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Discussion Starter #1

I've called over 10 autoshops for quotes and every single one of them quoted me for the fluid change only. When I mentioned I wanted to replace the pan/filter they all wanted an extra $200-300+ more. (Looking at the YouTube DIY it seems like you'll need to take out the old one and put it back on, so putting the new one on instead isn't exactly extra work 🤷‍♂️)


Anyways a few of them mentioned that you don't have to change the pan/filter. One of them even went as far as to mention that bmw does not recommend transmission fluid changes and so a new oil pan/filter isn't necessary. And now that I look at it the pan/filter from fcpeuro is not a oe or oem part.

One of the autoshops mentioned they've done transmission fluid changes before but have never changed the filters.


Is changing the pan/filter necessary?
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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1. That pan you linked is OEM. "ZF" made the transmission for BMW. ZFis the OEM. That pan is a ZF pan, but doenst come in a BMW package.

2. So funny. Shops dont want to take the extra hour to do the work. They will just doa drain and fill, avoid droppign the pan. But they will try and convince you it isnt necessary. Whatever. You decide.

3. I am sure theyve done it before. As if that matters.
 

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2011 F10 BMW 535i xdrive
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I've called over 10 autoshops for quotes and every single one of them quoted me for the fluid change only. When I mentioned I wanted to replace the pan/filter they all wanted an extra $200-300+ more. (Looking at the YouTube DIY it seems like you'll need to take out the old one and put it back on, so putting the new one on instead isn't exactly extra work 🤷‍♂️)


Anyways a few of them mentioned that you don't have to change the pan/filter. One of them even went as far as to mention that bmw does not recommend transmission fluid changes and so a new oil pan/filter isn't necessary. And now that I look at it the pan/filter from fcpeuro is not a oe or oem part.

One of the autoshops mentioned they've done transmission fluid changes before but have never changed the filters.


Is changing the pan/filter necessary?
I too am curious about this. I plan to change the pan myself, as I’ve seen it doesn’t look to difficult, but if it’s unnecessary then I’ll just have fluid changed.
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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lol

what do you guys mean by "necessary"????????????????????????????????????????

I mean this is really, at its core, a laughable conversation.

NOTHING is 'necessary'. A BMW policeman wont arrest you for not doing it. ALL BMWs will not blow up and have AT failures at 100k if you dont do it. Maybe you wont own it when it fails...what do you ACTUALLY mean when you write 'necessary'?



It is all about risk. Changing the filter and sleeve will reduce your risks later. Oh, if you are NOT chaning the pan- if this is jsut draining fluid and filling, id love to hear what the shop is charging for that task. It is just about on the level of rotating washer fluids


And then I see someone posting that BMWs have 'lifetime' fluid.

Dear God do people live in an utter vacuum? This has been discssed ad nauseam for many many many years in every BMW forum on the planet
 

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Munich Mark - 2014 535XD
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Lots of discussion on this subject in various Forums with even more various opinions...

BMW is the only OEM that recommends “Lifetime Fluid” which essentially means wait until the Transmission Fails, then change the fluid with the new or rebuilt Transmission.

All other OEM’s recommend ZF8 Transmission Oil Change (with Filter /Pan) every 60,000- 90,000 Miles or so.

Changing the Fluid without a new Filter would be the same as changing your Engine Oil without a Filter but everyone must decide on their own what is sound.

I personally change my ZF8 Fluid and Filter every 50,000 Miles, a bit of overkill perhaps but it’s my way. I also changed the Diff’s front and back and Xfer Case Oils as well at 100,000. BMW also calls them Lifetime (but they’re also really not).
 

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Sure you can only change the fluid, but the whole kit is fairly cheap on FCP. Defeintlity not "lifetime" since dealers think your car is shit after 48k anyway. Replace around 60-100k. Most dealer SA and techs are half slow and don't care about your car. You must research and do what's best for the longevity of your car.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ah so it is oe. I didn't see it on fcp. But the kit with the Lifeguard fluid kit does say oe. Separately the filter didn't say it at first...

I have about 72k miles on the car

Thanks Mark appreciate to response. My brother says his Mazda cx-5 also says lifetime fluid for transmission 🤷‍♂️

Thanks German, I should just avoid all those who aren't recommending to replace the filter then... probably they don't care



I found an autoshop that will change the pan/filter and oil for about $850. But I noticed they are charing me for 9 liters of Lifeguard. Fcpeuro kit has only 7 liters 🤔 is it 7 liters or 9 liters to change the fluid? Or perhaps they are using the 2 extra liters to flush? $850 sounds reasonable from all the other quotes I got other than $100 more for the parts than if I bought the parts myself from fcpeuro.com
 

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I have done this a couple of time myself now. I would recommend changing the pan/filter. The pan holds about 1 liter of fluid if you don't drop it. Even with the pan off, you can only get about 4.5 liter out, about half the fluid. There a number of online sites selling the OEM ZF pan for about $75.
 

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2014 BMW 535xi M-Sport
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I've been dreading this little project, but the thought of just drain/refill is starting to be appeal to me (both for time AND money!!).
 

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I've been dreading this little project, but the thought of just drain/refill is starting to be appeal to me (both for time AND money!!).
I replaced the pan and filter when I did mine and it is a pretty easy job. The cost of the pan and the time it takes is nothing compared to the potential problems that come with not replacing the filter. Of course, if you're planning on dumping the car in the near future, who cares...right?
 

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2014 BMW 535xi M-Sport
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I replaced the pan and filter when I did mine and it is a pretty easy job. The cost of the pan and the time it takes is nothing compared to the potential problems that come with not replacing the filter. Of course, if you're planning on dumping the car in the near future, who cares...right?
True...I still want to hold onto this car for a few more years, so I figured just doing a drain/fill to add some fresh fluid in there is "better than nothin'!". Plan on doing this at the same time of my diff fluid.
 

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True...I still want to hold onto this car for a few more years, so I figured just doing a drain/fill to add some fresh fluid in there is "better than nothin'!". Plan on doing this at the same time of my diff fluid.
The thing is, by the time you get to the point where you've drained the fluid, it's probably less than an hour to just finish the job right. Take out around 20 bolts, leaving the front few in place but loose to let the pan tilt to help drain a little more fluid out before you remove it. Take out the last few bolts and carefully lower the pan to keep from making a mess. Put the new pan back on making sure that you torque the bolts in the recommended pattern (good videos out there showing that). Refill the car, run it to get it up to temperature to check the fill level and run away. it's really frickin' easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Did you jack up the whole car to do it or did you just jax up the two front wheels to work under the car for transmission change ?
 

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Did you jack up the whole car to do it or did you just jax up the two front wheels to work under the car for transmission change ?
I have four jackstands so I had the car up in the air and level. In order to do the job properly, you really need to do that. The car should be level when you are doing the transmission fill procedure. I also bought a tool to scan temperatures so I could check the fill level when the transmission was at the right temperature. Pretty cheap at Harbor Freight.
 
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