I'm need of some of the collective knowledge here. I have a 2003 540i with 6 Speed manual.
I recently (Tue/Wed) took my car to my regular mechanic for some fluid changes. I was getting my front brakes done so I also got my mech to put in new Brake Fluid (ATE Super Blue), new tranny oil (RP SynchroMax), and new differential lube (AMSoil Severe Gear 75W-90).
Yesterday evening I went on the 407 and pushed the car a bit in 6th gear and it was maybe 2 mins after I turned the car on (Live off the 407). At 130-140ish, the car made a popping sound and it actually felt like it popped out of 6th, I probably lost like 50% to the wheels and the car started shuddering and shaking like crazy. I pulled over and I looked under the car because I smelled something and I saw that my differential was leaking (see pic).
Now the car can't be driven faster than 20km/h lest horrible shaking and there is a grinding noise. Taking off from a stand still there is almost like a seized like feeling. I asked a friend if I was going to do more damage if I kept driving and his suggestion was to limp it home at under 20 km/h and wait until the holidays are over.
So I did. My questions are:
1. What went wrong? I'm assuming my differential is gone?
2. Could this be related to my differential lube change? I talked to my mech this morning and he is leaning towards the fact that a lube change aggravated something pre-existing. He has always been honest and he hasn't taken a look in person yet. I would like to be informed.
3. If it is my differential, has anyone any recommendations besides hunting an exact used diff? I've read swapping it for a diff from an automatic 540i sport for increased fun factor due to the 3.15 vs 2.82.
My car has 116,000 km on it and I never experienced anything that could allude a problem with my differential. It really bothers me that this happens less 1 week after my differential lube change.
If the pic sucks, I apologize. I can try taking more with my SLR.