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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 04-04-2012, 06:04 PM
NYG010 NYG010 is offline
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Noob Maintenance - Oils !!

Ok guys so I love the new ride (06' X3 AT), however I am going to start off strong and get all recommended maintenance done now (with 65k miles currently on) whether it has been done or NOT. The following will be done and I wanted to see if any of you experienced x3 owners can give me some insight on what oil to get and where to get it from for the following:

1) Transmission Oil Flush and replace(I want to use BMW OEM here) where can I find it online or at a reputable place that wont cost me an arm and leg?
2) Front/Rear Differential Oil flush and replace. (I would like to use BMW OEM here again, unless anyone has any other suggestions)
3) Transfer Case Oil Flush and replace. (Online or dealer?)
4) Regular Engine Oil (Do you prefer Mobil1 Full Synthetic or BMW oil?
5) Oil Filter (Is OEM best or is there a better after market and where can I get it?)

Thank you all for your help, I cannot express how much I truly appreciate it!! Also, while I have you here- is there anyway to get MPG on the odometer?

Last edited by NYG010; 04-04-2012 at 06:05 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-05-2012, 04:38 AM
PSUEng PSUEng is offline
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1): BMW Dexron VI--www.getbmwparts.com sells it but my local dealer is cheaper after BMW CCA discount. ECS Tuning also sells some Dex VI fluid.
2): I ran Redline 75W-90 in my diffs. Readily available
3): Only put the BMW fluid in the transfer case--there are online retailers that sell it. You need 1 bottle, approximately $50.
4): BMW lists approved oils on their website. I run BMW 5W-30 and Mobil 1 0W-40. German Castrol (I think it's 0W-30) is also OK
5): I run OEM, or Mahle.

Your owner's manual should tell you how to work your features and controls.
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  #3  
Old 04-05-2012, 08:27 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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NYG, before you spend all that money on new fluids why not take the VIN to a BMW service center (dealer) and have it read to see what actually has been done to the car before. Since it has 50K miles "free" maintentance everything done will show up to that point, as will any repairs done by BMW. At 65K it may have had the Inspection II (60K mile service). You may need all those fluids, including new coolant -- but why not check first just in case the previous owner did some of this for you. Also remember the brake fluid needs to be changed every two years, regardless of mileage. Good luck and enjoy your ride!

Last edited by UncleJ; 04-05-2012 at 08:31 AM.
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  #4  
Old 04-05-2012, 10:26 AM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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+1 on what both said above. PSU is right on with the fluids, just double check your tranny tag before you buy Dexron (readily available anywhere). I know the old 5 sp auto was also a GM tranny but not 100% sure if it was dexron VI or IV.

Unclej's recommendation is very sound. No harm no foul in that regard.

I would throw in cooling system flush and refill with blue BMW coolant and thoroughly inspect expansion tank...your hitting 6 years of age. I also would check every belt and hose and replace where necessary.
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  #5  
Old 04-05-2012, 03:01 PM
NYG010 NYG010 is offline
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Thanks guys, I have already checked records and oil changes were done. No transfer case and transmission oils were replaced at anytime.
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  #6  
Old 04-05-2012, 03:19 PM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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I would also consider changing transmission filter due to the age. ecstuning.com has some great how to videos and sells complete fluid kits.
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  #7  
Old 04-05-2012, 04:35 PM
NYG010 NYG010 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x3brian View Post
I would also consider changing transmission filter due to the age. ecstuning.com has some great how to videos and sells complete fluid kits.
Hey thanks for that, I was going to change it with the transmission oil as well. Dont want new oil with an old filter .
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  #8  
Old 04-05-2012, 05:41 PM
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fun2drive fun2drive is offline
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If you have a 2006 X3 you have a ZF transmission and if you use Dex of any kind you will ruin it.
Check the data plate on the transmission but 2006 X3's used a ZF transmission which takes Lifeguard 5/ Pentosin ATF1 or Esso LT71141. Unless you get it flushed which at 65K I don't recommend I would drop the pan and replace the filter and refill the pan. It will take 5 1/2L so you need 6L of the above ATF. I think the rest of fluids recommended are all good choices and it is an excellent idea to replace them.
Regarding who can do the work contact the local chapter of BMWCCA and ask them for recommendations as they know the best indy mechanics out there.
Transfer case only BMW makes a suitable fluild
ATF we discussed
Diff front and rear all good choices
Engine any good quality synthetic works fine, BMW synthetic is about as cheap as any and is Castrol 5W-30 anyway.

Be sure to verify the transmission and the make sure the indy knows how to check the level when full.
Enjoy the X
Also the brakes are fairly easy to replace as well when the time comes...
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  #9  
Old 04-05-2012, 06:01 PM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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Excellent point! I have heard conflicting stories of some 2006's have ZF trannies and some have GM...check the data plate. If you go to either ECS or Bav auto they have videos that are excellent to show you where to look.
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  #10  
Old 04-05-2012, 06:10 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x3brian View Post
I have heard conflicting stories of some 2006's have ZF trannies and some have GM...check the data plate.
I have only heard that E83 A/T's for all years are GM units made in France.

ZF A/T's are in X5's, and maybe the M/T's in X3's are made by ZF in Germany?

Last edited by Supercourse; 04-05-2012 at 06:11 PM.
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  #11  
Old 04-05-2012, 06:38 PM
NYG010 NYG010 is offline
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I'm getting all my fluids from BMW anyway so they are matching everything to my VIN
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  #12  
Old 04-06-2012, 04:33 AM
PSUEng PSUEng is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fun2drive View Post
If you have a 2006 X3 you have a ZF transmission and if you use Dex of any kind you will ruin it.
Check the data plate on the transmission but 2006 X3's used a ZF transmission which takes Lifeguard 5/ Pentosin ATF1 or Esso LT71141. Unless you get it flushed which at 65K I don't recommend I would drop the pan and replace the filter and refill the pan. It will take 5 1/2L so you need 6L of the above ATF. I think the rest of fluids recommended are all good choices and it is an excellent idea to replace them.
Regarding who can do the work contact the local chapter of BMWCCA and ask them for recommendations as they know the best indy mechanics out there.
Transfer case only BMW makes a suitable fluild
ATF we discussed
Diff front and rear all good choices
Engine any good quality synthetic works fine, BMW synthetic is about as cheap as any and is Castrol 5W-30 anyway.

Be sure to verify the transmission and the make sure the indy knows how to check the level when full.
Enjoy the X
Also the brakes are fairly easy to replace as well when the time comes...
Correct on the trans fluid. I missed that the OP had a 2006. I have a 2007, and got my wires crossed in my mind.
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  #13  
Old 04-06-2012, 04:40 AM
PSUEng PSUEng is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fun2drive View Post
Unless you get it flushed which at 65K I don't recommend I would drop the pan and replace the filter and refill the pan.
I forgot to ask--what is your take on the ATF fluid and/or filter replacement? I'm all over the map on it and I have 60k miles on my 2007, was going to just drain and fill.
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  #14  
Old 04-06-2012, 06:48 AM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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My take....I have 83k on my 2009... I drain and refill every 25k after 50k and change filter every 100k. I drive almost 40k miles a year though.
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  #15  
Old 04-06-2012, 08:19 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Never heard of the E83 ('04-'06) having the ZF automatic transmission. The 6 speed manual box may be a ZF. The ZF auto boxes used were in the X5's built here (remember the X3's were built in Austria). The GM5 was/is a very reliable and sturdy box used in literally hundreds of thousands of cars across the spectrum.
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  #16  
Old 04-06-2012, 08:21 PM
NYG010 NYG010 is offline
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Im going to be using Mobil1 for ENGINE OIL I'm confused some people say to use 5w-30 Some say to use 0w-40..which one!!!???
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  #17  
Old 04-06-2012, 10:01 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Mobil 1 0W40 is on BMW's approved oil list. Mobil 1 5W30 is not.

Mobil 1 naming can get confusing.

The labeled viscosity on synthetic oils is not a main factor in the same way as conventional oils.
High temperature/High shear (HTHS) viscosity has to be met for BMW's specs. along with a Long Life measure.

Castrol naming is also confusing.
The Castrol Syntec 5W30 commonly available is a quite different oil than the 5W30 that dealers have.
Castrol 0W30 (commonly referred to as German Castrol) is closer, and it is a full Class IV synthetic, unlike the 5W30, but is not on the approved list.
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  #18  
Old 04-06-2012, 10:05 PM
NYG010 NYG010 is offline
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Thanks for getting back to me. So just to be clear- Mobil1 0W-40 is A-OK?
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  #19  
Old 04-06-2012, 10:44 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Yes, Mobil 1 0W40 is A-OK.

Here is the approved list:

http://www.bmwusa.com/Standard/Conte...ngineOils.aspx

I see that I did Castrol European Formula 0W30 a disservice - it is on the list too.
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  #20  
Old 04-07-2012, 05:32 AM
usaret usaret is offline
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Last edited by usaret; 04-25-2012 at 06:52 AM.
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  #21  
Old 04-07-2012, 05:47 AM
usaret usaret is offline
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Last edited by usaret; 04-25-2012 at 06:52 AM.
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  #22  
Old 04-07-2012, 06:06 AM
PSUEng PSUEng is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usaret View Post
And it's readily available at Walmart. At least it is at mine.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Mobil-1-0W-40-1qt/17034373
O'relly usually has quarts of M1 synthetic on sale once or twice a year for $4.99/qt, which is when I stock up. I've never seen the 0W-40 in a 5qt jug.
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  #23  
Old 04-07-2012, 07:47 AM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fun2drive View Post
If you have a 2006 X3 you have a ZF transmission and if you use Dex of any kind you will ruin it.
Not true, 2004-2006 X3 had a GM5 transmission.
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  #24  
Old 04-07-2012, 09:20 AM
usaret usaret is offline
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Last edited by usaret; 04-25-2012 at 06:51 AM.
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  #25  
Old 02-05-2013, 01:17 PM
BMW220i BMW220i is offline
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In a few weeks, I plan to change the oil myself for the first time since free maintenance has ended. What oil is the "best"? I am willing to split hairs and choose the "best". I'd like to select an oil and not change the brand for as long as I have the car, which might be 10 more years. Of course, oil formulations can change even if the name doesn't but I'll ignore that for now.

Here's my assessment:
1. Much weight is given to BMW's recommendation http://www.bmwusa.com/Standard/Conte...ngineOils.aspx
2. I prefer not to use BMW oil as I suspect it is not that good and is a semi-synthetic. It is said that some Subarus should use conventional oil. I presume that BMWs are not better off with a semi-synthetic. This assumption may be wrong.
3. I prefer an oil with a reliable source. Valvoline Synpower 5W-30 MST is not easy to find.

The preliminary list then becomes:
1. Mobil 1 0W-40. Least expensive of the oils in this list. Easily found in multiple stores. Often the same price as Castrol Edge 0W-30 European Formula but the lowest sale price that I've seen is a little lower than the lowest sale price that I've seen for Castrol.

2. Castrol Edge 0W-30 European Formula. The -30 weight part may mean that's acts as a thinner oil when the engine is not quite warm, say 70 degrees C. A 0W-40 weight oil at 70 degrees may be thicker.

On the other hand, Castrol Edge 0W-30 seems to be available only at Autozone. If they should drop it then that means changing oil brands again, which I prefer not to do but will.

3. Total Quartz INEO MC3 5W-30. Always more expensive than Castrol or Mobil. I'm not so sure about this BMW Longlife 04 standard. Hard, but not impossible to find.

Last edited by BMW220i; 02-05-2013 at 01:33 PM.
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