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  1. #1
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    DIY: Differential Oil Change for E60 M5

    One of the areas overlooked in maintaining is the rear diff on M models, which are complex and very important for performance, but also for just normal driving. Here is a somewhat QUICK write up on how to change the diff oil out correctly.

    BMW recommends M model rear diff oil to be change every 3rd oil change, so that comes out to anywhere from 30-45K miles or 3 years. ( this info can be found in the service/warranty booklet which is usually the small booklet that is with your owners manual)

    My M5 has around 32K miles, has 3 years on the diff oil, and has had 3 engine oil changes.
    My main reason for changing the diff oil out, above the normal maintenance was because i have be getting some slow speed noise while turning from my diff, so the SIB out from BMW for all M3's, M5's, and M6's is to change the diff oil to the SAF-XJ + FM booster, which has a additive compared to the normal diff oil. This helps give a lil more slip to the diff plates, which helps cushion, and keep noise down, and help while in those low speed turning situations.


    First thing is first, go down to your dealer, get 3 bottles of SAF-XJ + FM booster, rear axle fluid SAE 75W-140. BMW doesnt sell any other diff fluid for M cars so this should be the only stuff they give you. Your diff should take around 2 and half bottles of this stuff. It retails for 55 bucks each! Expensive stuff.

    Click here to enlarge

    Also grab two plugs, for the drain, and for the fill. These plugs come with the rubber o-ring installed, and both plugs are exactly the same.
    P/N: 33117525064

    Once you got all your stuff, before removing the drain bolt, i would drive the car for about 2 miles to get some heat in the oil and move the diff oil around a bit.
    Then get her on a jack or on a lift and remove the drain bolt.
    The drain and fill bolts are right next to each other on the passenger side. Bottom is the drain and the top is the fill.

    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge

    Remove both plugs, drain/fill and Let all the oil drain out until nothing comes out anymore.

    Click here to enlarge

    Once its all drained, install a new drain plug and tighten it up.
    The BMW diff oil bottles has a nice spout to them that pulls out, insert the spout into the fill hole on the diff and squeeze the bottle to get all the fluid out of the bottle and into the diff. Once a small stream of fluid starts to come out the fill hole on the diff that your filling into, that is the signal that the diff is at the FULL mark.

    Some people like to wait until the stream that is flowing out the fill hole stops, but i just let the stream come to a nice slow flow coming out and i install the new drain plug, and tighten it up!

    Ok, so job well done! clean up both area around the fill/drain plugs of any oil.

    Now, BMW states to go out and drive the car, and to do 20 LEFT and 20 RIGHT slow full lock turns. This is to lube up all the parts of the DIFF with the new oil at full lock. I did mine at about 7-10 mph at full lock, or just about at full. Car overall def feels smoother and turning is alot smoother aswell! I am still under warranty and free maintenance but for such a simple and important job, i rather do it myself then let the dealer kids touch it.


    And then your are offical done!

    went out to a beach area parking lot to do my turns since its sorta wierd

    Click here to enlarge
    Last edited by 5soko; 03-27-2013 at 08:10 AM.
    ///M5 LCI
    "It's like the F10 is the 911 Turbo to the E60's GT3" -Pistonheads (M5 feature)

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    Editing title slightly since this applies to the E60 M5.

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Editing title slightly since this applies to the E60 M5.
    Cool. This also applies to the M6, same exact process/fluids/plugs. Also is the exact same way to do the E90/92/93 M3 rear diff oil change, plugs are in the same exact location, same fluid and drain plugs needed!
    ///M5 LCI
    "It's like the F10 is the 911 Turbo to the E60's GT3" -Pistonheads (M5 feature)

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 5soko Click here to enlarge
    Cool. This also applies to the M6, same exact process/fluids/plugs. Also is the exact same way to do the E90/92/93 M3 rear diff oil change, plugs are in the same exact location, same fluid and drain plugs needed!
    Excellent, good to know. Thank you!

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    good info, @rick@defiv did mine, ludicrous what they charge for that oil though

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
    good info, @rick@defiv did mine, ludicrous what they charge for that oil though
    Thanks buddy.. Yea it is crazy! The normal oil without the additive is, was a lot cheaper from what I heard, but im not sure bmw even sells non fm booster diff oil. My diff is a lot smoother and quiet now, so im very happy I changed it.
    ///M5 LCI
    "It's like the F10 is the 911 Turbo to the E60's GT3" -Pistonheads (M5 feature)

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