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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. 142 7.83%
50,000 to 100,000...no problems!!! 616 33.96%
100,001 to 125,000...transmission repaired/replaced. 105 5.79%
100,001 to 125,000...no problems!!! 322 17.75%
125,001 to 150,000...transmission repaired/replaced. 77 4.24%
125,001 to 150,000...no problems!!! 220 12.13%
150,001 to 175,000 or more...tranny repaired/replaced. 51 2.81%
150,001 to 175,000 or more...no problems!!! 281 15.49%
Voters: 1814. You may not vote on this poll

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  #476  
Old 10-31-2013, 07:00 PM
HoDub71 HoDub71 is offline
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Location: Portsmouth, Va
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 18
Mein Auto: 05' 330i
Getting Nervious

bought the car at 54k (1 previous owner) just turned over 125k last weekend..i have to admit i've got that 'gear' light next to the 'D' like 3-4 times over the past 3 months..(few minutes off/parking brake on, and drives fine) BUT
'knock on wood'
makes me wounder if i do need to change the tranny fluid/filter
...Any suggestions?!?!
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  #477  
Old 11-13-2013, 10:25 PM
RobertMLo RobertMLo is offline
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Location: Glendale, Ca
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 34
Mein Auto: 2003 330CIC
I got 36k on my 2003 CIC and no problems thus far. Sounds like I should change the fluid after 10 yrs though?
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  #478  
Old 11-18-2013, 04:00 PM
B3AM3R B3AM3R is offline
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Location: West Virginia
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: 2004 BMW 325ci
181,300 and still running strong!
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  #479  
Old 11-26-2013, 10:55 PM
vlad253 vlad253 is offline
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Location: tacoma wa
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: 04 325i
i have a 04 325i, after 4300 rpms car shifts outa gear then have no throttle control, shut it off and start it, runs fine again? any help?
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  #480  
Old 11-27-2013, 04:39 AM
ahull's Avatar
ahull ahull is online now
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Location: Carolina
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,315
Mein Auto: ist schnell! (03 330i SC)
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad253 View Post
i have a 04 325i, after 4300 rpms car shifts outa gear then have no throttle control, shut it off and start it, runs fine again? any help?
How many miles?
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2003 330i TiAg Sport Pkg ~90k miles
DIY MODS: AA Stage I supercharger, Meyle HD FCAs w Powerflex CABs, Bilstein shocks, Meyle HD Rtabs, Angel Eyes, Clear Corners/Markers w/ LEDs, LED tails, ZHP rims, Akebono pads, AUX input
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DIY On deck: Rear Diff bushing. UUC SSK, clutch job eventually, Wavetrac LSD

Last edited by ahull; 11-27-2013 at 04:41 AM.
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  #481  
Old 12-05-2013, 01:20 AM
gbish gbish is offline
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Location: nigeria
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 318i 1999/2000 model
pls would like to ask, was it a good deal that i purchased a 318i 1999 model which had covered a milage of about 160k plus and the transmissions fine last i checked. I'd like to ask whats the life span for a typical automatic transmission
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  #482  
Old 12-07-2013, 08:52 PM
helter helter is offline
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Location: New Jersey
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 89
Mein Auto: 2006 325XI
Many thousands in repairs but trans is still going well at 127,000 miles
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  #483  
Old 12-09-2013, 10:54 PM
rockin46 rockin46 is offline
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Location: north Carolina
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 47
Mein Auto: BMW 325i
Re: How many miles on AUTOMATIC transmission before failure? (or no problems at all?)

Sounds like u need a good trans service ..try red line trans fluid helped my04 alot.. and im at 170,000

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  #484  
Old 12-14-2013, 09:48 AM
DOTC DOTC is offline
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Location: Spring, TX
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 11
Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 325i
177,000k and the pump went out on the way to work and blew the trans. FUN!! $2500 for a rebuild and a 3 year warranty. Not that bad I guess.
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  #485  
Old 01-26-2014, 09:49 PM
bimmee bimmee is offline
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Location: Seattle, WA
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 670
Mein Auto: 325CI
I am at 94k and transmission light came on last week.

Took it to the dealer and since this has happened before and turned out to be loose cable, they made sure it is not loose cable, and has determined i need a new transmission.

I do want to ask those who had to replace your transmission. Can you still drive your car after having the issue? So my light came on, I then shut down the car, restarted it, light is still on. Second time it finally started and transmission light went away. I immediately took it to the dealer to have them look at it. When i picked up the car after a week at the shop, transmission light is not coming on, and drives perfectly fine. Dealer has said they noticed slipping, i havent noticed any.
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  #486  
Old 01-28-2014, 09:08 PM
wilt wilt is online now
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Location: SF Bay area
 
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Posts: 665
Mein Auto: 2011 328i
Factory delivery 2001 325i with Steptronic, sold a month ago at 134000 miles, no transmission issues to date.
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  #487  
Old 01-29-2014, 11:24 AM
fishe46 fishe46 is offline
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Location: CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: 2003 325i Sedan M56 Eng
My 03 325i M56 engine just reached 130,000 miles and had to replace my tranny pump, seals, bushings, and torque converter. $900 parts and labor not too bad but it rides like new again. Replaced the tranny oil with Pentosin ATF1

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  #488  
Old 01-29-2014, 11:40 AM
rockin46 rockin46 is offline
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Location: north Carolina
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 47
Mein Auto: BMW 325i
171,00 04 325i No issues ...Knock on wood!!

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  #489  
Old 01-29-2014, 01:07 PM
John Davis John Davis is offline
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Location: Long Beach, California
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 507
Mein Auto: 2004 BMW 330ci
My girlfriend's 2002 325xi has the original automatic transmission, and it's still working well at 239,000 miles--with one exception noted below. She has the oil changed every 5,000 miles, and I hope the independent is checking the transmission fluid as well (she's not sure). We're wondering how much longer it will last.

She's had a strange problem with the transmission but has been told it's electronic, not in the transmission itself. Every now and then she'll be driving along and find that she loses the ability to accelerate, and the car starts to slow slow a bit. She pulls over, turns it off, turns it on, and the car then works fine for another few weeks.
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2004 330ci w/ sport package, 6 spd manual

Modifications: 3.46 differential, Pedalbox throttle signal amplifier, Active Autowerke performance software, Bilstein HDs
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  #490  
Old 02-10-2014, 07:07 PM
wilt wilt is online now
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Location: SF Bay area
 
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Mein Auto: 2011 328i
Interesting...
  • Of those with <100k, 18% of respondents had problems
  • Of those with 100-125k, 24% of respondents had problems
  • Of those with 125-150k, 26% of respondents had problems
  • Of those with 150-175k, 15% of respondents had problems

...I wonder how other makes fare.

Last edited by wilt; 02-16-2014 at 11:40 AM.
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  #491  
Old 02-18-2014, 04:48 PM
tblt44 tblt44 is offline
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Location: Florida
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 84
Mein Auto: vette
107K no problems.
doing a redline fluid change twice real soon . I have 3 gallons of D4
filter ,gasket and new bolts.
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  #492  
Old 02-21-2014, 06:53 AM
LHubbar1 LHubbar1 is offline
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Location: Collierville, TN
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: 2000 323i and 2005 X5
269K Miles - 2000 323i

My 2000 323i just hit 269,000 and finally had a tranny problem. It just stopped going forward and backwards. Scanner gives me a P0720 code and if I dig deeper, I can see that when it is in drive, it is stuck in 4th gear. I know it is well over time for a rebuild or a remanufactured one. Still a good car, so I will get the tranny fixed. I have a ZF5HP19 (PN 005). I actually have another tranny that I have access to, which came out of a 2001 330ci with same transmission but part number 010. Are these two trans compatible? Can I replace with the good trans out of the 330ci into the 323i?
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  #493  
Old 02-21-2014, 07:49 AM
John Davis John Davis is offline
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Location: Long Beach, California
 
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Posts: 507
Mein Auto: 2004 BMW 330ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by LHubbar1 View Post
My 2000 323i just hit 269,000 and finally had a tranny problem.
I think you hold the record!
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2004 330ci w/ sport package, 6 spd manual

Modifications: 3.46 differential, Pedalbox throttle signal amplifier, Active Autowerke performance software, Bilstein HDs
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  #494  
Old 02-24-2014, 12:29 AM
cclarner cclarner is offline
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Location: Lasalle, illinois
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 10
Mein Auto: 2002 325ci
I had my transmission replaced 9 times before it resolved with no issues... Totalling nearly 5x the worth of the car. As long as warranty was paying for it and I got to drive that new 3 series with less than 100 miles on it... No worries at the time.
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  #495  
Old 03-02-2014, 11:50 AM
GeorgeBush234 GeorgeBush234 is offline
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Location: Mexico
 
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Posts: 180
Mein Auto: Passat
**** bro that is pretty cool considering that the warranty covered those problems.
What was wrong with your tranny? I worked at a junkyard and there are a ****load of trannies turn into garbage oily and full of grease and ****.
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  #496  
Old 03-07-2014, 02:14 PM
Eurobahn Motorsports Eurobahn Motorsports is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW's BMW in Greensboro
e46 AT milage

We commonly see AT e46 come in with 150.000 miles or more on the original transmission. From our experience the AT units are long lasting, with occasional exceptions. If the transmission has gone without having a fluid change up until then, we recommend not flushing the system, as slip can develop as a result.
Gentle operation is recommended throughout the lifetime of an AT unit, engaging reverse should always be followed with gentle throttle modulation, especially if the transmission is cold. One of the most common issues we find with a transmission facing 150.000 miles and above is a delay or failure in the engagement of the reverse gear.
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Last edited by Eurobahn Motorsports; 03-07-2014 at 02:15 PM.
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  #497  
Old 03-07-2014, 02:22 PM
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crowz crowz is online now
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Location: Alabama
 
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Posts: 4,461
Mein Auto: 2000 323i, 97 528i
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Davis View Post
I think you hold the record!
LOL no. He doesnt hold the record. Im still on the original trans in my 323i. Next stop 400,000 miles.
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  #498  
Old 03-07-2014, 04:03 PM
onewish4rmlb onewish4rmlb is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 7
Mein Auto:
I have e46 330ci 200,000 mark I thought I have a tourqconverter issues basically my autotranny oil was low so I drain it new oil filter and 5L of the right tranny oil run smooth


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  #499  
Old 03-08-2014, 11:50 AM
GeorgeBush234 GeorgeBush234 is offline
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Why do many people take 400,000 to 200,000 thousand miles before doing an overhaul.
Doing an overhaul it's not a job that should be taking lightly.
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  #500  
Old 03-08-2014, 01:26 PM
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crowz crowz is online now
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Location: Alabama
 
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Posts: 4,461
Mein Auto: 2000 323i, 97 528i
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeBush234 View Post
Why do many people take 400,000 to 200,000 thousand miles before doing an overhaul.
Doing an overhaul it's not a job that should be taking lightly.
For me ? this ones easy.

Ive rebuilt a ton of transmissions so freshing up mine would be easy for me to do.

But Im going to run it till it croaks. The reason being is it would be nice to see just how far the "horrible" bmw automatic transmission can go.

When it does let go finally its getting billet parts and a rebuild likes never been done for an automatic bmw. But till it finally dies Im running it as is to see just how far it can go.

I personally love the automatic in mine and for sporty cars I usually choose stick shifts but this ones been very pleasant to drive with the automatic.

Its only real weakness performance wise is if I choose to manually shift it thru the steptronic feature. It has such a horrible delay shifting that I get better results letting it do the shifting itself. When I do rebuild it that will be fixed
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