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Thread: 2012 X3 X-drive 28i Transmission Fluid

  1. #1
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    2012 X3 X-drive 28i Transmission Fluid

    I need some advise on what transmission fluid to use in the 3.0 na engine with 8 speed automatic when I change the pan and filter. I bought the car used with 100K miles and want to start my ownership with fresh transmission fluid. The BMW branded fluid would be worth the price if they were truly good for the lifetime of the car, but there are lots of posts that clearly indicate that is not the case.
    Any help would be appreciated.

    Edit: I should add that I have searched through lots of information online and I have not come across information specific to my engine/transmission.
    Last edited by ErichX3; 03-29-2019 at 01:10 PM.

  2. #2
    richardodn's Avatar
    richardodn is offline Old Guy BMW CCA Member
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    The transmission is a ZF 8HP and as such it will use ZF Lifeguard 8 or equivalent fluid.
    "Howdy, Folks!"

    1986 Delphin 528e - Has led a hard life, 290k and still alive.
    1989 Zinnoberrot 325iX Sedan - My winter snowmobile. (Deceased)
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  3. #3
    richardodn's Avatar
    richardodn is offline Old Guy BMW CCA Member
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    If you are price sensitive, the Valvoline MaxLife Multi-Vehicle ATF specifies their fluid as compatible with ZF LG8. But ZF has not certified that.
    "Howdy, Folks!"

    1986 Delphin 528e - Has led a hard life, 290k and still alive.
    1989 Zinnoberrot 325iX Sedan - My winter snowmobile. (Deceased)
    1998 Avus Blau 328iC - My topless summer girl.
    1999 Audi A4 Avant Quattro - Crap can, but I'm in too deep.
    2012 X3 xDrive35i - My new snowmobile.

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys. I will go with the ZF brand Lifeguard 8 for my first go at this.

    I have read that the transmission holds 5 liters, 6 liters, 7 liters and 9 liters. Does anyone know the real volume?

  5. #5
    richardodn's Avatar
    richardodn is offline Old Guy BMW CCA Member
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    ZF_SI_Oelwechselkit_8HP_50130_EN.pdf

    You might find this helpful https://www.zf.com/global/media/medi...P_50130_EN.pdf
    ZF includes 7L in their oil change kits. 9 is probably for a dry fill. If I'm not mistaken, the F25 uses the 8HP45 variant.

    ZF 1087.298.365 is a complete service kit including fluid. However I don't think there are any US vendors.
    Last edited by richardodn; 04-02-2019 at 07:33 AM.
    "Howdy, Folks!"

    1986 Delphin 528e - Has led a hard life, 290k and still alive.
    1989 Zinnoberrot 325iX Sedan - My winter snowmobile. (Deceased)
    1998 Avus Blau 328iC - My topless summer girl.
    1999 Audi A4 Avant Quattro - Crap can, but I'm in too deep.
    2012 X3 xDrive35i - My new snowmobile.

  6. #6
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    I changed out the cover/filter/fluid this weekend. The cover was original and the plastic drain plug was completely stripped out. I had to carefully drill through it to drain the pan. The fluid that came out was not that bad. Almost exactly 4.5 liters came out of the pan when it was all collected. I was very concerned because I expected something close to 7 liters to come out. Based on the condition of the drain plug I had no confidence that whoever worked on the transmission last had any idea of what they were doing.

    After putting it all back together and carefully following the filling process as outlined by the ZF instructions I was only able to get 4.5 liters of Life Guard 8 into the Transmission. I went through all the steps to get the fluid to pull up into the converter. But still only 4.5 liters would go in.
    After driving it for a few days I put it back up in the air while running and pulled the fill plug again. The ideal amount of clean fluid came dripping out of the hole.

    So the question I have is if it is reasonable that the 8 speed ZF transmission will only take 4.5 liters of fluid. Or did I do something wrong?

  7. #7
    richardodn's Avatar
    richardodn is offline Old Guy BMW CCA Member
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    It sounds OK to me. You followed the fill instructions and the amounts compared favorably with what you took out.
    "Howdy, Folks!"

    1986 Delphin 528e - Has led a hard life, 290k and still alive.
    1989 Zinnoberrot 325iX Sedan - My winter snowmobile. (Deceased)
    1998 Avus Blau 328iC - My topless summer girl.
    1999 Audi A4 Avant Quattro - Crap can, but I'm in too deep.
    2012 X3 xDrive35i - My new snowmobile.

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