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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I guess you could call me old school for the way I've been changing the motor oil every 3k miles-- have just over 15k on the clock now. But what about gear and diff oil? I can't say I subscribe to the life time oil longevity as prescribed by BMW, but I'm not sure of an appropriate interval either. I've seen some posts stating 30k, but was thinking more like 15 or 20k. Maybe that's way too often.

When I went in for my 15k oil service my SA told me the gear and diff change would be around $400. That seems kind of steep for what it is-- what do you guys think for interval and cost? Thanks!
 

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Yes you're right, that seems quite high for just fluid changes. I do mine myself as it's really not difficult at all. Either Royal Purple Max-Gear and Syncromax (much information on this topic exists throughout the forums and search, wealth of knowledge) or can go with BMW fluids as well. Total cost for sufficient fluids shouldn't exceed $50 and can be done in a good 45 minutes to save time and money. It's definately an easily DIY job if you're used to doing anything of the sort yourself. Post if you have any troubles and you'll definately get plenty of help. Good luck!

Sean
 

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doug said:
I guess you could call me old school for the way I've been changing the motor oil every 3k miles-- have just over 15k on the clock now. But what about gear and diff oil? I can't say I subscribe to the life time oil longevity as prescribed by BMW, but I'm not sure of an appropriate interval either. I've seen some posts stating 30k, but was thinking more like 15 or 20k. Maybe that's way too often.

When I went in for my 15k oil service my SA told me the gear and diff change would be around $400. That seems kind of steep for what it is-- what do you guys think for interval and cost? Thanks!
Doug,

I just had my car in the shop on Thursday to have a couple of warranty items fixed (warranty runs out in 3 weeks), and I had the transmission and diff lubes changed -- car has 26k miles. For the diff change, I was charged $42.50 labor and $20.37 for the oil. For the transmission, I was charged $85 labor and $60.16 for the fluid. Take 15% off these numbers since my dealership gives a 15% parts and labor discount to club members. So it looks like the total came to $208.03 (this should be comparable to what your dealer would charge unless your labor rate is sky-high and/or your dealer marks up BMWNA suggested retail prices on parts). After my discount, it looks like I paid $176.83.

Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sean-
Thanks.... I don't really have the place or inclination to DIY. I wish I did. I do recall the RP discussions a while back, but for now I think I'll stick w/ the OEM route.

Chuck-
Great info, thanks! I would have done the change for that price. I'll pursue this further with your numbers in hand. Cheers.

-D
 

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Diff and tranny lube change every 15k miles is a good rule of thumb. Less than $200 is what you should expect to pay the dealer to do it. Don't forget the coolant every three years and the brake fluid every two years!
 

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Doug,

It is quite an easy thing to do if you can get the car in the air. The oem fluid can be quite expensive, but not to the point of $400+. I would definately look into going with RP or Amsoil for the tranny fluid as it makes quite a difference. You can never do any harm by changing the fluids too early IMO.
 

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i had the dealer replace my trans oil a couple of years ago. I agree that 30k is probably fine. The SA first said it couldn't be done, lifetime fill and all of that. I persisted, she got the shop foreman who said, sure it can be changed, probably a good idea, no oil lasts forever. They charged half an hour labor. Can't remember the cost of the oil, but the total for the trans was around $100.
Mike
 

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I also just had the diff and tranny fluid changed at the dealer, and total parts and labor was $191. I'm at 35k miles.

I couldn't really feel much if any difference in terms of shifting effort with the fresh fluid. It's summer now and the car (w/SSK) shifts smoothly right out of the garage.
 

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Silverstreak said:
After reading these posts, I called the service manager at the local BMW dealer - he told me that the gear and differential oil should not be changed before 100k miles. I think the owner's manuel says the same thing. What gives?
They say that so they don't have to change it during the 4 year free maintenance program.
 

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doug said:
I guess you could call me old school for the way I've been changing the motor oil every 3k miles-- have just over 15k on the clock now. But what about gear and diff oil? I can't say I subscribe to the life time oil longevity as prescribed by BMW, but I'm not sure of an appropriate interval either. I've seen some posts stating 30k, but was thinking more like 15 or 20k. Maybe that's way too often.

What do you guys think for interval and cost? Thanks!
Doug,
The tech editor of Roundel Magazine recommends that the transmission and differential oil be changed every 30K miles and that the "lifetime fill" concept is nonsense. I plan on doing my own tranny and diff. oil changes with BMW oil at 30K intervals. Interestingly, the tech editor for Roundel recommends Redline products.
 

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There isn't much to the tranny or the diff, but there are some tricks.

1. Make sure car is level.
2. Remove FILL plug. If fill plug cannot be removed, STOP.
3. Remove drain plug. Note that diff plugs are 17mm hex. Try Autozone for one and press it out of the socket.
4. Drain tranny or diff fluid.
5. Replace drain plug.
6. PUMP fluid into tranny / diff through fill hole. You will not have enough room to tilt a bottle.
7. Fill until fluid flows out of fill hole (this is why the car needs to be level).
8. Replace fill plug.

Torque all plugs to 50 Nm.

Like ECB, I switched over to Royal Purple and have had terrific results. Synchromax in the Tranny, MaxGear 75W140 in the differential, and 5W30 in the engine. Just changed the oil, so we'll see how she likes it :)

d-
 

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There isn't much to the tranny or the diff, but there are some tricks.

1. Make sure car is level.
2. Remove FILL plug. If fill plug cannot be removed, STOP.
3. Remove drain plug. Note that diff plugs are 17mm hex. Try Autozone for one and press it out of the socket.
4. Drain tranny or diff fluid.
5. Replace drain plug.
6. PUMP fluid into tranny / diff through fill hole. You will not have enough room to tilt a bottle.
7. Fill until fluid flows out of fill hole (this is why the car needs to be level).
8. Replace fill plug.

Torque all plugs to 50 Nm.

Like ECB, I switched over to Royal Purple and have had terrific results. Synchromax in the Tranny, MaxGear 75W140 in the differential, and 5W30 in the engine. Just changed the oil, so we'll see how she likes it :)

d-
Hi Douglas,
RP is great stuff for the tranny and diff. I would certainly not use RP oil...do a search on this.


Brian.
 

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Hi Brian,

I thought I had read pretty much all the posts on fluids, but I may have missed some :)

I've seen some recommendations against the RP Extreme and Race Oil (suggesting that you need a "street" oil), but I'm just running their regular blend which is designed for street cars - do you recall seeing anything negative about that stuff?

d-
 
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