Let us get right to the point. No fluid in your BMW (or any car, for that matter) is guaranteed to last a lifetime. Yes, advances in automotive manufacturing technology have made it easier for fluids to last longer than they once did. Synthetic engine oil, for example, can last up to 15,000 miles in some vehicles, but that does not mean you should not have your car’s systems serviced or fluids replaced at the required intervals.
One of the reasons automakers advertise lifetime transmission oil is that they anticipate you will likely not retain your car for more than 100,000 miles. We suppose you cannot blame them if they want you to buy a new automobile every couple of years.
Why Believing in the ‘Lifetime Transmission Fluid’ Hype Is a Bad Idea
Your transmission is much more than just transmission fluid. Even though the manufacturer claims you have lifetime transmission oil under the hood, you must service your transmission when due for its longevity.
A typical transmission service involves the following:
- Removing and checking the transmission pan
- Replacing the transmission filter as needed
- Inspecting the transmission fluid for indicators of wear and
- Draining and refilling with fresh fluid
All of these things help your transmission last longer, and if you have ever had to replace your slush box, you know how costly it can be.
Consult your owner’s handbook to know when your vehicle’s transmission needs servicing. Depending on how you drive your BMW, this should be every 30,000 to 60,000 miles under most circumstances.
You should have the ‘lifelong’ fluid inspected at least every 50,000 miles, depending on your driving habits and commute, to see if it is dirty or contaminated in any way. This action ensures that the fluid can be flushed and replaced before causing damage to your transmission.
We at A1 Performance European Auto Repair hope that this information clarifies any misunderstandings about transmission service and lifetime transmission oil. If it does not, contact us. We will be delighted to address any questions you may have.