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Old 03-27-2013, 05:56 PM   #1
new61n
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ATF change in OZ

My 2005 325CI is at 85,000km and i was thinking of changing the transmission fluid.

I've searched this forum about how to do it and suggestions. Has anyone changed their fluids in Sydney? and how did it turn out?...there are stories on the forum that once you change the fluid, the transmission fails a week after; why?!

Any advice as to where to get the fluid would be great. I was thinking of going with BMW fluid but they only sell it in a 20L bottle and its $700!! Should stick to BMW fluid?


Thanks.
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:24 PM   #2
TonyJ
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If you do a search you will find plenty of people have done it. Most have on problems. The one had problems are either the tranny already on its last stage, or they did a flush. From what I read flushing may cause more damage.

I did mine 10,000kms ago. I used a conservative approach. Drop the pan, drain the fluid, replaced with a cheap filter. One week later drain and refiller again. Another week later, drop the pan, replaced with a ZF filter, replaced gasket.

So 3 changes should replace 95% of old fluid. I used 16L of Penrite ATF. Tranny is smoother than before, on the first go, so I was happy with the results.
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:29 PM   #3
new61n
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Thanks Tony.

You didn't use BMW fluid? I was going to go with BMW fluid to reduce anything going wrong but they only sell it in 20L bottles at $700! Exspensive

How many km is on your car?
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:33 PM   #4
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Mine is now 120xxx.

The BMW fluid is an old ESSO LT71141. I think it is semi synth. They are not necessarily better than more modern oils. The penrite is LT71141 compatible and cost $45/4L.

I spent a lot of effort to decide which one to use. Last year you can still buy 20L drum of ESSO LT71141 for about $300 from a wholesaler (forgot which one but you can search for it). Not sure now.

Last edited by TonyJ; 03-27-2013 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:51 PM   #5
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I used the Valvoline Merc V oil equivalent, but I had a shop do a full flush. The oil was so expensive that the labour was pocket change in comparison... And it was half the price of ESSO fluid.

$450

Don't mix oils if you aren't doing a full flush.

And I've done 20,000km on my equivalent oil with no real problems, I changed mine at 160,000km and he said the oil was basically sludge.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:19 PM   #6
TonyJ
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When comparing the risk of full flush vs 5% mix of different oil, I eventually chose the latter. Cost was of course a major factor.
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Old 03-28-2013, 03:05 AM   #7
new61n
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyJ View Post
Mine is now 120xxx.

The BMW fluid is an old ESSO LT71141. I think it is semi synth. They are not necessarily better than more modern oils. The penrite is LT71141 compatible and cost $45/4L.

I spent a lot of effort to decide which one to use. Last year you can still buy 20L drum of ESSO LT71141 for about $300 from a wholesaler (forgot which one but you can search for it). Not sure now.
Dam, I'd love to know where or they still have that sale on for ESSO (is ESSO a Mobil brand?).

I think I want to stick with what fluid is in the car. I'm worried I won't fully flush the system with a new one.

Last edited by new61n; 03-28-2013 at 03:06 AM.
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Old 03-28-2013, 03:14 AM   #8
new61n
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Originally Posted by trive2 View Post
I used the Valvoline Merc V oil equivalent, but I had a shop do a full flush. The oil was so expensive that the labour was pocket change in comparison... And it was half the price of ESSO fluid.

$450

Don't mix oils if you aren't doing a full flush.

And I've done 20,000km on my equivalent oil with no real problems, I changed mine at 160,000km and he said the oil was basically sludge.
Thanks for your input mate.

Yeah that's what im afraid of, mixing the fluid. So i'm going to look for ESSO fluid.

Did your mechanic put you off changing the fluid? I asked my local service guy to do it and he advised against it - he said its life time fluid and if changed the trans will fail a week later "transmission will slip with new fluid".
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:37 AM   #9
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It's funny, I spent DAYS (I had a lame job, shitloads of free time) reseraching this transmission thing and couldn't find ANY conclusive evidence, just enough to develop a really well rounded opinion.

Your mechanic is protecting himself. There is truth to the possibility of failure. I spent a long time searching for THE best Transmission specialist in Brisbane and the bloke I found reckoned the whole "change fluid will make it fail" is horseshit.

I reckon, and he agreed, the truth is that people only change their oil when they have problems, which can be the last straw. Some mechanics believe it can disturb gunk that's ended up in places where it's doing the transmission good, others think the fresh detergents can wash clutch plates etc. Depends who you talk to. No real easily-found proof to any end.

I figured at my mileage I was due for a full FLUSH, not just a "change". So I was able to flush the entire fluid and do the filter too. The cost benefit of different oil wasn't huge this time, but in the future being able to use the cheaper fluid will make up for it. I do about 50,000km a year so I do a fluid change a year...

The alternative to changing it is that if you don't, it will fail as well, long term. You've decided to be pro-active and change it when it's actually due to change (not vastly too late like most...) so I honestly believe you are doing the right thing by changing it.

I would suggest if you're comfortable, grab a filter kit and enough ESSO fluid to do a pan drop and filter change. Probably does 40% of the overall fluid? Do one of those every 50,000km at most and you should be fine.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:58 PM   #10
sihyonkim
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I got my ATF flushed and renewed by Phil Lim Automotive at 110000km. Used Liqui-Moly fluid with new filter etc. No problems so far at 130000km
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:00 AM   #11
new61n
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trive2 View Post
It's funny, I spent DAYS (I had a lame job, shitloads of free time) reseraching this transmission thing and couldn't find ANY conclusive evidence, just enough to develop a really well rounded opinion.

Your mechanic is protecting himself. There is truth to the possibility of failure. I spent a long time searching for THE best Transmission specialist in Brisbane and the bloke I found reckoned the whole "change fluid will make it fail" is horseshit.

I reckon, and he agreed, the truth is that people only change their oil when they have problems, which can be the last straw. Some mechanics believe it can disturb gunk that's ended up in places where it's doing the transmission good, others think the fresh detergents can wash clutch plates etc. Depends who you talk to. No real easily-found proof to any end.

I figured at my mileage I was due for a full FLUSH, not just a "change". So I was able to flush the entire fluid and do the filter too. The cost benefit of different oil wasn't huge this time, but in the future being able to use the cheaper fluid will make up for it. I do about 50,000km a year so I do a fluid change a year...

The alternative to changing it is that if you don't, it will fail as well, long term. You've decided to be pro-active and change it when it's actually due to change (not vastly too late like most...) so I honestly believe you are doing the right thing by changing it.

I would suggest if you're comfortable, grab a filter kit and enough ESSO fluid to do a pan drop and filter change. Probably does 40% of the overall fluid? Do one of those every 50,000km at most and you should be fine.
Yeah I think they're trying to cover themself as well. He said he can do it if I wanted to.

Do you know what a "full flush" is?...is that a drain and fill with new filters and doing it 2-3 times like what tony recommended?
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:41 AM   #12
trive2
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No, they run an actual flushing machine in the cooler lines to get ALL the fluid out, then they'll drop the pan and change the filter. (make sure you ask for both if you do this).

The major difference in price comes from the fact that they need 12-18 litres of fluid to flush it properly.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:02 AM   #13
new61n
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trive2 View Post
No, they run an actual flushing machine in the cooler lines to get ALL the fluid out, then they'll drop the pan and change the filter. (make sure you ask for both if you do this).

The major difference in price comes from the fact that they need 12-18 litres of fluid to flush it properly.
Well that's a sure thing to do if you're going to change the fluid! So now you can safely do the fluid change yourself?
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:05 AM   #14
new61n
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Originally Posted by sihyonkim View Post
I got my ATF flushed and renewed by Phil Lim Automotive at 110000km. Used Liqui-Moly fluid with new filter etc. No problems so far at 130000km
Yeah I've heard about this Phil Lim guy when I was doing my research on the forum, a few people have used him. Do you know if he did the full flush like what trive mentioned in the last post? And how much did he charge you?
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:44 AM   #15
sihyonkim
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Originally Posted by new61n View Post
Yeah I've heard about this Phil Lim guy when I was doing my research on the forum, a few people have used him. Do you know if he did the full flush like what trive mentioned in the last post? And how much did he charge you?
Yep, did a full flush with a machine, changed filter, cleaned pan. At a very good price
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:26 PM   #16
new61n
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Originally Posted by sihyonkim View Post
Yep, did a full flush with a machine, changed filter, cleaned pan. At a very good price
Nice! How long was your car out of action for?

How much he charge you?
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:38 PM   #17
sihyonkim
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Nice! How long was your car out of action for?

How much he charge you?
Same day service, $200-300 from memory
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:44 PM   #18
sihyonkim
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The flushed trans fluid was nearly gone and completely black at 100k kms. I would recommend the service
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:30 PM   #19
new61n
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Same day service, $200-300 from memory
Thanks for the info man. Will definately check this guy out if I can't do this myself.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:37 PM   #20
new61n
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Originally Posted by TonyJ View Post
Mine is now 120xxx.

The BMW fluid is an old ESSO LT71141. I think it is semi synth. They are not necessarily better than more modern oils. The penrite is LT71141 compatible and cost $45/4L.

I spent a lot of effort to decide which one to use. Last year you can still buy 20L drum of ESSO LT71141 for about $300 from a wholesaler (forgot which one but you can search for it). Not sure now.
I asked another dealer to see how much the oil is and he said I should buy it at a retail because its just dexron 6 oil. Have they changed their oil?
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