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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 07-01-2009, 02:32 PM
npmonteiro npmonteiro is offline
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Mein Auto: 1995 BMW 525i (E34)
Question Transmission maintenance

I just got a 1994 E34 525i with an automatic transmission. Was looking at the maintenance schedule -- got my 40k inspection II coming up -- and was expecting to see some transmission maintenance: flush, filter, check fluid levels, whatever; but there is nothing. Shouldn't one replace the fluid or at least check the level?
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2009, 06:32 PM
rdc rdc is offline
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I change my transmission fluid and filter every 30,000 miles or so. I think I read it somewhere. BTW, mine was first changed at about 80,000 miles.

Note there is no dipstick and the fluid level must be checked under the car with everything level. Search for the how-to. I let the local BMW indy do it for me.
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  #3  
Old 07-21-2009, 08:27 AM
phillyb phillyb is offline
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Hello m8, you seem pretty clued up with your knowledge of auto boxes so can i pick ur brain.???? i have a 1993 535 auto and have just fitted a new box. wot ,if any, is the correct procedure for topping up the fluid? thanx phil
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  #4  
Old 11-06-2012, 02:37 PM
Deadeye540i Deadeye540i is offline
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i just bought a 95 540i E34 and the previous owner said it had a small trany leak. where can i heck the fluid levels on this model. just want to be sure im not burning on just a little fluid!
any help or advise is appreciated
jared
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  #5  
Old 11-06-2012, 03:35 PM
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1995i540 1995i540 is offline
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Guys.... leave your automatic transmission alone unless you have:

A) Leak
B) Shifting problems

Deadeye you need to raise the car up on 4 jack points or a lift and undo drain plug, if fluid comes out your level is good otherwise you need to top it off.

Again please do not change your fluids without having your current fluid tested and looking how much particles will come out the transmission. Always use ZF approved fluid.

If you have burning/particles in the fluid (heavy) do not change fluid until you actually start having problems with shifting.

Never power flush.
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  #6  
Old 11-06-2012, 06:23 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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You can use any fluid of the correct rating for your transmission provided its from a reputed company. The Bentley manual has precise details...and there was an oil chart somewhere i lost it with my old computer.

I used Castrol Dex 3 for my transmission, which is actually the wrong fluid going by the manual, and have noticed no troubles and no degradation in performances, and its been three years. I recently checked its colour and it was fine.

That being said, semi and fully synthetic transmission fluids (those sold by zf especially) have come down in price in recent years. They have the huge advantage of greater tolerance and maintenance of its lubrication properties while under greater heat, and can tolerate this much longer, than non synthetic oils. They also cost anything from 2-4 times more than normal oil. However, since the service interval can get extended greatly (at least twice I believe) and since the tranny service is a costly affair labourwise, it would be a good investment to deploy fully synthetic tranny oil.

You can, always, from time to time, either go to your mechanic for a quick direct check or remove your transmission oil line from your radiator to check on your radiator fluid, to help you determine the time you need to change it.

There are different brands of fully synthetic tranny oil. ZF remains the priciest, but other reputed manufacturers sell it cheaper. Its been nearly 20 years since castrol-zf invented synthetic tranny fluid and other players have caught on. I got a whole batch from a japanese manufacturer at close to half the price of the ZF stuff. My transmission specialist uses that for his BMWs without mischief. We're talking anything from 8-12 litres here (and even more if you need to flush your tranny which you ought to if the existing oil is black in colour when spread out on kleenex, medium brown is the limit and dark brown is the uncomfortable limit ) so the cost numbers can run up quickly. It pays to invest some time in research here. Ensure that it is compatible with the ZF fluid, or of the same specs. Of course, you can never go wrong with anything OE. But it is not a sacred cow so I disagree with 1995i540 that you need to stick to that religiously.




rgds,
Roberto

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 11-06-2012 at 06:32 PM.
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  #7  
Old 11-06-2012, 06:26 PM
Deadeye540i Deadeye540i is offline
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K. What sort of fill is it?. Humor me I'm new to bimmers. I've have dubs all my life. Can it be filled from top side or is it pumped in from the bottom? If so can this be done without takin it to a garage? I've always worked on my own vehicles so I have a fairly good understanding. Would I need a specific tool/attachment?
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  #8  
Old 11-06-2012, 06:33 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1995i540 View Post
Gu

If you have burning/particles in the fluid (heavy) do not change fluid until you actually start having problems with shifting.

Never power flush.
Hi,

Please do explain the background logic behind these two comments, if you can spare a few minutes. They seem counter intuitive at first blush.



rgds,
Roberto
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  #9  
Old 11-06-2012, 10:58 PM
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1995i540 1995i540 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertobaggio20 View Post
Hi,

Please do explain the background logic behind these two comments, if you can spare a few minutes. They seem counter intuitive at first blush.



rgds,
Roberto

If you have metal shavings, changing the fluid when transmission does not show a sign of wear/malfunction will most likely result in malfunction.
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  #10  
Old 11-06-2012, 11:31 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1995i540 View Post
If you have metal shavings, changing the fluid when transmission does not show a sign of wear/malfunction will most likely result in malfunction.
Can you speculate why ?

And secondly, why do you say that transmissions should not be power flushed (I take it that this is not the same as a flush i.e. fillup with new fluid, run the car at idle for 30 minutes then drain the fluid, before filling up with new fluid again and stopping there)?


rgds,
Roberto

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 11-06-2012 at 11:38 PM.
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  #11  
Old 11-06-2012, 11:48 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deadeye540i View Post
K. What sort of fill is it?. Humor me I'm new to bimmers. I've have dubs all my life. Can it be filled from top side or is it pumped in from the bottom? If so can this be done without takin it to a garage? I've always worked on my own vehicles so I have a fairly good understanding. Would I need a specific tool/attachment?

Please do a search for the bentley manual for E34s on google and download it off the links which appear. The information you require along with extensive diagrams are listed there. This is an important resource for DIYers.

It is also important for you to read the stickies at the thread, and search these archives for common well known no-start issues, if you just bought your E34 and especially if she's your DD.

In short, to answer your question, the drain plug is at the bottom of the tranny.
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  #12  
Old 11-07-2012, 01:03 AM
_Ethrty-Andy_'s Avatar
_Ethrty-Andy_ _Ethrty-Andy_ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deadeye540i View Post
K. What sort of fill is it?. Humor me I'm new to bimmers. I've have dubs all my life. Can it be filled from top side or is it pumped in from the bottom? If so can this be done without takin it to a garage? I've always worked on my own vehicles so I have a fairly good understanding. Would I need a specific tool/attachment?
It is filled from under the vehicle. it has to be level so all four corners on stands or use a hoist. you will then see two plugs on the trans sump. the small one is the drain, the large one is the filler. you need to syphon it in using a syringe type set up, and then when it comes back out the hole you are filling into, start up the car and put it in drive and let it idle while the rear wheels are spinning. then kep pumping more fluid in, around another litre or so before it comes out the filler again, and you are done. Opening the filler again once the car is turned off will always give the illusion its overfilled. this is not the case.


(because Roberto added another to his post count while providing no answer for you...)
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  #13  
Old 11-07-2012, 02:13 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Ethrty-Andy_ View Post
It is filled from under the vehicle. it has to be level so all four corners on stands or use a hoist. you will then see two plugs on the trans sump. the small one is the drain, the large one is the filler. you need to syphon it in using a syringe type set up, and then when it comes back out the hole you are filling into, start up the car and put it in drive and let it idle while the rear wheels are spinning. then kep pumping more fluid in, around another litre or so before it comes out the filler again, and you are done. Opening the filler again once the car is turned off will always give the illusion its overfilled. this is not the case.


(because Roberto added another to his post count while providing no answer for you...)
You must be one of the 47%.
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  #14  
Old 11-07-2012, 07:03 AM
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1995i540 1995i540 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertobaggio20 View Post
Can you speculate why ?

And secondly, why do you say that transmissions should not be power flushed (I take it that this is not the same as a flush i.e. fillup with new fluid, run the car at idle for 30 minutes then drain the fluid, before filling up with new fluid again and stopping there)?


rgds,
Roberto
From what I was told (or I remember) that means fluid is most likely started to burn and changed viscosity. Changing it will change viscosity and cause more damage to internals.

Flush is when you forcefully flush the system out, big no-no.
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