1st anniversary update
My E39 has clocked 13K miles since I changed the ATF a year ago. At 64K, the tranny is shifting smoothly, and the occasional annoying hard downshift (from 2nd to 1st) has gone away. Thus, I am happy with using MaxLife as an Esso replacement.
I'm lending a hand to a fellow 'fester who is replacing his 525i's lifetime Esso with MaxLife. We've done a few DIY projects together, including the Vanos O-rings and cooling system overhaul.
We are also replacing our engine mounts; one of mine starting leaking a couple months ago. Bad engine mounts could result in harshness/vibration, and possibly result in the cooling fan hitting the shroud. We'll try to take some pics and do a writeup.