Tranny / differential fluids - when to change?
I've asked around the dealerships and also online, but wanted to get feedback from you guys that actually did the above 1 or 2 fluid changes, when you did it, why and at what intervals? Did you look at the old fluid/related parts to see that it was requiring a change? I understand that the tranny fluid is sealed, but still, just because of that, it shouldn't mean 'lifetime'.
I wonder why BMW says these 2 fluids are 'lifetime'? The cynic in me thinks so when the engine/differential 'tears up', they can rack up in service fees. 'Lifetime' can't be true especially for those of us going over 100,000kms/60,000 miles.
Thx in advance.
First, you are right to believe that there is "NO SUCH THING" as "LIFETIME" fluids. I reccommend following the old school maintence schedule for new and old cars alike. You can obtain a schedule from Mike Miller at Roundel. I changed my fluids - differential, transmission, power steering at 25,000 miles and every 30,000 therafter and the oil and filter every 5,000 miles. I use either Red Line Products or Total Products. The heart of any vehicle is the fluids it contain. I had the oil checked in my vehicle for contaminants every third oil change and keep records. I also had the other fluids checked for contaminants at the intervals. So far so good! No issues in either vehicle.:)
Firstly there is no drain plug on the diff so you have to suck out the old fluid through the fill hole. Secondly depending whether you have a manual or an auto transmission will dictate the ease to which this job can be done. Auto transmissions being a lot harder to do. Given that the transmission will probably have the accursed plastic pan which are prone to cracking at the 60k mile mark then one should do the whole lot.
I agree with the sentiment of no such thing as lifetime oils and BMW will acknowledge privately that this is 100k miles........
Personally I would change these oils at around 60k miles. It needs to be remembered that todays oils are of a significantly better standard than oils of old, so maintaining or changing the oil somewhat earlier than the supposed life-time should be a good practice. Especially if you are keeping the car or you have purchased it with this kind of mileage on as no doubt it will need doing as many people do not do it!!!!!!
Change the fluid!
A friend just bought a 2009 Z4 (auto) and I told him to change it. He asked the dealer and they said it was 'lifetime' fluid and never needed to be changed.
Here's why.. In 1998 I bought a 1994 540i (auto) with lifetime fluid. The tranny died in 2002. I went with a used tranny ($1800) versus a rebuilt ($5000). The second one died in 2007. Now I drive a Subaru.
Does lifetime fluid even sound right? Heck no. Change it.
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