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      11-28-2011, 08:19 PM   #1
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Arrow DIY automatic transmission oil change

Does anyone have a link or info on how we could change the automatic transmission fluid?
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      12-08-2011, 01:34 AM   #2
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So far this is the only thread I've found information on: http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=608210

Is anyone able to chime in here?

Last edited by dh58; 12-08-2011 at 01:39 AM.
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      12-08-2011, 07:43 AM   #3
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I'd love to know which oil to use as I'd like to change mine too. I can't seem to find anything on it either
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      12-08-2011, 10:09 AM   #4
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I think changing your Automatic trans fluid is a good idea IF you plan on keeping you car for the long haul. You have to realize that even though BMW called thier fluids "lifetime" their definition might be a little bit different than ours. To BMW lifetime means until the power train warranty is up.

I saw a car show on German TV last year about A/T failures in the e46 330d models. The TV show was Auto Motor und Sport TV, now it goes by a different name - but it is run by AMS ppl. Basically the GM A/T that BMW used in the 330d's tended to fail at five years or 140K to 200K kms. Here is my writeup...


Problem with BMW’s Automatic transmission 5L40e…

http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showt...hlight=vox+atf



Does anyone know what the A/T trans that BMW uses in the 135i is called? What is the ZF model number?

I did a quick search and it looks to be 5HP18 - but I am not sure. Maybe one of you guys can look under your car on the trans for a model number. ?

I did find this helpfull A/T parts illistration from ZF...

http://www.zf.com/na/content/media/u...cars/5HP18.pdf

I also attached a pdf from ZF with a listing of correct fluids for various ZF trans. We only need to know what the ZF trans code is! Earlier this year when I changed my trans fluid in my MT 135i - when I was ordering ome MTF-LT-4 fluid for my 6MT, the parts guy first started to quote me the fluid for the AT trans. As I recall you need 13L, and a paper filter element for the AT valve body/pan. You also will not be able to drain all the fluid since three or so liters will always be held in the torque convertor. I think to do this job right you either need a machine to cycle new fluid thru the AT trans (like what that trans camopany did on the German TV show) or.... you will need to change teh trans fluid twice.


Good Luck guys. So... who will be the first to do that and make a DIY!

Dack
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File Type: pdf ZF Lubricants.pdf (115.4 KB, 783 views)
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      12-08-2011, 06:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
I think changing your Automatic trans fluid is a good idea IF you plan on keeping you car for the long haul. You have to realize that even though BMW called thier fluids "lifetime" their definition might be a little bit different than ours. To BMW lifetime means until the power train warranty is up.

I saw a car show on German TV last year about A/T failures in the e46 330d models. The TV show was Auto Motor und Sport TV, now it goes by a different name - but it is run by AMS ppl. Basically the GM A/T that BMW used in the 330d's tended to fail at five years or 140K to 200K kms. Here is my writeup...


Problem with BMWs Automatic transmission 5L40e

http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showt...hlight=vox+atf



Does anyone know what the A/T trans that BMW uses in the 135i is called? What is the ZF model number?

I did a quick search and it looks to be 5HP18 - but I am not sure. Maybe one of you guys can look under your car on the trans for a model number. ?

I did find this helpfull A/T parts illistration from ZF...

http://www.zf.com/na/content/media/u...cars/5HP18.pdf

I also attached a pdf from ZF with a listing of correct fluids for various ZF trans. We only need to know what the ZF trans code is! Earlier this year when I changed my trans fluid in my MT 135i - when I was ordering ome MTF-LT-4 fluid for my 6MT, the parts guy first started to quote me the fluid for the AT trans. As I recall you need 13L, and a paper filter element for the AT valve body/pan. You also will not be able to drain all the fluid since three or so liters will always be held in the torque convertor. I think to do this job right you either need a machine to cycle new fluid thru the AT trans (like what that trans camopany did on the German TV show) or.... you will need to change teh trans fluid twice.


Good Luck guys. So... who will be the first to do that and make a DIY!

Dack
I'm not sure which model ZF transmission we've got but I did come across this thread. See post 36 http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showt...=209713&page=2

I'm not sure how accurate the info is because it's really outdated as well.
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      12-08-2011, 06:05 PM   #6
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I think we've found a winner!

http://admin.webmakerx.net/images/Si.../autotrans.pdf

GA6HP19Z
E82/E88
135i All The transmission fluid has a Condition Based Service interval of approximately 100,000 miles; please refer to S.I. B00 07 02 for further information. Never mix any other oil with this transmission fluid when doing repairs or topping up. Shell M-1375.4, BMW Part No. 83 22 0 142 516.
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      12-09-2011, 09:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW86 View Post
I think we've found a winner!

http://admin.webmakerx.net/images/Si.../autotrans.pdf

GA6HP19Z
E82/E88
135i All The transmission fluid has a Condition Based Service interval of approximately 100,000 miles; please refer to S.I. B00 07 02 for further information. Never mix any other oil with this transmission fluid when doing repairs or topping up. Shell M-1375.4, BMW Part No. 83 22 0 142 516.


Good work Vinny! It is very interesting that ZF does not believe in "lifetime" fluids ehh!?!?



http://akpp-city.ru/pdf/6HP19_21_Catalog.pdf

On the fourth page of this link above - ZF even has a repair manual that you can buy on CD from them!!

One important thing - is that ZF lists the oil quanity as 9.0L +0.5L but I don't think that includes the torque convorter. The TC holds almost 3L I believe.


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      12-09-2011, 10:16 AM   #8
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Interesting that the 128i/328ix share the same GM transmission, but the 328i uses the ZF transmission. I've driven both the 328i and 328ix for many, many miles, and the transmissions and their behavior feel identical.
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      08-30-2012, 09:54 PM   #9
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well, rather than start a new thread, I'm going to tack onto this one.

After, like you folks, I couldn't find anyone who had tackled this him/herself, I decided to just dive in.

I ordered the trans service kit from ECS tuning: http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E82-135...ion/ES2523893/

The service itself took probably about 2 hours, and only because I was being very careful (and because there are SO many bolts!).

The first step is removing the rear dust shield. It is held on by seven 8-mm bolts. You then have to turn the shield to line it up with this clip I've taken a pic of and slip it off.


I removed the drain plug with a 3/8" allan key.


I'm sorry to say I seem to have stopped taking notes, but, as you can see, the pan bolts themselves are Torx. There are a good deal of them. I believe it was around 16 or so. I used a cordless drill to take them all out in a timely fashion. There is one small glitch, though, and its this bracket that is in the way:


It is held on by 13mm nuts on one side and an odd reverse torx on the other. I didn't have the proper tool for that, but an 8-mm box wrench fit perfect. The other side of that bracket is attached to the exhaust by the same 8-mm torx bolt.

I want to note that the fluid that came out was in TERRIBLE condition. It was all dark brown...much like oil after 3k miles. And it seemed to be very very thin. The consistency and color were akin to cream soda. And this is lifetime fluid?

The pan bolts are not torqued on tight at all. The pan is plastic. So when I put them back in, I only applied 7-10 lbs to each bolt.

Refilling the trans is a trick, and I'm sorry to say this may be a problem area with this job. The kit comes with a new fill plug (5/16" allan). The fill plug is just slightly above the pan on the rear driver's side of the trans. I was confused, looking at this, how in the world 7 quarts of fluid were going to fit before pouring out the fill hole.

So I decided to measure what had come out of the trans. I found approximately 5.5 quarts had come out. Using a hand transfer pump, I started putting the fluid back in. After just 4 quarts, it was coming out the fill hole. Uh-oh.

I dropped the car and jacked up just the rear driver's side of the car, hoping that the angle this would put the trans at would let me add enough. Not quite. In the end, if I'm lucky, I got 5 quarts back in. I don't think it was even that, though. More like 4.75.

So, by my count, the car is about 3/4 of a quart low. I'm not really sure what the next steps are. I drove the car around a bit. I'm not TERRIBLY worried, as low fluid isn't the end of the world. I'm thinking MAYBE now that the fluid has been circulating, I could pull the fill plug again and it will have made more room in the pan (fluid is now hiding in other passages, in other words). I'll report back on that when I get the chance to check it. Of course, the concern then is, if ECS feels a new fill plug is needed when you remove the old, what will happen when I remove the new plug to see if I can top off the trans?
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      08-31-2012, 08:08 PM   #10
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http://forums.5series.net/topic/8812...-drain-refill/

This link is for a 5 series DIY, but much if it is relevant because it is the same transmission. I think for DIY'ers one of the key things that you need to do is run the transmission through all the gears when refilling and at the prescribed temperature. I got my service kit from California Transmission Supply Company, which includes the correct BMW fluid (ZF Lifeguard6). I will be doing my service in the next week or so at 45K miles. I'm having a local transmission shop do the labor.
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      09-01-2012, 10:34 AM   #11
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cool. thanks for adding that. now i know how to get the rest of the fluid in.
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      09-01-2012, 03:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qbrozen View Post
...I dropped the car and jacked up just the rear driver's side of the car, hoping that the angle this would put the trans at would(not) let me add enough. Not quite. In the end, if I'm lucky, I got 5 quarts back in. I don't think it was even that, though. More like 4.75.

So, by my count, the car is about 3/4 of a quart low. I'm not really sure what the next steps are. I drove the car around a bit. I'm not TERRIBLY worried, as low fluid isn't the end of the world. I'm thinking MAYBE now that the fluid has been circulating, I could pull the fill plug again and it will have made more room in the pan (fluid is now hiding in other passages, in other words). I'll report back on that when I get the chance to check it. Of course, the concern then is, if ECS feels a new fill plug is needed when you remove the old, what will happen when I remove the new plug to see if I can top off the trans?
You know after you full the new ATF in the pan... you have to start up the engine and run the trans thru ALL the gears, then with the engine running AND the A/T in gear... pull the fill plug out and keep adding fluid until it starts to spill out of the "fill hole".


You might want to change your ATF again, bc when you drain from the AT pan you never get all the old fluid out from the torque converter. The AT holds something like 12.8 liters of fluid. (at least that is what my dealer told me when I was researching changing my MANUAL fluid. Then I realized they were looking up the wrong trans! lol


I changed the AT trans oil on my e39 (535i) with a 5HP24 ZF trans. I ran into the same issues... no one really seemed to have a step by step DIY on line - and there were lots of contradictory threads out there. In the end I just did it myself. I am glad I did! My old fluid was also nasty and dark brown and very thin. For my trans in my e39 ZF specs ESSO LT 71141. (I don't know what oil specs are for the 135i AT ?) I pulled the pan and cleaned out all the scum inside of it and also cleaned the four magnets inside. There was very little metal inside my AT after 260K kms. Now it shifts like a new trans!

When I refilled my trans... only about four or four and half liters went in... then I started up the car, ran the trans thru the gears (incl. reverse, pause a second or two between each gear change, and put your foot on the brake when shifting from reverse to drive!) and then left it in drive up on a rack(I was lucky to do it on Base at the car craft shop - with the rear wheels spinning), then I kept adding fluid until it started to spill out. I think my trans used about 6L total. ZF says my tras hold 8.9L in total. I drove the car for 1K kms and changed the trans oil again a week or two later. I have done it now three times. On my next engine oil change I will change the ATF one more time. It is sooo easy and the trans really shifts so much better now.

My trans fluid was very low when I started down this path... I would get trans failure warnings and the trans would shift hard or slip a bit between some gear changes. I was always afraid to get it full power(WOT) during shifts. No more now. The trans shifts like a NEW transmission. So glad I change the fluid!! I really thought my trans was shot, and changing the trans fluid was a last ditch measure for me. (before starting to look for a used trans!). Now that is not needed.


I did see online some "say" to pull off the two hard lines at the ATF oil cooler up front. Some insert hoses over those two lines and use two five gallon buckets. One to catch the old fluid and one to use a source for fresh fluid. You simply start the car and put it in gear, then let the trans pump out the old fluid while sucking in new ATF.

The reason I did not go that route was "some" said that can "shock" the trans and some tran's will fail shortly after changing the fluid. Most posts I found online seemed to recommend just draining the AT pan and chaning the fluid a few times. Most seem to think three or four drains are necessary to get out all the old fluid - bc of dilution.

Hope this helps.

Dackel



PS: I hope you also changed your diff fluid. It will also be nasty looking after very little miles. I think ZF says to change the trans fluid every 45K miles. While BMW says it is not needed. I believe the people who make the trans(ZF!) more than the people selling it(BMW)!
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      09-01-2012, 04:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
You might want to change your ATF again, bc when you drain from the AT pan you never get all the old fluid out from the torque converter. The AT holds something like 12.8 liters of fluid.
I believe the transmission holds a total of 9L. My car has 45K miles and at cost of $18.53 per liter, I considered and rejected (for now) the idea of sacrificing 6 litres of new fluid in order to do a 2nd flush. California Transmission Supply does sell a case of fluid (12 1L bottles) for $197 ($16.42 per L) for those who want to go this route. I am more inclined to do a 2nd pan/filter change with 6 new litres of fluid when I reach 75K miles. That being said, if the fluid was 1/2 the price, there was an eco-friendly use for the barely used fluid, and my mechanic wouldn't complain about the additional labor, I would probably do exactly what Dack has recommended.

I am also basing my decision somewhat on my experience servicing a 2005 330ci with 50K miles. The partial fluid replacement with new filter significantly improved the shifting performance. I hoping that the replacement of 66% of a "lifetime" fluid (along with the new pan/filter), is adequate preventative care for a ZF transmission.

People should also read Mike Miller's Real Maintenance Guide. While he very biased against automatics in general, he is ok with servicing them at low mileage. He cautions about servicing automatics with high mileage. This is consistent with my transmission mechanic's advise to never use an extraction method to empty the torque converter. I think the logic is that too much agitation has the potential to loosen up gunk that is likely to cause more problems than the full flush will prevent.
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      09-01-2012, 05:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablito1702 View Post
I believe the transmission holds a total of 9L. My car has 45K miles and at cost of $18.53 per liter, I considered and rejected (for now) the idea of sacrificing 6 litres of new fluid in order to do a 2nd flush.
Yea... the fluid is expensive. Where did you find the specs for the ATF fluid?


I was going to use Redline ATF-D4 (bc a lot of the e39 crowd had good feed back using that fluid) for my e39 trans... but I could not have that shipped to my APO over here.

Then I was going to use Mobil's synthetic ATF that is ESSO LT 71141, but when I looked on line for it... many people said that oil did not really meet ESSO LT 71141 specs! Even though it has it one the label! WTF!?!?

So... in the end I ended up using: Liqui Moly Top Tec ATF 1200. I needed a fluid that met ZF specs ESSO LT 71141. Liqui Moly costs about ten euros per liter.

http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B004...A3813R7XM9FD6N

I did check with ZF over here... they wanted over 300 euros for nine liters of their ZF LifeGuard5 (it also meets: ESSO LT 71141 specs). I thought that was a crazy price! Over 33 euros per liter. But that is a typical German price for oil over here. At least good oil(s).


I would really urge you to change your fluid again. Or at least top it up with the engine running and A/T in gear. I suspect your about 1,0L or 1.5L low on fluid right now.


Dack
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      09-01-2012, 06:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
Yea... the fluid is expensive. Where did you find the specs for the ATF fluid?
Dack
These are the ZF fluid specs that I found that led me to look for the Lifeguard6 which I found at CTSC. Their price for Lifeguard5 is $87 for a case of six 1 Litre bottles. If you need a stateside contact to send anything to your APO, let me know.

http://www.thectsc.com/index.php?p=c...parent=57&pg=1
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      09-01-2012, 06:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablito1702 View Post
These are the ZF fluid specs that I found that led me to look for the Lifeguard6 which I found at CTSC. Their price for Lifeguard5 is $87 for a case of six 1 Litre bottles. If you need a stateside contact to send anything to your APO, let me know.

http://www.thectsc.com/index.php?p=c...parent=57&pg=1
Thanks for that Link! Man these guys at CTSC have EVERYTHING!!

This looks like the kit you used for your 6AT...

Oil change kit for 6HP19/21
http://www.thectsc.com/index.php?p=p...d=187&parent=7
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      10-16-2012, 03:22 AM   #17
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Hey guys,

I've read here that BMW uses ZF Lifeguard 6 for the automatic transmission fluid.

Why is it that on the ECS website for the BMW transmissions service kit does it say that the OEM fluid is Shell M1375.4?

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E88-135...ion/ES2523894/

Thanks
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      10-26-2012, 08:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Hey guys,

I've read here that BMW uses ZF Lifeguard 6 for the automatic transmission fluid.

Why is it that on the ECS website for the BMW transmissions service kit does it say that the OEM fluid is Shell M1375.4?

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E88-135...ion/ES2523894/

Thanks
I can't answer to why ECS refers to the Shell spec., but I am 100% sure that the ZF Lifeguard 6 is the correct fluid for the 135i Steptronic (ZF 6HP19/21). My dealership owed me a favor due to a previous issue and I just had them do the pan/filter replacement and 6L fluid change for no charge. I purchased the parts from the California Transmission Supply Company (see my earlier post in this thread).
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      10-27-2012, 08:58 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablito1702 View Post
I can't answer to why ECS refers to the Shell spec., but I am 100% sure that the ZF Lifeguard 6 is the correct fluid for the 135i Steptronic (ZF 6HP19/21). My dealership owed me a favor due to a previous issue and I just had them do the pan/filter replacement and 6L fluid change for no charge. I purchased the parts from the California Transmission Supply Company (see my earlier post in this thread).
+1 on the fluid change! So... do you notice any changes in the way the trans shifts or warms up?


Dack
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      10-28-2012, 07:52 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablito1702 View Post
I can't answer to why ECS refers to the Shell spec., but I am 100% sure that the ZF Lifeguard 6 is the correct fluid for the 135i Steptronic (ZF 6HP19/21). My dealership owed me a favor due to a previous issue and I just had them do the pan/filter replacement and 6L fluid change for no charge. I purchased the parts from the California Transmission Supply Company (see my earlier post in this thread).
Thanks for the reply Pablito. I'll definitely try and get some ZF Lifeguard 6 in that case.

What did you notice in terms of smoothness of the upshifts. I'm at 100,000km and I'm starting to have huge issues with upshifts from 1st to 3rd gear on my steptronic, especially when the car is cold. It's so laggy sometimes when upshifting that there car can shudder really badly. I even heard the DVs go off this morning and I was only in auto mode...

I want to do the service but I'm also worried that it might not fix whatever's going on in my tranny...
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      10-28-2012, 10:25 PM   #21
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I've found some new info.

It seems that maybe the Shell M1375.4 fluid is the actual fluid BMW uses. This is according to the websites for Turner, ECS and Redline Oil.

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E88-135...Kit/ES2523894/

http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-12...4-1-liter.aspx

http://www.redlineoil.com/product.aspx?pid=51&pcid=9
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      11-02-2012, 01:03 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by froop View Post
What did you notice in terms of smoothness of the upshifts. I'm at 100,000km and I'm starting to have huge issues with upshifts from 1st to 3rd gear on my steptronic, especially when the car is cold. It's so laggy sometimes when upshifting that there car can shudder really badly. I even heard the DVs go off this morning and I was only in auto mode...

I want to do the service but I'm also worried that it might not fix whatever's going on in my tranny...
My initial observation is there is a definite improvement to upshifting and downshifting in both normal and Sport mode. Particularly in Sport mode, the upshifts seem to be quicker/crisper (less lag). Not sure why, but compared to before the service, the transmission (in Sport mode) also seems to up-shifting at a higher RPM and also holding the lower gear (rather than looking to upshift) when I am just cruising at low speeds at steady rpm. This is also an improvement in driveability. While I performed the service primarily as a maintenance precaution, the improved shifting is nice and consistent with my previous experience servicing a Steptronic in a 330i.

While the autos take a good amount of bashing as "slush boxes" from the community, I find the Steptronic particularly well suited to the flexible power band of the N54 engine and the driving conditions on California roads. I have an M3 steering wheel with DCT pull-pull paddles and when I need to downshift, one left hand pull click and press the throttle and in the words of some old-school dragster that I have long forgotten "color me gone"
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BMW PPK V2, M3 26mm sway bar, M3 front control arm kit, M3 steering wheel, BMW 313 wheels w Michelin PSS
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