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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. 144 7.77%
50,000 to 100,000...no problems!!! 621 33.51%
100,001 to 125,000...transmission repaired/replaced. 109 5.88%
100,001 to 125,000...no problems!!! 329 17.75%
125,001 to 150,000...transmission repaired/replaced. 81 4.37%
125,001 to 150,000...no problems!!! 220 11.87%
150,001 to 175,000 or more...tranny repaired/replaced. 53 2.86%
150,001 to 175,000 or more...no problems!!! 296 15.97%
Voters: 1853. 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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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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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, 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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  #6  
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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  #7  
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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  #8  
Old 05-25-2008, 09:23 AM
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DAI DAI is offline
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Mein Auto: '10 550i M-Sport
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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  #9  
Old 05-25-2008, 02:14 PM
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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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  #10  
Old 05-26-2008, 09:05 AM
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samplemaven samplemaven is offline
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+1
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1972 2002 Tii Coupe, Inka, Black interior, 5MT, off frame restoration completed 09/2011
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  #11  
Old 05-26-2008, 01:22 PM
mihink mihink is offline
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Mein Auto: '05 M3, '09 335i
71K as if this morning....no problems yet (2003 e46 325i steptronic)
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  #12  
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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  #13  
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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  #14  
Old 05-27-2008, 09:46 AM
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AndrewZ AndrewZ is offline
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I picked the 125k one with transmission repair, but I meant to mark the one with no problems. My mistake.

Quote:
125,001 to 150,000...transmission repaired/replaced.

125,001 to 150,000...no problems!!!
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  #15  
Old 05-27-2008, 08:26 PM
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No problems and loving it.
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  #16  
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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  #17  
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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  #18  
Old 05-28-2008, 11:55 PM
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crowz crowz is online now
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Quote:
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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  #19  
Old 05-29-2008, 08:06 AM
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iskoos iskoos is offline
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Just passed the 50k mark on my 02 325ci. Didn't have any tranny issues yet but have to tell you that it crosses my mind at least every 10 days or so that if the tranny would stop working all of a sudden or if it would go to reverse when I pull out of parking stall!..
Things like that take the pleasure of owning a BMW.
When I was driving my Honda, I wouldn't worry about for anything... Maybe I should still be driving a Honda instead of a bimmer...
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  #20  
Old 05-29-2008, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iskoos View Post
Just passed the 50k mark on my 02 325ci. Didn't have any tranny issues yet but have to tell you that it crosses my mind at least every 10 days or so that if the tranny would stop working all of a sudden or if it would go to reverse when I pull out of parking stall!..
Things like that take the pleasure of owning a BMW.
When I was driving my Honda, I wouldn't worry about for anything... Maybe I should still be driving a Honda instead of a bimmer...
Get the fluid changed, that may make you feel better. Plus if it really anoys you and your going to keep the car, buy a spare trans. Knowing you have one to drop in there if you have problems might help you feel better about it.

I would just say, get over it and drive it, but thats always easier said than done and not something you can just snap your fingers and make happen. Good luck with it and hopefully one of above sugestions will help some.
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  #21  
Old 05-29-2008, 01:19 PM
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iskoos iskoos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crowz View Post
Get the fluid changed, that may make you feel better. Plus if it really anoys you and your going to keep the car, buy a spare trans. Knowing you have one to drop in there if you have problems might help you feel better about it.

I would just say, get over it and drive it, but thats always easier said than done and not something you can just snap your fingers and make happen. Good luck with it and hopefully one of above sugestions will help some.
Would love to chance the fluid but I don't know if I already past the no return point(I guess I did). I also read stories on how the working tranny stops working after a fluid change.
I believe in preventative maintenance up to a point. Do you know how I would feel if something goes wrong on working tranny after a fluid change??? Ouch!... I can here people saying "Why did you touch it if it was working???"
I read many threads about it here and found out that the concensus is to change the fluid at every 30k miles or do not mess with it at all. But when is the no-return point for every 30k-miles change? I couldn't find that out...
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  #22  
Old 05-29-2008, 02:02 PM
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50,000 miles is not anywhere near what people were talking about on the point of no return. Also I dont believe in that to start with, its never to late to change the fluid if its just a normal filter and fluid change and you use factory recommended fluid. Dont buy synthetic or some other stuff. Just put back in there what came in it. Also stay away from flush jobs. If a place will only "flush" it or you even think they might flush it, run dont walk from there.

Good luck.
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  #23  
Old 05-29-2008, 02:16 PM
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iskoos iskoos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crowz View Post
50,000 miles is not anywhere near what people were talking about on the point of no return. Also I dont believe in that to start with, its never to late to change the fluid if its just a normal filter and fluid change and you use factory recommended fluid. Dont buy synthetic or some other stuff. Just put back in there what came in it. Also stay away from flush jobs. If a place will only "flush" it or you even think they might flush it, run dont walk from there.

Good luck.
So you're saying have someone qualified drop the pan, drain the old fluid(completely), change the filter and fill back up with what BMW uses?
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  #24  
Old 05-29-2008, 08:19 PM
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Yep

Dont let one of the shops use a flush machine on it.

Just like you mentioned, drop the pan and normal fluid change and fill up.
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  #25  
Old 05-30-2008, 05:58 AM
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iskoos iskoos is offline
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How much should I expect to pay for fluid change service like that? (done by an indy shop)
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