E46Fanatics - View Single Post - My diff only took 1 liter of fluid?!
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:25 PM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 597
My Ride: 2002 E46
Originally Posted by DKTim View Post
2000 323i 5speed 170,000km

Today I did spark plugs (NGK) and Diff Fluid (Redline) and threw in a magnaflow resonator.

Here is an album

The Diff Fluid:

I drained the fluid, only about 1 liter came out, there was no metal shavings, but the fluid was dark. It was still very clean, but dark. When I filled the diff back up I was only able to fit one liter (one bottle) before it started coming back out. My car was not perfectly level. The rear end was a couple of inches higher than the front end. So theoretically I might have overfilled it, but I was only about to fit one liter in. I drove the car for about 20km without issue.
My repair manual says I should be able to fit 1.73 liters.
The pictures will show you exactly how much came out...
Should I be worried?

Also I took some other random pics of my car, and noticed a power steering fluid leak which I will work on soon.
First - it's a diff, not an engine that goes through a combustion process - so unless there is a leak of the fluid you shouldn't be depleting fluid over time. It's not going to evaporate. So what you take out, should be what you put in. If there is a big discrepancy, you probably have a leak.

And I think it's normal for fluids used for lubrication of metal to turn brownish over time. Occasionally someone that has a lot of experience can smell a problem with engine oil (i.e. coolant in it) but, those skills aren't necessary for DIY, mainly just party tricks.

And I think your service manual is incorrect or you're looking at the wrong fluid. This is what my Bentley says:

PS - listed "capacity" will always be a little more than what you can actually fill it with, since there will always be some left in whatever you're draining (still adhering to metal, etc.).


Last edited by ChicagoRY; 05-09-2012 at 12:28 PM.
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