Oil at 27,800 miles

28 October 2010 - Filed under: Servicing

The MINI has consumed a small amount of oil since it was serviced for the first time back in April 2009. Due to the use of ‘long life’ oil the service intervals are set at 20,000 miles on the R56, so it’s going to be quite a while before it sees a change of oil. I’m in two minds about this, on the one hand I’d quite like to trust BMW and assume that the all inclusive TLC servicing package should take care of the cars needs. However 20k does seem rather scary. I may or may not choose to do an oil change before my second TLC service is due, if I did I’d use a genuine filter to avoid any issues when MINI service the car again. If you’ve ended up here looking for a DIY oil change guide the best I can offer you for the moment is the relevant TIS instructions:

Oil Service
Sump plug torque settings

Anyway, in the short term I need to top my oil up. However finding out which oil was probably used during the first service is proving a little tricky. I’ve asked my local dealership a couple of times now and received different advice each time. I can say it’s probably either BMW’s own Longlife-04 oil in either 0W-40 or 5W-30 grade, or Castrol Edge/Castrol Edge Sport. I’ve got a suspicion that the BMW stuff is probably just Castrol rebranded. Mixing grades of oil may or may not be an issue depending on who you ask, I doubt it’d do much harm in my case as I only need to top up with a small quantity. I’ll probably go for Castrol Edge Sport 0W-40 just because Halfords sell it and the parts department at my local dealership is only open for a brief moment over a weekend.

For the curious here’s what I could find in the TIS regarding oil:

List of oils based on engine (The petrol R56 Cooper is the N12)
List of acceptable Longlife-04 oils (I’m amused by the order codes for a ‘Tanker (truck)’ of the BMW stuff, I’d quite like to see my local parts department pass that over the counter!)
BMW service announcement about the properties of Longlife-04

It’s worth noting that these are oil recommendations for European cars.

In other MINI related news my rear brake pads have less than 1000 miles left, I’ve purchased the replacement pads and sensor and intend to fit them when I get a couple of spare hours one weekend. I’ll document the process in another how to guide. The rears are a little more complex than the front brakes due to the handbrake cables and need for a caliper rewind tool.

I’ve also still got a few spare MINI parts which I’ve been meaning to stick on eBay but haven’t found the time. If anybody is interested in a brand new black grille surround for the R56 please get in touch.

Finally I’ve recently moved house and embarked on a rather ambitious house renovation project, the MINI is proving to be surprisingly practical despite the pathetic boot space. With the rear seats folded down it’s almost like a small estate car. Maybe I should book a test drive on the Clubman…

Practical MINI

Practical MINI

Practical MINI

Practical MINI

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