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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 02-04-2010, 11:20 AM
Rex McDurbin Rex McDurbin is offline
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Location: Vinton VA
 
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Mein Auto: 99 Z3 2.8
ATF Oil problem

I have a 1999 Z3 2.8 and the atf oil is low. I do not know what kind to use. I have been told using the wrong kind will mess up my car. The dealer told me i should have a code on the cape that tells what kind of atf it needs. But all my cap says is ATF oil only. I dont know much about cars but why do i need automatic transmission fluid when my car isnt automatic? Im pretty sure it uses the atf oil as power steering fluid as well but as you can see im clueless and only 20 years old with not much money. if someone could help me out i would greatly appreciate it. Thanks
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2010, 11:51 AM
SUNZOUT SUNZOUT is offline
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Your trans will be marked with the fluid type - probably BMW LT1 (life time).

Given the age of your car, you would be better to replace the fluid completely. AMSOIL MTF is popular or you can get BMW fluid (quite expensive) or other aftermarket options from redline etc.

You only need 2 qts - amsoil is around $15 (IIRC) BMW is around $45 (IIRC)

DIY replacement is easy just don't forget two new washers for the drian/fill plugs from the dealer.
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Last edited by SUNZOUT; 02-04-2010 at 11:53 AM.
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  #3  
Old 02-04-2010, 12:15 PM
Rex McDurbin Rex McDurbin is offline
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Mein Auto: 99 Z3 2.8
Thank you man. Do you know where any DIY instructions are. If i do this myself do i have to reset any lights that might come on?
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  #4  
Old 02-04-2010, 12:18 PM
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Ron Stygar Ron Stygar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex McDurbin View Post
Thank you man. Do you know where any DIY instructions are. If i do this myself do i have to reset any lights that might come on?
http://www.unofficialbmw.com/frame_ron.html
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  #5  
Old 02-04-2010, 01:07 PM
mhughett mhughett is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 530i/2007 Z4 Coupe
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex McDurbin View Post
I have a 1999 Z3 2.8 and the atf oil is low. I do not know what kind to use. I have been told using the wrong kind will mess up my car. The dealer told me i should have a code on the cape that tells what kind of atf it needs. But all my cap says is ATF oil only. I dont know much about cars but why do i need automatic transmission fluid when my car isnt automatic? Im pretty sure it uses the atf oil as power steering fluid as well but as you can see im clueless and only 20 years old with not much money. if someone could help me out i would greatly appreciate it. Thanks
Hold on Rex:
Based on your post, I suspect you may be looking at your power steering fluid resevoir. This is the only thing I know of under the hood that says "ATF oil only". This is NOT your transmission filler. I'm not completely familiar with your car but most BMW's don't have a dipstick on their automatic transmissions and therefore, the only way to check the fluid level is by checking underneath at the transmission itself.

If I'm correct and you are simply checking the level of the power steering fluid resevoir, any quality dexron fluid will do just fine.
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  #6  
Old 02-04-2010, 01:43 PM
larry mc new larry mc new is offline
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Location: brookville ohio
 
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Mein Auto: 1997 bmw z3 2.8 5spd
New DIYer.....

I would highly recommend a Bentley Repair manual for your Z3. It is the most comprehensive after market manual around and is well worth the $100. You can find them on ebay or at some import parts houses.

Good luck
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  #7  
Old 02-05-2010, 09:00 AM
GrantM62 GrantM62 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhughett View Post
Hold on Rex:
Based on your post, I suspect you may be looking at your power steering fluid resevoir. This is the only thing I know of under the hood that says "ATF oil only". This is NOT your transmission filler. I'm not completely familiar with your car but most BMW's don't have a dipstick on their automatic transmissions and therefore, the only way to check the fluid level is by checking underneath at the transmission itself.
His car is a 5-speed, though, but the fact that he wouldn't have a dipstick still applies.

And yes, the only place you'd be able to see that the fluid was low under the hood would be the power steering reservoir, which is a completely seperate system. You won't know that the transmission fluid is low without being under the car and pulling the fill plug to check.

I think the 5-speeds use either MTF LT-2 or MTF LT-3, which replaced the LT-1. I believe the LT-3 transmission will have a blue or yellow tag on it.

Someone who knows more about these feel free to correct me.
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  #8  
Old 02-05-2010, 11:11 AM
mhughett mhughett is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrantM62 View Post
His car is a 5-speed, though, but the fact that he wouldn't have a dipstick still applies.

And yes, the only place you'd be able to see that the fluid was low under the hood would be the power steering reservoir, which is a completely seperate system. You won't know that the transmission fluid is low without being under the car and pulling the fill plug to check.

I think the 5-speeds use either MTF LT-2 or MTF LT-3, which replaced the LT-1. I believe the LT-3 transmission will have a blue or yellow tag on it.

Someone who knows more about these feel free to correct me.
You are correct about his car NOT being an automatic and that further confirms my assumption that we are talking about the power steering resevoir. This uses basic Dexron ATF that you can get anywhere.

Since the OP never really inquired about his manual tranny fluid, I'm not sure he cares about the type of fluid to use. However, I would recommend Royal Purple Synchromax or Redline MTL.
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