How many miles on AUTOMATIC transmission before failure? (or no problems at all?) - Page 30 - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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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. 161 7.68%
50,000 to 100,000...no problems!!! 655 31.24%
100,001 to 125,000...transmission repaired/replaced. 117 5.58%
100,001 to 125,000...no problems!!! 367 17.50%
125,001 to 150,000...transmission repaired/replaced. 91 4.34%
125,001 to 150,000...no problems!!! 266 12.68%
150,001 to 175,000 or more...tranny repaired/replaced. 73 3.48%
150,001 to 175,000 or more...no problems!!! 367 17.50%
Voters: 2097. You may not vote on this poll

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  #726  
Old 06-04-2017, 03:30 PM
GermanAutobahn GermanAutobahn is offline
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Strange mirror..left side?

When placing the gear shifter from park to reverse.....oddly, the right-hand door mirror suddenly moved to downward limit.


I switched the mirrors to left...and no similar or any problem! Anyone?
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  #727  
Old 06-04-2017, 03:31 PM
pony_trekker pony_trekker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanAutobahn View Post
When placing the gear shifter from park to reverse.....oddly, the right-hand door mirror suddenly moved to downward limit.


I switched the mirrors to left...and no similar or any problem! Anyone?
Designed like that.
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  #728  
Old 06-04-2017, 03:35 PM
Onizukachan Onizukachan is offline
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Supposed to do that.
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  #729  
Old 06-04-2017, 03:39 PM
F10-N52 F10-N52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanAutobahn View Post
When placing the gear shifter from park to reverse.....oddly, the right-hand door mirror suddenly moved to downward limit.


I switched the mirrors to left...and no similar or any problem! Anyone?
Normal. It's so you can see how close you are to the curb when parking. Rather useful actually.
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  #730  
Old 06-11-2017, 04:28 PM
GermanAutobahn GermanAutobahn is offline
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Thanks....I had worried it was a wiring short of some sort.
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  #731  
Old 06-11-2017, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanAutobahn View Post
Thanks....I had worried it was a wiring short of some sort.
There`s probably a ton more things you don`t know about....read the E46 Wiki, and read the Owner`s Manual....
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  #732  
Old 06-15-2017, 07:48 AM
Spetsnazss Spetsnazss is offline
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Mein Auto: E46 320D E60 530D
320D 345000 no issues

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  #733  
Old 06-23-2017, 03:03 PM
GermanAutobahn GermanAutobahn is offline
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My opinion.........47 years driving.....be lite and conservative...on everything about your car!
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  #734  
Old 06-23-2017, 03:40 PM
F10-N52 F10-N52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanAutobahn View Post
My opinion.........47 years driving.....be lite and conservative...on everything about your car!
This is a BMW forum, many of us do not drive conservatively.

I am always changing lanes into the more open one try to coast as much as possible and I drive aggressively pretty often. With about a 60/40 city/traffic split I average 25mpg with my n52
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  #735  
Old 06-27-2017, 05:57 AM
Toasty27 Toasty27 is offline
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I'm looking at getting a used '03 330i (my '03 330Ci was totaled in an attempted car-jacking). It's been immaculately maintained, had many major components replaced, etc. ATF fluid was changed at 40k, 80k, and 160k. Currently has about 192k miles, owner is asking for $3200 and says he's never had any issues with the transmission. I don't know if it's a ZF or a GM. Car is two-owner, but stayed within the family, so maintenance history is complete over the whole life of the car.

How likely is it that I will run into issues with the drivetrain (transmission specifically) due to age/high-mileage? My '03 330Ci only had 116k on it when it was totaled, and while I never had any issues with the drivetrain, it's 76k short of a fair comparison.

Sorry if this is the wrong place to ask, but my main concern is with the automatic transmission which is what this thread focuses on.

Last edited by Toasty27; 06-27-2017 at 06:06 AM.
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  #736  
Old 06-27-2017, 10:32 AM
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crowz crowz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toasty27 View Post
I'm looking at getting a used '03 330i (my '03 330Ci was totaled in an attempted car-jacking). It's been immaculately maintained, had many major components replaced, etc. ATF fluid was changed at 40k, 80k, and 160k. Currently has about 192k miles, owner is asking for $3200 and says he's never had any issues with the transmission. I don't know if it's a ZF or a GM. Car is two-owner, but stayed within the family, so maintenance history is complete over the whole life of the car.

How likely is it that I will run into issues with the drivetrain (transmission specifically) due to age/high-mileage? My '03 330Ci only had 116k on it when it was totaled, and while I never had any issues with the drivetrain, it's 76k short of a fair comparison.

Sorry if this is the wrong place to ask, but my main concern is with the automatic transmission which is what this thread focuses on.
If the fluids been changed regularly like that and the car hasn't been abused it should last a looong time.
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  #737  
Old 06-27-2017, 10:43 AM
F10-N52 F10-N52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toasty27 View Post
I'm looking at getting a used '03 330i (my '03 330Ci was totaled in an attempted car-jacking). It's been immaculately maintained, had many major components replaced, etc. ATF fluid was changed at 40k, 80k, and 160k. Currently has about 192k miles, owner is asking for $3200 and says he's never had any issues with the transmission. I don't know if it's a ZF or a GM. Car is two-owner, but stayed within the family, so maintenance history is complete over the whole life of the car.

How likely is it that I will run into issues with the drivetrain (transmission specifically) due to age/high-mileage? My '03 330Ci only had 116k on it when it was totaled, and while I never had any issues with the drivetrain, it's 76k short of a fair comparison.

Sorry if this is the wrong place to ask, but my main concern is with the automatic transmission which is what this thread focuses on.
I think The e46 uses ZF
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  #738  
Old 06-27-2017, 11:54 AM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F10-N52 View Post
I think The e46 uses ZF

Both GM and ZF autos were used....
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  #739  
Old 06-27-2017, 12:03 PM
F10-N52 F10-N52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Both GM and ZF autos were used....
A lot of a transmissions quality goes down to how it was programmed - and BMW is excellent at tuning transmissions. BMW would NOT be using GM transmissions if they are not good quality.. they were built in France or something like that and while they may not be quite as good as the ZF, there's absolutely nothing wrong with them either.

For example, compare the 8 speed ZF in BMW's tune and then take a look at how unreliable and poorly they performan over at Chrysler. The programming of any half decently engineered transmission is what makes or breaks it.

Like someone else said, if the previous owners was up to date with fluid changes you have absolutely nothing to worry about. You know how to check for signs of a failing tranny right?
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  #740  
Old 06-27-2017, 12:13 PM
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It all depends on the specs (from BMW) ordered for the trans being built. The trans will only be as good as those specs allow for. I grew up with GM Powerglides, Turbo 350s and Turbo 400s, all pretty much bulletproof, and all still used by drag racers today, so their quality is beyond reproach.
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  #741  
Old 06-27-2017, 05:49 PM
Toasty27 Toasty27 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F10-N52 View Post
A lot of a transmissions quality goes down to how it was programmed - and BMW is excellent at tuning transmissions. BMW would NOT be using GM transmissions if they are not good quality.. they were built in France or something like that and while they may not be quite as good as the ZF, there's absolutely nothing wrong with them either.

For example, compare the 8 speed ZF in BMW's tune and then take a look at how unreliable and poorly they performan over at Chrysler. The programming of any half decently engineered transmission is what makes or breaks it.

Like someone else said, if the previous owners was up to date with fluid changes you have absolutely nothing to worry about. You know how to check for signs of a failing tranny right?
I know to check if it will go into reverse while cold, if it shifts through all the gears, and to listen for grinding noises (all relatively obvious). I'm not aware of any other ways to check for a failing tranny.


On a side note, how reliable are the manuals, comparatively speaking? Would it be worth looking at a manual with 260k miles over something like this?
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  #742  
Old 06-27-2017, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toasty27 View Post
I know to check if it will go into reverse while cold, if it shifts through all the gears, and to listen for grinding noises (all relatively obvious). I'm not aware of any other ways to check for a failing tranny.


On a side note, how reliable are the manuals, comparatively speaking? Would it be worth looking at a manual with 260k miles over something like this?
Manual trans, as throughout history, will last pretty much forever if treated with respect. Clutches typically go 150K+ miles before needing replacement. Fun Factor also goes way up with a manual !
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  #743  
Old 06-27-2017, 09:37 PM
RWD-F10-N52 RWD-F10-N52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toasty27 View Post
I know to check if it will go into reverse while cold, if it shifts through all the gears, and to listen for grinding noises (all relatively obvious). I'm not aware of any other ways to check for a failing tranny.


On a side note, how reliable are the manuals, comparatively speaking? Would it be worth looking at a manual with 260k miles over something like this?
Try driving at a steady speed, and put the pedal to the floor. Pay attention to how the transmission downshifts. If there is slip before the gear catches, the transmission is toast. The upshift at redline should be smooth and sturdy.

If the shifting is not smooth, it needs a fluid change. If one of the gears in particular seems to be shifting slower or less smooth then the others, its most likely a faulty solenoid.

A manual transmission will last long and is easier to take care of, but that doesn't necessarily mean the rest of the car will be in tip top condition at 250k+ miles.
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  #744  
Old 07-02-2017, 10:19 AM
sidct sidct is offline
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Mein Auto: 328i, 330XI
178485 miles and no issues. ATF changed every 50000 miles
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  #745  
Old 07-20-2017, 01:15 AM
Pixel_62
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i had mine rebuilt at 180k. i wasnt the original owner so who knows how well the previous owner kept up on maintenance. but judging by the wear at the top of the steering wheel, hack job trying to fix a vaccum leak at the sucking jet pump, and lack of hose clamps on the intake, i assume not well. drove really great when i got it, but started slipping at 180K.
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  #746  
Old Today, 09:21 AM
Eedy Eedy is offline
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My friend's transmission just failed and was replaced at 133k miles on his 2003 330i.
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