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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 > When do you guys change ATF and Diff oil?



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      02-03-2011, 10:24 AM   #1
Ryland
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When do you guys change ATF and Diff oil?

So I just bought a CPO 08 328i sedan with 46k on it and I wanted to know if now would be a good time to change the ATF and diff oil? I was thinking about doing it myself but I cant tell If I would need just the ATF filter or the whole pan? How can you tell?
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      02-03-2011, 10:32 AM   #2
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isnt this covered under your CPO warranty?
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      02-03-2011, 10:39 AM   #3
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isnt this covered under your CPO warranty?
Its lifetime,so says BMW.You can change it on your own dime at some stealerships or indi shops but at that milage i will not bother.
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      02-03-2011, 10:39 AM   #4
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ATF and diff are "lifetime" fluids in BMW terminology, so they won't cover any routine maintenance of them to my knowledge.

Email Mike Miller (techtalk@roundel.org) and he'll send you his accumulated recommended maintenance guidelines.

btw, version 12.10 of the document recommends 60k mile intervals on the ATF, and 30k mile intervals on the differential fluid.
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      02-03-2011, 10:44 AM   #5
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The differential fluid I can do easily as it looks like you just pump it out then fill it back up. What brand do you guys use for diff oil? looks like any 75w90 will work. The ATF looks difficult and manybe I just won't do it. Like I said I dont know if I would need a whole new pan or just the filter?
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      02-03-2011, 10:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Its lifetime,so says BMW.You can change it on your own dime at some stealerships or indi shops but at that milage i will not bother.
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ATF and diff are "lifetime" fluids in BMW terminology, so they won't cover any routine maintenance of them to my knowledge.

Email Mike Miller (techtalk@roundel.org) and he'll send you his accumulated recommended maintenance guidelines.

btw, version 12.10 of the document recommends 60k mile intervals on the ATF, and 30k mile intervals on the differential fluid.
BMW fluid is not "lifetime" see post 51. http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=367729

The pan states "lifetime" but the booklet states 100,000 miles.
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      02-03-2011, 10:51 AM   #7
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Wrong section ... and use the search button there's tons of threads about it
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      02-03-2011, 10:58 AM   #8
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Wrong section ... and use the search button there's tons of threads about it
Sorry about the section, but the thing I cant find in searching is what cars need a filter and what cars need a whole new pan. I've seen both. I also just can't find any concrete answers. It also seems like no one does the diff oil or atleast talks about what they used. I can't buy the BMW oil because the parts department says that they can only buy it by the barrell. I have a quote from a indy shop that says it would be about $500 to do both but I don't know if I'm worrying about nothing or not.
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      02-03-2011, 10:59 AM   #9
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^ Try realoem.com
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      02-03-2011, 11:28 AM   #10
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^ Try realoem.com
Wow thanks for that! So I see that my car has a GA6L45R transmission that only needs a filter. Does anyone know what ATF to use with that? I did a search and some people say Dexron-VI? Is that correct? That would be great because that fluid is cheap!
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      02-03-2011, 11:31 AM   #11
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Wow thanks for that! So I see that my car has a GA6L45R transmission that only needs a filter. Does anyone know what ATF to use with that? I did a search and some people say Dexron-VI? Is that correct? That would be great because that fluid is cheap!
You're welcome. Take a look at posts #55-61 http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...=367729&page=3
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      02-03-2011, 11:34 AM   #12
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You're welcome. Take a look at posts #55-61 http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...=367729&page=3
I don't have the ZF transmission though its a GM one.
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      02-03-2011, 11:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
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I don't have the ZF transmission though its a GM one.
Go with OEM if you can, but if you don't then take a look at the Castrol Import Multi-vehicle spec sheet on post 55 and see if that is compatible with your OEM fluid.
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      02-03-2011, 11:40 AM   #14
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My thoughts on this question are based on BMW's old system before they were paying.

If your going to keep a car with AT for more than 100k then change ATF at 50K, same with diff.
If your going to sell before that don't worry.
If you car has reached 100k it's a mix, you maybe add life by changing but you may cause problems and may just want to leave it alone until the AT fails.

HS
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      02-03-2011, 11:41 AM   #15
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I guess I don't know what the OEM fluid would be? All the specs for shell whatever are all for the ZF transmission!
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      02-03-2011, 11:54 AM   #16
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Quote:
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I guess I don't know what the OEM fluid would be? All the specs for shell whatever are all for the ZF transmission!
Go under the car (when you get a chance) and google the number on the pan. See the pic on the links I posted above. When I google that number I found that my transmission is compatible with Shell M-1375.4 http://www.rmeuropean.com/Part-Numbe..._9BA48850.aspx
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If no codes are being thrown use Chevron Techron fuel injector cleaner (concentrate). It solves rpm fluctuating upon cold start-up. Also, for most BMW problems start off by scanning your car with the Peake Research Tool. It contains the actual BMW codes. If you want to register a newly installed battery for free (just buy a $10 cable) and google/download BMWLogger
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      02-03-2011, 12:01 PM   #17
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GL45 tranny from GM built in GM plant in France, uses DEXRON VI(AF6) fluid holds 6.5 quarts. Any fluid compatible with that type/rating will do.
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      02-03-2011, 02:44 PM   #18
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To answer to op's original question, Yes you should change your ATF and differential fluid, every 30,000 miles for maxium life, out of those parts. BMW wants you to change the whole transmission when it dies from lack of maintenance, because they make more money that way. ZF, has several transmission re-manufacturing warehouses in each state, in the US, because we are the worlds most gullible consumers. without fluid change your trans should die shortly after 100K miles. With proper care every 30,000 miles, it can last up to 200K miles. OEM fluid is very expensive from the stealership, however, it is non other than Re-labeled Motor craft Mercon SP, which can be purchase online for like $4:00/qt. Rear diff fluid should be reaplaced with a synthetic 75W 90, like Royal purple, redline, or mobile 1. Keep in mind that OEM trans fluid (mercon SP) is mineral oil based, which is why it only lasts untill 30,000 miles. Chriztofor is very good with his advise about atf change, however, castrol multivehicle ATF, isn't a long life fluid. Like OEM its also mineral oil based. Consider using something like Pentosin ATF1, castrol transmax z, or royal purple ATF. Pentosin, and castrol transmax z, were tested and approved by ZF to be extended drain fluids of up to 60K miles. They are also approved by Voith in europe, and are standard issue on Busses that generate tons of torque. Also have the independent shop suck out as much fluid as they can. Usually 9 liters is the capacity.

Last edited by Turkeybaster115; 02-03-2011 at 02:54 PM.
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      02-03-2011, 03:13 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turkeybaster115 View Post
To answer to op's original question, Yes you should change your ATF and differential fluid, every 30,000 miles for maxium life, out of those parts. BMW wants you to change the whole transmission when it dies from lack of maintenance, because they make more money that way. ZF, has several transmission re-manufacturing warehouses in each state, in the US, because we are the worlds most gullible consumers. without fluid change your trans should die shortly after 100K miles. With proper care every 30,000 miles, it can last up to 200K miles. OEM fluid is very expensive from the stealership, however, it is non other than Re-labeled Motor craft Mercon SP, which can be purchase online for like $4:00/qt. Rear diff fluid should be reaplaced with a synthetic 75W 90, like Royal purple, redline, or mobile 1. Keep in mind that OEM trans fluid (mercon SP) is mineral oil based, which is why it only lasts untill 30,000 miles. Chriztofor is very good with his advise about atf change, however, castrol multivehicle ATF, isn't a long life fluid. Like OEM its also mineral oil based. Consider using something like Pentosin ATF1, castrol transmax z, or royal purple ATF. Pentosin, and castrol transmax z, were tested and approved by ZF to be extended drain fluids of up to 60K miles. They are also approved by Voith in europe, and are standard issue on Busses that generate tons of torque. Also have the independent shop suck out as much fluid as they can. Usually 9 liters is the capacity.
If OEM oil is mineral based, I can't believe they are recommending 100,000 mile changes.

By the way, 30,000 mile ATF changes for mineral based oil ie: Castrol, isn't that bad. If you drive 10,000 miles a year, you are talking about changing it once every three years. (If you don't flush, then a little more frequently because you don't get all the fluid out of the torque converter just by draining and filling it.)
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      02-07-2011, 06:23 AM   #20
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So I found out it does take Dexron VI! I changed it yesterday and its so much better now. It only drained about 4.4 quarts out. With the waste of letting the excess drip out I used every ounce of 5 quarts to fill it up. It was very much like the DIY for the ZF on here but the fill bolt is easyer to get at on this GM tranny.
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      02-07-2011, 10:32 AM   #21
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Its CPO drive that bitch to 100k and sell it.
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      02-07-2011, 09:45 PM   #22
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So I found out it does take Dexron VI! I changed it yesterday and its so much better now. It only drained about 4.4 quarts out. With the waste of letting the excess drip out I used every ounce of 5 quarts to fill it up. It was very much like the DIY for the ZF on here but the fill bolt is easyer to get at on this GM tranny.
That's great. Keep us posted on how the transmission does in the coming months.

What fluid did you end up using? Redline D6?
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