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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 03-26-2012, 08:48 PM
Eric2684 Eric2684 is offline
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Anyone change their "Lifetime" trans fluid?

My 2006 325i has 85,000 miles on it and I recently became motivated to get it in perfect condition so it can last me a long time. I was thinking about changing the transmission fluid, but I think it is a "lifetime" fluid and its probably pricey to do. I also heard that changing transmission fluid can occasionally lead to shifting problems for some reason.

Has anyone changed theirs or have any thoughts? Also, could I just drain and refill the fluid, rather then dopr the pan and change the filter also?
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  #2  
Old 03-26-2012, 08:51 PM
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tturedraider tturedraider is offline
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Yes. Lots here. You are at just the mileage to do it post haste. Most believe once the mileage gets higher it's better to just leave it alone rather than risk dislodging some kind of slug.
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  #3  
Old 03-26-2012, 10:03 PM
jertronic jertronic is offline
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At 60K my transmission fluid was changed. Current milage is 66K. I had my Indy do the job. No mention of a new filter going by what was on the receipt. The price was in the $300 range give or take 25. He used the BMW fluid (if such a thing exists) which makes up the majority of the cost. The fluid is pricey.

Next on my list is to give the cooling system some attention. Next after the cooling system will be changing the x-drive fluids. The brake fluid and power steering fluid go next and that brings me to addressing the suspension. My goal is the make 125K with this vehicle.
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  #4  
Old 03-26-2012, 10:26 PM
Sanjaygb Sanjaygb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jertronic View Post
My goal is the make 125K with this vehicle.
That's it? Seriously? I'm a newbie and curious as to why such low expectations?

Thanks,
sb
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  #5  
Old 03-26-2012, 10:49 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanjaygb View Post
That's it? Seriously? I'm a newbie and curious as to why such low expectations?

Thanks,
sb
Some people just have low expectations?
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  #6  
Old 03-27-2012, 04:29 AM
espressomiata espressomiata is offline
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If I were only going for 125k I wouldn't even mess with changing anything but oil. The VW I just got rid of had 216k without any changing of it's "lifetime" fluids and it was still running smooth and strong.
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  #7  
Old 03-27-2012, 04:30 AM
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ProfessorCook ProfessorCook is offline
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With Jert's attention, his car can easily do over 200k.
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  #8  
Old 03-27-2012, 06:16 AM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric2684 View Post
My 2006 325i has 85,000 miles on it and I recently became motivated to get it in perfect condition so it can last me a long time. I was thinking about changing the transmission fluid, but I think it is a "lifetime" fluid and its probably pricey to do. I also heard that changing transmission fluid can occasionally lead to shifting problems for some reason.

Has anyone changed theirs or have any thoughts? Also, could I just drain and refill the fluid, rather then dopr the pan and change the filter also?
I changed it on my 2001 X5 4.4 soon after I bought it. The mileage was 108K. I traded that vehicle in with 126K miles and never had a problem with the transmission. I highly recommend it as I don't believe in lifetime fluids. Cost was about $350 with the fluid being the bulk of the expense.
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  #9  
Old 03-27-2012, 06:18 AM
usernamehere usernamehere is offline
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I changed mine...and the transfer case. Was about $400 for both at a local indy.

I'm going to be changing front/rear differentials, brake fluid and coolant next month.
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  #10  
Old 03-27-2012, 06:22 AM
07335i_sport 07335i_sport is offline
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My local Indy (certified Dinan dealer) said don't touch the trans fluid in my 335i ....
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  #11  
Old 03-27-2012, 06:59 AM
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Bcube Bcube is offline
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Two well-respected Indy shops that I've gone to won't touch the transmission and my dealer says they will do a drain and fill only - no pan/filter replacement or fluid flush - for ~$350.
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  #12  
Old 03-27-2012, 07:07 AM
Joe in Dublin Joe in Dublin is offline
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if you want a complete flush and filter change its between 650-700. its about 9 Qts of $25 per Qt of fluid and $125 filter. For 300 your getting a drain and refill. I plan to do mine at around 50k, or at 6 years.
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  #13  
Old 03-27-2012, 07:08 AM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe in Dublin View Post
if you want a complete flush and filter change its between 650-700. its about 9 Qts of $25 per Qt of fluid and $125 filter. For 300 your getting a drain and refill. I plan to do mine at around 50k, or at 6 years.
Mine was a complete flush with filter replacement. I did have an indy perform the work though so maybe that's the difference in cost.
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  #14  
Old 03-27-2012, 07:24 AM
xMassacrex xMassacrex is offline
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I just changed the transmission fluid, coolant, brake fluid, and differential fluid (among other things) in my vehicle and the total bill came to $740 at my local Indy shop. The change is simply staggering. My transmission feels so much smoother (Manual 6-speed on a 2006 330xi) snappier, and overall the vehicle runs much better. I HIGHLY suggest doing this maintenance.

As I'm sure everyone will reiterate, the fluids are labeled as lifetime to help cut costs, and to get people in to new vehicles faster. If you plan on keeping it, its worth the money IMO.
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  #15  
Old 03-27-2012, 09:05 AM
jertronic jertronic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfessorCook View Post
With Jert's attention, his car can easily do over 200k.
My thinking is that performing maintenance will prevent future high cost repairs. Ideally, I will drive the car for a long time. But, I know myself pretty well and willpower is bound to fail with regards to holding off on a new F30. It's only a matter of time.

My thinking is that performing a coolant change, or "flush" might prevent the ultimate failure of the radiator.

Which suspension parts usually wear out first? The vehicle has a bouncing tendancy and a right to left sway when going over bumps at low speeds.
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  #16  
Old 03-27-2012, 11:27 AM
07335i_sport 07335i_sport is offline
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That sounds like the shocks / struts are bad. Should be changed 80-100K (some people say sooner).
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  #17  
Old 03-27-2012, 12:39 PM
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Bcube Bcube is offline
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BTW, the recurring theme that BMW says "lifetime" fluid in the Automatic Transmissions is incorrect. BMW states and publishes documents that AT fluid is to be changed at 100K miles.

A few folks who have the extended maintenance plan (and put miles on their car) have been able to get the dealership to perform the AT fluid service right before the 100K mile expiration.
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  #18  
Old 03-27-2012, 01:17 PM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bcube View Post
BTW, the recurring theme that BMW says "lifetime" fluid in the Automatic Transmissions is incorrect. BMW states and publishes documents that AT fluid is to be changed at 100K miles.
Or possibly it's dated information. It's my understanding BMW changed their position from lifetime to 100K within the past few years.
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  #19  
Old 03-27-2012, 06:59 PM
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fun2drive fun2drive is offline
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ZF recommends 80Kms or 50K miles for a fluid change and for the 335 it is Lifeguard 6 or possibly Mercon SP. I am sending two samples to Blackstone for analysis to see if this holds true.
I don't see any point in changing the pan which contains the filter until 120K miles.
There are a couple of places besides the dealer to buy LG6. BavAuto and this:
http://www.thectsc.com/index.php?p=c...parent=58&pg=1

It makes no sense to me that the manufacturer of the transmission stated change the fluid every 50K miles and dealers and Indy's say leave it alone. Nothing is lifetime so you decide.
I found this change to be relatively simple to do and I noticed no difference in my transmission function however I did this at 37K miles...
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  #20  
Old 03-27-2012, 08:38 PM
suncountry suncountry is offline
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I did the filter and fluid change myself at 60,000 mi. On the 330i the filter is part of the plastic pan.
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  #21  
Old 03-27-2012, 09:49 PM
dallas70 dallas70 is offline
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I'm about to do the same myself (~55k miles). How many miles have you put on it since changing, and have you noticed any difference in the transmission?
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  #22  
Old 03-28-2012, 07:34 AM
jertronic jertronic is offline
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I have put on 6K since the trans fluid change. No difference is noticeable since the change.
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  #23  
Old 03-28-2012, 07:50 AM
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Bcube Bcube is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fun2drive View Post
ZF recommends 80Kms or 50K miles for a fluid change and for the 335 it is Lifeguard 6 or possibly Mercon SP. I am sending two samples to Blackstone for analysis to see if this holds true.
I don't see any point in changing the pan which contains the filter until 120K miles.
There are a couple of places besides the dealer to buy LG6. BavAuto and this:
http://www.thectsc.com/index.php?p=c...parent=58&pg=1

It makes no sense to me that the manufacturer of the transmission stated change the fluid every 50K miles and dealers and Indy's say leave it alone. Nothing is lifetime so you decide.
I found this change to be relatively simple to do and I noticed no difference in my transmission function however I did this at 37K miles...
To clarify: ZF does state that for normal operating conditions, the fluid fill is "maintenance-free". It is under severe or "offensive" (love that term for BMW-type driving) conditions does ZF recommends a fluid change between 50K and 75K miles or 8 years.
Quote:
Maintenance recommendations ZF automatic transmissions
5 and 6-speed as well as 4HP20 automatic transmissions:
ZF 5 and 6-speed as well as the ZF 4HP20 automatic transmissions are filled maintenance-free with specially developed partially
synthetic ATF oils. Maintenance-free fills are intended for normal operating conditions. Especially driving at very high operating
temperatures can result in accelerated aging or increased wear of ATF oils. It is recommended, in the event of severe operating
conditions, such as:
- frequent highway driving in top speed range,
- offensive, sporty driving style,
- frequent trailer operation,
being above average, oil purification (oil change) on automatic transmissions is recommended between 80,000 km and 120,000 km, or
8 years, depending on the load.
In each case, only released ATF oil may be used for oil changes. And oil changes must be performed in accordance with the relevant
specifications.
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  #24  
Old 03-28-2012, 08:06 AM
Alpine300ZHP Alpine300ZHP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bcube View Post
To clarify: ZF does state that for normal operating conditions, the fluid fill is "maintenance-free". It is under severe or "offensive" (love that term for BMW-type driving) conditions does ZF recommends a fluid change between 50K and 75K miles or 8 years.
Yeah....I can see that most, if not all, bimmerfesters are the "offensive" type of driver and should abide by the 50-75k change recommendation. I think the drain and fill method is sufficient for most people anyway.
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  #25  
Old 03-28-2012, 09:37 AM
rdorman rdorman is offline
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Change it and the filter. Not a flush.
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