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Thread: Manual Tranny fluid flush & fill

                  
   
  1. #1
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    Manual Tranny fluid flush & fill

    After crawling under my M3 I saw the BMW sticker on the side of my 1999 50K mile 5 speed manual thanny that says "LIFE TIME FILL" so I stopped my plan to drain the fluid and refill with Redline fluid. Should I do it anyways? despite the "Life Time" promised by BMW

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    Senior Member 1996 328ti's Avatar
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    There was some discussion about this last year.
    Look at http://forum.nccbmwcca.org/showthread.php?t=1142, particularly post 5.
    Although that applied to automatic transmissions.
    And a little hint, look at the bottom of the page for Similar Threads.
    Last edited by 1996 328ti; 01-01-2007 at 09:10 PM.
    ...steven
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    Senior Member Scotty's Avatar
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    You do know that "gear oil" and "transmission fluid" are two different things, right?

    Automatic transmission fluid is a lubricating hydraulic fluid. Gear oil is a heavy lubricant. Don't put ATF in a manual gearbox.
    Scott Lowrey

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    Senior Member 1996 328ti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty View Post
    Gear oil is a heavy lubricant. Don't put ATF in a manual gearbox.
    Not true. E36s call for either MTL or ATF.
    ...steven
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    Senior Member tgmeyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M32DR View Post
    Should I do it anyways? despite the "Life Time" promised by BMW
    As my dad always said to me, "Engineers a lot smarter than you designed this." Dad was a materials engineer and I have a minor in mechanical. He taught me to follow the manual and I remember helping rebuild my first [GrayMarine 327] engine [of many] @ 4 years of age. 40 years later I recall it like it was yesterday.
    My point, you ask? I know I am smart but the engineers who designed and built our autos are smarter than I. Follow thier lead and do not change the fluid.
    Tom
    "Everyone should believe in something. I believe I'll go fishing."
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    2005 330 CiC

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    Senior Member Zchild's Avatar
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    Cool

    I hate to be a party crasher, however I replaced a transmission at 155K just after the clutch at 150K. I wonder if I would of actually had to replace the transmission if I had replaced the fluid at 100K. How long is a lifetime in the eyes of BMW. I've read that 100K constitutes a lifetime as most fanatics either replace their bimmers or drive a whole lot less than I. I'm going to replace my transmission fluid at 100K this time around. Just my two and a half cents worth. Happy Motoring...
    V/R Zachary Pullins Sr.
    Florida Suncoast Chapter BMWCCA
    2006 E90 325Xi & 1999 E39 540i M-Sport
    " Vision without resources is just hallucination"

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    engineers didn't put that label on the tranny. the marketing dept did. it appeared on bmw trannys at the same time bmw started providing "free service" on new cars. "life time fill" = one less maint cost that bmw had to pay for during the warrantee period.

    unless you define "lifetime" as the life time of the original warrantee like bmw does, there is no such thing as a lifetime fill for oils. change it!!!!!!!!!

    use 1.8 qts of redline MTL or D4ATF. i have used both in my m3 and race car, both work well in that tranny.

    marshall
    97 M3
    93 325is
    02 325it

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    Senior Member Zchild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlytle View Post
    engineers didn't put that label on the tranny. the marketing dept did. it appeared on bmw trannys at the same time bmw started providing "free service" on new cars. "life time fill" = one less maint cost that bmw had to pay for during the warrantee period.

    unless you define "lifetime" as the life time of the original warrantee like bmw does, there is no such thing as a lifetime fill for oils. change it!!!!!!!!!

    use 1.8 qts of redline MTL or D4ATF. i have used both in my m3 and race car, both work well in that tranny.

    marshall
    97 M3
    93 325is
    02 325it
    What interval would you recommend?
    V/R Zachary Pullins Sr.
    Florida Suncoast Chapter BMWCCA
    2006 E90 325Xi & 1999 E39 540i M-Sport
    " Vision without resources is just hallucination"

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    Senior Member 1996 328ti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zchild View Post
    What interval would you recommend?
    I change my fluids in the spring before my first driving school.
    That is probably overkill but it gives me a chance to see the condition of the fluid. Oil is cheap. Transmissions are not.
    ...steven
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    318ti.org | bmwcca.org/forum

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zchild View Post
    What interval would you recommend?
    I say follow the old recommendations: Every second Inspection service, replace the tranny and diff fluids. That used to equate to about 30K miles, but I don't know what the latest generations' inspection service intervals are since I'm still running and E30 and E36.

    Of course, my autox toy gets them changed every 2 years, because I want the extra insurance and I only drive it less than 5K per year.

    Kevin

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    Senior Member chicane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgmeyer View Post
    As my dad always said to me, "Engineers a lot smarter than you designed this." Dad was a materials engineer and I have a minor in mechanical. He taught me to follow the manual and I remember helping rebuild my first [GrayMarine 327] engine [of many] @ 4 years of age. 40 years later I recall it like it was yesterday.
    My point, you ask? I know I am smart but the engineers who designed and built our autos are smarter than I. Follow thier lead and do not change the fluid.
    Tom
    If the engineers truly meant for this to be a "Lifetime Fluid" why did they design the tranny with a drain plug?

    Not to mention BMW contradicts itself by having a big sticker on the transmission that says "Lifetime Fluid" but on the Inspection II checklist they state to change transmission fluid (e46).

    I'm sorry there is no such thing as "Lifetime Fluids". It is the manufacturers way of building some obsolescence into a very well built car.

  12. #12
    Senior Member chicane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zchild View Post
    What interval would you recommend?

    Try these intervals:

    http://members.roadfly.org/kmurph/Se...S.pdf-link.pdf

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    Thanks guys for your comments...and feedback.
    It is a go for a diy this weekend, round two of flush and fill of a M3 5 speed-IF I can break loose those confounded drain plug and fill 17mm nuts. The torque on them is super human tight. I can't believe how tight they are...wow. and will I find a gasket washer...like on the differential drain & fill plugs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by M32DR View Post
    Thanks guys for your comments...and feedback.
    It is a go for a diy this weekend, round two of flush and fill of a M3 5 speed-IF I can break loose those confounded drain plug and fill 17mm nuts. The torque on them is super human tight. I can't believe how tight they are...wow. and will I find a gasket washer...like on the differential drain & fill plugs?

    i change the tranny and diff fluid twice a sseason on the race car. i change both at 30k intervals in the street bmw's.

    those plugs can get tight when not exercised...use a long handled wrench and open the fill plug first!!!! tighten to spec torque when you put them back in.

    they are taped thread style plugs. no gaskets or washers used.

    have fun!
    marshall

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    THANKS Marshall. and everyone for your comments and information. I successfully completed the flush and fill. And recommend it be done instead of relying on a "lifetime fill". It went well. Note that there was a lock tight compound on the drain/fill bolts that required a breaker bar (pipe over ratchet handle) for me to loosen. Overall the job went smoothly. Do it yourself!
    Last edited by M32DR; 01-27-2007 at 05:36 PM.

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