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I just wanted to know if I have to use the BMW Oil. I found the same type of oil (semi-synt Maxima) and want to know if that's ok to use?

Also, being new to BMW. What's the schedule on the oil in the shaft drive? I Suppose that would be gear oil? Maybe somebody can bring me up to speed.
 

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BMW reccommends Castrol oil, but you should be fine with 20W50 Maxima.
I change the final drive gear oil every 12,000 miles or 1 year, whichever comes first. YMMV
FYI, MD11 posted a good oil thread on this page"Switched to synthetic..."
 
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