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Transmission pan, filter, and partial fluid change, Done.
I completed this job last week on my 2006 650i with 95,000 miles.
Prior to the change the car would hesitate shifting from first to second, in the morning when first starting every day. After 2 or 3 blocks the transmission would work fine for the most part. Resetting the transmissions learning mode did not help. The transmission pan, filter, and partial fluid change procedure corrected the issue 100% and my transmission feels like new again in my daily driving in both automatic and tip-tronic modes. In retrospect now that i have inspected the pan and magnets I think the morning hesitation issue was a clogged/ slow filter.. Although I'm sure the partial fluid change helped with smoothing out the overall ride
Rather than put my car on 4 Jack stands and crawl (I don't have a level driveway anyway) I asked around local shops until I found one that would let me work with one of their mechanics and use their lift To keep the car level and to make everything more accessible for me. I wound up paying $50 to the shop to utilize the bay and one of the mechanics for an hour (Who had never done a transmission fluid change and not understand what we were doing, lol). I must say while shopping around for a place to do this I got some interesting feedback.. Some places absolutely would not allow the procedure in their shop due to liability if the transmission were to fail afterwards, and some shops insisted that a full flush is the only way to properly do this job. After countless hours of research I felt partial fluid replacement is the best thing to do with a high mileage transmission. If your transmission still exhibits problems after the first partial you can always do a second partial replacement for a higher percentage of new fluid.
Once we got the car up on the lift it took us around an hour to drop and replace the pan/ filter, and pump new fluid in. For the most part it went without a hitch but I can't say I would like to be under 4 jack-stands in my driveway doing this job. The fluid that came out was very dark as expected, and both magnets in my pan showed minimal amounts of metallic sludge on them (No large particles or shavings of any kind). Awesome!
ZF Lifeguard 6 fluid - for 6-speed automatic transmissions - 7 Qts (1 spare that was returned after it was not needed) The job used about 5.5 Qts. $22 each
If I had to do it again I may have considered using redline fluid for half the price of the ZF because people seem to be having good experiences with it, but in my mind I figured since ZF makes the transmission it might prefer the more expensive ZF OEM fluid for an $80 premium.
The best resource I could find for a procedure VERY similar to our car was the following link on youtube:
The differential is quite easy to do, again the car needs to be level, but it is easy! I would do the differential in line with the transmission mileage, remember the golden rule " Undo the fill plug first before the drain plug"