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Old 02-28-2011, 11:51 AM   #113
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Leesburg, VA
Posts: 30
My Ride: 2005 325Ci, Sport Pk
ATF Change DYI - Completed Change

Just finished following the above DIY instructions and changed the ATF fluid and filter at 50k miles. Worked great. Quick steps:
1) drained 4 qts fluid;
2) added 3 qts. of fluid & shifted through the gears several times then drained again (went in bright red, came out brown);
3) dropped & cleaned pan, replaced filter;
4) added 3 qts & it started dripping;
5) shifted through gears and added more;
6) shifted gears and added more unit it dripped out again;
7) confirmed all bolts & plugs were tight. Done.

Confirmed: gather all tools & and confirm filler plug can be removed before starting project. Mine wouldn't and had buy a new tork wrench at Sears (first wrench broke).

Lessons learned: do not over tighten the 20 pan bolts, torque wrench suggested. Wish I has used a L shaped tork wrench (available on ebay) for the drain plug instead of a socket (there is not much space to insert wrench).

Suggestions: instead of using a pump to refill the pan, which is tedious and messy, I used a 4.5 foot length hose, 1/2" diameter, with a funnel (very) secured to one end. The funnel & hose was secured to a nearby storage rack and the other end into the ATF refill hole. Gravity is friendly and this method was easy and clean (but slower). Also, attaching a 10mm socket to a drill made removing the old & installing the new 20 pan bolts quicker and easier. Careful not to get AFT fluid on paint, it's been known to remove paint.

Hints: Before starting I visited a local dealer to figure out what kind of fluid to use on my July 2005 325Ci - ended up being Dextron VI (six). Dealer price for 5 qts of Texaco brand was $110. I bought Castrol at Advanced Auto for $60 (plus 3 extra qts. for the flush). Castrol is licensed by GM to make and sell Dextron VI. Whole project took about 5 hrs.

Results: Before starting the fluid change my trani shifted smooth, but immediately afterwords is clunked when shifting from park to reverse. Drove the car a few miles and it's perfect again - the fluid just needed to get into all the little nooks and crannies. Man, I was nervous that I somehow screwed up, but all is well!
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