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Old 07-19-2013, 08:14 PM   #1
etomori
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Not-too-funny Results of a trans and diff oil change using Redline fluids

Had a rather bad experience when I had my 03 ZHP's 6-speed tranny and diff drained and refilled with the appropirate Redline tranny (MTL) and diff (75W90) fluids as recommended by the consensus of the e46 fanatics. The vehicle had 102,000 miles on it and, though driven fast, had not been tracked nor abused since I bought it used at 34,000 miles in 2005.

The bearings in the transmission started to make noises shortly after the change, and the noise progressively grew louder and at 104,000 miles, I took it back to my BMW shop (M-Power in Sacramento, CA) to have it checked out. Had it put on a rack and stethoscoped for the source and the noises were isolated to the output shaft of the unit.

As a stopgap measure, the tranny was drained and refilled with the OE BMW transmission fluid. It made no difference, the noise got louder. Got a used tranny for the replacement. BTW, the clutch and flywheel was inspected and showed little or no wear. (I had the clutch assembly and flywheel replaced when the BMW dealer replaced the engine under warranty at 54,000 miles.)

When I got the car back, the test ride revealed more noises coming from the driveline and back on the rack for another stethoscope inspection. This inspection revealed only normal bearing noises from the replacement tranny, but now bad bearing noises were coming from the differential! I had a used unit put in which is quiet and appears to run normally.

My question is: Was I better off to have not drained the transmission and differential fluids at the 100,000-ish mile mark and left things alone? At that time, both units were not making any abnormal noises and I did the fluid changes as apart of a 100,000 mile service on the vehicle.

Does Redline transmission and differential fluids have detergent effects that it cleans the deposits in the bearing races that have built up during use and cause excessive clearances that lead to bearing failure?

Is my recent experience a prime example of the law of unintended consequences?
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:56 PM   #2
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From the many threads I have read, there seems to be no decisive answer as to whether you should change the transmission fluid. Many claim problems having changed them, and many the exact opposite. Many also say that if the fluid change does cause problems, it was a ticking time bomb anyway.

I'm just over 82k miles, and I have the fluid and filter sitting in my garage.... but now I'm not so sure if I should do it. Part of me thinks that fresh fluid can't hurt the transmission. I also think that mixing old with fresh fluid probably isn't the best either, especially if they are different brands.

When you changed your trans fluid did you drain and refill a couple times to ensure all the old fluid was taken out?

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Old 07-19-2013, 09:02 PM   #3
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Not-too-funny Results of a trans and diff oil change using Redline fluids

OP has a manny...


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Old 07-19-2013, 09:13 PM   #4
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Not-too-funny Results of a trans and diff oil change using Redline fluids

I doubt even Dino oil from the convenience store could wipe out your transmission and differential in 2 k miles. I agree its a weird and unexplainable dichotomy though...


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Old 07-19-2013, 09:35 PM   #5
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Subbed. I recently changed tranny and diff fluids with RedLine ATF and 75w90 (manual trans). Changed at about 105k with no problems so far (at 108k). The only reason I switched to RedLine was that I couldn't get the "small" quantities of OEM BMW fluids from the local dealer.

Interested to hear if there are any other people with RedLine issues.
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:46 PM   #6
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Without actually taking apart the failed units and spending a lot of money to figure out the cause, nobody will know.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:02 PM   #7
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i swapped to redline fluid back when i had a sedan and ran it up into the 200k miles with no issues.
Run it on my M3 too.


SHAMELESS PLUG: i have a 3.38:1 diff for sale.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:04 PM   #8
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Not-too-funny Results of a trans and diff oil change using Redline fluids

I've only experienced success with those fluids in my TDI Golf, E46, and E30. All experienced a minor improvement (~2%) in fuel economy as well. It's one of the first things I do to any used car purchase.


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Old 07-19-2013, 10:25 PM   #9
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Yeah, gotta admit... I do like having an auto for daily driving, but it does act strange and unpredictable.
However, I dought that ill be replacing it with another auto.
5 or 6 speed for sure!

When I am going uphill in Sport Drive mode my trans doesnt shift quickly, it just stays in the gear its in...
doesnt look good... manual, here I come!
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:40 PM   #10
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I strongly doubt the fluid caused the problems, I've had Redline in my tranny and diff for the last 40k miles and they are as smooth as ever.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:25 PM   #11
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Could be a coincidence. One thing I didn't see in your post was the condition of the old fluid. Did the tech inspect for metal frags in the drained oil? Might have given you a clue as to overall condition of the guts before reloading the fresh stuff.

I've been running Redline in the wagon for the last 100K miles the trans(5-speed manual) and rear diff without issue Add this to your anecdotal data points.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:43 PM   #12
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Re: Not-too-funny Results of a trans and diff oil change using Redline fluids

If you have an auto, changing the fluids at such a mileage is a crap shoot. The benefits are obvious, but you risk the chance of knocking loose some sludge or whatever from a place that was doing no harm to where it causes problems. The ready smart is don't buy an auto or change the fluids regularly at a much lower mileage.

If the car is a stick, you shouldn't have as big of problems, but you should still change the fluids at regular intervals.

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Old 07-20-2013, 07:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umpersav View Post
From the many threads I have read, there seems to be no decisive answer as to whether you should change the transmission fluid. Many claim problems having changed them, and many the exact opposite. Many also say that if the fluid change does cause problems, it was a ticking time bomb anyway.

I'm just over 82k miles, and I have the fluid and filter sitting in my garage.... but now I'm not so sure if I should do it. Part of me thinks that fresh fluid can't hurt the transmission. I also think that mixing old with fresh fluid probably isn't the best either, especially if they are different brands.

When you changed your trans fluid did you drain and refill a couple times to ensure all the old fluid was taken out?

When you put the car on the rack and look at the locations for the manual transmission and differential drain plugs, they are located in the lowest part of the units. I do not think re-flushing the units would have made any difference. BTW, I looked at the Redline tranny lub after it was drained and it was clean and clear. My best guess is that the detergents in the lubricant cleaned the crud on the bearing and races creating clearances that led to accelerated wear on the bearings on both the transmission and the differential. My feeling is that I should have not changed the fluids and waited to replace the units when bearing noises indicated that the unit was failing. I replaced the transmission oil with BMW factory oil.

A rebuild for either unit is too expensive as the costs do not warrant such an investment in the vehicle. Perhaps, the manual tranny and diff units should have been changed at 50,000 or shorter intervals. If I had tracked the vehicle, I might have done it, but there was no indication of any abnormal noises from either of the units until I had the units drained and filled with the appropriate Redline lubricants.
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:05 PM   #14
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Pure coincidence. Unless you filled with an incorrect amount or mixed up fluids, the fluid change, presumably using the correct fluid, has absolutely nothing to do with your transmission failure. If anything, it prolonged its life. I'm on my third Redline D4 ATF change. Flawless.
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Old 07-21-2013, 03:42 AM   #15
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Wouldn't touch a slushie BMW, even if I was 100 and wheelchair bound, that takes care of the trans part. Used Redline fluids in the diffs and manual trans of several vehicles and when changed at 50,000 kms/30,000 miles still looked like new. Group V (POE) basestock is hard to beat, and couple that with as good an additive package as you can find it's a no brainer to use Redline, the no #1 choice worldwide for BMW owners changing their fluids.
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Old 07-21-2013, 07:17 AM   #16
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Wouldn't touch a slushie BMW, even if I was 100 and wheelchair bound, that takes care of the trans part. Used Redline fluids in the diffs and manual trans of several vehicles and when changed at 50,000 kms/30,000 miles still looked like new. Group V (POE) basestock is hard to beat, and couple that with as good an additive package as you can find it's a no brainer to use Redline, the no #1 choice worldwide for BMW owners changing their fluids.
Thanks for chiming in. For anyone new here, listen to this man when it comes to oil. He's the oil super patriot sport +.

You have reassured my decision to use Redline for all my oily needs. I even have it in my power steering system.

Tip: don't ever get this on your hands or clothing. It stinks... BAD
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Old 07-21-2013, 06:36 PM   #17
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Tip: don't ever get this on your hands or clothing. It stinks... BAD
+10000000

I got some on my shirt when I changed my tranny fluid 2 years ago and my shirt still stinks after dozens of washes
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Old 07-21-2013, 06:52 PM   #18
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+10000000

I got some on my shirt when I changed my tranny fluid 2 years ago and my shirt still stinks after dozens of washes
Eek =/ I wonder whats in it that makes it stink..
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Old 07-21-2013, 07:26 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprintman View Post
Wouldn't touch a slushie BMW, even if I was 100 and wheelchair bound, that takes care of the trans part. Used Redline fluids in the diffs and manual trans of several vehicles and when changed at 50,000 kms/30,000 miles still looked like new. Group V (POE) basestock is hard to beat, and couple that with as good an additive package as you can find it's a no brainer to use Redline, the no #1 choice worldwide for BMW owners changing their fluids.
What about the #1 choice for BMW owners who drive an auto? I need dex III (now dex VI) and I was thinking of using mobil 1. I have mobil 1 in my PS and have had no problems
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:40 AM   #20
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I used redline in my automatic GM and diff and had no problems. I did it last September at 76,000 when I first got it and it runs fine today.
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