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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 06-04-2009, 11:01 AM
tallady59 tallady59 is offline
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Location: Folsom, CA
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 1994 325i Conv
Auto Transmission Ques on 94 325i

Hello...I purchased a 94 325i Conv with 64k on it a few months ago and had the car completely serviced. I drove it this past weekend to Carmel, which is a good 250 miles away and going up a grade I could feel the transmission slipping at 60mph, so I had to downshift into 3rd Once I was past 65 I could put it back to Drive and it was fine. Also, I noticed I wasn't getting better then 18 mpg. I took it back to the shop and they found it was 1.5 quarts low in transmission fluid. Also, I told them after I fill it up I could smell gas in my garage so they are replacing a fuel hose set for the gas tank and new gaskets for the fuel pump & fuel level sending unit. I haven't picked it up yet, but I am curious if anyone has experienced this with their auto transmission and since there is no transmission dipstick how often do you need to have the transmission fluid checked by the mechanic? I never saw transmission fluid leaking either and the car sits in the garage. I basically only drive it on weekends around town.

Last edited by tallady59; 06-04-2009 at 11:48 AM.
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  #2  
Old 06-04-2009, 12:39 PM
Monolith Monolith is offline
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Location: NJ
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 745
Mein Auto: 1997 Z3 1.9L DASC Auto
I believe you have the GM 4L30E transmission (two valve body pans on the bottom of the transmission). What you're describing on the highway (slipping and poor gas mileage) sounds like the torque converter is not locking up. I suspect the reason it was 1.5 quarts low is because it was changed at one time and the person doing the change did not check the fluid correctly. The car must be running with the air conditioning on and between a certain temperature range (approx. 80 deg F to 120 deg F - preferrably checked at 80 deg F for maximum fluid fill). The gears should be shifted through each one before checking the fluid. Once filled correctly, you shouldn't have to worry about checking the fluid often. Fluid is generally changed 30k to 60k miles in spite of any BMW lifetime recommendations. Royal Purple MaxATF or Amsoil Universal ATF are good alternatives to BMW fluids.

I suspect that with a transmission oil change and transmission filter change, you might solve or at least reduce the problem. If you still get the flare, go to a qualified BMW indy shop that can read transmission codes and see if your TCC solenoid is bad (torque converter). The 4L30E is known for TCC solenoid problems. There is a sleeve kit available as a repair option for the TCC solenoid (not from BMW but for GM trannies).

Last edited by Monolith; 06-04-2009 at 12:41 PM.
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  #3  
Old 06-05-2009, 10:31 AM
tallady59 tallady59 is offline
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Location: Folsom, CA
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 1994 325i Conv
Thank you for the info and I have been taking it to a great qualified BMW shop, but I wanted another opinion. I am picking it up today and will see how it drives. Hopefully, she will be fine.
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  #4  
Old 07-05-2009, 04:25 PM
satefi satefi is offline
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Location: Orange County, CA
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: BMW 325i
What was the outcome?

how was thhe performance of the car after you picked it up?
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