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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 7 Series / 8 Series > 7 Series - E38 (1995 - 2001)

7 Series - E38 (1995 - 2001)

View Poll Results: have you ever changed your transmission fluid?
Yes? at how many miles? 41 42.71%
NO? how many miles you have on your car? 55 57.29%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 96. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 11-18-2008, 11:54 AM
Katharotiya Katharotiya is offline
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Location: Memphis, TN
 
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Mein Auto: 730i, 750iL
Exclamation E38 Transmission Fluid Change.

Hi All,

I am a proud owner of E38 1998 750iL. I have 101500 Miles on it. I have heard lots of things about changing transmission fluid on E38, where BMW says it is for life time. I have seen many E38 owners confused like me. My transmission shifts really smooth. PLEASE ALL E38 OWNERS, ANSWER THE POLL - HAVE YOU CHANGED THE FULID ON YOURS?

Please reply to this thread as well:
  • If yes, at how many miles did you change it, and how many miles have you driven since?
  • Any problems since the change? (Yes/no, description of the problems if so?)
HELP ME AND MAYBE HUNDREDS LIKE ME.
Thank you
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Last edited by M.Wong; 11-18-2008 at 02:35 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-18-2008, 12:42 PM
jaugustavo jaugustavo is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 740iL
No I have not changed my tranny fluid. Yes I mos def want to. But I am skeptical about doing it because I do not want to F something up. Seems like a pretty involved process. Mileage 91000 on a 2000 740iL. Tranny shifts smooth but I do not trust this lifetime guarantee crap, nothing is lasts forever. IF anyone has found a good way to do this, let me know, thanks.
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  #3  
Old 11-18-2008, 02:15 PM
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M.Wong M.Wong is offline
E38 E91 (R56 E30 E39)
Location: Seattle WA
 
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Mein Auto: The E38
Paid my indie at 75K miles (7 liters of Esso plus labor) and up to 116K miles now. No problems before or since.

Will have it done again at 150K.
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E38 2000 740iL Orient Blue
E91 2012 328xiT Alpine White

Passed on to new families:
E30 1987 325i Royal Blue
E39 2003 540i/6 Sterling Gray
R56 2010 Mini Cooper S British Racing Green


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  #4  
Old 11-19-2008, 12:26 AM
Beemaboy Beemaboy is offline
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Mein Auto: 320I, 525I and 740I
Not done yet...my car is a 98 740I with 101500 on it. Gearbox is already going south and is making a really loud whining noise...it also slams itself into reverse when that gear is selected...
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  #5  
Old 11-19-2008, 12:31 PM
Atomic Dog Atomic Dog is offline
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Location: Seattle, WA
 
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Mein Auto: 1995 BMW 740I - E38/M60
95 E38 w/ 135,000 miles. Fluid has not been changed yet. Shifts smooth and haven't had any troubles. I too am interested in changing the fluid, recently I have noticed a slight whirring for about the first quarter mile when the car is first run for the day. I have read on the forum that this could possibly be a filter problem. M. Wong, I also live in Seattle (Kirkland actually) and I have only owned my BMW for about 7 months - who's your Indie? I had Woodenville Sports Cars do the valley pan and was quite pleased with the work and the price - but I'm always curious.
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  #6  
Old 11-19-2008, 03:47 PM
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M.Wong M.Wong is offline
E38 E91 (R56 E30 E39)
Location: Seattle WA
 
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Mein Auto: The E38
I use BMW Seattle and Car Tender.
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E38 2000 740iL Orient Blue
E91 2012 328xiT Alpine White

Passed on to new families:
E30 1987 325i Royal Blue
E39 2003 540i/6 Sterling Gray
R56 2010 Mini Cooper S British Racing Green


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  #7  
Old 01-27-2009, 08:22 PM
4liter 4liter is offline
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Mein Auto: 1995 740i
Not replacing fluid. I have 119k so far and I don't see any evidence in the records that the fluid has been changed. At this point it will need the particles in the fluid for added friction. If the old slush box gives way, I'll bring it to the dealer and have them throw in rebuilt unit. I picked up an aftermarket warranty for such emergencies.
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  #8  
Old 05-17-2013, 06:31 PM
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ebida3 ebida3 is offline
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Location: High Point, NC
 
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Mein Auto: 2001 740iL
"At this point it will need the particles in the fluid for added friction." How true this is!
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  #9  
Old 05-18-2013, 09:32 AM
jitsjaf2009 jitsjaf2009 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebida3 View Post
"At this point it will need the particles in the fluid for added friction." How true this is!
Insanity. The particles will block filter, reduce flow, increase heat and potential to fail. If there are in fact that much particulate, you would definitely want to change. Think if someone told you don't change your engine oil, because the particulates in it are good for you engine????
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  #10  
Old 02-10-2009, 09:34 PM
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burn740i burn740i is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 740i Sport
127k, shifts smooth 99% of the time. At this point I don't think I'll be changing the fluid, since I'm sure it's got tons of clutch particles in it that are actually helping it work.
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  #11  
Old 02-14-2009, 12:39 PM
xxbimmerboyxx xxbimmerboyxx is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 530i e39
valvoline max life tranny fluid will work in a 7serious tranny insted of going to the dealer where its gonna cost $700 you can just pay $150 thats all i did and it works alot better on my e38
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  #12  
Old 02-14-2009, 02:23 PM
balance balance is offline
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Mein Auto: 97 740iL
I changed mine out with MaxLife at 140,000
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  #13  
Old 03-01-2009, 07:06 PM
tberardi tberardi is offline
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Location: Windsor Ontario Canada
 
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Mein Auto: 1995 740i
My 95 740i has 273,000 km (170,00 miles) without ever a transmission oil change and the manual does say its lifetime.
It still works perfect most of the time and I do not plan to change it.
Every mechanic I talk too whether local garage or dealer always tell me not to touch it.
Go figure.
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  #14  
Old 03-02-2009, 05:39 AM
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crewdog843 crewdog843 is offline
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My '01 has right around 85K on the tranny, has never been abused, shifts smooth....no problems, ever.

I asked my indy (factory trained) about the advisability of changing fluid and he recommends against it. I think I will revisit this in about 15K miles, but this could be a long time, as my primary mode of transportation has become a motorcycle, with gas prices heading north again.

He mentioned particulate matter in the current fluid as helping the transmission work as one of the arguments against changing the fluid.

jake
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  #15  
Old 03-02-2009, 10:57 AM
h711k h711k is offline
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Location: Fremont, California
 
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Mein Auto: 98 BMW 740iL
Could someone explain why the particles in the fluid would help the transmmision work? It seems to me that friction should always be bad in a mechanism like that.
I have a 98 740iL with 128k miles on it, and I am planning to change the fluid soon.
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  #16  
Old 06-15-2009, 11:22 PM
jk2000bmw740iL jk2000bmw740iL is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 bmw 740iL
I've got a 2000 740iL with 60k miles. I get noticeable (loud) whirring noise when I shift into R or D after an hour of driving. is it the gearbox needing service or the trans. filter/fluid need changing? Any idea would be appreciated.
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  #17  
Old 06-23-2013, 08:22 AM
Dale Conrad Dale Conrad is offline
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Location: Independence Va
 
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Mein Auto: 740I
Particles in the fluid

Quote:
Originally Posted by h711k View Post
Could someone explain why the particles in the fluid would help the transmmision work? It seems to me that friction should always be bad in a mechanism like that.
I have a 98 740iL with 128k miles on it, and I am planning to change the fluid soon.
I am 76 years old, still restore cars and occasional drag race at our local strip. 95% of the
vehicles I have owned were automatic transmission. I have always change the transmission
fluid two or three times depending on miles. My 1997 BMW 740I has 164,000 and the fluid
was changed at 84,000 and it is time to change again. This idea we hear about particle
matter being good for an automatic transmission is absurd. All auto transmission have
clutch packs/bands which wear and drop materials into the bottom of the transmission
pan, and the filter prevents this matter from entering the internals of the transmission.
Once the filter becomes 100% clogged with particle material the transmission can no longer
function properly, and changing fluid at that point is to late. However, when people do
finally change the fluid in a transmission that is already failing, perhaps this is where the
false advice originates that changing fluid in a transmission with 100/200K is bad advice.

If particle matter in a automatic transmission is really good for it, I would expect
making money would result in companies like Valvoline, Red Line and others to start
providing particle sludge to add to your transmission. THEY KNOW BETTER!!
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  #18  
Old 06-23-2013, 12:52 PM
jitsjaf2009 jitsjaf2009 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Conrad View Post
I am 76 years old, still restore cars and occasional drag race at our local strip. 95% of the
vehicles I have owned were automatic transmission. I have always change the transmission
fluid two or three times depending on miles. My 1997 BMW 740I has 164,000 and the fluid
was changed at 84,000 and it is time to change again. This idea we hear about particle
matter being good for an automatic transmission is absurd. All auto transmission have
clutch packs/bands which wear and drop materials into the bottom of the transmission
pan, and the filter prevents this matter from entering the internals of the transmission.
Once the filter becomes 100% clogged with particle material the transmission can no longer
function properly, and changing fluid at that point is to late. However, when people do
finally change the fluid in a transmission that is already failing, perhaps this is where the
false advice originates that changing fluid in a transmission with 100/200K is bad advice.

If particle matter in a automatic transmission is really good for it, I would expect
making money would result in companies like Valvoline, Red Line and others to start
providing particle sludge to add to your transmission. THEY KNOW BETTER!!
I could NOT have said it better...Hopefully people will listen...and also realize, it does NOT need to cost a fortune to have it changed with filter. Most reputable mechanics (if you must hire it done) will used your filter & gaskets (about $35-49 in good quality) fluid (i.e.Redline $80-100) and no more than 3 hours labor ($150-$200). This compared to replacing or rebuilding or replacing a Transmission ($1600 - $2500).
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  #19  
Old 06-16-2009, 01:33 AM
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CodyItaliano CodyItaliano is offline
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Location: Corpus Christi, TX
 
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Mein Auto: 2001 740i
i'm surprised that more people havent replied to this thread.

my '01 740i has about 108000 miles on it now. i got it with about 103000 miles. it does make a whirring noise when i start it after its sat. but only for a few seconds. shifts smooth for the most part depending on how i'm driving it. its not jerky and is smoother than some of the other BMWs i've driven.

anyways i havent changed the fluid yet. personally i think it would be a good idea, but then again i'm worried about what could happen. it hasnt yet given me problems and i dont try and drive it very hard like my previous cars. its large and drinks fuel so i try and take it somewhat easy. though i dont always drive it particularly slow.
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*Der E38*
manufactured: 7/01
color: anthrecite metallic
wheels: style 89 E66, 19X9F 19X10R
ext. lighting: 8000k D2S & LED plate light
*want to get sport rear diff*
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  #20  
Old 06-30-2009, 12:28 PM
jamestc2 jamestc2 is offline
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Location: Columbia, SC
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 740i Sport
I've got a 2000 BMW 740i Sport that's got 173000 miles on it. Haven't had the transmission fluid changed yet but want to because I've noticed in the last 6ths months that shifts are not always as smooth as they used to be on on rare occasion in the heat, it will shift really hard from 2nd to 3rd or 3rd to 4th when accelerating hard. I've driven the car pretty hard over the last two years of ownership. I want to get the fluid changed but like alot of others, am very scared of the aftermath...
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  #21  
Old 07-01-2009, 01:44 PM
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CodyItaliano CodyItaliano is offline
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yeah, its just a really hard call wheather to or not to. i'm still stumped, but do understand the reasoning behind not changing it. those metallic clutch particals do make the difference in the viscosity properties in the tranny fluid. the lack of them after a change could cause the clutchs to slip. this is why they say dont change the fluid. i dunno. if the fluid is turning brown or burning up, then its worth the risk to change the fluid out. mine's still nice and red! so i'm just going to leave it.
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*Der E38*
manufactured: 7/01
color: anthrecite metallic
wheels: style 89 E66, 19X9F 19X10R
ext. lighting: 8000k D2S & LED plate light
*want to get sport rear diff*
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  #22  
Old 07-02-2009, 08:35 AM
balance balance is offline
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If your fluid is red then someone already changed it. ESSO fluid is gold when new
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  #23  
Old 07-04-2009, 06:53 PM
highline740il highline740il is offline
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Location: Maryland
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 9
Mein Auto: 740iL
2001 740il changed fluid and filter 5 times since new, car now has 200,000 miles

I had to remove the transmission to replace the rear main engine seal and the front pump shaft seal in the transmission.

http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/65719

The second major service I had was to have the transmission valve body rebuilt to correct a slight gear change/hard upshift

http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/673185

I have had very good luck with using original BMW fluid & filters. I would not put anything else in my own car, however some owners have used another brand and have had good luck.

Later,
Michael
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  #24  
Old 07-14-2009, 03:15 PM
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CodyItaliano CodyItaliano is offline
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well if red fluid is an idication of a change, then maybe i should change it out along with the filter? so there must be fluids with similar viscosities. this deserves more research. i'm going to see what a few shops say around town and what they have encountered.
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*Der E38*
manufactured: 7/01
color: anthrecite metallic
wheels: style 89 E66, 19X9F 19X10R
ext. lighting: 8000k D2S & LED plate light
*want to get sport rear diff*
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  #25  
Old 07-15-2009, 04:55 AM
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crewdog843 crewdog843 is offline
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Cody: I would be interested in what you find out. I've only had one car in my entire life which gave me transmission problems (85 Oldsmobile) as the antifreeze got into the transmission and the tranny fluid got into the coolant system. I've been driving for 51 years. If a car has not been abused, there really, in my opinion, should be no need to change fluid.....however, most of us don't know the car's history. I am a second owner, the first was an older female over in Southern Cali.

jake
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