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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 03-20-2017, 06:07 PM   #1
1100russ
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Tranny fluid advice

Ok guys, I've searched and searched and found some answers but I don't really like the answers lol. First off, it's an 02 330i auto (ZF) with 125k miles. What fluid should I use? I have seen valvoline merc V which I can't find locally, castrol transmaxx which I don't trust (don't like the idea of using an atf non specific fluid) or go to a dealer and pay anywhere from 15 to 30 dollars a quart for the esso type stuff. Who has used what, did it work well and is it still working/how many miles did you get? Thanks. I love this car and I want to drive it a long time.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:12 PM   #2
Darios e46
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You could always buy the oem fluid online for cheaper know ecs sells full service kits for a pretty good price
https://www.ecstuning.com/b-assemble...pwEaAsE18P8HAQ


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Old 03-20-2017, 06:17 PM   #3
cvx5832
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100russ View Post
Ok guys, I've searched and searched and found some answers but I don't really like the answers lol. First off, it's an 02 330i auto (ZF) with 125k miles. What fluid should I use? I have seen valvoline merc V which I can't find locally, castrol transmaxx which I don't trust (don't like the idea of using an atf non specific fluid) or go to a dealer and pay anywhere from 15 to 30 dollars a quart for the esso type stuff. Who has used what, did it work well and is it still working/how many miles did you get? Thanks. I love this car and I want to drive it a long time.
Dexron is everywhere and dirt cheap. Previously posted on Bimmerfest -

Quote:
Originally Posted by cvx5832
My take, use Dex 3 or Dex 6, whichever. If it's an E46 auto, choose whichever and call it a day.

The GM takes Dex3 or Dex6 for obvious reasons.

The ZF can take Dex3 or Dex6 based on personal experience. I have 117k miles on Dexron with the ZF, 33k of that on Dex 6. For what it's worth I use Redline, change it every 45k and it comes out cherry red every time.

In cold weather (below 35degF) I notice the ZF with the Dex 6 shifts quicker but shifts like my other ZF with the Dex 3 after it warms up.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:36 PM   #4
BaliDawg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvx5832 View Post
Dexron is everywhere and dirt cheap. Previously posted on Bimmerfest -
Why are you recommending Dexron in a ZF transmission? It's not approved by ZF.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:37 PM   #5
BaliDawg
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I have the same ZF transmission in my E39 and use Valvoline Import Multivehicle.
http://www.valvoline.com/our-product...smission-fluid

You can use any of these:
Valvoline Import Multi-Vehicle
Valvoline Maxlife Multi-Venicle
ZF Lifeguard5
Pentosin ATF1
Febi No. 14738
Fuchs Titan 5005
Redline D4
Mobil ATF LT71141
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Last edited by BaliDawg; 03-22-2017 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:49 PM   #6
jmo69
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Isn't Redline D4 a Dex compatible oil?
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:56 PM   #7
BaliDawg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmo69 View Post
Isn't Redline D4 a Dex compatible oil?
This page lists the fluids it's compatible with, including Esso LT71141.
https://www.redlineoil.com/product.aspx?pid=51&pcid=9
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaliDawg View Post
I have the same ZF transmission in my E39 and use Valvoline MaxLife Multivehicle Import.

You can also use these: ZF Lifeguard5, Pentosin ATF1, Febi No. 14738, Fuchs Titan 5005, Redline D4.
Redline D4 is a Dexron 3 fluid
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:16 PM   #9
BaliDawg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvx5832 View Post
Redline D4 is a Dexron 3 fluid
Yeah, it says Dexron III as well as LT71141.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:19 PM   #10
cvx5832
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaliDawg View Post
Why are you recommending Dexron in a ZF transmission? It's not approved by ZF.
Because -

The first known successful fluid changes on the ZF 5HP19 was on Dexron
The Redline D4 you just recommended is a fluid based on Dexron spec
Because I have 117k+ miles of personal experience on Dexron

The factory may not recommend it, but from what I see it's an endorsement based on $$$ & liability, not fluid compatibility.

But as always, just my opinion. Feel free to follow ZF recommendation. Just sharing actual experience.
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Old 03-21-2017, 01:03 AM   #11
BaliDawg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvx5832 View Post
Because -

The first known successful fluid changes on the ZF 5HP19 was on Dexron
The Redline D4 you just recommended is a fluid based on Dexron spec
Because I have 117k+ miles of personal experience on Dexron

The factory may not recommend it, but from what I see it's an endorsement based on $$$ & liability, not fluid compatibility.

But as always, just my opinion. Feel free to follow ZF recommendation. Just sharing actual experience.
Well, I have very little knowledge on oil chemistry, so I only use those specifically stated as compatible or recommended. I spent some time hunting down the ATFs I listed with verified written support for ZF 5HP19 or compatible with Esso LT71141 for my own maintenance of ZF ATs.

There are a few oil experts on here so maybe they can offer more input?
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Last edited by BaliDawg; 03-21-2017 at 01:04 AM.
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:13 AM   #12
markusmarkus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvx5832 View Post
Redline D4 is a Dexron 3 fluid


No, it's a Dex4 fluid.


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Old 03-21-2017, 07:40 AM   #13
BaliDawg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markusmarkus View Post
No, it's a Dex4 fluid.
What? You joking? There is no Dexron 4 fluid.

There is Dexron VI (6) though, but D4 isn't that.

Did you read the D4 link I included?
https://www.redlineoil.com/product.aspx?pid=51&pcid=9
It specifically states compatible with Dexron III and Dexron II.
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:42 AM   #14
1100russ
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Easy guys.......Just looking for recommendations. Especially from guys that have put alot of miles on certain fluids. I appreciate the ideas. All of them!
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:53 AM   #15
BaliDawg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100russ View Post
Easy guys.......Just looking for recommendations. Especially from guys that have put alot of miles on certain fluids. I appreciate the ideas. All of them!
Nothing like an oil thread to get the debate juices roiling..ha ha ha.

You may still be able to get the original Esso LT71141 fluid from a BMW dealer. The ZF Lifeguard5 is the closest to that, but a bit pricey.
https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/zf-...-liter-lt71141

When I did my research some time ago, I found written support for each of the ATFs I memtioned in the earlier post and settled on the Valvoline.
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Old 03-21-2017, 08:15 AM   #16
m_peterson6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100russ View Post
Easy guys.......Just looking for recommendations. Especially from guys that have put alot of miles on certain fluids. I appreciate the ideas. All of them!
Just google "LT71141 equivalent" or "lt71141 compatible" and pick a brand. There are options from Castrol, Mobil, Valvoline, etc. Dexron/Dexron equivalent has been used in the ZF but it is no cheaper or easier to obtain than the fluid recommended by the manufacturer so I do not see why anyone would want to use it.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:01 AM   #17
BaliDawg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m_peterson6 View Post
Just google "LT71141 equivalent" or "lt71141 compatible" and pick a brand. There are options from Castrol, Mobil, Valvoline, etc. Dexron/Dexron equivalent has been used in the ZF but it is no cheaper or easier to obtain than the fluid recommended by the manufacturer so I do not see why anyone would want to use it.
I never knew about the MOBIL ATF LT 71141, as shown here. Will add it to the list!
http://www.mobil.com/english-GB/Pass...L-ATF-LT-71141
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mobil-Esso-L...oAAOSwuxFYuAoy

Which Castrol ATF? I searched their website, read their data sheets, and couldn't find anywhere they said it's compatible with Esso LT71141. If you have a reference, please post it. Thanks.
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Last edited by BaliDawg; 03-21-2017 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 03-21-2017, 10:57 AM   #18
cvx5832
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markusmarkus View Post
No, it's a Dex4 fluid.


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You have the goofiest posts sometimes. But in case you were serious, there is no Dex 4.
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Old 03-21-2017, 03:38 PM   #19
mtnbimmer
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KISS

ZF transmission, ZF Lifeguard 6.
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Old 03-21-2017, 04:19 PM   #20
SiVaE46
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Zf6 is for 6 speed zf ? Zf5 for ours . I'm running Fuchs Titan - FCP euro lists a number of compatible fluids - and free shipping ....
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