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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 07-14-2012, 08:48 AM   #21
Edog323
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Originally Posted by boltonic View Post
Over a year ago I brought my car to the shop I go to get my trans fluid change and they said they couldn't it since they need special equipment. I forgot exactly what they said. They said I don't need to change it since BMW recommends not to. I'm at 80k now and really feel like I should. I'm curious to see how much the stealerships cost to change.
Only "special" equipment needed is a Fluid transfer pump and a pyrometer (measures temp while your filling the transmission up). Very dooable and a recommended service item. Check out how its done here:


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Old 07-15-2012, 07:39 PM   #22
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I received a quote from an independent BMW shop for 360. Does that sound right?
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:55 PM   #23
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Seems kinda pricey...its super simple to do. Took me less then an hour start to finish. Just get the car on jackstands. , drain and use a pump to get the stuff.in.
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:16 AM   #24
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Seems kinda pricey...its super simple to do. Took me less then an hour start to finish. Just get the car on jackstands. , drain and use a pump to get the stuff.in.
Sounds good. If its so simple why does the shop that I go to can't do it because they need special equipment?
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:21 AM   #25
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Sounds good. If its so simple why does the shop that I go to can't do it because they need special equipment?
I can't speak directly for them...but the only "special" equipment you need is a pump, which can be picked up for less than $25 at a auto shop, hardware shop, etc.

I used M3 Mad Russian's DIY for it, it's really straight forward and easy.

Can be found here

http://m3.madrussian.net/diy_rp_tranny_fluid.shtml
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:51 AM   #26
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Seems kinda pricey...its super simple to do. Took me less then an hour start to finish. Just get the car on jackstands. , drain and use a pump to get the stuff.in.
I recommend you first crack the fill plug open before you drain the fluid!! Extremely important!!! Also recommended you change the filter too.
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:55 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by boltonic View Post
Sounds good. If its so simple why does the shop that I go to can't do it because they need special equipment?
Post #21 check out the video
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:22 AM   #28
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To do a proper full flush does require special equipment. BG Products is the largest supplier of the equipment and their fluids meet or exceed most/all car manufacturer's requirements. http://www.bgprod.com/home.html

To the OP, I hope it worked out for you. I spoke to a tech at ZF Transmissions a couple of years ago. He said that if you do it at 60k miles, that's a good idea. He said if you do it much over 60k, it might be better off leaving it alone. I've read about horror stories where owners did the change at well over 60k and their trannies promptly failed and required replacement or rebuilding.

Mine will be done every 30k with the right equipment.
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:34 AM   #29
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changed mine at 115k. still perfectly fine.
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:13 AM   #30
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Debating on doing this as well. At 97k. Can anyone else chime in that has performed the transmission oil service with over 90k (no previous oil change)?
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:36 AM   #31
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Debating on doing this as well. At 97k. Can anyone else chime in that has performed the transmission oil service with over 90k (no previous oil change)?
What needs to be chimed in? Change it. End of story.

Use the correct fluid and filter and there's nothing better you could have done for your transmission at any age or mileage.
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:53 PM   #32
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lucas in gm tran

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Hey guys! here is some info and hopefully this helps someone with a similar problem.

I decided to change my transmission oil after all! after reviewing countless blogs! The following reasons why I decided was from the following;

1. Lifetime oil to BMW (dealership) means up to 100,000 miles and NOT the lifetime of the transmission
2. I want to keep my car as long as possible since it is the classic E46.
3. I have 173,800 miles on my vehicle, the gasket is starting or has been leaking (minor) for some time since it is "worn out". You can tell from the gasket area which has oil collected or has been dripping from.
4. The gear was skipping from 1st to 2nd at around 2800 RPM's (fixed today BTW)
5. Most of the time I am coming to a stop or slowing down the transmission seems to pull back.

Well I will be using the BMW filter, gasket and bolts kit.

I am going to use the original "Texaco" life time oil from BMW dealership to prevent "mixing" different fluids together.

For right now I have added 1quart of Lucas Transmission Fix. This product works with ALL transmissions and you can add this to the existing oil as well. I trust this brand since I use the Full Synthetic Oil Stabilizer for the engine and lasts up to 10,000 miles before the oil is "worn out" and in need of another oil change. http://www.lucasoil.com/products/dis...smission%20Fix

My transmission did lose about 1quart of oil. With this I was able to top it off again. The test drive was surprisingly smooth! did not skip or hesitate changing gears at all. Coming to a stop my transmission did NOT do the "pulling back feel I used to get before when it downshifts. I am overall satisfied with this product and suggest using it if you just need to top off. I did it just for now to prevent driving my transmission dry. Better safe than sorry! the bottle cost me about $12 at AutoZone and better to pay that than a new transmission!

If you plan to keep your car! I suggest changing the transmission fluid at about every 80 to 100,00 miles and buy it from BMW if you are not confident using other products like I am. As for me regardless I am going to have to do it since the gasket is no good!

What say you?
I was wondering,for the longest,if I can add Lucas trans treatment to my 328i GM tranny,do you feel a difference. good or bad.
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:46 PM   #33
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Not to hijack the thread but I have a October '99 build 2000 323i with the GM transmission... it's safe to assume I can use Dexron-VI fluid and be fine? Any other recommendations? Car has 146k miles and transmission shifts fine but I figure it's a good time to go ahead and change it.
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:15 PM   #34
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The problem with changing the fluid yourself is that you only drain about 5 quarts out of the transmission with the filter and about 3 quarts without the filter. To do a perfect fluid change you will need about 20-30 quarts to do it properly. Big pain in the ass because you need the car to be raised and level.
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:52 PM   #35
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To do a perfect fluid change you will need about 20-30 quarts to do it properly.
Can you tell us your procedure that uses 20-30 quarts, for a "proper" fluid change?
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:59 AM   #36
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20 to 30 quarts....? -____-
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:03 AM   #37
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Any progress? Mine is close to 190k so it's a real "change or not change" question... :-)
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:22 AM   #38
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His 20-30 quarts comes from the fact that we don't really drain the torque converter when we drop the pan. Both times that I dropped the pan, replaced the filter/gasket, and a refill, I only used about 6 quarts. With a total system capacity of 8.9L, that means we have about 3.5 quarts of the original fluid left (in the torque converter).

Do do it "properly", you'd need to do the entire drain/fill procedure several times to cycle all of the new fluid through the torque converter. But since you're mixing new and old fluid, it's never going to be all brand new.

Assuming a thorough mix of new and old between drains:

1st drain/fill: 3.5qts old, 6qts new (63% new) - 6qts used
2nd drain/fill: 1.3qts old, 8.2qts new (86% new) - 6qts used
3rd drain/fill: .5qts old, 9.1qts new (96% new) - 6qts used
4th drain/fill: .2qts old, 9.3qts new (98% new) - 6qts used

So...to get ~98% new fluid, you'd need to use 24qts.

However, almost everyone is going to do just a single drain/fill, which will get about 2/3 of our fluid replaced. Even for the most diehard folks, it doesn't make any sense to do more than 2 drain/fills.
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:13 PM   #39
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Same boat here.
I am on 150K+ miles.
Dont know if the transmission and diff fluids have ever been changed.
Will change the diff fluid soon but I am really about touching the transmission(auto/step) which is working perfectly fine.

I think I will just do a single drain and fill along with the filter change, or shall I leave it just like that?
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:36 PM   #40
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Same boat here.
I am on 150K+ miles.
Dont know if the transmission and diff fluids have ever been changed.
Will change the diff fluid soon but I am really about touching the transmission(auto/step) which is working perfectly fine.

I think I will just do a single drain and fill along with the filter change, or shall I leave it just like that?
Ditto here. I've got almost 152k miles and I'm pretty sure the fluid has never been changed. Transmission shifts fine though. Do you have the GM or ZF transmission?
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