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Old 12-05-2014   #1
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My M32 Gearbox Oil Change

Don't know if many remember me saying but when I bought the new Bravo, one of the first things I'd do is change the oil in the M32 box. Well, due to an unforeseen day off work (woohoo), I busted out the trolley jack and got to it

Thought I'd share some pictures of what I came across....

Photo 1 shows the refill point between the hoses and the battery. I just used a channelled bit of plastic to let the oil run into it - this meant I didn't have to remove any engine bay components.

Photo 2 shows the difference in colour between the outgoing redish looking oil and the fresh yellow oil.

Photo 3 shows the oil used.

Photo 4 shows the setup. My drive is on a slight slope so with it being jacked up at the front, it almost made it level for draining.

Photo 5 indicates where the drain plug is.

Photo 6 shows another view of the refill point.

Photo 7 and 8 shows the mess it makes! There's a metal beam underneath which it just drips straight onto so it just runs everywhere off that!

For some reason I didn't take a picture of the refill level bolt (lets you know when you've got sufficient oil in the box).

Has it made any difference? No. None whatsoever. But then I didn't have any issues in the first place I just did it thinking that the original oil was 5 years old and travelled 35k miles, so it wouldn't hurt to change it.

Prevention is better than cure, so they say
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Old 13-05-2014   #2
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Re: My M32 Gearbox Oil Change

Very nice, helpful thread.

Did you replaced the drain plug after changing? I've read somewhere it needs to be changed...
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Old 13-05-2014   #3
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Re: My M32 Gearbox Oil Change

Have to admit no I didn't change the plug but the plug has some thread tight compound on it and it's not leaking so should be fine.
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Old 18-05-2014   #4
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Re: My M32 Gearbox Oil Change

That is simply the best colour on a Bravo! My fave by far..

Thanks for the guide - I'm looking to get this done soon
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Old 18-05-2014   #5
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Re: My M32 Gearbox Oil Change

Have to admit its a straightforward job. Probably took me longer to jack the car up and take the under tray off

I took my time with it as I wanted to have a look around the engine and underneath - having had the car under 3 weeks I'm still sussing it out
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Old 09-10-2014   #6
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Re: My M32 Gearbox Oil Change

Hey. Can you explain about that oil level bolt - where is it located and how do you use it to check if the amount of oil is fine? Thx
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Old 09-10-2014   #7
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Re: My M32 Gearbox Oil Change

When you refill oil through oil level bolt, watch for moment when oil starts to come out. In that moment, oil is on correct level
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Old 14-10-2014   #8
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Re: My M32 Gearbox Oil Change

Quote Originally Posted by Insomnia View Post
Have to admit its a straightforward job. Probably took me longer to jack the car up and take the under tray off

I took my time with it as I wanted to have a look around the engine and underneath - having had the car under 3 weeks I'm still sussing it out
Insomnia, can you please let me know how many bottles of oil you used? There's some difference between what eLearn and manual says, I'm not sure if I am needing a third bottle.

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Old 14-10-2014   #9
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Re: My M32 Gearbox Oil Change

Pretty sure I used about 2.4ltrs which was 3 bottles at the time. Obviously you end up with some left over, but job done
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Old 14-10-2014   #10
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Re: My M32 Gearbox Oil Change

You shouldn't need the third bottle if you are just doing an oil change, because the drain plug is not in the lowest part of the gearbox... some oil will still be pooled in there ..at the diff.

When i did mine i just used 2x1Liter bottles.

You would need a third bottle of oil if you were taking out the diff.

Edit: I used 2 liters and it was enough to fill the box to the fill plug.
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Last edited by aurick86; 14-10-2014 at 19:32.
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Old 14-10-2014   #11
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Re: My M32 Gearbox Oil Change

Quote Originally Posted by aurick86 View Post
You shouldn't need the third bottle if you are just doing an oil change, because the drain plug is not in the lowest part of the gearbox... some oil will still be pooled in there ..at the diff.

When i did mine i just used 2x1Liter bottles.

You would need a third bottle of oil if you were taking out the diff.
Maybe, but to fill it back up to the point it was in my box, I needed 3 bottles
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Old 15-10-2014   #12
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Re: My M32 Gearbox Oil Change

Quote Originally Posted by Insomnia View Post
Maybe, but to fill it back up to the point it was in my box, I needed 3 bottles
Me too.
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Old 15-10-2014   #13
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Re: My M32 Gearbox Oil Change

What transmission oil would people recommend?
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Old 15-10-2014   #14
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Re: My M32 Gearbox Oil Change

How do you know how full it was before to say "I needed X bottles to fill it up to the point it was"? The way I see it you drain it and then fill it until it starts to spill from the level control bolt.

As for the oil brand - I am trying to find affordable offer for Red Line. I am not willing to put GL5 oil like most of the people with M32 do. It may be safe or not (there's some debate going on), but I'm definitely betting on the exact specification as per the manual.
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Old 30-12-2014   #15
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Re: My M32 Gearbox Oil Change

Replaced my gearbox oil last week - just using the existing thread to add some thoughts.

Car is 5.5 years old, 47.000 km. The old oil was dark red in color, but nowhere near black/dirty. You could see through it and there was no dirt, so it probably could have lasted another year or two.

Anyway, I replaced it with Redline (same specs as factory one). Took about 2.5 litres. The color of the new oil was noticeably brighter. The only difference I can feel after replacing is that you can feel/hear the metallic "click" of each gear more clearly (as if the oil is thinner). Probably need to give it 1000 km or so to settle in before judging, but no noticeable difference so far.

A couple of notes to the otherwise very helpful guide above:

1. There is a oil level bolt (10 mm allen) in the front part of he gearbox. If you unscrew this one before starting to pour the new oil, wait for the oil to start coming out from the oil level hole. Once it starts, stop pouring - you're at correct level.

2. Make sure to wait ALL of the oil to get out before putting back the draining bolt. It should not be dripping, you should wait for it to completely stop coming out. Then use some cloth to make the area completely dry. Then when you put thread lock on the draining bolt (which you should), you'll be sure it is properly sealed and will not become paranoid about whether your gearbox oil is slowly dripping out of the gearbox (like I was ).

3. The draining bolt is supposed to be a magnet that collects any metallic debris, produced by the gearbox while operating. Have a look at it once it is out to get an idea whether your gearbox is in good shape - mine didn't have anything on the bolt.
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