• Dean Fuhriman - owner of RFP Tuning

What oil to use for N54 Motor?

Updated: Mar 10

As many know, BMW is not an easy vehicle to maintain, as it is quiet expensive AND sensitive about parts you use. Oil, however, is not a 'touchy' subject, for the most part.

For stock applications you can use recommended LL-01 certified oils, such Mobile 1, Castrol and obviously BMW OEM oil. I wouldn't suggest the last option due to price tag. Viscosity will depend on your region. For hot weather I would strongly advice using 5W30 or 5W40. For the colder areas around the world, use 5W40 and 0W40. NOTE: Even though Mobile One oil does not hold certification for LL-01 any longer, it still does just as well, as OEM BMW oil. There were changes implemented due to BMW politics and contract with Shell etc.

Below I will show you few examples of what to look for.

BMW Original Here is an example of OEM BMW oils

Castrol. BMW Partner in the past and overall producer of great quality synthetic motor oil for all types of cars.

As I was saying before, you won't find LL-01 certification for M1 specific to BMW but, doesn't mean it won't work. For those of you in USA, any Walmart will have these gems on the shelf for few bucks

But what about heavily modified and tuned N54s ?

Obviously I gotta mention the monsters with Single Turbos, Hybrid Setups and Stock turbos tuned to the teeth monstrosities scarring the streets and every V8 at the stop light. Since N54 is considered to be one of the greatest German motors to make power on (imo best low cost motor ever), I simply cannot ignore the fact that it takes special care to keep things together. For the most part Castrol 5W30 will do on Twin Turbo setups, that is unless you are over 600 WHP (700HP, that is at the engine, roughly). In case you are in the "big league" then start looking at option such as Motul XCess 8100, Liqui Moly and ... Rotella T6. Yeah, you are not dreaming. Rotalla T6 is great oil for BMW engine, even though it is meant for diesel motors. Multiple testings at Blackstone Labs showed this cheap diesel oils perform better than OEM, Castrol and others when used on highly modified cars. There is a catch, this oil can void warranty with your turbo manufacturer, so make sure to check with them first, as for those who don't care, Rotella is cheap, wallet saving option.

MOTUL makes some of the best engine lubrication products, however their price tag is a bit ridiculous. I suggest looking for good deals, discounts and coupons when purchasing this brand.

Liqui Moly is another European brand that is not so popular and widespread in US and Canada. It is worth mentioning that these guys sponsor almost all European drift and drag competitions and used by the racing teams. Reputation speaks for itself. Price tag obviously hurts but not as much as MOTUL.

And ... our final option. Rotella T6. Not much to say about this brand. Shell is reputable company, oil is cheap, it is great for the engine (not so for some turbos, see the note above). As for the performance vs cost, nothing comes close to it.

Thank you for reading my blog. For any inquiries and questions, don't hesitate to email me at Dean, Owner of the Race Fused Performance

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