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Do-It-Yourself H.Q.
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  #51  
Old 09-06-2007, 11:43 AM
Rob325i Rob325i is offline
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I changed mine this past Monday and my magnets were pretty much like the ones in the pics above. So far everything is doing great. Shifts seem smoother and before the change I thought I was noticing a little slip between 4th and 5th gears. I'm really interested to see pics after the 1000 mile change. When I was topping mine off while it was idling, the overfill of fluid that came out was a little dirty looking. I also used the Max Life fluid in mine. Awesome DIY instructions!!
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  #52  
Old 09-19-2007, 02:39 PM
bmwm3coupe bmwm3coupe is offline
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The original plan was to do the initial fluid drain, install a new filter, and fill with Valvoline MaxLife; then wait 1000 miles or so, and do it all over again. This second post is about the second service after 1000 miles (actually, 1154 miles).

As before, get the car up high and support on 6 places (4 stands and two jacks):





I am again sending a sample from this service (2/3 of which is new fluid with 1154 miles and 1/3 is the old 89K mile fluid using a new filter). Since my kit has not arrived, I am using something convenient:




Getting necessary items ready:



Collect the sample, which was definitely lighter in color than the first time around:



If you look at the pan now, you can see the lighter fluid, which is now more "reddish" as it should be with 2/3 being MaxLife:



The magnets again collected particles, but not nearly as heavy as the first time:




For comparison, here is the pan and fluid color from the first service:




The used filter element is also not as dark as before:





Getting ready to put everything back together:




I used almost 7 Qt's again, so I am still changing about 2/3 of the total fluid:



This is why we should always use protective gear - safety glasses prevented ATF fluid from hitting me right in the right eye!:



Sample labeled and ready to be sent out once the kit arrives:



I will update this thread once the fluid analysis comes back. My next step now is to wait about a year or 15K miles and do a simple drain/fill (no new filter, no dropping the pan). SO far MaxLife has been performing perfectly. I will update the thread as I get more information to share :-)
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  #53  
Old 09-19-2007, 03:26 PM
Torquewrench Torquewrench is offline
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Thanks for the great detail and pictures. I might consider the Maxlife next time myself because I think the Mercon V is just slippery enough to get past the seals some of the time, and I hate the smell. Looking forward to the analysis. What lab are you using?
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  #54  
Old 09-19-2007, 05:51 PM
bmwm3coupe bmwm3coupe is offline
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Look at how high the Aluminum and insolubles are!. The fluid is basically abrasive - the longer I keep it inside the tranny, the shorter the life of the tranny

I am using the same lab for the second sample I just collected. I will report in a few weeks when I get the results back
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  #55  
Old 09-20-2007, 12:06 AM
blurin03 blurin03 is offline
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bmwm3coupe:
Another great writeup!! Thanks!!
I've ordered my filter kit and will be changing the fluid with MaxLife soon.

I was thinking of draining the fluid, filling, run for a few minutes.
Then drain again, remove the pan and replace filter, refill. Maybe I'll get close to 2/3rds change that way. I'll keep you posted.
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  #56  
Old 09-20-2007, 07:29 AM
bmwm3coupe bmwm3coupe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blurin03 View Post
bmwm3coupe:
Another great writeup!! Thanks!!
I've ordered my filter kit and will be changing the fluid with MaxLife soon.

I was thinking of draining the fluid, filling, run for a few minutes.
Then drain again, remove the pan and replace filter, refill. Maybe I'll get close to 2/3rds change that way. I'll keep you posted.
If you only drain and fill, you only change about 4-5 quarts, and with a total of 9Quarts or so, you are not quite doing 1/2 of the change, but since every time you do this you again do less than 1/2, even after you do the change twice, you still have a large percentage of oil fluid in there:

after first change: 1/2 of the old + 1/2 of the new = approx. 50% old fluid
after second change: 1/2 of the new + 1/2 of the old mix (which is 1/2 new and 1/2 old)
after second change: 1/2 of the new + 1/4 new and 1/4 old = appro. still 25% of the old fluid still remains.

When you change drop the pan and change the filter, you get substantially more out, and you are changing about 6-7 quarts, which is about 2/3 of the old fluid
after first change with filter change: 2/3 new fluid + 1/3 old fluid = approx 33% old fluid
after second change with filter change: 2/3 new fluid + 1/3 of the old mix (which is 2/3 new and 1/3 old)
after second change with filter change: 2/3 new fluid + 2/9 new fluid + 1/9 old fluid = approx only 11% remains, which is good enough for me at this point

So, as long as you are doing drop pan/filter changes, but the time you do the second one you will be in great shape.

Now, when you say running for a few minutes in between changes, the recommended procedure is to actually drive it off on the road, under load, for 30 minutes or so at various speeds so that you can really get the new fluid everywhere and so that you can give the new fluid a chance to clean up things inside the tranny. The best possible scenario or the "text book" perfect is what I did: drive it for 1000 miles or about 4 weeks in between your first and second service - look at how much more metal particles I accumulated from just 1100 miles!

If you just "run" it on its stands for a few minutes is probably OK, and although not ideal, it is surely much, much better than doing nothing and believing in life time fluids, right?

Bottom line I think that your plan is reasonable and your tranny will thank you for it
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  #57  
Old 09-20-2007, 08:42 PM
blurin03 blurin03 is offline
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bmwm3coupe;
Yes, you make good points. The way I'm thinking of doing it may give about 75% change.
Although it will not clean the trany as well.

Maybe I'll wait to see what your second oil analysis says.
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  #58  
Old 09-22-2007, 02:22 AM
bmwm3coupe bmwm3coupe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blurin03 View Post
bmwm3coupe;
Yes, you make good points. The way I'm thinking of doing it may give about 75% change.
Although it will not clean the trany as well.

Maybe I'll wait to see what your second oil analysis says.
75% change will be awesome for your tranny. I am still waiting for the official kit from the lab, then to send the sample to the lab, and then wait for the results, so I would expect that it will be about 2-3 more weeks before I get back the results from the second sample. I will of course share it once I get it
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  #59  
Old 09-23-2007, 06:40 AM
mahmoudh mahmoudh is offline
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Did my E39 (2001 530i) Auto Transmission Fluid and Filter

Hello, this is my first post but I have found this forum very useful and constructive.
Thanks to Torque Wrench and bmwm3coupe for their really comprehensive posts.
Yesterday I changed Auto Transmission Fluid and Filter at 96K miles on my E39 2001 530i.
Car was made after March 2001, had a ZF 5HP19 transmission with Green Label which specified replacing fluid with BMW p/n 83 2 29 407 807 which is the Esso LT 71141LT.
I used the ZF branded fluid purchased for $15/liter. The bottle describes it as Semi-synthetic and I did not want to risk other fluids since I plan to keep the car forever.
The fluids, magnets and filter condition were close to that in the pics in this thread.
The Fill Plug is a Vertical 8mm Hex at the driverside rear and the drain plug is a 6mm Hex at the bottom front of the transmission. BMW filter and gasket were also used.
Had some trouble with the paste for the gasket and ended up pasting gasket onto pan then coating tranny with paste and then mounting pan. Hoping it does not develop leaks.
Thanks to all on this board for their healthy posts and points of view.
Did the 100K tuneup a month ago with the Bosch O2 sensor, NGK Spark Plugs and BMW Air and Cabin Filter
Will tackle the Differential Fluid next.
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  #60  
Old 09-28-2007, 11:30 AM
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gfeiner gfeiner is online now
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Thank you, thank you for this thread.
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  #61  
Old 09-28-2007, 01:41 PM
bmwm3coupe bmwm3coupe is offline
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The Blackstone Labs kit came and I was able to send the second ATF sample to them this past Wed. It will be about 2 weeks before I get the results, but I am already looking forward to them.

And by the way, I now have over 500 miles after the second full service (now over 1600 miles since I started to remove the old ESSO fluid). The tranny is still working perfectly
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  #62  
Old 10-01-2007, 12:01 PM
TenzoR TenzoR is offline
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Would changing the ATF cause any Warranty issues (CPO)?
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  #63  
Old 10-02-2007, 03:55 PM
bmwm3coupe bmwm3coupe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenzoR View Post
Would changing the ATF cause any Warranty issues (CPO)?
Short answer: If the change/work/fluid causes the tranny to fail, possibly.

Long answer:
I personally would not change the fluid before the original 50K mile warranty expires. I would simply wait for that warranty to end before opening the tranny up. This is in fact the case with my wife's 2005 330i - I am waiting before I will do the service on that auto tranny.

Now, on a CPO, "if" you intend to keep it past the CPO warranty, then you need to decide:
1) do nothing now, and possibly have to deal with the $3-5K to replace tranny right after CPO warranty expires
2) do the ATF service now, extend the life of the tranny, way past the end of the CPO warranty expiration.
3) if you do NOT intend to keep the car past the CPO warranty - I would imagine you would then do nothing, so this option is easy.

Assuming you want to keep your car for a "reasonably long time", I would pick #2, but that is just me
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  #64  
Old 10-02-2007, 08:05 PM
TenzoR TenzoR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwm3coupe View Post
Short answer: If the change/work/fluid causes the tranny to fail, possibly.

Long answer:
I personally would not change the fluid before the original 50K mile warranty expires. I would simply wait for that warranty to end before opening the tranny up. This is in fact the case with my wife's 2005 330i - I am waiting before I will do the service on that auto tranny.

Now, on a CPO, "if" you intend to keep it past the CPO warranty, then you need to decide:
1) do nothing now, and possibly have to deal with the $3-5K to replace tranny right after CPO warranty expires
2) do the ATF service now, extend the life of the tranny, way past the end of the CPO warranty expiration.
3) if you do NOT intend to keep the car past the CPO warranty - I would imagine you would then do nothing, so this option is easy.

Assuming you want to keep your car for a "reasonably long time", I would pick #2, but that is just me
That's the thing I'm not sure I want to keep it yet. I've been doing regular service (e.g. oil changing every 5000km, rust proofing, etc) Those are easy and fairly cheap so I don't mind. I wonder if it's safer to let BMW do a tranny flush ...
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  #65  
Old 10-03-2007, 12:17 PM
bmwm3coupe bmwm3coupe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenzoR View Post
That's the thing I'm not sure I want to keep it yet. I've been doing regular service (e.g. oil changing every 5000km, rust proofing, etc) Those are easy and fairly cheap so I don't mind. I wonder if it's safer to let BMW do a tranny flush ...
Keep in mind that I spent a big $100 or so doing my full service which included a new fluid/filter/gasket, but the dealer might be more than willing to charge you $400-600 for a flush/service. You have to sleep on that one and decide what you want to do
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  #66  
Old 10-20-2007, 08:14 AM
bmwm3coupe bmwm3coupe is offline
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This is the sample I took a 1000 miles after the first service - just 2/3 of the old fluid was changed.

Note how the older high amounts of Al and insolubles are now much smaller. And note that this was after I changed just 2/3 of the old fluid. Since then I have done the second service and now the fluid is 8/9 new and 1/9 old. When I do the next service I will then have a good point of reference to see how the 8/9 new fluid is doing (which so far has 2700 miles since the 2nd service - still working perfectly as before).

Note also how Iron, Copper, Lead, and other metals are now in a much lower concentration: the fluid is definitely a lot less abrasive now than it was before.

I asked Blackstone labs, and they mentioned that the higher numbers for Boron, Calcium, and Phosphorous are due to the different chemical composition of the new mix with a higher concentration of Valvoline MaxLife.

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  #67  
Old 10-20-2007, 08:29 PM
blurin03 blurin03 is offline
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bmwm3coupe,
Thanks for listing that, great info!!

I'm changing it as soon as I find the time.
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  #68  
Old 10-21-2007, 04:58 AM
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jvcajita jvcajita is offline
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updates?

any updates so far?
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  #69  
Old 10-21-2007, 06:37 AM
bmwm3coupe bmwm3coupe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvcajita View Post
any updates so far?
I just posted the second ATF analysis, just two posts above your question. Is this what you were asking about?
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  #70  
Old 10-22-2007, 06:35 AM
Torquewrench Torquewrench is offline
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Great job

This fluid analysis and follow-up is tremendous information. Thanks again.
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  #71  
Old 10-24-2007, 05:35 PM
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Awesome information! I had a link up that I accidentally closed and cannot find now It was something like the BMW TIS or something where it had a coumn on the left asking like symptoms, recommended procedures, fluid types, etc.....anyone know what I'm talking about and willing to re-post that link?
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  #72  
Old 12-06-2007, 10:14 PM
blurin03 blurin03 is offline
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I finally got around to changing the fluid on my í01 330i with 80k.

First off thanks to Torquewrench and bmwm3coupe for the in-depth directions and analysis!!


Following the above directions this is how I did it:

I used Valvoline MaxLife so the cost of using fluid was not an issue.

I drained and refilled the fluid 4 times without dropping the pan. Changed about 4 quarts each time. Only drove it about 2 miles after the second change. The other times I just ran it for a few minutes.
Then I drained fluid, dropped the pan, changed the filter, cleaned the magnets, pan, and refilled with using about 6 Ĺ quarts.
I think I changed about 75% of the fluid.

I was able to get pretty good at testing the fluid temp. and putting the fill cap on with fluid running out. The problem I had was getting the plug back on. With fluid on my fingers they would spin not turning the cap. I needed some grip.


Here is the only addition I would add to the directions:

The fill cap is smooth and needs some grip. I did this by taking a chisel and hammer to exterior of the plug. I put nicks and burrs all over the non-seating areas. I was then able to turn it with slippery fingers. Worked great.

Some notes:
1: I had the car off the ground with the rear wheels free enabling me to put the car in R and D spinning the rear wheels, (not while I was under it). This caused the DSC to intermittently activate. Well, after the 4th fluid change the DSC light came on and stayed on along with the ABS light. (Thinking back on it now, I should have turned off the DSC). It all cleared up after I had the car back on the road at about mile 2.

2: More fluid runs out the fill hole when the transmission is in Drive as opposed to Park.


I think thatís it for now.

Thanks everyone for your help!!!!
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  #73  
Old 12-07-2007, 09:19 AM
bmwm3coupe bmwm3coupe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blurin03 View Post
I finally got around to changing the fluid on my í01 330i with 80k.

First off thanks to Torquewrench and bmwm3coupe for the in-depth directions and analysis!!

.
.
.

I think thatís it for now.

Thanks everyone for your help!!!!
You are very welcome. Glad your tranny has new fluid flowing through its "veins"
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  #74  
Old 12-29-2007, 12:04 AM
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BigCo540i BigCo540i is offline
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[QUOTE=bmwm3coupe;2585250]If you really beleive in BMW's claim of lifetime ATF fluid, might as well believe in ghosts, fairies, the boogie man, etc..

QUOTE]

I see you used the Valvoline fluid when you did your ATF fluid change, how is it holding up?
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  #75  
Old 12-29-2007, 06:43 AM
bmwm3coupe bmwm3coupe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCo540i View Post
I see you used the Valvoline fluid when you did your ATF fluid change, how is it holding up?
I am close to 93K miles, so I have at least 4-5K miles with MaxLife - still working perfectly, as it should
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