Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

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. 139 7.91%
50,000 to 100,000...no problems!!! 606 34.49%
100,001 to 125,000...transmission repaired/replaced. 102 5.81%
100,001 to 125,000...no problems!!! 315 17.93%
125,001 to 150,000...transmission repaired/replaced. 77 4.38%
125,001 to 150,000...no problems!!! 207 11.78%
150,001 to 175,000 or more...tranny repaired/replaced. 47 2.68%
150,001 to 175,000 or more...no problems!!! 264 15.03%
Voters: 1757. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #351  
Old 03-28-2012, 11:34 AM
Spikes007 Spikes007 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Gatineau/Ottawa
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 395
Mein Auto: 02 325xi ZSP
Had problems with my transmission for 1-2 days. Shifting hard between gears (steptronic) became hard and it wasn't smooth AT ALL. It's like if there was no fluid. Checked fluid level and leak, everything was perfect. Now it's been 1-2 weeks driving it everyday and the problem didn't come back. 130k km (80-85k miles). I'll do the trans fluid flush and filter this summer for sure.
__________________

English is not my first language. Sorry for the mistakes.
Reply With Quote
  #352  
Old 03-28-2012, 11:47 AM
mrc.engr mrc.engr is offline
Hands-on Gearhead.
Location: Wash. D.C. area
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: 05 330, 1966 E-Type
While I really like the flushing machines we have today that remove all the fluid vs just partial fluid change-out, I'd be a little worried about doing a full flush.....especially with one of those power flushing systems.

I did one on my E36 at 80k miles and the trans would go into default mode at random times for the next 2 yrs as I didn't have the $4k for a rebuilt trans install.

I now have about the same miles on the E46 and I'm not going to tempt fate again. I'm just doing the normal partial fluid change-out and filter.

$.02
Reply With Quote
  #353  
Old 03-28-2012, 12:25 PM
SilbergrauBMW SilbergrauBMW is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: OREGON
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 103
Mein Auto: bmw325i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spikes007 View Post
Had problems with my transmission for 1-2 days. Shifting hard between gears (steptronic) became hard and it wasn't smooth AT ALL. It's like if there was no fluid. Checked fluid level and leak, everything was perfect. Now it's been 1-2 weeks driving it everyday and the problem didn't come back. 130k km (80-85k miles). I'll do the trans fluid flush and filter this summer for sure.
Tell me how an automatic transmission shifts hard with no fluid? Lol its a hydrolic system!
Reply With Quote
  #354  
Old 03-28-2012, 12:29 PM
mrc.engr mrc.engr is offline
Hands-on Gearhead.
Location: Wash. D.C. area
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: 05 330, 1966 E-Type
He said....."as if there was no fluid"
Reply With Quote
  #355  
Old 03-28-2012, 03:03 PM
MalibuMafiaV's Avatar
MalibuMafiaV MalibuMafiaV is offline
L4P
Location: Malibu, CA
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 11,202
Send a message via AIM to MalibuMafiaV
Mein Auto: E46 stg 2.5 & E60 M5
Basically when your auto explodes just do a manual swap. It's cheaper than putting another auto in.
__________________
http://www.luxury4play.com
2006 BMW M5 - REALLY LOUD
2000 3-series BMW supercharged Because race car.
2004 Maserati M128 GT SOLD
2006 BMW M3 - SOLD
Reply With Quote
  #356  
Old 03-28-2012, 03:07 PM
mrc.engr mrc.engr is offline
Hands-on Gearhead.
Location: Wash. D.C. area
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: 05 330, 1966 E-Type
It's the wife's and she dosen't shift.
Reply With Quote
  #357  
Old 03-28-2012, 03:45 PM
Spikes007 Spikes007 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Gatineau/Ottawa
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 395
Mein Auto: 02 325xi ZSP
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrc.engr View Post
While I really like the flushing machines we have today that remove all the fluid vs just partial fluid change-out, I'd be a little worried about doing a full flush.....especially with one of those power flushing systems.

I did one on my E36 at 80k miles and the trans would go into default mode at random times for the next 2 yrs as I didn't have the $4k for a rebuilt trans install.

I now have about the same miles on the E46 and I'm not going to tempt fate again. I'm just doing the normal partial fluid change-out and filter.

$.02
What if you just let the fluid drain without using any machines?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilbergrauBMW View Post
Tell me how an automatic transmission shifts hard with no fluid? Lol its a hydrolic system!
I just want to mean that the shifting wasn't as smooth as it should be. It was giving really hard kicks every time I was downshifting.

And if my transmission fails (I hope not -.-), I will just part it out and buy an M or 330 instead (manual of course).
__________________

English is not my first language. Sorry for the mistakes.
Reply With Quote
  #358  
Old 03-28-2012, 04:50 PM
mrc.engr mrc.engr is offline
Hands-on Gearhead.
Location: Wash. D.C. area
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: 05 330, 1966 E-Type
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spikes007 View Post
What if you just let the fluid drain without using any machines?
Gravity drain only drops what's in the pan...... usually 2--3 qts. There's still a huge amount of trans fluid in the torque converter that stays in the transmission.

It's like having a 5 qt engine oil capacity and only changing out 1 quart when you change oil.

Flush machines get all of the old dirty fluid out of the auto transmission.....but they also stir up a lot of debris that can (and does all to frequently) get into the control body and cause very precise valves not to operate properly.......hence the trans goes into default (limp) mode and you only have 3rd gear to get you home.

I will say that you can pull over and wait 30 seconds and the transmission will reset it'self automatically, which is what I did for 2 yrs.......but it only happened once a month or so.......so I didn't spend the $4k for a rebuilt trans.

I was going to see if I could just have a new control panel installed, but I never got around to it.....then someone ran into the car and totaled it. Now I have a very sweet 2005 E46 330 and the trans is incredible.
Reply With Quote
  #359  
Old 03-28-2012, 05:18 PM
Spikes007 Spikes007 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Gatineau/Ottawa
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 395
Mein Auto: 02 325xi ZSP
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrc.engr View Post
Gravity drain only drops what's in the pan...... usually 2--3 qts. There's still a huge amount of trans fluid in the torque converter that stays in the transmission.

It's like having a 5 qt engine oil capacity and only changing out 1 quart when you change oil.

Flush machines get all of the old dirty fluid out of the auto transmission.....but they also stir up a lot of debris that can (and does all to frequently) get into the control body and cause very precise valves not to operate properly.......hence the trans goes into default (limp) mode and you only have 3rd gear to get you home.

I will say that you can pull over and wait 30 seconds and the transmission will reset it'self automatically, which is what I did for 2 yrs.......but it only happened once a month or so.......so I didn't spend the $4k for a rebuilt trans.

I was going to see if I could just have a new control panel installed, but I never got around to it.....then someone ran into the car and totaled it. Now I have a very sweet 2005 E46 330 and the trans is incredible.
Now I don't know if I should do it or not. I read a lot of threads about that and never saw someone having a problem because of the flush. :/
__________________

English is not my first language. Sorry for the mistakes.
Reply With Quote
  #360  
Old 03-28-2012, 06:41 PM
mrc.engr mrc.engr is offline
Hands-on Gearhead.
Location: Wash. D.C. area
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: 05 330, 1966 E-Type
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spikes007 View Post
Now I don't know if I should do it or not. I read a lot of threads about that and never saw someone having a problem because of the flush. :/
Normally it's not a problem .......IF...... you do regular flushes, like every 30k miles.

All the problems start when the first owner dosen't do a damn thing and you get the car at 80+k miles on it......then YOU flush the transmission. That's the problem.

So if the trans hasn't ever been flushed and you have over 70k miles....... don't do the flush.......just to the normal pan drop and filter change.

$.02
Reply With Quote
  #361  
Old 03-29-2012, 10:59 PM
SilbergrauBMW SilbergrauBMW is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: OREGON
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 103
Mein Auto: bmw325i
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrc.engr View Post
He said....."as if there was no fluid"
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrc.engr View Post
Normally it's not a problem .......IF...... you do regular flushes, like every 30k miles.

All the problems start when the first owner dosen't do a damn thing and you get the car at 80+k miles on it......then YOU flush the transmission. That's the problem.

So if the trans hasn't ever been flushed and you have over 70k miles....... don't do the flush.......just to the normal pan drop and filter change.

$.02
I don't think there is a real definitive way to take care of ur tranny. The best way would probably be to just drive it easy and normal. There isn't enough support data that shows the cause of a transmission failure was because lack of fluid changes. You can burn out a transmission just from rocking the vehicle in snow. You can wear the clutches from driving it hard. The previous owner could have raped on it before he gave it to you, then u devide it needs a flush. No one really knows. I do know that no manufacture period, will recommend a flush of anything, your engine or transmission. Drain and fill + filter is probably the only thing but if the transmission isn't giving u problems, I honestly would leave it alone.
Reply With Quote
  #362  
Old 03-30-2012, 06:04 AM
mrc.engr mrc.engr is offline
Hands-on Gearhead.
Location: Wash. D.C. area
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: 05 330, 1966 E-Type
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilbergrauBMW View Post
I don't think there is a real definitive way to take care of ur tranny. The best way would probably be to just drive it easy and normal. There isn't enough support data that shows the cause of a transmission failure was because lack of fluid changes. You can burn out a transmission just from rocking the vehicle in snow. You can wear the clutches from driving it hard. The previous owner could have raped on it before he gave it to you, then u devide it needs a flush. No one really knows. I do know that no manufacture period, will recommend a flush of anything, your engine or transmission. Drain and fill + filter is probably the only thing but if the transmission isn't giving u problems, I honestly would leave it alone.

Really ?? You're not really that ignorant.....are you ? I'm inclined to think transmission makers have pretty much got trans maintainance down pat by now mate.....so yes..... there is.... it's called change the fluid and screen every Xk miles. Done by the book is the way to go.......it's the cheap arsed slackers that mess things up for the rest of us. Then those of us who are inclined to believe they can reverse all this go a bit overboard with such things as a full flush.....pay the price when the funk is loosened-up and clogs transmission control box passages.

Drive it around "easy and normal" ?? Is that that what you bought a BMW for ? Sorry to hear that one. I drive the piss out of mine..... always have.... always will......but I give it all the attention and maintenance it can use. Also keep things in top tic for the next owner. Never a problem with Bimmers all the way back to the 3.0 Si we had. Loved it.....rust and all. When I gave it to the next guy, it ran like a watch. 260,000 miles on it and not a single issue.

So you think that just leaving something alone and driving around like a old lady is the way to go eh ? How sad.
Reply With Quote
  #363  
Old 03-30-2012, 09:15 AM
SilbergrauBMW SilbergrauBMW is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: OREGON
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 103
Mein Auto: bmw325i
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrc.engr View Post
Really ?? You're not really that ignorant.....are you ? I'm inclined to think transmission makers have pretty much got trans maintainance down pat by now mate.....so yes..... there is.... it's called change the fluid and screen every Xk miles. Done by the book is the way to go.......it's the cheap arsed slackers that mess things up for the rest of us. Then those of us who are inclined to believe they can reverse all this go a bit overboard with such things as a full flush.....pay the price when the funk is loosened-up and clogs transmission control box passages.

Drive it around "easy and normal" ?? Is that that what you bought a BMW for ? Sorry to hear that one. I drive the piss out of mine..... always have.... always will......but I give it all the attention and maintenance it can use. Also keep things in top tic for the next owner. Never a problem with Bimmers all the way back to the 3.0 Si we had. Loved it.....rust and all. When I gave it to the next guy, it ran like a watch. 260,000 miles on it and not a single issue.

So you think that just leaving something alone and driving around like a old lady is the way to go eh ? How sad.
I dont need to drive an automatic anything hard, I don't believe in automatic slush boxes as sports car so I generally drive them normal. You pulled a lot of my general comments and twisted them around to backup whatever ur ranting towards me. I have a 740il and a 325i, which part did u miss? I don't own a 6 speed m3 otherwise I'd probably drive the **** out of it.

Last edited by SilbergrauBMW; 03-30-2012 at 09:17 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #364  
Old 03-30-2012, 09:27 AM
mrc.engr mrc.engr is offline
Hands-on Gearhead.
Location: Wash. D.C. area
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: 05 330, 1966 E-Type
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilbergrauBMW View Post
I dont need to drive an automatic anything hard, I don't believe in automatic slush boxes as sports car so I generally drive them normal.
Todays auto trans are incredible....nothing like the slush boxes of the past.....but even the ZF-HP22 I had in the 1975 3.0Si was a great trans.

Ok.....we get it..... you drive nicely down the road, that's nice, but the rest of us drive for the fun of it as we go from point A to B.

Fwiw.... today's auto transmissions offer the best of both words..... full auto..... or paddle your way through the gears as you enjoy what most of us buy BMW for..... DRIVING.
Reply With Quote
  #365  
Old 04-22-2012, 10:41 AM
mike0593 mike0593 is offline
Registered User
Location: jersey
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 35
Mein Auto: e46 325ci supercharged
I drive a 2000 323i with 187607 miles on the stock tranny and I haven't had any problems
Reply With Quote
  #366  
Old 04-24-2012, 06:25 PM
mrc.engr mrc.engr is offline
Hands-on Gearhead.
Location: Wash. D.C. area
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: 05 330, 1966 E-Type
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike0593 View Post
I drive a 2000 323i with 187607 miles on the stock tranny and I haven't had any problems
What sort of service do you give it ??
Reply With Quote
  #367  
Old 04-24-2012, 07:05 PM
Alabama John Alabama John is offline
Registered User
Location: Pinson, Alabama
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 75
Mein Auto: E39 97 540I
I give mine no service.

I took it literal when they sold me the car new and said lifetime no service transmission.
Reply With Quote
  #368  
Old 04-24-2012, 08:39 PM
mrc.engr mrc.engr is offline
Hands-on Gearhead.
Location: Wash. D.C. area
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: 05 330, 1966 E-Type
Amazing. And while I can't doubt the results, somewhere recently I read the official description of "lifetime" is up when the item fails. Count your blessings.

Me ?? I have my transmissions service every 30k miles.
Reply With Quote
  #369  
Old 04-25-2012, 05:03 AM
Alabama John Alabama John is offline
Registered User
Location: Pinson, Alabama
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 75
Mein Auto: E39 97 540I
Mrc Eng,

I'm curious, what does it cost to get it serviced every 30K miles? There are no openings for adding anything on this transmission.
What would it of cost me for the 190,000 miles I have on mine? Wonder how many more until it blows up? A transmission swap is pretty cheap at the BMW bone yard near here.
Reply With Quote
  #370  
Old 04-25-2012, 06:04 AM
mrc.engr mrc.engr is offline
Hands-on Gearhead.
Location: Wash. D.C. area
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: 05 330, 1966 E-Type
My trans shop does it for $150. I think you'd better take another look at your trans mate. There's three openings on my trans. Drain, fill and pan.

And....... you might want to read the top of this http://bimmerinfo.com/e46trans.htm
Reply With Quote
  #371  
Old 04-25-2012, 11:14 PM
E46brautovich E46brautovich is offline
Registered User
Location: hollister
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 14
Mein Auto: e46 330ci
transmission fine at 150k . clutch on other hand not so much, just went out. but upgrading to stage 2 uuc W. lightweight flywheel and uuc short throw shifter so im happy bout that
Reply With Quote
  #372  
Old 04-26-2012, 06:08 AM
Alabama John Alabama John is offline
Registered User
Location: Pinson, Alabama
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 75
Mein Auto: E39 97 540I
Would like to buy one of the 540i's you folks that have kept up and added so much too.

I really think it would be cheaper than taking the time and effort bringing mine up to what you have already achieved.
Mine is sure pretty as its the light purple color with wood and purple upholstery and spoiler from factory. Best BMW factory speakers too.

Anyone close to Alabama got one to swap??
Reply With Quote
  #373  
Old 04-26-2012, 02:03 PM
mjdahan mjdahan is offline
Registered User
Location: Baltimore
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 3 series
No transmission problems at 120k but... zillion others

So interestingly enough no problems with the transmission at 120k miles....However have spent over $8000.00 repairing car in last year. The car is dealer maintained.....It seems I would be better off with a Lexus or Acura for durability...too bad because BMW s drive is the best.....I asked for BMW assistance they told me to pound sand.....As much as I love them it seems not great value...am I wrong but aren't cars supposed to run well beyond 100k miles these days.....I mean Hyunday has 100k mile warranty.....
Reply With Quote
  #374  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:36 AM
DC323i DC323i is offline
Registered User
Location: Washington, DC
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 20
Mein Auto: 2000 323i
I'm having a problem with the reverse in my 323i. It will go in reverse and if I take my foot off the brake it will go backwards on its idle power on a level area. The problem is when I press the gas no power is transfered to the wheels and doesn't affect the speed of reverse. This also means if I am trying to back up an incline it wont work.

It's a 2000 323i produced in 2/2000 in Munich. I've read that they didn't start putting the ZF trannies in until 3/2000 but I crawled under the car and cannot find where the label is that would identify it as a GM or ZF transmission.

It's got 127k miles and I bought it at 103k miles a couple of years ago so I don't know if any maintenance such as transmission fluid changes were done.

I feel like this is different than the regular No Reverse problem since it goes in reverse on Idle Power but not Gas Pedal Power...
Reply With Quote
  #375  
Old 05-31-2012, 06:21 PM
samplemaven's Avatar
samplemaven samplemaven is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Ringgold, GA
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 662
Mein Auto: 2006 BMW 550i Coupe
When I started this thread, my 2000 323i had about 70000 miles. It now has over 160000 miles and still has no problems...nor any symptoms of a problem. I'm hoping to get to over 200000 miles before I have to think about repair or replacement. Maybe I'll get lucky and get to a quarter of a million.
__________________

2007 550i, Titanium Silver Metallic, Black interior, Steptronic, ED 10/06/06-10/18/06
2000 323i Sedan, Black, Tan interior, Steptronic
1972 2002 Tii Coupe, Inka, Black interior, 5MT, off frame restoration completed 09/2011
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:12 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms