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Thread: E46 six-speed transmission oil

  1. #1
    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    Default E46 six-speed transmission oil

    When I bought buy E46, I had a local shop change all the fluids and address some problems with the car. They used BG Products lubricants, which I'm not familiar with, but they assured me they were good.

    That might be true, but I can't help thinking there's a better lubricant for the six-speed in my car. Shifting is a little balky when it's cold and even when it's at operating temperature, it doesn't feel buttery.

    I accept that the previous owners might have speed-shifted the 1-2 synchros to the point they are the root cause of the balkiness, but I'm wondering if anyone has any wisdom to share on E46 transmission fluids. Is there a go-to fluid I should, uh, go to?

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    RaceTape Ninja Force McCocken's Avatar
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    Shifter feel has always been a disappointment on the BMWs I have owned. I describe the feel as like a dislocating joint. There are aftermarket products to tighten up the accuracy. I usually go off the owner’s manual for fluids on street cars, and I don’t remember what I put in my wagon, but it wasn’t exotic or too fancy.
    Yer pal,
    Force

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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    Compared with a Miata, it feels like shifting a chicken bone through a gearbox made of cartilage.

    One of my favorite balky gearbox descriptions came from the late automotive journalist David Davis: It feels like a bag of antlers.

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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    For my ZF 5 speed, which is basically the same as your 6 speed, I went with 50:50 mix of Redline MT and ATF. This has been the advice from BMW gurus and i am pretty happy with it. It feels pretty much the same when cold and after 20 minute session in 100 degree weather. Shifts pretty good at 8k RPM with the exception of 4th gear, syncro wear problem for sure.
    ucfbrett likes this.

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