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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 Today, 05:44 AM
Robbee1122 Robbee1122 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1996 BMW 328i Convertible
Transmission Service

I'm having difficulty choosing what route to take for servicing the transmission on my 1996,
328i with 73K miles.. I'm sure it's never been service before, and I'm told the tranny fluid is not burnt, but it's not as bright as new fluid. I hear varying diagnosis from various mechanics, and it's difficult to know who to believe when there's no tranny dipstick to check it yourself. Nevertheless, my thought is to have the transmission pumped, completely drained, and recharged with a synthetic fluid. However, I wondering if should just replace the fluid that drains out when changing out the filter and gaskets with a OME fluid? I hear the pumping and draining method can cause damage to the transmission and it's seals, and I don't want to go there.. Can anyone advise me? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old Today, 05:56 AM
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Engel12626 Engel12626 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbee1122 View Post
... I wondering if should just replace the fluid that drains out when changing out the filter and gaskets with a OME fluid? ...
That's what I did.

Edit: it's a A4S 270 R auto and I used Redline D4 ATF
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Last edited by Engel12626; Today at 06:02 AM.
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  #3  
Old Today, 06:06 AM
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dc_wright dc_wright is offline
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Drop the pans to drain the fluid, clean the pans, change the filter and refill with new fluid. Here's a DIY on how to do it.http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/tech...Fluid_Auto.htm
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Old Today, 07:03 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Yeah, just do the whole deal. There's no point in going through all the trouble of dropping the pans and not replacing the filters. Good call on servicing your auto transmission, too. They tend to have shorter lives than desired in these cars, but a lot of that is probably because owners never service them due to BMW's foolish "lifetime fluid" guideline.
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  #5  
Old Today, 02:39 PM
Nicky3 Nicky3 is offline
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Absolutely change the fluid & filter. I don't care what BMW recommends, there is no such thing as lifetime fluid. You also don't have to spend the extra money on BMW fluid. I believe you have the GM transmission, like I had, and Castrol Dextron Transmax synthetic fluid is what I had used for 90,000 miles and 3 oil & filter changes. My transmission had 175k on it and it was original, never rebuilt and shifted flawlessly before I did an auto to manual swap.
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Old Today, 06:57 PM
Rickman59 Rickman59 is offline
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Filters...

Good call, the "lifetime" fluid is mythical - change it out and in general replacing any filter whether it be oil, fuel, air, cabin or tranny is a good thing and good insurance. I've done them all on my '96 and she doesn't miss a beat.
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Old Today, 09:34 PM
Robbee1122 Robbee1122 is offline
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Hey.. Thank you so much for your advice, as I will change the fluid. However, what I'd like to know, is if it's safe to pump/flush the entire system without causing damage to the transmission? Or, should I only replace the ATF which drains out when the filter is changed/ Thanks
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Old Today, 09:39 PM
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Engel12626 Engel12626 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbee1122 View Post
... However, what I'd like to know, is if it's safe to pump/flush the entire system without causing damage to the transmission? Or, should I only replace the ATF which drains out when the filter is changed/ Thanks
Some say it's safe to do a flush, some say not to do it. But the general consensus seems to be not to do it on a high mileage auto. The idea is that flushing it knocks loose some grime and gunk in there and clogs some parts of the transmission.

I would just replace the fluid that drains out and play it safe.

Just replied to your PM by the way.
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Last edited by Engel12626; Today at 09:51 PM.
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