2009 BMW with 76k, should I change transmission fluid? - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series E60 Sedan was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E61 wagon followed shortly there after. The E60/E61 5 series is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 05-16-2020, 08:14 PM
imk-bmw imk-bmw is offline
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2009 BMW with 76k, should I change transmission fluid?

Hi all bimmers,

Thanks to everyone in advance.

I bought my 2009 BMW 528i last year. It is a clean vehicle. I completed most maintenance.

Now, I am about to change transmission fluid and pan. As you know BMW says it is life-time fluid and we all know that it is not. Some experts say after some milage, do not change transmission fluid if it has never been changed before, transmission may start slipping. I would like to ask your opinion specifically for my vehicle at 76 k, should I change it or not because it is already late?

If the answer is YES, go ahead change it. Should I use ZF Lifeguard fluid? How much, 6 L? One last question, what is the size of drain and fill plug, 10 and 8 mm hex?

Last edited by imk-bmw; 05-16-2020 at 08:20 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-16-2020, 08:35 PM
BabyUnicornTaco BabyUnicornTaco is offline
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Yes to changing. Yes to ZF. Look at Newtis.info. Follow the procedures.


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  #3  
Old 05-17-2020, 03:24 AM
mtnbimmer mtnbimmer is offline
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+1
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Old 05-17-2020, 07:44 AM
OnlyGerman OnlyGerman is offline
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Only if you plan on keeping the car past 100k
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:22 AM
scottalexander scottalexander is offline
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Here's the answer to your size questions and some tips:

- buy a 8mm hex head key wrench in L shape (8 inches long or 10 inches long). You'll need leverage to get the fill plug loose. The fill plug is on there tight.

- crack the fill plug loose a little and make sure you can get it loose before you do anything else

- The plastic drain plug size is 6mm hex head key and is delicate plastic. Max torque is 6 ft lbs or 8nm. Don't over tighten. If you buy a new pan, still check the torque

- buy a new metal fill plug with a new green O ring on it

- buy a nice transfer extraction pump for $15. You'll be glad you did because you will need to fill the transmission fast before it heats up and you'll need a pump that can push LifeGuard 6 as fast as it will travel

By the way, I also use that same extraction pump to pull all the 90 weight gear oil out of the differential. You'll be glad you bought it.
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:53 AM
habbyguy habbyguy is offline
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Fully agree with Scott's advice above. All good advice.

FWIW, I went the cheap route for the pump to get the fluid in the car - I ended up with this one for a couple reasons...
1) It's dirt cheap ;-)
2) It's configured so I can use it in different ways, depending on the container and where I'm pumping the fluid
3) It's a high-volume pump - I find its rate of fluid delivery to be just right for the BMW tranny fluid. Any slower, and it wouldn't fill the tranny before it got too hot, and any faster and it would pump in a lot of fluid that's just going to dribble out before I can get the (awkwardly-placed) fill plug back in.

It would also be very helpful to have a small torque wrench for all those pan bolts. You can use a "regular" torque wrench, but it can be awkward to read it accurately laying on your back under the car. I use a air wrench (not impact wrench) too remove all the bolts, and to loosely re-install them. There are SO many that it saves a lot of time. An electric screwdriver with the proper bit would probably suffice for this, and would be even easier to use.

Then there's the option of changing out the Mechatronics seals, sleeve and tubes. My transmission was shifting OK before, but they all showed signs of aging - the sleeve (the one that covers the electronic plug) was definitely leaking, so it was well worth doing them. Lots of videos and instructions on how to do these jobs.

Last edited by habbyguy; 05-19-2020 at 09:23 AM.
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  #7  
Old 05-17-2020, 10:58 AM
tstiglich tstiglich is offline
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Search the forum and internet. Many DIY videos. I suggest that you replace the mechatronics sleeve, bridge seal, and four tubular seals. Make sure that you can get the mechatronics sleeve out first. On xi models, it can be a pain. Make sure engine is running during final top off. Will need a tad more than 7L if you do all of the above. Filter is integral to pan, so replace it as well. Use ZF parts. FCPEuro has a lifetime warranty on parts and fluids.
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  #8  
Old 05-18-2020, 07:55 PM
imk-bmw imk-bmw is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 528i e60
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottalexander View Post
Here's the answer to your size questions and some tips:

- buy a 8mm hex head key wrench in L shape (8 inches long or 10 inches long). You'll need leverage to get the fill plug loose. The fill plug is on there tight.

- crack the fill plug loose a little and make sure you can get it loose before you do anything else

- The plastic drain plug size is 6mm hex head key and is delicate plastic. Max torque is 6 ft lbs or 8nm. Don't over tighten. If you buy a new pan, still check the torque

- buy a new metal fill plug with a new green O ring on it

- buy a nice transfer extraction pump for $15. You'll be glad you did because you will need to fill the transmission fast before it heats up and you'll need a pump that can push LifeGuard 6 as fast as it will travel

By the way, I also use that same extraction pump to pull all the 90 weight gear oil out of the differential. You'll be glad you bought it.
Thank you very very much for all of you guys, already bought a very nice transfer pump. Will need 8 mm hex and 6 mm hex.

Planning to buy from FCP Euro transmission kit around 200 dollars.

Once again, thank you for all advices.
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  #9  
Old 05-19-2020, 08:04 AM
fjord fjord is offline
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Mein Auto: '10 535i,2x '07 530xi wgn
Change the fluid by all means. I did fluid in my 535i @ 80k and on my '07 530xi which was very neglected @ ???,??? miles (odo discrepancy, I am assuming at least 130k). Shifting improved in both cases.

Quote:
Planning to buy from FCP Euro transmission kit around 200 dollars.
Did you know that Lincoln Navigator used the same trans and you can get fluid from the Ferd dealership for cheaper?

Last edited by fjord; 05-19-2020 at 08:11 AM.
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  #10  
Old 05-19-2020, 09:44 AM
habbyguy habbyguy is offline
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FWIW, the first time I changed my tranny fluid (at 130,000 miles - don't think it had ever been done before by the POs) the shifting did improve. I did another change (in the process of reseating the Mechatronics sleeve, which - contrary to 'net wisdom - can be installed with the lock firmly locked on the wrong slot). After the second fluid change (and the adaptation reset) the shifting improved significantly again.

IMHO, changing the transmission fluid is the best preventative maintenance you can do to a modern vehicle.
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