How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by marco_polo » Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:36 pm

If I were to use the same factory-fill oil over and over again, and expect a different result, you'd call me insane.... :)
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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by TheRuss » Thu Jun 06, 2013 5:14 pm

EB2429 wrote:
TheRuss wrote:Well from my extensive research, I don't think that your assumptions are correct. The Pentosin is OEM fill as far as I'm aware, pretty certain it's not that Castrol. I asked Opie Oils about the Castrol and they recommended other fluids that were of a higher quality than the Castrol stuff, so I don't think that Castrol is all that great. I'd be less inclined to believe an online database like the Opie Oils one than I would online forums. At least the forums are based on people using the fluids, whereas the calculators are just thrown together quickly for thousands of cars, with little consideration.

Pentosin also make transmission oil for the likes of Porsche and for the high demands of the new PDK and DCT gearboxes, so they're a pretty capable company. The Redline recommendation dates back years and years, and is supposedly what a number of well-regarded gearbox builders in the US swear by.
Fair point, but could it also be oils they make more money on some types, and that's why they recommend them?

I don't doubt the capability of any oil if i'm honest, just suitability. My reference to Shell we in fact with Porsche, due to the specific Shell GL5 spec I needed. I used the main dealers instead of internet talk about what might or might not be compatable. If Pentosin is in the barrels at the BMW dealers then I would def use it no problem though. But wouldn't it be easier to just buy it from them, if you only need 1.6 ltrs?

Just for clarity I didn't use the online database from Opie I used the Castrol UK database against my reg. But the amount of information on forums that isn't based on any accurate testing of oils in gearboxes just amazes me, especially when people act on that information.

But I guess we are all different... :)
Nah, Opie were fairly open and give reasons for their recommendations. Looking back now it was actually the Castrol diff oil that they recommended Redline and other brands instead of. Mainly because the base stocks in the Redline and others was of a higher quality (group 4/5) than the Castrol. No bias there, just factual information about the oils, so I'm confident with that info (so will likely use the Redline gear oil for my diff).

As for buying the Pentosin from BMW - sure, if I wanted to pay about 3 or 4 times the price just to get a BMW sticker on it - that's if they even sell it. Most garages don't sell it because the gearbox oil is supposed to be "lifetime fill". Why stock products that they claim nobody will need? :wink:

Whether you used the Opie Oils database or the Castrol one, it makes no difference - both have data on thousands of cars that some poor person has had to enter in at some point - do you really think they cared that much to deliberate about which oil is best for your specific car? Plus Castrol's databse will only recommend one product - their product. It won't tell you if a competitor's product is better, it will just tell you which one of their products best suits your car - doesn't mean it's any good. If you go on Redline's website and put in your car reg it'll tell you to use one of their products - D4 or D6 probably, which is an automatic transmission fluid. Doesn't mean I'd use it personally though, although many do.

I agree about just believing what people on forums say, but if loads of people on various BMW forums have been using a fluid for many years without any issues then it's probably safe to say that you'll also be fine with it.
Gone!: '65 plate F21 M135i LCI fully loaded, plus Birds suspension (paired to adaptive dampers) and Quaife differential! :(

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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by TheRuss » Thu Jun 06, 2013 5:19 pm

marco_polo wrote:If I were to use the same factory-fill oil over and over again, and expect a different result, you'd call me insane.... :)
What do you mean? The Pentosin won't provide any improvement? I'm thinking that just having a fresh fluid in there will help things. Or at least that's what I hope.

Out of interest, did your gear changes get any harder/harsher during the cold winters since moving to the MTL?
Gone!: '65 plate F21 M135i LCI fully loaded, plus Birds suspension (paired to adaptive dampers) and Quaife differential! :(

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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by marco_polo » Thu Jun 06, 2013 5:50 pm

People seemed be suggesting that anyone who went away from factory spec needed thier head examining. If I was happy with the performance of the standard oil, I would have happily stuck with it (as I do with engine oil). Same story for other BMW fluids, the standard barke fluid boiled arounf 210° - might as well have been moose p*ss.

The winter MTL gearchange is definitely easier than before, less effort required to pop them home. From the factory, it could be physically troublesome to engage 1st and 2nd. If I keep the car another 10k, she'll get another dose of MTL.
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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by TheRuss » Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:43 pm

marco_polo wrote:People seemed be suggesting that anyone who went away from factory spec needed thier head examining. If I was happy with the performance of the standard oil, I would have happily stuck with it (as I do with engine oil). Same story for other BMW fluids, the standard barke fluid boiled arounf 210° - might as well have been moose p*ss.

The winter MTL gearchange is definitely easier than before, less effort required to pop them home. From the factory, it could be physically troublesome to engage 1st and 2nd. If I keep the car another 10k, she'll get another dose of MTL.
Thanks, that's a good endorsement. I wonder what my aftermarket warranty would think of me changing the tranny fluid though. They'd have less to argue about if I stuck to OEM, but I wonder if they'd care either way.
Gone!: '65 plate F21 M135i LCI fully loaded, plus Birds suspension (paired to adaptive dampers) and Quaife differential! :(

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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by EB2429 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:40 pm

BTW Registration lookup or "VRM lookup" its a link to DVLA and automatically returns chassis numbers, engine codes, engine numbers, colour, year, date of manufacturer, engine size and a host of other information, the manufacturer links the products via there approval specs to this database. Its not a list of records of a couple of hundred thousand cars from Opie, its every car registered at the DVLA even details of imports... We use it daily for my sins. :D
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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by TheRuss » Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:26 pm

EB2429 wrote:BTW Registration lookup or "VRM lookup" its a link to DVLA and automatically returns chassis numbers, engine codes, engine numbers, colour, year, date of manufacturer, engine size and a host of other information, the manufacturer links the products via there approval specs to this database. Its not a list of records of a couple of hundred thousand cars from Opie, its every car registered at the DVLA even details of imports... We use it daily for my sins. :D
Sure, so basically each manufacturer has chucked in which of their fluids best matches the OEM spec. Nothing more. I.E. very little consideration has been made and there's still nothing to say which manufacturer's fluid performs best in any given car. All you can rely on is people's accounts of how different fluids have performed for them.
Gone!: '65 plate F21 M135i LCI fully loaded, plus Birds suspension (paired to adaptive dampers) and Quaife differential! :(

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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by EB2429 » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:19 am

You can put it however you wish regarding the VRM, the info on forums chatter is still anecdotal imo as how are the "peoples account" being measured? Is that like the butt dyno of fitting a K&N?

But the bottom line is some believe a few accounts on forums without any test data that an oil is better, no stringent conditions were maintained with a min test quantity of that cars gearboxes. It surely has too many variables between cars, mileage, type of use, age of car and no accurate info on wear of seals/syncros over 100k+ miles. Compared to manufacturers with the wealth of data fed back from head technicians and others on track and road use over several years of a cars life cycle in all operating conditions throughout the world and inventory data to support.

I don't know which oil is best, I really don't even begin to think I know, but I know which side of these 2 options I would probably lean towards.

Having said that, I hate the spongy/notchy nature of the gearstick in my car and would love to find a cure for the one thing that feels pretty poor compared to the last few cars I have had. Don't know if its the gearbox itself or the bushes and linkages but its not nice to use.
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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by TheRuss » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:33 am

You have a good point indeed. The data on the Redline MTL is basically "it makes the gearbox feel nicer and hasn't killed anybody's BMW gearbox yet, plus gearbox builders in the US apparently use it".

So it's whether you want to take the gamble for improved shifting, or whether you'd rather stick to the tried and tested OEM Pentosin and hope that just having a new, fresher fluid in the gearbox will improve things.

I might get the Pentosin and if nothing improves with regards to shifting then I'll try the MTL. That way the Pentosin acts as a flusher I suppose.

With regards to the MTL though - I think the internet would be rife with horror stories about it if it was causing issues with BMW transmissions, and people have been using it in BMW gearboxes long enough now for issues to have surfaced, yet there don't appear to be any horror stories, which I think is a good sign. Usually it's the other way around - you only hear about things on the internet if they're bad, as people come on to complain.
Gone!: '65 plate F21 M135i LCI fully loaded, plus Birds suspension (paired to adaptive dampers) and Quaife differential! :(

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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by rob180bhp » Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:26 pm

Well I'm doing my mot and all my oils tomorrow including gearbox)
I'll decide what to put in when I see what comes out and check on autodata system etc

I'll probably do it every year any way not to improve it just a maintenance item





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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by rob180bhp » Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:28 pm

Changed my oil today and it came out spotlessly clean clearly didn't needed to be changed


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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by TheRuss » Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:52 pm

rob180bhp wrote:Changed my oil today and it came out spotlessly clean clearly didn't needed to be changed


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The transmission oil? How many miles?

What did you replace with?
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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by rob180bhp » Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:20 am

67k miles
It came out clean and didnt need changing but u ever know until you pull the plug out

Used oem oil
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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by TheRuss » Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:16 pm

rob180bhp wrote:67k miles
It came out clean and didnt need changing but u ever know until you pull the plug out

Used oem oil
What, so Pentosin?
Gone!: '65 plate F21 M135i LCI fully loaded, plus Birds suspension (paired to adaptive dampers) and Quaife differential! :(

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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by rob180bhp » Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:42 pm

To be honest im not sure what its called

It was ordered through my stores dept in work
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