Originally Posted by ToadHollow
Every independant BMW shop I have ever visited for any type of service or "tech meeting" has ALWAYS laughed at BMW's "lifetime" fluids etc. Fluids (trans., diff. etc.) are not meant to retain their lubricity for a lifetime and WILL break down. BMW fluids are nothing special .......... yet they would want the vehicle owner to believe they are.
Same here - three independent BMW/Porsche/MB shops in my area and all three absolutely laugh at BMW's maintenance schedule. Lifetime coolant/transmission/differential fluid is just comical.
Two of the shops showed me digital pictures of various 3 and 5 series motors filled with sludge telling me "these are customers who followed BMW's 15,000 mile oil change guidelines".
I personally swapped out to Red Line 5w40 - my car's max. oil temp hovers in the 220 to 230-degree range contrasted against 240 to 250-degree range when running BMW 5W30 oil. When I had the dealer reset my oil change indicator, I provided receipts of the filter and oil and they added it to my car's file. The service advisor's only comment was "that is excellent oil - I bet your engine oil is running cooler which in turn will help out those two puffers".
This is not an endorsement, simply an observation. Do your own homework and make a choice based on that.