180,000 mile ATF change - Page 2 - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #26  
Old 03-14-2016, 09:36 PM
Sroor9001 Sroor9001 is offline
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Location: Bahrain
 
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Mein Auto: Bmw 525i 2002
If it 180K and not changed till now you can change it partially with gear oil filter mean change 30% then after 30k drain and change it with filter I mean now 50 % then after 30k drain 75% with filter then after 30k change it fully with filter
Mean 25% then 50% then 75% then 100% but all with filter and you'll be ok
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  #27  
Old 03-15-2016, 12:15 AM
374953 374953 is offline
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Location: Lynnwood washington
 
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Mein Auto: 2002 530i m-sport
I bought an extremely well maintained 2002 530i with the ZF transmission. The owner bought into the "lifetime" fluid mainly because his indy and BMW dealer told him it didn't need to be changed. I bought the car at 116K and I had my tranny guy do a full fluid and filter change on it. It was fine for 2000 miles then the torque converter seal went out and it threw a service engine light. I had the converter replaced and the fluid changed again and it shifts flawlessly at 127K now. I don't think that changing the original fluid at 116K took out the converter. That was a common issue with these cars anyhow. Glad I changed it. Just my 2 cents.
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  #28  
Old 03-15-2016, 12:24 AM
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Dio///M Dio///M is offline
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Mein Auto: E93,E36 M3,E39,E46
Although this might be obvious to some, it should be noted that a ATF change should also include a software update and adaptations reset because the new oil is much thicker. And ofcourse a oil flush is the worse thing you need...
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  #29  
Old 03-15-2016, 05:48 AM
RPW44 RPW44 is offline
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Location: Portland
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 37
Mein Auto: 5/2000 BMW 540i M-Sport
2000 540i ATF

I drained and filled the ATF in my E39 twice, both coming after 120k miles. I remember reading horror stories about making it worse.... just stop. If draining then filling ruins your transmission you were already f*cked anyway.
Oh, my E39 is currently at 180+k. Cheers.
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  #30  
Old 03-15-2016, 08:03 PM
NJJediZ NJJediZ is offline
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Location: New Jersey
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 130
Mein Auto: E39; E38
The GM sourced trannies in the I6 E39 models were built to last IMHO - with or without doing a tranny service.

Case in point:
I've owned my '99 528i since '04/90k miles and to the best of my knowledge, the transmission had not been serviced prior to me obtaining the car. I finally did an AT fluid change and filter replacement at 16 yrs/250k miles and the color of the original ATF was an oak brown with some gunk, but minimal shavings sticking to the bottom of the tranny pan. Took me an almost an hour to clean all of the gunk off, it was practically baked on. I left the pan off over night to let as much as possible drain out of the tranny into an aluminum roaster cooking pan("borrowed" from the wife - lol). After replacing the trans filter and putting in new BMW ATF (a messy procedure btw), there was a marked improvement in the shifting. I will do two more trans services at 20k mile intervals and then leave it alone for the next 100k miles (My plan is to get at least 500k miles on the ODO )

Interestingly, after about 500 miles on the newly serviced AT, the car threw a transmission error code and went into "limp" mode, which had never happened to me before after almost 170k miles. I pulled over, shut the car down for 5 mins., restarted and it ran fine. It's been almost 4k miles since then without a repeat of the trans error code. My thought is the transmission computer may have become "Acclimated" to the old crappy ATF and didn't know what to do with the fresh ATF.

I'll post pics of the trans pan mess if I can find them.
(I also posted this on seemyad's thread about a possible class action lawsuit for BMW's misleading advertising regarding service free transmissions)
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  #31  
Old 03-16-2016, 06:10 AM
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crazy4trains crazy4trains is offline
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Location: Milton, WV
 
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Mein Auto: 2002 530i Sport
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJJediZ View Post
The GM sourced trannies in the I6 E39 models were built to last IMHO - with or without doing a tranny service.

Case in point:
I've owned my '99 528i since '04/90k miles and to the best of my knowledge, the transmission had not been serviced prior to me obtaining the car. I finally did an AT fluid change and filter replacement at 16 yrs/250k miles and the color of the original ATF was an oak brown with some gunk, but minimal shavings sticking to the bottom of the tranny pan. Took me an almost an hour to clean all of the gunk off, it was practically baked on. I left the pan off over night to let as much as possible drain out of the tranny into an aluminum roaster cooking pan("borrowed" from the wife - lol). After replacing the trans filter and putting in new BMW ATF (a messy procedure btw), there was a marked improvement in the shifting. I will do two more trans services at 20k mile intervals and then leave it alone for the next 100k miles (My plan is to get at least 500k miles on the ODO )

Interestingly, after about 500 miles on the newly serviced AT, the car threw a transmission error code and went into "limp" mode, which had never happened to me before after almost 170k miles. I pulled over, shut the car down for 5 mins., restarted and it ran fine. It's been almost 4k miles since then without a repeat of the trans error code. My thought is the transmission computer may have become "Acclimated" to the old crappy ATF and didn't know what to do with the fresh ATF.

I'll post pics of the trans pan mess if I can find them.
(I also posted this on seemyad's thread about a possible class action lawsuit for BMW's misleading advertising regarding service free transmissions)
Limp mode may have had nothing to do with the new fluid. Those are typically caused by electrical issues. Make sure your battery and alternator are up to snuff.
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  #32  
Old 06-27-2017, 07:41 PM
RWD-F10-N52 RWD-F10-N52 is offline
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Location: Toronto
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 430
Mein Auto: 2011 528i
change the fluid you will notice a big difference

its not dangerous to change it at your mileage

its not lifetime fluid. there is no such thing.
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  #33  
Old 11-21-2017, 10:07 PM
DaddyBender DaddyBender is offline
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Location: NCW
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
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Mein Auto: 1997 528i
I changed ours at 160k. Not burnt, but not translucent-red either. New fluid and filter. I have a lift available which made it WAY easier. After taking many GM tranny fluid/filter baths, I was TICKLED to see a flipping drain plug in the tranny pan!!! Before the change-she would shift hard(er than I liked) out of or into park, and the shifts seemed, I dunno...not consistent, I guess? With the new fluid and filter..*****. Don't feel the gear shifts any more...feels like a CVT!!! And to or from park doesn't jump either. Before the fluid change, she seemed to take a bit more brake power to come to a complete stop (last 10 feet or so). After the change, she glides to a perfect stop. Do it or don't. I was hesitant as HELL before I did this. What pushed me over-the wife said a couple times, when pulling away from a stop sign, the engine RPM's went up, THEN the car moved. Nope. I'm gonna at least TRY to nip it in the butt. Done. VERY happy. If yours isn't leaking and/or slipping, I'd leave it alone...well...at least check the level.
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528i, atf, bmw, change, fkuid, fluid, lifetime, transmission


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