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Know the correct synthetic oil for your BMW

know the correct synthetic oil for your bmw

Synthetic oil and the *correct* synthetic oil is a big misconception.

Just because some oil change/lube shop/independent shop says they gave you synthetic oil for your car, doesn’t mean they gave you the correct synthetic.

So lets break this down for the German/European cars. We have multiple “flavors” that I’ll elaborate on. There are some heavy grey areas in some years and models on what oil goes in what engine- so we’re not going to focus on viscosity (which is ****super**** important) but rather, the types of oil (but I’ll give you a suggestion on viscosity- you’ll see a pattern quickly)

All of the following oils are considered “low SAPS”. SAPS stands for (Sulfated Ash, Phosphorus, Sulfur) oil. It was used to combat emissions and started around the late 90’s early 2000’s.


LL01 has been the mainstay and long standing oil requirement for BMW and other manufacturers for years for gasoline engines. As in, nearly 20 years. It’s still used today, and is a good premium oil like #motul or #liquimoly . It’s excellent at long run times (10-15K miles depending on manufacturer and time period, but we believe this is too long, and recommend 6 months or 7500 miles).10w40 is the standard oil viscosity we use for this.


LL04 is designed specifically for BMW vehicles with diesel engines equipped with a diesel particulate filter (DPF). This oil is characterized by its excellent low-temperature properties, which allow it to provide optimal lubrication even in extremely cold conditions. Additionally, it helps to prevent clogging of the DPF by reducing soot and ash deposits. 10w40 is the standard oil viscosity we use for this.

LL14FE+ :

LL14FE+ is designed for gasoline engines with turbochargers and direct injection systems. We started seeing this come around a few years after direct injection engines starting being a mainstay in Euro-land. It helps with reducing emissions, wear protection and extends the life of catalytic converters. This changed to a 0w20 and most places didn’t carry it, unless it was dealer genuine oil when it was first released. Many oil manufacturers still don’t have any of the following oil requirements or designations approved, so be careful what you use!


LL17FE+ is designed for modern gasoline engines with direct injection and turbochargers, and replaced LL14FE+. It offers excellent wear protection and reduces deposits to ensure optimal engine cleanliness. This oil is also designed to extend the life of the catalytic converter and other emission control systems. Additionally, LL17FE+ is approved for use in vehicles that meet the latest Euro 6d-TEMP emissions standards, making it a suitable choice for drivers of modern, high-performance vehicles. Overall, LL17FE+ offers exceptional protection and performance for gasoline engines with direct injection and turbochargers while meeting the latest emissions standards. 0w20 is a standard oil viscosity we see for this specification.


LL22FE++ is designed for gasoline and diesel engines with turbochargers and direct injection systems. It is particularly suitable for modern vehicles with high-performance engines and long service intervals. This oil offers excellent wear protection, reduces deposits, and ensures optimal engine cleanliness. It is also designed to extend the life of the catalytic converter and other emission control systems. 0w12 is now the new standard oil viscosity for LL22FE++.

With this being said, you can argue on and other enthusiast forums forever on what is the best, what should be used, and why. The reason why we are so stringent on the oil viscosity and type is due to BMW engines being so picky. The wrong oil viscosity or type can cause a check engine light to be on, accelerated wear, or even engine damage. The last thing we want to do is hurt a client’s vehicle. Because of the oil specifications that we adhere to, services may be slightly more than others- but you can rest assured that your oil and filter are quality products that meet or exceed the needs of your engine.


Alex Noll

CEO – ABR Houston

Your Local Experts in Audi, BMW, Mini, Rolls-Royce & Volkswagen Service In The Woodlands.

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