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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Fri, Apr-08-2011, 04:05:11 AM   #31
MPOWERD
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Default Re: DIY Tips for SMG Transmission Fluid Change

My M3 mechanic said the same thing. You dont have to change the tranny fluid...

Never heard of that before owning this car.
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Old Fri, Apr-08-2011, 05:47:26 AM   #32
RedM3/4
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Default Re: DIY Tips for SMG Transmission Fluid Change

I'm sorry, but your master tech is wrong.
He may not know that due to how they educate the tech these days, but he is. This is NOT complex. It is the same as any other 6 speed tranny. while fluids qualities have improved over the years, there are two factors: one is possible, the other fact, fact period.
the first, most components, like trannies, diffs, and between, have become smaller over time, even though HP and torque has increased, hence the load on the components, overall, has increased, in general, so this is the possible one. The second piece is simple physics that can't be overcome. That is, metal parts that mate wear, and if there is ANY opening to atmosphere, dirt is introduced. Therefore, you have metal wear particles plus dirt. NO LUBRICANT CAN OVERCOME THIS, PERIOD. It isn't good or ok to not change the diff and tranny lubes. It is true that if you, as an original owner, never own your car past the 4 year 50k maint cycle you need not worry about it, but if you want your BMW to last and do ok, especially, but not only, if you track your car, these fluids should be changed about every 30k, just to remove contaminants, even if they oil hasn't broken down. Again, physics and environmentals, not dealer mumbo-jumbo meant to not cost THEM money during the 50k free maint cycle.
And if your "master tech" tells you your engine oil is good for 15k, the normal service indicator duration, you should laugh in his face and tell him he is, at best, brainwashed by poor education from BMW.

You can do your own oil analysis at blackstone labs, or read up at bobistheoilguy, or other authoritative sites, no need to trust me, one guy on the interwebs, but again, your master tech is flat out wrong. If he'd like to have a one on one discussion, I'd welcome that, just PM me with the details.

ADS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orange Peel View Post
I have a friend who is a BMW Master Tech and he does all the repairs on my 2004 SMG M3 and he just did the Inspection II and I asked about changing the tranny fluid and he said you don't have to ever change it. He said it's lifetime fluid. That doesn't make much sense to me but he's a BMW Master tech and gets all their training, etc. so I trust him So we didn't change the tranny fluid, just the diff fluid.

Hope that helps My car has 65k miles on it fyi, shifts fine.
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Old Fri, Apr-08-2011, 06:00:17 AM   #33
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Default Re: DIY Tips for SMG Transmission Fluid Change

Ugh, so much misinformation. yes, you can use RP. You could put 2 cycle oil in as well, neither will meet the OE spec. Yes, I know RP recommends their ATF, and I don't care. READ THE ORIGINAL SPEC. You can choose to do otherwise, and ANY other fluid that is thinner, like RP synchromax, will shift easier. any thinner fluid also has less protection. If you seach my threads, you can find my tranny cleaning mineral spirits experience, shifts were super easy! Probably next to ZERO wear protections. Your choice.
-
While I'm at it, please understand with SMG:
tranny fluid goes in the tranny. From memory, this is LTF2 75w80, gl4 oil.
The SMG hydraulic pump, takes Pentosin CH11s. You really don't want to confuse these two. I don't believe there is any change recommendation on the smg control unit fluid; personally, as an engineer who has worked on hydraulic servos, I'll do at at the same time I do the tranny and diff fluids, at 30k intervals. This is probably overkill for the pentosin hydraulic fluid, as wear characteristics of hydraulic pumps and cylinders are different, with less metal to metal wear and dirt, than tranny and diffs. But they do gain some wear particles and dirt. If I change mine at 30k and it looks new, I'll go to 50k, but there is little to no history for us so far.
-
ADS

Quote:
Originally Posted by ///Marini View Post
2 liters was plenty. Royal Purple can be used, but you will need 3 bottles I believe. Check the link in my OP for specifics about which and how much RP to use.
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Sold to my son, still in the family!
06 SMG/ZCP - April 09, MCS 2WR (replaced Dinan over Konis/replaced OE), Supersrpint street section3, RAC RG63, homelink with off-delay, multifunction steering wheel buttons, RacingBrake Front kit.
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Old Fri, Apr-08-2011, 06:18:27 AM   #34
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Default Re: DIY Tips for SMG Transmission Fluid Change

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedM3/4 View Post
Ugh, so much misinformation. yes, you can use RP. You could put 2 cycle oil in as well, neither will meet the OE spec. Yes, I know RP recommends their ATF, and I don't care. READ THE ORIGINAL SPEC. You can choose to do otherwise, and ANY other fluid that is thinner, like RP synchromax, will shift easier. any thinner fluid also has less protection. If you seach my threads, you can find my tranny cleaning mineral spirits experience, shifts were super easy! Probably next to ZERO wear protections. Your choice.
-
While I'm at it, please understand with SMG:
tranny fluid goes in the tranny. From memory, this is LTF2 75w80, gl4 oil.
The SMG hydraulic pump, takes Pentosin CH11s. You really don't want to confuse these two. I don't believe there is any change recommendation on the smg control unit fluid; personally, as an engineer who has worked on hydraulic servos, I'll do at at the same time I do the tranny and diff fluids, at 30k intervals. This is probably overkill for the pentosin hydraulic fluid, as wear characteristics of hydraulic pumps and cylinders are different, with less metal to metal wear and dirt, than tranny and diffs. But they do gain some wear particles and dirt. If I change mine at 30k and it looks new, I'll go to 50k, but there is little to no history for us so far.
-
ADS
Agreed.. I always say you can use RP or some other substitute, but I wouldn't recommend putting anything other than OEM fluids for absolutely everything on this car (minus brake fluid).

Also.. to the people saying their master tech said not to change the fluid:

If he's talking about
1) Transmission fluid - he's seriously wrong and this fluid should be changed at least every 50k miles
2) Hydraulic fluid for the SMG (pump) - He's also wrong in this case.. this fluid is usually completely neglected from service from just about everyone. Although there is no schedule for changing this fluid, it still needs to be changed. It's a very expensive fluid change (not because of the fluid) that can only be done at a shop with a GT1, which is probably why so many of us don't even touch it
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Old Fri, Apr-08-2011, 06:28:30 AM   #35
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Default Re: DIY Tips for SMG Transmission Fluid Change

On the SMG fluid change/bleed: Autoenginuity and a few other code read/reset tools will exercise the SMG to bleed it, and in a couple months when I do my fluid, I'll let the community know if what I think will work, works, with no tool. I'm not going to go into it in detail here, but it isn't a complex hydraulic system, and bleeding it should be a near academic exercise of the cylinders. But these systems are expensive to have go wrong; I'm reluctant to recommend something I've not risked yet myself. More to come.

By the way, thanks for the writeup Marini!

ADS

Quote:
Originally Posted by ///Marini View Post
Agreed.. I always say you can use RP or some other substitute, but I wouldn't recommend putting anything other than OEM fluids for absolutely everything on this car (minus brake fluid).

Also.. to the people saying their master tech said not to change the fluid:

If he's talking about
1) Transmission fluid - he's seriously wrong and this fluid should be changed at least every 50k miles
2) Hydraulic fluid for the SMG (pump) - He's also wrong in this case.. this fluid is usually completely neglected from service from just about everyone. Although there is no schedule for changing this fluid, it still needs to be changed. It's a very expensive fluid change (not because of the fluid) that can only be done at a shop with a GT1, which is probably why so many of us don't even touch it
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98 M3/4, Supersprint catback, UUC red tranny mounts, Rogue SS w/UUC dual selector rod, wired V1.
Sold to my son, still in the family!
06 SMG/ZCP - April 09, MCS 2WR (replaced Dinan over Konis/replaced OE), Supersrpint street section3, RAC RG63, homelink with off-delay, multifunction steering wheel buttons, RacingBrake Front kit.

Last edited by RedM3/4; Fri, Apr-08-2011 at 06:32:55 AM. Reason: thx to OP
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Old Fri, Apr-08-2011, 02:10:44 PM   #36
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Default Re: DIY Tips for SMG Transmission Fluid Change

I thought it was strange also, since the transmissions are the same. I can understand not touching the SMG fluid (pentosin). But not to change the tranny fluid seamed odd. I asked them again, and they were adamant NOT to touch the tranny fluid. They said I would be asking for trouble if I touched it. They would change the fluid when doing a pump change. My only thoughts to why the SMG tranny fluid would last longer than the MT tranny fluid would be the more "perfect" shifts with SMG creating less wear wear on the gears/synchros

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedM3/4 View Post
I'm sorry, but your master tech is wrong.
He may not know that due to how they educate the tech these days, but he is. This is NOT complex. It is the same as any other 6 speed tranny. while fluids qualities have improved over the years, there are two factors: one is possible, the other fact, fact period.
the first, most components, like trannies, diffs, and between, have become smaller over time, even though HP and torque has increased, hence the load on the components, overall, has increased, in general, so this is the possible one. The second piece is simple physics that can't be overcome. That is, metal parts that mate wear, and if there is ANY opening to atmosphere, dirt is introduced. Therefore, you have metal wear particles plus dirt. NO LUBRICANT CAN OVERCOME THIS, PERIOD. It isn't good or ok to not change the diff and tranny lubes. It is true that if you, as an original owner, never own your car past the 4 year 50k maint cycle you need not worry about it, but if you want your BMW to last and do ok, especially, but not only, if you track your car, these fluids should be changed about every 30k, just to remove contaminants, even if they oil hasn't broken down. Again, physics and environmentals, not dealer mumbo-jumbo meant to not cost THEM money during the 50k free maint cycle.
And if your "master tech" tells you your engine oil is good for 15k, the normal service indicator duration, you should laugh in his face and tell him he is, at best, brainwashed by poor education from BMW.

You can do your own oil analysis at blackstone labs, or read up at bobistheoilguy, or other authoritative sites, no need to trust me, one guy on the interwebs, but again, your master tech is flat out wrong. If he'd like to have a one on one discussion, I'd welcome that, just PM me with the details.

ADS
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Old Fri, Apr-08-2011, 03:58:41 PM   #37
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Default Re: DIY Tips for SMG Transmission Fluid Change

Looks like a deep socket + 1 inch extender would work too...Perhaps maybe just a deep socket?

I don't see why you wouldn't change the tranny fluid when it only costs $40 and about a hour or two of your time.
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Old Fri, Apr-08-2011, 04:11:56 PM   #38
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Default Re: DIY Tips for SMG Transmission Fluid Change

No reason and no extra risk changing the tranny fluid as you say, but their comment that they'd do it if doing a pump change leads me to believe they were really talking about the HCU(hydraulic control unit) hydraulic fluid. On the HCU fluid, There have been enough SMG problems they may have some fear of touching anything it if it isn't broken; I can somewhat understand that. But not for the transmission fluid itself, the plug is a little harder to get to, as you can see in the OP's DIY, but no extra risk.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DuncanS View Post
I thought it was strange also, since the transmissions are the same. I can understand not touching the SMG fluid (pentosin). But not to change the tranny fluid seamed odd. I asked them again, and they were adamant NOT to touch the tranny fluid. They said I would be asking for trouble if I touched it. They would change the fluid when doing a pump change. My only thoughts to why the SMG tranny fluid would last longer than the MT tranny fluid would be the more "perfect" shifts with SMG creating less wear wear on the gears/synchros
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Sold to my son, still in the family!
06 SMG/ZCP - April 09, MCS 2WR (replaced Dinan over Konis/replaced OE), Supersrpint street section3, RAC RG63, homelink with off-delay, multifunction steering wheel buttons, RacingBrake Front kit.
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Old Fri, Apr-08-2011, 05:39:50 PM   #39
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Default Re: DIY Tips for SMG Transmission Fluid Change

No, there was no confusion between the pentosin and the tranny. We discussed how the trannys are identical. They are a highly reputable shop. Your point that the fear of touching anything to do with SMG tranny may be the reason. If they change tranny fluid, then the smg pump goes out when customer drives of, the customer will be unhappy and blame the service shop for the smg woes. Probably just protecting themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedM3/4 View Post
No reason and no extra risk changing the tranny fluid as you say, but their comment that they'd do it if doing a pump change leads me to believe they were really talking about the HCU(hydraulic control unit) hydraulic fluid. On the HCU fluid, There have been enough SMG problems they may have some fear of touching anything it if it isn't broken; I can somewhat understand that. But not for the transmission fluid itself, the plug is a little harder to get to, as you can see in the OP's DIY, but no extra risk.

ADS
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Old Fri, Apr-08-2011, 09:44:07 PM   #40
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Default Re: DIY Tips for SMG Transmission Fluid Change

I don't argue with any of your points. It baffles me as well why he would say you don't need to change it ever. He's not saying that because he works for BMW, why wouldn't he want the extra cash to change it? Not difficult to change as we all know. I have owned plenty of cars, high horsepowered cars and I changed the transmission fluid often with them, makes sense.

Not sure why they recommend not changing the transmission fluid on the M3. I will probably end of doing it sometime just to ease the wonder in my head
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Discussing DIY Tips for SMG Transmission Fluid Change in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)