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General BMW
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  #1  
Old 01-15-2013, 05:48 PM
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Anyone have over 100k on a BMW transmission?

I have heard that a BMW automatic will generally fail between 80k and 120k miles. And that is failing in such a way as to require a full rebuild. Is this true? I have 28k on my 2011 328NA. And sticking with it for the long haul so I am looking for some feedback.
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  #2  
Old 01-15-2013, 06:36 PM
air_cooled air_cooled is offline
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Mein Auto: E39 528i / E34 540i
Can't comment on your 328. You would do better to ask the E90 crowd.
So far so good on my E39 and the E34 has 140kmiles with two fluid changes in my ownership. I don't abuse the car and expect it to last 200+ k without any problems.
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  #3  
Old 01-15-2013, 06:49 PM
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Mein Auto: 2001 330i
I had 150k on my e46 with no problems. Did two fluid changes and I drove relatively hard. Sold it two weeks ago.
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  #4  
Old 01-16-2013, 01:46 AM
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Quote:
Is this true?
NO.


The automatic in my 1990 e34 was well over 240,000 miles when I sold it.


BMW doesn't make transmissions. They buy automatics from GM and ZF. They buy manuals from ZF and Getrag. Magna makes some of the x-drive components. Early 1st generation MINIs used a troublesome Rover 5-speed manual.

Some e46 323i cars have the infamous "No Reverse" transmission. Google will find details.
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  #5  
Old 01-17-2013, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew*Debbie View Post
NO.


The automatic in my 1990 e34 was well over 240,000 miles when I sold it.


BMW doesn't make transmissions. They buy automatics from GM and ZF. They buy manuals from ZF and Getrag. Magna makes some of the x-drive components. Early 1st generation MINIs used a troublesome Rover 5-speed manual.

Some e46 323i cars have the infamous "No Reverse" transmission. Google will find details.
I knew about the ZF and Getrag but not the GM. Is it the same one used in the Volvo?
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  #6  
Old 01-17-2013, 10:55 PM
jhurless jhurless is offline
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I have also heard a lot of these rumors about BMW transmissions going out, especially in Southern California. People actually joking about "almost time for a transmission" like it was a common thing.

On the contrary, I have worked on these cars for the last 5 years and have literally not seen one come in that needed a transmission. That doesn't mean that they don't break, I'm sure they do, especially with the way a lot of SoCal folks drive. But in my experience (in the Northwest US), I have yet to see one go bad.

With good maintenance and reasonable driving, I don't think you have anything to worry about.

Last edited by jhurless; 01-17-2013 at 10:56 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-17-2013, 11:08 PM
ian@jewelorjalopy ian@jewelorjalopy is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 540it Sport - sold
My e39 had 150k on it's original ZF transmission.

My e34 had it's GM transmission replaced before 100k. They were known for being somewhat weak.

If you're concerned, have the fluid changed at 50k, 100k, 150k and that should add some life. Treat it kindly too.
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  #8  
Old 01-19-2013, 07:50 AM
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I have 212,000 miles on my E46 325xi transmission with no issues. I mean, I've had issues but not with the transmission.
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  #9  
Old 01-19-2013, 08:07 AM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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My 2009 x3 has 109k on the same GM 6L45E tranny you have in your e90. I just changed the fluid the 3rd time at 100k. It shifts as smooth as butter...and that's saying a lot because early post lci x3s got a batch of bad shifting tranny's. Mine was not among that batch (my build date was after the revised control module).

I am not at all worried....I know its a different model but head over to the e46 forum sticky...there is an awesome transmission poll thread there...your fears will soon be dissuaded...

Last edited by x3brian; 01-19-2013 at 08:08 AM.
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  #10  
Old 01-23-2013, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x3brian View Post
My 2009 x3 has 109k on the same GM 6L45E tranny you have in your e90. I just changed the fluid the 3rd time at 100k. It shifts as smooth as butter...and that's saying a lot because early post lci x3s got a batch of bad shifting tranny's. Mine was not among that batch (my build date was after the revised control module).

I am not at all worried....I know its a different model but head over to the e46 forum sticky...there is an awesome transmission poll thread there...your fears will soon be dissuaded...
Surfing today about my new found information about GM tranny I found this forum: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=699647
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  #11  
Old 01-23-2013, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L0rd NIk0n View Post
Surfing today about my new found information about GM tranny I found this forum: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=699647
Insane story on that e90 but something sounds fishy....a replaced tc and tranny in 30k and then wrong fluid used???
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  #12  
Old 01-23-2013, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L0rd NIk0n View Post
Surfing today about my new found information about GM tranny I found this forum: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=699647
I read the thread. Somebody had been messing with the transmission before the OP bought the car. Someone swapped in the wrong torque converter and then refiled with the incorrect fluid.

I'm not surprised the car had transmission problems. I'd like to see the service history and the carfax.



This was a used non-cpo car. 30,000 miles on a car just over 4 years old? I suspect odometer roll back. CPO warranty isn't everything, but this would not have happened with a CPO car.
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Last edited by Andrew*Debbie; 01-24-2013 at 01:48 AM.
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  #13  
Old 01-27-2013, 04:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew*Debbie View Post
I read the thread. Somebody had been messing with the transmission before the OP bought the car. Someone swapped in the wrong torque converter and then refiled with the incorrect fluid.

I'm not surprised the car had transmission problems. I'd like to see the service history and the carfax.



This was a used non-cpo car. 30,000 miles on a car just over 4 years old? I suspect odometer roll back. CPO warranty isn't everything, but this would not have happened with a CPO car.
Great insight!! I wouldn't buy a BMW from a non BMW dealer.
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  #14  
Old 01-27-2013, 10:01 AM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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130k miles on mine. Original fluid.
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  #15  
Old 02-05-2013, 03:11 PM
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130k miles on mine. Original fluid.
That's great! I hope I can get that far on mine. Are you a spirited driver?
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  #16  
Old 02-05-2013, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EconoBox View Post
130k miles on mine. Original fluid.
Dear Lord. I would flush it out if I were you...
My '05 325Ci had 128,000 miles on it before it was totaled in an accident but I had the transmission fluid flushed at around....100,000 miles I believe.
BMW's "lifetime fluid" claim is rubbish, and personally I felt a lot better flushing the system out. It was grimy, dirty, and dark in there - I abused the car continuously over the years since I didn't know how to properly drive but even then, at 128,000 miles it was going strong until that fateful day.
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  #17  
Old 02-05-2013, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L0rd NIk0n View Post
I have heard that a BMW automatic will generally fail between 80k and 120k miles. And that is failing in such a way as to require a full rebuild. Is this true? I have 28k on my 2011 328NA. And sticking with it for the long haul so I am looking for some feedback.
From my understanding, unless you drive terribly (and I mean absolutely horrid), your BMW should still last over 100,000 miles easily. My first car was the cheapest entry-level BMW, an auto 2005 325Ci, and I engaged Steptronic all the time to force it to "downshift" into higher RPMs to pass slower drivers. That's really bad for the engine if it's consistent.
But even then, I did all my regular maintenance (like oil change with Mobil every 5,000 miles, etc.) and flushed the transmission fluid once, and at 128,000 miles, it was still actually very strong.

I wouldn't recommend Mobil or even Castrol for oil changes now though. I only use Lubro-Moly.
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  #18  
Old 02-06-2013, 03:27 PM
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Mein Auto: 2012 650 Coupe, 323i
My 1999 E46 323 has over 130K and still has the original AT.
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  #19  
Old 02-06-2013, 03:46 PM
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Mein Auto: 01 325i, 08 335i
Currently 166K on my '01 E46 325i. Original fluid. No trans issues.
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  #20  
Old 02-09-2013, 07:42 PM
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Mein Auto: E36 325i
I have two e36's; one with 200,000 miles, and one with 205,000 miles, both manuals. No transmission problems here! Manual for life! As for the longevity of automatic transmissions, or newer BMWs, I have no idea.
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