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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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  #51  
Old 12-13-2010, 11:04 AM
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Josh P. Josh P. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
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.
Having mine done for the first time in two weeks, 65k miles. I have no idea what ATF to use (and don't have the time or energy to wade through all the opinions) so I'll probably defer to the guys at VAC Motorsports recommend. Hoping/praying my TC seal is still intact.
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  #52  
Old 12-13-2010, 02:26 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh P. View Post
Having mine done for the first time in two weeks, 65k miles. I have no idea what ATF to use (and don't have the time or energy to wade through all the opinions) so I'll probably defer to the guys at VAC Motorsports recommend. Hoping/praying my TC seal is still intact.
The Mobil product in my post above is the factory ZF/BMW approved product to use. Obviously there are many products claimed to be compatible, but only the Mobil (formally Esso) is the approved stuff. It may be all for not, and really doesn't matter, but transmission repairs are always rather costly, so I tend to error on the side of caution...but obviously the choice is yours to make.
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  #53  
Old 01-04-2011, 09:50 AM
justin182 justin182 is offline
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Just had the multiple drain/fill procedure done using valvoline maxlife. My mechanic called valvoline and verified it was approved for use in my A5S 440Z transmission. Also replaced the transmission filter, o-ring, pan gasket, drain plug and cleaned pan and magnets at the same time. The drain and fill was done 3 times while running the car up to speed in various gears between changes while on the lift.

My car has almost 59,000 miles. Before the change, I had noticed hard shifting during hard acceleration and a slight bit of jerkiness/clunkiness when initially putting it into drive. I definitely notice smoother shifting after the change. I wholeheartedly disagree with lifetime fluid.
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  #54  
Old 10-04-2011, 04:46 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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This recent thread by Fudman has a lot of current ZF5HP19 slushbox ATF information:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > ESSO ATF Alternatives Update

So I'll update the BMW E39 glovebox printout with the following recommendations ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
ESSO LT71141 is a bit expensive ($18+/qt) so I am considering ATF alternatives. ...Valvoline Maxlife ATF cautions against use in BMWs...Mobil 1 synthetic ...Royal Purple ...

... is Valvoline Maxlife ATF still considered a viable substitute for ESSO ATF?...Is Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF still considered a viable substitute
Quote:
Originally Posted by dvsgene View Post
I've used Castrol Import and it runs great.... Still meets Lt71141 specs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
Amsoil seems to be OK too. Here's the spec sheet
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Castrol meets LT71141 and is only $6.29/qt
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
Mobil Super Multivehicle ATF sold in Canada claims LT71141 compatibility
Quote:
Originally Posted by POof540i View Post
I recently used Pentosin ATF with good results.
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Last edited by bluebee; 10-04-2011 at 05:24 AM.
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  #55  
Old 10-04-2011, 04:57 AM
ThoreauHD ThoreauHD is offline
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Red line D4ATF transmission fluid and 75w-90 red line gear oil every 30,000 miles. How do I know it works? My 17 year old automatic transmission is flawless.
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  #56  
Old 10-04-2011, 05:45 AM
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BG for the tranny(deal I couldn't pass up) and Mobil 1 75w90 for the rear diff. Next trans fluid change, it will be either Redline or RP.
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  #57  
Old 10-04-2012, 07:05 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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There is a nice large picture of the green automatic transmission sticker posted in this thread today:

Quote:
Originally Posted by teklord69 View Post
Look under your transmission pan, the model of the transmission will determine what type of fluid you need.
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #58  
Old 03-20-2013, 04:02 AM
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I found the OEM stuff for a decent price so I'm just going to go with the Pentosin.

http://www.fcpeuro.com/products/manu...ntosin-8056107
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  #59  
Old 03-20-2013, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bin01123 View Post
I found the OEM stuff for a decent price so I'm just going to go with the Pentosin.

http://www.fcpeuro.com/products/manu...ntosin-8056107
That is a decent price... ^^^^....???
LOL...
Um, no....
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  #60  
Old 03-20-2013, 08:52 PM
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gibo58 gibo58 is offline
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Sticker

Is that corrosion on that pan??? if so
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  #61  
Old 03-20-2013, 09:55 PM
bmw4te bmw4te is offline
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I used Castrol Import Multi-Vehicle on my first fluid change at ~75K miles. Run it for 1,000 miles but the tranny felt sluggish. Did another change with Valvoline Import Multi-Vehicle at that point which improved shifting: it got much "crisper", more responsive. So I guess the composition ended up roughly being ~70% Valvoline, 25% Castrol and 5% old original ESSO fluid. I have driven another 5,000+ miles on that cocktail since then. Right now, on slower take offs it shifts smoothly (hardly noticeable) but harder on stronger acceleration. And that concerns me a little bit now .

I am planning to change the fluid again in the next few weeks, but this time, and from now on, I will be using OE fluid: ZF Lifeguard 5 (Pentosin owns ZF). Costs $87 per 6x1L bottles plus shipping from here. It is more expensive than Castrol, Valvoline, RP but so it's a new tranny. Furthermore, I intend to go 30.000 miles on ZF fluid before draining it as opposed to max 15.000 (or rather 10.000) on Castrol/Valvoline.

One thing to keep in mind with frequent tranny fluid changes is that the pan is made up of aluminum and the risk of stripping the threads on the tranny block is real and increases over time. I doubt that BMW engineers designed it to be removed and put back that often.

As for the differential, I change it every 30.000 miles and use Motul Gear 300 75W90 (which is non-LS). Got far better performance with it (no drag) than compared to Red Line.
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  #62  
Old 03-21-2013, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
That is a decent price... ^^^^....???
LOL...
Um, no....
Ok you got me. I'll say decent for OEM fluid. It was only 3 bucks more than RP. Other places had the OEM fluid for more
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  #63  
Old 03-21-2013, 01:57 PM
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My sticker from my manual 540

Sent from my HTC VLE_U using Bimmer App
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  #64  
Old 03-21-2013, 02:51 PM
firehawk17 firehawk17 is offline
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has anyone had issue with removing trans pan screws?... i fear stripping as i believe mine has never been touched.. but im definitely gonna do this myself in the very near future...I see there isn't a clear consensus on what ATF fluid to buy... synthetic i know that but whats safe? and what components of the fluid make one not up to par from one brand to another?
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  #65  
Old 03-21-2013, 04:59 PM
occhis occhis is offline
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BMW 528i to 9/1999 M52: GM THM-R1 (A4S 310R)
I use Maxlife approx. every 30-40K. 3.8 qt drain & fill
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  #66  
Old 03-21-2013, 05:13 PM
firehawk17 firehawk17 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by occhis View Post
BMW 528i to 9/1999 M52: GM THM-R1 (A4S 310R)
I use Maxlife approx. every 30-40K. 3.8 qt drain & fill
how hard is it to change the filter as well?
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  #67  
Old 03-21-2013, 05:50 PM
markhersh markhersh is offline
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I bought a 2000 528it w/92000 miles. I wanted to change to trans fluid and filter, so after some reasearch I have an A4S with a green sticker that says use only Dextron fluid. I bought a new filter and gasket and 10 quarts of Valvoline max life atf. I shoud mention that I called the tech hot line at valvoline and the tech told me that Max life was comletly compatable with the fluid that was in there. I referenced the esso # I got from my bently manual. I checked the capacities and figured that i would replace all the fluid. When I drained the pan and took it off I think only about 4 quarts came out. I replaced the filter and checked the level (warm and level) and its running great. I used to have a little slip in lower gears when cold but it went away when warm. This is gone. seems ok, but my question is, I know im mixing old fluid with new, is there a drain plug for the torque converter, or do I just have to made multiple oil changes to insure I have a mostly new fluid ratio?
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  #68  
Old 03-21-2013, 06:02 PM
NZ BMW NZ BMW is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markhersh View Post
I bought a 2000 528it w/92000 miles. I wanted to change to trans fluid and filter, so after some reasearch I have an A4S with a green sticker that says use only Dextron fluid. I bought a new filter and gasket and 10 quarts of Valvoline max life atf. I shoud mention that I called the tech hot line at valvoline and the tech told me that Max life was comletly compatable with the fluid that was in there. I referenced the esso # I got from my bently manual. I checked the capacities and figured that i would replace all the fluid. When I drained the pan and took it off I think only about 4 quarts came out. I replaced the filter and checked the level (warm and level) and its running great. I used to have a little slip in lower gears when cold but it went away when warm. This is gone. seems ok, but my question is, I know im mixing old fluid with new, is there a drain plug for the torque converter, or do I just have to made multiple oil changes to insure I have a mostly new fluid ratio?
Multiple changes - from what I understand waiting a few hundred/thousand miles and then changing again will clear most of the old fluid.
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  #69  
Old 03-21-2013, 11:15 PM
bmw4te bmw4te is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk17 View Post
has anyone had issue with removing trans pan screws?... i fear stripping as i believe mine has never been touched..
I never had problems with removing the bolts as the danger is to strip the housing threads, not the bolts head, when putting the pan back. Get the torque spec from the Bentley manual (it should be low torque anyway) and use a torque wrench.

Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk17 View Post
I see there isn't a clear consensus on what ATF fluid to buy... synthetic i know that but whats safe? and what components of the fluid make one not up to par from one brand to another?
I am sure there are tons of threads on this subject. It has been discussed just as much, if not more than which brake pads are the best. Also check the Bob Is The Oil Guy (BITOG) forum for recommendation on fluid for your type of tranny.

Hope this helps.
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  #70  
Old 03-21-2013, 11:20 PM
bmw4te bmw4te is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk17 View Post
how hard is it to change the filter as well?
I think that is the easiest part of all job. Filling her up following the correct procedure however is the tricky part.
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  #71  
Old 03-22-2013, 06:38 AM
firehawk17 firehawk17 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw4te View Post
I think that is the easiest part of all job. Filling her up following the correct procedure however is the tricky part.
cool thanks on the feed back...ordering a filter and gasket today
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  #72  
Old 03-22-2013, 11:13 AM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bin01123 View Post
Ok you got me. I'll say decent for OEM fluid. It was only 3 bucks more than RP. Other places had the OEM fluid for more
Yep...
I think I will stick with Amsoil Universal ATF...

Link:
http://www.amsoil.com/shop/by-produc...?code=ATFQT-EA
Note: The price will be less if you are an "Amsoil Preferred Customer".

My car has been through (2) changes now with the Amsoil ATF, and is now due for another...

My ATF thread 1:
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...Don-t-Think-So!

ATF thread 2:
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...*-***!-Part-II

Thanks!
Jason
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Last edited by Jason5driver; 03-22-2013 at 11:15 AM.
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  #73  
Old 03-22-2013, 11:23 AM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk17 View Post
Has anyone had issue with removing trans pan screws?...
I fear stripping as i believe mine has never been touched..
But I'm definitely gonna do this myself in the very near future...
I see there isn't a clear consensus on what ATF fluid to buy...
Synthetic I know that but whats safe?
And what components of the fluid make one not up to par from one brand to another?
The pan screws can shear off very easily.
The pan screws are made of a very soft metal.
A low torque is required, or else you will shear off the heads of the pan bolts when tightening them.

The idea/ fear of using an "aftermarket ATF" is that the viscosity might not exactly match the original ATF.
Also, filling the new ATF is crucial, regarding the correct amount, have the car/ fluid to the correct temperature, and having the car level when filling.

Also, there is "fear" of replacing the original ATF if the car is past 100k miles, because the "boogie-man" / new ATF might dislodge sludge/ gunk in the transmission, and thus causing the transmission to fail...

Thanks!
Jason
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Last edited by Jason5driver; 03-22-2013 at 11:24 AM.
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  #74  
Old 03-22-2013, 07:14 PM
occhis occhis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk17 View Post
how hard is it to change the filter as well?
I only changed the filter once. Hardest part was getting the pan to break with the trans. Spent much time removing the old gasket from trans and pan. Be very careful when tightening pan bolts - very east to strip the threads in the aluminum trans. Use a good torque wrench and follow the tightening specs.
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  #75  
Old 03-22-2013, 07:33 PM
bmw4te bmw4te is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk17 View Post
cool thanks on the feed back...ordering a filter and gasket today
If you haven't ordered yet, me and many other here would highly recommend for the tranny filter to order the BMW OEM part. It's not a lot more expensive than other brands (~$30) but there have been reports over here of problems with aftermarket filters. And it's just not worth the risk.

Hope it helps.

F.

PS. If you ordered an aftermarket already, well ... you could do a second fluid change in 1000 miles and use the BMW filter then (actually, now I remember that that's exactly what I've done )
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