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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 12-11-2014, 03:36 PM   #61
Sicily1918
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Originally Posted by polopimptb View Post
Don't mix fluids, thats bad....
Quote:
Originally Posted by ELCID86 View Post
Why would you want to risk it.
It's not bad and there's no risk so long as the fluids are compatible -- I went to Redline D4 65K miles (and 4 or 5 changes) ago, slowly mixing that Esso LT71141 out...
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Old 12-11-2014, 07:07 PM   #62
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I have the GM transmission and changed the original fluid at about 75,000 miles. I hunted down 6 liters of the required Texaco fluid that was sold in 1 liter bottles from BavAuto.
The magnet in the pan that is designed to attract metal shavings in the fluid was completely covered and needed to be cleaned.
The gasket was showing signs of impending leakage where it is closest to the exhaust pipe.
I replaced the filter with a Meistersatz brand that looked every bit as high quality as the "Genuine BMW" filter.

Some background about the fluid. Back when BMW decided to put a GM transmission in several of their vehicles they wanted a "Long Life" fluid. GM didn't have one. They developed that GM transmission using Dexron III which in today's fluid world, is a pretty crude fluid. That's why BMW worked with Texaco to develop the fluid they factory filled.

Since that time GM developed Dexron VI which is a very advanced fluid. GM recommends using a Dexron VI fluid in all of their previous transmissions including the one in our cars.
If I was going to change my fluid today, I would use any brand name Dexron VI fluid off the shelves of Wal-Mart rather than hunting for the original Texaco fluid.


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Last edited by Mr Podman; 12-11-2014 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 12-11-2014, 08:26 PM   #63
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I use the Castrol Transmax Dexron VI, part number 06822.
http://www.amazon.com/Castrol-06822-...smax+dexron+vi
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Old 12-11-2014, 08:45 PM   #64
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Any brand name Dexron VI is as good as any other.
They're all just mixing a specified formula.
Buy the one that is on sale.
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Old 12-11-2014, 09:40 PM   #65
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I just run Valvoline or Mobil 1 Full Synthetic ATF in most everything without issues.

The "wrong" new fluid is WAY better than the "right" high mileage, dirty, depleted fluid!
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:00 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Sicily1918 View Post
It's not bad and there's no risk so long as the fluids are compatible -- I went to Redline D4 65K miles (and 4 or 5 changes) ago, slowly mixing that Esso LT71141 out...
I agree. As long as they are the same type of fluid you can mix them.

Your old fluid is actually not the same fluid as the one that went in the car because it changes chemically as it gets old.
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Old 12-13-2014, 08:37 PM   #67
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Any idea what are the dealer prices on the tran fluid?
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Old 12-13-2014, 08:59 PM   #68
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Any idea what are the dealer prices on the tran fluid?
Ridiculously expensive.... That is if they'll even sell it to you. In their minds, fluids last a life time!
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Old 12-13-2014, 09:52 PM   #69
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I used Dexron Vl on my (GM) tranny! Works great... Since its made especially for GM trannys can't go wrong! I bought my gasket at the dealers tho... I had originally bought a tranny filter with gasket kit from Oryllie's but noticed that the gasket it came with was too rubbery and think... Those type of gaskets will expand too much and over lap the tranny pan and will eventually leak fluid after torquing that bolts back on! Just gotta make sure to drive the car for a mile or two and re fill the tranny as it won't take all 6 qrt the first time you fill after draining it...
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Old 12-14-2014, 12:42 PM   #70
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Dealer gets fluid in larger containers, so not typically sold over the counter, although it's been done. If you want to stick with the original fluid for the ZF transmission (not for GM transmission), you can buy the ZF Lifeguard 5 fluid from Bavauto and others, or you can buy the LT71141 fluid from another car vendor ... I used the VW-bottled LT71141 for my last change. The other car vendor selling LT71141 fluid are:

=> Audi / VW Oil No. G 052162 A1 / A2 / A6
=> BMW Oil No. 8322 9407807 (List $588 for 20L)
=> Citroen Oil No. Z 000169756
=> Jaguar Oil No. JLM 20238
=> Mercedes Benz Oil No. A 0019892203
=> Peugeot Oil No. Z 000169756
=> Porsche Oil No. 999.917.547.00
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Old 12-14-2014, 08:44 PM   #71
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I bought a 01 Sport Wagon last year with 172K miles. Did a major ser
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Old 12-14-2014, 08:52 PM   #72
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Major service including a transmission service, changed trans filter, and flushed with Dextron 6 from WalMart. Did a flush by pulling passenger side cooler line loose, putting a clear plastic hose on, dropping it in a clear bucket. Fill transmission, start engine, let idle and watch bucket. Pump out about three quarts, stop engine and refill transmission. Just keep doing this until the fluid turns red in the clear line and you are done. Takes about 13 quarts to do the job. Done this many times on many different makes. My wagon has 187K miles now and works great.
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Old 12-15-2014, 09:36 AM   #73
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Fluid Flush versus Fluid Change & ZF parts

Quote:
Originally Posted by e4648210 View Post
Any idea what are the dealer prices on the tran fluid?
If you have the ZF Tranny you can get almost anything you need here (as previously posted) including rebuild kits and rebuilt transmissions, fluids filters, etc. Shipping the fluid to the East Coast could be pricey, I'd check first. It doesn't have the BMW logo on it, but it's by the company that made the tranny.
http://www.thectsc.com/catalog/5hp19-3.html

I think one of the problems with talking about transmission fluid, is the lack of understanding, with some, between a fluid flush through a machine, and a fluid change you can do in the driveway and Lugerheads system as a third option (which sounds the best to me)
Before I started working on my cars, I had two high mileage cars blow their tranny within 5,000 miles of having a shop do a FLUSH through a machine. Maybe a coincidence, maybe not, but I now just do 2 fluid changes, 2-5,000 miles apart myself in the driveway. Just the thought of forcing fluid through all the nooks and crannies in a high mileage transmission, that hasn't been maintained regularly, after seeing all the iron filing fuzz on the magnets, gives me the hebby jebbies. But I do change the fluid and filter per ZFs instructions at 50,000 miles. 150,XXX and counting. I do the same for my Toyota Highlander with 160,000.

I really like Lugerheads system though, as I don't think it's under as much pressure as the indy shops that use a machine. Lugerhead, is that cooler line a pain in the backside to take off and replace?
At what point do you replace the filter? 1. Flush, 2. drop pan and 3. replace filter & gasket, 4. then refill? or 1. drop pan, 2. replace filter & gasket, 3. new fluid, 4. start flush, 5.top off?
On a car without history, I'm think to replace the filter first, as the old one may be done, but a maintained tranny you could replace after the flush.

Last edited by DEADF15H; 12-15-2014 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 12-15-2014, 10:34 AM   #74
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It's not to bad, there's a small tool that slips around the line and then you push it up in the fitting that spreads a spring out that holds the line on. Same type fitting as a lot of a/c and fuel lines. The transmission oil is pulled out the pan straight to the pump, then the pump fills the converter and pressurizes the system, then out to the cooler at its highest temp, back to the case for lube and cooling of the gear train, then to the pan. The oil that comes out of the cooler line is at a low pressure, don't even have to hold the line in the jug. I just pump in as much oil that the pan will hold with the engine not running and start it up. Watch the jug and when it gets about 3qts in I shut it down and just keep doing it until the oil looks nice and clean. I've done this a lot in the past and never had a problem. I'm a retired 62 year old mechanic with 11 years at a dealer and 26 years with a over night shipping company. We had a large fleet of automatic transmissions and changed the fluid very regularly. That's the key to long happy tranny life. Last transmission I changed out was in a Chevy Astro with 530k, so they will live with clean oil.
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:42 PM   #75
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No offense taken , just hard to explain the procedure and why. Both my E46s have the GM transmission and after doing a little research found that GM used the same transmission in some kind of Cadillac. In that car they recommended Dextron 3 and of course the 6 came out afterwards which will replace all the other Dextrons. I figure BMW knew the normal automobile owner will spend $50K for a car and then just ride it right into the ground with no service. I'm sure their recommended oil is great and will make the 100K without anyone even checking the level but that's about the time I like to get one. That means I've got to get all those fluids out and hope it makes another 100K. Try and do a flush every 30K or so after all that black stuff has been pushed out.
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:57 PM   #76
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Transmission flush/exchange machines just pump fluid though the transmission, these do not cause transmissions to fail.

The transmissions likely did not fail 5k miles after a fluid flush/exchange due to a "fluid" related failure. The transmission was on the way out anyway.

The problem is 2 fold, the people that use the transmission flush/exchange machines are usually brain dead and do not use their brain. The problem is they "think" 1 quart out, 1 quart in, all is good. The problem is if the transmission is low to begin with, you send the car out with a transmission with low fluid.

Additionally, if you do not drop the pan, inspect the pan, clean the magnets, you have not idea what shape the pan is in and there is no way to know what you are dealing with as far as wear and tear.

Also EVERYONE needs to understand that transmission filters are very fine and they do not let much pass through them, so even if there is still debris in the pan, unless the filter is torn, damaged or clogged, the filter will limit what gets recirculated though the transmission.

If the filter in the transmission is torn, damaged or clogged, you have FAR bigger problems that worrying about a transmission fluid change.

Transmission flush machines use less pressure than the transmission usually operates under as well, it takes about 20-30 seconds to exchange a quart of fluid, so this is not some high pressure/high volume pump.

Again, the problem is more about what shape the transmission is in when the fluid is changed and who is doing the service.

If a transmission is getting the fluid changed for the first time at 150-200k miles, any failure will not likely be fluid related!
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Last edited by jfoj; 12-15-2014 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 12-15-2014, 08:38 PM   #77
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I agree on the filter change but really question a machine flush. I've seen them used but really don't understand the how. Back in the 80s I was the transmission man at a dealer for three years, five days a week. Really got boring seeing about the same problem everyday. Knowing the oil flow through the trans leaves me with "how does a machine do that through the cooler lines". I also agree on no matter the mileage get the old oil out. Most people don't know that black goo in there is what's moving their car when they press the pedal. That old torque converter is using hydraulic pressure to get them to work. Inside there is a pump, turbine, stator and lock up clutch that's doing a lot of work under extreme heat, using that used to be hydraulic oil to do it all along with lubricating the gearing, lubricating clutches with the right amount of slippage and cooling the whole package at the same time. Lifetime depends on how long the life is. I'm expecting 300K out of this old wagon but at 62 I may go before it does.
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Old 01-01-2015, 02:33 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lugerhead View Post
Did a flush by pulling passenger side cooler line loose, putting a clear plastic hose on, dropping it in a clear bucket.
Lugerhead,
Can you point out the location of the cooler line via a pic or realoem? I'm interested in using your method to change as much fluid as possible.
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Old 01-01-2015, 05:03 PM   #79
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Can you point out the location of the cooler line?
This diagram shows the ATF hoses going from the AT to the cooler at the bottom left side of the radiator.
http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...50&hg=17&fg=05

What I do is disconnect both hoses at the ATF cooler, drop the outlet hose into a large bucket, connect the inlet hose to a hose extension (6' is enough) and a funnel, raise up the inlet hose as high as I can. Have a helper start the car while I pour fresh ATF into the inlet hose. The outlet hose dumps the old fluid into the bucket while I pour fresh fluid into the inlet hose. GravIty ensures enough pressure to push the ATF back into the AT. I keep doing this until the ATF coming out of the outlet hose into the bucket runs clear. It takes a minute or two to flush out the old ATF and replace it with the new.

I don't bother putting it in gear, just leave it in Park the whole time. There will be some residual old fluid left behind, but not much and it gets mixed with the new.
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Old 01-01-2015, 05:25 PM   #80
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Never tried that, but sounds easier than pumping out 3-4 quarts at a time, then having to refill the pan. If it only had a "dipstick", you could almost keep up with the oil coming out.
To answer your question Im thinking the drivers side line at the cooler is the hot line so take the passenger side loose, leave it hanging and slip a piece of clear hose (Lowes) on the cooler connector. I got a piece long enough to reach out from under the car to the drivers side so I could watch it with the engine idleing and kind of sight measure 3ish quarts. If you feel uncomfortable deciding with hose just crank it up and drop it in drive, hold the brake a few minutes and Put Back In Park/Set the Parking Brake and feel the hoses. One will be warmer than the other. Take the Transmission line off the cool side and slip the clear hose on.
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