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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 09-18-2011, 07:44 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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ESSO ATF Alternatives Update

I am about to replace my ATF and filter and am finally getting around to buying the ATF. I bought the filter and gasket over a year ago! I have the ZF 5HP19 slushbox.

ESSO LT71141 is a bit expensive ($18+/qt) so I am considering ATF alternatives. My previous research indicated that Valvoline Maxlife ATF was an acceptable alternative to ESSO LT71141. Several forum members have used it with success. Just wanting to be double sure before I buy, I checked on the Valvoline website and their spec sheet no longer recommends use in BMWs. A little more checking (a comparison between the old spec sheet and their current one) and it appears that Maxlife has been changed. This link http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1497704 appears to also identify a change in Maxlife and cautions against use in BMWs.
Further research into ATF alternatives identified Mobil 1 synthetic as an acceptable substitute. However, their current spec sheet does not identify it as an alternative for ESSO LT71141.
Royal Purple is another ATF that has been mentioned as an alternative to ESSO but there is less feedback on its use.

My questions are:

1. Is Valvoline Maxlife ATF still considered a viable substitute for ESSO ATF?
2. Is Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF still considered a viable substitute to ESSO ATF?
3. If no to the above, Is there any viable substitute for ESSO ATF?

Thanx for any help!
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  #2  
Old 09-18-2011, 07:49 AM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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If the back of the bottle you buy has the LT71141 printed on the label, that formulation is still good. Valvoline changed their formulation last year and viscosity became too thin for LT71141 sepcs.

I've used Castrol Import and it runs great. Shifts are smoother than before the drain and fill. Still meets Lt71141 specs.
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  #3  
Old 09-18-2011, 08:08 AM
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Amsoil seems to be OK too. Here's the spec sheet
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  #4  
Old 09-18-2011, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
Amsoil seems to be OK too. Here's the spec sheet
+1.
That is what I have since 80k miles, and now at 122k miles, and still going strong.
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  #5  
Old 09-18-2011, 08:21 AM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
Amsoil seems to be OK too. Here's the spec sheet
Amsoil is always great if you have a vendor or warehouse locally.

If you don't, by the time you add in membership fees, shipping charges, taxes and surcharges, there are plenty of other options at your local auto parts store. Otherwise, you'll be at the same price as Esso. At that point, you might as well buy the Esso.

Last edited by dvsgene; 09-18-2011 at 08:32 AM.
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  #6  
Old 09-18-2011, 08:57 AM
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Thanx for the fast feedback guys!
Castrol meets LT71141 and is only $6.29/qt at Advance. Plus there's a deal for 15% off a $100 purchase + a $50 coupon towards a future $100 purchase + free shipping. Can't beat it.

Thanx!
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  #7  
Old 09-18-2011, 09:03 AM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Thanx for the fast feedback guys!
Castrol meets LT71141 and is only $6.29/qt at Advance. Plus there's a deal for 15% off a $100 purchase + a $50 coupon towards a future $100 purchase + free shipping. Can't beat it.

Thanx!
Yep, that's where I got mine when it was on sale for $5ea. I bought 16qts for $3ea after using the 40% off coupons they list regularly on their website and then drove to the store for pickup, 15mins later. At that price, you get a whole ATF drain and fill for the cost of 1 bottle of Amsoil or Esso. Pep boys has it at 2 for $5 from time to time but limit 2 bottles per purchase.

Last edited by dvsgene; 09-18-2011 at 11:09 AM.
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  #8  
Old 09-18-2011, 09:46 AM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Valvoline MaxLife ATF claims compatibility with that fluid. I'd show you the package but my wife cleaned it up and I don't know where it is
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  #9  
Old 09-18-2011, 09:53 AM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_n00b13 View Post
Valvoline MaxLife ATF claims compatibility with that fluid. I'd show you the package but my wife cleaned it up and I don't know where it is
Have you checked the latest formulation or the website?

Their formulation changed last year to a different viscosity. While they may still recommend it "unofficially" the official printing is no longer on the new stock of bottles, the website or the info sheet.
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  #10  
Old 09-18-2011, 11:00 AM
rdl rdl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Thanx for the fast feedback guys!
Castrol meets LT71141 and is only $6.29/qt at Advance. Plus there's a deal for 15% off a $100 purchase + a $50 coupon towards a future $100 purchase + free shipping. Can't beat it.

Thanx!
Mobil Super Multivehicle ATF sold in Canada claims LT71141 compatibility. See the link in Spec tab. The label does quote BMW LT71141.
http://www.mobil.com/Canada-English-...icle-atf.aspx#

Interestingly the US spec sheet in this link does not mention BMW
http://www.mobil.com/USA-English-LCW...icle-atf.aspx#
Anyone in the US happen to have a bottle? What does the label say?

Would the formulations be different, I wonder?

But all a moot point. The Castrol price is too good to pass up.

Regards
RDL
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  #11  
Old 09-18-2011, 12:06 PM
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I've added this info and referenced this thread to the wiki so that others seeking a lower cost alternative to ESSO LT71141 will have this latest info on ATF.
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  #12  
Old 09-18-2011, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
I've added this info and referenced this thread to the wiki so that others seeking a lower cost alternative to ESSO LT71141 will have this latest info on ATF.
Here is what I used in 2009 and I just dropped the pan, replaced gasket & filter. This has worked for me: Bavarian auto has this
TEXAMATIC 7045E Automatic Transmission Fluid - Texaco ETL 7045E - 1 Liter $11.95
Not as cheap as your find admittedly; but I was not trying to save money.
I hope this helps someone.
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  #13  
Old 09-18-2011, 12:39 PM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalekressin View Post
Here is what I used in 2009 and I just dropped the pan, replaced gasket & filter. This has worked for me: Bavarian auto has this
TEXAMATIC 7045E Automatic Transmission Fluid - Texaco ETL 7045E - 1 Liter $11.95
Not as cheap as your find admittedly; but I was not trying to save money.
I hope this helps someone.
IIRC, TEXAMATIC 7045E is for the GM tranny and has NEVER had approvals for LT71141 specs so not sure the application to this thread.

FUTURE READERS SHOULD NOT CONSIDER TEXAMATIC 7045E AS A LT71141 SUBSTITUTE.

BUT, Castrol Import MV is CURRENTLY approved for Texaco ETL 7045E

Last edited by dvsgene; 09-18-2011 at 12:48 PM.
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  #14  
Old 10-03-2011, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
Mobil Super Multivehicle ATF sold in Canada claims LT71141 compatibility. See the link in Spec tab. The label does quote BMW LT71141.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
http://www.mobil.com/Canada-English-LCW/automatic-transmission-fluid_mobil-super-multi-vehicle-atf.aspx#

Interestingly the US spec sheet in this link does not mention BMW
http://www.mobil.com/USA-English-LCW/carengineoils_products_car-care_mobil-multi-vehicle-atf.aspx#
Anyone in the US happen to have a bottle? What does the label say?

Would the formulations be different, I wonder?

But all a moot point. The Castrol price is too good to pass up.

Regards
RDL


I spied it at Canadian Tire for about 35 bux a gallon or so, which is very cheap. Took a look at the label, and yep, it's BMW LT71141 compatible. Did anyone buy it, and if yes, what is the color?
At this price I can afford an ATF change yearly...
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  #15  
Old 10-03-2011, 10:31 PM
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I recently used Pentosin ATF with good results. I ended up rebuilding my car's transmission, but it wasn't the oil's fault. I bought it at bmaparts for about $13 dollars a liter.
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  #16  
Old 10-04-2011, 04:38 AM
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So others benefit, I'm going to add this to the bestlinks as (5) below:

- ATF: Automatic transmission fluid (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & automatic transmission fluid & filter DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & torque values (1) & how to find the hidden E39 transmission fluid level dipstick (1) & why ATF gushes out of the fill hole (1) & ZF 5HP19 facts (1)

In addition, I updated this ATF listing with a summary of the suggestions here - and I updated the E39 handy glove box printout.

However, BMW transmission fluids 'still' confuse me to no end!

One bit of confusion I have, from having read the Bentleys, is that the 'green sticker' E39 automatic transmission apparently lists BMW PN: 83.22.0.024.359 or Texaco ETL 8072B or Shell LA2634 as its three standards (notice the omission of ESSO LT 71141), while the 'black-stickered' E39 automatic transmissions list Exxon LT-71141 in addition to Dexron III ATF (realistically Dexron VI ATF) & BMW PN: 83.22.9.407.807.

My questions
- What color is Fudman's automatic transmission sticker?
- If green, where does BMW reference Esso/Exxon LT-71141 in green-stickered BMW E39 transmissions?

In addition to the confusion in the Bentleys, I can't make any sense of the Mobil LT-71141 recommendations (see this from Mobil themselves saying they have nothing ... but then see this cryptic answer about BMW ZF transmissions).

Can you make sense of these two statements by Mobil on their website today?
Quote:
Question:
ATF Equivalent for ESSO ATF LT 71141 My question as a mechanic is this, What product available from you is equivalent to ESSO ATF LT 71141?
Answer:
We don't have an equivalent product in our product line.
Quote:
Question:
Does Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF Meet the Requirements for ZF Transmissions? I have found out that Mobil is recommending the Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF as a replacement for the Esso LT 71141 ATF used in BMW transmissions. I have a 1998 BMW 750iL with a ZF 5HP30 transmission, does Mobil Oil guarantee this product as meeting all the requirements of the ZF transmission?
Answer:
No. We do not guarantee that the product meets all the requirements of ZF transmissions, which are very extensive depending on the transmission type/model year. ExxonMobil does say that this product is suitable for use in this application based on the type and quality of the recommended fluid, Esso LT 71141.
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Last edited by bluebee; 10-04-2011 at 05:43 AM.
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  #17  
Old 10-04-2011, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by POof540i View Post
I recently used Pentosin ATF...
That's what I bought when I had my TC replaced, since from the information I could find it was the equivalent of the factory fill.
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For me, the e39 is the ... best balance of luxury ... performance ... good looks and class. Sort of the Catherine Deneuve of cars, if you get my drift.
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  #18  
Old 10-04-2011, 10:10 AM
rdl rdl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post

I spied it at Canadian Tire for about 35 bux a gallon or so, which is very cheap. Took a look at the label, and yep, it's BMW LT71141 compatible. Did anyone buy it, and if yes, what is the color?
At this price I can afford an ATF change yearly...
I bought it - it's red in colour.

Regards
RDL
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  #19  
Old 10-04-2011, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
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I bought it - it's red in colour.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post

Regards
RDL


OK, thanks
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  #20  
Old 01-09-2012, 10:49 AM
Blight67 Blight67 is offline
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Just to clarify the e39 ATF required certifications:

http://www.bmwtips.com/tipsntricks/Tranny/chart.htm

Depending on your tranny AND e39 model (application???) , you will require one of:
  • DEXRON III <---- certain GM trannies
  • ETL 7045E <---- certain GM trannies
  • ETL 8072B <---- certain GM trannies
  • LT 71141 <---- for all e39 ZF trannies
Refer to the link for the exact one required for your car.

[edit] just realized that there is already a bimmerfest link to the same information (here)

Last edited by Blight67; 01-09-2012 at 11:04 AM.
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  #21  
Old 01-09-2012, 05:55 PM
Blight67 Blight67 is offline
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I have the ZF 5HP19 transmission, which requires LT 71141 certified ATF. My local choices were Pentosin ATF1 (at ~$14/litre from my Indy) verses Castrol Import Multi-Vehicle (~$6.50/qt in AutoZone). The Pentosin is a full synthetic, while the Castrol is not.

My Indy will be replacing the torque converter, and I'm having him replace the ATF filter and gasket at the same time. Since this will be a full ATF replacement (8.7 litres), and I don't plan on replacing the ATF frequently, I'll go with the full synthetic Pentosin.
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  #22  
Old 01-09-2012, 06:51 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Interesting. Looks like another drain and refill is in my future in a few years. Good thing I still have 2 qts left!
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  #23  
Old 01-09-2012, 07:28 PM
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gtxragtop gtxragtop is offline
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[QUOTE=bluebee;6357516]

However, BMW transmission fluids 'still' confuse me to no end!

One bit of confusion I have, from having read the Bentleys, is that the 'green sticker' E39 automatic transmission apparently lists BMW PN: 83.22.0.024.359 or Texaco ETL 8072B or Shell LA2634 as its three standards (notice the omission of ESSO LT 71141), while the 'black-stickered' E39 automatic transmissions list Exxon LT-71141 in addition to Dexron III ATF (realistically Dexron VI ATF) & BMW PN: 83.22.9.407.807.

My questions
- What color is Fudman's automatic transmission sticker?
- If green, where does BMW reference Esso/Exxon LT-71141 in green-stickered BMW E39 transmissions?

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/att...5&d=1257109447
Page 3: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/att...1&d=1257110016
And a more detailed chart by vehicle year: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/att...7&d=1277775265



My 2003 5HP19 ZF transmission is a Green sticker and requires LT71141 or equivalent. The equivalent is the same stuff called some other name by say Audi or MB using the same formula.
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Last edited by gtxragtop; 01-09-2012 at 07:40 PM.
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  #24  
Old 01-09-2012, 07:30 PM
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doru doru is offline
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I don't think the LT 71141 is synthetic, nor is Pentosin. I believe they both are semi-synthetic.
Excerpt:

ESSO AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION ATF LT 71141
Description:
ATF LT 71141 - this is partially synthetic liquid for the automatic transmissions for the
severe conditions for work with Longdrain-.Performance for the application in the
automatic gearboxes of automobiles. Chosen base oils in the combination with the
new, contemporary technology of additives specify the excellent operating
characteristics of this liquid for the automatic transmissions especially also with

respect to the future elongated intervals of oil change.....etc
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Last edited by doru; 01-09-2012 at 11:22 PM.
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  #25  
Old 01-09-2012, 10:00 PM
Blight67 Blight67 is offline
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Pentosin ATF1 is the only full synthetic that I came across that meets LT71141. Attached are the product sheets for the Pentosin, Castrol, and ESSO products.

My indy highly recommended the Pentosin due to it being a full synthetic. In my case, that was the main reason for paying more for the Pentosin.

I guess the question is then what does it mean to be LT71141 compliant.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf CRP-116_Pentosin_ATF1_V3.pdf (213.1 KB, 275 views)
File Type: pdf ESSOSpecs.pdf (31.3 KB, 206 views)
File Type: pdf pds_ImportMV.pdf (30.9 KB, 184 views)

Last edited by Blight67; 01-09-2012 at 10:02 PM.
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