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      07-23-2021, 08:28 AM   #1
Mta1981
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High Mileage Transmission Fluid Change?

I have a 435i automatic trans with 130k miles. To my knowledge the trans fluid has never been touched. Is it still recommended not to touch the fluid at this point or say screw it and roll the dice?
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      07-23-2021, 07:58 PM   #2
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I just changed mine for the first time at 164,500. The original fluid looked, smelt and felt almost new. Most of my mileage has been highway. No issues so far with the late change. I intend to change again around 200K to more fully change out the old fluid as you only exchange about 2/3 of the fluid with a normal drain/fill process.
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      07-24-2021, 07:54 AM   #3
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Change it but I wouldn't wait any longer.
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      07-24-2021, 09:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mta1981 View Post
I have a 435i automatic trans with 130k miles. To my knowledge the trans fluid has never been touched. Is it still recommended not to touch the fluid at this point or say screw it and roll the dice?
Recommended by who?

ZF…The company that makes the transmission recommends you change it by 70,000 miles.
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      07-24-2021, 10:03 AM   #5
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Years ago we had a Ford Explorer that blew the transmission oil cooler line at 186k. The trans fluid was original. I replaced the line and added 5+ qts. It ran noticeably better and without incident.
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      07-24-2021, 11:18 AM   #6
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OP, if you go by ZF's most recent recommendation, you'll want to change the transmission oil at 100.000 KM / 60.000 miles or 8 years, whichever comes first. Initially, their recommendation was 150.000 KM. It's the sort of things, such as differential fluid floss, you do for the peace of mind, such that your tranny won't break down in the middle of nowhere.
These are ZF's recommendations: ZF - Transmission fluid tips, Transmission fluid lubricants -ZF
The procedure is straightforward. FCP Europe has a couple intuitive videos you should definitely watch:
BMW F30 transmission fluid change
BMW F30 transmission fluid DIY
Make sure you bring the transmission to the recommended temperature range (40-50 C) by shifting for about 10 secs into each gear, as this will make it possible to completely top off the transmission with ATF fluid after the initial fill, ensuring smooth transmission operation. At that point, you could either reset the adaptation values to speed up the transmission's relearning process, or let it self-adjust for 100 miles
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      07-24-2021, 01:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zatelli View Post
OP, if you go by ZF's most recent recommendation, you'll want to change the transmission oil at 100.000 KM / 60.000 miles or 8 years, whichever comes first. Initially, their recommendation was 150.000 KM. It's the sort of things, such as differential fluid floss, you do for the peace of mind, such that your tranny won't break down in the middle of nowhere.
These are ZF's recommendations: ZF - Transmission fluid tips, Transmission fluid lubricants -ZF
The procedure is straightforward. FCP Europe has a couple intuitive videos you should definitely watch:
BMW F30 transmission fluid change
BMW F30 transmission fluid DIY
Make sure you bring the transmission to the recommended temperature range (40-50 C) by shifting for about 10 secs into each gear, as this will make it possible to completely top off the transmission with ATF fluid after the initial fill, ensuring smooth transmission operation. At that point, you could either reset the adaptation values to speed up the transmission's relearning process, or let it self-adjust for 100 miles
That ZF document says 150,000km for the 8HP
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      07-24-2021, 02:38 PM   #8
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Done mine at 150k kilometers, definitely worth it.
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      07-24-2021, 03:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmm-five View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by zatelli View Post
OP, if you go by ZF's most recent recommendation, you'll want to change the transmission oil at 100.000 KM / 60.000 miles or 8 years, whichever comes first. Initially, their recommendation was 150.000 KM. It's the sort of things, such as differential fluid floss, you do for the peace of mind, such that your tranny won't break down in the middle of nowhere.
These are ZF's recommendations: ZF - Transmission fluid tips, Transmission fluid lubricants -ZF
The procedure is straightforward. FCP Europe has a couple intuitive videos you should definitely watch:
BMW F30 transmission fluid change
BMW F30 transmission fluid DIY
Make sure you bring the transmission to the recommended temperature range (40-50 C) by shifting for about 10 secs into each gear, as this will make it possible to completely top off the transmission with ATF fluid after the initial fill, ensuring smooth transmission operation. At that point, you could either reset the adaptation values to speed up the transmission's relearning process, or let it self-adjust for 100 miles
That ZF document says 150,000km for the 8HP
Yes. It's 150k km for 5-6-8-9 speeds and a 4-speed.

They now recommend a "shorter interval" for operating conditions with high temps AND load, or on vehicles with unknown history.

However, they no longer define what a shorter interval is.
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      07-29-2021, 02:33 PM   #10
Mta1981
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ooshnoo View Post
Recommended by who?

ZFThe company that makes the transmission recommends you change it by 70,000 miles.
I've heard that from multiple shops in the past, including the dealership I went to when I got the 435i
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      07-29-2021, 02:35 PM   #11
Mta1981
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zatelli View Post
OP, if you go by ZF's most recent recommendation, you'll want to change the transmission oil at 100.000 KM / 60.000 miles or 8 years, whichever comes first. Initially, their recommendation was 150.000 KM. It's the sort of things, such as differential fluid floss, you do for the peace of mind, such that your tranny won't break down in the middle of nowhere.
These are ZF's recommendations: ZF - Transmission fluid tips, Transmission fluid lubricants -ZF
The procedure is straightforward. FCP Europe has a couple intuitive videos you should definitely watch:
BMW F30 transmission fluid change
BMW F30 transmission fluid DIY
Make sure you bring the transmission to the recommended temperature range (40-50 C) by shifting for about 10 secs into each gear, as this will make it possible to completely top off the transmission with ATF fluid after the initial fill, ensuring smooth transmission operation. At that point, you could either reset the adaptation values to speed up the transmission's relearning process, or let it self-adjust for 100 miles
Is the resetting of the adaptation values mentioned I'm those videos? Haven't watched them yet.
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      07-31-2021, 01:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mta1981 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by zatelli View Post
OP, if you go by ZF's most recent recommendation, you'll want to change the transmission oil at 100.000 KM / 60.000 miles or 8 years, whichever comes first. Initially, their recommendation was 150.000 KM. It's the sort of things, such as differential fluid floss, you do for the peace of mind, such that your tranny won't break down in the middle of nowhere.
These are ZF's recommendations: ZF - Transmission fluid tips, Transmission fluid lubricants -ZF
The procedure is straightforward. FCP Europe has a couple intuitive videos you should definitely watch:
BMW F30 transmission fluid change
BMW F30 transmission fluid DIY
Make sure you bring the transmission to the recommended temperature range (40-50 C) by shifting for about 10 secs into each gear, as this will make it possible to completely top off the transmission with ATF fluid after the initial fill, ensuring smooth transmission operation. At that point, you could either reset the adaptation values to speed up the transmission's relearning process, or let it self-adjust for 100 miles
Is the resetting of the adaptation values mentioned I'm those videos? Haven't watched them yet.
No adaptation reset required for the 8HP.
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      07-31-2021, 02:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mta1981 View Post
I have a 435i automatic trans with 130k miles. To my knowledge the trans fluid has never been touched. Is it still recommended not to touch the fluid at this point or say screw it and roll the dice?
Many experienced independent BMW mechanics refuse to change the automatic transmission fluid once it gets over 100k miles on it because they have experienced a high frequency of customers returning with transmission complaints. The ZF fluid should be replaced every 60k miles but that message gets blurred by BMW's idiotic lifetime fluid claim.

BMW's definition of "lifetime" is until the car is out of any warranty or any legal obligation that they have. After that they could care less if it falls apart because their goal is only to sell new cars.

The theory is that when the transmission goes way past the point where the fluid needs to be replaced, that internal parts wear and the particles build up in the old original fluid. The fluid becomes thicker and almost becomes a new system, closing the gaps between the worn parts.

So the transmission can run smoothly will the old thick fluid but run poorly with new fresh fluid.

When that old fluid is replaced by new thinner fluid the wear gaps in the internal parts are exposed and the transmission doesn't function as smoothly as it did.

I've talked to a couple Indy shops who swore that the return rate with transmission complaints was too high so they stopped doing first transmission services if the mileage was over 100k miles.

I've even heard of some shops replacing the old transmission pan with its integral filter, but draining, saving and refilling the new pan with the old fluid.

Hope this helps!
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