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      09-21-2012, 01:29 AM   #1
calicolorado
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New gearbox and rear diff oil at 100k + BMW maintenance rant

Hi folks, I recently changed the gearbox fluid in my '08 328i using Redline D4 ATF. The rear diff was changed using Redline 75W90, the same stuff I use in my 2002. I have about 1000 miles on the fluids now and I have to report that it is without question an essential maintenance item for our cars, despite BMW recommendations.

Shift feel has improved 75% from the factory fill and I am actually enjoying the car more. You can feel the precision in the gearbox and how it was engineered to operate with light effort and quick throws. Well done Getrag and Redline!!!

I used my $3.99 transfer pump from Harbor Freight to put the fluids in both the gearbox and diff. I also used it to draw the old fluid out of the diff using a smaller piece of tubing attached onto the larger intake hose on the pump. I had a plastic beaker to dump fluids into so I could measure the volume removed.

It's so important that those of us who want to keep our cars for hundreds of thousands of miles understand the folly of BMW's philosophy toward maintenance and fluids. There is no way BMW could convince me that a "Lifetime Fill" fluid is appropriate to a motor vehicle. It's not possible. If you want things to last, and your BMW to last just like the sweet, amazing, high mileage E24s, E28's and E30's, you MUST stick to regular fluid changes. Our E90's are capable of the same longevity, I truly believe.

BMW has succumbed to the modern way-their cars are disposable and are marketed toward a lowest common denominator who wants nothing to do with vehicle maintenance. For those of us who love their product, this is tragic, but fortunately, they can be kept fresh through rigorous maintenance.
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      09-21-2012, 06:30 AM   #2
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I will second that outlook and used the redline D6

The Redline D6 took all the notchiness out of the manual on my 325 xi.
I don't usually think that snake oils and additives are a good idea,
but this is something that really works. Now the transmission approaches
the buttery smoothness of a Honda Manual. I also put Redline in the old Integra manual and it brought it back from near death to near factory perfect after 230k .

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      09-21-2012, 07:59 AM   #3
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I'm a big fan of Redline products and fortunately have a local distributor right on my way home. I was meaning to research fluids that were used with success in my "new" car and this thread was already on top.

I agree that lifetime fluids are crap, I just changed all the fluids in a Jeep Cherokee with about 80K miles, the thing drove great but you should have seen all the sparklies in the diff oil. Guess what, if you never change the oil, that stays in there forever.
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      09-21-2012, 12:21 PM   #4
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I agree, changed my diff. fluids and noticed that the car feels smoother. Going in for the transmission fluid at 95K. Can't believe they recommend lifetime...
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      09-21-2012, 12:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calicolorado View Post
There is no way BMW could convince me that a "Lifetime Fill" fluid is appropriate to a motor vehicle. It's not possible.

I thought I read somewhere in the service manual that "Lifetime" fluids = 100,000 mile change interval.

I also recently changed the pan and fluid on my car when it reached 100,000 miles. Can't say I noticed a big difference, other than being relieved that it was done I'll be doing the rear diff in a couple of weeks.
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      09-21-2012, 12:57 PM   #6
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It's lifetime until it needs replaced.
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      09-21-2012, 01:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calicolorado View Post
BMW has succumbed to the modern way-their cars are disposable and are marketed toward a lowest common denominator who wants nothing to do with vehicle maintenance. For those of us who love their product, this is tragic, but fortunately, they can be kept fresh through rigorous maintenance.
I honestly don't see a problem with this. This is just BMW understanding the market and their customers, the large majority of whom don't really care if their cars last hundreds of thousands of miles. As enthusiasts, we do care, and therefore take better care of our cars, but do you think all of those BMW drivers with leased cars care? Of course not.

For the majority of BMW drivers, the factory recommended maintenance intervals will give them a car that lasts "long enough" and runs "well enough". Enthusiasts have different definitions for these terms than typical owners.
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      11-28-2012, 10:00 PM   #8
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why'd you go with D4 as opposed to D6?
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      11-28-2012, 10:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calicolorado View Post
Hi folks, I recently changed the gearbox fluid in my '08 328i using Redline D4 ATF. The rear diff was changed using Redline 75W90, the same stuff I use in my 2002. I have about 1000 miles on the fluids now and I have to report that it is without question an essential maintenance item for our cars, despite BMW recommendations.

Shift feel has improved 75% from the factory fill and I am actually enjoying the car more. You can feel the precision in the gearbox and how it was engineered to operate with light effort and quick throws. Well done Getrag and Redline!!!

I used my $3.99 transfer pump from Harbor Freight to put the fluids in both the gearbox and diff. I also used it to draw the old fluid out of the diff using a smaller piece of tubing attached onto the larger intake hose on the pump. I had a plastic beaker to dump fluids into so I could measure the volume removed.

It's so important that those of us who want to keep our cars for hundreds of thousands of miles understand the folly of BMW's philosophy toward maintenance and fluids. There is no way BMW could convince me that a "Lifetime Fill" fluid is appropriate to a motor vehicle. It's not possible. If you want things to last, and your BMW to last just like the sweet, amazing, high mileage E24s, E28's and E30's, you MUST stick to regular fluid changes. Our E90's are capable of the same longevity, I truly believe.

BMW has succumbed to the modern way-their cars are disposable and are marketed toward a lowest common denominator who wants nothing to do with vehicle maintenance. For those of us who love their product, this is tragic, but fortunately, they can be kept fresh through rigorous maintenance.
yeah last year the SA told me he didn't want my money on a coolant flush as the coolant is LIFETIME. This year a different SA said nothing is lifetime, but if you don't own the car, why not go along, what do you care? If you own the car, flush the coolant, um, that's what a coolant exchange machine is for. They didn't invent it for no reason. He took my money and what do you know, I saw the tech wheel out the exchange machine and hook it up to my car.

Since 2007, suddenly, the LL01 is good for 2 years, instead of 1. What advances in technology doubled the oil change interval time-wise?

Ah, grasshopper, the E92 has forged aluminum suspension parts, and the F30 has stamped steel. Nah, not for cost cutting. The paradigm has shifted and increasing unsprung weight benefits the handling.
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      11-28-2012, 10:31 PM   #10
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I was shocked when my local BMW dealer refused to change my E91 MT fluid (at my expense), warning that doing so would damage the transmission.

They're now my ex-dealer.
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      11-29-2012, 12:01 AM   #11
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I agree about the redline swap. Started doing my 330i (3qts) at 65k, 3 more at 75k, will do again at 85k, new filter at 100k. My 95 escort has same service, going strong at 190k. I just purchased a 2001 slk320 with 105k, swapping this out too to redline at 2500 mile intervals. After three rounds, ill do the filter. I've read on higher mileage cars if you swap it out all at once you risk loosening some big chunk of varnish, plugging up the valve body somewhere, goodbye tranny.
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      11-29-2012, 11:38 AM   #12
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I change my tranny fluid and diff fluid every 30,000 miles. It's probably overkill, but I feel a difference in the way the car drives after the change, and I plan on keeping the car a long time. I use Royal Purple and think it works great.
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      11-29-2012, 03:29 PM   #13
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ndog, what did he put in the transmission? BMW MTL or something else. If something else, what kind of spec is it?
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      11-29-2012, 04:37 PM   #14
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BMW recommendation for auto trans is 100K miles. ZF the manufacturer is 50K miles. Who do you think I believe?
Unless BMW decides to warrant the transmission and diff for life they will be changed every 35-40K miles as per my previous BMWs.

All components are better as are the lubricants but they still all get contaminated or worn out and need replaced.

BMW does this for one reason, to try and keep competitive with Asian manufactures like Lexus who has long intervals for changes. Not product improvement marketing to keep pace with other brands.
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      12-09-2012, 03:26 PM   #15
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Changed my 330 6MT with Redline D6 ATF and saw a great increase in the precision and smoothness of shifts. Bentley list refill at 1.5 liters(ZF) and 1.3 liters for the Getrag. Will now switch to 30k intervals.
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      12-10-2012, 11:22 AM   #16
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I did extensive internet research on BMW MTF-LT-3, which is Castrol BOT 207. It's very hard to find info, but I did find the following passages in a Castrol document:

Quote:
The team settled on a fluid known as BOT 207.
Tests on a rolling road showed lower fuel consumption when BOT 207 was used. There was a 1.4 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency over the fluid normally used in the BMW Mini...
Then the Castrol doc goes on, blah blah about saving 3 grams of CO2 per kilometer. That 3g will save the world (or you can hold your breath for 8 minutes and save the same amount of CO2 emission). Obviously the change to MTF-LT-3 (from LT-2) is primarily motivated by efficiency.

Quote:
Fill-for-life already exists for passenger cars, which typically have a life expectancy of 200,000-250,000km.
As far as I'm concerned, this is catching "them" red-handed! Fill-for-life my arse! Who's life are we talking about here? If you want to drive your car longer than 124k ~ 155k miles, you'd better change that transmission oil. If you believe BMW that it's lifetime fill, then you'r cars lifetime is no more than 155k miles.

Rather than repost the whole thing, I'd like to link to another thread on this same sub-forum where I posted the results of my research into manual transmission and differential lubricants (where the above is sourced), and where other members provided some valuable info:

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=471019

I'm glad to hear that many of you have tried Red Line D4 and D6 ATF in BMW 6MT and have been happy with the results. I've been leaning in that direction due to the excessive cost and hassle of sourcing BMW MTF-LT-3. Also, Red Line's reputation and Mike Miller's confidence in their lubricants (he claims virtually all BMW manual transmission rebuilders use Red Line lubricants) weigh in that decision.

Has anyone tried Red Line D6 ATF in a 335i 6MT (ZF GS6-53BZ transmission)?
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