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BMW Rear Differential Fluid Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW Rear Differential Fluid Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hours1 hrs

Tab:

$60

Talent:

**

Tools:

14mm, 17mm Allen bit, drain pain, oil quart container pump, oil suction pump

Applicable Models:

BMW 325i Sedan (2006)
BMW 325xi Sedan/Wagon (2006)
BMW 328i xDrive Coupe (2009-13)
BMW 328i xDrive Sedan (2009-11)
BMW 328i xDrive Wagon (2009-12)
BMW 328i/xi Coupe (2007-13)
BMW 328i/xi Sedan (2007-11)
BMW 328i/xi Wagon (2007-12)
BMW 330i/xi Sedan (2006)
BMW 335d/i/xi Sedan (2007-11)
BMW 335i xDrive Coupe (2009-13)
BMW 335i xDrive Sedan (2009-11)
BMW 335i/is/xi Coupe (2007-13)

Parts Required:

Differential oil, differential plug sealing washers (2)

Hot Tip:

Drive car for short distance to warm oil

Performance Gain:

Extend differential life

Complementary Modification:

Replace drain plugs
One of the easiest tasks to perform on your BMW E90 is to change the differential oil.
To check your front differential fluid:
To check your front differential fluid.
Figure 1

Working at front differential: Using a 14mm Allen bit, remove oil fill plug. (green arrow) Fluid should be just at bottom edge of fill plug hole. Top fluid up if needed. Photo shows fill plug as viewed from driver side of vehicle. Fill plug is near front drive axle and driver side of subframe.

Replacing fluid:
Working at front differential: Using a 14mm Allen bit, remove oil fill plug.
Figure 2

Working at front differential: Using a 14mm Allen bit, remove oil fill plug. (green arrow)

Next, using a 14mm Allen bit remove differential oil drain plug.
Figure 3

Next, using a 14mm Allen bit remove differential oil drain plug. (green arrow) Drain oil into suitable container and it should have 2 liter capacity. Once oil has completely drained, reinstall drain plug with new gasket and torque: 60 Nm (44 ft-lb)

Pump oil into fill plug hole (green arrow) until it runs out.
Figure 4

Pump oil into fill plug hole (green arrow) until it runs out. Allow oil to stop dripping or come to a slow drip, then reinstall fill plug and torque: 60 Nm (44 ft-lb) Once done, take vehicle for a short ride and check rear differential for leaks.

Rear Differential Checking fluid level:
Working at rear differential: Using a 14mm or 17mm Allen bit, remove oil fill plug.
Figure 5

Working at rear differential: Using a 14mm or 17mm Allen bit, remove oil fill plug. (green arrow) Fluid should be just at bottom edge of fill plug hole. Top fluid up if needed.

Replacing fluid:
Working at rear differential: Using a 14mm Allen bit, remove oil fill plug.
Figure 6

Working at rear differential: Using a 14mm Allen bit, remove oil fill plug. (green arrow) Next, using a suction pump, pump fluid out of differential. Once differential is empty, you will be filling it through same hole. Clean up any old gear oil residue.

Pump oil into fill plug hole until it runs out.
Figure 7

Pump oil into fill plug hole until it runs out. Allow oil to stop dripping or come to a slow drip, then reinstall fill plug and torque: 60 Nm (44 ft-lb) Once done, take vehicle for a short ride and check rear differential for leaks.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Ai Comments: Can awd drive train make the car shake when going 65 mph ?
Because I have a set of tires on my car that are not even out. the back wheels are taller the the front.
March 18, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, you need the same tires front and rear. Otherwise damage to the AD system may occur. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dan Comments: Hi! Do you have DIY for differential pinion seal replace for 06 bow 325i.ty
March 14, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Michael Comments: Hello,
I have a 2010 328xi. I understand there is a front differential and rear differential. Do they both take Castrol SAF-XO?

Thanks
August 17, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Approved Final Drive Oils for Front and Rear Axle Final Drives With and Without Limited Slip or Viscous Coupling

Limited Slip Differentials
BMW Synthetic Final Drive Oil SAF-XJ
(with multi-plate limited-slip differential)

Non Limited Slip Differentials
BMW Synthetic Final Drive Oil SAF-XO
(without multi-plate limited-slip differential, or with viscous differential lock)

All models are factory filled with a s
ynthetic final drive oil. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
robert Comments: i have a 2006 bmw 325i am aout to hit 100,000 thousand miles any suggestions of what oil i can use and how much of it . Thank you . whats the difference on SAF-XO Synthetic and 75w-90.

one more question I"M also going to do my transmission oil change give me specs on what to buy type etc . thanks
July 11, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Engine oil 5w/30 or 40 synthetic API rating of SM or higher.

Trans takes Shell M-1375.4 about 10 liters

Diff takes BMW SAF-XO Synthetic You'll have to find a gear oil that is approved by BMW. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Yangorang Comments: I have a 2008 BMW 328xi with production date 11/2007 and last 7 VIN K039220. What are the fluid capacities for both the front and rear diffs?
July 8, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Front 0.6 liter. Rear 1.0 liter. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
MattC Comments: I have a 2006 320D E90. What spec of 75w/90 diff oil should I use in my vehicle
June 10, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We don't have that vehicle in the US, so I don't have the specs. Us models use 75 - 90 synthetic.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
tom lee Comments: I have a 2006 325i E90 does it take Redline 75w-90 for the rear differential?
May 25, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This page says has the recommended oils. 75 - 90 synthetic is listed.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/supertech/catalog.cgi?action=frameset&return-url=/cgi-bin/supertech/catalog.cgi%3Faction%3Dframeback%26page%3D1210&catalog-url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pelicanparts.com%2Fcatalog%2FSuperCat%2F0226%2FBMW_0226_SUSAXL_pg2.htm %3Futm_source%3DSuperTech%23item4 - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Lawrence Barns Comments: Hi Nick:
How much is needed for rear diff, also 2 quarts?
January 18, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Two should be enough. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Carlos Comments: Hi, happy 2015; i have a 2007, E93 convertible, my car differential is dripping a bit... what would you recomend, many thanks and what kind of oil to use and how often the oil should be replace.
January 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Start by checking the fluid level to be sure it isn't overfull. I can't imagine it would be leaking already. I would suggest returning to BMW to have it looked at. Will be covered under the warranty. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Corrado Comments: in order to drain the rear diff, is it possible to just loosen the rear cover? would that not more effectively drain the old fluid? i just used that method on my SUV that didn't have a drain plug and it worked fine. my E91 is next.
December 10, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, you can't, the cover won't reseal. You would need to remove the cover and reseal it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Andrew Comments: could i use redline 75-90 synthetic oil for the rear diff
October 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You didn't mention what vehicle you have. If it meets the specs in your owner's manual. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right oil. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
mel Comments: Hi Nick,
what kind of Differential oil do i need to use and how many quarts. I have e90.
Thanks.
August 17, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would say have a 1.5 quarts on hand, in the case you spill some. The Diff takes SAF-XO Synthetic. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
pinetree Comments: Hi. I think front differential is only for xi models, and i models have only rear differential. Am I correct? Thank you for your help.
August 6, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: COrrect, only all-wheel drive models have a front diff. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
07 335i Comments: how much would this cost to do at a dealership? they told me my diff fluid needed to be replaced said it would cost about 330$ with labor
August 4, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't know. Call a couple and get estimates. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Park Comments: Hello. Is differential fluid replacement necessary for an E92 with an automatic transmission? Thank yhou.
August 1, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes. It is the same as this article. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Nadir Comments: Hello,
can you please tell me if it is easy to remove just the cover plate because I want to retap the thread of the drain hole?

Thanks....
June 27, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would say it is not easy. The differential as to be removed to get the cover off. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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