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Thread: Need Oil

  1. #1
    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    Need Oil

    I'm in Georgetown Colorado and it looks like I'm getting low on oil. I have the BMW 15w 50 synthetic in now.
    Is there any readily available substitute to add half a quart, or a quart?
    I have half a quart sitting at home, which I didn't think I'd need to bring.
    I suppose I could add some motorcycle 10 40 from the auto parts store.
    Any ideas?
    dc

  2. #2
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Find an auto parts store and get a quart that is close: a 20w50 dino would work, or a 20W50 or 15W50 synthetic would work. Get motorcycle oil if you can find it - Auto Zone and O'Reilly both carry some. Otherwise, viscosity is the most important characteristic.

    If headed west, get to the BMW dealership at Grand Junction and buy a spare quart.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  3. #3
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    Add synthetic

    I would, but I'd rather add any synthetic, car or motorcycle.

    How low is it?
    Last edited by CarolinaRT; 09-25-2012 at 12:40 AM. Reason: just wondering
    Eric * Columbia SC
    Piedmont Red 2006 R1200RT

  4. #4
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    Consider t,hat BMW doesn't make oil; put some Mobile 1 in it or something close, or something not close. It isn't going to really matter anyway. Oh yeah,; forget all that stuff your dealer told you.

    This is why I use Castrol 20w50. I can always find something that's close,...... or not.
    '03 R1150R, '03 F650GS, '97DR200SE,'78 Honda CT-90, '77Honda CT-90

  5. #5
    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    I'm headed north thru' Rocky Mtn Park. I came thru' Grand Junction today, from Green River Utah.
    There's a Carquest and Napa in Estes Park, I'll see what they have.
    Thanks
    dc

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    downhill from EP on 36 is Loveland. about 35 miles to a KTM dealer, about 37 to Northern Colo Eurosports- BMW, Duc, Triumph.

    just sayin'.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  7. #7
    What, me worry? GILLY's Avatar
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    If there is any cycle shops around they might carry Spectro brands, Spectro is who BMW uses to bottle their oil (so they also produce it) in North America, so I would recommend Spectro as being as close to the oil in the engine now as possible, without actually going to a dealer. I have been told by others the additives in the oil are probably different than what BMW specifies, but myself I doubt it, same stuff. Spectro Platinum is the full synthetic.
    Gilly
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  8. #8
    Registered User der verge's Avatar
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    The BMW oils are refined by Castrol. In the states, just about any oil of the right viscosity will work. Now before anyone goes crazy about that last sentence, is said "will work" not "is ideal"
    02' K12LT ~ 83K '97 F650GS ~ 32K' 81 XS400 ~ 9K
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  9. #9
    What, me worry? GILLY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by der verge View Post
    The BMW oils are refined by Castrol. In the states, just about any oil of the right viscosity will work. Now before anyone goes crazy about that last sentence, is said "will work" not "is ideal"
    What he said, except "Spectro Oils".
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    87 K75S, bought new, now sold
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  10. #10
    What, me worry? GILLY's Avatar
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    Would only let me post 1 pic?
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  11. #11
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    The topic of who makes BMW oil comes up every so often. BMW "promotes" Castrol even though in the U.S. their packaged oil comes from Spectro. The reason for the promotion of Castrol oil by BMW is very simple I think. Castrol is a major sponsor of BMWs automotive racing - their logo and their money is all over the cars.

    On this forum I've even seen a link to a Castrol web site page showing which Castrol oil to use as recommended by Castrol for various models - purported to be BMW's recommendation when of course it isn't really. It's Castrol advertising.

    For each model BMW specifies oil. It is generally only a given rating - eg API SG or SH, (or a European rating) and a viscosity. Most manuals show viscosity on a chart with temperature and viscosities that somewhat overlap for various ambient temperature conditions.

    The ratings generally relate to the additive package contained in the oil. The viscosity is specified because it relates to the design and build of the engine as far as critical clearances are concerned.

    I think a person should use oil as specified by BMW on an ongoing basis. But for a top-off on the road where maybe 1/8 to 1/4 of the oil capacity is added, the viscosity is still important but the rating is less so. I'd still use motorcycle oil of the correct rating if I could find it, but would use any decent brand oil of the correct viscosity from a convenience or big box store if I couldn't.

    P.S. I personally normally use Castrol dino "4T Four Stroke Motorcycle Oil" in the white bottle which I buy at Autozone for in the range of $5 per quart. I use it not because it says I should on the side of a BMW race car. I use it because it has an API SG rating as specified for our bikes, is fairly inexpensive, and is readily availabe even in a small town in far southwest Texas.
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    Last edited by PGlaves; 09-25-2012 at 06:26 PM.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  12. #12
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    Once, when my 08'1200GS was a little low on oil, I stopped at a Harley dealer and purchased a quart of synthetic to get me by.
    Dick
    R1200GS '08
    "Hey, where you goin'?" "Nowhere in particular." "Man, I wish I was you." "Well, Hang in there..."

  13. #13
    Bluenoser
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjzinc View Post
    Once, when my 08'1200GS was a little low on oil, I stopped at a Harley dealer and purchased a quart of synthetic to get me by.
    Yep that works and they sell a 20-50 weight dino oil as well if that's what you prefer.
    1971 R50/5 SWB with R75/6 drivetrain
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  14. #14
    Registered User cehlbeck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    The topic of who makes BMW oil comes up every so often. BMW "promotes" Castrol even though in the U.S. their packaged oil comes from Spectro. The reason for the promotion of Castrol oil by BMW is very simple I think. Castrol is a major sponsor of BMWs automotive racing - their logo and their money is all over the cars.

    On this forum I've even seen a link to a Castrol web site page showing which Castrol oil to use as recommended by Castrol for various models - purported to be BMW's recommendation when of course it isn't really. It's Castrol advertising.

    For each model BMW specifies oil. It is generally only a given rating - eg API SG or SH, (or a European rating) and a viscosity. Most manuals show viscosity on a chart with temperature and viscosities that somewhat overlap for various ambient temperature conditions.

    The ratings generally relate to the additive package contained in the oil. The viscosity is specified because it relates to the design and build of the engine as far as critical clearances are concerned.

    I think a person should use oil as specified by BMW on an ongoing basis. But for a top-off on the road where maybe 1/8 to 1/4 of the oil capacity is added, the viscosity is still important but the rating is less so. I'd still use motorcycle oil of the correct rating if I could find it, but would use any decent brand oil of the correct viscosity from a convenience or big box store if I couldn't.

    P.S. I personally normally use Castrol dino "4T Four Stroke Motorcycle Oil" in the white bottle which I buy at Autozone for in the range of $5 per quart. I use it not because it says I should on the side of a BMW race car. I use it because it has an API SG rating as specified for our bikes, is fairly inexpensive, and is readily availabe even in a small town in far southwest Texas.
    Now everyone will know. I also seems to be perpetually on sale at my local AutoZone too.
    Chris Ehlbeck
    BMWMOA 168990
    Chris & Donna's Motorcycle Journeys

  15. #15
    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    Well, I stopped at Napa in Estes Park, before entering the park. And they only had one 15 50 which was Mobil 1 so I got one. All I need is 1/3. I'm only at the bottom third of the sight glass. That should mean no more than 1/3 quart low. So I'll use that to top up.
    I think the truth is, it's not low. It's that the sensor is high. And the slightest downturn in volume and it starts. Most times it says Oil and the check mark. Which means oil is ok.
    But not all times.
    Others told me anything really would work, and I suppose it would. Since it's only a very small part of the total volume.
    It's car oil, but the additives and such can't do much in that low volume.
    Many people use the cheapest from Walmart anyway, Rotella or whatever.
    dc

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