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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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  #51  
Old 06-20-2010, 10:19 AM
Variocam Variocam is offline
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What a great thread! Thanks to all who have contributed. I agree with Starless's reasoning as to why he used the original type ATF. However, since you can't get anywhere near all the ATF out with a single drain, wouldn't a reasonable, cost-effective yet safe alternative be to drain the original fluid, fill with Dexron VI, drive it for a short time (maybe a week or two), then repeat the process once or twice? This way, you'd replace most of the original fluid with the Dexron VI, which is probably better ATF, and minimize the compatibility concerns by doing the multiple flushes (which you'd probably want to do even if you're using the original type fluid to thoroughly replace the old with the new). The only thing I'm not sure of is whether to replace the filter during the first flush, or the last.
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  #52  
Old 06-20-2010, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Variocam View Post
What a great thread! Thanks to all who have contributed. I agree with Starless's reasoning as to why he used the original type ATF. However, since you can't get anywhere near all the ATF out with a single drain, wouldn't a reasonable, cost-effective yet safe alternative be to drain the original fluid, fill with Dexron VI, drive it for a short time (maybe a week or two), then repeat the process once or twice? This way, you'd replace most of the original fluid with the Dexron VI, which is probably better ATF, and minimize the compatibility concerns by doing the multiple flushes (which you'd probably want to do even if you're using the original type fluid to thoroughly replace the old with the new). The only thing I'm not sure of is whether to replace the filter during the first flush, or the last.
From what I gather, the filters aren't very efficient. I'd say change it the first time and put a drain plug in your pan for subsequent draining.
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  #53  
Old 06-20-2010, 10:54 AM
gabriels gabriels is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Variocam View Post
What a great thread! Thanks to all who have contributed. I agree with Starless's reasoning as to why he used the original type ATF. However, since you can't get anywhere near all the ATF out with a single drain, wouldn't a reasonable, cost-effective yet safe alternative be to drain the original fluid, fill with Dexron VI, drive it for a short time (maybe a week or two), then repeat the process once or twice? This way, you'd replace most of the original fluid with the Dexron VI, which is probably better ATF, and minimize the compatibility concerns by doing the multiple flushes (which you'd probably want to do even if you're using the original type fluid to thoroughly replace the old with the new). The only thing I'm not sure of is whether to replace the filter during the first flush, or the last.
im driving already 200km with dexron vi mixed with texaco 8072
the car is driving great.
maybe ill do drain and refill this week.

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  #54  
Old 06-20-2010, 11:26 AM
tamvegas tamvegas is offline
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Originally Posted by gabriels View Post
is it after total flush or just adding to the old oil in the atf?
I drained the tranny and replaced the filter & gasket. No torque converter drain. Put about 6.5 quarts back in. Noticing smoother and more positive shifting as time goes by (about 400 miles so far), so I think another change will be happening soon. This time most likely just a drain and fill. A filter and gasket change after hitting about 10k miles on the fresh filter.
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  #55  
Old 06-20-2010, 11:33 AM
tamvegas tamvegas is offline
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Originally Posted by catso View Post
From what I gather, the filters aren't very efficient. I'd say change it the first time and put a drain plug in your pan for subsequent draining.
Agree with Catso. Change the filter and gasket the first time & just drain and fill till at least 10k miles or so. Then you'll be able to also see how much particulate has attached to the rare earth magnet in the tranny pan (a good guide as to how things are wearing).
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  #56  
Old 06-20-2010, 03:12 PM
Variocam Variocam is offline
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Originally Posted by catso View Post
From what I gather, the filters aren't very efficient. I'd say change it the first time and put a drain plug in your pan for subsequent draining.
Yes, after writing my post, I realized that doing the filter replacement during the first flush makes the most sense. But what do you mean by "put a drain plug in your pan for subsequent draining?" There is a drain plug in the pan already, as Starless' photos show.
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  #57  
Old 06-20-2010, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Variocam View Post
Yes, after writing my post, I realized that doing the filter replacement during the first flush makes the most sense. But what do you mean by "put a drain plug in your pan for subsequent draining?" There is a drain plug in the pan already, as Starless' photos show.
Sorry, I was under the impression that some E46 automatics don't have drain plugs. My E46 is a manual. My old E28 has a drain plug and I do a drain and refill every year. Since BMW now says the trans contains "lifetime trans fluid" I thought they eliminated the drain plug. Aftermarket drain plug kits are available for almost any car.
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  #58  
Old 06-26-2010, 01:28 PM
gabriels gabriels is offline
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Another refill

did another drain and refill - tranny is better then ever , very smooth and working great.
drove 50km with the new fluid.
hope it stays that way for a long time :-)
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  #59  
Old 07-07-2010, 12:47 AM
kolian78 kolian78 is offline
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nice DIY ,i will be doing this soon , one question , for the final fill did you leave the car in park or neutral?
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  #60  
Old 07-07-2010, 01:03 AM
Goten Goten is offline
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Originally Posted by kolian78 View Post
nice DIY ,i will be doing this soon , one question , for the final fill did you leave the car in park or neutral?
When I did this, for the final fill you'd start the car and go through P=>D and let it stay in each position for a few seconds before going to the next for about 10-15 times. Make sure the car is still running when you do the final fill. And I left mine in park.
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  #61  
Old 07-07-2010, 06:16 AM
Starless Starless is offline
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Originally Posted by Goten View Post
When I did this, for the final fill you'd start the car and go through P=>D and let it stay in each position for a few seconds before going to the next for about 10-15 times. Make sure the car is still running when you do the final fill. And I left mine in park.
That's exactly the way this should be done.
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  #62  
Old 07-10-2010, 04:53 PM
kolian78 kolian78 is offline
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thanks for replys,so I called the dealer for some ETL 8072B and they say use any dextron 6 ,what u guys say?
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  #63  
Old 08-06-2010, 11:04 AM
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First, I would like to thank Starless for a great writeup. Very informative and helpful.

I have a '99 232i (8/1998 build date) that started having transmission problems. It would intermittently go into safe mode for what seemed like no apparent reason. I would shut of the car, wait a minute, and start it back up and everything would be fine. Over time this got more prevalent until it was happening quite often. There was also sometime a lag when putting the car into gear that seemed to be occurring more frequently.

The car has 127,000 miles and was still on the original transmission fluid. After much research and debating with myself, I finally decided to go ahead and do a fluid/filter change. The transmission is an A5S 360R (GM 5L40E). The green sticker on the pan called for Dexron III fluid (not the Texaco stuff), and I double checked with the dealership and they confirmed any Dexron III fluid. So...more research about GM transmissions and transmission fluid to use. After a lot of reading, and more debating with myself, I finally settled on trying Castrol Dexron VI.

I just changed out the fluid yesterday, which thanks to Starless's writeup (and having access to a lift so I did not need to crawl underneath the car) was fairly easy, and and it now seems like a whole new car. There is no longer a delay putting the car into gear, shifts are smoother, and no matter how much I try I cannot get the transmission to go into safe mode. Time will only tell if the issue is truly fixed or if I have only temporary covered up the problem, but so far so good.
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  #64  
Old 08-06-2010, 12:23 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Congratulations! I'm glad it worked out for you.

I have another write-up concerning early GM automatics. I'm hoping you will never need it or at least will not need it for a very long time. But they are known for losing the reverse gear. The problem is the thin aluminum of their valve body casting. Just something to keep in mind and the write up can be found here: click on me
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  #65  
Old 10-25-2010, 02:38 PM
bhansell bhansell is offline
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Fellas,

Just wanted to contribute and let everyone know that I just changed my ATF using this tutorial -- I used Castrol Import Multi-Vehicle ATF and the Meisterstatz kit. No problems at all thanks to the great tutorial. I had 52,860 miles on the car and after a week I'd say it drives exactly the same. Probably a little early to change the ATF, but I was eager to do it. Thanks again Starless.

-Brian
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  #66  
Old 10-25-2010, 09:58 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Originally Posted by bhansell View Post
Fellas,

Just wanted to contribute and let everyone know that I just changed my ATF using this tutorial -- I used Castrol Import Multi-Vehicle ATF and the Meisterstatz kit. No problems at all thanks to the great tutorial. I had 52,860 miles on the car and after a week I'd say it drives exactly the same. Probably a little early to change the ATF, but I was eager to do it. Thanks again Starless.

-Brian
You are welcome. I'd also do a couple of more drain and fill changes to displace most of the old fluid. I think Castrol Import is a good choice of the alternative ATF. It apparently contains the bouquet of friction modifiers quite similar to those in the original Texaco fluid.

A little off bmw topic but I've just finished ATF change for our van. It's so much easier to have a dipstick and be Dex III compatible. I did it without dropping the pan and filter change and it took 10 minutes I also used Castrol Import since it's recommended for the original Nissan Matic D fluid which is basically Dex 3 with some boutique friction modifiers.

Last edited by Starless; 10-25-2010 at 10:00 PM.
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  #67  
Old 10-26-2010, 01:28 AM
bernoccoZHP bernoccoZHP is offline
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[QUOTE=bhansell;5572909]Fellas,

Just wanted to contribute and let everyone know that I just changed my ATF using this tutorial -- I used Castrol Import Multi-Vehicle ATF and the Meisterstatz kit. No problems at all thanks to the great tutorial. I had 52,860 miles on the car and after a week I'd say it drives exactly the same. Probably a little early to change the ATF, but I was eager to do it. Thanks again Starless.

-Brian[/

Thanks for the update.
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Last edited by bernoccoZHP; 10-26-2010 at 01:29 AM.
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  #68  
Old 10-26-2010, 06:28 AM
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catso catso is offline
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Originally Posted by Starless View Post
You are welcome. I'd also do a couple of more drain and fill changes to displace most of the old fluid. I think Castrol Import is a good choice of the alternative ATF. It apparently contains the bouquet of friction modifiers quite similar to those in the original Texaco fluid.

A little off bmw topic but I've just finished ATF change for our van. It's so much easier to have a dipstick and be Dex III compatible. I did it without dropping the pan and filter change and it took 10 minutes I also used Castrol Import since it's recommended for the original Nissan Matic D fluid which is basically Dex 3 with some boutique friction modifiers.
On cars I have that don't have a drain plug I use a hand suction pump for fluid changing and it works pretty well.
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  #69  
Old 10-26-2010, 06:44 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Originally Posted by catso View Post
On cars I have that don't have a drain plug I use a hand suction pump for fluid changing and it works pretty well.
It actually did have a drain plug. That's why it took me 10 minutes. I was just lazy to drop the pan and change the filter. My point was it's much easier with a dipstick than without. Also when the user manual says the fluid is Dex3 compatible it gives you a peace of mind to a certain extend
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  #70  
Old 11-20-2010, 05:35 AM
zQUEz zQUEz is online now
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I appreciate your work on this DIY Starless. I just finished the work on my '03 325i ~108K miles. With this DIY, it went seamlessly, despite me being a lil' anxious about working under a running vehicle. Thanks!
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  #71  
Old 11-20-2010, 10:15 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Originally Posted by zQUEz View Post
I appreciate your work on this DIY Starless. I just finished the work on my '03 325i ~108K miles. With this DIY, it went seamlessly, despite me being a lil' anxious about working under a running vehicle. Thanks!
No problem. And quick update: it's been about 11K since the ATF change and transmission is shifting like new.
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  #72  
Old 12-07-2010, 10:04 PM
kjsgadh kjsgadh is offline
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Hello all.

First of all thanks for the great write up Starless.

Second, I have a question. I had my ATF fluid changed by a reputable local indy (Curry's Auto, Falls Church, VA) at 95K miles. They used a trans flush machine, so the pan was not dropped and the filter not changed. They also used BG Universal ATF. Details at http://www.bgprod.com/blendr/syntheticATF.html. I have not been able to find much detail on this fluid.

While researching the issue of idle dipping when changing from Park/Neutral to Reverse/Drive, I ran across the large number of threads reporting reverse failure on the ZF 5HP19, which is what I believe I have. I have a 2001 330i (produced June 2000). And I am becoming partially paranoid about the transmission.

I was contemplating replacing the fluid again with one of the appropriate fluids listed by forum members. I was thinking about draining the fluid from the fill/drain plugs and dropping the pan, replacing the filter, but refilling through the trans cooler lines using a hand operated air pump, in order to replace all of it at once. I have not seen any one on here taking that approach.

I just wanted to run it by everyone else here to get their opinions about what they thought. If not this, then I would have to drop the pan and replace the fluid at least 3 times to get close to all new fluid in there.

Please advise. Thanks in advance.
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  #73  
Old 12-07-2010, 10:23 PM
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If u get a chance could u put up a pic or something pointing these lines out? I'm planning on doing the fluid in the next few days. Already have the ATF and filter/gasket. Prolly gonna get to it Saturday.
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  #74  
Old 12-07-2010, 11:13 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Originally Posted by kjsgadh View Post
Hello all.

First of all thanks for the great write up Starless.

Second, I have a question. I had my ATF fluid changed by a reputable local indy (Curry's Auto, Falls Church, VA) at 95K miles. They used a trans flush machine, so the pan was not dropped and the filter not changed. They also used BG Universal ATF. Details at http://www.bgprod.com/blendr/syntheticATF.html. I have not been able to find much detail on this fluid.

While researching the issue of idle dipping when changing from Park/Neutral to Reverse/Drive, I ran across the large number of threads reporting reverse failure on the ZF 5HP19, which is what I believe I have. I have a 2001 330i (produced June 2000). And I am becoming partially paranoid about the transmission.

I was contemplating replacing the fluid again with one of the appropriate fluids listed by forum members. I was thinking about draining the fluid from the fill/drain plugs and dropping the pan, replacing the filter, but refilling through the trans cooler lines using a hand operated air pump, in order to replace all of it at once. I have not seen any one on here taking that approach.

I just wanted to run it by everyone else here to get their opinions about what they thought. If not this, then I would have to drop the pan and replace the fluid at least 3 times to get close to all new fluid in there.

Please advise. Thanks in advance.
I have heard about this way of doing this (thru the lines) and about the people who have done it this way but I'd really need to research it more to do it myself, however theoretically it make sense and so on. But instead of your idea of hand operated pump it's usually done by starting the car and letting the transmission pump circulate the atf untill fresh fluid comes out. Well, I've never tried it and I'm not sure I want to mess with it.

However what I am going to do next time is disconnect both lines from the transmission cooler and let the ATF drain from them and from the cooler with the purpose of draining still more fluid.

And by the way, you do have ZF I believe, my write up is for GM, but Torquewrench has an awesome write up for ZF in DIY section of the forum. ZFs are known for weak reverse drum. There is a Reverse Drum Replacement DIY on fanatics. GMs' reverse problem is the wear and failure of certain valve body components due to the thin aluminium used for making the GM valve body. The replacement of the valve body and/or installation of the Sonnax valve body kits solve this problem in case of the GM transmission. ZFs often need a reverse drum though.
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  #75  
Old 12-07-2010, 11:53 PM
kjsgadh kjsgadh is offline
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moiz21,

please refer to the images below.

GM Transmission - http://www.realoem.com/bmw/diagrams/u/v/54.png

ZF Transmission - http://www.realoem.com/bmw/diagrams/e/e/25.png

The lines I am referring to are parts 4 and 5. The are connected to the heat exchanger, which cools the fluid.

Alex,

I thought about that, but I was skeptical about draining the fluid from the pan, and then starting the car. Wouldn't that starve the fluid pump? I am not sure how exactly the fluid is pumped around in the trans. Is it a pump with vanes, or some other kind of vacuum suction system. Also, I was a little concerned that the fluid may flow too fast if I used the trans pump itself, didn't wanna make a mess.

Although I am doubtful if any hand operated pump would be able to create enough pressure to completely circulate through all the nooks and crannies of the valve body.

I also read up about the types of failures and recently ran into the ZF rebuild thread. It gave me a lot of relief to see that.

BTW, has anyone heard of/used the BG Universal ATF? Experiences?

Thanks a lot guys.

--Kiran.
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