The relatively simple oil change on today’s high tech ultra efficient cars are anything but simple. For instance BMW has a bunch of numbers on their oil requirements on vastly different engines. The oldest one is LL98 then, the next is LL01 there after came LL04 and the next would be LL14.
There is an even newer one which, is only for the very latest engines, from 2017 and up.
Furthermore older M engines require a specific grade like 10/60.
Mercedes is quiet the same MB 229, 31-229, 51-229.5 is the three most common designation for late model engines.
In most cases the diesel oriented BMW LL04 can be used in the gas engines for limited distance (no longer than 15 thousand kilometers between oil changes). The LL01 or the LL98 oil is prohibited in the diesel engines due to zinc in those motor oils. Ditto for Mercedes Benz the 229.5 oil is strictly gas engines only.
The 229.31-229.51 oils are diesel oriented but can be used in most gas engine Mercedes Benz vehicles, except AMG which must have the 229.5 oil specifically.
There is one more additional spec for MB but that only applies to a single engine which is a rarity so we leave that one out for now. The implications are huge for using the wrong oil in the wrong application which at least will damage the diesel particulate filter (in short form DPF) or in the case of a gas engine possible engine damage may occur, especially if the extended service intervals are used.
To make it more confusing Mercedes specifies a felt oil filter for extended oil changes. The original manufacturer is in most cases Mann & Hummel of Germany.
There are two more original filter manufacturer Hengst of Germany and Knecht Mahle of Austria. There is currently a new French manufacturer which is also original equipment manufacturer called Pureflux. Read more about oil filters.
The question we often get; Can I get my oil changes done elsewhere other than the dealer? The answer is yes, definitely, however you need to pay special attention to detail and must document the type and make of the oil and the filter on the invoice, so there are no issues if the question asked in the future while your car is under warranty.
The next question is; Are there better oils available than what has been sold by the dealer organization? The answer is yes definitely there are better oils available. In most cases they are mainly imported from Germany. Canadian dealers are providing North American sourced motor oils. Currently BMW uses Shell – Pennzoil. Mercedes prefers Mobil1 from Exxon Mobil or sometime Shell – Pennzoil.
If you have any additional questions please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our phone number is: 905.795.0419.
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Oil Recommendations by BMW
BMW Approval for TOTAL Motor Oil
European Cars Motor Oil Specifications
The Importance of Oil Changes