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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 06-07-2015, 04:56 PM   #1
evanr614
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Pentosin ATF1 vs Redline D4 - my experience

I know there were a few members interested in hearing my experience with the Pentosin ATF that they sell you at the dealer. After filling my GM transmission with D4 I didn't like how it was driving so I thought I'd try out the 'expensive' stuff from Germany.

The biggest advantage I noticed at first was the difference in smell, the Redline D4 is vile compared to the Pentosin...but on to the actual benefits. After a few drives I can say that I am noticing an improved performance in terms of how smoothly my car shifts, especially from a cold start. The D4 seemed to be very rough while the car was heating up. I also had some quite rough downshifting that is smoothed out more so than with the Redline fluid.

I know this is a widely discussed topic or has been in the past but I thought I'd share my experience for some of the curious members who are choosing what fluids to put in their car. Pentosin gets my vote for about $62 per 1.32 gallons.
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Old 06-07-2015, 05:39 PM   #2
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You have the GM transmission you should be using anything Dexron VI. Obviously the Pentosin is good, it just costs a **** ton.
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Old 06-07-2015, 05:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by WDE46 View Post
You have the GM transmission you should be using anything Dexron VI. Obviously the Pentosin is good, it just costs a **** ton.

I was under the impression that Redline D4 is compatible with all GM transmissions and that it was actually superior to Dex VI. Guess I gotta watch what I am told on here haha.
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Old 06-07-2015, 06:08 PM   #4
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Great advice, I also use Pentosin ATF1 in my 5HP19 transmission. I found it is cheapest on amazon at just a bit over $60 for 5 liters. For fluid that isn't changed that often, I think its worth it. The bottle says its a full synthetic fluid.
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Old 06-07-2015, 06:13 PM   #5
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Great advice, I also use Pentosin ATF1 in my 5HP19 transmission. I found it is cheapest on amazon at just a bit over $60 for 5 liters. For fluid that isn't changed that often, I think its worth it. The bottle says its a full synthetic fluid.

Yep, Amazon Prime to the doorstep in two days. Love it.
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Old 06-07-2015, 06:20 PM   #6
WDE46
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I was under the impression that Redline D4 is compatible with all GM transmissions and that it was actually superior to Dex VI. Guess I gotta watch what I am told on here haha.

The D4 ATF exceeds Dexron III requirements.
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Old 06-07-2015, 06:25 PM   #7
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The D4 ATF exceeds Dexron III requirements.

Gotcha. I have another 5 liter jug of Pentosin for another drain and fill to get the rest of the D4 out down the road.
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Old 06-07-2015, 07:31 PM   #8
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I use Pentosin ATF-1 in my 325xi AT, so far no problems, shifting smooth.
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:17 AM   #9
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So your saying redline d4 is junk lol
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:09 AM   #10
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I was skeptical about Redline as well. I didn't have any performance issues beforehand, and after my drain/fill, it became very jerky when cold and hardly improved when warm. The next weekend and after a lot of reading, I decided I should try to jack the car up at an angle so the fill hole was higher and get some more fluid in. Sure enough, it's smooth as butter now. Guess my garage floor isn't as level as I thought.

Point of my story, maybe there wasn't enough fluid in the first time - just a thought.
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Old 06-08-2015, 08:02 AM   #11
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I just changed the ATF in my X5 with some Valvoline full synthetic Dexron VI ATF. They sell it for $18 a gallon at Walmart. The X5 has the same GM 5 speed automatic transmission that the E46 has. The fluid coming out of the transmission was Castrol Dexron VI synthetic blend, and it was adequate. There were little bumps between gears every now and then. But the Valvoline feels buttery smooth! And its cheep, and its full synthetic, and its at Walmart. Win win win as I see it.


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Old 06-08-2015, 08:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evanr614 View Post

The biggest advantage I noticed at first was the difference in smell, the Redline D4 is vile compared to the Pentosin...
Is this smell comparison between new fluids. Or, did the old used Redline fluid smell vile? If so, maybe it was burned. Burned ATF fluid does indeed smell vile.
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:08 AM   #13
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well this time around I am going with what I have already acquired (10qt of Redline d4 for two drains) but next time around I will not pass the 18$ a gallon Valvoline plus full synthetic

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Old 06-08-2015, 09:52 AM   #14
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So your saying redline d4 is junk lol

Nah, everyone is going to have a different experience given situational factors of their car I would assume. However this is what the stealership sells you so it is comforting for those who like to go OEM everything
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:54 AM   #15
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Is this smell comparison between new fluids. Or, did the old used Redline fluid smell vile? If so, maybe it was burned. Burned ATF fluid does indeed smell vile.

Nope, Redline ATF smells like straight sh*t out of the bottle compares to Pentosin lol
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Old 06-08-2015, 11:30 AM   #16
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I just changed the ATF in my X5 with some Valvoline full synthetic Dexron VI ATF. They sell it for $18 a gallon at Walmart. The X5 has the same GM 5 speed automatic transmission that the E46 has. The fluid coming out of the transmission was Castrol Dexron VI synthetic blend, and it was adequate. There were little bumps between gears every now and then. But the Valvoline feels buttery smooth! And its cheep, and its full synthetic, and its at Walmart. Win win win as I see it.



That's not Dexron VI.
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Old 06-08-2015, 11:56 AM   #17
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That's not Dexron VI.
It says right on the back of the container that it's Dex VI. I made a point to check that before buying.

*Edit* it says its compatible with every GM Dexron fluid. So it at least needs to meet (or exceed) Dexron VI fluid standards. And since its a GM transmission, I see no reason why this fluid would cause any issues.

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Old 06-08-2015, 12:09 PM   #18
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Hmmm that's surprising. Usually dex/mere is only dex III.
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Old 06-08-2015, 12:17 PM   #19
Patton323I
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Hmmm that's surprising. Usually dex/mere is only dex III.
Yup. I wouldn't have touched this if it was anything less than Dex VI. And it at least seemed to be shifting way more smoothly. $18 at Walmart for a gallon is hard to pass up.

Here is the technical info from Valvoline's website:

Viscosity @ 100C, cSt 5.91
Viscosity @ 40C, cSt 28.82
Viscosity Index 156
Specific Gravity @ 60F 0.843
Pour Point, C, -48
Brookfield Viscosity @ -40C, cP 10200
Flash Point, COC, C 202
ASTM Color 7
Appearance Red

" Valvoline does not recommend MaxLife ATF for use in most continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) and in dual clutch
transmissions (DCTs) unless specifically noted, nor in automatic transmissions where Ford Type F fluids are recommended.

Valvoline stands behind all of its products, including MaxLife ATF. Use of MaxLife ATF in transmissions where recommended by
Valvoline WILL NOT void the vehicles warranty. In the unlikely event that you or your customer experiences any transmission
damage while using MaxLife ATF in a Valvoline recommended application, please contact Valvoline at 1-800-Team-VAL for
assistance "
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Old 06-08-2015, 12:36 PM   #20
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wow that's so cheap that you can do it every so often too
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