BMW Coupes and Sedans 1970-1988 Repair Guide

Manual Transmission

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FLUID RECOMMENDATIONS



BMW recommends the use of non-hypoid GL4 SAE 80 or SAE 80W/90 in all models.

Due to running production changes, the lubricant in your transmission may be a different type than what is listed here or in your owner's manual. The recommended fluid for the transmission installed in your vehicle will be specified on a tag on the transmission body.

Synthetic oils can offer easier shifting in cold weather and greater protection from wear, but can sometimes cause noisier operation and they may not be compatible with all transmissions. If you wish to use a synthetic manual transmission lubricant, check with your BMW dealer for suggestions and details.

LEVEL CHECK



See Figure 1

The oil in the manual transmission should be checked at least every 6,000-7,500 miles (9,600-12,000 km).

  1. With the car parked on a level surface, remove the filler plug from the side of the transmission housing.
  2.  
  3. If the lubricant begins to trickle out of the hole, there is enough gear oil, and you need not go any further. Otherwise, carefully insert your finger (watch out for sharp threads) and check to see if the oil is up to the edge of the hole.
  4.  
  5. If not, add oil through the hole until the gear oil level is at the edge of the hole. Most gear lubricants come in a plastic squeeze-type bottle with a nozzle. You can also use a common kitchen baster. Use only standard non hypoid-type gear oil-SAE 80W or SAE 80W/90.
  6.  
  7. Replace the filler plug, run the engine and check for leaks.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Remove plug 2 for fluid checking and filling. Remove plug 1 for fluid draining

DRAIN AND REFILL



See Figures 2,3,4 and 5

  1. The oil must be warm before it can be drained. Drive the car until the engine reaches normal operating temperature.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle on jackstands.
  4.  
  5. Remove the side filler plug to provide a vent.
  6.  
  7. Place a large container underneath the transmission and then remove the drain plug.
  8.  
  9. Allow the oil to drain completely. Clean the magnetic drain plug of any excessive metal particles and install it, tightening it until it is just snug.
  10.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Loosen and remove the side filler plug, then loosen and remove the lower plug



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Drain the oil into a suitable container



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Notice the lower drain plug has a magnetic insert to catch any metal particles in the oil



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Fig. Fig. 5: When filling with new oil, it is easier to use containers equipped with a pump

  1. Fill the transmission with the proper lubricant as detailed earlier in this section. Refer to the Capacities chart for the correct amount of lubricant.
  2.  
  3. When the oil level is up to the edge of the filler hole, replace the filler plug. Drive the car for a few minutes, then stop and check for any leaks.
  4.  

 
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