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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 01-21-2006, 10:05 PM   #1
brucelee
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Trans and Rear Diff fluids

Hi,

I just purchased a 1999 328I, in really nice condition. The car has 92K miles on it and I want to bring the lube services up to date.

In addition to an oil change, I was thinking of doing a trans fluid and read diff fluid change. Of course, the BMW manuals are not very helpful here.

My intent was to use Mobil one ATF fluid in the auto trans. and Mobil one 75-90 gear lube in the rear.

My question is whether these are the correct fluids and if so, what quantities are in each cavity?

Also, is there a way to check the Auto Trans fluid level?

Thank you.
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Old 01-22-2006, 01:02 AM   #2
leej323
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I've read that BMWs use lifetime tranny fluid. Supposedly you're not supposed to flush it.
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Old 01-22-2006, 10:04 AM   #3
brucelee
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Thanks. I find that totally hard to believe. How did this magical trans get produced anyway.

Who else is skeptical?
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Old 01-22-2006, 10:15 AM   #4
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Many of us who plan to use (hope) to keep their cars beyond 100K miles are skeptical and have changed the fluids.

My only word of advice, get a professional to do the transmission...and that does not mean Jiffy Lube.

Do a search. You will find plenty on the subject.

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Old 01-22-2006, 11:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucelee
Thanks. I find that totally hard to believe. How did this magical trans get produced anyway.

Who else is skeptical?
A lot of us are skeptical about this - as mentioned, do a search on the subject. I would have ignored this as well if it weren't for a number of respected mechanic-types here who have said NOT to change the fluid. Plus the method used to change/refill is somewhat unique.

BTW this advise only applies to the auto, not the manual.

As for your other q, many here (including myself) have opted for Redline 75w90 synthetic for the rear gear. Royal Purple is another name as well.

Mark
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Old 01-22-2006, 02:01 PM   #6
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Thanks guys. I will do a search for more info!
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Old 01-22-2006, 03:14 PM   #7
ADA
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I chaned my transmission fluid and differential fluid too.

However, you only issue is that you have a very high mileage transmission.

P.S If you do decide to change out your transmission make sure you replace the transmission filter, gasket, and bolts too.

You either have a GM or a ZF transmission
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Old 01-22-2006, 04:21 PM   #8
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Is it bad changing transmission fluid with a high mileage car? If so, is it still safe to change the fluid in a 70K mile car?
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Old 01-22-2006, 04:34 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by delta
Is it bad changing transmission fluid with a high mileage car? If so, is it still safe to change the fluid in a 70K mile car?

That is your call. I changed my transmission fluid (filter, gasket, and bolts) at 76,000 miles. My car is at almost 85,000 and no problems so far =)

The rule of thumb is like 50,000 miles. the concept is that all the sludge on higher transmissions are holding all the gear into place. when you flush out a high transmission the sludge will go away but now you introduce "extra play/gap/movement" into your gear. therefore, your transmission might fail.

Again, the decision is yours. I did mine at 76,000 miles and I am happy. My next transmission change is going to be at 90,000
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Old 01-22-2006, 04:50 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info
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Old 01-22-2006, 04:50 PM   #11
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I believe for my car (an 04 325i Step) the rear Differential takes 0.95 qaurts. To be on the safe side, I just picked up 2 quarts of 80-90 Castrol Gear Oil at Walmart (@$3.32 ea).
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Old 01-22-2006, 08:45 PM   #12
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I read a detailed post, I believe here, about changing the auto trans fluid. I believe the difficult part was to measure the temperature of the fluid, which had to be plus or minus 5 degrees, at some odd tempuratue like 55 degrees Celsius, when you check the fluid-level. If you get the temp wrong you get the fluid-level wrong, and you would have been better off doing nothing.
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Old 01-22-2006, 11:10 PM   #13
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You should get 2 quarts of rear end fluid unless the pump can get out every drop from the 1st quart. I had to run out and get another quart in the middle of the job.

Royal purple works good.
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Old 01-26-2006, 09:53 AM   #14
brucelee
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An update:

Replaced the diff fluid with about 1.5 qts of Mobil 1 75W-90 fluid. Easy to do this.

Re: the trans, I chatted with my BMW parts guy who is a real source (he wrenches his own BMWs),

On my particular car, all but one qt of fuid is drained when the pan is dropped. I am going to do this, buying the 8qts of flluid, filter, gasket etc from BMW.

He laughed out loud when I asked him about lifetime fill and then told me what his fluid looked like at 95K miles.

In short, I am changing soon!

Thanks
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Old 02-17-2006, 07:29 PM   #15
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Hey im about to do a differential fluid change.. Are there any special tools that are needed? .. i heard something about a 10 mm hex and a 14 mm hex to remove the fill and drain plugs but i have no idea.. can anyone tell me which one is the right one for a '00 328i
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Old 02-18-2006, 09:08 AM   #16
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The differential drain and fill plugs have aluminum washers that should be replaced. Pick them up before you start the job. They are very inexpensive.
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