How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

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marco_polo
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How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by marco_polo » Mon May 02, 2011 9:30 am

This is a guide for changing your gearbox oil, this relates directly to a 120d, but I'm sure it would be a similar procedure for any BMW. I did mine on a ramp, which is preferable to stands.

Before you start, you'll need 2 litres of gearbox oil; a pair of rubber gloves (unless you prefer the spare bed), an 8mm Socket/Ring Spanner; an 8mm Allen Key; something to catch the old oil in; and tool/method for refilling the gearbox. I used one of these:

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It's a 500ml 'Silverline' Oil Gun, basically a big syringe, which makes things very easy. About £8.

For best practice, you should also renew your gearbox plug seals, which involves buying 2 new plugs from BMW. About £4 each. Take the last 8 digits of your chassis number into your local friendly parts dept to make sure you get the correct items.

The oil BMW recommend is made by Castrol, but I wanted to improve a slightly notchy gearchange I was suffering, so went for 2 litres of Redline MTL, as recommended by Redline (and Blackbmw116 on here) for notchy BMW manuals. http://www.redlineoil.com/product.aspx?pid=45&pcid=7

Start by removing the eight 8mm screws with secure the transmission portion of the undertray. The under tray will now be loose, but will require a 45 degree twist toward the OSR to drop from the car.

Under-tray unscrewed, just before 'twist' removal:
Gearbox1.jpg
Gearbox1.jpg (102.86 KiB) Viewed 13858 times
You'll now have a good view of the gearbox. Have a quick look at your new plugs, this will help you identify the Fill and Drain Plugs on your casing (and also how long those threads are for the next stage). Bear cleanliness in mind too, you don't want to knock any crud inside at any stage, or you could do more harm than good.

Fill & Drain Plugs:
Gearbox2.jpg
Gearbox2.jpg (105.45 KiB) Viewed 13858 times
Slacken the top Fill Plug first. Don't remove it yet though. If you remove the Drain Plug first, and have difficulty in removing the Fill Plug, you'll be left stranded with a car with no oil in her, and a headache! (thanks Anthony) Pop your gloves on (old gear oil is nasty stinky stuff), and with oil catch-can/tray in hand, remove the Drain Plug. As you've left the Fill Plug loose but still in it's hole, the oil won't come rushing out. My old oil was like black water, no wonder my change felt crunchy, 'sealed for life' my arse. Sealed to die, more like it. Once you've lost about a litre and a half, take the Fill Plug out, and go and have a cuppa, to let it drain for a while.

Nice brew? Good. Now it's refill time. Gloves back on, and fit a new Drain Plug in the bottom of your box. The seal does the work, not the Plug, so there's no need to go swinging off the Allen key with a great big long bar! Fill the gearbox with roughly 1.6 litres of nice new oil. I simply sucked it out of the bottle, and blew it into the fill hole. When it's full, it will just start trickling out the fill hole.

Refilling with Redline MTL via Oil Gun Syringe:
Gearbox3.jpg
Gearbox3.jpg (104.17 KiB) Viewed 13858 times
Now you just need to refit the Fill Plug, and replace the undertray. Again, no need to go crazy when torquing up the 8mm undertray screws.

If you went with the Redline MTL, go and enjoy your new smoother gearchange. The Castrol camp only get to feel smug about increasing the longevity of the box I'm afraid.
Silver F21 M135i - ManBox - HK - Adaptive + Eibach Pro's - BBS CH-R's - BMWP Drexler LSD - M4 LCA's

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Anthony
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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by Anthony » Mon May 02, 2011 9:50 am

Excellent, a very comprehensive and concise explanation covering all aspects and good clear illustrations. Why can't Haynes manuals take your cue, perhaps you can take them over :D

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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by bujala » Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:54 pm

well done
it is a time to change gear box oil now lol :spotman:
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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by Smurf » Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:55 pm

Many thanks - planning to do mine in a couple of weeks along with a stash of other stuff, so this will certainly help!

EDIT: 23rd Oct - completed gearbox oil change this weekend, your guide certainly helped and I can't recommend the Silverline gun enough, it made this a very very easy job.
Last edited by Smurf on Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by Brettlidsey » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:09 am

So the gearbox takes about 1.6 litres?

Cheers Brett.

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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by marco_polo » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:10 am

marco_polo wrote:Fill the gearbox with roughly 1.6 litres of nice new oil.
Silver F21 M135i - ManBox - HK - Adaptive + Eibach Pro's - BBS CH-R's - BMWP Drexler LSD - M4 LCA's

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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by sonicvanman » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:44 pm

thankx for that, i was thinking about changing the gear oil, now i know how

cheers

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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by GramateBMW » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:52 pm

I suffer a notchy gearchange .... and if this helps, then it's worth a try.

Thanks ! :D
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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by discostu49 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:22 pm

i get notchy gears between 1st and 2nd when the car is cold will this help?

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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by marco_polo » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:28 pm

Certainly won't hurt. :)
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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by mordfabrik » Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:15 pm

My car's 1-3 gears can be a pain in the ass sometimes, and even when car's warm. I hope this will help a little at least.
Nice guide.
BMW 130i 2006

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How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by Zimzimma123dbimma » Tue May 15, 2012 1:38 pm

At what intervals should the gearbox oil be changed??
Would it be different in an auto??

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marco_polo
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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by marco_polo » Tue May 15, 2012 2:55 pm

Don't know anything about Auto's, I'm not a fan.

LittleJohno might know? http://www.babybmw.net/memberlist.php?m ... le&u=10283
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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by mordfabrik » Tue May 15, 2012 6:38 pm

marco_polo:

I've decided to change the gearbox oil for my 130i at the end of the month. Do you think the oil you recommend will be suitable for my gearbox as well?
Last edited by mordfabrik on Tue May 15, 2012 6:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How To Change Your Gearbox Oil

Post by marco_polo » Tue May 15, 2012 6:40 pm

Ask Verysideways, he has tried it in his 130i recently.
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