Hey, what's the deal with the commercial ad here?
The Tire Rack - Performance Specialists

Interested in having us take a look at your E46 M3 products? Drop us a line at:

Manufactured By: Royal Purple
Website: www.royalpurple.com
Application: E46 M3

NOTE: I wrote this before BMW released the "new" LT2 spec transmission fluid. Most 04 on cars came with LT2 in the transmission but until very recently US BMW dealers did not have LT2 and substituted the old LT1 at the 1200 mile service. Either way I think that LT2 is at least as good as Royal Purple and I WOULD NOT replace LT2 with after market fluids. LT2 is pricy but since it works great and will not raise any eyebrows if you have a transmission problem I would certainly stick with it and if I had LT1 in my transmission I would simply replace it with LT2 and be happy.

There seems to be a myriad of complaints about the stock 6 speed manual gear box - its notchy, its vague, its rubbery, its too long of a throw, etc. Much of this is true and most cannot be corrected by a simple swap of transmission fluid. While things like the vague, rubbery feeling and the longish throw can be easily addressed by installing a short shift kit, things like notchiness are really not a shifter issue but rather a transmission issue. The other recurring bitch owners seem to have is the difficulty in shifting from first to second when the car is cold. So what to do?

Well don't expect miracles but some help can be had in the form of a transmission fluid change. Will this make your gear box buttery smooth, well no. But it will make shifts lighter and less notchy. The difference is not night and day but it is noticeable. The biggest positive in all of this is the change in cold shifting - it is far easier to get the shifter into second when cold with Syncromax in the gearbox.

Royal Purple Syncromax is not a change that will make you stand up and shout hallelujah, it will make itself noticeable over time and will improve the feel of the shifter. I would guess that a car with a short shift kit would provide a more noticeable difference than one with a stock shifter since SSK's are heavier to shift by their nature and tend to accentuate the drawbacks inherent in the stock transmission. Both Rogue and UUC recommend a change in transmission fluid for use with their SSK's (most likely to hide the inherent sins of the system). Royal Purple is not your only option as Red Line also makes a line of high performance transmission fluids that many M3 owners are currently using.

So since you can obviously tell that this is not the holy grail of shifting nirvana, is it worth the trouble or cost? Well, yes it is - this is probably the cheapest upgrade you can make, as it only requires 2 quarts that will set you back all of around $13 and a half an hour worth of labor. In M3 land, $13 is right up there with free.

As a side note, the people at Royal Purple are probably the nicest bunch of people I've ever had the pleasure of dealing with. After one of their retailers sent me the wrong fluid, Royal Purple volunteered to simply send me the correct fluid free of charge with no questions asked. Their tech staff was incredibly competent technically and patient and forthcoming in answering all of my questions. They do recommend changing the fluid every 50K miles or 4 years under normal conditions, every 2 years for people who occasionally track their cars and up to twice a year for track junkies.

Hope this has been at least somewhat helpful…

Royal Purple Syncromax

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