Red Line Professional Series 5W30TD is BMW approved! While the Red Line High Performance series of oils exceed factory standards, they cannot be factory approved. The Professional Series fills the demand for a factory-approved full synthetic oil.
All oil is produced to meet various standards. The quality of the base stock has a large impact on what standard can be met. The traditional Red Line High Performance oil uses Group IV and V base stocks to achieve extraordinarily high levels of engine protection. However, BMW requires Group III base stocks to be "factory approved". So while Red Line High Performance oil exceeds all factory standards, and is the best performing oil on the market in our opinion, it could never be factory approved. This is where the Red Line Professional Series factors in.
Red Line tapped their vast chemical and technical inventory to produce a blended Group III/IV oil that carries actual BMW approval. BMW has approved this 5W30 oil for all engines that use the BMW LL-04 standard - nearly all gas and Diesel engines from 2006-2013 (see exceptions below). The Red Line Professional 5W30 is a factory approved replacement for BMW 0W30 (part #83212365950), 5W30 (part #83212365946), and 5W30 Diesel oil (part #83212365949). It also meets API SN and ACEA C3-12 ratings. This oil is approved for extended service intervals (as much as 10,000 miles), just as with any factory LL-04 oil. Our recommended oil change interval is 5,000-6,000 miles with regular used oil analysis.
There is a misunderstanding over what LL-04 oil is. It's often called Diesel oil but in Europe LL-04 is approved for Diesel and gasoline BMW engines. At the time, (2004) European gasoline had higher levels of sulfur than the US. So BMW never certified LL-04 for the US market except for Diesel models. That's why LL-04 became known as Diesel oil. However, since 2014 our gasoline is nearly identical to Europe, making LL-04 acceptable for all engines. Since BMW still approves LL-01 even to this day it's safe to use either LL-01 or LL-04 in a US car but change the oil more often than the original LL-01 15,000 mile interval to avoid prolonged sulfur contamination (which you should do anyway!).
We have seen higher levels of ZDDP with the Red Line Professional than any standard BMW 0W30 or 5W30 oil. ZDDP content helps protect the engine internals during high heat and stress. This is especially important in high performance turbo engines. It's also valuable in higher mileage engines where it helps seal gaps and loose tolerances. The latest batch of factory BMW 0W30 and 5W30 are a thinner oil with lower ZDDP levels that lead to more oil consumption and less protection at high temps.
Engines where Red Line Professional 5W30TD is factory approved (LL-04 rated): N20 (2012-2013), N26 (2012-2013), N51, N52, N54, N55, N62, N63, N63TU, N74, S55, S63, S63TU.