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      01-21-2013, 02:34 PM   #1
tranquility
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Tranny / differential fluids - when to change?

I've asked around the dealerships and also here online, but wanted to get feedback from you guys that actually did the above 1 or 2 fluid changes, when you did it, why and at what intervals? Did you look at the old fluid/related parts to see that it was requiring a change? I understand that the tranny fluid is sealed, but still, just because of that, it shouldn't mean 'lifetime'.

I wonder why BMW says these 2 fluids are 'lifetime'? The cynic in me thinks so when the engine/differential 'tears up', they can rack up in service fees. 'Lifetime' can't be true especially for those of us going over 100,000kms/60,000 miles.

Thx in advance.
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      01-21-2013, 04:38 PM   #2
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Right, BMW swears about the diff fluid being lifelong (which is 100K miles for the first generation). I don't know when you should replace the fluids for an E89 but i presume it's not much different from E85/E86's. Beware changing the fluid as it gets closer to 100K, as it does more harm than good. My friend has changed his diff oil at 80K miles and he had to replace his diff, it was no longer working. I wasn't there to see it go down, but he says its possible that clean oil may have unlodged parts of the diff to render it useless. That doesn't make sense to me and it almost seems to me that he may have replaced the oil incorrectly, such as not filling it up to level...but I would probably change it every 40K miles anyway. at 80K it was pitch black but this is considering he also rode his hard about 1/3 of the time.
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      01-21-2013, 04:54 PM   #3
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http://www.7machine.com/bmw/93906.html

In case you haven't come across it, other owner posted an oil analysis of DCT fluid after 400 track laps that showed very low wear, as well as the part number of the proper fluid.
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      01-21-2013, 07:48 PM   #4
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I plan to change those fluids at 30,000 miles, per the old style maintenance schedule.
That may be overkill on the open (not LSD) diff, but the transmission, be it auto or manual, should benefit from it.
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      01-21-2013, 08:00 PM   #5
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I change them as per Old School Maintenance every 30K on the diff and manual tranny. If you're a DCTer, your'e good till 60K. There's no point in debating this. You do what you feel comfortable with. No one is going to convince me that moving metal parts don't need periodic maintenance - more so than what BMW says.
Now, if you're not keeping the car, it doesn't matter. Sell it at 100K and it'll be running fine with the minimum care. But if your planning to keep it for a long time, spend a few dollars and change the drivetrain fluids.
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      01-21-2013, 08:20 PM   #6
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From my view some views expressed in the "Old School" maintenance are just that - old school thinking. Really the new synthetic differential and manual trans oils are not breaking down at 30k miles. A better investment is to replace your Fill & Drain plugs as applicable with the Dimple magnetic plugs. Stock BMW plugs are not magnetic. Gears, bearings, generate fine particles - getting them all out with a mere fluid change is not feasible.

http://www.drainplugmagnets.com/magn...plugshome.html
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      01-21-2013, 08:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jparnes1 View Post
I change them as per Old School Maintenance every 30K on the diff and manual tranny. If you're a DCTer, your'e good till 60K. There's no point in debating this. You do what you feel comfortable with. No one is going to convince me that moving metal parts don't need periodic maintenance - more so than what BMW says.
Now, if you're not keeping the car, it doesn't matter. Sell it at 100K and it'll be running fine with the minimum care. But if your planning to keep it for a long time, spend a few dollars and change the drivetrain fluids.
And it's not just the metal parts. Oil degrades over time, going through all those heat cycles.
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      01-21-2013, 10:24 PM   #8
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HerrK, those magnetic drain plugs look awesome! thanks for the link - I'm getting one for each car.
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      01-22-2013, 01:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HerrK View Post
From my view some views expressed in the "Old School" maintenance are just that - old school thinking. Really the new synthetic differential and manual trans oils are not breaking down at 30k miles. A better investment is to replace your Fill & Drain plugs as applicable with the Dimple magnetic plugs. Stock BMW plugs are not magnetic. Gears, bearings, generate fine particles - getting them all out with a mere fluid change is not feasible.

http://www.drainplugmagnets.com/magn...plugshome.html
So when are you changing yours?
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      01-22-2013, 03:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicknaz View Post
http://www.7machine.com/bmw/93906.html

In case you haven't come across it, other owner posted an oil analysis of DCT fluid after 400 track laps that showed very low wear, as well as the part number of the proper fluid.
I'm wondering what 400 hot laps should translate into in the real world in terms of mileage? It seems impressive but I don't know how to apply this data.
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      01-22-2013, 04:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tranquility View Post
I'm wondering what 400 hot laps should translate into in the real world in terms of mileage? It seems impressive but I don't know how to apply this data.
If you analyze your DCT fluid after changing you could compare your wear indicators to that other person's analysis and estimate a conversion factor that you could share with us

I hope you find the wear to be low when you do change the DCT fluid
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      01-22-2013, 09:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tranquility View Post
I'm wondering what 400 hot laps should translate into in the real world in terms of mileage? It seems impressive but I don't know how to apply this data.
Racing laps provide good data for developing formulas but I'm not sure how well that information translates directly to day-to-day driving with significant hot to cold down cycles. I think you asked these questions before, and it appears we did not adequately answer them for you.

Here's a site that could be useful to anyone wanting to get the bottom line on automotive lubrication. IMO they are very trustworthy, but like anything else you'll need to find the middle ground you are comfortable with. Although the site can be extremely technical, they strongly advocate taking periodic fluid samples to obtain lab test to determine the correct schedule based on your style of driving. IMO this is key to separating fact from fiction.


BOB IS THE OIL GUY


BOB IS THE OIL GUY - Oil Analysis General Questions

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Last edited by teagueAMX; 01-22-2013 at 09:56 PM.
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      01-22-2013, 09:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tranquility View Post
So when are you changing yours?
I installed the magnetic eng oil drain, diff & trans fill plugs @ 20K miles. I'll check the trans & diff lugs @ 20K intervals. Probably change trans & diff oil @ but not before 60K miles. Depends on particles I note @ 40K & 60K checks.

If Wilsonv, the Aussie, can go 150+k miles what more proof is needed. He hasn't blown any trans or diff yet.
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      01-23-2013, 06:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teagueAMX View Post
Racing laps provide good data for developing formulas but I'm not sure how well that information translates directly to day-to-day driving with significant hot to cold down cycles. I think you asked these questions before, and it appears we did not adequately answer them for you.

Here's a site that could be useful to anyone wanting to get the bottom line on automotive lubrication. IMO they are very trustworthy, but like anything else you'll need to find the middle ground you are comfortable with. Although the site can be extremely technical, they strongly advocate taking periodic fluid samples to obtain lab test to determine the correct schedule based on your style of driving. IMO this is key to separating fact from fiction.


BOB IS THE OIL GUY


BOB IS THE OIL GUY - Oil Analysis General Questions

.
I have been to Bob's sight before and have always been fascinated as well as overwhelmed. I went to the specific link below which was quite long but very insightful. If you get bored reading long technical statical articles, I would just page down past the last table and read the conclusions.

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/used-o...hat-is-normal/
One quote from the read.
"Hence, the conclusion to come to is that lube brand and grade, filtration selection, as well as various service factors and OCI durations, really donít matter greatly in this example; the 4.6L engine really does not care what you use or how you drive it."

Granted the 4.6 Ford is not a twin turbo in line 6, but it does have some food for thought.
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      01-24-2013, 01:12 AM   #15
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Yes, for most people it's too much and I don't normally recommend it.

Years ago, while talking with a friend who owned a private plane he explained that periodic oil testing is required. IMO, that discussion with my friend and Bob's focus are basically saying the same thing. It doesn't cost that much and would save you the trouble of changing your oil needlessly. On the other hand it's the best way to identify a problem early on.

As I mentioned in a previous post on this subject, IMO court is still out on the correct interval for DCT oil changes - a guess - 60,000 miles is good - 100,000 is asking for big trouble. Why? Because 60k works well for most auto transmissions and they share some of the same tech as the DCT. I think turbo engines oil needs to changed 3500 - 4000 miles max due to the heat, and there would be a lot of people on Bob's forum who would agree with me based on their personal test data.

HerrK's suggestion is good simple suggestion that would work well for most people.
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      01-24-2013, 01:30 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teagueAMX View Post
As I mentioned in a previous post on this subject, IMO court is still out on the correct interval for DCT oil changes - a guess - 60,000 miles is good - 100,000 is asking for big trouble. Why? Because 60k works well for most auto transmissions and they share some of the same tech as the DCT. I think turbo engines oil needs to changed 3500 - 4000 miles max due to the heat, and there would be a lot of people on Bob's forum who would agree with me based on their personal test data.
I agree on the need for testing to establish change intervals for sure

One thing though on the turbo oil change, I disagree with the 3500-4000 miles interval.. if good oil is used.. I think that is definitely old school thinking and would need some UOA data to substantiate.

I have UOA from my WRX, which was used for hot laps / track days, and 7500 mile intervals could still be extended further to 10k+ based on UOA data. This was with both German Castrol 0W30 and Shell Rotella T 15W40 conventional diesel oil.

For the DCT, what is the common tech with torque converter automatic? Would love to get more info on this, since I have been thinking about DTC lifespan in the same terms as conventional manual transmission.. as in, how much the user slips the clutches determines the life, and the oil cools down the clutches to prolong the life / enable more abuse.
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      01-24-2013, 01:49 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicknaz View Post
For the DCT, what is the common tech with torque converter automatic? Would love to get more info on this, since I have been thinking about DTC lifespan in the same terms as conventional manual transmission.. as in, how much the user slips the clutches determines the life, and the oil cools down the clutches to prolong the life / enable more abuse.
Not the torque converter but the AT's internal clutch pack friction disks share DCT dual clutch wet friction technology. Don't worry, the DCT will last a long time - just don't abuse it with Launch Control.
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      01-24-2013, 03:05 AM   #18
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Not the torque converter but the AT's internal clutch pack friction disks share DCT dual clutch wet friction technology. Don't worry, the DCT will last a long time - just don't abuse it with Launch Control.
BMW probably made the LC useless (too much wheelspin) so people would try it once for fun and never use it again.
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