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Old 06-12-2017, 12:35 AM
Ven Ven is offline
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I use Castrol saf-xo. Was cheap from dealer and it's OE.
2017 Explorer 3.5 EcoBoost
2007 E83 X3 3.0si Crimson Red, Gray
2006 E53 X5 4.8is LeMans Blue, Beige (Gone)
2013 JK Unltd Sport Flame Red, Black(Gone)
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Old 06-12-2017, 12:39 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: South Island, New Zealand
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Originally Posted by bcredliner View Post
Since diff, transfer case and transmission fluids do just fine for so long I see no reason to use anything other than OE fluid where there is no question that it meets the specs and no risk there it will cause a problem.

but.... not all dealers are created equal and/or use BMW/OEM lubes... around here we use whatever we can get (and that we trust)!

Finding an alternative that actually even mentions the OEM spec is a good start...
2005 BMW X5 3.0d (b 02/05)
2001 BMW F650GS Dakar (b 06/01)
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Old 07-27-2020, 08:22 AM
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Montreal, Canada
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We're considering a newer X3 for daily use, which would free up our 2004 (E53) X5 4.4i as a weekend tow vehicle (replacing a string of Jeep SUVs from 4.0L, 5.2L and 5.9L, mainly for the beefier trans more than displacement, as the race trailers gained weight over the years). Duties will include hauling a 10K gross trailer with WD hitch at speed for up to half days non-stop at a time, from about -10F to +112F. I've already grabbed the heavier pre-facelift OEM hitch, although the facelift version's holding so far. For drivetrain lubes, I'm either already using or moving to:

N62 4.4L engine: 10W-30 full synthetic

Rear diff: 75-140 full synthetic

Front diff: 75-90 full synthetic

ZF Auto 6-spd: ATF+4 full synthetic (since BMW/Lifeguard6 is apparently just Mercon SP dino oil)

X-Drive transfer case: Need further advice (understood NOT ATF, but is the stock BMW fluid full synthetic or is there anything better?)

I don't want to make this a brand discussion, but any comments on proposed fluid specs greatly appreciated! It has the factory trans fluid cooler. Is that likely sufficient, or should I go bigger? Any other coolers needed for summer towing? Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:27 AM
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA
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What's your trailer weigh fully loaded? You know the V8s were rated either 5,500 or 6,000lbs towing capacity, right?

I tow a camper that weighs about 4,000lbs fully loaded throughout the summers in up to about 105F, and it handles it just fine with a WD hitch. We typically have the AC blasting in the summer heat while climbing 8% grades and recently got two SUPs to put on top of the car too. Sometimes I will be at WOT in 3rd or 4th for 15 minutes straight without lifting in order to get over a pass. This is my third summer doing this routine and I've never had any sort of failure.

I use some sort of synthetic oil, usually 5w40 or 10w40, with Valvoline full synthetic diff oil and trans fluid. I don't know what the N62 oil spec is but I would err on the side of heavier oil instead of thinner, since your oil will generally be hotter when towing than normal operation.

I do not have an auto or a V8, but that's my experience and it's worth exactly what you paid for it.
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Old 07-27-2020, 12:42 PM
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The type of lubricant is part of the design criteria of driveline components. I use only the recommended OE lubricant for transmission, diffs and the transfer case for that reason. Better lubricants are not necessarily better for a component. Engine oil is an exception and I don't want to get into that either. As far as engine oil, any good brand with same specs and weight changed frequently will be fine.

I would be as or more concerned with the suspension, tires and brakes.. I would refresh the suspension and go to heavy duty shocks and struts if you haven't already. Tires? I don't do any towing with my X5 so don't know what is out there but I would want them on wider rims than stock. I would go to bigger brakes.

That said, I think you are asking for trouble using your X5 in the conditions you mentioned. You need a vehicle that is built with towing in mind which would include in the conditions you mention. Otherwise, my guess is you will be very late for some of your destinations.
X5 4.6 2002 Black Sap, Black interior. 2013 X5M Melbourne Red, Bamboo interior
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