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Old 08-29-2006, 02:37 PM   #1
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Oil changing, water pump, lifetime fluids

Sorry for this to be my first post, but I've just shifted from my '92 325i to a '99 328i and have some issues...

One is that my oil filter cap has two small o-rings at the bottom and then a copper washer just above them. The dealer's parts guy said no washer shows up on his screen, so I'm wondering if the former owner of my car had put that washer up there for some reason.

Does the copper washer belong or not, and anyone ever replace those little o-rings.

I'm very handy, so I'm wondering if someone who changed a waterpump on this car ('99 328i) can tell me if it's a reasonable job to do...anticipate any broken little thingies which I ought to have on hand, etc...would really appreciate it.

Also, anyone here get more than 140K on an original waterpump? Doubtful, right? Or not. Any chance this is the original waterpump after that many miles? I

Dealer tech today said, really don't change lifetime fluid in manual trans...the gunk seals it up, he says. Since I don't know if it'd been changed before in its 140K life, am I opening up a can of worms I don't want to open by wanting clean fluids?

Anyway, still grieving the loss of my '92 which was totalled for me by some guy who wanted my wife to have an airbag on her side! Appreciate any or all answers.


Doug in NJ (sorry, don't have a photo of my car!)
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Old 08-29-2006, 04:26 PM   #2
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Waterpump job is pretty straigh forward for a skilled enthutiast. Did mine a few weeks ago, from a few DIYs on here as guidance. I have never used a Bentley manual or such, just info on here and have performed alot of maintenance type items.

My pump had 122K and looked and bearings felt great. Yours is probably fine too, but for the cheap cost of replacement (DIY) it is good insurance.

Get the OEM metal propeller pump. The Graf unit has spot welds as opposed to the OEM with full lenght blade welds.

Not sure about the copper washer, however there should be 2 small orings on the bottom and a large oring on the top..
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Old 08-29-2006, 04:30 PM   #3
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Post up a pic of the copper washer. The only copper washer is for the oil plug not the filter.
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Old 08-29-2006, 06:10 PM   #4
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The washer was identical to the washer on oil drain plug, so I figured some idiot before me, put it up there. With three opinions now, I'm taking it off. I was trying to get it off (to replace it), but needed to remove the small o-rings to slide it off. Not having a replacement for these small o-rings, I left on the washer. So, they also didn't have the small o-rings for the filter cover at the dealer. Don't these things get replaced?

...and manydubs, thanks for the tip about the oem. Was going to get graf, having just seen it recommended (through a search on this forum, I believe, so I'm glad to hear it's not worth the $15 savings or whatever.

...again, just today, parts guy said impeller (sp?) is plastic now. Need to do some research on that...damn!

I'm amazed but pleased to hear yours was fine at 122K. I've been feeling like I'm driving on borrowed time and don't want to have my car disabled while driving in the nether reaches of NJ!

So, question...did you do your waterpump from the top or bottom...did you remove the fan and/or shroud, or just fidget in there?

Thanks again...very nice to have a forum for me and my car!

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Old 09-01-2006, 08:50 PM   #5
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welcome to the forum moving this to general so u get more traffic

certainly do your fluids, and consider doing other wear items such as engine belts, waterpump, thermostat and radiator.

I just did tranny fluid, differential fluid, all belts, WP and Thermo at 75k my second time for the fluids too.
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Old 09-01-2006, 10:12 PM   #6
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Are you manual or auto? If manual...am I correct that there's a large consensus here for Redline DFL for the Dif and D4ATF for the trans.

Also, are many doing new radiators. Is it more a wear item based on mileage or age or both do you think? Wasn't planning on replacing it now, since she just got a new AC compressor and all the inspect 1 stuff--plugs, belt, therm, filters

Dealer tech said do not change trans. fluid as the gunk helps seal it. I grilled him...even after 140K? Leave it he said...probably muttered...we'll sell a new car soon! Seriously, though, that's not without some merit, isn't it? I don't know how this car was treated before, so if I assume the worse and most likely, that the fluids hadn't ever been changed...still change them?

Thanks for your comments, and for moving me here. Still finding my way around here and around my car!


Doug in NJ
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Old 09-02-2006, 09:51 AM   #7
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Here is what I just had done to my coupe with 53,000 miles - also a couple of notes of how that related to previous maintenance.


I would also suggest you join the BMW Car Club of America (bmwcca.org) if nothing else to get the monthy magazie (Roundel) - you will learn alot about what to expect from your car from real experts, not the opinionated bunch here (me included!!!). Also subscribe to Bimmer magazine. Mike Miller's tech artiles (he writes for both mags) will provide you with answers to many questions before you even think to ask them.

Last weekend I was at my dealer for an oil change on the wagon (as it is still under warranty, and I don't want any hassles, so don't make this a "why did you have the dealer do an oil change" thread). and the mechanic who does all the work on both cars (as I have requested at the dealership) and I talked about the work that I had done on the coupe at my indy shop - he was totally on board with what I had done, including replacing the radiator since the expansion tank had crapped out.

And by the way, the dealership has done the "lifetime fluid" change on the diff and tranny for me at 30,000 miles on both the wagon (auto) and the coupe (manual) when I had Inspection 1 done (at an additional cost of course).
01-Dinan3/330ci (sold); 03-325it; 07-E92/328; 06-Cayman S
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