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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 11-02-2007, 09:56 AM
nue36r nue36r is offline
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Mein Auto: 1996 328i
50K service questions?

Greetings Fest,

I bought my 96 328i manual a year ago with about 40K miles. It's now up to 50K miles. I can tell that the car was well maintained. However, there are no records, so I figured I would do the inspection II now and have a couple of questions for the E36 gurus.

1. I'm a little puzzled as to whether I should change my transmission fluid now or not. If so, what should I use? While I could find RP for my engine, the store does not have the Synchro RP transmission oil. The manual says Dexon II. I've heard others mention Red Line. I've also heard that I need to inspect the transmission label, as the manual may not be correct. WTF. What's the consensus (or the Fest equivalent to a consensus) on this?

2. Is there any value in ordering the Bosch or Mahle fuel filter, or is the Purilator filter at the local parts store sufficient?

3. When changing plugs, if there is no oil in the plug wells or around the valve cover, should I change the valve cover gasket?

4. Is it too early to change my rear dif fluid? The Chilton manual says every other Inspection II or 100K. Any thoughts?

Thank you all for your help.
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  #2  
Old 11-02-2007, 10:06 AM
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Hey buddy

1 - I thought it was Dextron III they recomend for our gearboxes. That is what mine needs at least. I would find synchromax myself, but Dextron II/III is what BMW recommend

2 - I always use OEM fuel filters and never have a problem

3 - I would change it...you may as well

4 - Pass
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  #3  
Old 11-02-2007, 12:31 PM
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When the car was made Dextron III had not been formulated,so Dextron III was recommended. However, Dextron III is fully backwards compatible with II, and you'll never find II out there.

As far as filters, I say you may as well use OEM.

Valve Cover Gasket. Not even an urgent thing if you do start getting a tad bit of oil in there as long as its not gushing, so there's really no point at all in changing it yet. Just doing extra work with no real benefit. I'd recommend against this until you start seeing something that tells you its about time.

Dif fluid, you'll be fine waiting a while if you want, although that fluid is getting rather old. Still, it's perfectly doable for at least another year~ish. If you want to, go for it, but it isn't necessary.
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  #4  
Old 11-02-2007, 01:17 PM
nue36r nue36r is offline
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Thanks for the feedback guys. I found the RP synchromax and ordered the gasket and oem fuel filter. I'll hold off on the dif till next inspection II

So much for consensus on the gasket .

Thanks again
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  #5  
Old 11-02-2007, 01:27 PM
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Mein Auto: 94 BMW 325is
+1 Dexron III should work just fine

-Anything OEM is the best to use. In my opinion, a filter is a filter. They're probably all made in the same place. In fact I've been told that theres only 3 companys that make oil filters. Dont know how true that is.

-No sense in replacing the Valve cover gasket unless its leaking pretty bad.

-Changing the Dif. fluid wouldnt hurt. I dont think its really necessary though at this point.

Another other thing you might want to think about doing if it hasn't been done at this point

The Water pump-They've been known to fail in as little as 30k without any warning
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