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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)

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. 139 7.91%
50,000 to 100,000...no problems!!! 606 34.49%
100,001 to 125,000...transmission repaired/replaced. 102 5.81%
100,001 to 125,000...no problems!!! 315 17.93%
125,001 to 150,000...transmission repaired/replaced. 77 4.38%
125,001 to 150,000...no problems!!! 207 11.78%
150,001 to 175,000 or more...tranny repaired/replaced. 47 2.68%
150,001 to 175,000 or more...no problems!!! 264 15.03%
Voters: 1757. You may not vote on this poll

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  #26  
Old 05-30-2008, 10:20 AM
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crowz crowz is online now
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Mein Auto: 2000 323i, 97 528i
That depends on where you live and what type of fluid your trans uses. Some are cheaper than otheres depending on the brand of fluid it uses.
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  #27  
Old 05-30-2008, 04:47 PM
02325xi 02325xi is offline
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Mein Auto: 01 M3 vert, 02 325xi
02 325xi, 87.5k miles. I hate to tempt fate like this, but no problems yet. Original fluid, and I don't plan to change it at this point.

Bad superstition, I know, but I changed the tranny fluid on a Benz I used to own (at 70k miles)-- no flush, used recommended fluid, spotless work environment (lint free rags, etc). Tranny was dead at 104k miles.

Only precautions I take are to take it easy on cold starts, and give the tranny a second to "seat" when I shift into drive or reverse.
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  #28  
Old 05-30-2008, 08:10 PM
n8s 330xi n8s 330xi is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 540iA
130k, and still going strong. I got it a little over 100k, and from what I can tell the owner before me didn't do any trans services.
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  #29  
Old 06-01-2008, 06:17 AM
vsorlie vsorlie is offline
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Mein Auto: 2007 MB C230 Sport
I took my '04 325xiT to independent shop at 40k and had them change the trans filter and refill with AMSOIL ATF, which meets BMW ATF spec. From now on I will just drain and refill at 50k intervals. AMSOIL fluid is good for 100k miles in Normal service, 50k Severe - also works great in power steering. I personally like being conservative.
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  #30  
Old 06-01-2008, 08:56 PM
MyLife MyLife is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 - 323i
131K still driving like new. I told my mechanic to change the Tran. fluid but he insisted I shouldn't. Like you all said, he gave me the same analogy of changing it may cause a problem. At 131K I am debating within whether I should force him to do it or not. Any suggestion? Thanks,
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  #31  
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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  #32  
Old 06-02-2008, 01:16 AM
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Mein Auto: 2000 323i, 97 528i
I drive it fast and have fun with it but I baby it when going from park to reverse or to drive. I dont snatch it and gear and floor it.
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  #33  
Old 06-03-2008, 08:17 PM
boomr boomr is offline
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Mein Auto: 05 M3 vert
Replacement at 40000 miles, 2001 325xi. A little disappointed in that, would never have thought I'ld need a trans that soon.
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  #34  
Old 06-08-2008, 10:33 AM
Latoilette Latoilette is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 330ci silver
8/42 reported problems. that's a horrible ratio. close to 20% of tranny needed service before 100k miles..
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  #35  
Old 06-08-2008, 12:37 PM
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amancuso amancuso is offline
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Mein Auto: 128i, 330i, Z3 2.3, R56
my vote counts for two cars

2001 325CiA 71,000 miles and
2002 330iA 76,000 miles.

both on original fluid, no issues.

and my cousin has a:
1999 323iA 161,000 no issues fluid changed about 1000 miles ago, no issues.
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  #36  
Old 06-08-2008, 06:26 PM
jsonli jsonli is offline
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for statistical purposes you might want to include 0 to 50,000 choice. also ppl viewing the poll should note that the 50,000 to 100,000 group accounts for mileage than all others. the rest are in clumps of 25,000 mi.
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  #37  
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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  #38  
Old 06-10-2008, 08:15 AM
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SouthernHero SouthernHero is offline
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My buddie's transmission on his 4runner just blew out... so much for that Japanese reliability!
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  #39  
Old 06-10-2008, 09:14 AM
Tipper21 Tipper21 is offline
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Mein Auto: '01 330Cic, '08 X3
Trans replacement

At 53,000 miles had to replace the automatic on my '01 330Ci convert. No reverse!
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  #40  
Old 06-10-2008, 02:20 PM
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iskoos iskoos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tipper21 View Post
At 53,000 miles had to replace the automatic on my '01 330Ci convert. No reverse!
So did you get the reverse back once the fluid changed?
I doubt...
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  #41  
Old 06-10-2008, 06:26 PM
Tipper21 Tipper21 is offline
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Mein Auto: '01 330Cic, '08 X3
reverse problem

No fluid change--the whole trans was replaced (to the tune of $4000). Had the typical "C" ring break-out from the gear cluster. Fought with BMW for four months and the end result was they just blew me off.
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  #42  
Old 06-10-2008, 08:00 PM
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iskoos iskoos is offline
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Mein Auto: '02 - 325ci
Sorry about that. I misread your post.

You spent 4 months huh? You are pretty patient.
Did you really think that you might have a case?
BMW just does NOT give a crap about what happened to their cars after the warranty period is over.
They are so fool of themselves that they do not need you, me or few others. There are enough people buying their products whether those products have issues or not. So this is their logic.
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  #43  
Old 06-11-2008, 12:45 PM
postal1755 postal1755 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 328i
Tranny Poblems

I have 99 328i and the tranny went out at 98K. If anyone has there tranny go out theres this sweet place based out of Georgia that sells remanufactured tranny's with no core charge for around $1800, plus 200 for shipping. It will cost you around 500 to have transmission place install and then you can sell your old tranny case to recoupe some of your money
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  #44  
Old 06-11-2008, 01:44 PM
ncharath ncharath is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 bMW 323i
I had 135K miles and yesterday the automatic trans failed for reverse. This seems to be a common problem for 1999 thru 2002 3-series. Mine was a GM Trans as well. http://www.noreverse.org


-ncharath
2000 323i Automatic
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  #45  
Old 06-18-2008, 09:30 PM
ilija ilija is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 328i
WOW 250 and still running fine... that is awsome!

mine however has a problem. it is minor for now but will incrise as i drive.

3rd gear is worn down i belive, every time the car ****s down from 4th to 3rd the rpm go up and the nose dips a bit and the car slows down quite a bit.. not sure if there is much i can do about it, but it just started happening at 158k
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  #46  
Old 06-22-2008, 01:46 PM
dcrofford dcrofford is offline
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Location: fort worth,texas
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 323i
tranny trouble

At about 125,000 I lost reverse. This I later tearned to be a common problem with the ZF 5HP19 (steptronic transmission) My local tranny guy said it would cost about 2500.00 to repair. The problem being a broken reverse band. BMW doesnt repair the problem but they will replace the transmission for around 6000.00. I can buy another 2000 BMW 323i with reverse and comparable mileage to mine for......about 6000.00 I still like my car but Im afraid I have to say I no longer love it.
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  #47  
Old 06-25-2008, 02:02 PM
palmerrr palmerrr is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 323i
My car has 103,000 miles on it and the transmission symbol pops up maybe every 1,000 miles now but it hasn't been a problem yet.
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  #48  
Old 06-26-2008, 12:57 PM
MightyY MightyY is offline
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My car now has 74K miles on it. Not sure what to put down on the poll. I've had no issues with the tranny during normal/spirited driving. My only issue came after an autocross (kinda warm day). It was fine during the autocross, but immediately after, when accelerating from a stop, it wouldn't shift out of first. It'd just wind up and as I crept forward, would eventually shift after quite a long time. After the car cooled down, everything was working normally again.

Not to take any chances, I did a fluid, filter, and gasket change. That was about two weeks ago. The fluid that came out is by far the worse looking fluid of any kind that I've seen come out of a car. Car ran great at the last autocross (last week). I'm going to change the fluid/filter in a week or two, just to make sure all the old crappy fluid is out and replaced with new OEM fluid (Texaco ETL 8072B for my GM tranny). After that, I'll probably change it every two years.

So ya, I haven't really had a problem, and probably wouldn't have had any minor issues if I hadn't been autocrossing with it.
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  #49  
Old 06-26-2008, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyY View Post
My car now has 74K miles on it. Not sure what to put down on the poll. I've had no issues with the tranny during normal/spirited driving. My only issue came after an autocross (kinda warm day). It was fine during the autocross, but immediately after, when accelerating from a stop, it wouldn't shift out of first. It'd just wind up and as I crept forward, would eventually shift after quite a long time. After the car cooled down, everything was working normally again.

Not to take any chances, I did a fluid, filter, and gasket change. That was about two weeks ago. The fluid that came out is by far the worse looking fluid of any kind that I've seen come out of a car. Car ran great at the last autocross (last week). I'm going to change the fluid/filter in a week or two, just to make sure all the old crappy fluid is out and replaced with new OEM fluid (Texaco ETL 8072B for my GM tranny). After that, I'll probably change it every two years.

So ya, I haven't really had a problem, and probably wouldn't have had any minor issues if I hadn't been autocrossing with it.
I'd say that puts you in the category of not having a failure. You're still working with your original tranny and without having a repair.
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  #50  
Old 06-30-2008, 07:44 AM
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Coco Savage Coco Savage is online now
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im not sure i want to vote and jinx myself
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