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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. 147 7.83%
50,000 to 100,000...no problems!!! 625 33.30%
100,001 to 125,000...transmission repaired/replaced. 110 5.86%
100,001 to 125,000...no problems!!! 330 17.58%
125,001 to 150,000...transmission repaired/replaced. 81 4.32%
125,001 to 150,000...no problems!!! 224 11.93%
150,001 to 175,000 or more...tranny repaired/replaced. 54 2.88%
150,001 to 175,000 or more...no problems!!! 306 16.30%
Voters: 1877. You may not vote on this poll

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  #101  
Old 01-12-2009, 02:27 PM
bmwhd1 bmwhd1 is offline
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Location: Texas
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 323ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
My Jeep Cherokee trans grenaded completely at 50k miles. Stuff happens to all cars. BTW, your waterpump has an internal rubber o-ring and shouldn't leak, it is very rare.
Yep. Stuff breaks all the time and it's to be expected.

However, this particular failure (cheap pot metal reverse drum failure) has been well known by BMW since 2001. The fact that a $20 part is fragging a $6K tranny and the only factory authorized service is a full tranny replacement is BS.

On any other car that had an auto trans fail around 90k miles I'd say well, that's about par for the course. However, my tranny has not failed. It just won't engage reverse. It's perfectly fine otherwise. This is particularly frustrating when coupled with the fact that BMW removed my ability to at least flush and fill the tranny during its life as a ploy to save cost on their "all included" maintenance program.

Want a real laugh? Google "final drive failure" and "bmw" to really become educated about a company that's given up all pretense of caring about their customers.
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  #102  
Old 01-14-2009, 03:44 PM
Gunnau Gunnau is offline
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Location: Narara, NSW, Australia
 
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Posts: 7
Mein Auto: 1998 E46 318i
My gearbox started playing up at 125000Kms or 77500 Miles.

I had to have it rebuilt at about 132000Kms.
My car is fitted with a GM badged French made ZF Transmission
The transmission lock light would keep coming on and there was a strong smell of hot transmission fluid.
The problem stems from a poorly designed 2nd gear cluster. The same transmission is fitted to some Isusu vechicles and they all suffer the same fate.
It's enough of an issue the guys at Automedics keep redesigned cluster housings on hand.

$3300.00 later, i now have a happy gear box.
Now it's all the other problems i need to sort out.

Steve

1998 E46 318i
Narara, NSW, Australia
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  #103  
Old 01-14-2009, 04:15 PM
h-d h-d is offline
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Location: Vancouver
 
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Mein Auto: 330ci
not sure if anyone has posted this link already but, this is what made me get a manual.

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/autom...bmw_trans.html
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  #104  
Old 01-27-2009, 09:18 PM
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Solidjake Solidjake is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 330i
83,500. So far so good.
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  #105  
Old 02-11-2009, 08:12 AM
EdsISLND EdsISLND is offline
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Location: Boston, MA
 
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Mein Auto: 330CI Convertible
60,000 on my '05 330CI Convertible with no problems.
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  #106  
Old 02-13-2009, 02:49 PM
deadcode2k deadcode2k is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 2004 330I Dinan
76,000 on my 04 330i Dinan no problems so far.

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  #107  
Old 02-19-2009, 01:16 AM
ecko007 ecko007 is offline
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Mein Auto: FUTURE E46ER
88k and running ok , i just had my friend help me with the oil change, but im not sure how to reset timer that comes on when oil change is due. can any one tell me.
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  #108  
Old 02-19-2009, 11:07 AM
ss396 ss396 is offline
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Mein Auto: 330i
2001 330ci, 114700 miles. no problems with transmission to date. i have replaced the fluid twice and will continue to do so at 50k mile intervals. automatic transmissions are a weak link on most cars but much more expensive to repair on bmw's. this thread could also be usefull by covering lower cost repair options to the $6000.00 dealer route, provided they are of high quality.
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  #109  
Old 02-19-2009, 11:38 AM
Strategery Strategery is offline
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Location: Boise, ID
 
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Posts: 103
Mein Auto: 02 325i
85k and some change. Nary a problem in sight, transmissions works flawlessly.
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  #110  
Old 02-24-2009, 06:54 PM
3forBabs 3forBabs is offline
ticketed w/in 1st week
Location: Maryland
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 38
Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 328Ci
144K on 328Ci, no problems yet. Although I am knocking on wood as I type this.
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  #111  
Old 02-28-2009, 02:51 PM
Richy_Boy Richy_Boy is offline
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Location: Reading
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: Alpina 3.4 B3S
Clocked up 96k miles now on my Switchtronic gearbox (same ZF box as step I think, but with different TC and management ECU, steering wheel gearchange).

Changed the oil soon after buying the car at 82k miles - I personally think it's madness NOT changing your tranmission oil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by you_are_ludicro View Post
325xi '01 automatic transmission

Recently while stopped and in drive, the car will rumble/vibrate a bit. Not bad, but definitely noticeable. When I shift to neutral or park, everything is dandy. But in reverse and drive when not moving, it feels like I've put a put a quarter into a vibrating bed found at those old motels. Kind of relaxing until I remember I'm in a car. Any ideas? Hope it nothing too serious.

Thanks in advance!
I think you'll find it's the CV joints that need cleaning out and repacking with grease that cause this vibration/rattle.

Rich

Last edited by Richy_Boy; 02-28-2009 at 04:20 PM.
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  #112  
Old 03-18-2009, 06:25 PM
SKIPPY03 SKIPPY03 is offline
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Mein Auto: 94 325is, 02 325i (RIP)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LKNGOOD View Post
Well I'm at 96,000 and a CEL came on = P0741 Torque Converter Stuff Off.

They (Dealership) replaced the Torque Convertor and changes the transmission fluid and filter all under warranty. (3rd party Warranty with autobroker.com)

Interesting Note: They stated that the transmission fluid was deteriorating - so what does that say about their "Lifetime Transmission" Fluid theory.

This would be it's first transmission oil/filter change at 96K. Car has been maintain since day one because I have both the extended maintanence warranty and extended service warranty until 100,000 miles.

I know this is late and has probably been addressed but if not I can shed some light on this. However prior to the release of my knowledge I picked it up from other post/research done on the web. I am not your local mechanic nor do I have any certification in any area dealing with cars except for having a license. Further more I am only an up and comer enthusiastic kid. So basically take this info for what its worth but dont hold me responsible for any misleading information.

Anyway, basically the BMW lifetime transmission fluid is a bunch of 'baloney' to put it in nice terms. It has been allegedly proven by forum members and other people supposedly (although I cannot cite this) that the lifetime fluid can actually cause extreme damage to your tranny.

Basically it was said that over time 'gunk' (i dont remember what defined gunk) would build up were the fluid sits. Also around parts that play the roll of what a gasket or O-ring would do. So further more it would shorten the life span of certain parts, other than gasket like parts aswell, and cause premature failure.

So it has been recommend to change your transmission fluid i believe it was something like ever 20k. BUT...

And this was a big BUTT, if your car is over 60k miles and you haven't changed your fluid you shouldn't do this. Because there is a chance that the transmission fluid caused this so called 'gunk', so when you change it it will break its seal with the O-ring / gasket typed parts.
So whys this bad? Because supposedly the o ring typed sealant parts have been deteriorated and the seal will be broken. Which can lead to failure of your transmission and a costly fix.

So anyway my suggestion would be to take this information into account because it hasn't been dis proven yet. And if you can disprove it please let me know because I would defiantly like to here why.

Thanks, Skip
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  #113  
Old 03-18-2009, 06:28 PM
SKIPPY03 SKIPPY03 is offline
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Mein Auto: 94 325is, 02 325i (RIP)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecko007 View Post
88k and running ok , i just had my friend help me with the oil change, but im not sure how to reset timer that comes on when oil change is due. can any one tell me.
Im not sure how to reset it but id also like too know.

Although im almost positive that youll need some sort of computer to car mechanism. Like the ECU programmers they now have.
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  #114  
Old 04-12-2009, 06:32 PM
Dunlin Dunlin is offline
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Location: NEW YORK
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 40
Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 330i
Transmission failure

I have a 2001 BMW 330i and the reverse on the transmission failed at 64k miles and cost 4500 to repair.
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  #115  
Old 04-12-2009, 07:52 PM
rwebbe rwebbe is offline
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Location: Melbourne, FL
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 442
Mein Auto: '02 330ci
No problems at 50mooo miles on '02330 ci.
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  #116  
Old 04-12-2009, 11:17 PM
dashoshot dashoshot is offline
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Location: Bay Area
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 11
Mein Auto: '02 330CI
had mine rebuilt @ 99,000 miles. torque converter clutch problem...couldnt really find out the problem so i decided to just have it rebuilt.. runs great now!
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  #117  
Old 04-13-2009, 12:42 AM
alofuzion alofuzion is offline
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Location: cali la
 
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Mein Auto: acs3
i got 140XXX, no probs so far
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  #118  
Old 04-13-2009, 06:22 AM
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phlfly phlfly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKIPPY03 View Post
I know this is late and has probably been addressed but if not I can shed some light on this. However prior to the release of my knowledge I picked it up from other post/research done on the web. I am not your local mechanic nor do I have any certification in any area dealing with cars except for having a license. Further more I am only an up and comer enthusiastic kid. So basically take this info for what its worth but dont hold me responsible for any misleading information.

Anyway, basically the BMW lifetime transmission fluid is a bunch of 'baloney' to put it in nice terms. It has been allegedly proven by forum members and other people supposedly (although I cannot cite this) that the lifetime fluid can actually cause extreme damage to your tranny.

Basically it was said that over time 'gunk' (i dont remember what defined gunk) would build up were the fluid sits. Also around parts that play the roll of what a gasket or O-ring would do. So further more it would shorten the life span of certain parts, other than gasket like parts aswell, and cause premature failure.

So it has been recommend to change your transmission fluid i believe it was something like ever 20k. BUT...

And this was a big BUTT, if your car is over 60k miles and you haven't changed your fluid you shouldn't do this. Because there is a chance that the transmission fluid caused this so called 'gunk', so when you change it it will break its seal with the O-ring / gasket typed parts.
So whys this bad? Because supposedly the o ring typed sealant parts have been deteriorated and the seal will be broken. Which can lead to failure of your transmission and a costly fix.

So anyway my suggestion would be to take this information into account because it hasn't been dis proven yet. And if you can disprove it please let me know because I would defiantly like to here why.

Thanks, Skip
Absolute myth. I have called and talked to technical support of ZF corp. If you are driving hard change each 60,000 miles, but if you do normal driving each 100,000 miles, that's what technical support are recommending.
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  #119  
Old 04-13-2009, 12:33 PM
eddiemac eddiemac is offline
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Location: NJ
 
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Mein Auto: 325i
Explain to me "Driving Hard"?

no crass comments please :-p. we can all insert our own puns
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  #120  
Old 04-15-2009, 12:26 AM
slbjr slbjr is offline
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Location: Atlanta, Ga
 
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Mein Auto: 2011 328i
Bmw transmission service refusal

Why is it that the Bmw dealer service refuses to change the trans fluid?? I had an independent also refuse - 65k miles & downshifting hard to a stop. Anyone know of a good shop in Atlanta, Ga? Thanks.

Bmw couldn't care less about you once your car is out of warranty!
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  #121  
Old 04-15-2009, 06:25 AM
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phlfly phlfly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slbjr View Post
Why is it that the Bmw dealer service refuses to change the trans fluid?? I had an independent also refuse - 65k miles & downshifting hard to a stop. Anyone know of a good shop in Atlanta, Ga? Thanks.

Bmw couldn't care less about you once your car is out of warranty!
For downshifting you will need update software for auto trans.
I think it's SI 24 03 03 (update EGS control unit).
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  #122  
Old 04-15-2009, 09:26 AM
rwebbe rwebbe is offline
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Now you can see why I dumped my 330ci for a new Acura. Sure, there is nothing I know of that can compare to the confidence of driving a "Bimmer". but I could not x=stand the indiffrence of service and/or cooperation in handling problems. The lack of a spare tire and being forced to purchase run flats did it. I honestly miss the BMW buyt can live with what I have, and so far in a years and one half has not need one thing other that 2 oil changes.
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  #123  
Old 04-15-2009, 10:39 AM
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phlfly phlfly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwebbe View Post
Now you can see why I dumped my 330ci for a new Acura. Sure, there is nothing I know of that can compare to the confidence of driving a "Bimmer". but I could not x=stand the indiffrence of service and/or cooperation in handling problems. The lack of a spare tire and being forced to purchase run flats did it. I honestly miss the BMW buyt can live with what I have, and so far in a years and one half has not need one thing other that 2 oil changes.
I'm sure the Acura more reliable then BMW, I had one 2000 Acura 3.2TL. Between 80-130K I have always had check engine on for some or different reasons. Then I traded for GMC Acadia.
I had a lot different cars- Audi, Acura, VW, Nissan, Subura and etc, but I have never found better driving experience then BMW. I have not had a Benz. May be Benz will better for driving?! It's still a open Q.
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  #124  
Old 04-15-2009, 10:53 AM
dakarm dakarm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwebbe View Post
Now you can see why I dumped my 330ci for a new Acura. Sure, there is nothing I know of that can compare to the confidence of driving a "Bimmer". but I could not x=stand the indiffrence of service and/or cooperation in handling problems. The lack of a spare tire and being forced to purchase run flats did it. I honestly miss the BMW buyt can live with what I have, and so far in a years and one half has not need one thing other that 2 oil changes.
that's a shame because it's well known that Acura/Honda makes probably the worse automatic transmission. Most of them required tearing into the internals and cost many thousands of dollars. Some lucky ones had the transmission fail (as in stopps working completely) before the warranty expired but many of them fail after.
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  #125  
Old 04-15-2009, 11:18 AM
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phlfly phlfly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dakarm View Post
that's a shame because it's well known that Acura/Honda makes probably the worse automatic transmission. Most of them required tearing into the internals and cost many thousands of dollars. Some lucky ones had the transmission fail (as in stopps working completely) before the warranty expired but many of them fail after.
It's true. My Acura didn't have problem with trans, I knew people had. The problem was in TL model, the torque was breaking this transmissions, and Acura have replaced them if the car is not over 100K.
Unfortunately, BMW doesn't do same.
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