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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 04-02-2013, 10:42 PM
waynesumner waynesumner is offline
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Mein Auto: 1994 BMW 325i E36
1994 BMW 325i issues

i just bought my bmw for 800$ it has 299,xxx miles on it, i replaced control arms tie rod ends and new tires plus did the oil change. it has valve gasket leaks differential seal leaks and oil pan leaks, i realize those are pretty easy fixes and not to expensive but my main issue is when i take off from a stop light or sign first and second gear hits hard and kind of jolts what could this be? is the car worth doing all these repairs? im going to a tranny shop and differential shop to have it checked soon but it worries me.
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  #2  
Old 04-02-2013, 10:45 PM
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Autotragic?

Have you checked the fluid level first off?
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  #3  
Old 04-03-2013, 03:27 PM
waynesumner waynesumner is offline
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i have not checked my tranny fluid but i did take it to a foreigne car shop they test drove it and said it could be tourqe converter solenoid in the tranny but i also read that if the oil is low or dirty it can cause the solenoid to act up causing it to do a few different things now i understand the only way to check the fluid is to pretty much just change it along with the filter maybe the gasket. will this car be worth it even though it has 299+k miles on it. it runs fine and all that just the gear thing going on with it im not sure about.
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  #4  
Old 04-03-2013, 05:02 PM
jitsjaf2009 jitsjaf2009 is offline
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I would change the fluid and use a good synthetic and change the filter at the same time.
If that doesn't take care of it, you aren't out that much. You may want to change the fluid a couple times...sounds like the PO was not much on maintenance. Use a good brand of regular trans fluid for the first change (and change the filter) this will make some improvement and allow it to 'dilute' what is in the torque converter. Drive it about 50-100 miles. Then when you do the second change most of dirty fluid will be gone.
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  #5  
Old 04-03-2013, 07:14 PM
waynesumner waynesumner is offline
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would the car run if the tourqe converter is defected or would it cause the gears to shift rough, i have heard and read multiple times to change trany fluid and i do agree that the previous owner was not much of a maintnence person, i did get the car from a tow yard. any way i took it to another tranny shop and they said change fluid and filter an the tranny pan was dented but i personally dont think that could be a serious issue. maybe though i am definatly getting tranny flushed and all that to see what it can help me with because this tranny shop said if the tourqe converter was shot the car will not run and the car is running fine besides the gear shifting problem.
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  #6  
Old 04-04-2013, 07:18 AM
jitsjaf2009 jitsjaf2009 is offline
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If the torque converter is "shot" the car would not move...it converts the torque from the engine to the and 'pumps' the fluid through out the tranny. If the filter is dirty, fluid cannot be picked up sufficiently and adversely affects the function of the transmission and the torque converter. Same with old dirty fluid...trans tends to be slow to engage and shift and it tends to 'slam' when it does. Good chance you have no major problems yet...get the transmission fluid and filter and pan cleaned up...go from there.
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  #7  
Old 04-04-2013, 11:45 AM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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^ This. A fluid and filter change WILL NOT hurt the transmission, and maybe you'll get lucky and it will fix it. The materials cost little. It's worth a try.
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  #8  
Old 04-04-2013, 12:52 PM
waynesumner waynesumner is offline
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thank you sir, i have that understanding and it makes alot of sense, i am going to get the tranny fluid changed. how would i go about flushing it since i am a big Do it yourselfer? i know the process of changing the fluid, drop tranny pan, drain, remove pan fully, clean pan, replace filter, install pan, fill through fill plug untill it overflows, start engine fill till overflow and then put fill plug back. what would i flush it with though to thouroughly get as much debris i can get out. because this tranny will be grity nasty black oil. also what type of synthetic oil and how many quarts are recomended?

Last edited by waynesumner; 04-04-2013 at 12:55 PM.
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  #9  
Old 04-04-2013, 01:05 PM
waynesumner waynesumner is offline
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can i use carburator cleaner to clean the gunk out of the bottom of the tranny pan?
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  #10  
Old 04-04-2013, 01:31 PM
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Yes, carb cleaner is OK for cleaning the pans. Clean the magnet, too (it's in the bottom of the pan).

Don't worry about flushing just yet. Just change what you can with dropping the pans. You can go back later and drain/refill a couple times if the fluid change seems to help.

IIRC it take 6.5 quarts for a pan drop and refill. Not sure about that, though. It's been a while. Any brand name Dexon equivalent fluid should be OK.
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1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?

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  #11  
Old 04-04-2013, 01:36 PM
waynesumner waynesumner is offline
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ok so i just drop the front pan right not the rear? or both and clean both as well?

Last edited by waynesumner; 04-04-2013 at 01:38 PM. Reason: spelling errors
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  #12  
Old 04-04-2013, 01:52 PM
jitsjaf2009 jitsjaf2009 is offline
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Your need to drop the rear pan (bigger of the two) to change the filter. I do them both so I have more of the new fluid and less pan contamniants
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  #13  
Old 04-04-2013, 01:58 PM
waynesumner waynesumner is offline
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do i need to remove any parts to get to the rear pan or are they both easily accessable?
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  #14  
Old 04-04-2013, 02:00 PM
waynesumner waynesumner is offline
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i appologize for all the questions its my first BMW i just want to be as knowledgeable as i can before i get into it
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  #15  
Old 04-04-2013, 02:09 PM
jitsjaf2009 jitsjaf2009 is offline
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Both very accessible...just be ready for the fluid to try dumping as you remove the pans. And don't apologize for asking questions...we all learn from them.

Last edited by jitsjaf2009; 04-04-2013 at 02:10 PM. Reason: Forgot a word
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  #16  
Old 04-04-2013, 02:26 PM
waynesumner waynesumner is offline
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thanks much, i appreciate all that i have read and if any other issues occur i will be back because this car has alot of things going on. i have asked this question before. even though it has 299k miles is it gong to be worth it? from what i see it might be but it just needs the maintnence and TLC that it hasnt been shown for alot of years i can see.
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  #17  
Old 04-04-2013, 02:56 PM
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My honest guess....and I don't mean to discourage you, I think it's not going to help, but you'll never know until you try. Check the fluid level BEFORE you drop the pans. If it's low, there is hope. It's not unheard of for a BMW auto trans to go 300k, but it's pretty dang rare.
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BMW-CCA #441426
1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?

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  #18  
Old 04-04-2013, 08:09 PM
waynesumner waynesumner is offline
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well this is a great success, i changed trans filter and oil, cleaned the rear pan and boy was it filthy, there was grey slurry all over the magnet and caked on the bottom of the pan, drove it and the gears are pretty smoothe so far so good, also changed the gasket and it was verry brittle. the previous owner of this vehicle is such a douche bag, he has the wiring all screwed up the valve cover has broken bolts and all kinds of other junk is wrong with this car i will need more help when its called for other than that greatly appreciated fellas! i have a feeling this car may not make it much longer but hope it proves me wrong because it is such a beautiful car.
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  #19  
Old 04-04-2013, 09:24 PM
waynesumner waynesumner is offline
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hopes are gone, i just drove the car it still does it, but when i first changed the oil and filter it didnt do it one bit, what is the reason for this is it jus too old?
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  #20  
Old 04-04-2013, 10:33 PM
waynesumner waynesumner is offline
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also i drained about 4 and a quarter quarts of oil out of the trans and put 5 in but it was on an incline because of car ramps, so i may need to keep it level and top it off but other than that im going to unplug battery for a while and try to reset the car. if this doesnt help i will be back.
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  #21  
Old 04-04-2013, 11:15 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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You're probably still low on fluid. FOLLOW THE PROCEDURE to check the fluid level:

Transmission warm but not hot. Pan should feel warm to the touch (86*-131* F)

Cycle transmission through all gears several times, then turn engine OFF.

Car level on jack stands or car lift.

Remove fill plug (the upper plug on the pan side)

Start engine with transmission in neutral

Add fluid until it spills from fill hole

Replace plug.

If you've already done these things, my apologies and regrets, because your transmission is almost certainly dying.
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Quotes to live by:
guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
nothing is more expensive than a cheap BMW...c4harpe13

Ken Kanne, Silverhill, AL, E36 Forum Mod/Craigslist addict/Hoarder of all sorts of stuff
BMW-CCA #441426
1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?

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  #22  
Old 04-05-2013, 07:10 AM
jitsjaf2009 jitsjaf2009 is offline
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With what you described finding when you opened it up, I would do it all one more time. You still have "gunk" in there and the second time will not show as much, but will take care of the (about half the system capacity) you could not drain and replace the first time.
The fact things seemed good with what you have done makes that hopeful. It also indicates you should pay attention to other fluids (including rear differential), coolant, vacuum lines and belts.
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  #23  
Old 04-05-2013, 09:59 AM
waynesumner waynesumner is offline
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understood, like i said when i filled it up the car was lifted at the front not level so i will add more fluid today and see what happens. thanks again guys i will keep it updated every issue i encounter.
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  #24  
Old 04-05-2013, 12:38 PM
waynesumner waynesumner is offline
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alrght well i leveled the car ran t in nuetral and it stil flowed out i pumped more in anyway and plugged it up drove the car tough and it was fine but i still fear that when i decide to drive it slow in town it will still hit gears hard, now i did the gas pump code scan and it processed the 1215 code it a mass air flow sensor fault. could this be the cause? i have a feeling that the trans will probably go out but not anytime soon maybe its a shift solenoid or something in the trans? lol maybe it is the trans all together?
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  #25  
Old 04-05-2013, 12:45 PM
waynesumner waynesumner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jitsjaf2009 View Post
With what you described finding when you opened it up, I would do it all one more time. You still have "gunk" in there and the second time will not show as much, but will take care of the (about half the system capacity) you could not drain and replace the first time.
The fact things seemed good with what you have done makes that hopeful. It also indicates you should pay attention to other fluids (including rear differential), coolant, vacuum lines and belts.
the mass air flow sensor could be part of the vaccum lines? also the rear differential oil should probably be changed because there is a leak so when i change the seals i will change the fluid. but i want to get this hard shifting problem settled although it is trial and error. the auto parts store sells this trans flush liquid or device or something i did not know untill i took the old fluid in and they informed me they have it so i will probably flush it when i decide to change the trans fluid again, aaaaaaand the coolant should be flushed as well but i checked it and it is not brown its still very green and the car doesnt over heat at all. serpentine belt does need a replacing too it is cracked but not to bad. also the flex disc is pretty tore up i noticed i can imagine the support bearing is pretty thrashed as well. along with wheel bearings, struts, valve gasket,oil pan gasket and maybe a few fuel filters, pwer steering leaks and well who knows what else but i will figure it out. now is this car worth it?

Last edited by waynesumner; 04-05-2013 at 12:50 PM.
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