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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > Xi system fluid changes



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      02-16-2009, 09:42 PM   #1
777ER
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Xi system fluid changes

I'm reading this guideline and it recommends these changes:

transmission fluid/filter: 50k
front/rear differential fluid: 50k
transfer case fluid: 50k

Does anyone know where I can find a DIY or a guide on how to do the transmission fluid/filter change, front/rear diff fluid changes and the transfer fluid change on the Xi models?

Been reading on why BMW doesn't consider the transmission fluid/filter change in their maintenance program or in their servicing program. They're saying the transmission fluid is lifetime so that when it reaches 100k, that's the lifetime of the transmission and it's due to be replaced.

I'm sure the transmission can last alot longer than that with fluid/filter change and care...
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      02-16-2009, 10:15 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by 777ER View Post
I'm reading this guideline and it recommends these changes:

transmission fluid/filter: 50k
front/rear differential fluid: 50k
transfer case fluid: 50k

Does anyone know where I can find a DIY or a guide on how to do the transmission fluid/filter change, front/rear diff fluid changes and the transfer fluid change on the Xi models?

Been reading on why BMW doesn't consider the transmission fluid/filter change in their maintenance program or in their servicing program. They're saying the transmission fluid is lifetime so that when it reaches 100k, that's the lifetime of the transmission and it's due to be replaced.

I'm sure the transmission can last alot longer than that with fluid/filter change and care...
I changed my transmission fluid at 45,000 miles. don't know if you have auto or 6sp, I have 6speed, so it's easy and simple. There is a drain plug and a fill plug, both are the 8mm hex bolt. all you need to do is get the right transmission oil, in my case, 6sp, i use MTF-LT3 for the fluid. just a little more than 2 liter. It comes with 5 liter case, so you should be fine for 2 times oil change. It cost me $116 without shipping from tischer bmw. Make sure your car is level.

If you have auto, same process, for the filter change, all you have to do is unscrew 13 or 14 hex screws under the oil pane after you drain it, unplug the wires, clean the pane, replace the filter and the gasket, bolt on, and fill it with about 9 liter transmission fluid. you have to find out the part number for auto transmission fluid by yourself.

for the rear diff, there is only fill plug, no drain plug for it. which means you can't drain it normally. What i did is use the powerbuild brand half liter pump to pump out all the old oil, about 2 liter, put the new one in. I don't know the part number for the oil, because it's not in the service list, so I just use fully synthetic gear oil, 75w90, for both front and rear diff. the front diff, you should be able to find the drain plug and fill plug with no problem.

For the transfer case, you cannot use ATF for this new transfer case, there is special fluid for it. I also forgot the part number, you can call your dealer to check, it's around $32 for one bottle without shipping. one bottle is enough for you. If i remember correctly, the drain bolt and the fill bolt is different bolt, the drain bolt is facing the ground and the fill bolt is on the passenger side. Shouldn't take more than 1.25 liter.

Beside those fluids, you should also flush your coolant. your coolant tank's drain plug is in a big white hex alike control unit, you just need a penny to open the blue drain plug, don't touch the white hex screw, that's the control unit, it's easily to break. even it's only $9, but you have more than 50% chance to replace the radiator after you break the white control unit. you have to take off 3 panels (for mtech kit, not sure the regular one) and you will see that at driver side. make sure you open the cap before you open the drain plug. you also have to unclamp the radiator hose at the passenger side. the coolant is not pre-mix, you have to buy distill water to mix it. you can do 50/50 or 60/40, 60 for coolant and 40 for distill water.

Check your service record, see if they ever flush your brake fluid, if not, you have to do that too. there are 2 ways to do it. first one is unclamp the hose under the brake fluid tank, flush it, clamp it, fill it. The other way is use the power bleeder to connect to the tank, open the bleed point one by one at the brake, bleed until the fluid looks new to you, close it. move to the next brake.

Steering fluid, you can't drain it, so you have to pump it out. it use CHF 11s, (CHF means carbon hydraulic fluid), make sure it's 11s, not 7.1 or 7.2s.

Do all of them at your own risk, because i'm not bmw tech, my e90 is pre sep build at 05, and because I did my e90 and my x5 at the same time, I might remember something wrong or mix up with 2 cars.

have fun.
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      02-16-2009, 10:51 PM   #3
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Thanks for the very informative tips! will have to get all my fluids figured out and ordered.


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Beside those fluids, you should also flush your coolant. your coolant tank's drain plug is in a big white hex alike control unit, you just need a penny to open the blue drain plug, don't touch the white hex screw, that's the control unit, it's easily to break. even it's only $9, but you have more than 50% chance to replace the radiator after you break the white control unit. you have to take off 3 panels (for mtech kit, not sure the regular one) and you will see that at driver side. make sure you open the cap before you open the drain plug. you also have to unclamp the radiator hose at the passenger side. the coolant is not pre-mix, you have to buy distill water to mix it. you can do 50/50 or 60/40, 60 for coolant and 40 for distill water.
According to the service records, I had the radiator replaced @ 2,191 miles due to a SES light which was from a faulty sensor in the radiator. It stated coolant fluid was replaced also.
I think I'm good with the coolant for a good while now.

Quote:
Check your service record, see if they ever flush your brake fluid, if not, you have to do that too. there are 2 ways to do it. first one is unclamp the hose under the brake fluid tank, flush it, clamp it, fill it. The other way is use the power bleeder to connect to the tank, open the bleed point one by one at the brake, bleed until the fluid looks new to you, close it. move to the next brake.
Brake fluid flush done @ 30,682.

I have a co-worker who's brother is a BMW mechanic (BMW of Greenwich, CT) and he was sent to Florida by BMW for training...know what he told me?

BMW techs don't really do brake flush...they take a turkey baster and suck the fluid out of the brake reservoir tank and replace it.
They don't even bleed the brakes to replace the fluids in the line unless the brake caliper/lines/module has to be replaced

Quote:
Steering fluid, you can't drain it, so you have to pump it out. it use CHF 11s, (CHF means carbon hydraulic fluid), make sure it's 11s, not 7.1 or 7.2s.
Will eventually have to do the steering...I changed the steering fluid to Redline steering fluid in my '99 Z28 and the prodecure was to disconnect the return line and aim it at a bucket, top off the tank and start the engine and cycle the steering full left to right and repeat while pouring new fluid in it until clear red fluid goes into the bucket.

Same way for flushing all of the transmission fluid but without turning the steering, this way the fluid inside the torque converter is exchanged too.

As for the brakes, it's a tricky one...do a standard flush/bleed.
And if you don't have a Tech2 scan tool to purge/bleed the ABS modulator, you'll have to drive the car...slam on the brakes to get the ABS to engage, drive back and leave the engine running while the car is jacked up on all 4 and the brakes bled...the brake fluid coming out will be 'old and brownish' since it was inside the ABS modulator and wasn't being pumped or exchanged until the ABS kicks in.
(that was a pain in the ass as it was a summer night and hot cooling air was being vented towards my face/chest when I went under the car to position the jack and jackstands)

As for jets...crack open the bleeder screw...turn the elec hyd pumps on and bleed them while someone is holding down the brake pedals...reset the hyd fuse and repeat again then close up the bleeder screw
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      02-17-2009, 05:25 PM   #4
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Thanks for the very informative tips! will have to get all my fluids figured out and ordered.




According to the service records, I had the radiator replaced @ 2,191 miles due to a SES light which was from a faulty sensor in the radiator. It stated coolant fluid was replaced also.
I think I'm good with the coolant for a good while now.


Brake fluid flush done @ 30,682.

I have a co-worker who's brother is a BMW mechanic (BMW of Greenwich, CT) and he was sent to Florida by BMW for training...know what he told me?

BMW techs don't really do brake flush...they take a turkey baster and suck the fluid out of the brake reservoir tank and replace it.
They don't even bleed the brakes to replace the fluids in the line unless the brake caliper/lines/module has to be replaced



Will eventually have to do the steering...I changed the steering fluid to Redline steering fluid in my '99 Z28 and the prodecure was to disconnect the return line and aim it at a bucket, top off the tank and start the engine and cycle the steering full left to right and repeat while pouring new fluid in it until clear red fluid goes into the bucket.

Same way for flushing all of the transmission fluid but without turning the steering, this way the fluid inside the torque converter is exchanged too.

As for the brakes, it's a tricky one...do a standard flush/bleed.
And if you don't have a Tech2 scan tool to purge/bleed the ABS modulator, you'll have to drive the car...slam on the brakes to get the ABS to engage, drive back and leave the engine running while the car is jacked up on all 4 and the brakes bled...the brake fluid coming out will be 'old and brownish' since it was inside the ABS modulator and wasn't being pumped or exchanged until the ABS kicks in.
(that was a pain in the ass as it was a summer night and hot cooling air was being vented towards my face/chest when I went under the car to position the jack and jackstands)

As for jets...crack open the bleeder screw...turn the elec hyd pumps on and bleed them while someone is holding down the brake pedals...reset the hyd fuse and repeat again then close up the bleeder screw
I don't know if you can really replace the redline with chf 11s, better check with redline first. As for steering fluid return line, i don't bother to do it, because I can always turn the steering wheel for many times and the fluid will mix. Since I pump out the steering fluid and put the new one in every 5000 miles, so i don't have to worry about the dirty fluid beyond the steering fluid pod.

I do agree that bmw dealer just put down "flush brake fluid" on your service order, but they didn't really flush it, because I heard that from the bmw tech too.

I don't have the scan tool, so i just have to drive it for couple minutes, the code will go away.

you mention that the coolant been replace at 2k miles, and seems you have more than 30k miles on your car now, I think it's a good opportunity to change it out, because I heard that bmw coolant is not even as good as prestone longlife 50/50 coolant. I was gonna replace it with some better coolant, but I can't find the drain bolt from the engine block at the beginning, so I don't dare to mix 2 different type of coolant in there. Later on, my friend (bmw tech) print out a instruction for how to flush the coolant, it didn't mention there is a drain bolt on engine block, so I will use other coolants next time.
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