Click to go to Forum Home Click to go to maXbimmer Home

Go Back   maXbimmer Forums > maXimum Tech > 3 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)
User Name

Welcome to!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-20-2013, 12:45 PM   #1
1st Gear Newbie
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Deep River, Ont
Posts: 49
Manual transmission fluid and differential gear oil change

After agonizing about it for a bit I changed the transmission and differential fluids on my '99 M3 vert on Friday... (113,500ish miles)

I have 2 nugets to offer...

I did NOT need a stubby 14mm allen socket for the differential, a regular allen key (although 14mm was not so easy to find) worked fine. I was prepared to have to cut a chunk off it and use it in a box wrench but there was no need at all. and it was NOT on so tight that I needed a breaker bar or have to do chinups on it... I was actually nervous I may have been torquing the plugs back in too much.

The gear oil didn't look bad coming out but I think the redline 75W140 fluid is probably better stuff anyway. (I'll pretend I imagine it being smoother?)

The transmission fluid change was an obvious improvement... I had removed the CDV and replaced the clutch flex line with ss braid a few months earlier and was pleased with the results but have always found this car to be notchier than I like... I have another e36 (but '94 318iS) that shifts much smoother.

My transmission had the yellow sticker specifying MTF so I used redline MTL.
I didn't notice much difference for a day or two but it now shifts smooth as silk. I still think I'll replace transmission mounts before long just to further help avoid a money shift but it's less likely already now.

Happy that the job is done and as mentioned the transmission fluid change was definitely an improvement... I do feel like I could have saved the $45 on the diff but It's a maintenance item I can tick off the list for a few years now.

As an aside the 318iS diff fluid was black when I changed it... and the difference was immediate as I drove away... it's transmission will be due soon but I think it's almost clutch time because all of the action is at the top of the pedal so I may as well wait... I also doubt I want to tackle that job on my own :-(
jamrobin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2013, 03:37 PM   #2
2nd Gear Member
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Toronto
Posts: 198
How often do you change the transmission fluid and the rear diff fluid?
newbe46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2013, 04:04 PM   #3
1st Gear Newbie
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Deep River, Ont
Posts: 49
BMW says it's "lifetime fluid"... I disagree that any lubricant CAN last that long.
Most of the folks on the various boards suggest 80,000 miles (128,000km) so based on that my 318 was double overdue and my M3 was about 50% over...

My observation... The transmission fluid was definitely pretty much "well done" in both and the gear lube in the differential of the 318 was also way past it's prime at 265,000km but the M3 at 180,000km could have gone a bit longer on the gear oil.
jamrobin is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:23 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.10
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Maxbimmer Copyright 2001 - 2018