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      04-15-2016, 01:31 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pits200 View Post
Nah, some people have an extra 100 to spend on a one time replacement that youll do while owning the car, like tranny fluid.

Ive saved more than enough on other diy jobs that it didnt pay to risk for the minimal amount.
7 Bottles of Lifeguard 6: $26.62 * 7 = 186.34
7 Bottles of Pentosin ATF1: $11.04 * 7 = $77.29
7 Bottles of Valvoline Maxlife: $6.01 * 7 = $42.07

The maxlife fluid meets the lubricant spec required for the ZF transmission. Viscosities are very similar and the additive package in the Maxlife fluid is there for older transmissions.

Its silly for you to pay $144 more (OEM Fluid) for essentially the same fluids. Maxlife and ATF1 seem like pretty reasonable priced fluids, but ZF lifeguard is just insane. People on these forums have way too much snobbery over high priced fluids and parts and neglect to look at the hard data of the products being sold (Data Sheets).

When you go shopping to get a new roof done for your house, you don't just call one person and take the quote one person gives you. You shop around and make sure you get a good price even though a new roof is usually "one time replacement" when you own a house.

The $144 I saved is going into a new waterpump because unlike most people it seems, I actually value money and want to spend it wisely.

Last edited by zoppp; 04-15-2016 at 01:39 AM..
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      04-15-2016, 03:54 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoppp View Post
7 Bottles of Lifeguard 6: $26.62 * 7 = 186.34
7 Bottles of Pentosin ATF1: $11.04 * 7 = $77.29
7 Bottles of Valvoline Maxlife: $6.01 * 7 = $42.07

The maxlife fluid meets the lubricant spec required for the ZF transmission. Viscosities are very similar and the additive package in the Maxlife fluid is there for older transmissions.

Its silly for you to pay $144 more (OEM Fluid) for essentially the same fluids. Maxlife and ATF1 seem like pretty reasonable priced fluids, but ZF lifeguard is just insane. People on these forums have way too much snobbery over high priced fluids and parts and neglect to look at the hard data of the products being sold (Data Sheets).

When you go shopping to get a new roof done for your house, you don't just call one person and take the quote one person gives you. You shop around and make sure you get a good price even though a new roof is usually "one time replacement" when you own a house.

The $144 I saved is going into a new waterpump because unlike most people it seems, I actually value money and want to spend it wisely.
Your roof analogy is in reference to shopping around for different labor prices and not the raw materials for doing the job which is what we are comparing here.

I agree, no one wants to feel like a sheep and just say they should use this and follow the masses. Only 2 oem fluids I use are transmission and transfer case since im xdrive. Does it kill me to bend over and pay the premium, yes, but I dont like leading the charge on something that is only 144 more for one time and there is not hundreds of confirmed uses of non oem fluid. The reason most people scoff at oem fluids is because rhey arwnt made by bmw, theyre rebrand and then bmw just tags on a 30% premium. Where if I take into account your roof analogy the saving could be thousands...
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      04-15-2016, 06:46 AM   #25
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      04-15-2016, 10:03 AM   #26
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Maxlife is going in my 6L45r next tuesday when I drain it and put a new filter in. Walmart has a gallon for $17. $34 for two bottles plus tax can't beat that.
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      05-11-2016, 02:03 AM   #27
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3k Miles. Maxlife still running great. Tracked the car at Roebling Road and still no issues.
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      07-03-2017, 10:44 AM   #28
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10k Miles later, Still going strong.
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      07-04-2017, 02:25 PM   #29
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Question Anyone do a Blackstone analysis yet ?

Has anyone done a ATF analysis with Blackstone Labs for the non Life Guard oils that have been used so far ? It would be great to find out.
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      08-01-2017, 12:25 PM   #30
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I have gotten a ton of info from this forum over the years so I figured I'd post what worked for me here.

first thing, recommend watching this video and also obtaining one of the transfer pumps/suction guns that the tech uses in the video if possible, they work great - harbor freight had a metal version, worked well enough for me:


found a link to the suction gun I used: https://www.harborfreight.com/oil-su...gun-95468.html - I did clean it out first as I was concerned about left over shavings from manufacturing but it really was a much more pleasant experience then when I used one of the plastic transfer pumps for the diff

I have used Mercon SP per this thread www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=363648 - it is available at advance auto parts (check store stock online & order for pickup) and several online vendors, got a great deal with a coupon and credit card promotional discount from advance auto parts. Car feels the same but maybe ever so slightly smoother shifting (had no issues before but the car is at 130k). Shifting into park is slightly quieter as well. Had no issues with this fluid and would use it again, though it's only been 6k miles.

It looks like the Maxlife may also be a good option from reading this thread - if so great news as it is even lower cost than Mercon SP.

While you're under you might as well change the diff fluid if you haven't (or even if you have, some say every 30k is recommended...). I went with the Castrol Syntrax 75w90 commonly available at autozone, I believe the SAF-XO variant is the official spec (XJ for LSD) but people seem to have used redline and amsoil without issue.

Last edited by go_threethirty_go; 08-01-2017 at 12:49 PM..
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      08-03-2017, 12:08 PM   #31
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I have a 2007 328xi and believe it comes with the GM Transmission.

The local autoshop sells Mobil Dexron VI ATF for GM vehicles. Can I use this for a transmission fluid change in my e90?

http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/mo...-0289418p.html
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      10-01-2018, 04:46 PM   #32
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Still running the Valvoline Maxlife fluid. Over 25K miles and two years and still no problems with the fluid.
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      10-02-2018, 12:21 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bennye90 View Post
I have a 2007 328xi and believe it comes with the GM Transmission.

The local autoshop sells Mobil Dexron VI ATF for GM vehicles. Can I use this for a transmission fluid change in my e90?

http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/mo...-0289418p.html
Anything with that Dexron VI rating is good for the GM transmission. I got Valvoline from Amazon in bulk:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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      10-28-2018, 10:25 AM   #34
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hey guys,
OP zoppp - thanks for the thread AND the updates. These things make this forum priceless.

my e92 is my daily driver but as often as possible is used as a country backroad ripper and I do plan on putting it on a track within the next couple months.
Due to an unfortunate series of events (described here: https://www.e90post.com/forums/showt...hain+excursion)
I've just swapped the drivetrain from a 2011 e91 into my 2007 e92 which means i went from a ZF to the GM transmission. I changed the fluid and filter in the trans with the maxlife as offered to me from a vendor happy to sell me hundreds of dollars worth of the pentosin but felt the maxlife was just as good. Someone else has since mentioned to me that while the valvoline base may be just as good, this person avoided the 'max life' and/or 'high mileage' additives because he felt that if the goal of the fluid was to extend the life of rubber seals and such by making age hardened rubber bits more pliable, then it may have the effect of degrading parts that were good to begin with. I've got about a gallon in it now but haven't started the car yet (it all went in just last night) so its not too late to just pull the plug and change fluids...

is this something that's been an issue or was this the rantings of a lone madman?
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Last edited by E92inAZ; 10-28-2018 at 10:31 AM..
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      02-05-2019, 11:40 AM   #35
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I got this message (Gearbox oil wear) yesterday when I plug the scanner on my 2009 E92 Xdrive should I service the transmission fluid only or the filter as well I only have 82,000 miles ?
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      02-05-2019, 01:13 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRoldan79 View Post
I got this message (Gearbox oil wear) yesterday when I plug the scanner on my 2009 E92 Xdrive should I service the transmission fluid only or the filter as well I only have 82,000 miles ?
If you're going thru the expense and/or effort of dropping the pan to do one of a filter or fluid change, I'd certainly do both.
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      02-15-2019, 03:46 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E92inAZ View Post
hey guys,
OP zoppp - thanks for the thread AND the updates. These things make this forum priceless.

my e92 is my daily driver but as often as possible is used as a country backroad ripper and I do plan on putting it on a track within the next couple months.
Due to an unfortunate series of events (described here: https://www.e90post.com/forums/showt...hain+excursion)
I've just swapped the drivetrain from a 2011 e91 into my 2007 e92 which means i went from a ZF to the GM transmission. I changed the fluid and filter in the trans with the maxlife as offered to me from a vendor happy to sell me hundreds of dollars worth of the pentosin but felt the maxlife was just as good. Someone else has since mentioned to me that while the valvoline base may be just as good, this person avoided the 'max life' and/or 'high mileage' additives because he felt that if the goal of the fluid was to extend the life of rubber seals and such by making age hardened rubber bits more pliable, then it may have the effect of degrading parts that were good to begin with. I've got about a gallon in it now but haven't started the car yet (it all went in just last night) so its not too late to just pull the plug and change fluids...

is this something that's been an issue or was this the rantings of a lone madman?
Well, MaxLife's info cutsheet no longer lists Dexron VI compatibility, so I'd be a little hesitant to use it, honestly.

For that matter, it doesn't say it meets Shell M-1375.4 specs anymore either...

https://sharena21.springcm.com/Publi...2-ac162d889bd1

Horse's mouth, up there.

I think if I had the GM tranny I'd stick with a Dexron VI fluid, just because I can't imagine it being *less* finicky than my ZF... I do use Mercon SP for my ZF tranny, but only because I saw that post linked previously with the Blackstone Labs analysis calling it and the BMW OE fluid effectively identical.
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      02-17-2019, 06:16 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slinkygn View Post
Well, MaxLife's info cutsheet no longer lists Dexron VI compatibility, so I'd be a little hesitant to use it, honestly.

For that matter, it doesn't say it meets Shell M-1375.4 specs anymore either...

https://sharena21.springcm.com/Publi...2-ac162d889bd1

Horse's mouth, up there.

I think if I had the GM tranny I'd stick with a Dexron VI fluid, just because I can't imagine it being *less* finicky than my ZF... I do use Mercon SP for my ZF tranny, but only because I saw that post linked previously with the Blackstone Labs analysis calling it and the BMW OE fluid effectively identical.
Just FYI, but the M-1375.4 spec is indeed listed on their product information page :

https://sharena21.springcm.com/Publi...2-ac162d889bd1

Just like one of the other posters, I refuse to ripped off by the outrageously excessive prices for ZF fluid, I have used Valvoline Maxlife Multi-Vehicle ATF in my 2007 335i for over 40,000 miles now, shifts flawlessly at 140,000 miles. And you can buy at Walmart/Autozone/etc for pennies as compared to getting the shaft from ZF. What a bald-faced lie they promote: only their fluid and no others, what a crock of BS. At this point, it would really be a shame to pay ZF prices because Crevier BMW offered me a measly $2500 on trade-in. I thought about it but the car runs flawlessly : no problems for years now, which is surprising because an incredible number of eff-ups were covered under warranty. The 2007 335i models are not known for their reliability. Luckily, it was a CPO or I would have been out many $ thousands on the assorted repairs it has required.

The other thing I like about Maxlife is that, like most tranny fluids, it is dyed red. That way you know right away if you have a transmission leak. ZF should have done the same as I did have a leak under warranty but didn't know it was tranny fluid until the dealer fixed it.
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      02-19-2019, 02:03 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwh335i View Post
Just FYI, but the M-1375.4 spec is indeed listed on their product information page :

https://sharena21.springcm.com/Publi...2-ac162d889bd1
The huge list it has (below the statement they make that the fluid isn't licensed by any manufacturer) is titled "Suitable for use in:" It does *not* say "approved," nor does it even say "meets standards."

Does "suitable" imply "meets standards?" Well, for comparison: it also lists Mercon SP and Mercon LV in the same "suitable for use" list. Look elsewhere here and in other forums for discussion about how those two standards are *not* cross-compatible. Additionally, SP -- the fluid that was elsewhere confirmed by Blackstone as being indistinguishable from the ZF fluid -- has an asterisk by it, and the text for that note is as follows:

Please note that legislation in California prohibits Valvoline from recommending MaxLife ATF in certain applications where the viscometrics of MaxLife ATF do not match those of the official OEM specification. Valvoline therefore does not recommend the use of MaxLife ATF in these applications in California.

Viscometrics do not match... pretty sure the legal-to-English translator spits out "I mean, it's not similar, but it's similar *enough* -- except in California we can get sued for lying about that, so if you're in California, we take that back, pretend we never said it."

But to each their own, I guess.

Quote:
The other thing I like about Maxlife is that, like most tranny fluids, it is dyed red. That way you know right away if you have a transmission leak. ZF should have done the same as I did have a leak under warranty but didn't know it was tranny fluid until the dealer fixed it.
Mercon SP is dyed red as well. That said, I've never been confused by fluid coming out of my tranny pan and thinking it was motor oil. Again, to each their own.

Last edited by slinkygn; 02-19-2019 at 02:11 PM..
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      03-21-2019, 06:52 PM   #40
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Running 30k miles and tracked the car. Transmission still fine and no faults in INPA.
Updated the link to the datasheet I got from the Valvoline rep. I would encourage anyone trying maxlife to chat with Valvoline and see if they have updated the sheet.
Updated Link to Datasheet
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      06-18-2019, 05:52 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoppp View Post
Running 30k miles and tracked the car. Transmission still fine and no faults in INPA.
Updated the link to the datasheet I got from the Valvoline rep. I would encourage anyone trying maxlife to chat with Valvoline and see if they have updated the sheet.
Updated Link to Datasheet
Just to note - that sheet is still dated 2015. May want to go with the one I posted earlier; it's dated 2019.
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      06-18-2019, 04:57 PM   #42
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I have used Maxlife for 48,000 miles now

the proof is in the miles. Why waste money on grossly/outrageously overpriced ZF fluid when Maxlife has worked flawlessly for nearly 50,000 miles now.

As I indicated, I was offered $2500 for the 2007 335i on trade in. These e90s are hitting the endpoint in value and lifespan. What a waste of money to then pour overpriced transmission fluid into them.

In any case, I have a transmission with 148,000 miles on it. There is no way that tranny is in the same state as it was new and designed for ZF fluid. So even if ZF fluid was in the tranny, it would be meeting specs that the transmission is no longer needing. Maxlife was engineered for older transmissions, ZF makes no claim to that.

Do not waste your money on the "ZF or else" BS. Of course ZF says that, they are making a killing selling $6 tranny fluid for nearly $20 a liter.

A If ZF is the only fluid you can use in a ZF transmission, then why does my tranny shift as well as it does after 48,000 miles on Maxlife?
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      06-18-2019, 06:59 PM   #43
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Cheapos, the maxlife is probably not for enthusiasts. It is for commuters. So there is an intended audience. Carry on.
Also dont assume automatically that i use zf fluid, i wouldn't mind it but it is expensive.
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      06-18-2019, 09:05 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgop335 View Post
Cheapos, the maxlife is probably not for enthusiasts. It is for commuters. So there is an intended audience. Carry on.
Also dont assume automatically that i use zf fluid, i wouldn't mind it but it is expensive.
Me either. I don't think anyone's been strongly advocating *for* using ZF-branded in quite a while on this thread.

For me, it's simple: there is an ATF that's been shipped to an independent lab which found it practically identical to the ZF. I can get that for the same price as MaxLife if I mail order, or for a buck more than MaxLife per quart at my local auto parts store. Do I pay the dollar, or do I save $7 per fluid change and go for "close enough"?

Some folks would pick the latter. I pick the former. Live and let live.
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