimum (maybe a bit over). Picture attached.

I called roadside assist but the guy said any oil issues the car must be towed and they don't carry engine oil. Looking this up here I'm thinking towing might be a bit excessive. Really the question is, how serious/urgent is the situation when this message is shown?
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      06-05-2020, 05:05 AM   #2
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You are not empty... simply time to top up. No issue at all with 50 miles or more.
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      06-05-2020, 05:19 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
You are not empty... simply time to top up. No issue at all with 50 miles or more.
Okay so I suppose I could top it up myself. Here's a potentially dumb question: what sort of oil should I buy? I suppose it has to be the same type and brand as what's in it already? I'm clueless. I've driven various cheap cars for much longer and never had to top up the oil.
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      06-05-2020, 05:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lfk View Post
Okay so I suppose I could top it up myself. Here's a potentially dumb question: what sort of oil should I buy? I suppose it has to be the same type and brand as what's in it already? I'm clueless. I've driven various cheap cars for much longer and never had to top up the oil.
You can top up yourself. Not sure what oils you have in Aus, User Manual should give you the specification.

If you have a service plan, oil top ups are part of it.
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      06-05-2020, 07:16 AM   #5
Lfk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lfk View Post
Okay so I suppose I could top it up myself. Here's a potentially dumb question: what sort of oil should I buy? I suppose it has to be the same type and brand as what's in it already? I'm clueless. I've driven various cheap cars for much longer and never had to top up the oil.
You can top up yourself. Not sure what oils you have in Aus, User Manual should give you the specification.

If you have a service plan, oil top ups are part of it.
The manual says use BMW Longlife-04, 12 FE or 17 FE+. I can't find any LL-04. Castrol website recommends something that's LL-01. Castrol 5W-30 LL on the hand is ACEA C3 which the manual says to go with if you don't have BMW LL.

I'm confused
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      06-05-2020, 07:46 AM   #6
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Found LL-04 at Shell. All good
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      06-05-2020, 08:03 AM   #7
bimmer456
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Since these cars have no dipstick you can't check oil condition like if you have a head gasket failure and coolant gets into the oil or vise versa which would lower oil level. Dipsticks should be a mandatory safety feature.
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      06-05-2020, 08:06 AM   #8
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I think the manual does state you can use an alternative oil temporarily or to top up. But yes you can top it up yourself. Some BMW engines are known to consume excess oil so they even sell a kit that you can keep in your car to top up from time to time. It is an issue with the S65
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      06-05-2020, 08:18 AM   #9
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So I added about half a liter and it's not at maximum yet. Should I add more? Picture attached.

Also is any BMW LL-04 oil okay then?
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      06-05-2020, 08:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lfk View Post
So I added about half a liter and it's not at maximum yet. Should I add more? Picture attached.

Also is any BMW LL-04 oil okay then?
when the vehicle is at the Min line, it is safe to top up one quart of oil.
One quart is equivalent to one liter.

0W-30 LL-01 FE+ is recommended for the top up.

5W-30 LL-01 FE+ is also suitable for top up in emergency situations.
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      06-05-2020, 09:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lo2 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lfk View Post
So I added about half a liter and it's not at maximum yet. Should I add more? Picture attached.

Also is any BMW LL-04 oil okay then?
when the vehicle is at the Min line, it is safe to top up one quart of oil.
One quart is equivalent to one liter.

0W-30 LL-01 FE+ is recommended for the top up.

5W-30 LL-01 FE+ is also suitable for top up in emergency situations.
Hmm this is what the manual says. LL-01 is not on the list at all
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      06-05-2020, 10:12 AM   #12
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Hmm this is what the manual says. LL-01 is not on the list at all
I believe different markets recommend different oils.
I apologize for the mix up, did not look at your location.
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      06-05-2020, 12:19 PM   #13
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How far is the BMW dealer? I would just drive there and have them fill it up. Then ask for an extra bottle in case you need it next time.
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      06-05-2020, 07:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lo2 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lfk View Post
Hmm this is what the manual says. LL-01 is not on the list at all
I believe different markets recommend different oils.
I apologize for the mix up, did not look at your location.
I hope the manual is taking location into account. I'll call the dealership Tuesday and see if I've used the right thing.

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How far is the BMW dealer? I would just drive there and have them fill it up. Then ask for an extra bottle in case you need it next time.
It's just down the road. But their service department is closed until Tuesday
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      06-17-2020, 06:52 AM   #15
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Okay so in case anyone's wondering, I checked with BMW dealer and they said in Australia it's LL-01 for gasoline engines and LL-04 for diesel (high sulfur petrol etc). The manual's recommendation is for European countries (even though it's for the Australian market!).

I topped up the rest (up to max) with 5W-30 LL-01 that I bought from the dealer. They said pretty much any fully synthetic oil is safe up to 1 liter, so the LL-04 I initially added shouldn't be an issue.
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      06-25-2020, 12:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lfk View Post
Okay so in case anyone's wondering, I checked with BMW dealer and they said in Australia it's LL-01 for gasoline engines and LL-04 for diesel (high sulfur petrol etc). The manual's recommendation is for European countries (even though it's for the Australian market!).

I topped up the rest (up to max) with 5W-30 LL-01 that I bought from the dealer. They said pretty much any fully synthetic oil is safe up to 1 liter, so the LL-04 I initially added shouldn't be an issue.
You will be fine. If you want to stick with what BMW uses, BMW switched from Castrol to Shell/Pennzoil for their factory fill a few years back. Depending on the market you live in, this will be either Pennzoil Platinum Euro, or Shell Helix. That way you don't have to buy the oil from the stealership and pay the premium for a repackaged product with BMW branding.

Whether your car needs LL-01 or LL-04 I think is dependent on the market in which the car is sold because differing markets have differing levels of sulfur content in their fuel. In the US where our gasoline has a higher sulfur content we are told to use LL-01. Europe where gasoline has a lower sulfur content, they use LL-04.

My understanding is that LL-01 is compatible with both high and low sulfur gasoline, so it can be used in place of LL-04. LL-04 OTOH is compatible with low sulfur gasoline only, and must not be used in engines using gasoline with a high sulfur content. If Australia uses high sulfur gasoline, BMW is doing its customers a huge disservice by providing them with owners manuals that contain incorrect information. Hopefully you simply got an incorrect manual, and they aren't putting manuals with incorrect info in all their Australian market cars.

Last edited by IraHayes; 06-25-2020 at 01:41 PM.. Reason: Misread original post
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      07-05-2020, 07:00 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IraHayes View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lfk View Post
Okay so in case anyone's wondering, I checked with BMW dealer and they said in Australia it's LL-01 for gasoline engines and LL-04 for diesel (high sulfur petrol etc). The manual's recommendation is for European countries (even though it's for the Australian market!).

I topped up the rest (up to max) with 5W-30 LL-01 that I bought from the dealer. They said pretty much any fully synthetic oil is safe up to 1 liter, so the LL-04 I initially added shouldn't be an issue.
You will be fine. If you want to stick with what BMW uses, BMW switched from Castrol to Shell/Pennzoil for their factory fill a few years back. Depending on the market you live in, this will be either Pennzoil Platinum Euro, or Shell Helix. That way you don't have to buy the oil from the stealership and pay the premium for a repackaged product with BMW branding.

Whether your car needs LL-01 or LL-04 I think is dependent on the market in which the car is sold because differing markets have differing levels of sulfur content in their fuel. In the US where our gasoline has a higher sulfur content we are told to use LL-01. Europe where gasoline has a lower sulfur content, they use LL-04.

My understanding is that LL-01 is compatible with both high and low sulfur gasoline, so it can be used in place of LL-04. LL-04 OTOH is compatible with low sulfur gasoline only, and must not be used in engines using gasoline with a high sulfur content. If Australia uses high sulfur gasoline, BMW is doing its customers a huge disservice by providing them with owners manuals that contain incorrect information. Hopefully you simply got an incorrect manual, and they aren't putting manuals with incorrect info in all their Australian market cars.
The dealership guy wasn't surprised at all and just said the manual's recommendation is for Europe. So doesn't look like I got the wrong manual.

According to this article, 95-98 RON Australian gasoline can have up to 5 times more sulfur than US gasoline:

"We have a regulated maximum limit of 150 sulphur parts per million (ppm) for regular unleaded petrol (91 RON) and 50ppm for premium unleaded petrol (both 95 and 98 RON).

The maximum limit is 10ppm in Europe, the US, Japan and South Korea."

https://thewest.com.au/lifestyle/mot...ng-b881513935z
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      07-07-2020, 06:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lfk View Post
Okay so in case anyone's wondering, I checked with BMW dealer and they said in Australia it's LL-01 for gasoline engines and LL-04 for diesel (high sulfur petrol etc). The manual's recommendation is for European countries (even though it's for the Australian market!).

I topped up the rest (up to max) with 5W-30 LL-01 that I bought from the dealer. They said pretty much any fully synthetic oil is safe up to 1 liter, so the LL-04 I initially added shouldn't be an issue.
That's interesting. I wonder what oil the car came with from the factory?

Was the oil you bought from the dealer BMW branded or another brand? I'm glad to hear they use 5W-30 and not 0W-20 because of our warmer Australian weather.
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      Yesterday, 08:13 AM   #19
Lfk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erawamai View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lfk View Post
Okay so in case anyone's wondering, I checked with BMW dealer and they said in Australia it's LL-01 for gasoline engines and LL-04 for diesel (high sulfur petrol etc). The manual's recommendation is for European countries (even though it's for the Australian market!).

I topped up the rest (up to max) with 5W-30 LL-01 that I bought from the dealer. They said pretty much any fully synthetic oil is safe up to 1 liter, so the LL-04 I initially added shouldn't be an issue.
That's interesting. I wonder what oil the car came with from the factory?

Was the oil you bought from the dealer BMW branded or another brand? I'm glad to hear they use 5W-30 and not 0W-20 because of our warmer Australian weather.
BMW branded
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