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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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  #101  
Old 11-14-2011, 05:47 PM
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Yup. Make sure to have the car lifted evenly both front and rear. When the car is raised and level let it run for a bit to warm up. While running remove the fill plug and pump fluid in until it overflows. Close it up. Get in the car and take the car through the gears: P, N, R, N, etc. About three or four times each. Get underneath and attempt to pump more fluid in. If it overflows you know you're done. Put the bolt back on and drop the car.
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  #102  
Old 11-14-2011, 06:11 PM
JG4 JG4 is offline
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Thanks moiz! The original post (though extremely well written) seems to suggest that measuring precisely the amount of fluid that comes out and the amount of fluid that comes in is critical. But it seems that we don't need to worry about it, as long as we do the refill at the appropriate temp range (followed by the gear shifts that you mentioned).

To be clear:

1) let the temp rise until warm to the touch
2) remove plug and refill until it overflows
3) shift gears 4-5 times (while engine is still on and temp is still rising)
4) remove plug again and refill until it overflows
5) end

Correct ?
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  #103  
Old 11-14-2011, 07:01 PM
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Yup, you got it.
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  #104  
Old 11-15-2011, 06:32 PM
Variocam Variocam is offline
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That's how I did it. But am I the only one who got the willies sitting in the car up on four jack stands with the engine running, running through the gears, keeping the revs up high enough to allow the tranny to do so? It felt like it was going to fall off the stands at any moment. By far the worst part of the job for me...
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  #105  
Old 11-16-2011, 12:12 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Variocam View Post
That's how I did it. But am I the only one who got the willies sitting in the car up on four jack stands with the engine running, running through the gears, keeping the revs up high enough to allow the tranny to do so? It felt like it was going to fall off the stands at any moment. By far the worst part of the job for me...
Shifting thru gears in this context simply means shifting from P to R to N to D a couple of times. That's all. No revving on the jack stands necessary , that would not be safe.
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  #106  
Old 11-16-2011, 05:53 PM
Variocam Variocam is offline
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I swear I saw that the recommended procedure was to shift through all the gears up and down several times. Is this not right? Doing so required me to "travel" at pretty high speeds with the car up on jack stands. It was one of the scariest things I've ever done in a car, including spinning out in a 60 mph corner at Motorsport Ranch in Fort Worth! So all you have to do is shift from P to R to N to D a few times? Crap! So I risked life, limb, and car for nothing?
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  #107  
Old 11-16-2011, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Variocam View Post
I swear I saw that the recommended procedure was to shift through all the gears up and down several times. Is this not right? Doing so required me to "travel" at pretty high speeds with the car up on jack stands. It was one of the scariest things I've ever done in a car, including spinning out in a 60 mph corner at Motorsport Ranch in Fort Worth! So all you have to do is shift from P to R to N to D a few times? Crap! So I risked life, limb, and car for nothing?
Hey, let's focus on the positive - you are still with us walking upon this earth

BTW, did you really manage to get the car shift thru gears 1 thru 5 on jack stands??
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  #108  
Old 11-17-2011, 12:25 AM
JG4 JG4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Variocam View Post
I swear I saw that the recommended procedure was to shift through all the gears up and down several times. Is this not right? Doing so required me to "travel" at pretty high speeds with the car up on jack stands. It was one of the scariest things I've ever done in a car, including spinning out in a 60 mph corner at Motorsport Ranch in Fort Worth! So all you have to do is shift from P to R to N to D a few times? Crap! So I risked life, limb, and car for nothing?
OMG, now I understand what you did . Can picture an E46 blasting out of a garage door at 70 mph and smashing into the old lady's front door while she is taking care of her beloved garden
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  #109  
Old 11-17-2011, 06:07 PM
Variocam Variocam is offline
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Yup, that's exactly what I did. I took the instruction to "shift up and down several times through the gears" (which I still swear I saw somewhere...) very literally. To make matters worse, my good jack stands were (and still are) tied up under my 92 Porsche 968, which I'm in the process of converting to a dedicated track car, so I had to use my two cheapo Harbor Freight crappy stands, and a couple I borrowed from a neighbor down the street! It's a miracle the car didn't fly off. It's a testament to the smoothness of the BMW straight six, I suppose. At least I can be confident I got the trans fluid well circulated through the transmission!
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  #110  
Old 11-17-2011, 09:47 PM
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Frightening prospect... I was nervous enough just engaging my car in gear when I did this. I can't imagine giving it gas while the wheels spin. Wow.

I did this service before I found this thread. I used the ZF process found in several other write ups before I realized my transmission was a GM. Once I realized that, I had to return the filter I had bought as well as the ATF fluid. I ended up using the Dexron VI and bought an aftermarket kit as well. My trans had 144k on it and had never had the fluid changed. I wasn't having any trouble, but I felt as though a change of fluid was needed simply due to the mileage. My mother put over half those miles on the car driving like the old person she is.

My fluid was pretty dark but not as bad as expected. I had the sludge on the magnet, but not as much as I had anticipated. The trans is shifting a little smoother now and my mileage has gone up a tad, noticeable only on the highway portion of my drive. I'll do another drain in about 10k miles to keep the fluid as clean and new as possible.

This really isn't a horrible job for most folks. I used a bucket that had liters and quarts on the inside lip. I measured how much I drained out (not spilling a drop I might add because the bucket kept that from happening) and was able to put the exact same amount back in just as it started to spill out. It was almost the same amount to a tablespoon. I'd recommend this being a regular service to most anyone, just making sure that it happens at 100k or so the first time.

What's the consensus (if there is one) of a schedule for this service?
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  #111  
Old 11-18-2011, 06:35 AM
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I believe it varies from person to person. No 1 general consensus on when to change it after the first initial one. I think I've read anywhere from 15-30k between changes.
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  #112  
Old 11-18-2011, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moiz21 View Post
I believe it varies from person to person. No 1 general consensus on when to change it after the first initial one. I think I've read anywhere from 15-30k between changes.
That sounds about what I've read on the various forums. I said 10k but I think I'll actually do the 15k. A change every 15k would be much cheaper and, in my mind at least, keep the fluid fresh. It would also lessen the need to replace the filter again for a long time.
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  #113  
Old 01-01-2012, 08:38 AM
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Update: the fluid change was done at 85k, the current mileage is 111k. Transmission still works as new. Planning another change soon, may be in summer.
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  #114  
Old 01-01-2012, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starless View Post
Update: the fluid change was done at 85k, the current mileage is 111k. Transmission still works as new. Planning another change soon, may be in summer.
A clean tranny is a happy tranny.....
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  #115  
Old 03-26-2012, 01:05 PM
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Mark in TX Mark in TX is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starless View Post
My 02 325i is equipped with GM transmission, A5S 390R-ZP in the BMW nomenclature or 5L40E in the GM nomenclature. The pan has a blue sticker with the oil part #: 83220024359...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mhnd View Post
My car is 2004 330xi automatic, GM A5S390R...
Where are you guys getting this info?

I'm seeing the aforementioned blue sticker on the pan (totally covered in road grime) but the only other info I'm seeing is on a metal plate on the left side of the transmission housing, pictured here:

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  #116  
Old 03-26-2012, 03:27 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Well, u found it Mark, you have GM, just like mine.
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  #117  
Old 03-27-2012, 10:53 AM
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Indeed it is a GM. But I had been wondering about determining whether one has the 360R vs 390R. Reason being, at least once upon a time, BMW recommended different oils for each. That per BMW's "Transmission Fundamentals" document, dated 2003.

But presumably it's a moot point if BMW now recommends Dexron VI for both.

Note to those who are shopping for parts related to ATF flushing: at least 2 of the more popular online BMW parts suppliers have discrepancies in their product descriptions. For example, Redline recommends their own Dexron D4 ATF for the 390R but Bavarian Autosport, a well known Redline reseller, does not. They recommend LiquiMoly Top Tec but it is not noted in the product info whether Top Tec is rated Dexron VI.

Other discrepancies you'll see involve the quantity of oil needed as well as the E46 production dates before and after which the pan, gasket, & filter parts are different. The correct "switchover" date is March 1, 2002 (per realoem and BMW ETK data). If your automatic E46 was built in March of '02, before buying supplies I'd get under it and look for the metal plate pictured in my earlier thread. You'll need a flashlight but won't need to remove anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ventsyv View Post
It's strange that OP reports 5.25L of fluid, I would imagine BMW would've been selling the fluid in the correct sizes ...
Per BMW ETK, the 390R's oil capacity is 8.1 liters. Considering how much oil remains on the many inner surfaces and in the torque converter after draining, ~5L drained sounds about right. Thus the argument for an add'l drain & fill as discussed above, which would achieve a more complete flush.
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  #118  
Old 06-27-2012, 11:39 AM
gerchik gerchik is offline
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Texaco ETL 8072B oil pricing and availabilty

I was able to locate a Texaco ETL 8072B oil. Just contacted one of the BMW dealerships and the guy from the parts department said that they have it.
I left my work and drove to see the parts guy.
I was so excited to find it and when he brought an entire barrel I said I'll buy it all.
He looked at me and said it would be eleven hundred bucks.
As I found the price for one liter is 55 dollars.
I think it is way too much. I called another dealership and they said that Dextron VI is a substitute but then he said it may be wrong , it is dextron 3. So now I am confused. I have a number on my tranny pan as 83220024359 and it is GM tranny. My bimmer is 2003 X5 model with 94K miles. I just bought it from the old lady who took a good care of this car. There is no a single ding, very clean in and out. After reading so many posts I made a plan to change an ATF just as maintenance. Nothing wrong with it.
What would you recommend?
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  #119  
Old 06-27-2012, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark in TX View Post
Indeed it is a GM. But I had been wondering about determining whether one has the 360R vs 390R. Reason being, at least once upon a time, BMW recommended different oils for each. That per BMW's "Transmission Fundamentals" document, dated 2003.

But presumably it's a moot point if BMW now recommends Dexron VI for both.

Note to those who are shopping for parts related to ATF flushing: at least 2 of the more popular online BMW parts suppliers have discrepancies in their product descriptions. For example, Redline recommends their own Dexron D4 ATF for the 390R but Bavarian Autosport, a well known Redline reseller, does not. They recommend LiquiMoly Top Tec but it is not noted in the product info whether Top Tec is rated Dexron VI.

Other discrepancies you'll see involve the quantity of oil needed as well as the E46 production dates before and after which the pan, gasket, & filter parts are different. The correct "switchover" date is March 1, 2002 (per realoem and BMW ETK data). If your automatic E46 was built in March of '02, before buying supplies I'd get under it and look for the metal plate pictured in my earlier thread. You'll need a flashlight but won't need to remove anything.



Per BMW ETK, the 390R's oil capacity is 8.1 liters. Considering how much oil remains on the many inner surfaces and in the torque converter after draining, ~5L drained sounds about right. Thus the argument for an add'l drain & fill as discussed above, which would achieve a more complete flush.
Nice seeing everyone changing their fluid now, I remember back when I was considered a rebel on here for changing mine and telling people to change their fluid

Wanted to quote on this one since this post mentions redline fluid. DO NOT use redline fluid. I tried it to start with and it was shifted like crap. Almost felt like slipage. I switched to the correct factory fluid afterwards and its still going strong headed to 300,000 miles.

I will probably try the dex vi next time. But the redline fluid SUCKED. Just wanted to warn folks.
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  #120  
Old 09-30-2012, 08:33 AM
semockr semockr is offline
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I asked my BMW dealer service rep about changing the fluid in my year 2000 323i and he said it doesnt have to be changed, maybe thats the reason for no dipstick.
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  #121  
Old 09-30-2012, 12:42 PM
sammy2303 sammy2303 is offline
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Is there anyway to tell what auto-transmission type I have on my '04 325xi without
reading attempting to read the pan label? Also, do you really have to drop the front axle on
the xi to get to the ATF fill plug?

Last edited by sammy2303; 09-30-2012 at 12:44 PM. Reason: typo
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  #122  
Old 09-30-2012, 05:13 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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All xi have GMs
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  #123  
Old 09-30-2012, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by semockr View Post
I asked my BMW dealer service rep about changing the fluid in my year 2000 323i and he said it doesnt have to be changed, maybe thats the reason for no dipstick.
If your service rep told you that then your reps a moron.

There is no such thing as lifetime fluid in anything.

Yes it needs changing.
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  #124  
Old 09-30-2012, 09:25 PM
semockr semockr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammy2303 View Post
Is there anyway to tell what auto-transmission type I have on my '04 325xi without reading attempting to read the pan label?
The key data printout from a dealer has a option info section that lists a code and description such as 205 Steptronic automatic trans in my case.
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  #125  
Old 10-11-2012, 09:08 PM
o2man2 o2man2 is offline
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A5s390r/gm e5l40e

Just an FYI, I have 2004 330I with the GM A5S390R transmission and the green label. The BMW service adviser confirmed that the dealership was using Dexron VI for all transmission draining for this model which originally had Texaco fluid. He said they offer a full flush or drain only and it was safe to mix the Dexron VI. A full flush was $400, drain only no filter $150.00. So, GM's list of approved Dexron VI is long and included Super Tech Dexron VI from Walmart. I bought the Super Tech for $4.27 per qt, got the same identical filter kit from Advanced Auto that is sold by all the on line bimmer parts stores for only $17.33. Changed the fluid and filter and my car shifts as if it was new. The guys in Walmart said the Super Tech motor oil was Texaco oil so you know a major manufacturer private labels the AFT. Don't get caught up in the hype of $9.00 per qt. high end brands, Dexron VI is a synthetic blend no matter which brand you buy. I have put 25k on this fluid and can't tell the difference between $4.27 per qt and $9.00 per qt. other than my wallet is fatter.
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