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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)

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

View Poll Results: How many miles on your transmission before repairs or replacement needed?
50,000 to 100,000...transmission repaired/replaced. 142 7.83%
50,000 to 100,000...no problems!!! 616 33.98%
100,001 to 125,000...transmission repaired/replaced. 105 5.79%
100,001 to 125,000...no problems!!! 322 17.76%
125,001 to 150,000...transmission repaired/replaced. 77 4.25%
125,001 to 150,000...no problems!!! 220 12.13%
150,001 to 175,000 or more...tranny repaired/replaced. 50 2.76%
150,001 to 175,000 or more...no problems!!! 281 15.50%
Voters: 1813. You may not vote on this poll

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  #426  
Old 01-11-2013, 07:05 PM
fb88 fb88 is offline
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What miles did you have them changed and did you use OEM fluid? How many miles do you have now?
Different years also have different transmission models so same model failure rates should be grouped together.
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  #427  
Old 01-13-2013, 04:16 PM
Greg330CI Greg330CI is offline
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Location: Australia
 
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Mein Auto: E46 330CI
Steptronic failed

2001 325i sedan with approximately 150,000 miles; steptronic (ZF) gearbox suddenly developed a major oil leak at the front end and it sounded as though a bearing had failed, although it did not totally fail as I managed to drive it to my Indy mechanic who has advised that it requires a full rebuild / refurbishment. (There is no BMW gearbox exchange option in Australia such as Pelican Parts provide in the USA) The car is well maintained and had a gerabox oil change about 30,000 miles ago. There have not been any previous problems with the gearbox. Like everything BMW here in Australia, I expect this will be very expensive to repair!
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  #428  
Old 01-22-2013, 03:39 PM
sidct sidct is offline
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Location: CT, USA
 
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Mein Auto: 328i, 330XI
134000 miles on 330Xi, no issues with transmission. Transmission oil & filter changed @ 70K with Texaco 8045B and 100K and 125K with Castrol Dextron 6.
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  #429  
Old 02-05-2013, 07:43 AM
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JayKayo JayKayo is offline
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Location: SoCal
 
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Posts: 312
Mein Auto: 2005 330Ci ZHP
My 2005 325Ci (auto) was at around 128,000 when it was totaled but it had been running fine, even though I abused it regularly by engaging Steptronic and "downshifting" to increase RPMs to pass a slower car (and then going back to auto).
But I did do all my preventive maintenance and changed my oil with Lubro-Moly every 5,000 miles, etc.
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  #430  
Old 02-10-2013, 02:07 AM
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TrippinBimmer TrippinBimmer is offline
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Mein Auto: ZHP Custom Stage 3.5
85k and boosted with 17psi of boost
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  #431  
Old 02-14-2013, 01:38 PM
Xjayar Xjayar is offline
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Location: Midlands
 
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Mein Auto: E46 330d ///M-Sport
330 D gearbox failure at 88,000 miles. See following thread:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...23#post7381623

I'm not impressed with such poor reliabilty. I only bought a BMW auto to avoid Audi Multi-tronic failure!!!!

Next job is to mitigate the impending swirl flap failure...
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  #432  
Old 02-14-2013, 08:29 PM
GeorgeBush234 GeorgeBush234 is offline
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Mein Auto: Passat
What kind of transmission family production you have?
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  #433  
Old 02-16-2013, 10:11 AM
customgtp customgtp is offline
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Mein Auto: just a little pontiac
My dad had 137k on his before it finally took a **** on him.. Guess according to the poll he was lucky lol
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  #434  
Old 02-26-2013, 02:32 PM
Beemers Beemers is offline
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Location: South Wales
 
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Mein Auto: 330d sport
330d sport auto

Hi I,ve just pick up my 330d Beemer with suspect gearbox problems. I've drove it from Devon to South Wales with no problems, the symptoms were as you engage it D or use the sport settings it takes a while to start off, you have to pick the revs up a bit b4 it goes once moving it was fine. BUT. As I got home I noticed in trafic it was getting worse, parked it up on my drive for 10 mins and noticed a pool of oil on floor, so drove it to my mates garage, well the AA had to finish that one off as I lost drive, I've got, it up on ramp oil everywhere but can't really find out where it's coming from, think its the torque converter, my questions Can you buy a new torque converter and fit this or is this specialist job, I was going to try new fluid and see how it behaves, b4 I bite the bullet on a new box.
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  #435  
Old 02-26-2013, 02:59 PM
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MalibuMafiaV MalibuMafiaV is offline
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Mein Auto: E60 M5 & Stage 3 Audi S4
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrippinBimmer View Post
85k and boosted with 17psi of boost
17psi?. On a centrifugal SC?
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  #436  
Old 02-27-2013, 12:54 PM
Xjayar Xjayar is offline
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Location: Midlands
 
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Mein Auto: E46 330d ///M-Sport
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeBush234 View Post
What kind of transmission family production you have?
It's a 5 speed automatic, the bog-standard one on an E46 330D M-Sport saloon.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
UPDATE:

Upon dismantling the specialist has determined that: The main bearing in the torque converter failed catastrophically; this lead to a mechanical failure of the torque converter, which then cascaded a failure of the lock-up clutch pack. The debris then blocked up the oil cooler that is parasitic with the main radiator. Total bill for the gearbox rebuild is 1850!!!

Now, just to add insult to injury, the insurance company I have the warranty with are refusing to pay out claiming the all to common lame excuse of wear and tear! So now I have to find the time to fight for reimbursement. How they can claim a sudden and catastrophe failure of a bearing can be considered as wear and tear is absurdly ridiculous. The company concerned is "Customer Protect", aka "Auto Protect" and also know by about half-a-dozen other names also using the same phone number... Their first line of defence is to give you the run-around when trying to phone them... This is looking like yet another case for the insurance ombudsman and then I suspect subsequently the small claims court.

I have also had to rectify a leak in the water system. The water pump bearing had failed along with a sticky thermostat and a cracked thermostat housing. So further bill of about 400 has to now be funded.

So much for buying a car that was supposed to be reliable!!!
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  #437  
Old 03-04-2013, 06:09 PM
teamleader teamleader is offline
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Mein Auto: 330i
Smile Auto transmissions

My 2002 E46 330i has done 138000 miles on the same transmission, no problems
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  #438  
Old 03-16-2013, 04:14 PM
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stevenj stevenj is offline
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Location: Sacramento, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 1999 323i ZSP
how many miles do you have now Crowz? And is your transmission still working?

I have 125k on my 1999 323i A/T do you guys recommend that I do the transmission fluid and filter change?
No issues to date
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  #439  
Old 03-17-2013, 10:57 PM
teamleader teamleader is offline
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Location: Auckland, New Zealand
 
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Mein Auto: 330i
Thumbs up Automatic Transmission

Ive done 139 000 kilometers on my 2001 330i no problems with the transmission
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  #440  
Old 03-18-2013, 08:49 AM
STS42 STS42 is offline
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Location: boston
 
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Mein Auto: 2005 330 cic
Just tunred 100k on Saturday. 2005 E46 conv with the ZHP (performance package). No problems with the transmission. I am working on a list of wear items to replace, ie bushings, shocks etc.
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  #441  
Old 03-18-2013, 09:37 AM
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stevenj stevenj is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 323i ZSP
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenj View Post
how many miles do you have now Crowz? And is your transmission still working?

I have 125k on my 1999 323i A/T do you guys recommend that I do the transmission fluid and filter change?
No issues to date
Oh, and when I say 125k, i mean "125 Thousand Miles" not Km just to be clear.
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  #442  
Old 03-18-2013, 11:36 AM
emrocha4 emrocha4 is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 330i
I would do it because if it keeps you transmission working right.
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  #443  
Old 04-01-2013, 09:27 AM
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Bill325Ci Bill325Ci is offline
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Location: Houston, TX
 
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Posts: 3,636
Mein Auto: '01 325Ci, ZSP, '08 CR-V
The transmission on my 2001 325Ci failed at 129,000 miles. Just got it back after the expensive rebuild.

I had the transmission serviced at 90,000 miles.
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  #444  
Old 04-06-2013, 10:31 PM
griffin30 griffin30 is offline
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Location: Tracy
 
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Mein Auto: 325ci
to the tranny replaced people...

are you the impatient ones who really wished you were driving a stick and "worry" the automatic shift by holding onto it and shifting it too soon like you have some kind of mental/ADD/OCD disorder? There's medication for that. It's cheaper than ruining your car. And, I bet your relationships are in exactly the state of ruin that your tranny is in...as well as your body's organs.

Just sayin...
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  #445  
Old 04-13-2013, 08:37 PM
loujaw69 loujaw69 is offline
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Location: houston
 
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Mein Auto: 330ci
my tranny just leaked out all the fluid driving home from work Thursday the unit is unfuctional had a torque converter replace 8 months ago. the fluid was black this idea that fluid does not need to be changed is wrong! I have a feeling this transmission is shot and will have to be rebuilt! Any ideas who to buy a replacement from in Houston 330ci 2001 ? how much work and time to replace?
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  #446  
Old 04-17-2013, 12:02 PM
willimenen willimenen is offline
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Location: tampa fl
 
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Mein Auto: 328i 2000
I know what is the the sprocket with the letter H warning board please
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  #447  
Old 04-25-2013, 09:03 AM
mycole mycole is offline
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Location: Illinois
 
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Mein Auto: 325i
First post.

176,000. Original transmission. Still strong.
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  #448  
Old 04-28-2013, 10:46 AM
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crowz crowz is online now
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Mein Auto: 2000 323i, 97 528i
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenj View Post
Oh, and when I say 125k, i mean "125 Thousand Miles" not Km just to be clear.
Still going strong and getting close to 300,000. Will post pics when it rolls past 300k. Of course my wifes 97 528i may go past 300k on her stock automatic before I do since she drives more than I do

Last edited by crowz; 04-28-2013 at 10:47 AM.
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  #449  
Old 05-04-2013, 10:46 PM
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E46landshark E46landshark is offline
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Location: Oklahoma
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 325ci
I need to re-vote. I'm getting the loud whine, telltale that teeth are rubbing. I'm almost to 140k. Better get it sold before I blow it. =//////
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  #450  
Old 05-16-2013, 03:42 PM
fawcett.c fawcett.c is offline
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Posts: 9
Mein Auto: 2003 BMW 325xi
2003 325xi - 104,000!

Bought this weekend -- no issues, all maintenance records, ppi came back great! 104,000 and runs beautifully! 400 miles already this week
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