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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning

Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning
Talk about driveline improvements, NA tuning and DME tuning your E46 BMW here. This includes diffs, intakes, exhausts, chips, software and OBD tuning.

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Old 11-11-2009, 06:20 PM   #1
SpeedDemon
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Exclamation GM Steptronic Fluid Change (found the correct fluid)

I got introduced to the complexity of the E46 automatic transmission fluid changing experience last week when I needed to order up some fluid for a drain and fill maintenance with the Steptronic transmission on my 2002 325i. I knew about the history with the lifetime maintenance, how BMW changed to saying the fluid should be changed, and how they have always said to only use the exact fluid as printed on the transmission.

It took a bit of legwork to find the right automatic transmission fluid since BMW used 4 different transmissions across the E46 range and then to complicate things further they also used 2 different automatic transmissions on the 2002 325i alone with a division on 3/02. I found that the tranny is a GM AS5390R. To find the correct fluid that it was originally filled with, I crawled underneath the car after doing my research and found the following message (I couldn’t see it at first so I had to take a rag and clean off the bottom of the tranny and then use a camera to actually read it):



After seeing that, I decided to look up part # 83 22 0 024 359 and found out that it was Texaco ETL 8072B transmission fluid. But then I also found out that BMW recently stopped sourcing it. BMW superseded the original fluid's part number with part # 83 22 0 397 114 which is actually a Dexron VI transmission fluid which makes sense since not too long ago, General Motors started putting Dexron VI in all of their automatic transmissions as well. Anyways Dexron VI is just a spec for a fluid so to play it safe I ordered the fluid directly from the Tischer BMW. According to their site it comes in 4L jugs, and since the tranny takes a of 8L for a drain/fill, I ordered two.

Well, Jason@Tischer contacted me shortly after I placed my order to let me know that BMW actually just distributes 1 Qt. bottles of the fluid now isntead of the 4L jugs. He also told me that the fluid is actually just a Mobil Dexron-VI ATF. It's basically the standard stuff that you can get over the counter at your local auto parts store. For the case of simplicity and because I was ordering a bunch of ther stuff from Tischer, I still had them send me 9 Qt. of the stuff (the transmission takes 8L/9Qt on a drain/fill and a total of 9L/10Qt on a full flush).

I just found it funny and worth posting, that after all that trouble I went through, I could have just driven 5 minutes down to Schuck's and picked up 9 bottles of this stuff. I hope this helps someone else in the future who needs to find ATF for their GM AS5390R tranny.

Here's the fluid I ended up with:

Last edited by SpeedDemon; 11-11-2009 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:19 PM   #2
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I have actually been doing the same, trying to track down where I can purchase the Texaco ETL 8072B fluid from for my 325xi, since I am extremely uncomfortable using anything other then factory fill fluids in any of the drive train components. As you have learned, this is not an easy task and I doubt I will be able to find factory fluids for the transfer case and front/rear differentials.

But looking at the Mobile Dexron-VI ATF spec sheet, it does not say anything about being compatible or a replacement for ETL 8072B. So my question is, does anyone know if there has been a technical bulletin or similar posted by BMW EXPLICITLY stating "Mobile Dexron-VI ATF is a direct replacement for Texaco ETL 8072B"?

Quote:
For the case of simplicity and because I was ordering a bunch of ther stuff from Tischer, I still had them send me 9 Qt. of the stuff (the transmission takes 8L/9Qt on a drain/fill and a total of 9L/10Qt on a full flush).
Have you received your order yet? Are the 1 QT bottles of fluid BMW branded or is it a GM branded bottle? How much did you end up paying for your transmission fluid?
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Old 11-12-2009, 02:22 PM   #3
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Yes, I received the order (that's how I took the picture of the bottle ). No, the bottles do not have a BMW logo on them, but instead say that they are for General Motors vehicles. I ended up paying $8.84/Qt. from Tischer BMW.
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:24 PM   #4
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interesting.....
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:00 PM   #5
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$9/qt for ordinary Dextron....ouch.
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Old 11-12-2009, 05:06 PM   #6
barfoot1
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Quote:
Yes, I received the order (that's how I took the picture of the bottle ).
My fault, guess I missed the "Here's the fluid I ended up with:" line

Please keep us updated after you do the fluid change and how well the transmission runs.
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedDemon View Post
Yes, I received the order (that's how I took the picture of the bottle ). No, the bottles do not have a BMW logo on them, but instead say that they are for General Motors vehicles. I ended up paying $8.84/Qt. from Tischer BMW.
Thank you thank you thank you.

I've been reading posts / websites & going to stores for almost a week.

My Bentley book even contradicts itself.

On page 020-8 under Maintenance it says:
A5S 360R/390R ETL-7045 or Dexron III.

Then on page 240-2 under Transmission Service it says:
A5S360R ETL-7045 E
A5S390R ETL-8072 B
A5S325Z Esso LT 71141

Yesterday I was told that its a GM transmission (which I knew) & that it takes Dexron III for sure. They didn't know what ETL-8072B was when I asked.

Today I called BMW of Mississauga. They asked for the last 7 digits of my vin & after five minutes came back & said BMW Dexron III.

AHHHH!

My car is a 2003 325i AT. I will verify the sticker when I have it in the air on Saturday, but I am happy I finally found some information that connects all the dots.
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Old 11-13-2009, 03:53 AM   #8
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BTW, I got the Mobil Dexron-VI from Tischer, but in reality any Dexron VI fluid will work.
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Old 11-13-2009, 08:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedDemon View Post
BTW, I got the Mobil Dexron-VI from Tischer, but in reality any Dexron VI fluid will work.
Yep. A lot of people get caught up in using the "correct" type of fluid when a lot of them will work fine.
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Old 11-13-2009, 02:27 PM   #10
SpeedDemon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartman View Post
$9/qt for ordinary Dextron....ouch.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartman View Post
Yep. A lot of people get caught up in using the "correct" type of fluid when a lot of them will work fine.
The cheapest I've been able to find any Dexron VI fluid is about $8/Qt. so $9/Qt. isn't bad at all.
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Old 11-13-2009, 07:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedDemon View Post
The cheapest I've been able to find any Dexron VI fluid is about $8/Qt. so $9/Qt. isn't bad at all.
Yup, I paid $7.99 CDN @ part Source this afternoon.
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Old 11-14-2009, 04:18 PM   #12
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I just confirmed that my label on my transmission is identical to your picture in your first post.

Thanks SpeedDemon
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:44 PM   #13
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Good to know, Tnx, I put Texaco in mine.
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:07 PM   #14
steve.325i
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My A5S390R has a new filter & new fluid is running great.
I used the Mobil Dexron VI ATF pictured in post # 1 but I only retreived & replaced 5.5 litres.

Thanks again for the information on the fluid.
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve.325i View Post
My A5S390R has a new filter & new fluid is running great.
I used the Mobil Dexron VI ATF pictured in post # 1 but I only retreived & replaced 5.5 litres.

Thanks again for the information on the fluid.
I just did mine yesterday as well and got about 6 quarts back into the tranny. I just did the change at 72k miles for the first time and everything is running great
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Old 11-21-2009, 01:42 PM   #16
steve.325i
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Quote:
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I just did mine yesterday as well and got about 6 quarts back into the tranny. I just did the change at 72k miles for the first time and everything is running great
I guess I never said ... I am @ 113000 kms = approx 68000 miles.

& 6 qts is approx 5.6 litres, so I am happ we are on the same page. I was a little disappointed because I know the complete system holds 12 litres. When your are at it, you might as well get as much as you can.

Another question:

The original pan gasket was a real nice metal/rubber one. it seperated from the base of the transmission but was stuck really well to the pan. Did you have the same issue? Did you reuse the gasket? How did it go?

The replacement gasket that came with my kit was all rubber. I had the same situation during a flush with my previous car (3.1V6 GM) and the rubber gasket started deform as I tightened the pan. It leaked like a bastard. Ended up having to get a OEM one since the original (all metal) was too pitted.

So, I put a real thin layer of MOPAR (Chysler) High temp RTV on the rubber portion of the original gasket & fixed it in place with the new bolts from the kit. I left it over night before fillng.

btw - Chysler, at least on some of their vehicles, do not use a transmission gasket @ all. They only use the RTV.

No leaks yet so I am happy so far.
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Old 11-21-2009, 02:28 PM   #17
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The transmission actually only holds 9 liters or 9.5 quarts so we weren't that far off.

My replacement gasket was the same metal one with the silicone/rubber seal pre-applied. I bought all of my parts from the BMW dealer. If you didn't get that same gasket then your dealer either gave you parts that aren't OEM or you just got something else over the counter from your local auto parts store. With that said, I'm sure you're fine because even BMW moved away from using a gasket on their differentials and now only recommends using RTV (or some special kind of sealant like it).
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Old 11-21-2009, 03:22 PM   #18
steve.325i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedDemon View Post
The transmission actually only holds 9 liters or 9.5 quarts so we weren't that far off.

My replacement gasket was the same metal one with the silicone/rubber seal pre-applied. I bought all of my parts from the BMW dealer. If you didn't get that same gasket then your dealer either gave you parts that aren't OEM or you just got something else over the counter from your local auto parts store. With that said, I'm sure you're fine because even BMW moved away from using a gasket on their differentials and now only recommends using RTV (or some special kind of sealant like it).
No, i did not go to BMW. Went to my local OEM parts guy.
Thank you for the extra info. As I said it, it looks like I got a solid seal on it. If I have an issues I wil pop it again & go to BMW directly.
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:10 PM   #19
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steve.325i

can you tell us who and where you got the AT filter and seal? did you replace the 20 mount bolts?

I'm in Mississauga.
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:34 PM   #20
steve.325i
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Originally Posted by e46bonestock View Post
steve.325i

can you tell us who and where you got the AT filter and seal? did you replace the 20 mount bolts?

I'm in Mississauga.
germanparts.ca

One of the guys (the one I deal with) works just off the 427. You can do a parts pick up during the day. He is very accommodating.

Yes, the kit I purchased included the filter, all rubber gasket, & 20 bolts with loc-tite applied.

Last edited by steve.325i; 11-24-2009 at 12:23 AM. Reason: added filter kit info
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