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From digest.v7.n837 Sun Dec 28 11:44:34 1997
From: "" <>
Date: Sat, 27 Dec 1997 23:33:52 -0800
Subject: 3.2 M3 Start-up Rattle Fix(?)

Early last month, I (and several other Digesters) noted an intermittent rattling noise on cold starts in 3.2 M3's (mine's a 97). I (and all who e-mailed me) found it very disconcerting, and were concerned about long-term implications.

As outside temperatures dropped, I found the rattle occurred more frequently (and, it seemed, for longer periods) - not good (but, at last, I could probably reproduce it for the dealer). However, before getting it together with the dealer, at ~13,000 miles, I changed over to Lubro-Moly full synthetic oil, 5w-40 (for various reasons -- eg., its additives are purportedly formulated for German engines; it is specifically approved by BMW (and Porsche, and acknowledged by Mercedes); etc.). I previously ran Castrol GTX, 20w-50.

The rattle manifested once or twice more in the week immediately following, and then vanished - not a sound, for the past month or so. Since the rattle first occurred (at ~1,200 miles), 10 days rarely passed without it. In addition the car runs noticeably smoother, and seems a bit stronger since changing to the Lubro-Moly. (I can't say that another synthetic oil would not yield the same result; but, when I switched my last car over to Castrol Syntec 5w-50 at ~15,000 miles, I didn't experience these other "improvements" to anything approaching the same extent).

I had some trouble locating Lubro-Moly locally (SF Bay Area); but, Ron Johnson's lead (Inter-Auto in Monrovia California at 626-301-0909) was very good ($22 for a 5 liter jug + shipping - considerably better than any price I could find). One jug (5 liters) plus a large Crystal Geyser water bottle (of oil -- 1.5 liters) is perfect, for an oil change (with filter, of course). I offset some of the additional cost by extending my oil/filter change interval to ~3,500 miles (from ~2,500 miles) - more than adequate I'm sure, given the factory's ~10,000 mile oil service cycle per the SI panel. (I now perform 2 oil/filter changes over the same period that I previously performed 3).

Lew Becker

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