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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

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  #1  
Old 11-28-2012, 06:27 PM
cshanson325i cshanson325i is offline
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Location: Austin, Tx
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 325i Sedan
Angry uh oh!

.. So here's the raw deal. I own a 325i (which I loved until this point). 2 weeks ago I pulled up to a red light, stopped, and when I went to take off there was no movement. It was pretty late at night, and nobody around to help. I put the car in reverse, and with a bit of engine reving, she limped her way so I could at least get into the nearby parking lot. I noticed quite a bit of transmission fluid on the pavement where i was sitting at the light. Got a ride home and waited til the next day to trailer her home. When I popped the hood, I found all hell had broken loose under there. The fan had come apart into 1,000,000 pieces and destroyed a few things: fan shroud, p/s pulley, trans cooler and later found out, the radiator. Purchased all necessary components, pieced her back together and filled her full of fluids again. I noticed that when I started her up, the trans warning indicator was on. Figured it would turn off when i finished topping off the fluid, but it didn't. Decided it was do or die time and took it for a VERY short test drive because it acted like i was pulling 10,000 pounds behind it, she had no gusto! As I turned around to limp, once again, back home, i noticed that I had left a trail of trans fluid from the driveway to my point of turning around. When I was topping the trans off (with the engine running and at operating temp) there were no leaks evident. So I crawled back underneath to see where the fluid was coming from, I found it to be coming from the torque converter area and the fluid is dark red with hints of metallic dust. I'm looking for anyone with advice for me at this point. Love the car, cant really afford a new one. BTW, I'm very capable of performing the repairs necessary so feel free to hit me with all the technical mumbo-jumbo. Thank you in advance for your help!
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  #2  
Old 11-30-2012, 01:45 AM
pockomoth pockomoth is offline
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Location: California
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 72
Mein Auto: 635csi
All I can offer is my condolences. Hate it when that happens.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Bimmer App
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  #3  
Old 11-30-2012, 06:07 AM
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crowz crowz is online now
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Location: Alabama
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,481
Mein Auto: 2000 323i, 97 528i
My guess is you roasted the trans driving to your parking spot. The leak is a blown front seal which in itself has nothing to do with the slipping more than likely. Get the trans built. Also dont drive the car in the future when something bad has happened. They dont appreciate it and take it out on your wallet.

One final thing. If you dont know how to properly add the trans fluid you may still be low. Especially considering you pumped all the fluid out of it when the radiator was destroyed. Low fluid plus not clearing the code that had it in limp mode would make it behave like that. Its a slim chance but that might be all thats wrong with it. But unlikely.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:39 AM
numindast numindast is offline
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Location: Chicago
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,007
Mein Auto: 2005 325xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by cshanson325i View Post
The fan had come apart into 1,000,000 pieces and destroyed a few things: fan shroud, p/s pulley, trans cooler and later found out, the radiator.
I would think the transmission suffered severe damage since its oil (fluid) leaked out when the cooler was punctured. I'm guessing the damage began before you reached the traffic light when you noticed the issue. Even after refilling it, the damage was done, though it may not have been apparent while sitting in the driveway and not under load/use. It's important to note that transmission fluid not only provides the means of transferring power but also cooling the internal parts -- without the cooling, the transmission's parts (friction plates especially) get cooked rather fast.

A tranny rebuild can set you back anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 from a competent independent shop, depending on local prices are and how strong a warranty you want.

I've had two transmissions rebuilt over the years ('89 Nissan Sentra and '03 Chevy Venture) and neither were flawless after the rebuild but both ran like champs nonetheless.

Good luck!
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  #5  
Old 11-30-2012, 10:15 AM
scarede46er scarede46er is offline
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Location: Clemson, SC
 
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Posts: 161
Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 325i ZSP
I would have a local shop do a manual trans switch instead. Manuals are less problematic, although I am guessing if you get a properly rebuilt auto now, it would outlast the useful life of your car.
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  #6  
Old 11-30-2012, 10:23 AM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Location: Here, there, everywhere....
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
Quote:
Originally Posted by scarede46er View Post
I would have a local shop do a manual trans switch instead. Manuals are less problematic, although I am guessing if you get a properly rebuilt auto now, it would outlast the useful life of your car.
Agreed....having a manual swap performed would cost about the same (or maybe a little less) as getting a rebuilt Auto installed.
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