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XBimmers | BMW X3 Forum BMW X3 and X4 Forums | F25 (2011 - 2017) | F26 (2014 - Current) Second Generation BMW X3 (F25) General Forum ATF Fluid change, differential oil change, and AWD Transfer case fluid change

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      01-25-2017, 11:20 AM   #1
epiphone3
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ATF Fluid change, differential oil change, and AWD Transfer case fluid change

Hi all, just a note about my 2013 X3 35i with 88,000 km. I had it in at a local indy shop and got both differentials serviced, the AWD Transfer case, and the automatic transmission fluid flushed and changed with new.

The shop did a great job and, I have to say, the car feels a little bit smoother in operation. I had no issues with it before and now it just feels a bit closer to brand new operation. Pleased with the results.

I plan on keeping this thing for a while so I will be back to have these services done again around 160,000 km.

As a side note, I also had an alignment which made a big difference in correcting tramling and improved steering generally and restored much of the "solid" feeling to the car when just driving down a highway. Pleased with the results there also.
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      01-25-2017, 04:30 PM   #2
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Adaptation Reset

Did you have Transfer Case adaptation reset.
This is said to be a requirement whenever transfer case is serviced.
A BMW service tool or an aftermarket device is required to reset clutch motor pressure preset baseline.
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      01-25-2017, 11:44 PM   #3
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I am very much interested on this powertrain fluid replacement procedure by Indy's, as my 2011 35i is nearing 6 years and would like to keep it longer. Though it has very low mileage (70k kms), oil as the experts say gets old and degrades even when not in use, thus for me like you the need to change.

Hoping to get full details of your experience.
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      01-26-2017, 10:21 AM   #4
epiphone3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEACHCROC View Post
Did you have Transfer Case adaptation reset.
This is said to be a requirement whenever transfer case is serviced.
A BMW service tool or an aftermarket device is required to reset clutch motor pressure preset baseline.
Yes. They are a qualified shop and reset adaptations on both the transmission and transfer case per normal BMW procedures.
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      01-26-2017, 05:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEACHCROC View Post
Did you have Transfer Case adaptation reset.
This is said to be a requirement whenever transfer case is serviced.
A BMW service tool or an aftermarket device is required to reset clutch motor pressure preset baseline.
If you're in NoVA you're not too far from me. Let me know if you need help with this.
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      01-27-2017, 08:51 AM   #6
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How did all the fluid looked like, were they dark burnt looking or still mostly transparent? How much did it cost you per item?
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      01-27-2017, 10:16 AM   #7
epiphone3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmxIII View Post
How did all the fluid looked like, were they dark burnt looking or still mostly transparent? How much did it cost you per item?
I'd have to go get my repair bill from my files to give you an itemized list of costs but the total was $1,125 or so including GST and shop fees. I believe the ATF flush was about $455 or so and the differentials together were about $250 or so.

I didn't ask how the fluids looked but I can tell you I could feel some small differences in the transmission behavior and in AWD drive behavior on snowy/greasy roads... everything a little close to as-new behavior.
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      01-27-2017, 11:08 PM   #8
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I have been reading a lot about the subject from all BMW Forums and almost always the advise is not to touch the A/T fluid. Some though took the plunge and a few were not happy of the outcome. The manual say it is lifetime which logically baffles me. If one like to keep it for 20 years or more then, when does lifetime ends?

I am now leaning more and more to replace these fluids very soon with a reliable, knowledgeable Indy.

Thanks and cheers!
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      01-30-2017, 11:04 AM   #9
epiphone3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmxIII View Post
I have been reading a lot about the subject from all BMW Forums and almost always the advise is not to touch the A/T fluid. Some though took the plunge and a few were not happy of the outcome. The manual say it is lifetime which logically baffles me. If one like to keep it for 20 years or more then, when does lifetime ends?

I am now leaning more and more to replace these fluids very soon with a reliable, knowledgeable Indy.

Thanks and cheers!
I think the people that say not to touch it don't know what they are talking about and are simply fearful of touching it. My indy shop says they do it all the time and have great results. My car was done a week ago and it drives perfect.
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      02-02-2017, 08:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epiphone3 View Post
I think the people that say not to touch it don't know what they are talking about and are simply fearful of touching it. My indy shop says they do it all the time and have great results. My car was done a week ago and it drives perfect.
There is also the argument I've seen that some people may have, at least subconsciously, noticed some issues. So then when they have a flush done and something goes wrong, would have had it go wrong anyway.
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      02-03-2017, 11:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevink1 View Post
There is also the argument I've seen that some people may have, at least subconsciously, noticed some issues. So then when they have a flush done and something goes wrong, would have had it go wrong anyway.
All I know is that ZF themselves recommend fluid changes every 80,000 - 100,000 km for the 8-speed transmission. If you are maintaining their intervals, I don't see how fresh oil would ever hurt anything.
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      03-16-2017, 10:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epiphone3 View Post
All I know is that ZF themselves recommend fluid changes every 80,000 - 100,000 km for the 8-speed transmission. If you are maintaining their intervals, I don't see how fresh oil would ever hurt anything.
Any updates on proper DIY for 8-speed ZF? I did a few of these on high-mileage 6-speed ZF's, and it is a fairly messy, lenghty, and delicate job.
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      03-16-2017, 11:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcaron9999 View Post
Any updates on proper DIY for 8-speed ZF? I did a few of these on high-mileage 6-speed ZF's, and it is a fairly messy, lenghty, and delicate job.
I thought there was a good DIY posted on this form (maybe on the F30 one?) recently.

Honestly, for the amount of hassle that is and the infrequency of doing this job (every 80,000 km or so) I think its worth it to pay a shop to do it while I go to work and make money.
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      03-16-2017, 02:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epiphone3 View Post
I thought there was a good DIY posted on this form (maybe on the F30 one?) recently.

Honestly, for the amount of hassle that is and the infrequency of doing this job (every 80,000 km or so) I think its worth it to pay a shop to do it while I go to work and make money.
Could not agree with you more. Looking into both options (DIY versus Indi shop) myself before I take the plunge into this endeavour again.

For those who might be interested, and to add to this thread:

found this decent video:


... and these maintenance kits for ZF transmission variants:

http://www.zf.com/corporate/en_de/af...ange_kits.html
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      03-16-2017, 09:41 PM   #15
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Re: ZF transmission:
Manufacturer says to change every 60K miles.
Bavarian autosport and my local Indy shop says to change every 2 years or 50K miles, which ever come first. The change includes a new filter and replacement pan with bolts. The Indy shop has said to NEVER have your tranny flushed. Just change the fluid and filter and you'll be good to go. Many issues with flushing of tranny. Non-BMWs can be flushed with a lower pressure flush, but not the Bimmers.
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      03-16-2017, 09:49 PM   #16
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Any thoughts on the Liqui Moly tranny fluid said to meet BMW 8spd DCT specs?
Also, I don't see why anything needs to be reset for a fluid change. For the transfer case the service manual says to perform a reset if the transfer case is removed but does not mention it for fluid change. I haven't looked into the tranny.
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      03-19-2017, 08:48 AM   #17
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I did the same with my 7 year old Audi (ZF 6 speed auto) with 65,000 kms and felt overall performance improved. ATF from Febi and gear oil from Fuchs
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      03-20-2017, 02:06 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FranzX3M View Post
Any thoughts on the Liqui Moly tranny fluid said to meet BMW 8spd DCT specs?
Also, I don't see why anything needs to be reset for a fluid change. For the transfer case the service manual says to perform a reset if the transfer case is removed but does not mention it for fluid change. I haven't looked into the tranny.
I'm guessing the Liquimoly will be fine as long as it is ZF Lifeguard-8 compliant. My indy used a non-BMW, non-ZF branded fluid that is ZF Lifeguard-8 compliant and everything has been find with mine over the 5,000 km since I had the service done.

The adaptations need to be reset following the fluid change because the car slowly adapts all the functions including engagement of clutches/torque converter to the changing driving habits but also to the changing levels of friction in the fluid. When you get rid of all the old fluid and replace with new, friction decreases and goes closer to new so the adaptations need to be reset to get in the best position to adapt to the change.
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      03-20-2017, 04:34 PM   #19
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Congrats for getting these very important driveline fluid changed. I am glad that I have access to BMW parts for relatively cheap to perform simple maintenance like these. DIY is a good way to get to know your vehicle.
Always remember, Lifetime is BMW's term for Life of the warranty.
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      03-28-2017, 04:58 AM   #20
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Quick question, and flame suit on ...

Would it be wise to execute and ATF maintenance in two phases?

Phase 1: Drain and refill with the same ATF quantity, keep original pan in place.

Phase 2: Come back 1-2 weeks later. Replace pan/embedded filter. Do proper refill procedure, including reaching recommended operating temp to adjust ATF level acurately.

For phase 1, I have some left over Dexron-6 ATF fluid left at home.
For phase 2, I would use better quality such as Redline D6 ATF (as per recommendation in RL application guide). Lots of folks swear by authentic ZF or Ravenol ATF at $25/liter ...
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      03-28-2017, 10:10 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcaron9999 View Post
Quick question, and flame suit on ...

Would it be wise to execute and ATF maintenance in two phases?

Phase 1: Drain and refill with the same ATF quantity, keep original pan in place.

Phase 2: Come back 1-2 weeks later. Replace pan/embedded filter. Do proper refill procedure, including reaching recommended operating temp to adjust ATF level acurately.

For phase 1, I have some left over Dexron-6 ATF fluid left at home.
For phase 2, I would use better quality such as Redline D6 ATF (as per recommendation in RL application guide). Lots of folks swear by authentic ZF or Ravenol ATF at $25/liter ...
Best feedback I can provide is to make sure that whatever fluid you are using meets ZF Lifeguard 8 standard. With that, it should matter that much what brand fluid you use.

If you are doing this DIY, I'd suggest simply following normal procedure. If you are concerned about the fact that a lot of the original, dirty ATF does not get drained from the system on a standard ATF change, then I would suggest getting a good Indy shop to flush the system before they replace your oil pan and filter assembly.

Many people will tell you that, if you flush the system, the transmission will fail right after that. That is not the case.
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      03-28-2017, 11:59 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epiphone3 View Post
Best feedback I can provide is to make sure that whatever fluid you are using meets ZF Lifeguard 8 standard. With that, it should matter that much what brand fluid you use.

If you are doing this DIY, I'd suggest simply following normal procedure. If you are concerned about the fact that a lot of the original, dirty ATF does not get drained from the system on a standard ATF change, then I would suggest getting a good Indy shop to flush the system before they replace your oil pan and filter assembly.

Many people will tell you that, if you flush the system, the transmission will fail right after that. That is not the case.
Yes. Plan is to DIY. Will not do a full fledge flush, just a pseudo-flush, with the 2 phased fluid replacement, as mentioned.

I will spend some time researching/comparing tech sheets between ZF Lifeguard ATF and Redline D6 ATF (possibly other brands), before I make a final move. Again, the Redline application guide sheets indicates that their D6-ATF liquid is appropriate for the ZF8HP tranny.
Their claim is TBD ...
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Last edited by dcaron9999; 03-28-2017 at 12:06 PM..
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