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General E46 Forum
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:31 PM   #1
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:: ECS Tuning :: Automatic Transmission Service Video DIY



The automatic transmission on most BMWs is said to have lifetime fluid... we here at ECS as well as many transmission manufactures recommend service every 30k miles.

Over the life of a vehicle, the transmission can often be overlooked when performing routine maintenance. If left unserviced, the automatic transmission fluid will break down, causing the valve body and filter to become contaminated with deposits and sludge. This will lead to poor shifting, slipping, and ultimately transmission failure.

Below is a DIY video explaining the Automatic Transmission Service process

Embedded video:


Protect your transmission.

update:
Hey guys! We've put together a pdf to help anyone out who's looking to service their transmission. Now remember this is a write up for the E39 525i but the process is very similar on other cars, this makes for a great guide!

HERE is a link to the pdf
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:42 PM   #2
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Sounds good... can't wait to watch the video (even though I don't have an auto) I like the encouragement of fluid replacment. Full support here.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:51 PM   #3
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nice.. is that a 5-series?
is the e46 auto tranny look the same from beneath?
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:15 PM   #4
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Yeah definitely an easy job on a lift. I want one
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:48 PM   #5
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great video. thanks for the contribution
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:18 PM   #6
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nice.. is that a 5-series?
is the e46 auto tranny look the same from beneath?
The procedure would be identical for all automatic transmissions
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:41 PM   #7
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I bought my car at 100,000 miles on the clock and wanted to change the fluid. I bought the filter and gasket but then decided not to change it because I was hearing so many horror stories about killing trannys by changing the the fluid when it has never been changed. So now, at 145,000 miles, should I change it? or should I leave it alone?

Also,

Awesome vid!
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Old 03-08-2012, 02:06 AM   #8
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Just watched it. Excellent vid. Auto transmission fluid should always be changed regularly no matter what.
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:21 AM   #9
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Which vendor do you suggest for filter/gasket? Maistersatz shows everywhere at a good price.
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_325 View Post
nice.. is that a 5-series?
is the e46 auto tranny look the same from beneath?
Correct it is a E39, but the procedure is the same on other automatic transmissions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blocked Out View Post
The procedure would be identical for all automatic transmissions
bingo

Quote:
Originally Posted by 325i'02 View Post
Which vendor do you suggest for filter/gasket? Maistersatz shows everywhere at a good price.
I have kits available but I'd like to keep this to just a DIY and other helpful info thread
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:45 AM   #11
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Which vendor do you suggest for filter/gasket? Maistersatz shows everywhere at a good price.
I'm guessing the OP recommends ECS tuning.
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:06 AM   #12
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I'll add a little info, make sure you check your production date. There is a difference in the 330 transmission filter and the fill and drain plugs, 02/2003 and earlier uses one filter, 03/2003 and later another.
The older transmission normally has a hex drain and fill plug, the new models have a torx.

ECS shows these differences in their kits, the new transmission uses a more expensive filter.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_325 View Post
nice.. is that a 5-series?
is the e46 auto tranny look the same from beneath?
lol. did you watch it. that is the first thing he says that it is a 2001 5 series.

Thanks ECS! This video is awesome!


What is the average labor cost for this?
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:13 AM   #14
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This should be about an hour worth of work ~ $70?
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:18 AM   #15
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How many miles were on that E39?
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:20 AM   #16
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lol. did you watch it. that is the first thing he says that it is a 2001 5 series.

Thanks ECS! This video is awesome!


What is the average labor cost for this?
i would guess around $80. the fluid is WAY more expensive. (good OE/OE-spec fluid)
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:27 AM   #17
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i would guess around $80. the fluid is WAY more expensive. (good OE/OE-spec fluid)
really!

like how much more? $200, $500?

So if I buy my fluid and take it with the car to a shop they would charge me around $80 - $100 average labor?

thanks.
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:29 AM   #18
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I would think so. I can't see them charging more than an hour. Yeah my friend took in his wife's 330i to a trusted indy of mine (he does my alignments and tire balancing) and i think he paid well over $300 for the service including filter. If i'm not mistaken, I think it was $380. i can ask again. he used a german fluid made by Titan which apparently is the same spec as OE
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:30 AM   #19
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I would think so. I can't see them charging more than an hour. Yeah my friend took in his wife's 330i to a trusted indy of mine (he does my alignments and tire balancing) and i think he paid well over $300 for the service including filter. If i'm not mistaken, I think it was $380. i can ask again. he used a german fluid made by Titan which apparently is the same spec as OE
$300 for the fluid and filter?

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Old 03-08-2012, 11:33 AM   #20
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Labour ~ $80. Good OEM fluid no less than $160, filter around $100. But it shouldnt take more than an hour. Hell, with a stand like that you can change all the liquids yourself, skip the labour rate and learn something new.
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