I woke up last night with a nagging thought! I've driven Toyotas and Hondas for 200,000 to 300,000 miles. Has anyone figured out how long the smart for2 engine lasts. I know rubber bands will break eventuality. I'm still waiting for the phone call to come pick up my smartcar.

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I am wondering if they market it as a "lifetime" fluid. I had a customer who had a '95 Jaguar who bought Amsoil ATF. He took it to the dealer to have them put it in. They informed him that the Jaguar had a lifetime transmission fluid. He called me back asking how he could send it back to get a refund. I told him, "Are you going to believe that any fluid is going to last a lifetime?" He replied, "No. I'll see about having them put it back in." 2 weeks later he called me back raving about how the transmission has never shifted so smooth the entire time that he owned the car. He ended up becoming a dealer because of it.

Each manufacturer has their own thoughts on what "lifetime" means. When they say "lifetime", they don't mean, "your" lifetime. For some manufacturers it may be 100,000 miles while others could be 150,000.

No fluid lasts forever. It eventually will break down from acids and other stuff. It had just enough additives to last to a certain point and then will need to be changed. Right now the Amsoil MTG product says that the oil goes twice the manufacturers interval. They purposely omit all of this information from the owner's manual. When I go to the smart dealer and talk to them, they don't seem to know any specs or info on the car. When I contact smart, they say that they don't know or to contact the dealer. All I do is get the run around.

I've read about other people putting fluid in Getrag transmissions and seeing smoother shifts. I know in Honda's manual transmissions, the fluid change lasts up to 50,000 miles using standard 5W30 oil. I am guessing that I could just change this fluid every 30,000 miles to be safe. It will only cost me about $40 or so to do this, so it's not that big of a deal. I wish the manufacturer would cooperate.
Just got word from somebody at the dealer. They said interval to change the transmission fluid is every 30,000 miles. Looks like my guess was dead on the money. So with Amsoil MTG I can go 30,000 miles. For "conventional" they recommend "twice" the interval, but for "synthetic" (which is what smart uses), then you use the same service interval.
I'd ask to see that in writing - unless you're an Amsoil dealer, of course. :D

Robert Riley said:
Just got word from somebody at the dealer. They said interval to change the transmission fluid is every 30,000 miles. Looks like my guess was dead on the money. So with Amsoil MTG I can go 30,000 miles. For "conventional" they recommend "twice" the interval, but for "synthetic" (which is what smart uses), then you use the same service interval.
I don't know how you'd get it in writing. I asked the guy working at the smart dealer and he told me the factory interval is 30,000 miles. I don't plan on waiting that long to change it. I've had incredible results with Amsoil in every car I've ever used it in and so have all of my friends and family members. I've read too many horror stories with other oils. I had a co-worker who used Mobil 1 in his Thunderbird and had the engine blow. I've seen sludge issues with Castrol. I have a good friend of mine that has been using Amsoil in his truck and did once per year oil changes. There was a part that had to be serviced and the valve covers had to be removed. The engine internals were so clean that they looked like they came off of the assembly line even with well over 100,000 miles on the engine.

Take a look at this. This is why this is the only oil I will ever use or recommend. I've tried all kinds of other synthetic oils in the past and this one is the very best.
30,000 miles seems unreasonably short for manual transmission gear oil. Remember, this is a manual transmission, not an automatic. Also, the dealer makes money by doing routine maintenance... (and, Jiffy Lube lost a class action law suit a number of years ago over trying to tell customers their manual transmission/differential oils needed changing when they didn't.)

You might also ask Amsoil if they will guarantee that their product is appropriate for a transmission that specifies Castrol BOT 328 as the only recommended gear oil.
Supposedly BOT328 is not available retail. That is only used as a factory fill. From what I read, elsewhere, supposedly we need a GL-4 gear lube.

Yeah, 30,000 miles does sound early for a manual transmission. Like I said about the Honda, they recommend changing their manual tranny fluid every 50,000.

These cars seem to be temperamental. It doesn't bother me to spend $40ish every 30,000 miles doing it myself. I'm sure the dealer will want a lot more than $40 to change the transmission fluid. Next time I go there I will ask how much they change to change that.

Since I will be servicing this vehicle myself, it will be very inexpensive to maintain.

The only way of knowing if the oil is good or not is to send in oil samples to a lab. I don't know if I want to spend that money to analyze gear oil or not. I guess I could run it for 30,000 miles and send in a sample to see what they say, but for $40 every 2-3 years, why bother?
Robert Riley said:
Supposedly BOT328 is not available retail. That is only used as a factory fill.
BOT 328 is (or should be) available from any smart/MB dealer, and is what they use whenever they service the transmission/clutch. The MB spec is very specific, to the point that Exxon/Mobile has said that the Mobile-1 GL-4 is NOT compatible with the transmission, and Getrag has said that only BOT 328 should be used. (Of course, it costs about $25/liter)

Now, if you do decide to go the Amsoil route, I agree that $40 every 30k miles isn't very much... if you are going to go with relatively frequent lube changes, you might want to consider an early change (at, say 5k miles) to get any metal bits from manufacturing out of the transmission. Just make sure that using the Amsoil won't do more harm than good.
Robert Riley said:
I don't know how you'd get it in writing.

I'd ask the service tech to provide a copy of the smart USA requirement to service the transmission at 30K miles. If they can't or won't, they're blowing smoke.
Unless it's on a computer screen when they go to service it. If it is, I'll see if I can take a snapshot of it with the camera phone.
Yeah, that's what the plan was. I am still doing more research on it.

But like I said about the dealer not carrying it, here's something I found:

Here's the email response I received this morning from Castrol NA regarding my inquiry about BP Castrol/Burmah BOT 328 lubricant (verbatim. and in its entirety):

"Thank you for contacting Castrol North America.

BOT fluids are not available to our distributors or retail customers. We
supply these fluids to OEM's for factory fill. We have developed and
manufacture oils for a number of customers under their brand. The companies
and the specifics of their oils is confidential information that we cannot
share. Please contact your OEM for more information and assistance in
obtaining this fluid and if they cannot or do not carry it, your OEM should
be able to make a recommendation for the appropriate alternate product.

Thank you again for your interest in Castrol, The Technology Leader!

Castrol Consumer Relations"


Fred Bauer said:
Robert Riley said:
Supposedly BOT328 is not available retail. That is only used as a factory fill.
BOT 328 is (or should be) available from any smart/MB dealer, and is what they use whenever they service the transmission/clutch. The MB spec is very specific, to the point that Exxon/Mobile has said that the Mobile-1 GL-4 is NOT compatible with the transmission, and Getrag has said that only BOT 328 should be used. (Of course, it costs about $25/liter)

Now, if you do decide to go the Amsoil route, I agree that $40 every 30k miles isn't very much... if you are going to go with relatively frequent lube changes, you might want to consider an early change (at, say 5k miles) to get any metal bits from manufacturing out of the transmission. Just make sure that using the Amsoil won't do more harm than good.
Robert Riley said:
...Please contact your OEM for more information and assistance in
obtaining this fluid and if they cannot or do not carry it, your OEM should
be able to make a recommendation for the appropriate alternate product.
In other words, contact the dealer... (the car dealer, not a Castrol dealer)
While we're batting this around, has anyone checked the service guide that comes with the car? Does it show a transmission oil change as part of the 30K mile service?

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