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X5 E53 (1999 - 2006)
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Old 08-18-2013, 05:28 PM
MrZip MrZip is offline
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Location: Hazelwood (St. Louis) Missouri
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 76
Mein Auto: 2006 3.0i Z4
Anyome replaced transmission fluid?

My 2002 X5 has 140.000 miles on it. and I was thinking it would be a good idea to put new transmission fluid in. I asked the dealer about it & they said there is some sort of kit they would have to order, then they could change the fluid. The entire cost would be $700.00. Has anyone done this fluid change & why is it so costly?
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2006 3.0i Z4 (N52)
2003 K1200 RS
2002 X5 3.0i (M54)
2000 Z3 2.3 (Sold)
1987 325es (Sold)
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Old 08-18-2013, 05:35 PM
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Teemo Panda Teemo Panda is offline
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Mein Auto: E53, E46-M3, E70, F25-X3
other people change it around 90-100k i guess its not too late,
But i do recommend go to your local BMW Independent mechanic and get a quote bro.
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:38 PM
zackbrody zackbrody is offline
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Location: Sydney
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: X5
Hi there, I just did mine and the transmission cooler.. apparently its special oil that is made by pixies with golden fingers and stored at the end of the rainbow...
well thats what I think it must be given here in Aus.. it was $675.00 just for the oil!!!
couldnt get direct from Valvolene or Shell had to be through dealer!!

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Old 08-19-2013, 01:34 AM
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Scott ZHP Scott ZHP is offline
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Location: PA, USA
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Mein Auto: 03 ZHP, 01 X5, 73 MGB
Hit or miss at that mileage. Some dealers will refuse to change the fluid.

I would not replace the fluid without also removing the pan, cleaning it thoroughly and replacing the filter. When I did mine at about 90k miles, there was an accumulation of crud lining the pan and covering the magnets. I cleaned all of this up with solvent and made sure the pan and the valve body were spotless.

The gearbox is likely a GM A5S390. BMW spec'd a special fluid made by Texaco (ETL 8072B) which is made of unobtanium. I've been using Valvoline MaxLife (red container) which Valvoline swears is fully compatible with the factory fill. It's been fine so far.

Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
JUST...LOOK...UNDER...THE...CAR....for Chrissakes....it`s like checking to see if a dog is male or female....
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
A bimmer with forced induction should have a proper manual gearbox. Anything less is like french kissing your sister.
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:14 PM
zackbrody zackbrody is offline
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unobtanium .. classic

love it unobtanium
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:53 PM
dmask0 dmask0 is offline
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Location: Stafford, Virginia, USA
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 9
Mein Auto: 2004 E46, 2005 E53
You might want to read more forum posts about doing a transmission change with high mileage. It's generally not recommended because it tends to lead to immediate transmission failure. Most of the forums and reliable transmission shops will warn you about this. They usually end with "don't mess with a high mileage transmission unless you have a serious problem."
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Old 08-31-2013, 05:27 AM
tonywintn tonywintn is offline
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Location: Tennessee
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Mein Auto: 2005 BMW X5 & 2007 Z4 si
I went to 80k miles on my X5 and then changed the fluid. I didn't want to wait to 100k. I first did a fluid flush- a drain and fill. That gets about half of the fluid out- 6 quarts. I used the Valvoline MaxLife which meets the BMW specification. I drove it for a week and then dropped the pan and changed the filter. I bought the filter kit online. It comes with a new gasket and bolts. Then I topped it off with another 6 quarts of fluid. The original fluid was dark but not bad. The pan was fairly clean- just a little sludge in the bottom. That was about 8 months ago. I wasn't having any problems- just doing preventative maintenance. I think in total it cost me about $200 or so. It would be good to talk to someone knowledgeable about high mileage automatic transmissions; but I would think that a couple of back to back flushes and then a new filter would be a safe route to go. BMW uses synthetic fluid. It is not going to build up much varnish unless the transmission has had a hard life and overheated the oil a lot. In the past with standard ATF; the non- synthetic oil would leave deposits on the walls of the transmission and in the valve body passages. If left unattended for a long time these deposits build up. Then when fresh fluid is put in, the detergents would break these deposits loose and if bad enough they could plug up the valve body or even the filter. Synthetic fluid has a much higher heat capacity which means less of a tendency to leave deposits behind. It's going to depend a lot on how the transmission has been treated. My transmission looked nice and clean inside; no stains or varnish anywhere.

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