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How to Change Front Differential Fluid 97-06 BMW 325 Xi

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  1. step : Removing the Differential Fluid (0:22)
    • Remove the lower engine shield
    • Loosen the H14 differential fill plug
    • Remove the H14 differential drain plug
    • Allow the fluid to drain into a drain pan
    • Make sure the drain plug seal is not stuck to the differential
    • Replace the drain plug seal if necessary
    • Close the differential drain plug
    • Torque the H14 differential drain plug to 44 ft-lbs
  2. step : Filling the Differential Fluid (2:51)
    • Remove the H14 fill plug
    • Fill the differential with the fluid specified by the vehicle manufacturer
    • Continue filling until the fluid overflows the fill hole
    • Plug the hole momentarily to allow the fluid to settle
    • Replace the fill plug seal if necessary
    • Reinstall the H14 fill plug when the fluid slows to a drip
    • Torque the H14 fill plug to 44 ft-lb
    • Reinstall the lower engine shield

What's up guys? I'm Andy from 1A Auto. In this video I'm going to show you how to replace the front differential fluid in this 2001 BMW 325xi. If you need parts for your vehicle, click the link in the description and head over to 1aauto.com.

The first thing you want to do, if you have a engine cover, you're going to want to take that down. This vehicle doesn't have one. There should be some fasteners right there, right there, there, and over here, here, here, here, and here. So take those down so you can access the front differential.

Now there's a drain plug right here. It takes an H14. Make sure that fits. But before we take the drain plug out, we want to loosen up the fill plug, because if you don't loosen up the fill plug, then you drain all the fluid out and then you can't get the fill plug out. Then you're going to get stuck and you can't add the fluid to it. So use that H14 hex socket and extension. And I'll use a socket coming from here. Now, if it helps, you can take the wheel off if you need to. Loosen this up. Now we know that broke free, so I can take that out. Pull that off. Here's the fill plug. Set that aside.

Now just get the drain plug out. Use the same H14 and a ratchet. Loosen this. Make sure you have a drain bucket underneath to catch all the fluid. And drain it out.

Now before I install the drain plug, the old seal is actually stuck right here. I'm just going to take a razor blade, get the seal off. Slide that off. Wipe that up. Take the drain plug and just wipe that up. If you had the seal on the drain plug, take that off. Put a new seal on. If your seal didn't look too bad and you don't have a seal, you can reuse it.

Now we'll take that same H14 on a torque wrench and I'm going to tighten this to 44 foot-pounds. Now I'm going to take the appropriate gear oil and I have a fitting on the bottle, and I'm just going to use a hose. Just go in here. This may take a little bit of skill. Get that in there and hold the bottle up. And I'm going to fill up the differential until the fluid starts coming out of the hole.

It's starting to pour out. I'm just going to pull this out. I'm just going to stop that with my finger, if I can reach it. I want to let the oil disperse throughout the differential first, in case there's any air pockets or anything. Let it sit for a second and pull it off and then we'll let that drain out. It'd probably be a good idea to put something here so that it doesn't drain into the frame of the vehicle.

Another good point. Make sure your car is level because if your vehicle is not level, then the oil level isn't going to be accurate. So make sure if you're lifting up the car that the vehicle is level.

I'm going to take the fill plug. Once the fluids just go to drip, that's the right level. The fluid will be right at the base of that fill plug. Take the fill plug, take the gasket off, and take a new gasket or a new seal. I'm going to take the H14 socket, put that on the fill plug and line this up. Should be able to get it started.

Now I'm going to torque the fill plug to 44 foot-pounds. Now just take some brake parts cleaner, clean it all off. You can always wipe it off with a rag.

Thanks for watching. Visit 1aauto.com for quality auto parts shipped to your door, the place for DIY auto repair. And if you enjoyed this video, please click the Subscribe button.

Tools needed for replacement:

    General Tools

  • Drain Pan

  • Hex Wrenches

  • 14mm Hex Socket

  • Ratchets & Related

  • Socket Extensions
  • Torque Wrench


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