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General E46 Forum
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:53 PM   #1
gselsidi
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Transmission fluid change? should i?

Spoke to my mechanic today and he told me not to change it. He said he changed on 3 other bmw's and a few weeks later the transmission gave out.

He told me the transmission will start having problems around 130k my car has 99k on it. i have a 05 325i m56 engine.

The way i think of it is if it's still going to crap out with the next 30k miles or so i might as well take the plunge and hopefully make it last longer.

Anyway what is the consensus of changing the fluid at 99kish if it hasn't been done before? I saw a thread on bimmerfest i believe where the person took apart his tranny and the fluid was never changed around 130k and there was minimal wear.

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Old 12-10-2012, 03:10 PM   #2
lcoleman
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You'll never get a concensus on this--your best bet would've been to make this a poll. I would err on the side of not changing it, but plenty of others will disagree and I can't refute their logic either. It's hard to pin down fluid changes as a cause of failure, because often the fluid was changed in an attempt to fix a problem that shortly caused a failure anyway.

If you want to completely avoid tranmission problems, sell the car. :/
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:45 PM   #3
gselsidi
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I'm also having my rpm bog up and down at constant highway speeds or
going up hill. I remember my old Acura did this and it was the
transmission.

Do those symptoms sound like transmission issues?

Thanks
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:56 PM   #4
lcoleman
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It's hard to say from such a vague description. Usually the failure mod in these cars is hard shifting or reverse going out, not a lack of TC lockup (which basically means the engine revs up, but the torque isn't transmitted through the transmission and to the wheels, thus the car doesn't accelerate). That's not to say it isn't possible, however.
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:02 PM   #5
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Research all the threads about it on here and the other forums then you will have your answer. I did mine about 25,000 miles ago and haven't had any problems.

-Dan
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:29 PM   #6
gselsidi
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Originally Posted by swordsman11868 View Post
Research all the threads about it on here and the other forums then you will have your answer. I did mine about 25,000 miles ago and haven't had any problems.

-Dan
How many miles did you have on it?
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:40 PM   #7
Bimmer4Lyfe
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199,250 miles 02 325i

haven changed it yet... no issues

2 mech. told me not to.... both previously worked for BMW...

so far they have been right.
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:41 PM   #8
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2x post again
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:51 PM   #9
tylermaslanik
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I read somewhere that mixing two different oils in the tranny can mess it up a little. Because they don't mix well I guess? Is that true?
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:52 PM   #10
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Leave it sir.
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:59 PM   #11
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I'll tell you in a week. I plan on changing mine (04-325CiC) with 66K miles. ATF in it now (ETL-8072B) is no longer made. Going to swap it out with Dexron VI Valvoline (just bought the case today). This is what the dealer recommends now as a direct replacement. Called 2 dealers and got the same answer.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:31 PM   #12
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Apparently there are differing opinions on this so here's mine.
New fluid cannot cause any problems. Some will say that the new fluid rinses away something then problems arise.
I say if that's the case, the problem was coming anyway.
I'm going to be changing mine in the spring. It now has 145,000 mi and I aint scared.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:47 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by gselsidi View Post
Spoke to my mechanic today and he told me not to change it. He said he changed on 3 other bmw's and a few weeks later the transmission gave out.
Guarantee the failures were not fluid related, and the fluid change did not cause the problem unless YOUR mechanic did not know how to properly fill and check the transmission fluid!

Nobody ever changes the trans fluid until they have problems anyway, so what do you expect.

Just change your trans fluid, it will not hurt the transmission or shorten the lifespan. If your transmission fails the week after you changed the fluid, it was going to fail anyway.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:36 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by gselsidi View Post
How many miles did you have on it?
I think around 97,000. The fluid that came out was black and like water.

Used Redline Dexron 6 and a new filter. Easy job but messy. Might be worth paying a shop to do it just so you don't get dirty like I did (a good BMW indy shop that is).

To the guy that has almost 200k on the original fluid That's incredible!

-Dan
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:25 PM   #15
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Replaced my transmission fluid at 120k with Valvoline Dexron 6, no problems 5k miles later. Am going to do another fluid and filter change over my winter break.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:54 PM   #16
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Replaced my transmission fluid at 120k with Valvoline Dexron 6, no problems 5k miles later. Am going to do another fluid and filter change over my winter break.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:06 PM   #17
gselsidi
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I mean my Acura had tranny problems changed the fluid it ran fine. The only thing I can think of about lifetime fluid is. The metal particles stay in the fluid and provide friction to a badly worn transmission If you remove these particles there will be no friction and your transmission will slip. At least that's the argument can an engineer type discuss this?

My cousin has a lexus never changed fluid has 250k on it. Another thing is the mechanic told me his sisters tranny gave out at 130k and she never changed the fluid lol. It seems like what I'm looking forward too is my tranny failing not changing fluid I might as well take the chance.

Anyone use amsoil instead of oem zf for the atf?
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:02 AM   #18
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I did my fluid/filter change at 70k with Redline D4. Just did it again at 95k with SuperTech Dexron VI (the new OE replacement). I like the Dexron VI stuff MUCH better.

When you refill the fluid, make sure the transmission is warmed up and the car is running. Otherwise you'll end up low on fluid. The goal is to have hot fluid dripping out of the fill hole while you plug it back up (with the car running). It will be uncomfortable and messy, but there's really no better way of doing it.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:23 AM   #19
WDE46
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Change your fluids regularly! There is no such thing as a lifetime fluid, unless you consider the lifetime of the transmission to be the lifetime of the fluid.

Those of you with friends that have never changed their transmission fluid: How well does their car drive? I bet it shifts like ****. I wouldn't change fluid on a 200K mile vehicle because that things already toast anyway. I would change at 100K miles for sure.

Last edited by WDE46; 12-11-2012 at 06:24 AM.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:30 AM   #20
jfoj
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The only thing I can think of about lifetime fluid is. The metal particles stay in the fluid and provide friction to a badly worn transmission If you remove these particles there will be no friction and your transmission will slip. At least that's the argument can an engineer type discuss this?
Metal particles will not stay suspended in the fluid and even if they do badly worn clutches will not be helped with dirty fluid.

Badly worn clutches are due to too many shifts, abuse and fluid that has broken down.

Think about it, the fluid acts as a coolant, lubricant and a friction modifier. Once the fluid had broken down it has a hard time doing what is was designed for.

Also a auto transmission is rated for x amount of shift. If you live in a rural area, start your car, get on the highway a drive 10 miles non stop, this is very different where I live where driving 10 miles take 1 hour and likely hundreds or thousands of transmission shift.

You fluid also gets a work out and beat down even when idling. The torque converter is slipping and heating your fluid at all times except at highway speed when the TCC has been engaged.

As for lifetime fluid, it is not a myth. READ CAREFULLY - Lifetime fluid lasts exactly the lifetime of the transmission, could be 30k miles, could be 130k, could be 250k miles!!

Also if you overheat your engine, your NEED to immediately change your trans fluid!!!!

You decide, do you want to be the 30k or the 250k person??

Again, many trans failure are not fluid related and sometimes you are just not lucky, just look at the reverse drum failures, you could change your fluid every day, would not change the outcome.
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Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

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