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Old 01-09-2007, 11:31 PM   #1
George300
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Manual Transmission Fluid Change (Please set the record straight!)

I am close to 102K miles and never changed the transmission fluid, is it a good idea to change it? On the other hand I have the "clunk" or "thud" sound when shifting carelessly, I can avoid it most of the time if I am very careful.

So the question is I guess a two part question: would you change the fluid and would it have an impact on the annoying clunk?

The car is a 1999 328i Manual Transmission (early E46s)

Any help would be appreciated, I guess I am trying to find a good reason to convince myself to do it rather than not doing it.
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Old 01-09-2007, 11:36 PM   #2
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I'm wondering the same about mine. I do remember driving my buddy's 98 M3 and I remember the same noise. Let me know what you find out. I've been considering changing mine also.
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Old 01-09-2007, 11:41 PM   #3
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I have a 330ci (manual) that has just alittle over 100K now. I'm planning to do the change this weekend. I don't see why not to do it, espeicaly since it hasn't been done or you have no records of it done in the pass.

As for the annoying clunk, im not sure what you guys are talking about there. )-:
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Old 01-09-2007, 11:48 PM   #4
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Old 01-09-2007, 11:48 PM   #5
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Yes you should change the fluid. As stated previously, bmw 'lifetime' fluid is not really lifetime.
UNLIKE automatic/steptronic where the transmisson can actully fail becuase of the change, manual wont. In manual, you can change the fluid whenever, how many time youd possibly like with no damage. Manual transmisson dont have hydrolic lifters etc. for they are more 'basic'

BMW manual transmisson come with ATL (automatic transmisson fluid) but you can change it with whatever manual tranny fluid youd like (lots of people have done it and it is okay).

I personnally have REDLINE MTL, it is made for manual trannies that come with ATL. The fluid took about 500km-1000km to actully notice a difference. I noticed the gears engaged smoother and i felt i got more shifter feel (dont know if it is in my head though)....i have a 2000 328i and i still get sometimes an annoying clunk, especially with my windows down.

Look into royalpurple sycromesh, lots of people with bmw use it and love it.

Your car will require about 1.1-1.3 quarts of it so buy two bottles.

In conclusion, change the fluid every 30 000km or so, maybe even every year, it will ultimetly prolong the life of the manual tranny hence it will be easier for the scycros.

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Old 01-09-2007, 11:57 PM   #6
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awesome 323into that is helpfull, so I guess I will look for something syntetic. one more question, since I am not going to do it myself but at a "wait while they do it" shop, should I ask them to change the transmission fluid AND the differential fluid? here in california these shops are called "JiffyLub", and I am not sure they will know how to change the differential fluid, would it be bad to change the transmission fluid only?
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Old 01-10-2007, 12:01 AM   #7
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is this the one? Redline D4 ATF Transmission Fluid (http://www.bmw325i.net/rev_redline_tran_fluid.shtml)
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Old 01-10-2007, 12:47 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by George300 View Post
awesome 323into that is helpfull, so I guess I will look for something syntetic. one more question, since I am not going to do it myself but at a "wait while they do it" shop, should I ask them to change the transmission fluid AND the differential fluid? here in california these shops are called "JiffyLub", and I am not sure they will know how to change the differential fluid, would it be bad to change the transmission fluid only?
ive never had a shop change the fluids on my car, but imsure that if they can handle an oil change, they can both the diff and the manual tranny.

changing the diff is pretty much just like changing manual transmission oil - undo the fill bolt, undo the drain bolt, redo the drain bolt, fill it up until it starts spilling out, redo the upper bolt.

and since the diff and the tranmission oils arent related, there would be no harm in changing one without the other, or changing them at different times. i dont see why you wouldnt just do them both though, since they are so simple.


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is this the one? Redline D4 ATF Transmission Fluid (http://www.bmw325i.net/rev_redline_tran_fluid.shtml)
that is what i recently put in my manual transmission. its good stuff.

Last edited by palomino; 01-10-2007 at 12:50 AM.
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Old 01-10-2007, 04:15 AM   #9
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the clunk is what i guess you can call a "characteristic" of a bimmer. my e30 had it, my e36 has it, my moms e46 has it, and my dads e60 has it. i wouldnt be surprised if my sister's e90 will have it in the future.


since youve put on 102,000 miles, yes it would be wise to swap out your tranny fluid with some fresh fluid. i would recommend redline D4 ATF.
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Old 01-10-2007, 04:26 AM   #10
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ive never had a shop change the fluids on my car, but imsure that if they can handle an oil change, they can both the diff and the manual tranny.
I took my car into a jiffylube to have the oil changed, and they managed to **** it up 3 times. I kept leaking oil until they finally got it right. Never again will i trust those idiots with my car.
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Old 01-10-2007, 04:56 AM   #11
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You can do the fluid change yourself, Its easy. All you need is basic tools a drip pan and some time to do it. Dont trust those shops ie., Jyffylube, etc.,etc.,,they have no clue. Most of the time they employ people with some skills and no knowledge on the subject. Redline is the way to go in my opinion. You have the right website to purchase from, just do it.
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Old 01-10-2007, 05:02 AM   #12
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You can do the fluid change yourself, Its easy. All you need is basic tools a drip pan and some time to do it. Dont trust those shops ie., Jyffylube, etc.,etc.,,they have no clue. Most of the time they employ people with some skills and no knowledge on the subject. Redline is the way to go in my opinion. You have the right website to purchase from, just do it.
if you choose to do it yourself keep in mind that the fill and drain plug are torque'd down nice and tight and you're goin' to need plenty of leverage to get them off.
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Old 01-10-2007, 06:47 AM   #13
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My old 325e manual had lifetime fluid in the trans i put about 280k on that car b4 the engine blew and never once changed the trans fluid no problems at all.That being said my 2003 325 manual had lifetime fluid and i just changed@70k to RedLine MTL (the fluid that came out looked brand new)it made no diff.on the feel of the shift or anything(cold or hot) i just feel better keeping "Fresh" fluids in this car (lifetime fluids just doesnt even sound right when you think about it)
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Old 01-10-2007, 06:51 AM   #14
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Since it's an easy DIY change it. It's unbelievable it has been in there for 100k miles, you'll absolutely feel a difference.
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Old 01-10-2007, 10:45 AM   #15
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I change the tranny lube once a year using Redline MTL and NOT D4ATF. MTL lubes the gears better than D4ATF. The only drawback is that I have to shift a little more slowly until the tranny has warmed up - usually after a couple of miles. I change the diff lube once a year, also. I use Redline 75W-90 for non-LSD diffs.
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Old 01-10-2007, 01:29 PM   #16
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Thank you everybody, I will change it, but I will use the original Texaco ETL 7045E on the transmission and the Red Line Synthetic for the Differential Fluid. That's what www.bavauto.com suggests.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 01-10-2007, 02:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akbrazil View Post
I have a 330ci (manual) that has just alittle over 100K now. I'm planning to do the change this weekend. I don't see why not to do it, espeicaly since it hasn't been done or you have no records of it done in the pass.

As for the annoying clunk, im not sure what you guys are talking about there. )-:
That noise MUST BE some type of bushing, might be called the Guido or Guibo. I'm seriously concerned, it feels loose when u accelerate then decelerate while leave it in gear. When reversing slowly, let of the clutch, you can often hear it.

We really need to clear this subject. I know that it must be some type of bushing. Matter of fact I'm calling the Parts manager Pete at Essex BMW here In Bloomfield, NJ and have him ask the mechanics at the shop. I'll post the asnwer ASAP!!!
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Old 01-10-2007, 03:08 PM   #18
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Got IT!!!!!!!!!! Finally


ok, ok ,ok!!!

Pete says that it's the universal joint in the drive shaft and what happens is as they get older it dry-rotts and cracks causing play in the shaft!! Other parts could also play a role, but not enought to be considered.


There you have it Ladies and Gents.. If anyone elase have some aditional Info please respond to this post.
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Old 01-10-2007, 03:48 PM   #19
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Got IT!!!!!!!!!! Finally


ok, ok ,ok!!!

Pete says that it's the universal joint in the drive shaft and what happens is as they get older it dry-rotts and cracks causing play in the shaft!! Other parts could also play a role, but not enought to be considered.


There you have it Ladies and Gents.. If anyone elase have some aditional Info please respond to this post.

my clunk was subframe failure.. check the car driver side near the rear diff.
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Old 01-10-2007, 04:49 PM   #20
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ATF change FTW....as far as the thud...check for subframe damage..
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