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Discussion Starter #1
'07 E90 335xi auto. Changing the transmission pan/filter & fluid. Drained the fluid, replaced the pan, went fine. Measured the fluid, 6 liters. With the car perfectly level, started pumping in fluid. At 3 liters, it started pouring back out the fill hole. WTF? I now have the back end as high as I can get it and the front wheels on the ground. I've only gotten to 4.5 liters and it pours out. Can someone tell me what I'm doing wrong? Thanks!
 

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Breaking in the Pony
2019 Mustang GT / 2005 Toyota Tacoma
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The engine needs to be running and the transmission at a specific temperature when you do the fill. A lot of fluid is held up in the pumping portion of the transmission when in operation.

You start it cold and level on jack stands, fill it when it's cold and running until the fluid comes out the hole, run it through the gears a few times, and then allow the fluid to come out the hole until the transmission reaches ~100F. At that point, you put the plug back in and torque it down.

DIY here: https://www.rmeuropean.com/bmw-e90-325i-transmission-fluid-change.aspx
 

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Thanks, no idea how I overlooked that when I first read the DIY.
Much trouble if you don't fill proper amount of fluid. Follow procedure very carefully. Many references for it, here's one:

Remove 16mm fill plug, green arrow point to fill plug location. Fill transmission with same amount of fluid that was drained from it. This photo shows the fill plug on a GA6L45R transmission. On other models the fill plug is located on the side of the transmission. Start engine, then apply parking brake, hold your foot on brake pedal and shift transmission through all gears. This with circulate transmission fluid. Place transmission selector in Park, then remove fluid fill plug. Monitor transmission as it reaches a temperature of 100° F. You can check this with an infrared temperature gauge. If a small stream of fluid runs out of fill plug, fluid level is correct. If no fluid runs out, add oil until it starts to run out. Reinstall fill plug and tighten once complete. I suggest driving car, then allowing it to cool and rechecking fluid level. Now here's a tip, once you have filled the transmission with the same amount of fluid drained the level should be close to what it was. Start engine, move gear selector as noted above. With the transmission fluid still cold and fluid fill plug removed, monitor the temperature and fluid flow at fill plug. When the fluid warms up it will expand and should run out of fill plug, if it does not, add fluid until it starts to run out. Install fill plug and repeat once vehicle is cool. Check fluid temperature using a temp gun. 30: 50°C (86: 122°F) Aim for the center of the transmission pan then check temperature this way. The ideal way is to check fluid temp using a BMW scan tool, but not all of us have access to one. Place transmission in Park. Remove fill plug. A small amount of fluid should stream out of fill hole. This indicates the level is correct. If it doesn't stream out, fill fluid until it does. Once you reach desired capacity, drive vehicle and repeat level checking procedure.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Much trouble if you don't fill proper amount of fluid. Follow procedure very carefully. Many references for it, here's one:
Yeah, my problem was that I followed that procedure from Pelican Parts, which is wrong. It says to fill with the drained amount BEFORE starting the engine.

The RMeuropean procedure is better.
 

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The part I didn't like was the hand pump to fill - under the car, engine running. The second time around I used a long hose attached to a funnel and worked the hose from behind the filter box down to the fill hole. That way I was able to fill the normal way!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
So I put the car back level, started it up, filled with the remaining expected quantity, and let it warm up, checking it with an infrared thermometer pointed at the fill hole. At 85 degrees Fahrenheit, it started spilling out. I figured that was about perfect and closed it up before killing the engine. Possibly a little premature, but enough spilled out while I was trying to get the plug in that I figured it should work out right.

Car drove perfectly for 2 weeks. Then yesterday reverse malfunctioned on me and I got
4F82 EGS: Ratio monitoring, clutch B
4F97 EGS: Ratio monitoring, clutch B-D
A0B1 CAS: Input, selector-lever position, implausible

Drives perfectly in all forward gears. The reverse problem only happens once it's fully warmed up.

All my research about the 4Fxx codes indicates they're caused by the double square Mechatronics sleeves failing. I did not replace / look at those when changing the pan.
Here are my thoughts:
1. I somehow got the fluid level wrong - too high cause I closed up before 100 Fahrenheit?
2. I have a leak, and the fluid is now low - haven't had a chance to get under there, but it's certainly not marking the driveway.
3. Mechatronics sleeves on their way out were triggered to failure by jostling or new fluid

I will certainly double-check the fluid level before pulling the pan again and buying 7 more liters of pricey fluid in addition to the sleeves, but has anyone ever heard of these symptoms resulting from anything other than failing double square sleeves?

Speaking of symptoms, the way reverse malfunctions is, you put it in gear, start to back up, then suddenly either (1) it feels like you bumped up against chocks or a curb or (2) it drops out of reverse into neutral.
 

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When did the error occur? If the car was cold, fluid could be too low. If car was hot, fluid level could be too high. Check fluid level again just to be sure. If you want to go back in to change the seals, you can reuse most of the fluid.
 

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Recently changed my filter and fluid. Information varied from having lift points level to having transmission pan level. My driveway is sloped so tried to get the transmission pan as level as possible. Because the pan is rectangular it seems that it would make a big difference if the pan is not level. More of a difference than transmission fluid temperature. Replaced the filter and pan, then pumped the fluid in until it started running out. Replace the plug, started engine, let engine warm and used remote thermostat to check temperature at center of pan. Then ran transmission through gears and went back under to add more fluid. Transmission was making a slurping sound, sucking air. Pumped more fluid into the pan until steady steam was flowing out. Transmission seems to work perfect with no sign of damage from sucking air. Guess I should have added fluid before running through the gears. Will recheck fluid level. Anyone know for sure if the pan should level or the lift points.
 

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Breaking in the Pony
2019 Mustang GT / 2005 Toyota Tacoma
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Anyone know for sure if the pan should level or the lift points.
You want the lift points / frame of the car level as if the car were on a lift a shop.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I got it back up on the jacks and went back through the warmup/overflow procedure and found that I had in fact overfilled it, by a half liter or so. With the fluid level adjusted, I test drove it again, no change in behavior. Before opening it back up, I contacted ZF tech support, who told me I had damaged the transmission by overfilling it. Gave me quite the sense of panic and despair. Finally last night I got in there, pulled the valve body, and found this:
Mechatronics seal.jpg
I have yet to refill and test drive, but ZF tech support and their scare tactics can eff themselves with a pineapple.

I believe the moral of this story is that, when changing fluid, you should go ahead and remove the valve body and replace the D-square seal. Clearly the fluid change triggered the failure of a seal on its way out, and the price of the fluid is just too high to risk that.

This guy's website does a fantastic job of explaining everything involved. And yes, I did replace the 4 other seals.
https://sayyarti.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/everything-about-your-zf-automatic-transmission-issues/
 

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Breaking in the Pony
2019 Mustang GT / 2005 Toyota Tacoma
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I got it back up on the jacks and went back through the warmup/overflow procedure and found that I had in fact overfilled it, by a half liter or so. With the fluid level adjusted, I test drove it again, no change in behavior. Before opening it back up, I contacted ZF tech support, who told me I had damaged the transmission by overfilling it. Gave me quite the sense of panic and despair. Finally last night I got in there, pulled the valve body, and found this:
View attachment 838239
I have yet to refill and test drive, but ZF tech support and their scare tactics can eff themselves with a pineapple.

I believe the moral of this story is that, when changing fluid, you should go ahead and remove the valve body and replace the D-square seal. Clearly the fluid change triggered the failure of a seal on its way out, and the price of the fluid is just too high to risk that.

This guy's website does a fantastic job of explaining everything involved. And yes, I did replace the 4 other seals.
https://sayyarti.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/everything-about-your-zf-automatic-transmission-issues/
Did ZF say you could possibly have worn bushings? That is their go to after fluid level and solenoids.
 

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Test drive is complete, repair is a success. Whew.
Just so you know that seal is a common failure point relatively speaking of course, id say a solid 90% of the e90 transmission issues ive stumbled accross had that seal be the cause. mostly no forward or no reverse concerns.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Just so you know that seal is a common failure point relatively speaking of course, id say a solid 90% of the e90 transmission issues ive stumbled accross had that seal be the cause. mostly no forward or no reverse concerns.
Yeah, before doing the original fluid replacement, I read a bunch of threads, some of which said replace the seal proactively, some said don't bother taking off the valve body without reason. I settled on the latter, expensive mistake.
 
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