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BMW E46 Transmission, Differential, Transfer Case Fluid Change – 325xi, 330xi

April 11, 2011

Q
My car is a 2004, 330xi Automatic Transmission.
What type of oil and how much needed, oz. if possible:
1-Differentials front and back.
2- For the transfer case?
3- For the transmission fluid?
Is it true that original trans oil is good for life, and if changed could lead to problems?!!!!
4- Any pics for the plugs locations would be appreciated.
Specific to 330xi …..
I already looked at the winter 03-04 newsletter issue. I want specific to my car.
Someone suggested; Redline 75w90 in the diffs. And Redline MTL in the TC.
I want to hear from the experts at Bavauto!
Thanks!

A
First; lifetime, in this case, is relative.  The fluid will indeed last for the lifetime of the transmission (or the differentials or the transfer case, etc.).  The issue to contend with is; how long do you want that lifetime to be?  In other words, if the unit fails at 50,000 (or even 100,000) miles, this ends up being the lifetime of the unit and the fluid has served its lifetime as well.  Therefore, assuming that we actually want to have these assemblies run for as long as possible (and much longer than they would if we never changed the fluids), we do need to institute a standard preventative maintenance schedule.  See the Winter 2008 issue of Fast Times for our suggested preventative maintenance intervals.

The Bentley repair manual will show you the exact locations of the drain and fill plugs.

Fill quantities (from the Bentley repair manual for the E46 chassis) and fluids:

*  Auto trans (A5S-390R):  6.5 liters for fluid & filter change.
ETL 8072-B fluid:
BMW

*  Front Differential:  0.7 liter, for oil change
75w-90 hypoid gear oil:
BMW
BMW

*  Rear Differential:  0.9 liter, for oil change (with auto trans)
75w-90 hypoid gear oil:
BMW
BMW

*  Transfer Case:  0.16 liter, for oil change
Dexron-III transmission fluid:
BMW
Bentley Repair Manual:
BMW

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