R50 Manual Transmission Fluid Question - MINI Cooper Forum

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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 2014, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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United-States R50 Manual Transmission Fluid Question

Looking for specific tech info...

My 2005 R50 is a manual tranny with 120K miles
- for convenience, used a CAR-X shop to do an oil change. While there, they suggested I change the manual Transmission fluid and I agreed. They stated they knew it had 'a special type' of fluid, which they claimed to have used.
-1 month later, started hearing a strange metallic sound. Took it to my regular shop where they found the manual transmission fluid looking like silver metallic paint = full of metallic bits. Ultimately, I needed a new 5-speed transmission.
- That shop sent a sample of the extracted fluid + a new sample of BMW MTL-LF-3 to a chemical lab for analysis. RESULT= 2 different fluids. Thus CAR-X had used the incorrect fluid.
- CAR-X and Liberty Mutual, their insurance carrier, have determined that they are not responsible, stating there is no way to prove the wrong fluid caused the transmission failure.
- I know it could have failed, even with the proper fluid, but feel it is reasonable to believe it is the cause since there was no problem with the extracted fluid when CAR-X did the fluid change, and the issue occurred after the wrong fluid was used.
- FWIW: The car still has the original clutch, so I find it hard to believe a tranny would go before the clutch if I was driving the car hard.

** thoughts?
** does anyone have any BMW/MINI documentation on why that OEM fluid is required and what would happen if a lesser fluid was used?

Thanks in advance...

Cincinnati, OH
(please avoid the CAR-X in Blue Ash, OH)

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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 2014, 11:34 PM
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This link may help:

"BMW-MTF-LT-3 has a viscosity of about 6 with much less additives - it's actually more like an ATF (automatic transmission fluid)
and Redline says their D6 ATF is a good substitute for it. It's too thin for the LSD to perform correctly and is used in later
1st gen Getrags without LSD. You can get LT-3 in 5 liter cans.
Both are GL-4. The sulfur additives in GL-5 oils corrode yellow metal parts like brass synchro rings and bushings in MINI transmissions."

Pelican Technical Article: MINI Cooper - Manual Transmission Oil Change

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