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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 > Lifetime fluid my @$$



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      02-17-2011, 07:02 PM   #1
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Lifetime fluid my @$$

Took advanage of the Indian summer, and decided it was time for "Ebony" to get some fresh fulid in her...I'm the second owner...cars from Miami originally if that matters haha..I'm was just a nick under 65k. Nothing was wrong, but I don't believe in "lifetime fluid".

Power Steering


Differential





Sorry no side by side

ZF Steptronic Tranny Fulid





Tranny Pan Magnets







Just a little over 5 1/2 qts of fulid came out total

Coolant was done by forget to take a pic
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      02-17-2011, 07:08 PM   #2
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haha that made my day. I just had a talk with my local german car shop friend about this a few hours ago
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      02-17-2011, 07:13 PM   #3
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haha that made my day. I just had a talk with my local german car shop friend about this a few hours ago
And what did he say??
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      02-17-2011, 07:29 PM   #4
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Oh we just both laughed at the fact that the actual car manufacturers themselves will flat out lie to customers to make a buck. Dealerships get quicker turn arounds when your car last 100k miles as opposed to 200k miles. He mentioned how audi and mb do this as well and some even seals off a lot of their moving parts. It is a little crooked to me but it is economics. There is no such thing as a lifetime fluid and their never will be.
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      02-17-2011, 07:31 PM   #5
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What, did you take a coke break inbetween?
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      02-17-2011, 07:40 PM   #6
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Op: I agree with you 100%. Thanks for posting pics. Did you throw away the old filter? VERY CURIOUS, do you think you can pull apart the old filter and post a pic. If too much of a hassle, don't worry about it.
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      02-17-2011, 08:04 PM   #7
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Nice pics. Thanks.
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Let me get this straight... You are swapping out parts designed by some of the top engineers in the world because some guys sponsored by a company told you it's "better??" But when you ask the same guy about tracking, "oh no, I have a kid now" or "I just detailed my car." or "i just got new tires."
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      02-17-2011, 11:43 PM   #8
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What would be interesting to see is how fluids look after a short time in the engine. Oil turns dark quick, but it's still plenty usable... (for example)...
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      02-18-2011, 12:45 AM   #9
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supposedly its not the color of the fluid but the viscosity that matters. At least thats what a couple if BMW shop mechanics have said. But fluid is never lifetime, idk why they call it that because how can one generalize how lone one person will own their car for. Very misleading, i agree.
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      02-18-2011, 06:00 AM   #10
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supposedly its not the color of the fluid but the viscosity that matters. At least thats what a couple if BMW shop mechanics have said. But fluid is never lifetime, idk why they call it that because how can one generalize how lone one person will own their car for. Very misleading, i agree.
I think that purely using color to judge is a poor metric, without an analysis of the fluid there is no way to tell anything. That said, a "lifetime" is an arbitrary term, I've driven cars to 200k miles, others have eclipsed that as well. I find it hard to believe that after 25 years and 250k miles the fluid would still meet the original specs.
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      02-18-2011, 07:20 AM   #11
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In general, it is not impossible to make a lifetime fluid for real, BUT there are several problems, most of them economically concerned:
1. The fluid manufacuterers make their money from quantities, not from the price.
2. No one has interest (except the costumers), of making lifetime fluid, because there won't be such jobs as fluid changes, service and etc.
3. If they make it lifetime, there won't be any motivation for further improvement of the fliuds and technologies for them, but the new technologies (parts) demand them.
4. The lifetime fluid would need special filters.

If we don't take under consideration those facts, and they make such type of fluids - their retail price should be in the range of 150-200$ for a liter!!! Or nobody would have interest of making them

So the problem is not the fluid itself, the problem is the manifacturers who favours selling you whole new (very expensive) units like transmissions, diffs, AWD Transfer Cases, Power Steering Racks etc. Because the more units made (and sold), the smaller price for the manufacturer (bigger profit margins at a fixed retail price), and more labour charging at the stealerships -> More money for ZF and BWM -> Happier BMW and ZF (though f@cked up custumers).
They prefer to charge us 5000-8000$ for a new unit once, then five times at 300-600$ for ATF change through the lifetime of the car
And their most valued costumers (who buyes a new car, with the new toys every 3-4 years), does not clash with those long-run issiues.
And how would you comment the rumor - that a car of the 3-series range costs to BMW to manufacture from 10000-15000$ with the Research and Development cost calculated in the price!!!
And isn't it very suspiciously that the prices of the BMWs and Audis are very close, but they put out their new models with a 2-3 years difference, so nobody eat others cake???
Cartel? Communism?
Interesting questions...
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      02-18-2011, 07:22 AM   #12
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thanks for sharing
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      02-18-2011, 11:03 AM   #13
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They prefer to charge us 5000-8000$ for a new unit once, then five times at 300-600$ for ATF change through the lifetime of the car
Not if you DIY.
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      02-18-2011, 11:20 AM   #14
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What would be interesting to see is how fluids look after a short time in the engine. Oil turns dark quick, but it's still plenty usable... (for example)...
Good point. All fluids change color quickly, but are still very viable.
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      02-18-2011, 11:42 AM   #15
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I wonder if the "Lifetime label" has something to do with the EPA. If the manufacturers claim to not need fluid changes then that would imply less impact on the environment. They could get a break from the governments, who knows, I think its BS anyways.
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      02-18-2011, 11:42 AM   #16
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so on that note - when would be a good time to change all these fluids? My car is at 57k miles now. Should I just change out everything with my next oil change?
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      02-18-2011, 11:47 AM   #17
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While color is not an accurate indicator of how well a fluid can still do it's job, I don't believe in the 'lifetime' thing either. I'm at 53k and plan of having most fluids changed out very soon.
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      02-18-2011, 11:54 AM   #18
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I wonder if the "Lifetime label" has something to do with the EPA. If the manufacturers claim to not need fluid changes then that would imply less impact on the environment. They could get a break from the governments, who knows, I think its BS anyways.
The lifetime label is BS and this is coming from BMW! See attached service and warranty booklet, page 7, which calls for the transmission fluid to be changed at 100,000 miles.
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File Type: pdf 2006_3Series.pdf (647.6 KB, 102 views)
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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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      02-18-2011, 12:06 PM   #19
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i went off on my SA about this..even though he's a friend of mine.
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      02-18-2011, 12:09 PM   #20
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i went off on my SA about this..even though he's a friend of mine.
Curious, what was his comment about the contradicting label on the pan and in the "Service and Warranty" booklet?
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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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      02-18-2011, 12:22 PM   #21
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Color of the fluid is meaningless, the "color" are basically simple coloring agents and will fade over use.

Unless the fluids are ran through used oil analysis, there's ABSOLUTELY nothing to be drawn from this.
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      02-18-2011, 12:27 PM   #22
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Color of the fluid is meaningless, the "color" are basically simple coloring agents and will fade over use.

Unless the fluids are ran through used oil analysis, there's ABSOLUTELY nothing to be drawn from this.
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