From digest.v7.n518 Fri Oct 31 03:05:34 1997
From: Bing Fung <bingfung_at_getthe.net>
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 22:33:55 -0800
Subject: <e36> notchy gearbox
Rishi, last winter I notice the same stiffness in my 92/E36. I asked
around at my local BMW shop and at some other reputable Euro car shops.
I recieved mixed reactions to what may be the cause. My car had
developed a slight "chunk" when shifting to second gear. I thought if I
replaced the fluid with a synthetic it may go away. One shop told me
that this most likly would not work. My BMW shop stated that it may
help but thought I may be just paranoid because the car was just new to
I took my car to a friend of mine that runs a Lube shop. He drained the
trans only to find it loaded with Automatic Trans fluid. The Shop
manual stated that if a red tag was affixed to the bell housing that
GL-40 type lube should be filled in the transmission(Red tag on my BH).
My BMW shop stated that this may be the case since the car was serviced
there and they have been loading ATF in to all of these transmission
types. At any rate we placed Mobil 1 Synthetic GL into the case and I
drove it for a day only to find it worse and "chunking" in every gear.
We then drained it and filled the case with Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF. The
difference was astounding. The gears just seemed to snap in to place
with a smoothness I thought was only found in Hondas, only better!
I do notice, now that it is cold here in Canada, that the Trans is
stiffer when first starting out but deminishes quickly within a few city
blocks. Even at -40C my trans is smoother than it was with regular ATF
at -10C. I would definitly recommend the change to a Synthetic over the
standard petro lube.
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