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      02-26-2012, 08:25 PM   #1
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Blackstone wants a sample of the DCT fluid

I just bought a 2010 M3 with the DCT and its pretty good. After reading Mike Miller's stance from Roundel, talking to a local BMW specialist and emailing Blackstone labs, they all agree that BMWs position on lifetime transmission fluid is the same: Its good for BMW, bad for the owner that will pay for a new transmission. In working with Blackstone, they make a good point about other dual clutches in other makes as do other experts who say its the lifetime of the gearbox when it explodes at the expense of the owner after the warranty expires.

What I'm hoping is that someone can send in a sample to Blackstone after 30,000 or more miles if they have a DCT so we can see the condition of the fluid after use. I only have 15,000 miles on mine.

Here's the email I was trading with someone at Blacktone Labs. (http://www.blackstone-labs.com/)

From Me:I just bought a 2010 BMW M3 with its dual clutch gearbox. BMW says that they don't want anyone to change the fluid (ever) and have been so kind not to make servicing it easy. They call it lifetime fluid which seems insane.
Have you had any customers provide you wear samples of Dual Clutch gearbox oil to see how its wearing? I'm specifically interested in the Getrag DCT box that comes in M3s (not to be confused with the traditional manual transmission Getrag box).

From Blackstone:We're all too familiar with "lifetime fluids" and interpret that as "when the fluid is used up, the transmission self-destructs, and you go and buy a new transmission". I'd be interested in hearing what Getrag has to say about the lifetime fill for its 7DCI600 transmission run in the 2008-present M3's and/or the similar (though separately developed and therefore entirely different) 7DCI750 developed for the Ferrari California. I haven't been able to find any answers to these questions, and don't suspect that I ever will since these transmissions were specifically developed for BMW and Ferrari. Still, I can only imagine there is a design engineer quietly laughing to himself at his desk chair.
We have never seen a sample from a 7DCI600, but have seen enough transmissions to know what is normal and what is not. I take it there is no dipstick (why would there be if the fluid never needs checked or changed?) Maybe there is a speed sensor or other fill point at which a sample could be pulled. There has to be if the transmission has oil in it, right? I just hope the engine wasn't mated with the transmission and all fluids topped off before the power train was installed in your M3. That may necessitate dropping the cradle to even check the transmission. I'm getting ahead of myself though.
If you can find a way to get a sample, we'll certainly test it and give you our opinion on the condition of the oil. Feel free to reply to this message at any time for any reason.

From Me:
Thanks. I'm going to put a post out there in the M3 forums and see if anyone with more mileage would do it. Do you mind if I quote your comments below and reference you're from Blackstone in the posting?

From Blackstone:Go ahead. I'd really rather not have my name on the post though, since that has resulted in an onslaught of phone calls for me in the past. It gets pretty difficult to complete the rest of my job when I'm on the phone all day. I would appreciate it if you would include the whole email including your questioning, so that someone doesn't take the information out of context. Other than that, I find absolutely no shame in what I replied, and feel that consumers deserve to have independent information to help them think for themselves when protecting their investment. How is it possible that Nissan called for 18,000 and now 36,000 mile oil change intervals for its dual clutch 6-speed transmissions, and the Getrag transmissions miraculously don't ever need an oil change? It just doesn't make sense.
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Last edited by mb1; 02-26-2012 at 09:01 PM. Reason: added Blackstone's website
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      02-26-2012, 10:45 PM   #2
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In for some updates on this. I have no where near 15 or 30k on my car or I'd be glad help out.
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      02-26-2012, 11:09 PM   #3
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Should be able to open the fill plug and suck some fluid out. Thanks know doing this.
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      02-26-2012, 11:18 PM   #4
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My 2011 is at 24k. I should hit 30k in the next few months....
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      02-27-2012, 01:12 AM   #5
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I thought this was already done? Maybe someone ran it as plain-Jane BMW ATF at the Blackstone lab on mistake (they did this to my 6MT MTF) but my friend with a DCT already had his DCT analyzed already, I'm pretty sure by Blackstone.
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      02-27-2012, 06:21 AM   #6
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I have 15k miles on my DCT..... not many miles...but here's the catch:

I have 15+ track days on it..... soooo..... does that mean I'm a good candidate?
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      02-27-2012, 10:13 AM   #7
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I bet it would!! Its a start. If you can/do, please update this thread!

Quote:
Originally Posted by persian54 View Post
I have 15k miles on my DCT..... not many miles...but here's the catch:

I have 15+ track days on it..... soooo..... does that mean I'm a good candidate?
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      02-27-2012, 12:42 PM   #8
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The following was posted on http://e89.zpost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=442369. I personally am very hesitant to try and change the DCT fluid because of the possibility of doing more harm than good. But on the other hand, I also hesitate to believe that the fluid is "lifetime" fill. It seems no one wants to be the guinea pig on this one.

DCT fluid change

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

After a long debate on whether or not to change the "longlife" fluid in the transmission the conclusion was that it is not necessary and in fact it can lead to fealure. If you are on the conservative side (I am) wait at least until you have passed 80.000km and change both fluid (Pentosin FFL4 - BMW DCTF-1) and the "pan" of the carter of the transmission where the filter is located. Yes, both are expensive. In case you try to change the fluid only you probably won't be able to get more than 5lt of the total 9,5lt capacity of the transmission out as there are several components which don't give access like the dct-oil cooler for example. Plus there is always the danger of air leaking into the system and then it's adios'. Official dealers under BMWNA refuse to undertake this operation even upon customers request.
For those interested find attached a bulletin for the M3 transmission


SI B28 03 08
Double-Clutch Transmission with Drivelogic July 2008
Technical Service

SUBJECT
M Double-Clutch Transmission with Drivelogic - Transmission Filling and Fluid Level Checking Procedure
MODEL
E90, E92, E93 M3 with S65 and M DCT transmission
SITUATION
The current version of BMW TIS does not contain the M DCT (GS7D36SG) transmission fluid filling (fluid checking) procedure. Use the following procedure when the M DCT fluid fill (check) is required.
Important:
The M Double-Clutch Transmission (DCT) requires a special lubricant/hydraulic fluid: DCTF-1 Pentosin (P/N 83 22 2 147 477). This fluid is specific to the double-clutch transmission and should not be substituted with any other product.
Substituting the DCTF-1 Pentosin in M Double-Clutch Transmission (GS7D36SG) may cause significant damage to the internal clutches of the transmission assembly, requiring replacement of the complete gearbox, transmission oil cooler, and cooler lines.
The BMW DCTF-1 Pentosin fluid does not require regular service. It is an extended-life type of fluid and should not be replaced. Currently the fluid is in extremely short supply, and can be obtained only after a PuMA case is submitted to TeileClearing (Enhanced Technical Support). Refer to SI B28 02 08 (May 2008) for more information related to M DCT TeileClearing.
1. The vehicle needs to be leveled and secured on the appropriate workshop lift. Connect the vehicle to the DIS/GT1 loaded with the current version of diagnostic software (V53 or higher).

2. Remove the transmission's under-cover to gain access to the refilling plug (1). Make sure that the transmission is at ambient temperature (engine should not be warmed up).
3. Using an Allen M8 wrench, loosen the fluid filling plug (1).
4. For refilling (empty gearbox after repair):
• Remove the filling plug from the transmission housing and refill the transmission with approximately 8 liters of DCTF-1 fluid, until it starts to overflow.
5. For checking the fluid level:
Carefully start removing the filler plug until the DCTF-1 fluid starts to flow.
Do not remove the filler plug completely!!!
With the correct fluid level and the gearbox filler plug removed while the engine is NOT running, approximately 1.5 liters of transmission fluid will escape, leaving the gearbox underfilled. (The total capacity of the DCT transmission with oil cooler and cooler lines is approximately 9.5 liters.)

6. Install the filler plug (do not torque it yet).
7. From the DIS/GT1 diagnosis menu, select
Service Functions, Transmission Controls, Calibrations, and Oil calibration.
8. Start the engine with the DCT gearbox in the P position.
9. Follow the "Oil calibration" test plan by running the engine at 2,000 rpm for 1 minute (reaching the maximum cooler line pressure of 5 bars).
10. Using DIS/GT1, observe the transmission fluid temperature. When it reaches approximately 40 C, open the filler plug again (with the engine running), and top off the fluid level until it starts to overflow.
11. Install the filler plug and torque it to 25 +/- 3 Nm.
WARRANTY INFORMATION
For information only
[ Copyright 2008 BMW of North America, LLC ]
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      02-27-2012, 01:23 PM   #9
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Yes, I've heard of the two challenges you've cited.

1. if air or dirt enter the system its a very expensive problem made worse by attempting to change the fluid and pan.
2. If you don't remove the pan, you only get 4.5 -5 ltrs out.

My thought would be that it would be safer to change it more often even if you only get 5 liters out at a time.

If we find that the fluid is broken down at 30k or 60k like I expect it to be, maybe it would make sense to take 5 liters out and replace fresh every 30k miles.

If someone can validate based on oil analysis, I know I'd sleep a lot better.
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      02-29-2012, 07:02 AM   #10
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This is definitely an interesting thread worth following. The point that Blackstone says about the GT-R DCT needing tranny oil changes gives the impression that BMW is neglecting something made obvious by other manufacturers.

Or, maybe the snake oil is 'just that good...'? ❔
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      02-29-2012, 04:44 PM   #11
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      02-29-2012, 06:07 PM   #12
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I just changed the DCT oil on my transmission. I saved a sample to be tested. Will keep everyone posted.
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      02-29-2012, 06:08 PM   #13
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Car has 30k miles.
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      03-02-2012, 12:35 PM   #14
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Awesome! Can't wait to hear back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard@M-World View Post
Car has 30k miles.
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      03-05-2012, 01:01 PM   #15
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How much does each testing cost?
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      03-06-2012, 10:54 AM   #16
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I'm guessing its about $30-40 for a trans oil evaluation.
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      03-06-2012, 03:56 PM   #17
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i always wonder if we needed to change the fluid in our DCT tranny, cant wait for the results
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      03-06-2012, 07:36 PM   #18
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Here you go guys.

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=658396
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      03-07-2012, 04:05 PM   #19
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The info makes me feel alot better

Thanks Richard
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      03-16-2012, 01:23 PM   #20
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Very interesting. Thanks for doing that. DIY photos would be awesome.

Also would encourage others to do the same so as it was said before, Blackstone can build a database of findings.
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      03-19-2012, 10:03 AM   #21
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Another question I have is did Blackstone test a virgin sample first to test the difference?
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      03-19-2012, 10:04 AM   #22
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the ultimate test points would be at 0 miles and then just after the break-in period.

I dont' remember - but don't they change the dct fluid after break-in? or maybe not
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