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      06-15-2021, 09:18 PM   #1
FaceDeAce
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328 xDrive fluids question

Hey look! ... another oil thread, LoL.
But seriously, just a couple questions that should be quick and easy for those in the know.

This new2us car is a 2009 328 xdrive, manual transmission, inline 6 engine. I have no idea on the maintenance history of this car other than the few records that came with it says last time it was looked at was 3 1/2 years ago. The first thing I do on any used vehicle that shows up on the driveway is drop ALL the fluids and refill, regardless of what the previous owner tells me. That way we have a known starting point on everything. We basically reset our maintenance cycle that way and then go from there.

I am intend to go through engine, diffs, manual transmission, and transfer case fluids later part of this week. Googling takes forever to find stuff, so am here asking for specs or leads to. Is there an online reference look-up chart somewhere? A link to that would be very helpful, thank you.

I will refill with what I can get locally that meets the grades. The local shops have quite a few options to select from. However, oem bmw fluids are NOT an option for me as the closest bimmer shop is a 8 1/2 hour one way drive from here. The next closest is 14hrs.

At this point in time, the plan is partially developed. Need some more info to finish flushing it out ... pun intended.

Engine oil. I understand this L6 N52 unit to take 5w30 / 5w40 and 6.5-7.0 litres. I am in a cool climate so am going with 5w30 Penzoil UP or Euro. Filter is going to be Fram Ultra Synth.

Differentials. I believe it is GL5 75w90 front and rear. I do not know if either on this car is limited slip. Anyone able to confirm? My plan until information changes is to go 75w90 front, 75w140 rear. Fill capacities estimate?

6 speed manual transmission. What is the oil spec? Is it also just a basic GL5 75w90 or something else? Fill capacity estimate?

Transfer case. Plenty of high performing big and small 4wd units come across the local streets. Some take basic ATF, some take highly concocted ATF variants, others take simple gear oil. I understand the concept of the xDrive and to implement such it probably uses clutch packs and pressure plates to make changes in transfer of power front2back. So it must be an ATF style fluid in the transfer case. Any more specific info on it available?

In advance ... thank you for your patience with yet another oil thread, and your guidance. This need not be long. I have no need nor interest in debating brands and colours. Just the fluid specs and refill capacities for each component are all that I need.

Last edited by FaceDeAce; 06-16-2021 at 08:21 PM..
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      06-17-2021, 03:58 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaceDeAce View Post
Hey look! ... another oil thread, LoL.
But seriously, just a couple questions that should be quick and easy for those in the know.

This new2us car is a 2009 328 xdrive, manual transmission, inline 6 engine. I have no idea on the maintenance history of this car other than the few records that came with it says last time it was looked at was 3 1/2 years ago. The first thing I do on any used vehicle that shows up on the driveway is drop ALL the fluids and refill, regardless of what the previous owner tells me. That way we have a known starting point on everything. We basically reset our maintenance cycle that way and then go from there.

I am intend to go through engine, diffs, manual transmission, and transfer case fluids later part of this week. Googling takes forever to find stuff, so am here asking for specs or leads to. Is there an online reference look-up chart somewhere? A link to that would be very helpful, thank you.

I will refill with what I can get locally that meets the grades. The local shops have quite a few options to select from. However, oem bmw fluids are NOT an option for me as the closest bimmer shop is a 8 1/2 hour one way drive from here. The next closest is 14hrs.

At this point in time, the plan is partially developed. Need some more info to finish flushing it out ... pun intended.

Engine oil. I understand this L6 N52 unit to take 5w30 / 5w40 and 6.5-7.0 litres. I am in a cool climate so am going with 5w30 Penzoil UP or Euro. Filter is going to be Fram Ultra Synth.

Differentials. I believe it is GL5 75w90 front and rear. I do not know if either on this car is limited slip. Anyone able to confirm? My plan until information changes is to go 75w90 front, 75w140 rear. Fill capacities estimate?

6 speed manual transmission. What is the oil spec? Is it also just a basic GL5 75w90 or something else? Fill capacity estimate?

Transfer case. Plenty of high performing big and small 4wd units come across the local streets. Some take basic ATF, some take highly concocted ATF variants, others take simple gear oil. I understand the concept of the xDrive and to implement such it probably uses clutch packs and pressure plates to make changes in transfer of power front2back. So it must be an ATF style fluid in the transfer case. Any more specific info on it available?

In advance ... thank you for your patience with yet another oil thread, and your guidance. This need not be long. I have no need nor interest in debating brands and colours. Just the fluid specs and refill capacities for each component are all that I need.
The easiest place to look is FCP Euro. Whether you buy from there is up to you, but it will tell you the correct type of fluids for each application. For instance, the x-drive TC has one type of oil made only by one company or rebranded as BMW.

Lots of different opinions on oil, however, anything that meets LL-01 spec complies with the manufacturer's guidance. I only use Mann filters. They are OE and cheap.

Fr/rear diffs, 75w90 is the correct weight. I use liqui-moly 75w90. I usually buy 1 liter per differential, but I tend to use just over 1 for an x-drive. The fill is the same as the drain, so I pump out as much as I can and then refill until it just starts to come out of the fill plug.

BMW MT fluid is also 75w90. All of mine are automatics, so I personally don't have any opinions.

The TC takes very little of the actual fluid. Something like 300ml, but don't quote me on it. It is a PITA to fill from the fill plug, so people (me included) do work-arounds to fill through the drain. You'll need ISTA or INPA to reset the adaptations after changing it or eventually you get the CBS yelling at you to change it.
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      06-18-2021, 02:12 AM   #3
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All good advice. Except I thought the MT needed 75W80...
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      06-18-2021, 11:33 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Phil325i View Post
All good advice. Except I thought the MT needed 75W80...
Your comment is why I always I look for myself. It's 75w90, but you'll get a lot of IIRCs, or I think it is X on everything on these forums.

Just do the research yourself. It takes 5 seconds.
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      06-19-2021, 06:06 AM   #5
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Thanks. I did some research and opinions vary. Several lubricant suppliers offer both 75W-90 and 75W-80 for this MT. I will switch back to 75W-90 on your recommendation at the next change, but TBH I don't think the difference is earth shattering. I've run 75W-80 for years without issues. 75/90 stays slightly thicker than 75/80 when hot, but is the same when cold...
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      06-19-2021, 09:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaceDeAce View Post
Hey look! ... another oil thread, LoL.
But seriously, just a couple questions that should be quick and easy for those in the know.

This new2us car is a 2009 328 xdrive, manual transmission, inline 6 engine. I have no idea on the maintenance history of this car other than the few records that came with it says last time it was looked at was 3 1/2 years ago. The first thing I do on any used vehicle that shows up on the driveway is drop ALL the fluids and refill, regardless of what the previous owner tells me. That way we have a known starting point on everything. We basically reset our maintenance cycle that way and then go from there.

I am intend to go through engine, diffs, manual transmission, and transfer case fluids later part of this week. Googling takes forever to find stuff, so am here asking for specs or leads to. Is there an online reference look-up chart somewhere? A link to that would be very helpful, thank you.

I will refill with what I can get locally that meets the grades. The local shops have quite a few options to select from. However, oem bmw fluids are NOT an option for me as the closest bimmer shop is a 8 1/2 hour one way drive from here. The next closest is 14hrs.

At this point in time, the plan is partially developed. Need some more info to finish flushing it out ... pun intended.

Engine oil. I understand this L6 N52 unit to take 5w30 / 5w40 and 6.5-7.0 litres. I am in a cool climate so am going with 5w30 Penzoil UP or Euro. Filter is going to be Fram Ultra Synth.

Differentials. I believe it is GL5 75w90 front and rear. I do not know if either on this car is limited slip. Anyone able to confirm? My plan until information changes is to go 75w90 front, 75w140 rear. Fill capacities estimate?

6 speed manual transmission. What is the oil spec? Is it also just a basic GL5 75w90 or something else? Fill capacity estimate?

Transfer case. Plenty of high performing big and small 4wd units come across the local streets. Some take basic ATF, some take highly concocted ATF variants, others take simple gear oil. I understand the concept of the xDrive and to implement such it probably uses clutch packs and pressure plates to make changes in transfer of power front2back. So it must be an ATF style fluid in the transfer case. Any more specific info on it available?

In advance ... thank you for your patience with yet another oil thread, and your guidance. This need not be long. I have no need nor interest in debating brands and colours. Just the fluid specs and refill capacities for each component are all that I need.
Engine: Castrol Edge 0W40, Mobil1 0W40.
Second choice: Mobil1 5W40 FS or FS X2.
Third choice: Quaker State Euro 5W40, Valvoline European Vehicle 5W40.
Fourth choice: Castrol Edge 5W40.
ALL available in local Wal Mart.

Differential: GL5 76W90. You can get Valvoline in Wal Mart, exceptional fluid.

Grarbox: Redline D4. Exceptional results in manual gearbox in E90. I have it in my 328 xDrive 6mt and I track car. Superb shifting.

Transfer case: STRICTLY BMW DTF1!!!
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      06-19-2021, 04:46 PM   #7
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Ok thanks folks. Very helpful. I am in NW Canada, so I do take a few minor liberties here and there based on climate. Availability is the prime factor, whatever is on sale at the time is the prime++ factor. Here is what I have planned:

* Engine: 5w30 full synthetic. Pennzoil Ultra Platinum. Fram Ultra filter. (both on sale -50%)
* Front/Rear differentials: 75w140 full synthetic. Pennzoil Platinum axle oil GL5. On sale, no 75w90 available on the shelf at the moment other than house-brands. I could I triple the cost and get RP. Yes, the 140 is a fair bit thicker but we have and will work fine for the limited use this car is going to get booting around town. Maybe gas mileage will be down a bit. It can be changed again later if I `feel` any difference in the handling. I do have a reference and experience with this as I interchange 90 to 140 to 90 back and forth on the other cars and trucks on the drive with no issues.
* Manual transmission: 75w90 full synthetic Pennzoil Platinum Gear 75w90, GL4 transmission (MTF). The alternative would be the Platinum Synchromesh GL5 or RP Synchromesh.
* Transfer case. Not resolved or decided on this one yet. I would have to mail order the oem BMW bottles at sky high cloud scraping prices. My digging indicates TF0870 = DTF-1 = DCFT = an ATF. So finding a reputable oil made for clutched transfer cases (DCT) should work fine. A comparable example would be GM auto trak fluid. It would be helpful if anyone who has had the bmw T-case apart can tell me if it is a clutch plates system or if it is a sheave (cvt) type system.

Thoughts? Comments? Thanks gain. All have a great day and great weekend.

Last edited by FaceDeAce; 06-19-2021 at 04:51 PM..
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      06-19-2021, 07:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaceDeAce View Post
Ok thanks folks. Very helpful. I am in NW Canada, so I do take a few minor liberties here and there based on climate. Availability is the prime factor, whatever is on sale at the time is the prime++ factor. Here is what I have planned:

* Engine: 5w30 full synthetic. Pennzoil Ultra Platinum. Fram Ultra filter. (both on sale -50%)
* Front/Rear differentials: 75w140 full synthetic. Pennzoil Platinum axle oil GL5. On sale, no 75w90 available on the shelf at the moment other than house-brands. I could I triple the cost and get RP. Yes, the 140 is a fair bit thicker but we have and will work fine for the limited use this car is going to get booting around town. Maybe gas mileage will be down a bit. It can be changed again later if I `feel` any difference in the handling. I do have a reference and experience with this as I interchange 90 to 140 to 90 back and forth on the other cars and trucks on the drive with no issues.
* Manual transmission: 75w90 full synthetic Pennzoil Platinum Gear 75w90, GL4 transmission (MTF). The alternative would be the Platinum Synchromesh GL5 or RP Synchromesh.
* Transfer case. Not resolved or decided on this one yet. I would have to mail order the oem BMW bottles at sky high cloud scraping prices. My digging indicates TF0870 = DTF-1 = DCFT = an ATF. So finding a reputable oil made for clutched transfer cases (DCT) should work fine. A comparable example would be GM auto trak fluid. It would be helpful if anyone who has had the bmw T-case apart can tell me if it is a clutch plates system or if it is a sheave (cvt) type system.

Thoughts? Comments? Thanks gain. All have a great day and great weekend.
BMW only lists DTF-1 in TIS as compatible with the e90 ATC300 transfer case. In earlier BMW series (E30, E34, E53) that had a different case, ATF was used. As far as I can tell, Ravenol, BMW and Febi are all just rebranded versions of Shell TF-0870.

I definitely would not put in ATF. Given that the formulation is rather specific, you are likely to corrode the metals in the gearbox using something else. Even if the oil costs 70USD to ship you 1L, you're still only talking under $100 for a service that will probably last you the life of the car for you. Don't buy BMW, though, all of the other brands are available at half the cost.
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      06-19-2021, 08:23 PM   #9
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2011 BMW 328  [0.00]
https://www.redlineoil.com/mt-lv-70w75w

Redline started suggesting this as a replacement for Shell TF0870.
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      06-19-2021, 08:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaceDeAce View Post
Ok thanks folks. Very helpful. I am in NW Canada, so I do take a few minor liberties here and there based on climate. Availability is the prime factor, whatever is on sale at the time is the prime++ factor. Here is what I have planned:

* Engine: 5w30 full synthetic. Pennzoil Ultra Platinum. Fram Ultra filter. (both on sale -50%)
* Front/Rear differentials: 75w140 full synthetic. Pennzoil Platinum axle oil GL5. On sale, no 75w90 available on the shelf at the moment other than house-brands. I could I triple the cost and get RP. Yes, the 140 is a fair bit thicker but we have and will work fine for the limited use this car is going to get booting around town. Maybe gas mileage will be down a bit. It can be changed again later if I `feel` any difference in the handling. I do have a reference and experience with this as I interchange 90 to 140 to 90 back and forth on the other cars and trucks on the drive with no issues.
* Manual transmission: 75w90 full synthetic Pennzoil Platinum Gear 75w90, GL4 transmission (MTF). The alternative would be the Platinum Synchromesh GL5 or RP Synchromesh.
* Transfer case. Not resolved or decided on this one yet. I would have to mail order the oem BMW bottles at sky high cloud scraping prices. My digging indicates TF0870 = DTF-1 = DCFT = an ATF. So finding a reputable oil made for clutched transfer cases (DCT) should work fine. A comparable example would be GM auto trak fluid. It would be helpful if anyone who has had the bmw T-case apart can tell me if it is a clutch plates system or if it is a sheave (cvt) type system.

Thoughts? Comments? Thanks gain. All have a great day and great weekend.
Pennzoil Ultra Platinum will not cut it.
Look for oils with following approvals if you cannot find BMW LL01 or LL04: MB229.5, Porsche A40, VW 502.00.
Or:
MB229.51, MB229.52, Porsche C30, VW504.00/507.00

I would not go 75W140. Try your best to get 75W90.
Transfer case: your choice, but I would pay for BMW fluid.
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      06-20-2021, 12:31 AM   #11
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OK. There is a `euro` version of the Platinum that has the LL rating which I could go with. I really haven't been putting any weight to the LL nor lifetime fluid ratings on the labels as I am definitely not a subscriber to that eoci camp. I follow API categories and get the best oil on the shelf at sale price at the time. I will go typically 5000km, 8000km max on engine and 50k-80k on power train fluids.

I will seek out some more details about the transfer case fluid. Will go BMW if nothing else substantiated comes to light. No, I would not blindly put an ATF in it. So do not worry about that. I was just pointing out that any clutched transfer case would use a fluid much like ATF, as an example, with full appreciation that there are different formulations that work with different clutch fibre materials and pressure plate designs. Lubricant choice really is not mystical nor complicated, if one has the correct information. That Redline MT-LV may be an option as I believe I did see that on the shelf at the local NAPA.

Last edited by FaceDeAce; 06-20-2021 at 12:43 AM..
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      06-20-2021, 10:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaceDeAce View Post
OK. There is a `euro` version of the Platinum that has the LL rating which I could go with. I really haven't been putting any weight to the LL nor lifetime fluid ratings on the labels as I am definitely not a subscriber to that eoci camp. I follow API categories and get the best oil on the shelf at sale price at the time. I will go typically 5000km, 8000km max on engine and 50k-80k on power train fluids.

I will seek out some more details about the transfer case fluid. Will go BMW if nothing else substantiated comes to light. No, I would not blindly put an ATF in it. So do not worry about that. I was just pointing out that any clutched transfer case would use a fluid much like ATF, as an example, with full appreciation that there are different formulations that work with different clutch fibre materials and pressure plate designs. Lubricant choice really is not mystical nor complicated, if one has the correct information. That Redline MT-LV may be an option as I believe I did see that on the shelf at the local NAPA.
You should pay attention to LL ratings and research this subject more. API is irrelevant in ANY European application. BMW LL and other approvals are far more stringent than anything API (and I really cannot emphasize enough how far behind API is compared to BMW LL approvals and especially MB229.5X approvals). It is not about extended OCI only but deposits, oxidation (BMW is by far most stringent here), evaporation loss, HTHS (this is from wear stand point and engine protection most important variable. It is resistance of oil to temporary or permanent loss of viscosity at 150c) etc.
Get that Pennzoil Euro Platinum L 5W30. LL04 5W30 is borderline 5W40 oil with much higher HTHS (API 5W30 oils are usually 2.9-3.1 HTHS, LL01 and LL04 are minimum 3.5 in same grade. That is huge difference as result of much better base stocks).
Your approach "I don't subscribe to lifetime " is bit ignorant as that is really not the point of these fluids. When you going for API product and not BMW or MB etc. approved products, you are buying far inferior products regardless of your OCI.
As for DTF1, it is tricky fluid and unless you are buying Motul or Redline replacement, which are still hit or miss, you will be buying new transfer case.
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      06-20-2021, 02:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaceDeAce View Post
OK. There is a `euro` version of the Platinum that has the LL rating which I could go with. I really haven't been putting any weight to the LL nor lifetime fluid ratings on the labels as I am definitely not a subscriber to that eoci camp. I follow API categories and get the best oil on the shelf at sale price at the time. I will go typically 5000km, 8000km max on engine and 50k-80k on power train fluids.

I will seek out some more details about the transfer case fluid. Will go BMW if nothing else substantiated comes to light. No, I would not blindly put an ATF in it. So do not worry about that. I was just pointing out that any clutched transfer case would use a fluid much like ATF, as an example, with full appreciation that there are different formulations that work with different clutch fibre materials and pressure plate designs. Lubricant choice really is not mystical nor complicated, if one has the correct information. That Redline MT-LV may be an option as I believe I did see that on the shelf at the local NAPA.
There's no reason to buy the BMW-branded DTF1, although the prices of all 4 brands are within $20. You can see the diagrams of the ATC300 by a simple search. An ATF with typical friction modifiers for a clutch-type transmission did not appear to be what you would need. I've never taken mine apart (thank God), but it doesn't appear that way from the schematic.
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      06-21-2021, 10:37 AM   #14
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Thanks all.
I did pickup the PP Euro L in 5w30. Thanks for noting the API - ACEA gap. If I appeared to be a bit ignorant that would be my making a plug against Marketing for using terms such as Long Life (LL) and/or Lifetime and/or Extended Intervals. My point and maintenance practices are that oil is a wear component which also functions as a wet filter. Monitor the fluids condition and when they are degraded or contaminated, changeout. No matter what is says on the bottle or in the manual.
Since last I was here, I also found a diagram of the transfer case. It is a helical gear unit with clutch pack. That significantly narrows the scope of which potential fluid options to evaluate. It would be a wet clutch gear oil.
https://awd.tech/pages/atc-300-diagram
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Last edited by FaceDeAce; 06-21-2021 at 12:03 PM..
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      06-21-2021, 03:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaceDeAce View Post
Thanks all.
I did pickup the PP Euro L in 5w30. Thanks for noting the API - ACEA gap. If I appeared to be a bit ignorant that would be my making a plug against Marketing for using terms such as Long Life (LL) and/or Lifetime and/or Extended Intervals. My point and maintenance practices are that oil is a wear component which also functions as a wet filter. Monitor the fluids condition and when they are degraded or contaminated, changeout. No matter what is says on the bottle or in the manual.
Since last I was here, I also found a diagram of the transfer case. It is a helical gear unit with clutch pack. That significantly narrows the scope of which potential fluid options to evaluate. It would be a wet clutch gear oil.
https://awd.tech/pages/atc-300-diagram
So, even if you go by ACEA it is not as stringent as manufacturers approvals. ACEA is starting point, and manufacturers build on top of that their approvals.
Here is part of testing for Porsche A40. As part of testing (just one of the tests) for A40 approval, oil has to be able to do 8X1hr simulated drive on Nurburgring:

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      06-21-2021, 08:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaceDeAce View Post
Thanks all.
I did pickup the PP Euro L in 5w30. Thanks for noting the API - ACEA gap. If I appeared to be a bit ignorant that would be my making a plug against Marketing for using terms such as Long Life (LL) and/or Lifetime and/or Extended Intervals. My point and maintenance practices are that oil is a wear component which also functions as a wet filter. Monitor the fluids condition and when they are degraded or contaminated, changeout. No matter what is says on the bottle or in the manual.
Since last I was here, I also found a diagram of the transfer case. It is a helical gear unit with clutch pack. That significantly narrows the scope of which potential fluid options to evaluate. It would be a wet clutch gear oil.
https://awd.tech/pages/atc-300-diagram
Like I said before. You are likely to change the TC oil once. Ever. Seems like skimping on a guess to save very little money probably isn't worth it for something you'll do once every 100k miles. I looked at the shipping… 1L runs about $60 USD landed in NW CA. A rebuilt ATC300 is around $2k.
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      06-21-2021, 11:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaceDeAce View Post
Thanks all.
I did pickup the PP Euro L in 5w30. Thanks for noting the API - ACEA gap. If I appeared to be a bit ignorant that would be my making a plug against Marketing for using terms such as Long Life (LL) and/or Lifetime and/or Extended Intervals. My point and maintenance practices are that oil is a wear component which also functions as a wet filter. Monitor the fluids condition and when they are degraded or contaminated, changeout. No matter what is says on the bottle or in the manual.
Since last I was here, I also found a diagram of the transfer case. It is a helical gear unit with clutch pack. That significantly narrows the scope of which potential fluid options to evaluate. It would be a wet clutch gear oil.
https://awd.tech/pages/atc-300-diagram
Like I said before. You are likely to change the TC oil once. Ever. Seems like skimping on a guess to save very little money probably isn't worth it for something you'll do once every 100k miles. I looked at the shipping… 1L runs about $60 USD landed in NW CA. A rebuilt ATC300 is around $2k.
$60 delivered? It is $56 in my local dealership. That is a steal.
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      06-21-2021, 11:41 PM   #18
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$60 delivered? It is $56 in my local dealership. That is a steal.
In the US, it would be much cheaper. I saw as cheap as $29 with free shipping. I just put in what was some remote postal code in NW Canada to see what it cost.
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      06-22-2021, 08:25 AM   #19
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$60 delivered? It is $56 in my local dealership. That is a steal.
In the US, it would be much cheaper. I saw as cheap as $29 with free shipping. I just put in what was some remote postal code in NW Canada to see what it cost.
I actually got in dealership few weeks ago. But I need to research better as I change it like every 20k.
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      06-22-2021, 09:23 AM   #20
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[QUOTE=edycol;27726385]
I've changed mine once on my e60 at 100k. Basically looked the same as it did going in although a hint more amber. Doubt I'll ever change it again while I own the car.
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      06-22-2021, 11:50 AM   #21
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[QUOTE=e91Owner;27726586]
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Originally Posted by edycol View Post
I've changed mine once on my e60 at 100k. Basically looked the same as it did going in although a hint more amber. Doubt I'll ever change it again while I own the car.
I track car, so every spring TC and diff. fluids are out. Color is not indicative of good or bad fluid. Amber color means there is very little oxidation, but cannot point to state of additives. I would change every 60k.
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      06-22-2021, 12:18 PM   #22
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[QUOTE=edycol;27727221]
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Originally Posted by e91Owner View Post
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Originally Posted by edycol View Post
I've changed mine once on my e60 at 100k. Basically looked the same as it did going in although a hint more amber. Doubt I'll ever change it again while I own the car.
I track car, so every spring TC and diff. fluids are out. Color is not indicative of good or bad fluid. Amber color means there is very little oxidation, but cannot point to state of additives. I would change every 60k.
That will be the next guy's problem lol. I only have one kid left in the house to drive that one for about the next two years and then I'll get her a less maintenance intensive newer car for college.
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