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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #26  
Old 06-19-2010, 08:04 AM
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BlueBee-
All you have to do is call the dealer, give them your last 7 of your VIN, and they should be about to tell you what OEM transmission fluid to use.

I used this as well.:
http://www.bmw-z1.com/VIN/VINdecode-e.cgi
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  #27  
Old 06-19-2010, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paferri View Post
that list can be very confusing when someone has the A4S 270R transmission like I do.
I scoured the E39 Bentleys for the A4S-270R transmission and could not find it.

Why is that?

Is there a better list of the E39 transmissions somewhere with the fluids they can use and the replacement volumes they hold?

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  #28  
Old 06-20-2010, 08:55 AM
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I think we've honed in on the transmission fluids to use ... but have we determined the fluid-replacement schedule?

I understand BMW claims "lifetime fluid"; and I see on the net various supposedly bad-luck voodoo stories where the transmission fails (just because) just after a replacement of the fluids.

Can someone edify me as to WHEN we should consider replacing the lifetime fluid?
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  #29  
Old 06-20-2010, 09:34 AM
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ZF says change the "lifetime ATF" every 8 years or 100,000 miles; BMW used to include ATF as part of their service interval, I think at 60,000 miles; "Bimmer" magazine's old school maintenance schedule confirms the 60,000 mile interval; now that I'm set up to do ATF in an afternoon, I'm going to do a 30,000 mile (every two years) interval, or 50,000 mile if I'm lazy!
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  #30  
Old 06-20-2010, 09:42 AM
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Every 30k miles.
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  #31  
Old 06-20-2010, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooray! View Post
ZF ... 8 years or 100,000 miles; BMW ... 60,000 miles; 30,000 mile (every two years)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
Every 30k miles.
Oh my! Is that interval for the automatic or manual (or both)?

I'm at 88K miles on my green label A5S 325Z automatic transmission; I've updated the glovebox printout with the replacement interval (plus everything else said in this thread) and I edited the transmission-specific summary in post 1 of this thread to 60K miles (averaging your recommendations).

Unfortunately (for me), nobody suggested a replacement fluid other than what the Bentleys listed (BMW 83.22.0.024.359, Texaco ETL 8072B, or Shell LA2634) and I haven't yet found a total volume (I could assume "about" 10 quarts to buy but that doesn't tell me how much to put in).

Even after all this, for my specific transmission (2002 525i automatic), I still have basic questions unanswered:
Q1: Are the 30K/60K/100K suggestions above for both the manual and the automatic (or would they have different intervals)?
and ...
Q2: Does ANYONE have any other suggested replacement fluid (green label "A5S 325Z" transmission)?
Q3: Does anyone have a volume for the "A5S 325Z" transmission?

Last edited by bluebee; 06-20-2010 at 11:29 PM.
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  #32  
Old 06-20-2010, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Oh my! Is that interval for the automatic or manual (or both)?

I'm at 88K miles on my green label A5S 325Z automatic transmission; I've updated the glovebox printout with the replacement interval (plus everything else said in this thread) and I edited the transmission-specific summary in post 1 of this thread to 60K miles (averaging your recommendations).

Unfortunately (for me), nobody suggested a replacement fluid other than what the Bentleys listed (BMW 83.22.0.024.359, Texaco ETL 8072B, or Shell LA2634) and I haven't yet found a total volume (I could assume "about" 10 quarts to buy but that doesn't tell me how much to put in).

Even after all this, for my specific transmission (2002 525i automatic), I still have the two basic questions unanswered:
Q1: Are the 30K/60K/100K suggestions above for both the manual and the automatic (or would they have different intervals)?
and ...
Q2: Does ANYONE have any other suggested replacement fluid (green label "A5S 325Z" transmission)?
Q3: Does anyone have a volume for the "A5S 325Z" transmission?
First...
I am old-school, so I like doing the old-school maintenance.

I like to replace the transmission fluid every 20k-30k miles, regardless of an automatic or manual transmission.

Since you are at 88k miles, it still might be considered risky replacing the ATF IMO, as is other people's opinions as well.

However, I replaced my ATF and filter at 80k miles, and again at 90k miles.
I think I remember reading a thread from "Riskant" about having his ZF transmission serviced at ZF, and that ZF recommended replacing/ servicing the ATF/ transmission every 60k or 80k, not sure which... (I can't remember...)

It depends on you, what ATF you want to use.
OEM or something else.
Again, if you want OEM, the OEM ATF part number should be on the bottom of your transmission pan, or, just call the dealer, give them your VIN, and they should be able to give you the OEM ATF and a price with a part number.

Or, you try Mobil 1, Castrol, Amsoil, or Redline.
I believe all of these are compatible with your ATF/ transmission.
However, knowing you.... I would gather that you will probably go with the OEM ATF (Pentosin) to play it safe.

Look here for info and quantity:
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...5&postcount=62

According to the charts...
You have a ZF tranny 5hp19.
Takes 8.9L with and 6.2L without torque converter.

~6 quarts is what I took out and put back in...

VIN decoder:
Enter you VIN here:
http://www.bmw-z1.com/VIN/VINdecode-e.cgi

My threads:
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1009518

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1267367

ATF used:
http://www.amsoil.com/StoreFront/atf.aspx
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Last edited by Jason5driver; 06-21-2010 at 10:23 AM.
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  #33  
Old 06-21-2010, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
Since you are at 88k miles, it still might be considered risky replacing the ATF IMO, or other's opinions as well.
I do not understand that comment. Why would replacing the automatic transmission fluid be considered "risky" for me at 88K miles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
I replaced my ATF and filter at 80k miles
Good point about the filter; I'll add it to the tribal knowledge post.
Does only the automatic have a filter? Or does the manual also have a filter?

Quote:
you will probably go with the OEM ATF (Pentosin) to play it safe.
You have my Modus Operandi correct! But this is the first I'm hearing of "Pentosin".

Quote:
Look here for info and quantity:
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...5&postcount=62

Most excellent charts! (I include them below since they could disappear).

Quote:
Enter your VIN here:
http://www.bmw-z1.com/VIN/VINdecode-e.cgi
Fails every time for me.

Excellent references!
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Last edited by bluebee; 06-21-2010 at 12:16 AM.
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  #34  
Old 06-21-2010, 10:32 AM
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It depends on who you talk to.
Either the dealer, the transmission manufacturer, or some experienced BMW tech, you will always get mixed answers/ opinions when to replace the ATF and whether or not to replace it.
Some say 60k miles, some say 80 miles.... and after you pass a certain mileage, it becomes unsafe to replace the ATF.....
IMO, it is all a wife's tale...
It's up to you, what you want to do to form an educated solution from the experiences and info. flowing around.

I would buy 8 or 9 quarts of ATF.
It depends if you are going to drain the ATF again shortly after...
Call the dealer and a get a price quote.

Pentosin is the OEM ATF.
http://www.eactuning.com/parts/produ...ls/83229407807

PM me your last 7 of your VIN, and I will see if I can get the VIN decoder to work.
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  #35  
Old 06-21-2010, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
and after you pass a certain mileage, it becomes unsafe to replace the ATF.....
What happens?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
Pentosin is the OEM ATF.
That's good to know. Yes, that's what I'll get then (you do know me well!).

Am I that easy to figure out!

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  #36  
Old 06-21-2010, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
What happens?



That's good to know. Yes, that's what I'll get then (you do know me well!).

Am I that easy to figure out!
1. Transmission failure.

2. Yes, your posts tell it all... LOL!
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  #37  
Old 06-21-2010, 03:50 PM
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Call Steve Dose at www.dosebmw.com. He is one of three ZF tranny guys in the USA that I would trust. His opinion on ATF for 5HP19 ZF tranny's is stock ESSO/Lifetime or Valvoline MaxLife. His opinion is that changing the ATF is NOT the cause of failure as urban legend suggests. At 88,000 you are likley fine if you dont already have a torque converter seal tear (known BMW issue), you are lucky, change the ATF and then change it every 60,000 miles minimum afterwards, old school is 30,000+/-.
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  #38  
Old 06-27-2010, 08:04 PM
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As a cross reference, there is excellent ZF 5-HP-19 transmission fluid (and other ZF Getriebe GmbH technical) information in this thread.

For example, see the fluids bulletin attached from that thread.

Note: Nowhere in the Bentleys does it list the ZF 5HP19 transmission; apparently they use a different designation for transmissions (e.g., A5S 325Z). If you have a list of numbers used in the Bentleys which are, in actuality, the ZF 5 HP 19 transmission, please let me know as I'm confused due to the different way these are specified.

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  #39  
Old 06-28-2010, 03:06 PM
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Use Valvoline maxlife instead of Esso, much cheaper and compliant with the ZF transmission. I did and no problems.
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  #40  
Old 09-02-2010, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shenecke View Post
Use Valvoline maxlife instead of Esso
For the record, cn90 wrote a nice manual transmission fluid and differential fluid replacement DIY with recommended fluids here ...

It looks like we should add the "Redline D4 ATF" to the recommendation list below???

- Manual transmission (yellow sticker): BMW PN: 83.22.9.408.942 or MTF-LT-1 (manual transmission fluid, lifetime, I'm not sure what the "1" means) Bentley page 020-10 & 020-30. [Volume: See chart below.] Replacement Interval: Lifetime oil (Bentley 230-6). A user-recommended fluid is "Royal Purple Synchromax 1512 manual transmission fluid" & Redline MT-90 (should I add cn90's Redline D4 ATF & Redline MTL & Mobil1 Synthetic?); the user-recommended replacement interval is roughly 5 years or about 60K miles.
- Manual transmission (orange sticker): The Bentleys, on page 200-4, simply say "ATF" (aka ATF-Oil). Nothing more. Note: This orange sticker is not mentioned in the Bentleys page 020-10 & 020-30 but is noted on page 200-4. Replacement Interval: Lifetime oil (Bentley 230-6); but the user-recommended replacement interval is roughly 5 years or about 60K miles.


Last edited by bluebee; 09-02-2010 at 08:40 AM.
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  #41  
Old 09-02-2010, 08:58 AM
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I once used RP gear oil in my 5-spd manual. I was blissfully ignorant that what I had was not Synchromax. It was terrible in the cold. It shifts hard. On really cold mornings you hear whining from the transmission. You can also hear things clicking into place when you shift. Don't do this... (Duh)

This summer I added 50% Redline MTL and 50% Redline ATF. This combo has provided good results as per a number of posts on this forum. Mine shifts very smoothly and quietly now. I plan on changing the tranny fluid every 1-2 years.
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  #42  
Old 09-02-2010, 11:39 AM
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The Esso fluid is the same as the Pentosin ATF 1 fluid--it's just bottled different--Esso make both of these
brands--I have used the Pentosin on both of the fluid changes to my touring--now has 186k miles and is shifting smooth--first change was around 70k miles and the last one was around 170k miles--must point out though when I change mine I do it in three step entervals--drain and replace--drive about five mile--drain and replace--drive another five miles and then drain and drop the pan and replace the filter and refill--that way I'm removeing most of the bad fluid and not mixing it up with the new.
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  #43  
Old 09-02-2010, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
The Esso fluid is the same as the Pentosin ATF 1 fluid--it's just bottled different--Esso make both of these
brands--I have used the Pentosin on both of the fluid changes to my touring--now has 186k miles and is shifting smooth--first change was around 70k miles and the last one was around 170k miles--must point out though when I change mine I do it in three step entervals--drain and replace--drive about five mile--drain and replace--drive another five miles and then drain and drop the pan and replace the filter and refill--that way I'm removeing most of the bad fluid and not mixing it up with the new.
I'm curious that you do the filter AFTER the first two drain/fill cycles... I read that you dont want to run your 80% new ATF through an old filter and contaminate it, better to run 20% old through the new filter and do the first drain / fill after a really short cycle (few minutes shifting through all gears) then the 2nd drain / fill after a longer one... what is your experience, opinion?
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  #44  
Old 09-03-2010, 04:15 AM
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Look at it this way--you replace the filter and fluid at the same time--and then drain and refill a couple of times
afterwards--your going to bring more contaminates to the fresh filter that way--the filter and good fluid
is what the tranny wants--the way I'm doing it is the next best thing to flushing out all of the old fluid and starting with completly fresh fluid--and I'm trying to devise a way to do that very thing on my next change .
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  #45  
Old 11-12-2010, 11:21 AM
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Nice PDF of the BMW TIS for transmission fluid capacities posted by Doru here.

Included below just in case the original link dies over time.

Personally, I'm scared to change my transmission fluid (green sticker automatic, 2002, 90K miles) as it "sounds" complicated to no end.
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  #46  
Old 11-12-2010, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I think we've honed in on the transmission fluids to use ... but have we determined the fluid-replacement schedule?

I understand BMW claims "lifetime fluid"; and I see on the net various supposedly bad-luck voodoo stories where the transmission fails (just because) just after a replacement of the fluids.

Can someone edify me as to WHEN we should consider replacing the lifetime fluid?
Riskant, in this thread serviced his tranny at ZF Industries - Dortmund. In post #11 he posted that ZF recommends to change the ATF at 100,000 - 120,000 Kms max (60-75 k miles). That's right from the horses mouth.
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  #47  
Old 12-11-2010, 07:50 PM
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Here is an xref to a very nice Pentosin ATF1 automatic transmission fluid DIY:
- DIY ATF Change--3/2001+ 530i (A5S 325Z Tranny)

One thing that perplexes me is the fact that GM no longer certifies Dexron III so I'm surprised the Pentosin container mentions that at all since legally, it is my understanding, that sentence can no longer carry any weight.

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  #48  
Old 12-12-2010, 05:02 PM
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I am still using the Esso fluid sold by BavAuto.com. This is now sold under the Mobil 1 brand name but it is NOT the same as the Mobil 1 ATF sold in the USA. This Mobil 1 ATF is specifically made to ZF specs and sold in Europe. Apparently BavAuto.com is importing it...comes in a 1 liter bottle, not quarts.

I change both my AFT and diff every 30k miles since new. I had the ATF filter changed at 30/60/90, but now just doing the fluid only. I am at 152k now, and when I reach 180k, I will do the filter and gasket again. Since 90k I have been using Redline 75w-90 synthetic gear oil.
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  #49  
Old 12-13-2010, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
I am still using the Esso fluid sold by BavAuto.com. This is now sold under the Mobil 1 brand name but it is NOT the same as the Mobil 1 ATF sold in the USA. This Mobil 1 ATF is specifically made to ZF specs and sold in Europe. Apparently BavAuto.com is importing it...comes in a 1 liter bottle, not quarts.

I change both my AFT and diff every 30k miles since new. I had the ATF filter changed at 30/60/90, but now just doing the fluid only. I am at 152k now, and when I reach 180k, I will do the filter and gasket again. Since 90k I have been using Redline 75w-90 synthetic gear oil.

How do you know the Mobil 1 at Bav Auto is not the same as the Mobil 1 bought off the shelf.
I find it hard to believe that Bav Auto, out all places, has a "secret formula" Mobil 1 ATF.
Sounds like a load of cr@p to me...
IMO, ANY ATF from Castrol, or Mobil will be work on the E39.
The new ATF's now are newer and better.
Always evolving.
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
How do you know the Mobil 1 at Bav Auto is not the same as the Mobil 1 bought off the shelf.
I find it hard to believe that Bav Auto, out all places, has a "secret formula" Mobil 1 ATF.
Sounds like a load of cr@p to me...
IMO, ANY ATF from Castrol, or Mobil will be work on the E39.
The new ATF's now are newer and better.
Always evolving.
Jason,
I am not a huge fan of BavAuto.com, but I am quite certain this product is what it claims. All they are doing is privately importing a product only sold in Europe...nothing "secret" about that. It is called "Mobil ATF LT 71141", it was formally sold under the "Esso" label. Same exact product. It comes in a ONE LITER bottle....ever seen Mobil products sold by the liter in the states? On the back, it has information printed in EU style in about 12 languages. It also states on the back: "Made in EU" and "ExxonMobil Lubricants & Specialties Europe" Here is a retailer in the UK selling it online: http://www.iridiumengineering.co.uk/lt71141.htm $22.23 in todays dollars. Surprisingly it is a bit less from BavAuto.com at $21.95, even after they pay the freight and duties to get it to the States.

Attached are photos of the front and back of the bottle. You may not be convinced, but we can let everyone decide for themselves.

I am not going to argue that other oils may or may not be compatible with the ZF "LT 71141 " specification. What I can say about this product, is it is specifically labeled only for this application, and no other. It is also the specified lubricant recommended by ZF and BMW (actually they recommend ESSO, but has been replaced by the Mobil product. Same manufacturer, different label)
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Factory M-Sport package with factory installed M-tech bumpers, factory Bluetooth, factory M-Audio 10" dual voice coil subs, Homelink, M5 rear stabilizer bar, Bilstein B14 PSS coil overs, Stop Tech ss brake lines, Akebono Euro Ceramic brake pads, oem Brembo and Zimmerman rotors, Dinan Stage 1 software, Strong Strut front upper stress bar.

Last edited by 540 M-Sport; 12-13-2010 at 03:06 PM.
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