Do you know which back issues may have covered automatic gearbox transmission fluid changes relating to BMW’s idea of ‘filled for life unless there is a problem’? I am concerned about the state of my automatic transmission fluid that is in my E82 2008 N54 135i M Sport Coupé gearbox as it is now over eight years old. There was a feature some years ago when Jags at Bexley Motor Works carried out an oil change but I am hoping that it may have been covered again more recently.

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  • Andy Everett Accepted Answer
    Thanks for your email Karl. We haven’t done anything more in-depth on the thorny subject of changing auto gearbox fluid apart from the piece you mention (October 2011 issue). Although we do cover it in Buying Guides from time-to-time. There are two schools of thought on whether to change the oil or not, but we think if we were in your shoes we would err on the side of changing it.

    We had a chat with the guys at BM Sport (020 8304 9797, and their feeling was that they would be inclined to change gearbox oil anytime after the warranty period had expired on cars that have done in excess of 60k miles. Their feeling is that oil these days tends to degrade with miles rather than time and that as a precautionary measure it’s better to replace it, especially when mileage creeps up.

    Obviously there is also the school of thought that basically says ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ but if it’s a car you reckon on keeping for a while we would opt to change it.

    We think that the fact that ZF itself markets and sells a kit for replacing the gearbox oil is very telling! BM Sport quote £400 including parts, labour and VAT to do the job… not cheap, but a lot cheaper than a new gearbox!
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  • Started by Ben Barry
  • Tuesday, 11 October 2016
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