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      07-31-2012, 12:23 AM   #1
iPhoneEngineer
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Drives: 2007 BMW Z4 M Coupe
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Which is more useful for used fluid analysis, transmission or diff oil?

Inspection II soon...I'm asking the dealer to grab a sample of the engine oil and either the transmission or diff oil to send in for analysis. I only have two sample containers total and don't want to spend more than that many samples.

Of transmission vs diff oil analysis, which is typically more useful in evaluating the condition of the drivetrain? I recently found out my car's previous owner neglectfully missed the 1,200 mile service, so it is possible this is the first time those fluids have ever been changed (45,500 miles now).
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      07-31-2012, 12:38 AM   #2
RobertRO
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I've bought my car second hand. As soon as I brought it home I've replaced all the fluids - at that time my Z4M had a mileage of about 29,000 miles.

The differential oil came out very clean, but I was horrified by the look of the gearbox oil. It was the darkest used gearbox oil I've ever seen pouring out of a manual transmission. Unfortunately, there's no oil analysis service in my area, so I've simply replaced it with original BMW MTF-LT-2.

Based on my experience, I'd say analyze the transmission oil rather than differential, if you have to choose.
But then, every car may be different...
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