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Wrong transmission fluid problem

2983 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  tmvE39/E53/Z32

I have problem with my 2002 4.4i X5. I bought the X5 knowing it had a rebuild transmission and new torque converter. Great. After a while driving a got the hard 2-1 downshift. Software status is uptodate so I checked the fluid. Needed a top up. No problem. Got 1 liter ESSO ATF LT 71141 from BMW and topped it up. After around .5 liter it was more than full. Now comes the problem. RED ATF fluid came out. Not the clear ESSO ATF LT 71141.
Now I'm not sure what to do. The transmission was shifting awesome, except the 2-1 downshift. So whatever fluid was in there was doing its job. Not sure if I should be concerned about the red atf fluid. But what I am concerned about is that I topped it up with another (the correct) fluid. Only roughly .5 liters though.
What should I do? Leave it? Full flush?

Thanks for any help!
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How did you check the ATF level? Did you do that when it was at correct temp range?

I would try to get info and get in touch with the rebuilder and find out what ATF is in there.
I would do a drain and refill if it'd give you the peace of mind. Make sure you follow proper procedure.
I checked the fluid after running through the gears. Transmission oil temp was around 20 degrees celsius.
What would be the best way of doing a full flush? Pan and filter out, flush the oil cooler?
I bought it through a dealer. It was a trade in. I have to try to find who did the job.
the temperature should be between 30-40C when checking the gearbox oil level, at 20C the chances are you put too much oil in it...not knowing what oil it had before i would change it and start from zero. I think a good flush would be to change it a a few times until the oil comes out as clear as possible, will take you a full day but it should do the trick. Even if you flush the oil cooler you will still have oil left in the torque converter.
This weekend I actually talked to a guy in town who rebuilds these zf transmissions. He told me that they probably put in FUCHS atf oil. That has the same specs as the ESSO but is much cheaper. And it is red. Because I dont have any shifting concerns I will just leave it for now. I will do another fluid level check though. Because I agree that it might be a bit over full.
According to DIS, ATF temp should be 35 - 55 C when doing the checking and top-off.
Too much or too little ATF will hurt the tranny. I would lift up and level the X. Run it through the gear and warm up the ATF to within range. While the engine is running, open the fill plug and let the over-fill ATF drain. DIS says you will need to have it drain for at least 60secs before closing the fill plug.
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