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ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do #4432432
06/15/17 02:03 PM
06/15/17 02:03 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 323
Minnesota-South Dakota
DSteven Offline OP
DSteven  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 323
Minnesota-South Dakota
I am asking for any experience regarding the transmission fluid for this vehicle, 2012 BMW 335is automatic trans. It is at 50,000 miles and 5 years old, and I wish to change the ATF, but the dealer nearly refused to do it, fine. I called two other dealers and the service mgrs were in agreement that it is a lifetime fluid, leave it alone or trouble will occur. The items they have recommended and I have performed are flush coolant, differential fluid, and follow the oil change meter. Of course I do not and change every 5000-7000. So, the question I have; does anyone have a good reason for never changing BMW ATF? I have modified this vehicle and feel it is important to change the ATF. In the other vehicles, I change the ATF every 25000-35000 miles, and have not had a failure for several cars with even 250,000-350,000 miles (maybe LubeGard Red helps a little). I would like to use MaxLife ATF on the BMW, as it meets the spec and add LubeGard Red. But the overpriced OEM Pentosin can be used if it must. Thank you for any experience you can share. BTW, I have been using Euro Castrol 0w-30, but it is becoming difficult to find. Do you think Mobil-1 0w-30 Advanced Fuel Economy is alright in this slightly modded N55 3.0L turbo engine?

Last edited by DSteven; 06/15/17 02:11 PM.
Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven] #4432440
06/15/17 02:11 PM
06/15/17 02:11 PM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,484
Seattle-ish, WA
Oro_O Offline
Oro_O  Offline
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,484
Seattle-ish, WA
Quote:
So, the question I have; does anyone have a good reason to never change the ATF?


No, no one can give you a good reason not to do it.

Manufacturers feel it will get them through the life of the warranty period. That's the "lifetime." 50 to 60k is a good time to get the factory fill out for maximum protection and performance. It can provide service longer if those are not priorities. That's the only reason, and it's not a "good" one.

Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven] #4432441
06/15/17 02:12 PM
06/15/17 02:12 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,149
Coastal South Carolina
edwardh1 Offline
edwardh1  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,149
Coastal South Carolina
they are trying to tell you something


These products are all new every year?? They are a revolution!!! Razor blades, mens shirts, TVs, wiper blades, gutter guards, hearing aids... according to the ads. But also all new last year
Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven] #4432452
06/15/17 02:18 PM
06/15/17 02:18 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,947
Ohio
L_Sludger Offline
L_Sludger  Offline
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,947
Ohio
Lifetime ATF is great, because it lasts all the way until the transmission fails.


too many cars and oil combinations to list in 150 characters or less
Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven] #4432453
06/15/17 02:19 PM
06/15/17 02:19 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,255
CA
CharlieBauer Offline
CharlieBauer  Offline
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,255
CA
If it doesn't have a dipstick, then the official procedure to fully remove and replace the fluid and filter and ensure the level is correct can be quite involved.

Maybe they don't have the confidence in their own techs or are afraid of getting it wrong or the allowed time makes the job less profitable.

Or maybe they are sticklers for doing things according to BMW.

But I would change out the ATF, preferably with a pan drop and filter change and using the official BMW fluid.

And I wouldn't use M1 0w30 AFE in a BMW.


It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that ain't so.

- mistakenly attributed to Mark Twain
Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven] #4432455
06/15/17 02:19 PM
06/15/17 02:19 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,471
NJ
Leo99 Offline
Leo99  Offline
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,471
NJ
It's not just BMWs.

I've yet to see any data showing changing the ATF has a benefit but lots of folks on here think it does.

I don't change it. It's lifetime, baby!


Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles (RIP)
2004 Corolla 125,000 miles
2004 Rav4 370,000 miles
2015 Camry 70,000 miles
Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven] #4432462
06/15/17 02:24 PM
06/15/17 02:24 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 9,917
Florida, Cape Coral
Eddie Offline
Eddie  Offline
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 9,917
Florida, Cape Coral
My feeling is, If it were truly a lifetime ATF, then the manufacture should warranty the the AT for same. I would think the manufacture would put some ridiculous change mileage on like 200,000 miles to placate people like me. Ed


CX5 Touring 2.5L :-)
Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven] #4432463
06/15/17 02:25 PM
06/15/17 02:25 PM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 1,481
Ontario, Canada
mightymousetech Offline
mightymousetech  Offline
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 1,481
Ontario, Canada
And BMW also says my trans fluid and rear diff fluid are "lifetime". Funny thing is, I have the EXACT (as in exact same part number) same transmission as the 1M, and I am making the same power, for my car BMW says lifetime, for the 1M, BMW says replace at 2000 km and every 48k after that. Soooooo.....which is it?

Also, ZF and GM (who actually make the BMW automatics) do not say the fluid is lifetime.

I take all manufacturers recommendations with a grain of salt.

For the engine, why not switch to Castrol 0W40?

Last edited by mightymousetech; 06/15/17 02:27 PM.

Mighty Mouse Tech
BMW Tech, Former Acura Tech
2010 Civic Si Castrol 0W40, Redline MTL
2013 BMW 135i M Sport Edition Castrol 0W40, Redline MTL
Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven] #4432468
06/15/17 02:27 PM
06/15/17 02:27 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 2,008
America
Alfred_B Offline
Alfred_B  Offline
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 2,008
America
Both the dealers for my BMW and Audi have refused to change the ATF fluid when I inquired -- both cars are ZF. They didn't have ATF in stock either. Anecdotal research shows that these things can last 200k+ miles with regular use. Not sure how the longevity is affected for short trip and stop-and-go driving.

As for the engine oil, Castrol 0W-30 meets LL-01. Unfortunately, Mobil1 0W-40 no longer meets the LL-01 certification.

Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven] #4432471
06/15/17 02:30 PM
06/15/17 02:30 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 846
NC
Vladiator Offline
Vladiator  Offline
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 846
NC
Change the ATF fluid with MaxLife. My cousin thought that the transmission in his z4 was going out. It was jerking and slipping and doing other weird things. He changed the fluid, full capacity, and filter. Now runs like new again! And for the oil - do not use M1 0w30, unless you change it frequently. It simply does not meet the BMW specs. But if that does not bother you - then go ahead. I would personally use Pennzoil Euro 0w40 or Castrol 0w40. Both available at WalMart for $23/5qt jug.

Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven] #4432528
06/15/17 04:02 PM
06/15/17 04:02 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,411
America's Dairyland
LotI Offline
LotI  Offline
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,411
America's Dairyland
Change the fluid but skip the do-all Maxlife. It claims to meet the spec but isn't licensed.

When I had a MINI R53 with the Aisin auto (lifetime), I changed several times. I used Redline D4 which is stout, but alas not licensed either.


03 Honda Interceptor
11 Kawasaki KLR 650
12 Ford E450
17 VW GTI
[IMG]http://badges.fuelly.com/images/sig-us/803455.png[/IMG]
Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven] #4432540
06/15/17 04:18 PM
06/15/17 04:18 PM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,224
Houston, TX
Coprolite Offline
Coprolite  Offline
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,224
Houston, TX
Are you sure that you have an N55? I have a 2012 335i Sedan and it is N55. I had to choose between the 2012 335is E92 Coupe and the F30 sedan. There was no power kit available to make an equivalent "is" for the N55 until well after I bought the car in May 2012.

In either case, the engine definitely needs an LL-01 oil. I am putting in Castrol Edge 0w40 for the next change this month. It is pretty much the only LL-01 oil that I can buy at Walmart that I know of....at least in 5 qt jugs.

Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven] #4432563
06/15/17 04:43 PM
06/15/17 04:43 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,935
Connecticut
69GTX Offline
69GTX  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,935
Connecticut
In the days when I never changed tranny fluid, my daily drivers only lasted 75K-125K miles on the transmissions. And I drove them pretty easy. Funny thing. Once I started doing 25K-30K fluid changes from early on, I jumped up to 175K-230K miles. Now, I haven't had a trans fail since around 2002....and that one went to 212,000 miles.


----------------

2001 Lincoln Cont 4.6L DOHC/ 39K mi / QS HM 5w30 / FUG XG2
1999 Camaro SS M6 /19K /Mobil 1 0w40 /Fram UG /GM MTL-ATF
1969 Ply GTX/RRs
Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven] #4432585
06/15/17 05:09 PM
06/15/17 05:09 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 632
Melbourne, Florida
RichardS Offline
RichardS  Offline
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 632
Melbourne, Florida
I'd ask the service manager what the procedure is to capture, keep uncontaminated, and then adding back in the fluid after any repair that requires opening the transmission.

I'd assume if changing the fluid would mess it up, then not reusing the old fluid after repairs would carry the same risk.

It's a difficult procedure to change it, I'd assume, and they don't want to mess with it.


2008 Dodge Caliber SE 2.0 117k
4qt Imeditsu 0w-20, 1/2qt Mobil SS 5w-20 Fram HM

2003 Buick Century 107k
4.5q Havoline 5w-30 HM Fram XG
Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven] #4432594
06/15/17 05:16 PM
06/15/17 05:16 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 10,955
OH
SatinSilver Offline
SatinSilver  Offline
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 10,955
OH
Go on the dealer's website and click on "schedule service". Click on "I'm new here". Input "2012 335is".

Then click, select individual services to be performed. Click on "automatic transmission fluid".

Which is what I just did here:

https://www.bmwofmiddleburgheights.com/schedule-service.htm

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