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      12-03-2012, 10:26 AM   #1
Qunadry
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Fluid Changes

In the same vein as the automatic transmission fluid change thread, how many with a manual transmission have changed their differential and gear box fluids and at what mileage? I have done this with all 4 of my BMW's at 1200 miles and then every 30K miles.
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      12-03-2012, 03:08 PM   #2
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I'm not up to 30K miles yet but I did an initial change under 2K miles. Manual transmission was what I am used to with a drain and fill plug but the rear end has no drain and very little fluid in it. I suctioned what I could and refilled. I used Red Line synthetic products to refill (MTL not automatic transmission fluid for the transmission).

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      12-04-2012, 08:41 AM   #3
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That is what I was going to do as well- suction as much fluid out of the rear end as possible, then re-fill. I was going to use my boat oil change pump with small diameter tubing- meant to go down a dip stick tube. Seems easy enough to access the rear differential fill plug. I was going to do it at 15K though. To me, any sooner is too soon and 30K is too late.
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      12-06-2012, 10:42 PM   #4
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Just did my fluids. I used RedLine 75w140 in the diff and RedLine D6ATF in the transmission. So far no issues after about 1000 miles. The entire process wasn't hard, just a bit more time consuming and messy than anticipated.

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      12-12-2012, 01:58 PM   #5
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You guys are putting me to shame. I've changed the oil every ~7,500 miles and BMW changed the coolant at 30,000. I'm now at 62,000 miles and I plan to change all of the "lifetime" fluids at my next oil change - gearbox, differential, power steering, etc. along with coolant and brake fluid. A little late but I'm going to start following Mike Miller's Old School Maintenance program.
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      12-17-2012, 01:43 PM   #6
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Every January I change all fluids. Transmission. Coolant. Brake. And of course Motor Oil (ore than once a year).

Been doing this for a long time on all my cars.
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      12-17-2012, 03:00 PM   #7
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The diff fluid should be changed at 1,200 miles and then every third oil change. So that would be at 45K miles. I would change it sooner - say at 30K.


Bellow is what my trans fluid looked like after 35K miles(left), new MTF-LT4(for my car) center, and new Redline ATF-D4 far right.

Attachment 726232
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I deicded to run Redline fluids bc they just seem to work better than BMW fluids do. But IF your under warranty... you should stick with BMW fluids. Btw... when I switched over to Redline ATF-D4 I noticed my shifter was MUCH smoother. Much like many 1M owners report after they put in the proper MTF-LT-5 trans fluid. You want to use the Castrol SAF-XJ+FM fluid for your diff.


Dack
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      12-18-2012, 12:34 PM   #8
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Why do they call them lifetime fluids if they need to be changed? This is nothing new. I had an Audi in the mid-80's that had the same 'lifetime" fluid schedule.

Does lifetime fluid mean.... that they will hold up to at least 100K or 200K? BMW is taking a big risk if something would go wrong under a warranty period.

As for the picture above, discoloration does not necessarily mean a breakdown in it's chemical properties.

Last edited by PA135i; 12-18-2012 at 12:49 PM.
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      12-18-2012, 05:26 PM   #9
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There is little risk of a breakdown under warranty if you don't change the "lifetime" fluids. Rear end and transmission fluid will not get so bad that it gums up and causes a breakdown, it will just lead to increased wear. Mike Miller even comments that changing the fluids as he recommends doesn't make much difference in the first 100K miles. But your transmission will shift smoother and operate more quietly with good lubrication. I hope to keep my BMW more than 100K miles and fluids are pretty inexpensive compared to the components they protect.

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      04-03-2013, 11:54 AM   #10
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Having my steering, manual gearbox, rear diff. and antifreeze all changed today at 63,000. Local BMW mechanic states every 30k for these.
I hope I did not let things go too far to make the change now. Cost was around $800 for the 4 fluids mentioned. Also, told me to shorten my oil changes to 5,000. (I have been doing it every 7,500)

I asked the shop about getting new water pump as preventative. He told me it is very pricey and should wait until it fails or 100k. He said its around $1400 for the install.
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