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Do-It-Yourself H.Q.
Share your DIY projects or ask questions about how to fix something on your own. Help fellow Bimmerfest members improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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  #101  
Old 04-10-2008, 08:44 AM
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Mark_325i Mark_325i is offline
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Had my car up on the lift yesterday at my mechanic's to check the fluid level. It was perfect at the correct temp for checking. My car is a 2003 325i, which must have a different configuration than that of a 2001 330i.
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  #102  
Old 06-22-2008, 07:20 PM
cbv8 cbv8 is offline
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Hi Phil,
What a brill and informative write up can you please tell me what transmission is fitted to my BMW 2001 pre face lift (118bhp) E46 318i se Steptronic? Ie does your fluid change procedure applie to my car as i really want to change my fluid asap thanks in advance oh and keep up the good work
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  #103  
Old 06-28-2008, 02:02 PM
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fun2drive fun2drive is offline
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Have you looked under the car at the auto tranny to see if it has a lable stuck on it? When I did this my friends car which is a 325 had a green tag meaning Esso only so I would check that and then go from there. If it is green then you know what it needs...
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  #104  
Old 07-11-2008, 08:09 AM
classicE46 classicE46 is offline
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Hi,

What a great thread! I have a question. My 01 330Ci has 137k miles on it. I'm the third owner and as far as I know has never had the ATF changed (you know, lifetime fluid ). Anyway, the service engine light is flagging code P0741 (TCC circuit performance or stuck off). Although I am not experiencing any physical symptoms, this is keeping me from passing a TX state inspection.

So I've asked around, read several threads like this one, and taken it to a transmission place for their take ($65 for the analysis and estimate).

The transmission place says that they think it is an internal seal that is leaking, which results in the torque converter not locking up every time. He says he's seen two just like it in the past couple of months and this requires that they drop the transmission, pull the torque converter and rebuild it ($1400). Of course we wouldn't really know if he was right about the diagnosis until he's dropped the tranny and spent my $$$.

An online BMW mechanic seems to think it is the TCC solenoid, which I can access by dropping the pan. The transmission guy said that this is rarely the problem, but that he would ohm out the solenoid first before committing to the larger repair. He was actually trying to get me to bite on a full rebuild for $3100, so I'm thinking there was not much chance I'd get out of there with just a new solenoid.

A lot of the threads I've read say that just changing out the fluid may do the trick. With 137k miles on the car and no perceivable transmission problems when I'm driving it, I'm tempted to agree that the fluid viscosity may simply have broken down sufficiently that I am not getting an efficient lock.

The thing that the mechanic told me that doesn't wash is that he believed that the OEM ATF fluid (which he referred to as liquid gold) is still most likely good enough to be reused and told me that he intended to salvage as much as he could and put it back in. Really?? After 137k miles, I would think that the fluid is at least tired, if not worn out -- not to mention all the metal floating around in it.

I noticed that the viscosity of original ATF from bmwm3coupe's lab report (47.3 @88k mi) was still 4.3 above the min spec of 43, and that the viscosity of the second sample was considerably higher (50.1 @1.1k mi, or 7.1 above the min spec ). So if you consider valid range being 8SUS, then after 88k mi, the old ATF viscosity was approximately at mid range, while the new ATF was at ~90% of the spec'ed range. That implies (at least to me) that the viscosity breaks down with time and wear. Seems like the smart thing would be to spend the $80 or so bucks and the weekend to change out the fluid, go ahead and test the solenoid while I am in there, and see if the code keeps on getting set after I'm done. Does that sound sensible, or more like wishful thinking? Any thoughts?
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  #105  
Old 07-11-2008, 09:18 AM
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m5james m5james is offline
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Mein Auto: 98 740iL - Tweaked a bit
Since your mechanic intended on reusing the same fluid anyways, I'd rather spend th $80 to drain and fill the system myself and see if that fixes the problem before spending $3100. There won't be any harm done for you to do that first, and if it doesn't work out, at least you'll have new fluid in there after the mechanic has done his thing.
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  #106  
Old 07-11-2008, 10:17 AM
Torquewrench Torquewrench is offline
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I agree wholeheartedly with M5james, go ahead and do it once, maybe twice if you're up for it, it may bad fluid or a particle that will get cleared out with some new fluid.

YT,

Torquewrench
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  #107  
Old 07-11-2008, 10:19 AM
Torquewrench Torquewrench is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbv8 View Post
Hi Phil,
What a brill and informative write up can you please tell me what transmission is fitted to my BMW 2001 pre face lift (118bhp) E46 318i se Steptronic? Ie does your fluid change procedure applie to my car as i really want to change my fluid asap thanks in advance oh and keep up the good work

Most of the procedure will apply even if the fluid and tranny are different, just be sure you're using the right fluid by checking the sticker and some of the attachments in my original post to confirm which transmission you have.
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  #108  
Old 07-11-2008, 11:56 AM
classicE46 classicE46 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 330Ci Convertible
Thanks. So I've seen sort of an evolution of recommendations about what the best replacement fluid might be. It started out as Mercon V, but it sounded like that opinion might have changed. I've seen Redline D4 and MaxLife, among others. What do you guys prefer now?
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  #109  
Old 07-19-2008, 03:09 PM
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gfeiner gfeiner is offline
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FYI,

I have a 2003 330i and a T-27 Torx is what is needed to remove the pan bolts. T-25 fits loosely and would probably work but, T-27 is a perfect fit.
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  #110  
Old 07-20-2008, 08:34 AM
Torquewrench Torquewrench is offline
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Very interesting on the T-27 recommendation. I'll have to get one and try it. That would better explain some of the stripped heads I've seen.

Thanks!
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  #111  
Old 07-20-2008, 02:15 PM
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gfeiner gfeiner is offline
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Also,

I noticed your write-up said you reinstalled/torqued the pan bolts in a star pattern. The official instructions from BMW (TIS) say not to do this. It says "Using torque wrench, do not tighten screws diagonally but once one after the other." I suppose it wouldn't really make a difference as long as your careful. I've attached the TIS document that says this as well as all the others relevant to this DIY.
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  #112  
Old 07-21-2008, 12:22 PM
bmwm3coupe bmwm3coupe is offline
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By the way, as an update on using Valvoline MaxLife ATF on my 2000 BMW 540iA, I now have almost 101K miles (almost 14K miles since the ATF fluid change) - everything is still perfect

My long term plan is still to change to Amsoil Universal ATF this fall, to extend the fluid change intervals and have a little bit more protection from the very hot summers here in Texas
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  #113  
Old 07-21-2008, 01:20 PM
Torquewrench Torquewrench is offline
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Anyone notice changes in mileage?

I was wondering if anyone has documented or anecdotal evidence of changes in fuel efficiency (mpg) when changing from the BMW OEM fluid. I still have a feeling I'm getting less mpg, perhaps due to the Valvoline MERCON V being lower viscosity than the BMW OEM fluid, but this is completely conjecture. I don't know the viscosities of the fluid and I don't keep track of mpg consistently. Does anyone else?

Thanks,

Phil/TW
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  #114  
Old 07-21-2008, 02:42 PM
bmwm3coupe bmwm3coupe is offline
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Well, at least for me, my mileage has gone up from about 17/18 to 19/20, but I have done many of tune-up/upgrades to bring the car to a good state - prior owner took OK care of the car, but did not go the extra mile as he waited for the car's lights (Oil/Service) and/or waited until something broke before taking to dealer or BMW shop. Now that the gasoline is more expensive I am driving the car less agresivelly (but having some fun from time to time) and my mileage has gone up even more: my current combined conmute has gone from 17/18MPG when I got the car to about 21-22MPG today. On cruise control, at about 65, on flat highway, I get about 27-28MPG out of a 4.4L V8 !!!

Besides the Auto tranny service, I changed spark plugs, fuel filter, complete radiator/cooling system overhaul (Zionsville with electric fan), AFE CAI, 93-octane performance chip for the engine, Dinan performance auto-tranny firmware, new shocks/bushings/brakes front/back, etc. => The car runs much better/smoother today with 100K+ miles than when I bought it with 82K miles

So you see, I can't say that the tranny using Valvoline has giving me better gar mileage now, but I "know" my tranny has a much better life expectancy than before
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Last edited by bmwm3coupe; 07-21-2008 at 02:46 PM.
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  #115  
Old 08-15-2008, 11:04 PM
Bking Bking is offline
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Great thread! Thanks for all the tips.

I have read everything I can find on the web about the fluid vs transmissions and see some issues with some postings.

I have one of the rare A5S325Z transmissions with the GREEN label indicating Texaco ETL8072B
The old BMW part number for this fluid is 83220024359.
The NEW number is 83220403249.

Bavauto.com will sell this for about $70 for 20 litre jug. Shipping for me was $30 more, just ordered it today.
You have to call them to order it, its not on the site, they order direct from BMW.
The other sources I have found were about 3 to 5 times this cost for the same fluid.

I would not mix anything else with this Texaco fluid. See post #27, the guy did not present his information very well but actually had a transmission mechanic warn him about this very thing.

It's not about what will work but rather what is compatible with the original install.
Other vendors claim compatibility for some fluids but none have listed the Texaco ETL 8072 as being one that you can add anything else to.


A bit of history on the "lifetime" fluid.
BMW did a study and found that almost all transmission failures were caused by mechanics allowing foreign matter to get introduced into the system during fluid changes. They decided it would be best overall to leave the system sealed. Then of course, they needed to be able to advertise "low maintenance costs" to compete with everyone else. Many BMW buyers were going to other makes due to the high maintenace costs. Not many actually work on their cars like we all do : )
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  #116  
Old 08-16-2008, 09:19 AM
Bking Bking is offline
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The edit feature is not working!

I just looked on my green label and it indicates 83229407807 fluid which is NOT the texaco as the Bentley manual says.

Please note this problem as seems to be rather common, THE color of the LABEL does not mean squat!
The PN on the label is the fluid you use.
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  #117  
Old 08-19-2008, 03:14 PM
RokChlk RokChlk is offline
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I looked up the transmission by using the VIN number - apparently I have a GM trannie (2002 325i). I've heard you guys talk about look at a "green label"? I've looked at my tranny pan and I don't see a green label? Is that where I should be looking for it?

Also, if I do have a GM trannie, what kind of oil should I get and how many quarts will I need?
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  #118  
Old 08-19-2008, 03:29 PM
bimmerZ5 bimmerZ5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RokChlk View Post
I looked up the transmission by using the VIN number - apparently I have a GM trannie (2002 325i). I've heard you guys talk about look at a "green label"? I've looked at my tranny pan and I don't see a green label? Is that where I should be looking for it?

Also, if I do have a GM trannie, what kind of oil should I get and how many quarts will I need?
If it is a GM, i would go for the new Dexron VI fluids.
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  #119  
Old 08-19-2008, 05:04 PM
shroomer shroomer is offline
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Has anybody had any stalling issues after doing automatic transmission service? I get into low rms and it seems that the transmission wants to downshift, but the car stalls instead.
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  #120  
Old 08-20-2008, 01:57 PM
RokChlk RokChlk is offline
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I bought 8 quarts of Valvoline MaxLife Dex/Merc fluid - Does anyone see any complications in putting that in a GM tranny?
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  #121  
Old 08-21-2008, 12:15 PM
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gfeiner gfeiner is offline
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Originally Posted by shroomer View Post
Has anybody had any stalling issues after doing automatic transmission service? I get into low rms and it seems that the transmission wants to downshift, but the car stalls instead.

It's been a week since I did mine. No problems so far.
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  #122  
Old 08-21-2008, 12:16 PM
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gfeiner gfeiner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bking View Post
The edit feature is not working!

I just looked on my green label and it indicates 83229407807 fluid which is NOT the texaco as the Bentley manual says.

Please note this problem as seems to be rather common, THE color of the LABEL does not mean squat!
The PN on the label is the fluid you use.
I noticed that too. Maybe the heat from the transmission and weather/environment causes the label to fade to green??

Last edited by gfeiner; 08-21-2008 at 12:17 PM. Reason: spelling correction
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  #123  
Old 08-21-2008, 05:23 PM
jblackburn jblackburn is offline
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I had my fluid and filter replaced a few weeks ago. The label was green, but it had the part number for the Esso fluid. I think the label color/oil type issues are pretty common. The transmission was positively a ZF. Since it will probably be the last fluid change that I own the car - I decided to get the Esso fluid.

I watched the mechanic do the work (good friends since we were 2 yrs old) and it was a pretty easy job. Hardest part was loosening the fill bolt - it was cranked pretty hard.
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  #124  
Old 08-22-2008, 01:40 PM
Bking Bking is offline
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Everyone needs to be aware that the smallest amount of grit allowed to drop on that clean pan while installing it can lead to a failure in the future.
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  #125  
Old 09-05-2008, 04:50 AM
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diptenkrom diptenkrom is online now
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anybody that has replaced the pan bolts with something stronger, what size bolt would i be looking for? any idea where i can get them? or do i just take one out and go to the hardware store?

i want to do this, but i want to have absolutely everything ready before i start. also i have a 95 325i if this is going to be different? i am going to do this twice. once in the next month of so and once in the spring.

and i was also planning on the maxlife. which i went to the store and looked at it. there were 2 different maxlife types, only one listed mercon VI on it and all teh other compatibilities listed on here. just figured i would throw that out there, to check the back of the bottle and mke sure you are getting the right maxlife.
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