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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. 144 7.78%
50,000 to 100,000...no problems!!! 621 33.53%
100,001 to 125,000...transmission repaired/replaced. 109 5.89%
100,001 to 125,000...no problems!!! 329 17.76%
125,001 to 150,000...transmission repaired/replaced. 80 4.32%
125,001 to 150,000...no problems!!! 220 11.88%
150,001 to 175,000 or more...tranny repaired/replaced. 53 2.86%
150,001 to 175,000 or more...no problems!!! 296 15.98%
Voters: 1852. You may not vote on this poll

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  #226  
Old 11-05-2010, 12:56 PM
mymainwheels mymainwheels is offline
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Location: Jacksonville
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: BMW 330 CI
I had one last 200,000. 1991 325 i. I miss that car the timing belt popped and it was changed at 170,000 miles grr.......I had a really cool europlate on the front that read eurobred lol I still have the plate. I got the plate from www.europlates.com I plan on getting another one soon for my newer 2006 bmw not sure what to get for the custom plate but I just want something different its black so I was thinking of getting a black on black europlate with some hidden message? badazz or something.
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  #227  
Old 11-06-2010, 05:46 PM
cara cara is offline
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Location: canada
 
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Mein Auto: 325i
Smile Auto transmission

this is my seventh bmw and i have never had any problems with transmission, however, in this one i had to replace transmission gasket. Fluid was leaking. No big deal, it runs great. I like it better than Porsche.
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  #228  
Old 11-06-2010, 06:01 PM
Alabama John Alabama John is offline
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Location: Pinson, Alabama
 
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Mein Auto: E39 97 540I
171,000 540I v8 motor and trans never touched. Reading on here, I took it to BMW dealer and they said to not change anything as it may make it worse.
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  #229  
Old 11-14-2010, 03:41 PM
eerener eerener is offline
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Location: Valdosta
 
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Mein Auto: 325i
160.000 miles and it works like new.
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  #230  
Old 11-14-2010, 03:56 PM
pony_trekker pony_trekker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eerener View Post
160.000 miles and it works like new.
You flush? If so, when for first time and how often?
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  #231  
Old 11-17-2010, 02:00 PM
Silentsam Silentsam is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 323i
My 2000 323i w/sports option has 157,000 KMs and no issues with the auto trasmission.
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  #232  
Old 11-17-2010, 03:30 PM
Nando779 Nando779 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 325Ci, Orient Blue
Failed at 91,000. Tranny replaced under 3rd party warranty (luckily).
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  #233  
Old 11-17-2010, 03:50 PM
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amancuso amancuso is offline
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Mein Auto: 128i, 330i, Z3 2.3, R56
Currently at 120,000 on our 330i and no issues, we're due for our 2nd change. We had the transmission fluid drained and refilled along with a new filter at 60k miles. A little maintenance goes a long way.
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  #234  
Old 11-23-2010, 03:14 AM
veli510 veli510 is offline
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Location: california
 
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Mein Auto: 2001 bmw 330i
Changed transmission fluid by AMMCO at 114000 miles currently has 17XXXX *I dont remember exactly*. Car shoots out 1 code torque converter, I guess I need to get it checked soon. Sometimes the service light doesn't come on for a while but when it does, it shoots that code.
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  #235  
Old 11-23-2010, 09:20 AM
von jot von jot is offline
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Location: The Netherlands
 
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Mein Auto: 330Ci Convertible '03
Let me guess... P0741?
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  #236  
Old 11-23-2010, 10:55 AM
veli510 veli510 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 bmw 330i
Yea that code lol. :/
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  #237  
Old 11-24-2010, 01:49 AM
Tsa1 Tsa1 is offline
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Mein Auto: 08 E90 335i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nando779 View Post
Failed at 91,000. Tranny replaced under 3rd party warranty (luckily).
Which company did you go with on the 3rd party warranty?
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  #238  
Old 11-24-2010, 02:34 PM
Nando779 Nando779 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 325Ci, Orient Blue
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsa1 View Post
Which company did you go with on the 3rd party warranty?
I went with Guardian which was offered at the lot I got my car off of. Since my car was automatic I decided it was probably a good idea to do so and it paid off. My family has had past experience with Guardian, they have replaced the engine on my sister's used car she has under the shop's recommendation and now have replaced my tranny under AMMCO's recommendation instead of rebuilding (I was very pleased with the AMMCO shop near me). Like alot of warranty companies out there, there are plenty of complaints about them. But as far as the experience we have had with them, we are pretty happy. Just remember when you go with any warranty company, it's probaly not a good idea to heavily mod your vehicle while under warranty, specifically performance related (intake, headers, exhaust). They will use that as an excuse to not cover any claims you may have.
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  #239  
Old 11-29-2010, 06:54 AM
Nervous Nervous is offline
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Mein Auto: 01' 330CI 6MT / 00' 540i
On the car I bought the trans was changed at 110K. Now the car is at 148K. Trans was a rebuild from BMW (cost A LOT to previous owner). Planning to drain-n-refill as soon as I fix all other problems (oil leak, vanos, cvv, CAB, control arms, etc).
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  #240  
Old 11-29-2010, 02:06 PM
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charlesberry charlesberry is online now
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Location: Annandale, New Jersey
 
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Posts: 745
Mein Auto: E46 E89 F30(Msport)
116K miles. I changed the fluid at 100k miles and it works like a champ. And if it pukes, it will get replaced with another one.
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  #241  
Old 12-02-2010, 10:44 PM
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av98 av98 is offline
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Mein Auto: Mini Clubmn,Odyssey,Miata
Just did the 2nd tranmission service @ 110k miles, first one was done @ 60k miles with the steptronic. Works great w/o any issues, smoother shifting and transition after the transmission drain, fill, clean pan, new filter, gaskets and bolt.

IMHO, highly recommended to get the transmission service done. Now off to the trackday.
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  #242  
Old 12-05-2010, 05:19 PM
wisbimmer20 wisbimmer20 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328I
My E34 has 199,600 miles. The clutch was replaced somewhere around 110,000 miles I believe. I was not the owner of the vehicle at that time, however. There seems to be something leaking out of the transmission but very little around the sway bar area. A while back I was accelerating up a hill and heard a loud bang from the underside of the vehicle which I assume was the transmission but there hasn't really been any issue since to indicate there is a major problem with the system and that was way back in May. For the most part it still shifts fine. I am going to be taking it to a transmission specialist sometime soon to get it looked at and fix any issues before they become catastrophic because the vehicle itself is in fine condition. It just blows my mind how some posts on here indicate the transmission needing to be replaced before 100,000 miles. I just don't understand how that's possible aside from poor build quality on behalf of BMW. There is no reason that should happen, especially on such an expensive car as a BMW. I had a 92 Ford Explorer that has 230,000 miles on it and has never had any transmission problems at all. The owner of the car now is still driving it. Fortunately, the reliability of my E34 has been the best out of every car I've owned. It is built like a rock, far more reliable than my 98 328i was.
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Last edited by wisbimmer20; 12-05-2010 at 05:22 PM.
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  #243  
Old 12-07-2010, 03:37 PM
kjsgadh kjsgadh is offline
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Location: Burke, VA
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 10
Mein Auto: 2001 330i
Hey all,

I am at about 111K miles on my 2001 330i. From looking at RealOEM.com it seems I have a ZF 5HP19, so I am dreading the reverse drum failure.

My tranny was flushed a very reputable local shop (Curry's, Falls Church, VA) at 95K, but the filter was not replaced since they used a BG Auto Trans flush machine and BG ATF. Upon reading on BG's website it seems that the fluid meets all specs, but I have not been able to find much online on any forums about user experiences.

Overall runs well, I have the RPM dip when going from Park to Drive or Reverse. I am not sure if its caused by the torque converter, partial lockup issue. No error codes though.

The questions I have are 1. Is the fluid that is in my car currently ok? Can it cause serious hard in the long run? 2. I drive in the Manual mode all the time, does that have any adverse effects on the transmission life?

Thanks a bunch. These forums have an amazing amount of info on here.
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  #244  
Old 01-12-2011, 02:11 PM
bimmerized bimmerized is offline
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Mein Auto: 97 E36M/4
OK, after reading 9 pages of reports, it's still not clear to me what the point of no return is for cars which have not had their transmission fluid changed yet. I bought my car with w/134K miles and the original owner had not had the fluid changed and I'm wondering whether my transmission would benefit from a fluid change at this point given the risk. If I were to do it, I'd use the drain/pan drop and clean/filter/fill w/ OEM fluid without the power flush but even that can be risky.

I'd like to hear from folks who have had their fluid chagned (or any other transmission maintenance) for the first time after 125K miles, whether their experience was positive or negative and if they did it themselves, what the fluid/pan looked like. Also it's important to state what method was used whether it be a power flush, drain and fill, drain/filter/pan cleaned/new fluid, drain and fill more than once, ect...

For those who have no problems at greater than 125K, was their fluid changed and at what miles? It would be interesting to know whether there is a longer life expectancy for transmissions that have had their transmission fluid changed or with the original fluid. How many miles on your transmission AND has the fluid been changed? Whether it is a GM or ZF would be interesting also.

AFAIK, the ZF units with the defective reverse drum were phased out in early 2001 and cars built after that have not experienced no reverse. Please correct me if you had a June 2001+ build date car with no reverse. From the posts so far, it seems that the no reverse occurs before 100K miles so if you've gone past that, you should be pretty safe from the no reverse problem.

What are the symtoms of a transmission needing attention or on its way out? A lag in engagement between D/R/P? It seems a torque converter problems with code is the most prevalent.
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  #245  
Old 01-14-2011, 05:57 AM
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ROCKYTOP2 ROCKYTOP2 is offline
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Location: Chattanooga, TN
 
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Mein Auto: 2007 550i
I would love to know the same... I have waited a few months and talked and asked and looked around... I have deceided its just not worth the worry. I am going to do my fluid this month at 80k miles.
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  #246  
Old 01-14-2011, 05:40 PM
raeboo raeboo is offline
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Location: wyoming
 
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Posts: 40
Mein Auto: 330xi
Strong

142,000 no problems
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  #247  
Old 01-14-2011, 08:28 PM
fredgarvin fredgarvin is offline
The name says it all...
Location: Plano, Texas
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: '04 Alpine White 325xiT
105k, no issues. Changed filter, gasket and fluid with AMSOIL at 70k and again at 80k. I had intended to do it at 5k after the first change, but just didn't get the time. I did not have the right tools to "Reset" the transmission computer after any of the changes. After the 80k change, it felt like it was slipping a little for 4-5k, but now is fine, just freaked me out for a while. I too read the 9 pages here and thousands of other pages of info out there on the web about the GM "Zero Maintenance" transmission. I took the leap and have been pleased. Hopefully it was the right choice!!
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  #248  
Old 01-17-2011, 08:45 PM
330i lover 330i lover is offline
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Location: Nashville
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 330i Saloon
92k miles and no problems. To my knowledge the fluid has never been changed.
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  #249  
Old 02-06-2011, 06:49 PM
jthay jthay is offline
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Location: New Jersey
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 323i
Quote:
Originally Posted by crowz View Post
Almost 250,000 miles, original automatic trans. Works fine.
very nice to know

Last edited by jthay; 02-06-2011 at 07:25 PM.
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  #250  
Old 02-06-2011, 07:18 PM
Alabama John Alabama John is offline
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Location: Pinson, Alabama
 
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Posts: 75
Mein Auto: E39 97 540I
172,000 miles on 97 540I V8 automatic transmission and never been changed. Dealership said at this mileage it would be better to leave it alone since it is not causing any trouble.
They have seen problems come up after a high mileage change.

I'm doing what they recommended.

Computer only shows an Oxygen sensor 1-4 needs replacing. It will be done next week for $200.00.

Most folks that have BMW vehicles do not post on these sites, mainly those with problems do so be careful or you may get the wrong impression.

Some of the nicest older BMWs I ever seen are posted on here. With as much as they have had replaced, they are same as brand new or better. If I had one of those, I'd show it off too.
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