BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums banner

1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I changed my tranny fluid this morning and was shocked to see what the old stuff looked like coming out:

http://www.howton.net/images/M5/MTF1.gif
http://www.howton.net/images/M5/MTF2.gif

My car has 68K miles on it and I think it's pretty safe to say that the PO's didn't replace the trans fluid at all.

I will send a sample to Blackstone Labs on Monday and post the results here when I get them.

I replaced it with Royal Purple Synchromax, the transmission shifts much more smoothly now. Although that might have also been been true with fresh BMW MTF.

Regards
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,414 Posts
MMMMMMM Tasty

It will be interesting to see the results. I put very little faith in "lifetime" fluids. My take on it is that BMW doesn't have to pay to change them thus when it is out of warranty it is not their problem anymore.
 

·
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
·
2,977 Posts
I too think the idea of a lifetime fluid in the transmission is nonsense.

It does not have to be as bad as it looks though, transmission oils oxidize and get black long before they stop working as lubricants and corrosion inhibitors.

It will be most interesting to see the test report from Blackstone.

David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,204 Posts
Unfortunately, I waited until 99,000 miles to change my MTF and like yours, pure black.

I wished I had changed it every 30,000 miles at least but at the same time, the transmission works just fine.

I too used the Royal Purple at the change but, I really couldn't feel any difference - maybe a "little" smoother when cold.

Lifetime fluid though - baloney.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
how much royal purple transmission fluid do our cars need
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,414 Posts
3 Bottles. 2 is just barely not enough. I did mine a few weeks ago and I was not happy with the amount. You will have most of a bottle left unfortunetly. I had a bit of a whine out of my tranny till I put in a bit more fluid. This was just my experience.

So if there are a few of you in town that want to do it, go in together to share the 3rd bottle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,353 Posts
If it makes you feel any better, I changed mine at about 30k, and it looked the same. I think they turn color after relatively few heat cycles. Look forward to seeing your testing results. :byee55amg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
661 Posts
I wouldn't worry too much if you haven't changed your tranny fluids. Dark color does not mean anything. You can change to brand new fluid and drive for a couple of weeks and if you drain it you will see that it will turn to black too. The best wat to know the quality of the fluid is to lab analysis. Let us know the result.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I received the lab analysis of my transmission fluid, the pdf is here.

No major problems with the fluid although the report says that it was good time to have the oil changed.

Regards

Jamie Howton
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,515 Posts
The whole theory behind lifetime fluid is...it'll please the typical owner who dislikes trips to the dealer, while lasting beyond the CPO or lease cycle. Most cars find their way to the salvage yard within 150K mi & the typical manual tranny will go that far without a fluid change.

Anyone interested in maximizing the lifecycle of their car should change fluids on a reasonable interval. For the tranny, every 30-50K mi makes sense for the typical street car.

This fluid change interval can double or triple the lifespan of a manual tranny, compared to running neglected fluids with a run-to-failure strategy.

I have witnessed this on Borg Warner T-5. They last ~150K mi if the fluid is never changed. With frequent fluid changes, they go well over 300K mi.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,353 Posts
Thanks so much for posting. The comments are very instructive: "Universal averages show typical wear from a normal BMW transmission after about 22,000 miles on the oil. This oil was run longer and that accounts for the high aluminum and copper. ... Unless you are having trouble with the transmission, we don't think it has any major problems, though it was a good time to have the oil changed."

22k between changes for a "lifetime" fluid seem excessive, given that the oil itself tested well for holding its viscosity and flashpoint, and had negligible water and insolubles within accepted range. But I think it prudent to do a change at some point and Jamie gave us a good benchmark seeing how his oil held up pretty well even at 68k miles. Seems like changing at 50k would be OK. The more OCD of us would do it sooner but that doesn't seem strictly necessary.
 

·
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
·
2,977 Posts
jamie,

Thanks for posting the report.

Look at the additives: the oil from your gearbox had no Calcium, no Zinc and 1/5 the Phosphorus of the "Universal average".

I don´t think that average came from MTF-1 fluid.

About the Aluminium level: the shift fork is made of aluminium. If the car is driven with the drivers hand resting on the gearshift knob, the shift fork will rub agains rotating parts. this weras the shift fork down rapidly.

BTW, Jamie, when you put the RP Syncromax in, did you pump it, or did the bottle fit so you could just pour it in?

David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,353 Posts
BTW, Jamie, when you put the RP Syncromax in, did you pump it, or did the bottle fit so you could just pour it in?
I can answer that one. You have to pump it in. The clearances are too tight to be able to fit the bottle up there and feed it by gravity. (I changed my fluid at around 30k, only because I put in RP, then read posts about possible incompatibilities and changed it back to fresh OEM fluid. Since then, it seems I was worrying about nothing, as there are many M5s out there running RP just fine.) Sta-lube sells a simple hand pump that fits on the top of the bottle for around $10. There are two sizes. One fits smaller-necked bottles like RP and typical gear lube bottles. The larger one fits bigger-necked bottles like the size of anti-freeze jugs. You should be able to get them at Kragen or AutoZone, etc.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,458 Posts
interesting data. I too wonder if blackstone had the correct oil data, they had made a mistake on my sample when I sent it in previously too.

As to royal purple, i'm sure everyone will have a different experience, but i didn't notice any real difference in shift quality, vs new OE fluid, AND my transmission developed a "roll over noise" at idle after about 4-5k miles with the RP. I had the dealer change the oil back to the OE stuff, the shift feel again felt better (new oil syndrome) and after about 2k miles, the roll over noise is gone. fwiw!
Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
977 Posts
Has anyone had their DEALER do an MTF change on their M5?

The E46 M3 crew is pretty big on swapping their LT1 for the new LT2. Many people have noticed improved shifting smoothness. Part of that is probably from new fluid in general, but the LT2 is a new formulation as well.

You have to buy LT2 in 5L bottle I believe, which is $110 for bavauto if I recall correctly. You only use about half however. I'm wondering what dealers have been cheaping for the labor to do it. And if they are giving people hassles about it effecting their warranties.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,458 Posts
i had my dealer do mine twice, once at 40k and recently at 66k.

First time, it was quite amusing. went like this...
me: i'd like my gearbox oil changed as well...
SA: the gearbox oil is a life time oil you dont ever need to change it!
Me: i'd like to change it anyway, just for my peace of mind
SA: You CAN'T the transmission is SEALED
Me: no, there is a drain and refill plug on the bottom/pass side
SA: Hold on, calls shop foremman, 'yeah, you can change it, good idea really, if you plan on keepin the car"

Then the issue on how much... After a bunch of calls and questions i say, "listen, i could change it in under a half an hour, charge me half an hour labor and the cost of the fluid" so the first time i paid under $100


Second time, a little easier. It's still not a "listed" service, the SA makes up a labor time and calls parts to find out the cost of the oil...
SA: wow, the oil is pretty expensive, parts guy said it needs 6 quarts!
me: no, i think it's 1.7L...
BUt this time it did cost around $150.

I;m not positive which oil they used, i'll check my RO,
Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,610 Posts
I've been a little bit of a Royal Purple skeptic but I had the OE MTF changed to RP today. This is my 3rd gearbox fluid change, the first two times having been done with the OE Castrol lube. With a new OE fill there is a slight but noticeable improvement in shifting, but the basic "feel" remains the same.

My preliminary post-RP assessment is that the gearbox definitely shifts more easily and positively with RP vs. OE. In fact, I feel far more of a difference than I expected - if I say it's 25% improved over OE at a minimum - that 25% makes all the difference in the world. I'm kicking myself for not doing it sooner! I think I'm gonna love this stuff. YMMV.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
Has anyone here used Red Line products? Nopt sure if RP is available in the middle east, but I know Red Line is. And if so, is it the ATF?


Thanks!

Phil...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,353 Posts
Has anyone here used Red Line products? Not sure if RP is available in the middle east, but I know Red Line is. And if so, is it the ATF?
I would not risk anything other than RP. Go with OEM fluid if RP isn't available where you are. While our transmissions are different from the Supra transmissions that blew up using Redline, why risk it? RP is safer if only because so many members here have used it without incident for many miles now.
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top