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Transmission oil for E46 325i. Do I have a choice other than BMW?

Discussion in 'E46 (1999-2006)' started by eeskinazi, Jan 5, 2011.

    eeskinazi guest

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    Does anyone know what the recommendation is for Automatic Transmission Fluid for a 2002 325i? Do I have an alternative other than buying the BMW ATF from the dealer? Mike Miller's Old School Maintenance schedule makes it seem like Redline is recommended for Manual, but not the automatic.

    My independent shop recommended BG synthetic ATF. Should I go for it? Any guidance would be much appreciated.
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    floydarogers

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    You have to figure out which transmission you have. There are several transmission fluids available, but they depend upon *which* transmission you have. Which you have depends upon build date/VIN. Look here: http://www.bmwtips.com/tipsntricks/Tranny/SD92-113.pdf
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    granthr

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    You can get the OEM auto trans fluid from Bavarian Autosport. But like floydarogers said, you need to know which transmission you. To truly confirm you need to crawl under the car and look at the manufacture sticker and get the manufacture name and p/n off of it. Then call Bav Auto and they can get it for you. It still won't be cheap though.
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    John in VA

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    I went through this with our '00 328i with the GM auto tranny. Bought 9 liters of proper Texaco fluid from BavAuto to do the job myself, but ended up doing a BG flush to get ALL the old fluid out. BG fluid is compatible with the Texaco, and the shop and BG "guarantee" the transmission.
    As stated above, determine your tranny type and make sure any fluid used is compatible. I've read that some owners use the Castrol Import Multi-vehicle AT fluid, but I have no direct experience.

    eeskinazi guest

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    I was able to determine that I have a 5HP19 (A5S 325Z) transmission which requires the ESSO ATF LT 71141. My dealer, which is the only one in town asked $60/liter. Bav Auto is about $25 / liter. So at this point, the question remains, can I go with the BG ATF? Their spec sheet seems to indicate compatibility at the following site

    www.bglsi.com/ATF.PDF
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    John in VA

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    Their spec sheet seems to indicate compatibility. If in doubt, call them to discuss further.
    Our 328i was serviced one year / 10K miles ago - no problems.

    eeskinazi guest

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    After much reading and research, I have decided to go with Pentosin ATF 1 which seems to be the OEM manufacturer to BMW, and clearly states that their fluid meets the ZF transmission specification and references to 83229407807. I am on Day 7. The transmission is shifting just as smooth as before the change; maybe even a tad smoother. Clearly this fluid is working.

    During this research, I have also learned a couple recent news on LT 71141 that I would like to share
    1) Esso LT71141 = Mobil LT71141 = BMW 83229407807 = Volkswagen G-052-162-A2
    2) The following meet specifications of LT 71141 : Pentosin ATF1, BG Universal Synthetic ATF, Castrol Import Multi-Vehicle ATF
    3) The following no longer meet the specifications of LT 71141 : Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF, Valvoline MaxLife Dex/Merc ATF. For whatever reason compatibility with LT 71141 was recently removed from their specifications. Even though the back-label of their bottles still say so, the technical help desk for both companies said they could no longer recommend the use of their products in LT 71141 applications.
    In the internet forums you may see a letter from Valvoline meeting LT 71141 specifications. That no longer seems to be the case. Same goes for Mobil 1 ATF. Something is definitely up that those big companies are taking backwards steps on this. The Mobil 1 technical rep told me that this was not as a result of a re-formulation of the the Mobil 1 ATF. It was the same formulation, they just retracted compatibility with LT 71141.

    Hope this helps everyone who is in the middle of their research and want to clearly evaluate the alternatives to paying very high price at the dealer.

    377253 guest

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    EE,
    Thanks for the research and sharing.
    I need to crawl under my daughter's car and see if this is the oil her car needs (E46 330xi). Last year or so, I went thru the same thing, and found no compatible oil, I ended up paying the BMW dealer to do the oil change.
    TT

    eeskinazi guest

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    I am on Month 5 with the Pentosin ATF 1 in the transmission. No issues whatsoever.

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