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-   -   Transmission Fluid & Filter Questions (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=880240)

wayne2970 10-16-2011 11:54 AM

Transmission Fluid & Filter Questions
 
2002 325ci April 2002

I have 128k on the car and will be changing the fluid & filter this month.
I have read through all of the DIY and threads discussing this procedure but still walk away with questions.

1. Is there a drain plug on the torque converter (I assume not because it hasent been mentioned)
2. How important is it drain & refill several times?

I plan on using Amsoil multi-vehicle fluid....opinions please

thanks in advance

Sansho 10-16-2011 12:36 PM

There is not a drain on the torque converter. Figure you're leaving 1-2L of original fluid in there when you just drain the fluid. Some like to do the multi-drain process to get to one fluid, which seems an expensive way to go. I used OEM fluid (VW version through discounting VW dealer), so that wasn't a concern. If you are going to do a multi-drain process, you might consider whether it's worthwhile to drain the lines to the oil cooler. Can't comment on ease or pain of doing that.

wayne2970 11-02-2011 08:48 AM

There are a lot speculation whether to even bother with a fluid and filter change..opinions appreciated


wj

BMWCaptain 11-02-2011 10:18 AM

Definitely do the fluid and filter change. You will find that your tranny performs better after doing it. You are cleaning the magnet in the pan, removing the dirty filter, installing a new filter and topping it up with the correct level of clean fluid.

wayne2970 11-02-2011 10:24 AM

in your opinion is there any need to do the multi drain method?
Im planning on using Amsoil ATF....

Thanks

xplodngKeys 11-02-2011 01:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wayne2970 (Post 13759167)
There are a lot speculation whether to even bother with a fluid and filter change..opinions appreciated


wj

Quote:

Originally Posted by BMWCaptain (Post 13759357)
Definitely do the fluid and filter change. You will find that your tranny performs better after doing it. You are cleaning the magnet in the pan, removing the dirty filter, installing a new filter and topping it up with the correct level of clean fluid.

+1

I would always change the fluid & filters myself. Some people say that if you do that then some dirt can dislodge and become trapped inside the system... well to that I say; "if my transmission was in that state to begin with it is a ticking time bomb".

Just remember what the worst case is - your transmission packs it in. IF it dies, just remove the damn thing from your car and open it up and fix it. Transmissions are really not all that scary... unless you are underneath it and realize that you cant hold it up and it will crush your face - I would use a jack to lower it.

...... you might gain an appreciation for manual gearboxes if you have to open your automatic up though :4ngie:

BMWCaptain 11-02-2011 04:11 PM

I would only change it once and not waste the fluid to change it a second time. You will see that the fluid in there is real dark and most will be new clean fluid. Your filter is what holds the dirt and particles.

As to comments about dislodging particles in the transmission, you will find that the transmission walls are all clean when you open it up and drain it. The fluid actually washes the inside of the case and nothing really sticks to it. This comment is from assumption and not true experience.

When changing your filter, make sure the filter seal comes out with the filter. If it remains in the transmission hole, pull it out with a screwdriver or seal hook. The filter seal is a ring that is on the neck of the new filter.

jasonbimmer 11-03-2011 09:10 PM

well on my GM tranny, they discontinued the factory fluid, so I was using Valvoline Dexron VI. I did a double flush to get the most of the fluid out, the second flush only needs about 5qt since you have some left from the first one in the pan.
its good to not mix fluids.

Sansho 11-03-2011 09:27 PM

On my ZF auto, I used the stock fluid bought through a discounting VW dealer. I don't like the idea of mixing different brands of oil if I don't have to.

xplodngKeys 11-04-2011 03:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BMWCaptain (Post 13760537)
As to comments about dislodging particles in the transmission, you will find that the transmission walls are all clean when you open it up and drain it. The fluid actually washes the inside of the case and nothing really sticks to it. This comment is from assumption and not true experience.

Yeah I just regurgitated what I've heard as common concerns in the past. Personally, when I've opened up transmissions (all two of them) they all seemed pretty nice and clean and none of them failed due to something clogging the lines.

My main message was basically to just have confidence and carry forward, and if the worst case scenario happens then just deal with it.

I've always thought the whole "do not change transmission fluids/filters" was propaganda spread by specialized transmission shops who want more work.

BMWCaptain 11-09-2011 07:06 AM

Carry on! On to the next DIY.

mvitale27 12-07-2011 11:57 AM

i recently wanted to change my auto tranny fluid and filter, but after reading kpengs guide on maintenance im not sure if i want to. he said if the car goes too long without the fluid/filter being changed then after it gets changed the tranny will sh!t the bed. :banghead:

Sansho 12-07-2011 01:57 PM

Quote:

i recently wanted to change my auto tranny fluid and filter, but after reading kpengs guide on maintenance im not sure if i want to. he said if the car goes too long without the fluid/filter being changed then after it gets changed the tranny will sh!t the bed.
Generally, that is applicable to e46's that have gone ~150K miles without a fluid change. The thought is that changing the fluid then can loosen gunk in the transmission causing poor performance.

mvitale27 12-07-2011 02:22 PM

im at 118k.. i bought the car at 106k and it had never had the fluid/filter changed

BMWCaptain 12-07-2011 02:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sansho (Post 13870027)
Generally, that is applicable to e46's that have gone ~150K miles without a fluid change. The thought is that changing the fluid then can loosen gunk in the transmission causing poor performance.


It is just a thought or myth. That is about all it is.

If you look at the problems people have had with their GM5 or ZF transmissions and it is usually a Reverse problem. Fewer other problems reported with transmissions.

If you have ever taken your transmission pan off, (mine had 135K) you will see that the interior is clean as a whistle. The only dirt is in the pan, the fluid and the filter. Changing out the filter, fluid and cleaning the pan will remove 95% of dirt in the transmission. If the gunk was going to be loose, it would have done that already. There is no gunk like you think it should be. The ATF is a medium to move stuff to the filter.

Anyone have a picture of a tranny with gunk in it? Most of the pictures here are clean interiors.

Sansho 12-07-2011 02:37 PM

Quote:

im at 118k.. i bought the car at 106k and it had never had the fluid/filter changed
Once you get past the factory lifetime nonsense, they said to change the fluid at 100K. 118K is really close to that. Don't be a wimp, change the filter and fluid now.

mvitale27 12-07-2011 02:47 PM

thanks i will this weekend

LeMansteve 12-08-2011 07:31 AM

Volkswagen gives you the same "lifetime fluid" BS. My wife has a 2004 Passat. I requested the dealer change the ATF and filter at the 90k timing belt service, and he actually recommended against it. I didn't press him and ask why, but I'm guessing they would rather have your tranny fail and sell you a new car.

Did it myself around 120k for the first time and it's doing fine now at 140k. Biggest pain was removing and re-installing the pan and gasket, on my back, with very little clearance because the car was on jack stands.

BMWCaptain 12-08-2011 09:01 AM

Now we know where that myth came from. It came from the Dealers.

You are taking candy from the baby when you change your filter and fluid.

jzwu 12-09-2011 09:01 PM

Let me take a stab at this debate about not changing ATF on high mileage cars, which have never had it changed before.

Based on my research and endless reading, I finally think I got it. First, it is not because of the gunk in the tranny. As most cases have shown that the interior of the tranny is almost always clean, so there is virtually no gunk to dislodge.

Now here is the fun part. If you understand how the auto tranny works, you know that the friction of the gears is critical for smooth functioning of the tranny coupled with the correct ATF. That's also why ATF is more viscous than the manual tranny fluid and the correct ATF should be used for which the tranny is designed. Now imagine after a lot of miles, the gear friction would have changed from when new and the old ATF also has changed its viscosity from the new fluid.

Assume then you change ATF to new fluid but the gear friction is still matched to the old ATF viscosity. What would happen? Bamm, they don't work/match well any more.

Does this make sense? If this is truly the logic behind it, a partial fluid change on high mileage cars may work but it doesn't help in terms of how the tranny changes gears because they don't match well now. The semi new ATF, however, does provide benefits in case that the old ATF is completely burnt meaning losing all its functioning properties. Only under this situation, a fluid change may provide limited improvement. Remember that in this state there will be no good match between the worn gears and any fluid. Then, it is time for a new tranny.


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