There have been instances where some BMW drivers have been informed by either BMW Service Advisors or other repair shops that they shouldn’t change the transmission fluid in their vehicle. This however is a complete fabrication; BMW states that the transmission fluid should be changed by around 100,000 miles on most of their available models and at even shorter intervals for the M models. No fluid is actually lifetime and the shops that say don’t change it may simply just be inexperienced with BMWs and afraid to try to do it.
Some advisors have even go so far as to tell customers that changing the transmission fluid “just causes problems” within the vehicle. The importance of changing the transmission fluid is vital to preserving the performance of your BMW. Built with specific service plans in place to ensure that the life of your vehicle is extended as much as possible, each BMW benefits from these service plans and while not required very often, the transmission fluid is a key component for a variety of your car’s functions.
Key factors of transmission
Many drivers may be unaware of this but the transmission in a BMW is considered one of the most intricate pieces, working with other parts and components and affecting things like the fast acceleration a BMW is known for. The transmission of the vehicle usually relies on two key factors; the transmission fluid and the transmission filter.
Work of transmission fluid & filter
The transmission fluid provides lubrication to reduce any wear and tear on the transmission and also helps to prevent overheating. The transmission however is still subject to wear and tear in the form of metal particles and debris, which is where the transmission filter comes into play. The filter works to collect these metal particles and keep the fluid clean and properly lubricating the transmission.
Signs regarding the health of transmission fluid & filter
While BMWs are known for having excellent and reliable transmissions, they still require maintenance and service like any other vehicle. There are a few signs to look for regarding the health of the transmission fluid and filter to make sure the owner knows that service may be needed for the transmission before it’s too late. BMW transmission fluid is red and if it begins to turn brown, that can be an indication of problems beginning to develop; the smell of burnt rubber can also be coming from the transmission as opposed to the tires as you may think.
Overheating is a big cause for severe transmission issues as well, because of the age of the transmission fluid. The older the transmission fluid, the lower the cooling properties of it are, in these instances, it can cause problems when the driver is shifting gears and will often times be indicated by a flashing light on the dashboard for transmission service.
When to change transmission fluid
Now to settle the biggest misconception: the BMW “Lifetime Fluids.” These lifetime fluids used by BMW are supposed to last for the entire lifespan of the vehicle. They are synthetic fluids that are much more expensive but can last up to 100,000 miles. In the instance that someone has bought a used BMW, then that vehicle is clearly closer to that mile marker. With that in mind, it’s often recommended by BMW to change the transmission fluid at 50,000 miles and to inspect the transmission filter closely when you do.
Don’t ignore transmission issues
While servicing the transmission isn’t an essential component in month-to-month maintenance on your BMW, it is however not something to ignore in the event it needs service. Prolonged transmission issues that go undetected or unresolved can cause extensive and catastrophic damage to your engine and transmission.
Why you can trust us?
The BMW specialists at Bay Diagnostic have performed transmission fluid changes in over 1000 BMWs and have never had an issue arise because of the fluid change. Using the exact same lifetime fluid that the BMW dealership would, our experts know what signs to look for in your transmission filter and will ensure that any issues or potential issues in the transmission are discovered and addressed early on, saving you time and money down the road.
While some auto mechanics may look for ways to avoid performing the services your vehicle needs or give you misinformation, trust Bay Diagnostic to make sure that your vehicle is kept in perfect condition while offering truthful and upfront customer service that truly puts your best interests first.