The Importance of the BMW LL-04 specification

Kirsten Lykke Bach 7 August 2020 Automotive, Passenger Cars

With a global presence and large market share BMW has been a key player in the light duty vehicle market for many years.

In 2004, BMW introduced a new specification for engine oils called BMW Longlife-04. This was in response to hardware changes to its vehicles that the company had introduced to address ever tightening global emissions legislation and in particular to meet the Euro 4 emissions standard. However, since 2004 the specification has gradually changed, and today is considerably more demanding.

The main reason behind these changes is that vehicle hardware is changing faster nowadays than ever before. Lubricants are, of course, key components in engine design and are often critical in enabling hardware components to function correctly and efficiently.

The latest version of BMW Longlife-04, released in December 2018, shows considerable differences from the original 2004 specification. It is specifically designed to meet the requirements of BMW’s latest vehicles as well as being suitable for older cars still in the market.

As the engines have changed, so has the testing regime. Under the latest release BMW specification, there are two specific engines that are tested: the BMW N20 and the BMW B48. These are both four-cylinder gasoline engines capable of developing high torque even at low RPMs.

There are also three new bench tests that are included which reflect potential issues in modern engines. An aeration test is included along with a new bench wear test: these require that the light viscometrics of the lubricant do not cause issues in service. In addition, there is a requirement for a new turbocharging coking test, reflecting the fact that turbochargers operate at highly elevated temperatures and deposits can be formed with inferior lubricants.

For peace of mind it is therefore worth ensuring that the lubricant you employ is not only tested and suitable for use, but has been officially approved by BMW.

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