Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-26-2009, 06:06 PM
phil0618 phil0618 is offline
Registered User
Location: Bay Area, CA
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: BMW 528i
Which auto transmission to I have (ZF vs GM)?

Hi,

I've been all over the forums looking at various items related to changing transmission fluids.

I just want to confirm the transmission on my car without having to jack up the car.

My car is a 2003 e46
The plate on the door says 06/03 (June, 2003)
The last part of the VIN reads KP81689
The sticker on the underside of the pan is green, but I can't read the markings
(i can see the sticker is green by placing a mirror under the car)

It's a California car and so I believe that I have the M56 SULEV engine (oil fill in front of engine)

The e46 wiki states that as of March 2003 all transmissions are GM.

However, I also used a VIN decoder I found online and it said that I had the ZF transmission.

Is it possible to know for sure just using the above data which transmission I have?

Best,

Phil
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 12-26-2009, 07:58 PM
SlimKlim's Avatar
SlimKlim SlimKlim is online now
King of Drone
Location: Fairfax, VA
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,252
Mein Auto: Bavarian Bombshell
It's a GM, you have a 2003 and 1/2 model like I used to and its sort of got a weird mixture of stuff. I did the same thing you did and bought the filter for a ZF transmission, didn't figure out it was a GM until the tranny was drained. Turned out to be quite a long afternoon chasing down the right filter.

EDIT: I'm pretty sure I edited the wiki when i figured that out.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-26-2009, 08:26 PM
Melquin Melquin is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Between Moon and Manhattan
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,275
Mein Auto: 2005 330i
AFIK all the M56 vehicles had the ZF transmissions. (see attached PDF). I have seen some of the ZF blue stickers that have oxidized and turned sort of a bright metallic green color over time. (as opposed to the more flat-puke green colored GM sticker). Best to check the recommended fluid part number listed on the label to verify which you have.

edit: PDF was too large so just took a snapshot of the first page
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	automatikTransmission.pdf.jpg
Views:	772
Size:	140.4 KB
ID:	212994  

Last edited by Melquin; 12-27-2009 at 10:25 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-26-2009, 09:08 PM
SlimKlim's Avatar
SlimKlim SlimKlim is online now
King of Drone
Location: Fairfax, VA
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,252
Mein Auto: Bavarian Bombshell
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melquin View Post
AFIK all the M56 vehicles had the ZF transmissions. (see attached PDF). I have seen some of the ZF blue stickers that have oxidized and turned sort of a bright metallic green color over time. (as opposed to the more flat-puke green colored GM sticker). Best to check the recommended fluid part number to verify which you have.

edit: PDF was too large so just took a snapshot of the first page
Ohh, didnt know that, sorry about the misinformation. I wonder why they would bother to fit two different trannies for the different emission engines.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-26-2009, 09:43 PM
Starless Starless is offline
*^^^^^^^^*
Location: STL, MO
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,621
Mein Auto: 2002 325i Auto
I just decoded your VIN. Your tranny is A5S325Z which is ZF tranny. It requires ESSO ATF LT 71141 fluid.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-27-2009, 06:12 AM
smolck's Avatar
smolck smolck is online now
ROLL TIDE!
Location: Birmingham, AL
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 22,348
Mein Auto: 2004 ZHP Sedan
Count the pan bolts. The GM trannies have 22 bolts, the ZF have 14.
__________________

Check out my YouTube Channel for DIY's and other fun stuff HERE
Check out my BMWBLOG!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-06-2012, 10:21 PM
STREETFIGHTER50 STREETFIGHTER50 is offline
Registered User
Location: SF Bay Coastin' to Rocklin. NorCal
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 23
Mein Auto: '04 ZHP Silver-Grey 6sp
I'm just peeking under the car & can't really see or read anything off of the sticker. I'd have to lift it up this weekend to tell I guess. My car's VIN # tag reads 08/03. So is it the GM tranny for sure?

Last edited by STREETFIGHTER50; 12-06-2012 at 10:28 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-07-2012, 01:45 PM
Fast Bob's Avatar
Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
Keeping it surreal
Location: Here, there, everywhere....
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 34,488
Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
Quote:
Originally Posted by STREETFIGHTER50 View Post
I'm just peeking under the car & can't really see or read anything off of the sticker. I'd have to lift it up this weekend to tell I guess. My car's VIN # tag reads 08/03. So is it the GM tranny for sure?
Read Smolck`s Post# 6....it doesn`t get much more definitive than THAT !
__________________
The road goes ever onward....
(R.I.P. Jever)

*Please support the Wounded Warrior Project*

When faced with choosing between two evils, always go with the one you`ve never tried before....
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:25 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms