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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

View Poll Results: How many miles on your transmission before repairs or replacement needed?
50,000 to 100,000...transmission repaired/replaced. 143 7.88%
50,000 to 100,000...no problems!!! 616 33.94%
100,001 to 125,000...transmission repaired/replaced. 105 5.79%
100,001 to 125,000...no problems!!! 322 17.74%
125,001 to 150,000...transmission repaired/replaced. 77 4.24%
125,001 to 150,000...no problems!!! 220 12.12%
150,001 to 175,000 or more...tranny repaired/replaced. 51 2.81%
150,001 to 175,000 or more...no problems!!! 281 15.48%
Voters: 1815. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 05-24-2008, 09:28 PM
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samplemaven samplemaven is offline
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How many miles on AUTOMATIC transmission before failure? (or no problems at all?)

I'm just curious on how many miles your car has been driven with or without an automatic transmission failure. If your transimission failed, do you think you maintained it properly before failure?

The poll will give some interesting info, but your comments about your particular situation are welcome.

Thanks for looking.

Edit: KrisL: Also, please reply to this thread stating your model year: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=331801
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2007 550i, Titanium Silver Metallic, Black interior, Steptronic, ED 10/06/06-10/18/06
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1972 2002 Tii Coupe, Inka, Black interior, 5MT, off frame restoration completed 09/2011

Last edited by KrisL; 12-20-2008 at 07:37 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-24-2008, 11:18 PM
airbornerunner1 airbornerunner1 is offline
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i got 90,000 and it runs like its brand new
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  #3  
Old 05-25-2008, 12:44 AM
Synaps3 Synaps3 is offline
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Ooops...didnt read before I voted. I have a manual, sorry.

100k and alls well though.
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  #4  
Old 05-25-2008, 03:55 AM
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LKNGOOD LKNGOOD is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 BMW 330i
Well I'm at 96,000 and a CEL came on = P0741 Torque Converter Stuff Off.

They (Dealership) replaced the Torque Convertor and changes the transmission fluid and filter all under warranty. (3rd party Warranty with autobroker.com)

Interesting Note: They stated that the transmission fluid was deteriorating - so what does that say about their "Lifetime Transmission" Fluid theory.

This would be it's first transmission oil/filter change at 96K. Car has been maintain since day one because I have both the extended maintanence warranty and extended service warranty until 100,000 miles.
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*2003 330i Steptronic *Sport/Premium/Cold Climate Package *HK Premium Sound System *18" CSL Staggared Wheels - HyperBlack *Front/Side/Rear Clear Lights with Solaris II Bulbs *AC Schnitzer Pedals and Front Strut Bar *Rear Lip and Roof Spoiler *Valentine 1 Hardwire *AFE Cold Air Intake Stage 1 *6000K Predator Chromium Angel Eyes and D2S bulbs *CSL-V2 Front Bumper *Painted Moldings & Interior Trim *Matted Black Kidney Grill *CF Emblems & Pillars *H&R Cup Kit "Sport"

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  #5  
Old 05-25-2008, 07:21 AM
Latoilette Latoilette is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 330ci silver
Quote:
Originally Posted by LKNGOOD View Post
Well I'm at 96,000 and a CEL came on = P0741 Torque Converter Stuff Off.

They (Dealership) replaced the Torque Convertor and changes the transmission fluid and filter all under warranty. (3rd party Warranty with autobroker.com)

Interesting Note: They stated that the transmission fluid was deteriorating - so what does that say about their "Lifetime Transmission" Fluid theory.

This would be it's first transmission oil/filter change at 96K. Car has been maintain since day one because I have both the extended maintanence warranty and extended service warranty until 100,000 miles.
exact same issue. replaced torque converter, fluid, solenoid, filter at the price of 15xx at the aamco. 79xxx miles
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  #6  
Old 09-19-2008, 07:42 AM
Valsun Valsun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LKNGOOD View Post
Well I'm at 96,000 and a CEL came on = P0741 Torque Converter Stuff Off.

They (Dealership) replaced the Torque Convertor and changes the transmission fluid and filter all under warranty. (3rd party Warranty with autobroker.com)

Interesting Note: They stated that the transmission fluid was deteriorating - so what does that say about their "Lifetime Transmission" Fluid theory.

This would be it's first transmission oil/filter change at 96K. Car has been maintain since day one because I have both the extended maintanence warranty and extended service warranty until 100,000 miles.
HI! I wanted to get your feedback, I have a 2005 auto 325ci and am at 45k, I wanted to ask you if you think it is wise for me to get the extended warranty up to 100k and how much that would cost on average?

Is it worth for me to buy the warranty, if they say these cars are great with no problems(usually) til 9ok?
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  #7  
Old 03-18-2009, 05:25 PM
SKIPPY03 SKIPPY03 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LKNGOOD View Post
Well I'm at 96,000 and a CEL came on = P0741 Torque Converter Stuff Off.

They (Dealership) replaced the Torque Convertor and changes the transmission fluid and filter all under warranty. (3rd party Warranty with autobroker.com)

Interesting Note: They stated that the transmission fluid was deteriorating - so what does that say about their "Lifetime Transmission" Fluid theory.

This would be it's first transmission oil/filter change at 96K. Car has been maintain since day one because I have both the extended maintanence warranty and extended service warranty until 100,000 miles.

I know this is late and has probably been addressed but if not I can shed some light on this. However prior to the release of my knowledge I picked it up from other post/research done on the web. I am not your local mechanic nor do I have any certification in any area dealing with cars except for having a license. Further more I am only an up and comer enthusiastic kid. So basically take this info for what its worth but dont hold me responsible for any misleading information.

Anyway, basically the BMW lifetime transmission fluid is a bunch of 'baloney' to put it in nice terms. It has been allegedly proven by forum members and other people supposedly (although I cannot cite this) that the lifetime fluid can actually cause extreme damage to your tranny.

Basically it was said that over time 'gunk' (i dont remember what defined gunk) would build up were the fluid sits. Also around parts that play the roll of what a gasket or O-ring would do. So further more it would shorten the life span of certain parts, other than gasket like parts aswell, and cause premature failure.

So it has been recommend to change your transmission fluid i believe it was something like ever 20k. BUT...

And this was a big BUTT, if your car is over 60k miles and you haven't changed your fluid you shouldn't do this. Because there is a chance that the transmission fluid caused this so called 'gunk', so when you change it it will break its seal with the O-ring / gasket typed parts.
So whys this bad? Because supposedly the o ring typed sealant parts have been deteriorated and the seal will be broken. Which can lead to failure of your transmission and a costly fix.

So anyway my suggestion would be to take this information into account because it hasn't been dis proven yet. And if you can disprove it please let me know because I would defiantly like to here why.

Thanks, Skip
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  #8  
Old 04-13-2009, 05:22 AM
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phlfly phlfly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKIPPY03 View Post
I know this is late and has probably been addressed but if not I can shed some light on this. However prior to the release of my knowledge I picked it up from other post/research done on the web. I am not your local mechanic nor do I have any certification in any area dealing with cars except for having a license. Further more I am only an up and comer enthusiastic kid. So basically take this info for what its worth but dont hold me responsible for any misleading information.

Anyway, basically the BMW lifetime transmission fluid is a bunch of 'baloney' to put it in nice terms. It has been allegedly proven by forum members and other people supposedly (although I cannot cite this) that the lifetime fluid can actually cause extreme damage to your tranny.

Basically it was said that over time 'gunk' (i dont remember what defined gunk) would build up were the fluid sits. Also around parts that play the roll of what a gasket or O-ring would do. So further more it would shorten the life span of certain parts, other than gasket like parts aswell, and cause premature failure.

So it has been recommend to change your transmission fluid i believe it was something like ever 20k. BUT...

And this was a big BUTT, if your car is over 60k miles and you haven't changed your fluid you shouldn't do this. Because there is a chance that the transmission fluid caused this so called 'gunk', so when you change it it will break its seal with the O-ring / gasket typed parts.
So whys this bad? Because supposedly the o ring typed sealant parts have been deteriorated and the seal will be broken. Which can lead to failure of your transmission and a costly fix.

So anyway my suggestion would be to take this information into account because it hasn't been dis proven yet. And if you can disprove it please let me know because I would defiantly like to here why.

Thanks, Skip
Absolute myth. I have called and talked to technical support of ZF corp. If you are driving hard change each 60,000 miles, but if you do normal driving each 100,000 miles, that's what technical support are recommending.
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  #9  
Old 05-25-2008, 05:40 AM
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crowz crowz is online now
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Almost 250,000 miles, original automatic trans. Works fine.
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  #10  
Old 05-25-2008, 06:35 AM
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LKNGOOD LKNGOOD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crowz View Post
Almost 250,000 miles, original automatic trans. Works fine.
Wow - 250K. That's awesome.

So how did you maintane the transmission?

Did you change the filter and fluid every 30K, or just every 100K, or is it still the original fluids and filter in there - Yikes
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*2003 330i Steptronic *Sport/Premium/Cold Climate Package *HK Premium Sound System *18" CSL Staggared Wheels - HyperBlack *Front/Side/Rear Clear Lights with Solaris II Bulbs *AC Schnitzer Pedals and Front Strut Bar *Rear Lip and Roof Spoiler *Valentine 1 Hardwire *AFE Cold Air Intake Stage 1 *6000K Predator Chromium Angel Eyes and D2S bulbs *CSL-V2 Front Bumper *Painted Moldings & Interior Trim *Matted Black Kidney Grill *CF Emblems & Pillars *H&R Cup Kit "Sport"

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  #11  
Old 05-25-2008, 02:14 PM
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crowz crowz is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LKNGOOD View Post
Wow - 250K. That's awesome.

So how did you maintane the transmission?

Did you change the filter and fluid every 30K, or just every 100K, or is it still the original fluids and filter in there - Yikes
The previous owner never changed the fluid, ugly looking stuff when I changed it around 238k or something.
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  #12  
Old 03-10-2012, 11:04 AM
mrc.engr mrc.engr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crowz View Post
The previous owner never changed the fluid, ugly looking stuff when I changed it around 238k or something.
Holy poop Batman..... 238k and never serviced.

Did you just do the pan and filter ......or a complete fluid change-out ??
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  #13  
Old 05-28-2008, 08:11 PM
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Vornado Vornado is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LKNGOOD View Post
Wow - 250K. That's awesome.

So how did you maintane the transmission?

Did you change the filter and fluid every 30K, or just every 100K, or is it still the original fluids and filter in there - Yikes
It's a well known fact that crowz' transmission was actually taken out of the millennium falcon and is routinely maintenanced by service droids.
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  #14  
Old 05-28-2008, 11:55 PM
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crowz crowz is online now
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Originally Posted by Vornado View Post
It's a well known fact that crowz' transmission was actually taken out of the millennium falcon and is routinely maintenanced by service droids.
If you think maintenance is expensive on a bmw, try getting a service droid serviced, yeooouch
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  #15  
Old 06-01-2008, 10:16 PM
kenna kenna is offline
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by crowz View Post
Almost 250,000 miles, original automatic trans. Works fine.
bet you don't drive like an idi.. either. right?
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  #16  
Old 02-06-2011, 06:49 PM
jthay jthay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crowz View Post
Almost 250,000 miles, original automatic trans. Works fine.
very nice to know

Last edited by jthay; 02-06-2011 at 07:25 PM.
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  #17  
Old 02-06-2011, 07:18 PM
Alabama John Alabama John is offline
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172,000 miles on 97 540I V8 automatic transmission and never been changed. Dealership said at this mileage it would be better to leave it alone since it is not causing any trouble.
They have seen problems come up after a high mileage change.

I'm doing what they recommended.

Computer only shows an Oxygen sensor 1-4 needs replacing. It will be done next week for $200.00.

Most folks that have BMW vehicles do not post on these sites, mainly those with problems do so be careful or you may get the wrong impression.

Some of the nicest older BMWs I ever seen are posted on here. With as much as they have had replaced, they are same as brand new or better. If I had one of those, I'd show it off too.
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  #18  
Old 05-25-2008, 09:23 AM
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DAI DAI is offline
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150,000+ miles, no problems.

Original fluids (though, I would not recommend it; I went past the point of no return before I wised-up to the definition of "life-time").
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  #19  
Old 09-14-2009, 04:54 PM
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ROCKYTOP2 ROCKYTOP2 is offline
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WHAT is the definition?
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  #20  
Old 05-26-2008, 09:05 AM
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samplemaven samplemaven is offline
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+1
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  #21  
Old 05-26-2008, 01:22 PM
mihink mihink is offline
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71K as if this morning....no problems yet (2003 e46 325i steptronic)
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  #22  
Old 05-27-2008, 08:49 AM
kaih23 kaih23 is offline
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Failed at 46,000 miles, so Can't even vote.
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  #23  
Old 05-27-2008, 08:55 AM
sdbrandon sdbrandon is offline
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Although the E46 trannys had issues. Failures are rare. Trannys are thoroughly tested before they go into production. What typically happens is one supplier mucks up assembly or a parts supplier is not fully in spec. By the time the car manufacturer find out it could be a few years waiting for miles to be put on the cars.

Acura, Toyota had much worse tranny issues and still do today. Toyota sells so many Lexotas that it is easy for them to have 1 million bad trannys before they realize it. The downside of becoming GM'ified.
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Last edited by sdbrandon; 05-27-2008 at 09:47 AM.
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  #24  
Old 05-28-2008, 01:46 PM
nabhan007 nabhan007 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdbrandon View Post
Although the E46 trannys had issues. Failures are rare. Trannys are thoroughly tested before they go into production. What typically happens is one supplier mucks up assembly or a parts supplier is not fully in spec. By the time the car manufacturer find out it could be a few years waiting for miles to be put on the cars.

Acura, Toyota had much worse tranny issues and still do today. Toyota sells so many Lexotas that it is easy for them to have 1 million bad trannys before they realize it. The downside of becoming GM'ified.
I fail to see the distinction between "issues" and "failures". By your logic, even the no-reverse problem would not constitute a failure since the forward gears still work, but I think most people would regard not being able to reverse a serious failure. Either way, you've still got a bad transmission and are looking at some hefty repairs or replacement.

And what exactly is your basis for knocking Acura and Toyota? There's a reason Toyota and Honda have great resale values, and it isn't because buyers are expecting transmission issues. My sister's got a 2005 Corolla, but apart from oil changes, hasn't had it serviced for the last 3 years. All I had to do was replace the various filters, change the transmission fluid, and replace the brakes, and it's as good as new. Try neglecting your bimmer for three years like that! And FYI, GM doesn't own any part of Toyota or Honda. GM owns parts of Daewoo and Suzuki, Ford owns Volvo cars and part of Mazda, but Toyota/Lexus and Honda/Acura are 100% owned by their parent companies.
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  #25  
Old 06-10-2008, 06:27 AM
pony_trekker pony_trekker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdbrandon View Post
Although the E46 trannys had issues. Failures are rare. Trannys are thoroughly tested before they go into production. What typically happens is one supplier mucks up assembly or a parts supplier is not fully in spec. By the time the car manufacturer find out it could be a few years waiting for miles to be put on the cars.

Acura, Toyota had much worse tranny issues and still do today. Toyota sells so many Lexotas that it is easy for them to have 1 million bad trannys before they realize it. The downside of becoming GM'ified.
I had a steptronic clunk with my E46 which was fixed with a software update about a week after I got my car. Was going strong when I gave it back.

With my 4runner, there was an automatic transmission clunk that was like the titanic hitting an iceberg. Was still there when I traded that b*tch in for a new 328xi.

Last edited by pony_trekker; 06-10-2008 at 06:30 AM.
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