E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > DIY: Do It Yourself

DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 10-16-2011, 11:54 AM   #1
wayne2970
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Grand Prairie, Texas
Posts: 21
My Ride: 2002 325ci
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
__________________
wayne2970 is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 10-16-2011, 12:36 PM   #2
Sansho
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: CT
Posts: 1,854
My Ride: 2001 325i
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.
__________________
.
Sansho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2011, 08:48 AM   #3
wayne2970
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Grand Prairie, Texas
Posts: 21
My Ride: 2002 325ci
There are a lot speculation whether to even bother with a fluid and filter change..opinions appreciated


wj
__________________
wayne2970 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2011, 10:18 AM   #4
BMWCaptain
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: TEXAS - Where I give Real World advice and don't just criticize others. People here need to RESPECT other's opinions!
Posts: 1,675
My Ride: 03 325iT SportWagon
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.
BMWCaptain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2011, 10:24 AM   #5
wayne2970
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Grand Prairie, Texas
Posts: 21
My Ride: 2002 325ci
in your opinion is there any need to do the multi drain method?
Im planning on using Amsoil ATF....

Thanks
__________________
wayne2970 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2011, 01:41 PM   #6
xplodngKeys
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Vancouver Canada
Posts: 120
My Ride: '99 323i - RIP 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by wayne2970 View Post
There are a lot speculation whether to even bother with a fluid and filter change..opinions appreciated


wj
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWCaptain View Post
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
xplodngKeys is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2011, 04:11 PM   #7
BMWCaptain
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: TEXAS - Where I give Real World advice and don't just criticize others. People here need to RESPECT other's opinions!
Posts: 1,675
My Ride: 03 325iT SportWagon
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.
BMWCaptain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 03:02 AM   #8
xplodngKeys
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Vancouver Canada
Posts: 120
My Ride: '99 323i - RIP 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWCaptain View Post
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.
xplodngKeys is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2011, 09:10 PM   #9
jasonbimmer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 5,686
My Ride: 2001 BMW 330xi
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.
__________________
2009 Mazda RX-8 R3
2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser
2008 YAMAHA YZF-R6
jasonbimmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2011, 09:27 PM   #10
Sansho
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: CT
Posts: 1,854
My Ride: 2001 325i
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.
__________________
.
Sansho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2011, 07:06 AM   #11
BMWCaptain
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: TEXAS - Where I give Real World advice and don't just criticize others. People here need to RESPECT other's opinions!
Posts: 1,675
My Ride: 03 325iT SportWagon
Carry on! On to the next DIY.
BMWCaptain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2011, 11:57 AM   #12
mvitale27
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 211
My Ride: '02 330xi
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.
mvitale27 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2011, 01:57 PM   #13
Sansho
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: CT
Posts: 1,854
My Ride: 2001 325i
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.
__________________
.
Sansho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2011, 02:22 PM   #14
mvitale27
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 211
My Ride: '02 330xi
im at 118k.. i bought the car at 106k and it had never had the fluid/filter changed
mvitale27 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2011, 02:37 PM   #15
Sansho
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: CT
Posts: 1,854
My Ride: 2001 325i
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.
__________________
.
Sansho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2011, 02:33 PM   #16
BMWCaptain
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: TEXAS - Where I give Real World advice and don't just criticize others. People here need to RESPECT other's opinions!
Posts: 1,675
My Ride: 03 325iT SportWagon
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sansho View Post
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.
BMWCaptain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2011, 07:31 AM   #17
LeMansteve
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USA - GA
Posts: 1,744
My Ride: '04 330i 6mt ZSP ZPP
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.
__________________
BMW CCA member - Peachtree Chapter
LeMansteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2011, 09:01 AM   #18
BMWCaptain
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: TEXAS - Where I give Real World advice and don't just criticize others. People here need to RESPECT other's opinions!
Posts: 1,675
My Ride: 03 325iT SportWagon
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.
BMWCaptain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2011, 09:01 PM   #19
jzwu
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 1,315
My Ride: 2005 BMW 330Cic
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.

Last edited by jzwu; 12-09-2011 at 09:18 PM.
jzwu is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:47 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use