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X5 E53 (1999 - 2006)
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  #1  
Old 08-18-2013, 06:28 PM
MrZip MrZip is offline
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Anyome replaced transmission fluid?

My 2002 X5 has 140.000 miles on it. and I was thinking it would be a good idea to put new transmission fluid in. I asked the dealer about it & they said there is some sort of kit they would have to order, then they could change the fluid. The entire cost would be $700.00. Has anyone done this fluid change & why is it so costly?
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  #2  
Old 08-18-2013, 06:35 PM
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Teemo Panda Teemo Panda is offline
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other people change it around 90-100k i guess its not too late,
But i do recommend go to your local BMW Independent mechanic and get a quote bro.
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  #3  
Old 08-18-2013, 09:38 PM
zackbrody zackbrody is offline
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Hi there, I just did mine and the transmission cooler.. apparently its special oil that is made by pixies with golden fingers and stored at the end of the rainbow...
well thats what I think it must be given here in Aus.. it was $675.00 just for the oil!!!
couldnt get direct from Valvolene or Shell had to be through dealer!!

CRAAAZY
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  #4  
Old 08-19-2013, 02:34 AM
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Scott ZHP Scott ZHP is offline
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Hit or miss at that mileage. Some dealers will refuse to change the fluid.

I would not replace the fluid without also removing the pan, cleaning it thoroughly and replacing the filter. When I did mine at about 90k miles, there was an accumulation of crud lining the pan and covering the magnets. I cleaned all of this up with solvent and made sure the pan and the valve body were spotless.

The gearbox is likely a GM A5S390. BMW spec'd a special fluid made by Texaco (ETL 8072B) which is made of unobtanium. I've been using Valvoline MaxLife (red container) which Valvoline swears is fully compatible with the factory fill. It's been fine so far.
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  #5  
Old 08-19-2013, 08:14 PM
zackbrody zackbrody is offline
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unobtanium .. classic

love it unobtanium
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  #6  
Old 08-30-2013, 06:53 PM
dmask0 dmask0 is offline
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You might want to read more forum posts about doing a transmission change with high mileage. It's generally not recommended because it tends to lead to immediate transmission failure. Most of the forums and reliable transmission shops will warn you about this. They usually end with "don't mess with a high mileage transmission unless you have a serious problem."
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  #7  
Old 08-31-2013, 06:27 AM
tonywintn tonywintn is offline
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I went to 80k miles on my X5 and then changed the fluid. I didn't want to wait to 100k. I first did a fluid flush- a drain and fill. That gets about half of the fluid out- 6 quarts. I used the Valvoline MaxLife which meets the BMW specification. I drove it for a week and then dropped the pan and changed the filter. I bought the filter kit online. It comes with a new gasket and bolts. Then I topped it off with another 6 quarts of fluid. The original fluid was dark but not bad. The pan was fairly clean- just a little sludge in the bottom. That was about 8 months ago. I wasn't having any problems- just doing preventative maintenance. I think in total it cost me about $200 or so. It would be good to talk to someone knowledgeable about high mileage automatic transmissions; but I would think that a couple of back to back flushes and then a new filter would be a safe route to go. BMW uses synthetic fluid. It is not going to build up much varnish unless the transmission has had a hard life and overheated the oil a lot. In the past with standard ATF; the non- synthetic oil would leave deposits on the walls of the transmission and in the valve body passages. If left unattended for a long time these deposits build up. Then when fresh fluid is put in, the detergents would break these deposits loose and if bad enough they could plug up the valve body or even the filter. Synthetic fluid has a much higher heat capacity which means less of a tendency to leave deposits behind. It's going to depend a lot on how the transmission has been treated. My transmission looked nice and clean inside; no stains or varnish anywhere.
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  #8  
Old 09-27-2014, 10:02 PM
ard ard is offline
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Anyone find ZF lifeguard 6 in other than one liter bottles????
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  #9  
Old 09-30-2014, 08:11 AM
maintainer747 maintainer747 is offline
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Transmission Fluid change

I just had my transmission fluid change at 180,000 miles on my 4.4l. My mechanic did not drop the pan, he only removed over a gallon of the old fluid (was really dirty) and replaced it with Max-life fully synthetic and I have had no issues. Cost with oil change & fuel filter change ( I provided the parts and oil) $80 labor. The oil & filter along with the fuel filter and transmission fluid cost about $140 total so the complete job came in at $220.00
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  #10  
Old 09-30-2014, 10:23 AM
Porando Porando is offline
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You serious? One gallon of fresh fluid is better than nothing but won't make much difference ($80 less in your wallet that is probably the biggest difference and I think it would be much better to take wife or GF for dinner)
I just replaced in my X5 @ 88k miles - Dropped the pan, drained as much fluid as possible (fluid was actually quite clean) than replaced is with ZF6 kit (6Q of ZF Lifeguard 6+ filter+ 2 rubber seals). Kit and labor around $600.
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  #11  
Old 09-30-2014, 10:32 AM
maintainer747 maintainer747 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porando View Post
You serious? One gallon of fresh fluid is better than nothing but won't make much difference ($80 less in your wallet that is probably the biggest difference and I think it would be much better to take wife or GF for dinner)
I just replaced in my X5 @ 88k miles - Dropped the pan, drained as much fluid as possible (fluid was actually quite clean) than replaced is with ZF6 kit (6Q of ZF Lifeguard 6+ filter+ 2 rubber seals). Kit and labor around $600.
So let me get this straight, I had my fuel filter changed oil changed and drained out over a gallon of the old transmission fluid for 1/3rd od your cost just for the fluid change (which the manual states that if you are not doing a flush you are only going to get about a gallon of fluid out anyway on a life time metal filter) and you believe that I WASTED MY MONEY......HMMMM SMH.
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  #12  
Old 09-30-2014, 10:37 AM
Porando Porando is offline
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My comment was only on transmission service....
Would you run your engine for 100k or even 50k miles miles than drain only 1/3 of engine oil and replace it w/o changing oil filter?
Dont believe that BMW tells you - Transmission manuf recommends different service levels and intervals
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  #13  
Old 09-30-2014, 11:14 AM
ard ard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maintainer747 View Post
I just had my transmission fluid change at 180,000 miles on my 4.4l. My mechanic did not drop the pan, he only removed over a gallon of the old fluid (was really dirty) and replaced it with Max-life fully synthetic and I have had no issues. Cost with oil change & fuel filter change ( I provided the parts and oil) $80 labor. The oil & filter along with the fuel filter and transmission fluid cost about $140 total so the complete job came in at $220.00

Huh.

didnt realize Max Life was compatible with ZF Lifeguard fluid...
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  #14  
Old 09-30-2014, 01:07 PM
maintainer747 maintainer747 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ard View Post
Huh.

didnt realize Max Life was compatible with ZF Lifeguard fluid...
Valvoline MaxLife fully Synthetic is definitely compatible, please go by your local auto parts store and have them look it up. Just because the dealer wants to sell you their product that has been marked up doesn't make it better.......do the research.
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  #15  
Old 09-30-2014, 02:51 PM
ard ard is offline
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Yeah, I did.

It is not compatible based on ZF, the company that engineered and manufactured your transmission. Lots of fluid MFGs will claim compatibility, but they really are making marketing claims- nothing more. In fact their specs FAIL TO MENTION BMW:
http://www.valvoline.com/pdf/maxlife_atf.pdf


I pay $20 a liter for ZF lifeguard-6, $80 a gallon. Only an idiot would buy it from a dealer.

However we do agree that one should "Do the research."
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  #16  
Old 09-30-2014, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ard View Post
Yeah, I did.

It is not compatible based on ZF, the company that engineered and manufactured your transmission. Lots of fluid MFGs will claim compatibility, but they really are making marketing claims- nothing more. In fact their specs FAIL TO MENTION BMW:
http://www.valvoline.com/pdf/maxlife_atf.pdf


I pay $20 a liter for ZF lifeguard-6, $80 a gallon. Only an idiot would buy it from a dealer.

However we do agree that one should "Do the research."


You probably already know this, but I think Pentosin ATF-1 *is* actually ZF approved as a replacement.

And I wonder about mechanics replacing fluid without cleaning the pan and replacing the filter. I was *really* surprised at the amount of clutch pack residue/sludge in the bottom of the pan. That really needs to be out of there. It takes about 20-30 minutes to change/clean once you're under there.
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  #17  
Old 09-30-2014, 03:44 PM
ard ard is offline
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Yeah, the bigger issue isnt the fluid, its failing to do a proper change and filter swap...IMO of course
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  #18  
Old 09-30-2014, 03:51 PM
maintainer747 maintainer747 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ard View Post
Yeah, I did.

It is not compatible based on ZF, the company that engineered and manufactured your transmission. Lots of fluid MFGs will claim compatibility, but they really are making marketing claims- nothing more. In fact their specs FAIL TO MENTION BMW:
http://www.valvoline.com/pdf/maxlife_atf.pdf


I pay $20 a liter for ZF lifeguard-6, $80 a gallon. Only an idiot would buy it from a dealer.

However we do agree that one should "Do the research."
Research done check the link below to see if Valvoline MaxLife is compatible with BMW's AT...thanks for allowing me to do more research than what was done at the store but here you go....by the way even the pdf that you sent if you read it says that it is not a complete list...Reading is Fundamental......

http://www.carquestprofessionals.com...%206.10.13.pdf

Last edited by maintainer747; 09-30-2014 at 03:57 PM. Reason: more info
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  #19  
Old 09-30-2014, 04:08 PM
Porando Porando is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maintainer747 View Post
Research done check the link below to see if Valvoline MaxLife is compatible with BMW's AT...thanks for allowing me to do more research than what was done at the store but here you go....by the way even the pdf that you sent if you read it says that it is not a complete list...Reading is Fundamental......

http://www.carquestprofessionals.com...%206.10.13.pdf
Unfortunately Vavolines own research doesn't count - they will claim anything to sell to somebody else's market. Only if BMW, tranny manuf (ZF) puts this on their list has any value.

If Dennys claims that their ribeye steak is as good as Ruth's Chris's - even if they say because it is coming from the same farms - would you believe it?
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  #20  
Old 09-30-2014, 06:46 PM
maintainer747 maintainer747 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porando View Post
Unfortunately Vavolines own research doesn't count - they will claim anything to sell to somebody else's market. Only if BMW, tranny manuf (ZF) puts this on their list has any value.

If Dennys claims that their ribeye steak is as good as Ruth's Chris's - even if they say because it is coming from the same farms - would you believe it?
Well I am glad that I didn't use Valvoline's website for my research.....
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  #21  
Old 09-30-2014, 10:36 PM
ard ard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maintainer747 View Post
Research done check the link below to see if Valvoline MaxLife is compatible with BMW's AT...thanks for allowing me to do more research than what was done at the store but here you go....by the way even the pdf that you sent if you read it says that it is not a complete list...Reading is Fundamental......

http://www.carquestprofessionals.com...%206.10.13.pdf
Dude. Whatever. "research done at the store""?!?

Here, try this attachment. Read it carefully- they use the term "supports" and "recommends"...but take pains to point out that these are UNAPPROVED recommendations. (ie vlvoline recommends it but none f the mfgs have actually evauted nor approved the fluid. Nor has valvoline tested their product to any spec.

You are pointing me to a marketing "application guide", wherein valvoline says "it'll work" ...actually, wait a minute.... THEY DONE EVEN SAY THAT! The table just lines up the fluid 'spec' for various cars (or just a part number) and then places their product next to it, as if "this means it meets that spec"....

and you tell me reading is fundamental??


Truly laughable.







.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf MaxLife ATF Rev 2014.08.12_20140930171056.pdf (48.6 KB, 14 views)
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