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      07-24-2016, 08:18 PM   #1
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DCT fluid service - Use fluid besides OEM?

Just wondering if anyone has used any DCT fluids during a fluid change besides the OEM fluid? The OEM is a little expensive ($32 a liter) and it requires 5 liters for a change. I feel I can save some money but Im not sure how the others stack up or if it's advised to use them or not. Some of the others listed on ECS Tuning are Pentosin, FEBI (cheapest) and Redline. Are any of these NOT advised to use in lieu of the BMW branded stuff?
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      07-24-2016, 08:30 PM   #2
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i know redpriest is using non-oem fluid. i forget which.

he was getting some jolts with shifting but-
talking with the guys at ssp performance at bimmerfest, you'll have to do a calibration procedure because the car will act funky with the fluid having a different consistency with the dual clutches.
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      07-24-2016, 08:32 PM   #3
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Isn't the Pentosin what BMW uses?
I would use the BMW branded fluid. I think the DCT isn't something I'd gamble with but I'm sure the other stuff works. I can't imagine that all of the DCT's out there from VW, Porsche etc would work differently just because of a different DCT fluid. I would understand DCT fluid vs AT fluid.

Take it for what it's worth... I also only use the BMW motor oil lol
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      07-24-2016, 08:58 PM   #4
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i was very impressed with the knowledge and quality products that SSP performance had at bimmerfest. i would maybe contact them for a second or third opinion on changing fluids. i'm sure they have experimented with multiple...
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      07-24-2016, 09:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BzsBimmer View Post
Isn't the Pentosin what BMW uses?
I would use the BMW branded fluid. I think the DCT isn't something I'd gamble with but I'm sure the other stuff works. I can't imagine that all of the DCT's out there from VW, Porsche etc would work differently just because of a different DCT fluid. I would understand DCT fluid vs AT fluid.

Take it for what it's worth... I also only use the BMW motor oil lol

Yes, factory fill is Pentosin FFL4. You don't need to use the BMW stuff -- they just have Pentosin slap a different label on the FFL4 bottles and double the price.

Example of other fluids:

Motul Multi DCTF
Red Line DCTF
Febi Bilstein DSG Getriebeol
Liqui-Moly Dual Clutch Transmission Oil 8100
Torco DCT
Fuchs Titan DCTF
Castrol Transmax Dual
Millers Millermatic DCT-DSG
Elf Elfmatic DSG

If in doubt, just check the spec sheet and make sure it says that it meets/exceeds BMW DCTF-1. The specs on all of the above oils I listed are virtually identical to OEM, though Red Line is about 15-20% thicker.

I know for a fact you can get Pentosin FFL4 from auto parts stores, they just have to special order it. The Motul stuff is fairly easy to get from speed/tuner shops too.
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      07-24-2016, 09:03 PM   #6
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BMW recommends "Pentosin" for our DCT trans.
I had it done on 50K km preventive by my BMW/Dealer with Pentosin .
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      07-24-2016, 09:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roastbeef View Post
i know redpriest is using non-oem fluid. i forget which.

he was getting some jolts with shifting but-
talking with the guys at ssp performance at bimmerfest, you'll have to do a calibration procedure because the car will act funky with the fluid having a different consistency with the dual clutches.

No you won't. All of the aftermarket fluids are basically identical to the factory Pentosin stuff (viscosity is within a few %, as I mentioned above). The transmission and computer won't know the difference.The M-DCT is also self-adjusting and doesn't need to be recalibrated all of the time like the older SMGs did.
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      07-24-2016, 09:10 PM   #8
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So moral of the story, use what I want? Does anyone have a good website for ordering DCT filters, pans, gaskets, etc? ECS Tuning has a complete kit, but trying to see if I can piece a kit together for cheaper or if they are my best bet. (their kit uses the Pentosin FWIW)
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      07-24-2016, 09:22 PM   #9
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Ive noticed the ECS kit inexplicably lacks a pan gasket as well. I haven't seen anybody who sells the pan gasket either. Im sure you can get it from the dealer, but it seems like a no brainer that if you drop the pan, you replace the gasket.

Also, really curious if anybody is running the redline DCT fluid.
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      07-24-2016, 09:39 PM   #10
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I'm running the Fuchs. Done it twice since the first flush was really dirty.

First time around the DCT felt much better, second no difference just wanted to get all the dirty fluid out.

About 30k on the Fuchs and I have no DCT issues.

From the research I did, all the specs were close to the OEM fluid so I don't see why it would be an issue. I have redline in my diff. I'm not afraid to use non BMW fluids as long as it's high quality and similar specs. The BMW bottles don't contain magic. Fluid is fluid, given the same properties. I've owned enough BMWs to know the OEM fluids aren't always the best.

Last edited by tdott; 07-24-2016 at 09:44 PM.
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      07-25-2016, 02:20 AM   #11
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I'm using the Motul stuff. After changing the fluid from factory + changing filter, I was getting very odd jolts where it felt like the car was slamming into gear from a dead stop. It was really violent and only happened once the car had warmed up.

It rarely happens now after driving several thousand miles on it. Didn't do any recalibration procedure as it eventually went away, for the most part. Occasionally, I'll get the violent jolt, but it's rare now.
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      07-25-2016, 02:53 AM   #12
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Good info here.
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      07-25-2016, 09:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by |||||||||| View Post
So moral of the story, use what I want? Does anyone have a good website for ordering DCT filters, pans, gaskets, etc? ECS Tuning has a complete kit, but trying to see if I can piece a kit together for cheaper or if they are my best bet. (their kit uses the Pentosin FWIW)

The moral of the story is that it's your car and your money. If you are ultra-paranoid, pay the premium for BMW fluid. Otherwise, there are plenty of other alternatives out there for half the price.

Why do you need a new pan and gasket? The filter I understand, but the pan doesn't really wear out.
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      07-25-2016, 09:27 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpriest View Post
I'm using the Motul stuff. After changing the fluid from factory + changing filter, I was getting very odd jolts where it felt like the car was slamming into gear from a dead stop. It was really violent and only happened once the car had warmed up.

It rarely happens now after driving several thousand miles on it. Didn't do any recalibration procedure as it eventually went away, for the most part. Occasionally, I'll get the violent jolt, but it's rare now.

No problems from me on the Motul fluid. It's been in the car for about 2 years/16k, including tons of track days and autocrosses.
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      07-25-2016, 07:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dparm View Post
The moral of the story is that it's your car and your money. If you are ultra-paranoid, pay the premium for BMW fluid. Otherwise, there are plenty of other alternatives out there for half the price.

Why do you need a new pan and gasket? The filter I understand, but the pan doesn't really wear out.
I have a fluid leak from the pan and it's my understanding you can't buy the gasket separate from the pan.
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      07-25-2016, 07:46 PM   #16
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For a fluid service that occurs, what, 70,000 miles I just paid out the nose and went with the OEM stuff.

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      07-25-2016, 10:06 PM   #17
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Thanks, I think Ill go with the cheaper fluid, only because I want to do a change, then do another change 3k miles later to make sure I get all the fluid out.

Anyone know if it's possible to buy the pan gasket separate from the pan? If so, that would be good.
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      10-16-2017, 11:22 AM   #18
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I?ll post this up....

Changed both filters and refilled with Redline DCTF. Shifts were occasionally clunky and rough. Mostly under aggressive up and down shifts. Never experienced this before. Went 1200 miles on this fluid.

I?ve since changed back to Pentosin DCTF and all is smooth again.

While I?m sure the Redline wasn?t hurting anything just didn?t want the clunks and stuff.
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      10-16-2017, 12:19 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
I?ll post this up....

Changed both filters and refilled with Redline DCTF. Shifts were occasionally clunky and rough. Mostly under aggressive up and down shifts. Never experienced this before. Went 1200 miles on this fluid.

I?ve since changed back to Pentosin DCTF and all is smooth again.

While I?m sure the Redline wasn?t hurting anything just didn?t want the clunks and stuff.


I know some people insist on re-doing the clutch adaptation which BMW says isn't necessary since it's self-adjusting. Did you do this or no?

Also worth noting that Red Line's fluid is about 10% heavier than Pentosin's FFL4 (OEM BMW fluid). Not sure if that contributed, but a thicker fluid might make things shift harsher when cold.


PS: why are your apostrophes question marks?
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      10-16-2017, 03:07 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
I?ll post this up....

Changed both filters and refilled with Redline DCTF. Shifts were occasionally clunky and rough. Mostly under aggressive up and down shifts. Never experienced this before. Went 1200 miles on this fluid.

I?ve since changed back to Pentosin DCTF and all is smooth again.

While I?m sure the Redline wasn?t hurting anything just didn?t want the clunks and stuff.
very interesting, thanks for the information
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      10-16-2017, 08:07 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dparm View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
I?ll post this up....

Changed both filters and refilled with Redline DCTF. Shifts were occasionally clunky and rough. Mostly under aggressive up and down shifts. Never experienced this before. Went 1200 miles on this fluid.

I?ve since changed back to Pentosin DCTF and all is smooth again.

While I?m sure the Redline wasn?t hurting anything just didn?t want the clunks and stuff.


I know some people insist on re-doing the clutch adaptation which BMW says isn't necessary since it's self-adjusting. Did you do this or no?

Also worth noting that Red Line's fluid is about 10% heavier than Pentosin's FFL4 (OEM BMW fluid). Not sure if that contributed, but a thicker fluid might make things shift harsher when cold.


PS: why are your apostrophes question marks?
Not sure about the ???.

Warm, cold, hot...it was jerky intermittently. I?m sure the amount of FM and viscosity affects how smooth the shifts are. Really don?t see a benefit straying from OEM fluid. I think this holds true for any BMW transmission. The OE fluid works the best.
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      10-17-2017, 08:29 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Not sure about the ???.

Warm, cold, hot...it was jerky intermittently. I?m sure the amount of FM and viscosity affects how smooth the shifts are. Really don?t see a benefit straying from OEM fluid. I think this holds true for any BMW transmission. The OE fluid works the best.

Strange you had that problem. Mine felt exactly the same on the OEM fluid and Motul Multi DCTF. Glad to hear you got it sorted out though.
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