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#4432432 - 06/15/17 03:03 PM ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do
DSteven Offline

Registered: 04/09/04
Posts: 323
Loc: 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?

Edited by DSteven (06/15/17 03:11 PM)

#4432440 - 06/15/17 03:11 PM Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven]
Oro_O Offline

Registered: 09/20/14
Posts: 1352
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
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.

#4432441 - 06/15/17 03:12 PM Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven]
edwardh1 Offline

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 2944
Loc: 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

#4432452 - 06/15/17 03:18 PM Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven]
L_Sludger Offline

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 3947
Loc: 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

#4432453 - 06/15/17 03:19 PM Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven]
CharlieBauer Offline

Registered: 03/29/16
Posts: 1178
Loc: 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

#4432455 - 06/15/17 03:19 PM Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven]
Leo99 Offline

Registered: 03/30/14
Posts: 3052
Loc: 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
2004 Rav4 359,000 miles
2015 Camry 59,000 miles

#4432462 - 06/15/17 03:24 PM Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven]
Eddie Online   sleepy

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 9578
Loc: 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 :-)

#4432463 - 06/15/17 03:25 PM Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven]
mightymousetech Offline

Registered: 04/03/17
Posts: 1444
Loc: 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?

Edited by mightymousetech (06/15/17 03:27 PM)
Mighty Mouse Tech
Acura Tech
2010 Civic Si Castrol 0W40, Redline MTL
2013 BMW 135i M Sport Edition Castrol 0W40, Redline MTL

#4432468 - 06/15/17 03:27 PM Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven]
Alfred_B Offline

Registered: 05/12/15
Posts: 1968
Loc: 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.

#4432471 - 06/15/17 03:30 PM Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven]
Vladiator Offline

Registered: 01/04/16
Posts: 728
Loc: 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.
Thicker oils give protection for severe operations such as driving in mountains, pulling a boat, dusty conditions, short trips, high rpm, overloading, overheating and overcooling. Thin oils give MPG.

#4432528 - 06/15/17 05:02 PM Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven]
LotI Offline

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 1268
Loc: 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

#4432540 - 06/15/17 05:18 PM Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven]
Coprolite Offline

Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 1224
Loc: 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 least in 5 qt jugs.

#4432563 - 06/15/17 05:43 PM Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven]
69GTX Offline

Registered: 09/23/15
Posts: 3815
Loc: 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

#4432585 - 06/15/17 06:09 PM Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven]
RichardS Offline

Registered: 01/14/17
Posts: 623
Loc: 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

#4432594 - 06/15/17 06:16 PM Re: ATF change 2012 BMW 335is; dealers say never do [Re: DSteven]
SatinSilver Offline

Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 10182
Loc: 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:

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