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  #21  
Old 08-29-2009, 06:50 PM
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Do not change transmission oil ever!

I have 219,000 miles on my 2001 X5 3.0L which I bought new.

You cannot get all the fluid out of it anyways. Multiple flushes
is difficult.

BMW says don't change it........my experience proves it......Tranny
works perfectly..........now the rest of the car has had just about
every other part replaced......

My .02!
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  #22  
Old 06-18-2010, 05:19 PM
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After reading through dozens of posts on the topic, the consensus appears to be that a good quality Dexron VI ATF is the best choice. But I have a question - since you can't get anywhere near all of the oil out of the tranny during a flush, is there any possibility of incompatibility between the Dex VI and whatever fluid was put in the tranny at the factory (mine is a 2003 4.4 with 78K miles)? Thanks.
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  #23  
Old 06-18-2010, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Multibeemer View Post
After reading through dozens of posts on the topic, the consensus appears to be that a good quality Dexron VI ATF is the best choice. But I have a question - since you can't get anywhere near all of the oil out of the tranny during a flush, is there any possibility of incompatibility between the Dex VI and whatever fluid was put in the tranny at the factory (mine is a 2003 4.4 with 78K miles)? Thanks.
The Dexron VI posts you are reading talk about Dexron VI replacing Dexron III, which was the recommended fluid in the GM transmission used in the 3.0. You have a 4.4, and thus a ZF transmission. Read the label on the transmission to see what fluid is recommended for your specific vehicle by BMW.

You will get about half of the fluid out by draining the pan and filter, leaving the fluid in the torque converter, lines, and cooler.

Since you will be combining the two fluids 50:50, it is always best to use the same fluid. If you use a fluid that meets the spec, you should be fine.
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  #24  
Old 06-19-2010, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCL View Post
The Dexron VI posts you are reading talk about Dexron VI replacing Dexron III, which was the recommended fluid in the GM transmission used in the 3.0. You have a 4.4, and thus a ZF transmission. Read the label on the transmission to see what fluid is recommended for your specific vehicle by BMW.

You will get about half of the fluid out by draining the pan and filter, leaving the fluid in the torque converter, lines, and cooler.

Since you will be combining the two fluids 50:50, it is always best to use the same fluid. If you use a fluid that meets the spec, you should be fine.
Thanks; somehow I missed that. OK, I'll be under the car today removing the thrust arms (aka front/lower control arms), so I'll take a look. Hopefully the label on the transmission will be easy to find and read, and will make sense. All this talk about Audi/VW Esso fluid, vs. BMW-specific, with the Dexron discussion thrown in the mix, sure is confusing
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  #25  
Old 06-19-2010, 06:57 PM
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OK, I had my car up in the air to pull my thrust arms (aka front control arms) to replace their bushings (a very easy job - nothing whatsoever to fear - a very easy DIY), I checked out the label on my transmission. It is indeed a ZF, as it should be for a V8, and it says to use BMW Part No. 83229407807 transmission fluid. Sounds expensive. How would I go about determining the specs on this particular fluid, and whether their is an equivalent or better, but less costly, fluid that meets the same specs?

Edit: I just looked at the DIY for the V8 transmission flush, and it recommends using ESSO ATF LT 71141 or VW G-052-162-A2, so I assume these meet or exceed the specs of the BMW ATF. Are they less expensive, or is there some other reason for using either of these over the BMW fluid? I also assume they must be compatible with the BMW ATF.

Thanks.
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  #26  
Old 06-19-2010, 08:13 PM
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You should do a thorough thread search. A great deal has been written on this subject and the various fluid have been discussed in great detail including where to source them, etc.
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  #27  
Old 06-20-2010, 12:31 AM
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Your're right, there have been quite a few threads on this subject. I've gone through them, and now understand that BMW part 83229407807, ESSO LT71141, and VW/Audi G-052-162-A2 are all the same thing, or at least are all compatible. But I have one follow-up question - I did a Google search on the VW/Audi fluid, and got a link from Redline which claimed that their D4 ATF meets or exceeds the specs of the other two fluids. I did a search on Redline D4 on this forum, and nothing came up. What are the opinions of this ATF? It's considerably cheaper than the VW/Audi fluid (about $10 a liter vs. about $15), but of course if there's any doubt, I'd gladly spend the extra five bucks a liter for the peace of mind. My X5 has 78,000 miles, by the way, and isn't exhibiting any transmission issues; I'm just interested in doing a tranmission flush as preventative maintenance. Thanks.
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  #28  
Old 06-20-2010, 01:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomgtv View Post
I have 219,000 miles on my 2001 X5 3.0L which I bought new.

You cannot get all the fluid out of it anyways. Multiple flushes
is difficult.

BMW says don't change it........my experience proves it......Tranny
works perfectly..........now the rest of the car has had just about
every other part replaced......

My .02!
so you have not changed the tranny fluid for 219k miles? no prob at all?
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  #29  
Old 06-20-2010, 03:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Multibeemer View Post
I did a Google search on the VW/Audi fluid, and got a link from Redline which claimed that their D4 ATF meets or exceeds the specs of the other two fluids. I did a search on Redline D4 on this forum, and nothing came up. What are the opinions of this ATF? It's considerably cheaper than the VW/Audi fluid (about $10 a liter vs. about $15), but of course if there's any doubt, I'd gladly spend the extra five bucks a liter for the peace of mind.
I haven't used the Redline fluid, but I have heard of posters using it in the GM transmission, so it intrigued me that it would also be compatible with the ZF transmission. There is a reason that there are two different fluid specs, the fluids have different characteristics. BMW would likely be very happy to only have to stock one fluid, if they could use the same fluid.


Here is what I found out on the Redline site:
  • Redline's 'most versatile' ATF. I guess that means it works in just about anything.
  • 'Suitable replacement for Dexron III'. Doesn't sound like it is tested to those standards, otherwise it would say so. Usually that means that a small producer doesn't want to pay for the GM test protocol.
  • 'Suitable replacement for the Esso LT71141'. Again, not certified.
  • No reference to the VW standard, just that it is suitable for VW vehicles.
They may provide the details elsewhere, but the Redline website I looked at does not says it meets or exceeds the above standards, just that Redline consider it a suitable alternative. It also has the dubious distinction of being the fluid equivalent of an adjustable wrench, ie it fits everything.

If it was my vehicle, I would be concerned with both the standards that a fluid is tested to, and the compatibility with the fluid that is already in there (the two fluids have different base stocks). If you want to save the $, it is your call. Or, you can go with Yoda's immortal quote: "Be afraid, be very, very, afraid." Personally, I wouldn't even consider Redline products that do not meet manufacturer's published requirements.
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Last edited by JCL; 06-20-2010 at 03:46 AM.
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  #30  
Old 06-20-2010, 03:14 PM
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It always amazes me that people want to do preventative maintenance (that is not specifically called for by BMW) and then want to start substituting filters, fluids, etc with none OE products just to save somewhere in the neighborhood of $50. Why not just save the money and not do it at all?
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