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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 06-07-2013, 11:21 AM   #1
wildirish317
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Which Red Line Products to use - from Red Line

Link to tech article for BMWs: http://www.redlineoil.com/news_article.aspx?id=13
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:34 PM   #2
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The link says use the ATF in manual trans. I opted to use MTL when I swapped mine last time. This is the one maintenance item I haven't done on my car. I have read mixed reviews all over the place and also read about people using a blend of both. Nows a good time to ask again what others are doing?
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Old 06-07-2013, 01:13 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by rudycoop View Post
The link says use the ATF in manual trans. I opted to use MTL when I swapped mine last time. This is the one maintenance item I haven't done on my car. I have read mixed reviews all over the place and also read about people using a blend of both. Nows a good time to ask again what others are doing?
I tried MTL in my 5MT. It was great at first until it got colder. Then I didn't like it. By the time it warmed up I was pulling into the parking garage at work. The shifting was a bit stiff cold. Then Pentosin started to sell LT2 straight to the public. I went back to it and feel its the best. For durability I just change it every two years. If you are tracking it I would use redline but for everyday I prefer stock LT2 especially during winter mornings.

On my e36 which calls for auto trans fluid in manual gearbox I have used Redline with no problems at all. It's thinner thaN MTL. but e46 usually calls for LT2 not auto trans fluid. Not worth the risk to me especially when you can buy LT2 from non dealer stores now under Pentosin brand. Good luck!

Last edited by nacho; 06-07-2013 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 06-07-2013, 01:17 PM   #4
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Redline ATL gives a smoother feel and is better if the car is in cold weather. MTL gives a notchier feel which some prefer. Both have shorter intervals than Pentosin MTF-2 which is the original BMW fluid.
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Old 06-07-2013, 01:17 PM   #5
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I know Mike Miller's maintenance guide suggests using MTL or the BMW factory spec stuff (or Mt-90 on certain vehicles), but says he never uses ATF. I've already bought the MTL for when I change mine out next week.
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Old 06-07-2013, 02:51 PM   #6
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Interesting read. Thanks WildIrish!
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Old 06-07-2013, 02:55 PM   #7
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I have a bottle of MTL left. Maybe I will use the bottle of MTL and then finish it off w ATF. Then I will have an MTL heavy mixture. Anyone do this?
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Old 06-07-2013, 03:00 PM   #8
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My friend had redline put into his manual trans, says he hates it and that even in hot temps the shifting is a lot different compared to OEM fluid.
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Old 06-07-2013, 05:44 PM   #9
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Which Red Line Products to use - from Red Line

I'm getting ready change my tranny and diff fluids. Originally, I was going to stay with BMW, but the cost is so high that I'm switching to Red Line D4 ATF for the tranny and Red Line 75W90 for the diff.


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Old 06-07-2013, 05:49 PM   #10
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Don't do it man, that's my opinion. My friend is paying up and going back to OEM. He really hates the redline trans fluid and he's been driving manual cars his whole life. He can really tell the difference with it and it's for the worst.
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Old 06-07-2013, 05:50 PM   #11
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I've been using D4ATF in my manual trans now for over 100,000 miles, changed roughly every 30,000 miles. Shifts perfectly fine. I also use the D4ATF in the power steering system - no leaks yet...
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:20 PM   #12
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Re: Which Red Line Products to use - from Red Line

Getting a small sample size here, the vast majority of people with our cars put mtl in and are happy with it.

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Old 06-07-2013, 06:38 PM   #13
wildirish317
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Which Red Line Products to use - from Red Line

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Originally Posted by Solidjake View Post
Don't do it man, that's my opinion. My friend is paying up and going back to OEM. He really hates the redline trans fluid and he's been driving manual cars his whole life. He can really tell the difference with it and it's for the worst.
Well, that's the beauty of it; if I don't like it, I'll change it. It's not like a $25 trial will break the bank.


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Old 06-07-2013, 07:00 PM   #14
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I ran MTL in my 01 325 5spd. It had a stiff feel, but I suppose I like that. I also am not in a very extreme climate either. Now you guys are making me consider Pentosin. My local Napa has it.
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:40 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by wildirish317 View Post
I'm getting ready change my tranny and diff fluids. Originally, I was going to stay with BMW, but the cost is so high that I'm switching to Red Line D4 ATF for the tranny and Red Line 75W90 for the diff.


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I did it and took it out after 3 months, wasted time and money. You can get Pentosin LT-2 cheap nowadays. Turner has it for $22 per liter and some local places are cheaper. Here in San Diego, Northside Imports carries it.

http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-18...46-e39-z3.aspx

http://www.autohausaz.com/search/pro...FetFMgodigIAFg

The one good thing is that we are going into summer so it will seem not too bad for now but in the fall and winter you will not like it especially in the morning. Redline is racing fluid. You give up some driveability for endurance when pushing it hard but if youre just driving normally you are paying for the driveability for no real added value.
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:47 PM   #16
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You give up some driveability for endurance when pushing it hard but if youre just driving normally you are paying for the driveability for no real added value.
Thanks for the feedback. I'm not going into this with a blindfold on. If I don't like it, I'll change. I figure, within a year, I'll know.
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Old 06-15-2013, 12:15 PM   #17
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Finally got around to changing the transmission fluid with Red Line D4 ATF today. The LT-1 that came out was a pretty light vicosity, so I'm less concerned about using the ATF. First drive impressions didn't reveal much difference. It certainly wasn't any worse.
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Old 06-15-2013, 12:49 PM   #18
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I did it and took it out after 3 months, wasted time and money. You can get Pentosin LT-2 cheap nowadays.
The one good thing is that we are going into summer so it will seem not too bad for now but in the fall and winter you will not like it especially in the morning. Redline is racing fluid. You give up some driveability for endurance when pushing it hard but if youre just driving normallyyou are paying for the driveability for no real added value.
please explain this
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:01 PM   #19
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I hated both in my E30, the MTL made it extremely sticky (beyond notchy), and annoying in cold weather. When I purchased my e46 touring 5mt, the previous owner had just had the fluid changed with Redline MTL. I thought it felt way too notchy in the winter, and switched over to the ATF, which feels much smoother. My wife even noticed, who did not know I had done anything to the car, just commented on how much smoother the shifter was. It still feels fine now with our summer heat.
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:21 PM   #20
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I finally changed the ATF on my auto tranny after 118k mile, I used Amsoil - what a difference! It is so much smoother, the shifts in both manual and sports mode between gears are quicker, got rid of the notchyness and delay. I bought a gallon and 3 quarts for a little over $60. Only used 5.5 qts. I've put in about 1000 miles since the change and I'm still liking it.
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