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      07-19-2012, 05:43 PM   #1
jjw2331
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DIY: 6MT Transmission Oil Change

Hello Do It Yourselfers!

I decided to change my transmission oil at 15K. I plan on keeping this car for a very long time and changing the transmission oil often can't hurt.

***It's important to note, this method of fluid change does not remove all of the transmission oil since some oil is left in the transmission cooler. This residual oil needs to be pumped out (currently figuring out a way).

Disclaimer: I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE TO YOUR CAR, YOU AND PEOPLE AROUND YOU.

Tools you'll need:
Socket wrench with extension
8mm socket
10mm socket
22mm socket (6 pt.)
8mm Hex Bit (edited from 9mm)
Torque Wrench
Gloves
Fluid Pump with hose (or make your own, see pictures)
Oil pan
Jacks and jack stands
Ramps

Parts you need:

MTF-LT-2 Transmission Fluid SAE 75W-80 (5 liter bottle = part#:83220309031)
(You only need about 2.5L. My dealer does not sell in smaller amounts. They offer to fill a bottle for you if you bring it on your own.)
2 x Screw Plug with Gasket Ring (part#: 23117531356)
1 x Oil Strainer Gasket Ring (part#: 07119963300)
Optional/If Needed = 1 x Oil Strainer (part#: 17212283111) (Read whole DIY first)


1. Put the car on the ramps and jack the rear until the car is level. Use jack stands.

2. Remove transmission cover

These three bolts are 8mm


8mm bolts one on each side


10mm bolts one on each side


10mm bolts one on each side


3. Locate drain, fill, and oil strainer bolts.

Drain Bolt


Fill Bolt


Oil Strainer Bolt


4. Use 8mm Hex bit to remove fill bolt (must do first)





5. Use 8mm Hex bit to remove drain bolt (make sure oil pan is underneath the transmission)



6. After oil has drained, remove oil strainer with 22mm socket and inspect. (Mine looked fine upon inspection, but if dirty, replace.)





Do not forget to replace gasket ring when reinstalling oil strainer or when using a new one. (red arrow)

7. Using a new screw plug with gasket ring, close the drain hole. Tighten to 25.81 lb/ft = 35 Nm with torque wrench.

8. Put in the oil strainer with a new gasket ring and tighten to 18.44 lb/ft = 25 Nm with torque wrench

9. Fill transmission with MTF-LT-2 fluid through the fill hole.





I made my own pump bottle using a spray bottle and 3 feet of 5/16" vinyl/polyethylene tubing from Lowes(Lowes part# for tubing: 22272). It cost $4 all together.



10. Keep filling until the fluid overflows from the fill hole.



11. Once it stops draining, use the second screw plug with gasket and tighten 25.81 lb/ft = 35 Nm.

Updated steps:

12. Lower the car and drive it to get the temperature up in the transmission to activate the pump (this is to make sure the trans oil pump is full).

13. Let the car cool a bit. Raise the car up again and open the fill plug and check oil level. Add oil if needed.

14. Tighten fill plug to to 25.81 lb/ft = 35 Nm with torque wrench.

15. Wipe down and check for leaks.

16. Put the transmission cover back on with screws. Lower the car.

Change the transmission oil every 30K miles.

Last edited by jjw2331; 04-15-2014 at 11:19 PM.
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      07-19-2012, 05:50 PM   #2
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The dealer doesn't replace the transmission fluid for me. They say it is supposed to be a lifetime fill so they won't touch it. I ended up doing it myself. I will say the transmission shifts much smoother with fresh fluid in it.

The spray bottle idea is actually pretty cool! I hate the pump things that the auto parts places sell.
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      07-19-2012, 05:51 PM   #3
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Thanks for this! I am planning to do this soon.

Just an FYI for people, there's a large portion of the old tranny fluid in the lines, pump, and cooler. To truly change it all, the pump has to be activated. From what I understand, the method in this DIY only drains something like half of the fluid in the system.
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      07-19-2012, 06:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3PO View Post
Thanks for this! I am planning to do this soon.

Just an FYI for people, there's a large portion of the old tranny fluid in the lines, pump, and cooler. To truly change it all, the pump has to be activated. From what I understand, the method in this DIY only drains something like half of the fluid in the system.
That is right. Nice catch.

I still haven't figured out a way to drain the transmission cooler. I read that you can send power to one of the plugs which will turn the motor on allowing the rest of the oil to pump out. I also heard BMW techs can turn it on via DIS Tester. If I find a way to do it I will update.
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      07-19-2012, 06:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z K View Post
The dealer doesn't replace the transmission fluid for me. They say it is supposed to be a lifetime fill so they won't touch it. I ended up doing it myself. I will say the transmission shifts much smoother with fresh fluid in it.

The spray bottle idea is actually pretty cool! I hate the pump things that the auto parts places sell.
That's strange. I will need to talk to my service rep again and make sure he didn't misinform me. I thought the diff oil and trans oil gets changed at 30k.

But with the new fluid, I too notice the transmission feels a lot smoother. I also hated the pumps the auto stores had. They didn't fit over the MTF bottle. My frustration led to the idea of the spray bottle. lol

Last edited by jjw2331; 07-19-2012 at 06:16 PM.
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      07-19-2012, 06:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjw2331 View Post
That's strange. I will need to talk to my service rep again and make sure he didn't misinform me. I thought the diff oil and trans oil gets changed at 30k.

But with the new fluid, I too notice the transmission feels a lot smoother. I also hated the pumps the auto stores had. They didn't fit over the MTF bottle. My frustration led to the idea of the spray bottle. lol
My dealer changes the differential fluid at 30K but transmission is untouched.

Did you get the hose at Lowes too? Which section do you get it at?
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      07-19-2012, 06:50 PM   #7
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That's probably right.

The hose is in the plumbing section.
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      07-19-2012, 08:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjw2331 View Post
Hello Do It Yourselfers!

I decided to change my transmission oil at 15K. I plan on keeping this car for a very long time and changing the transmission oil often can't hurt.

***It's important to note, this method of fluid change does not remove all of the transmission oil since some oil is left in the transmission cooler. This residual oil needs to be pumped out (currently figuring out a way)
no way unless u bring it to BMW, the DIS tester cost 1.5k+ and thats the cheapest and not even sure that tester will work... Also i spoke to several SA and other 3rd party mechanic said that the oil in the cooler and lines are not enough to worry about if u are able to put almost 2.2liter then u are good

Good thing u did this i was putting mine off and was going to do this myself thanks this sure will make mine easy this weekend.

FYI dealer will replace your tranny oil at 30k miles and the next will be at 100k im changing mine now
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      07-19-2012, 08:22 PM   #9
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I'm wondering if the Autologic can turn the pump on. I will have to check tomorrow. Could help the locals for sure.
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      07-20-2012, 08:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THE TECH View Post
I'm wondering if the Autologic can turn the pump on. I will have to check tomorrow. Could help the locals for sure.
Yea please let us know...
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      07-20-2012, 08:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean05 View Post
Yea please let us know...
Will do.
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      07-20-2012, 08:44 AM   #12
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How many wires to the pump? If it is two, running it would be easy enough.
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      07-20-2012, 09:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbonsalb View Post
How many wires to the pump? If it is two, running it would be easy enough.
i was thinking aout that as well.. but i think it will hook up to the OBD-2... not sure if there are other connections you can tap but i would not do it though.
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      07-20-2012, 11:04 AM   #14
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If two wire, I would connect independently with the battery disconnected from the car or with another battery and the engine off.
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      07-20-2012, 02:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean05 View Post
no way unless u bring it to BMW, the DIS tester cost 1.5k+ and thats the cheapest and not even sure that tester will work... Also i spoke to several SA and other 3rd party mechanic said that the oil in the cooler and lines are not enough to worry about if u are able to put almost 2.2liter then u are good

Good thing u did this i was putting mine off and was going to do this myself thanks this sure will make mine easy this weekend.

FYI dealer will replace your tranny oil at 30k miles and the next will be at 100k im changing mine now
Sean, you mentioned 2.2L. Is that the volume with or without draining the cooler?

If we can determine the difference in fill volume between this method and when the dealer does it, that would be nice. I was told by the dealer that it's not trivial but that may not be true obviously.
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      07-20-2012, 03:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z K View Post
My dealer changes the differential fluid at 30K but transmission is untouched.

Did you get the hose at Lowes too? Which section do you get it at?
Mountain View BMW changed mine at 58k. It is not a lifetime fill.

I was told that the car had it changed at the 1200 mile mark and them was supposed to get it every third oil change, so 46200 approximately. Since the tranny fluid was not done then, they did it for me after I told them about this.
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      07-20-2012, 04:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by italyix View Post
Mountain View BMW changed mine at 58k. It is not a lifetime fill.

I was told that the car had it changed at the 1200 mile mark and them was supposed to get it every third oil change, so 46200 approximately. Since the tranny fluid was not done then, they did it for me after I told them about this.
I am not at my 3rd oil change yet so that's probably why they refused to do it. I do a 7500 DIY oil change in between the regular ones.
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      07-23-2012, 09:53 PM   #18
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A little update

To double check my work, after driving about 20 miles with the new fluid, I opened the fill plug to see if there were any leaks or to check if my fluid level dropped. The fluid was lower than before. I know this because I was expecting some dripping since I closed the plug while it was still dripping. I put more fluid in the pump and filled the transmission and about .2 liters went in. This had me thinking and I found that it's possible when I drained the transmission, the residual oil from the cooler had come out with oil from the pan. This was a bit confusing since the TIS manual calls for running the pump to remove the residual oil. However, I think I let the oil drain so long that the cooler had emptied.

It appears after filling the transmission with new fluid, you need to close the fill plug and start the engine and engage a gear to get the pump running. Afterwards, reopen the fill plug and recheck the oil level and fill if needed.

Since this is my first transmission fluid change on the M3, I didn't expect to do this since my previous cars didn't have a transmission cooler and pump. However, this will definitely prevent low fluid levels in the transmission.
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      07-29-2012, 08:26 PM   #19
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Thanks OP made this easy today its a night and day difference with the new fluid.... 👍👍
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      07-31-2012, 02:47 PM   #20
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I'm glad I can help sean. It definitely feels good to have new fluid in your transmission.
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      12-12-2012, 05:48 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjw2331 View Post
A little update

To double check my work, after driving about 20 miles with the new fluid, I opened the fill plug to see if there were any leaks or to check if my fluid level dropped. The fluid was lower than before. I know this because I was expecting some dripping since I closed the plug while it was still dripping. I put more fluid in the pump and filled the transmission and about .2 liters went in. This had me thinking and I found that it's possible when I drained the transmission, the residual oil from the cooler had come out with oil from the pan. This was a bit confusing since the TIS manual calls for running the pump to remove the residual oil. However, I think I let the oil drain so long that the cooler had emptied.

It appears after filling the transmission with new fluid, you need to close the fill plug and start the engine and engage a gear to get the pump running. Afterwards, reopen the fill plug and recheck the oil level and fill if needed.

Since this is my first transmission fluid change on the M3, I didn't expect to do this since my previous cars didn't have a transmission cooler and pump. However, this will definitely prevent low fluid levels in the transmission.

hi, im going to change mine myself, i was just wondering what the correct oil level should be at all times? after i double check it a couple times after running the car in gear and test driving it, should it always be pretty much full? i just wanna make sure i don't put too much or too little, thanks!
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      12-12-2012, 07:59 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjw2331 View Post
A little update

To double check my work, after driving about 20 miles with the new fluid, I opened the fill plug to see if there were any leaks or to check if my fluid level dropped. The fluid was lower than before. I know this because I was expecting some dripping since I closed the plug while it was still dripping. I put more fluid in the pump and filled the transmission and about .2 liters went in. This had me thinking and I found that it's possible when I drained the transmission, the residual oil from the cooler had come out with oil from the pan. This was a bit confusing since the TIS manual calls for running the pump to remove the residual oil. However, I think I let the oil drain so long that the cooler had emptied.

It appears after filling the transmission with new fluid, you need to close the fill plug and start the engine and engage a gear to get the pump running. Afterwards, reopen the fill plug and recheck the oil level and fill if needed.

Since this is my first transmission fluid change on the M3, I didn't expect to do this since my previous cars didn't have a transmission cooler and pump. However, this will definitely prevent low fluid levels in the transmission.
Did you check the oil level immediately after a drive? Or did you wait and let the oil drip back down and then check the oil level?

I'm going to change my tranny oil pretty soon, so I'm wondering if the pump actuation is really necessary, since it probably only accounts for less than 5% of the fluid.
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