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7 Series - E65 / E66 (2002 - 2008)
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  #1  
Old 01-03-2011, 05:38 PM
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csmeance csmeance is offline
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BMW Transmission Fluid Lifetime -> NOT!

I had a transmission fault come up on my 7 on separate occasions and took it in for them to look at.

"Transmission Fault -> P, R, D1, D2, D4, D5, D6 unavailable. "
and
"Transmission Fault -> Fluid Low"

They found a leaking gasket and were going to replace the whole oil pan and gasket along with the filter and top off the fluid. Along with that, they replaced the Seal sleeve (Part No. 24-34-7-588-725). I told them while they were at it, change the fluid and I'll pay for the fluid since the warranty company wouldn't pay for all 7 liters (just 1 for top off allotted).

So they put in all new transmission fluid (ZF Lifeguard 6 fluid Part No. 82-22-0-406-929) and I asked for them to save a few ounces of the old stuff. Here's a picture of the fluid after 70,000 miles. Mind you this is supposed to be lifetime fluid:





I'm going to send this in probably to Blackstone Labs to get it analyzed, any suggestions on what else to get done besides the Basic and TAN testing? I'll scan and post the results here as well for you guys.

By the way, the transmission shifts amazingly smooth and there is no more bumping going into 1st gear. It's still a little pronounced but not as bad as it was before.
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2011, 09:10 PM
teutonic7 teutonic7 is offline
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it's bogus how these car manufacturers are saying that BS. No doubt just to make you feel agood about the car until tranny breaks down leaving you $5K in the whole or whatever it costs. If they want to claim lifetime fluid they should warranty tranny for a lifetime.
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  #3  
Old 01-03-2011, 09:25 PM
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samadkins29 samadkins29 is offline
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NO ****, lol, if you ask BMW they say to change it at 100K. Nothing is life time. I will be changing mine every 60k at the most.
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  #4  
Old 01-04-2011, 05:51 AM
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Seems to be a lot of debate on this with BMW's. Some people think it should be changed, others think they shouldn't touch it. I have also heard, if the car has over 100K miles on her, then it is best not to change it as it can actually cause more problems by doing so.

I'm not sure which is right or which is wrong. But if I planned on keeping the car for a long time, I would probably error on the side of changing it.
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  #5  
Old 01-04-2011, 09:09 AM
rob775 rob775 is offline
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I also just had my transmission fluid and filter replaced at 70,000 miles. I've had all the transmission problems including the jerk. So far, the replacement seems to have done the trick. I'll continue to monitor this but it really has made a difference. The fluid that came out looked exactly like the fluid in the picture above. I would recommend this change if you're having the dreaded transmission jerk.
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  #6  
Old 01-04-2011, 09:12 AM
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The lifetime fluid is a Bs ploy for free maint, along with 15k mile oil changes. Dont expect to many high mileage Bmw's on the road with 15k miles in between fresh oil.
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  #7  
Old 01-09-2011, 11:39 PM
didihala didihala is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csmeance View Post
I had a transmission fault come up on my 7 on separate occasions and took it in for them to look at.
.
.
.
.
By the way, the transmission shifts amazingly smooth and there is no more bumping going into 1st gear. It's still a little pronounced but not as bad as it was before.
csmeance, can you please describe your "1st gear bumping" issue? I don't have any transmission faults but here is what I experience with my transmission:

1) Auto transmission mode: When I am going on a downhill at a moderate speed (~45mph) and see a stop light at a distance and let my foot off the gas pedal without breaking, I can hear and feel the gear downshifts and it downshifts slightly harsh. If I slowly push the break pedal and come to a slow-rolling stop I don't have this issue.

2) Sports transmission mode: Same issue as #1 but when I apply the break downshifting is pretty harsh that it pushes me forward physically in the seat, it's as if I had slammed the breaks. The road slope doesn't make any difference in this case.

Is this similar to what you're experiencing?

I talked to my SA and made an appt for a test drive next week.


TIA
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  #8  
Old 01-10-2011, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by didihala View Post
csmeance, can you please describe your "1st gear bumping" issue? I don't have any transmission faults but here is what I experience with my transmission:

1) Auto transmission mode: When I am going on a downhill at a moderate speed (~45mph) and see a stop light at a distance and let my foot off the gas pedal without breaking, I can hear and feel the gear downshifts and it downshifts slightly harsh. If I slowly push the break pedal and come to a slow-rolling stop I don't have this issue.

2) Sports transmission mode: Same issue as #1 but when I apply the break downshifting is pretty harsh that it pushes me forward physically in the seat, it's as if I had slammed the breaks. The road slope doesn't make any difference in this case.

Is this similar to what you're experiencing?

I talked to my SA and made an appt for a test drive next week.


TIA
The 1st gear bump happens when the car downshifts into first gear. This happens only after climbing or descending a steep slope or when the car is in Sports mode.

Before I would put the car in Sports mode and come to a redlight and felt like I got rear-ended. The dealership put in a new Guibo Joint and reprogrammed the transmission and cleared the adaptations and that helps greatly, but there was still a pronounced jolt. After the fluid change, it's almost gone!
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  #9  
Old 01-10-2011, 04:53 PM
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There is no such thing as lifetime oil. Oil will not last that long; keep in mind the average ownership lifespan of one of these cars, hence 'lifetime' i.e. most of these are sold multiple times before 100k miles. I just turned 60k miles and plan to change my fluid soon. If my 95 Dodge Ram can last 195k on the original trans with regular 30k trans oil changes, this car can too.
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  #10  
Old 02-16-2011, 10:04 AM
CT BMW Boy CT BMW Boy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csmeance View Post
The 1st gear bump happens when the car downshifts into first gear. This happens only after climbing or descending a steep slope or when the car is in Sports mode.

Before I would put the car in Sports mode and come to a redlight and felt like I got rear-ended. The dealership put in a new Guibo Joint and reprogrammed the transmission and cleared the adaptations and that helps greatly, but there was still a pronounced jolt. After the fluid change, it's almost gone!
I'm afraid to ask, what did a fluid and filter change cost? I'm being quoted $60/liter and being told 10 liters are needed. I'm also being told the filter is integral with the pan and a new pan will cost $360. So, I'm looking at over a grand for the change. Does this sound in line? Tomorrow they replace just the guibo joint and I'll see how that goes before I decide on the fluid.

Last edited by CT BMW Boy; 02-16-2011 at 10:06 AM.
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  #11  
Old 02-16-2011, 10:16 AM
corian25 corian25 is offline
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same thing here having the same problem..i have the slight jerk when cruising and when i press and release the gas pedal theres a slight jerk..i think i will jus change my fluid and filter and i will change my fuel filter also maybe that will help...and what is this software upgrade for the trans?
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  #12  
Old 02-16-2011, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CT BMW Boy View Post
I'm afraid to ask, what did a fluid and filter change cost? I'm being quoted $60/liter and being told 10 liters are needed. I'm also being told the filter is integral with the pan and a new pan will cost $360. So, I'm looking at over a grand for the change. Does this sound in line? Tomorrow they replace just the guibo joint and I'll see how that goes before I decide on the fluid.
The fluid was 16.15 per half litre so it its 32.30 for 1 litre, and 7 litres are needed for a change. As far as the labor and filter, I had to have the pan replaced (filter built in) so they didn't charge me for it, the warranty company paid for it. I paid around 250 for everything all said and done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by corian25 View Post
same thing here having the same problem..i have the slight jerk when cruising and when i press and release the gas pedal theres a slight jerk..i think i will jus change my fluid and filter and i will change my fuel filter also maybe that will help...and what is this software upgrade for the trans?
The fluid should help! I'm not sure what the software upgrade is, but the dealer has to reprogram it to a "new" urban setting or something of the nature.

BTW I'll rehost the pictures!
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  #13  
Old 02-16-2011, 10:32 AM
CT BMW Boy CT BMW Boy is offline
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the warranty company paid for it. I paid around 250 for everything all said and done.
Which warranty company and which warranty do you have?
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  #14  
Old 02-16-2011, 10:40 AM
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any results from the lab? I'm at 63k and want to change my filter and fluid.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:52 AM
corian25 corian25 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csmeance View Post
The fluid was 16.15 per half litre so it its 32.30 for 1 litre, and 7 litres are needed for a change. As far as the labor and filter, I had to have the pan replaced (filter built in) so they didn't charge me for it, the warranty company paid for it. I paid around 250 for everything all said and done.



The fluid should help! I'm not sure what the software upgrade is, but the dealer has to reprogram it to a "new" urban setting or something of the nature.

BTW I'll rehost the pictures!
oh ok..is there a replacement fluid different from the dealers that u can use....is the pan required to change or was it because yours was leaking? i will have my mechanic change my fluid and filter and my fuel filter..
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:55 AM
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corian - there is a BMW spec fluid that you can use, I believe made by Shell, but you'd have to search as I don't recall the number. The actual transmission pan on this car IS the filter, so it is replaced with the fluid together.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:47 AM
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Which warranty company and which warranty do you have?
I have a warranty through Fidelity Warranty Services, the Platnium plan. It cost a bit when I got it (around 10K) but so far it has paid for a 4K navi screen, 2K navi drive, 3K gasket replacement, 2-5K for transmission issues, and a whole lot of other money for various stuff like the comfort access, the trunk being fixed (twice) and whatever else was needed! I'd buy from them again without skipping a beat!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MOPAULY View Post
any results from the lab? I'm at 63k and want to change my filter and fluid.
Not yet, I just sent it in and it takes about a month for everything to be done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by corian25 View Post
oh ok..is there a replacement fluid different from the dealers that u can use....is the pan required to change or was it because yours was leaking? i will have my mechanic change my fluid and filter and my fuel filter..
There are a few fluids. Redline D4 is one that is suitable. As well there is Castrol Multi-import fluid. If you want to go with an aftermarket one, I'd pick the redline d4 since it's base is a bit better!
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Old 02-16-2011, 01:15 PM
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USALEXUSBMW750 USALEXUSBMW750 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOPAULY View Post
any results from the lab? I'm at 63k and want to change my filter and fluid.
If you did not change mechatronic sleeve and adapter yet, dont change it, thats why BMW is not recomending that, and i think its smart, they know this under 100k miles coming problem , so when you change it you change your fluid, or change the fluid , then wait for the sleeve to change and just save dumping fluid and put it back again, thats how i did but i dont think i was right
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:15 PM
corian25 corian25 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csmeance View Post
I have a warranty through Fidelity Warranty Services, the Platnium plan. It cost a bit when I got it (around 10K) but so far it has paid for a 4K navi screen, 2K navi drive, 3K gasket replacement, 2-5K for transmission issues, and a whole lot of other money for various stuff like the comfort access, the trunk being fixed (twice) and whatever else was needed! I'd buy from them again without skipping a beat!


Not yet, I just sent it in and it takes about a month for everything to be done.



There are a few fluids. Redline D4 is one that is suitable. As well there is Castrol Multi-import fluid. If you want to go with an aftermarket one, I'd pick the redline d4 since it's base is a bit better!
csmeance how did u purchase the fidelity warranty? everywhere i call i cant seem to find anyone that sells this warranty in my area..
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by corian25 View Post
csmeance how did u purchase the fidelity warranty? everywhere i call i cant seem to find anyone that sells this warranty in my area..
my local dealer sold it to me. call them up and they can put you in touch with someone who can sell you one!
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  #21  
Old 03-09-2011, 05:42 PM
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Update: Got the results back finally from Blackstone and they aren't looking to good for folks running 100K miles. Mind you my car is a 760 and is puts a ton more stress on the fluid with more torque and HP.

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  #22  
Old 03-10-2011, 11:05 AM
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Thanks for the update, looks like an oil and filter change is in my immediate future.
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  #23  
Old 03-11-2011, 01:44 PM
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Here's a snippet from a ZF document I came across dated July of 2010:

Maintenance recommendations ZF automatic transmissions


5-, 6- and 8-speed as well as 4HP20 automatic transmissions:
ZF 5-, 6- and 8-speed as well as the ZF 4HP20 automatic transmissions are filled maintenance-free with specially developed partially
synthetic ATF oils. Maintenance-free fills are intended for normal operating conditions. Especially driving at very high operating
temperatures can result in accelerated aging or increased wear of ATF oils. It is recommended, in the event of severe operating
conditions, such as:
- frequent highway driving in top speed range,
- offensive, sporty driving style,
- frequent trailer operation,
being above average, oil purification (oil change) on automatic transmissions is recommended between 80,000 km and 120,000 km, or
8 years, depending on the load.
In each case, only released ATF oil may be used for oil changes. And oil changes must be performed in accordance with the relevant
specifications.

And a link for a kit to do it yourself

http://www.thectsc.com/index.php?p=p...=186&parent=61

and parts options to rebuild one! makes me want to buy a yard trans to rebuild and put on the shelf.

http://www.thectsc.com/index.php?p=c...&parent=8&pg=1
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  #24  
Old 05-21-2011, 10:36 AM
doug d doug d is offline
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Does the fluid in the torque converter drained and refreshed when changing the ATF? If not, then how is the torque converter accessed?
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  #25  
Old 05-21-2011, 11:35 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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I never believed in lifetime fluid.... Unless they meant 100,000 miles
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