BMWs have never been known as ultra-reliable vehicles. All Bimmers have their annoying reliability quirks, some more than others. However, potentially the worst of all was the E65-generation 7 Series, which was an absolute nightmare. In fact, just googling “E65 7 Series” will give your computer a virus. Compare the E65 with something like a Lexus LS, famous for its reliability, and the E65 looks even worse. However, what happens if you absolutely torture test both cars, which one is more reliable? Mat Watson recently found out by running both engines without oil to see what would happen.
Both cars have small-displacement V8s–a 3.6-liter V8 for the BMW and a 4.3-liter V8 for the Lexus. But which one is more durable and can take the heat (literally) of driving without oil for longest. To find out, they obviously drained the oil of each car and drove them around on a dirt road (away from public roads) to see which engine failed first. Despite knowing that neither car is road-worthy anymore, and both were incredibly cheap, my mechanical sympathy had me wincing while watching this.
Somehow, someway, the BMW beat the Lexus. In fact, the degenerate E65 7 Series destroyed the Lexus’ famously reliable V8. The Lexus flat-out died at just 1:20, after having idled for 30 seconds, revved to 3,000 rpm for 30 seconds, and redlining for a bit. However, the 7 Series did all those same tasks and then Mat Watson drifted it around in the sand for several laps around the Lexus. After a whopping 7:34, the BMW 7 Series finally limped to its demise and even let out a pop, from its air intake box. Though, I’m not sure why it popped a bit from there.
Obviously, you should never, ever, ever drive your car without the proper amount of oil in your engine, so don’t think this is some sort of lesson, that you can drive with little to no oil for a bit. However, it does prove that the actual engine internals of BMW’s 3.6-liter V8 are quite strong.