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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-08-2012, 07:22 AM
Robin128 Robin128 is offline
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Mein Auto: 335i auto, Volvo T5 man
Determining Auto Trans Fluid Type

Just bought a 5 year old automatic 335i and totally blown away with its performance etc.

Thought a Volvo s60 T5 was good...but...

First post on here...done some searches and sorted some other issues...but this one is giving me grief.

I have BMW TIS disc which states there are different transmissions in 335i's and those that have lifetime oil in them and others that need changing more regularly. Oils don't mix.

OK...some have different colour indicators...green or black?

Question is...how do I determine what my box is and what fluid I should use?

Halfords and local motor factors can't be sure..and Sytners in Cardiff have sent someone to lie down in a room for a few hours at the prospect of being asked such a 'stupid' question, let alone entertain the notion of a BMW customer doing his own servicing.

My 335i is E90 N54...2007 plate.

Got 38,000 miles on clock and just done engine oil and filter...easier than S60. Done loads of servicing and maintenace on motors over last 40 years.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.




Rob
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2012, 07:32 AM
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Orient330iNYC Orient330iNYC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin128 View Post
Just bought a 5 year old automatic 335i and totally blown away with its performance etc.

Thought a Volvo s60 T5 was good...but...

First post on here...done some searches and sorted some other issues...but this one is giving me grief.

I have BMW TIS disc which states there are different transmissions in 335i's and those that have lifetime oil in them and others that need changing more regularly. Oils don't mix.

OK...some have different colour indicators...green or black?

Question is...how do I determine what my box is and what fluid I should use?

Halfords and local motor factors can't be sure..and Sytners in Cardiff have sent someone to lie down in a room for a few hours at the prospect of being asked such a 'stupid' question, let alone entertain the notion of a BMW customer doing his own servicing.

My 335i is E90 N54...2007 plate.

Got 38,000 miles on clock and just done engine oil and filter...easier than S60. Done loads of servicing and maintenace on motors over last 40 years.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.




Rob
almost 100% sure you have a zf. the fluid designation is on a plate riveted to the transmission
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  #3  
Old 10-08-2012, 07:34 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin128 View Post
Just bought a 5 year old automatic 335i and totally blown away with its performance etc.

First post on here...done some searches and sorted some other issues...but this one is giving me grief.

I have BMW TIS disc which states there are different transmissions in 335i's and those that have lifetime oil in them and others that need changing more regularly. Oils don't mix.

Question is...how do I determine what my box is and what fluid I should use?

Performance, engine, suspension; drive train can be greatly enhanced. M-like wah achieved w/bolt-ons. Not hard either.


You have a ZF Steptronic transmission and, well, Lifetime Fluid means just that. But if you must, try this technique to find your solution.

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  #4  
Old 10-08-2012, 09:06 AM
Robin128 Robin128 is offline
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Mein Auto: 335i auto, Volvo T5 man
Thanks for quick replies...

Will check plate as advised to be sure.

Guy in video has changed his lifetime transmission fluid???... he thinks smoother changes...what do you guys think...worth doing now or later or just wait and see if any symptoms arise?

BMW mtce sched reckon change trans oil every 100,000 miles but others in the know reckon 60,000.

Thanks again.

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  #5  
Old 10-08-2012, 10:01 AM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Hi Robin, welcome, another in an increasing list of new UK members!

I would leave it alone for now. While BMW calls it "lifetime" there is some question about what that means. There's the obvious answer meaning forever, but that's unlikey.
Here in the States our driving conditions are usually vastly different from yours, in terrain, highway length and speeds, and weather. Some of those variables are easier on a transmission (such as sustained high speed driving where the transmission torque coverter is 'locked') and some are harder (the desert southwest in August commutes). These variables mean that the informed driver ends up making his own call on when the fluid change should be.
No one could fault you for changing yours around 60K, much before that would be overkill. Of course some on here change their 15k interval synthetic engine oil every 5000 miles so you can see opinions will vary...
I mean, we can devote an entire thread to whether the F30 Nav unit looks stuck on or not. At least it's an improvement over whether the shark fin looks stuck on or not.
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  #6  
Old 10-08-2012, 11:47 AM
Robin128 Robin128 is offline
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That makes sense!

Thanks.



Rob
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  #7  
Old 10-10-2012, 05:04 AM
CALLAWAY845 CALLAWAY845 is offline
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Hello Robin. You have decided to tackle a question with an elusive answer. Although BMW says it is lifetime fluid, in my '07 x5, it is considered a maintenance item at 100k. The tricky part is the fact that it is NOT in idrive...I had to push the dealer to do this. I bet most car owners just trust the condition based service system (and why wouldn't they, BMW says all maintenance items are there). Why BMW is stuck in the middle on this issue is a mystery to me. Just be aware that there may be maintenace items not in idrive, and you need to advocate for those items. good Luck...G
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  #8  
Old 10-10-2012, 10:17 AM
Robin128 Robin128 is offline
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Mein Auto: 335i auto, Volvo T5 man
I think you are right.

I intend doing a change of fluid at 60,000m, along with the filter and cover. I'll check the gearbox type when I change the engine oil next...just to be 100% sure...I've learned that the different fluids don't mix.

I've owned my first BMW for just over a month and I am well impressed. What I am having trouble with is their really strange attitude towards customers wishing to service their own vehicles, and the secrecy and confusion relating to planned maintenance. It's evident at both main dealers in S Wales...Swansea and Cardiff...and it appears to be the same on BMW websites, handbooks etc. And the rediculous prices they quote for parts compared to local motor factors and Ebay leaves me perplexed...much worse than Volvo...and many of the parts etc are of equivalent quality to OEM...manufactured by the same suppliers as they use.

So glad this forum is here...really helpful people...thanks again.

Seen some good youTube demos too...but I had to laugh when viewing one that advocated using the diff as a jacking point.

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  #9  
Old 10-10-2012, 06:55 PM
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fun2drive fun2drive is offline
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Mein Auto: 335 vert//M3/4/ 13Outback
Robin:
You can use two fluids for your ZF 6 spd:
LifeGuard6 which is also know as Shell M1375.4 or
Mercon SP
I sent new samples to Blackstone labs of these two samples because Turkeybaster researched Mercon SP and came to the conclusion that they were the same. Blackstone's analysis stated that they looked like they were in the same batch except for color and smell.

I changed my fuild at 38K miles and will do it again at 75K miles. I just dropped the plug and refilled. No filter change and don't plan to replace the pan-filter since they are integral until 120K miles.

There is a reason my M3 vert ran well past 200K miles, fluid changes at regular intervals. Let me put it this way, if BMW considers this lifetime fill which now they don't but used to then why don't they warrant the transmission for a lifetime?

Now BMW states 100K miles is the change interval when before it was lifetime. Also ZF the automatic transmission builder for this transmission and virtually most BMWs recommends 50K miles not in concert with what BMW stated. Mike Miller of Roundel Tech Talk and Bimmermag also recommends 50K miles. The choice is yours, good news is that you have the intelligence to make an informed decision once your research is done.

My fluid at 38K smelled bad but LifeGuard6 smells bad new so no big deal there. It was dark in color again no big deal there since it is picking up clutch material and steel from normal clutch use. It is a very slippy synthetic AFT and appeared to still have a lot of life left in the 4L or so I drained and refilled. I do think the 50K pan drain and refill would have been fine in my case. 60K miles? Probably not an issue...
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  #10  
Old 10-11-2012, 01:39 AM
Robin128 Robin128 is offline
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Thanks for the knowledge.

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  #11  
Old 10-11-2012, 01:48 AM
Robin128 Robin128 is offline
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And I can source from here...

http://www.bmwpartsonline.co.uk/Prod....4-83220142516
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