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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 09-25-2013, 02:59 AM   #1
adaseb
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ATF Level Check: Should it be in PARK or NEUTRAL?

Been a while since I checked my tranny fluid and can't remember.

When I changed the filter and fluid, I remember leaving the transmission in NEUTRAL when refilling.

Reading some guides on here saying it should be left in PARK.

It makes a difference. Because in PARK there is more fluid coming out of the fill plug rather then in NEUTRAL.

So if I go according to NEUTRAL I might have a little too much fluid. Going according to PARK, I might have a little less fluid.

Big Pain checking this fluid. Took me an entire hour almost to raise the vehicle and make it level. Wish there was a dipstick.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:04 AM   #2
cvx5832
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I think TIS says Park if it says anything at all. I fill mine in Park, been doing it since 2009 for the two cars and not a problem since.

And if not for anything else, I will not get under a running car (on stands!) in neutral.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:08 AM   #3
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To add, I'm in San Francisco stop-and-go traffic going up and down steep grades every now and then and my filling in Park has never been an issue, telling me its properly filled.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:38 AM   #4
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Here is a cut and paste from the Bentley Manual:

With engine running and selector lever in Park, remove ATF
filler plug (arrow).
If a small stream of fluid runs out, fluid level is correct.
If no oil fluid out, fluid level is too low. Add oil until it fluid
starts to overflow.
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Old 09-25-2013, 06:47 PM   #5
adaseb
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Weird, I could have sworn the bentley manual said to keep in neutral.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:15 PM   #6
ddaniel1
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Here is the TIS for the GM:


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Old 09-25-2013, 09:52 PM   #7
///M Protocol
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parked and level but with the ENGINE Running for auto. why? you want fluid in the torque converter.
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:02 PM   #8
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TIS says the same for A5S325Z....
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:18 PM   #9
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It doesn't say in the TIS if it should be in park while filling.
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adaseb View Post
It doesn't say in the TIS if it should be in park while filling.
Read it again....
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:52 PM   #11
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Only cars I recall that needed to be checked in neutral were some older Chrysler Torqueflite automatics due to the fluid routing.

"There is also a hydraulic difference between neutral and park. This is due to "intentionally" reduced line pressure. The "park" location of the manual valve (inside the valve body) allows fluid to leak by a land off the valve thereby creating a line pressure drop. This low pressure in park keeps the converter from completely filling and loading the engine unnecessarily.

In neutral, the converter is filled and there are no "controlled leaks," as in park. This is the reason Torqueflites should always have the level checked only in neutral. If you check the level in park, the level checks higher than it really is."

Original is at Tom Hand's guide to the Chrysler torqueflite automatic transmission http://www.allpar.com/mopar/transmis...#ixzz2fy1qcCIO
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Old 09-25-2013, 11:02 PM   #12
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+1 for Park. Filled it both times in Park and fluid level was spot on.
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Old 09-25-2013, 11:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adaseb View Post
It doesn't say in the TIS if it should be in park while filling.
While the TIS may seem vague, it clearly starts out in park and asks you to run through all gears, it doesn't say stop in neutral afterwards.
Both my Bentleys state that it must be checked in park and the transmission overhaul pub states the same.
I do disagree with TIS about opening the transmission with the engine off, you will loose a lot of fluid doing that, both Bentley and 5L40E manual say only open with engine running in park. If you want the transmission manual for GM, Google "5L40E.pdf" page 15 is fill procedure.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:11 AM   #14
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That 5L40E manual referenced above isn't vague. It says to return to park after moving the shifter through the gear positions, then check level.
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