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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

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  #1  
Old 03-12-2010, 04:57 PM
Kieffer Kieffer is offline
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Transmission Fluid

Is there anyway for me to determine the type of transmission fluid inmy 2001 325i. I'm getting ready to have it changed.

Thank you,

Jim
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  #2  
Old 03-12-2010, 05:08 PM
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Step 1 would be telling us auto or manual.

Step 2 would be to check the wiki.
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  #3  
Old 03-12-2010, 05:09 PM
ardsee ardsee is offline
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You need to look at the sticker on the bottom pan of the transmission, check the color. Then look in the Bentley manual to find out which type fluid you have.
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  #4  
Old 03-12-2010, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardsee View Post
You need to look at the sticker on the bottom pan of the transmission, check the color. Then look in the Bentley manual to find out which type fluid you have.
I dont know how many times it has to be said. The number on the sticker > color of Sticker..............
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  #5  
Old 03-12-2010, 07:22 PM
IAS IAS is offline
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i would not recommend to change trans fluid, check the forum.
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  #6  
Old 03-12-2010, 08:39 PM
alpinweiss alpinweiss is offline
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I use Red Line MTL. It is a matter of removing the drain and fill plugs and pumping in new fluid. Both of my BMW's are manual transmission.

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  #7  
Old 03-12-2010, 09:30 PM
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I *would* recommend you change your trans fluid, check the forums!
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  #8  
Old 03-12-2010, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mo.licious View Post
i *would* recommend you change your trans fluid, check the forums!
+1
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  #9  
Old 03-12-2010, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by KrisL View Post
+1
Depends on age and mileage - and use.
Generally speaking, if E46 Auto, it needs to be changed not before 60k miles, and you need to change the pan filter as well - and clean the magnets.
Definitely, not a DIY, be very careful with which oil to use, better ask for an opinion at the main dealer. Also, I have heard of people changing the pan filter with non oem, and they then had alot of problems with slipping.

If its a manual, different story, any bmw approved synthetic gear oil is fine - and no filter to change!
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  #10  
Old 03-13-2010, 06:46 AM
GoingNuts GoingNuts is offline
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I would recommend if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Check the forums for my posts.
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  #11  
Old 03-13-2010, 06:53 AM
conrad721 conrad721 is offline
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Originally Posted by Fifty_Cent View Post
Depends on age and mileage - and use.
Generally speaking, if E46 Auto, it needs to be changed not before 60k miles...
i've read in this forum about this urban legend that if you cross a certain "point of no return", and then change the fluid, you'll screw up your transmission.
i hope this isnt true, and if it is, there's got to be a logic behind it.
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  #12  
Old 03-13-2010, 09:07 AM
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Problemeveryday Problemeveryday is offline
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automatic transmission oil is changed between 80k-95k depending when the power gets lost dramtically enough for you to realize it. i changed mine when it had 82k. it looked like black oatmeal lol. you should ask your mechanic or dealer for which type of oil to buy if your going to change it yourself. mechanics should have a computer or book that tells em which year/make/model car requires which part.
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  #13  
Old 03-13-2010, 09:44 AM
tk4454 tk4454 is offline
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the dealership told me i was leaking tranny fluid i looked in the car manual and couldnt find where the dipstick is for it, is there a way to check if its low??
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  #14  
Old 03-13-2010, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by tk4454 View Post
the dealership told me i was leaking tranny fluid i looked in the car manual and couldnt find where the dipstick is for it, is there a way to check if its low??
There isn't a dipstick. Check out the tranny fluid change DIYs in the wiki.
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Old 03-13-2010, 05:02 PM
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dont listen to those ****s. theres prolly 1 out of 100 that knows what they are talking about. if your car is shifting good, and there are no visual leaks, no lights on the gauge, then its not the end of the world. but if you wana clear your head, take it to a good mechanic and ask him to inspect it. if you were in CA i woulda told you a couple of the best mechanics around here.
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  #16  
Old 03-13-2010, 06:04 PM
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here is service data for GM and ZF auto trans
Attached Files
File Type: pdf ATFCapacity.pdf (291.9 KB, 80 views)
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  #17  
Old 03-14-2010, 12:47 AM
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Fifty_Cent Fifty_Cent is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conrad721 View Post
i've read in this forum about this urban legend that if you cross a certain "point of no return", and then change the fluid, you'll screw up your transmission.
i hope this isnt true, and if it is, there's got to be a logic behind it.
What I mean above is that lifetime oils should last at least 60k miles, with an average change interval of 70-80k miles.

I guess the PDF attached says it all, you should check the sticker on you transmission, it will say which one it is, and choose the appropriate oil from the main dealer.
Also, the pdf specifically states that all measurements should be done by an oem BMW diagnostic pc, so its a main dealer job or skilled specialist.
I would like to say again that the use of an OEM filter is a must, I have heard people having problems with a non oem filter.
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  #18  
Old 03-14-2010, 09:18 AM
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It's only $35 OEM filter, even cheaper then from ECS
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  #19  
Old 03-14-2010, 09:43 AM
Nando779 Nando779 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fifty_Cent View Post
Depends on age and mileage - and use.
Generally speaking, if E46 Auto, it needs to be changed not before 60k miles, and you need to change the pan filter as well - and clean the magnets.
Definitely, not a DIY, be very careful with which oil to use, better ask for an opinion at the main dealer. Also, I have heard of people changing the pan filter with non oem, and they then had alot of problems with slipping.

If its a manual, different story, any bmw approved synthetic gear oil is fine - and no filter to change!
Slipping caused by the filter? That sounds a bit odd Did they mention the fluid they used too? I would think it would be the fluid they used that is causing the slipping.
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  #20  
Old 03-14-2010, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Nando779 View Post
Slipping caused by the filter? That sounds a bit odd Did they mention the fluid they used too? I would think it would be the fluid they used that is causing the slipping.
Strange but yes, fluid was correct, filter was not oem, and it was slipping. Changed to oem filter and all was fine.
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  #21  
Old 03-14-2010, 12:19 PM
Nando779 Nando779 is offline
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Originally Posted by Fifty_Cent View Post
Strange but yes, fluid was correct, filter was not oem, and it was slipping. Changed to oem filter and all was fine.
That is very good to know. Will save others some time and headache.
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