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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > DIY Guides > DIY: Auto Transmission Fluid Change



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Chriztofor's Avatar DIY: Auto Transmission Fluid Change
Chriztofor
03-28-2010
Disclaimer: Do this DIY at your own risk. Not responsible if your trans fails or you get injured.

Car: 2006 325i Step Auto 49,300 miles (I have a ZF trans., check posts 73 and 74 to see if you have a ZF or GM Trans.)

Materials:
6 Quarts Castrol Import...
  #22  
By iflyjetzzz on 09-10-2010, 02:15 PM
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Thanks for the writeup. I am not at all impressed with BMW's concept of maintenance on the E90 (minimal maintenance). This is setting these cars up to fall apart prior to 200K mi. Personally, I like to drive a car until the wheels fall off.

Quote:
6) Place the used oil in the container to see how many quarts came out of your transmission. 4 1/4 quarts came out of mine. I know, I know, what about the torque converter. Something is better than nothing. Plus I plan on doing this every 20,000 miles so the next change or so should get alot of it out. (Castrol recommends 15,000 to 30,000 miles changes). Besides, its lifetime fluid so who cares about the fluid in the torque converter.
My wife's got an Acura TL. The same thing there; you can drain ~3 quarts out of ~9 quarts. The solution among many of the Acura DIYers is to drain 3 quarts on every other oil change once you hit 30-40K miles. That's how I've been doing it for her Acura and will likely do the same with my BMW.
Last edited by iflyjetzzz; 07-27-2011 at 04:25 AM.
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  #23  
By bmw6953 on 09-15-2010, 11:48 PM
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you really on got 4 1/2 out? last time i did it i got 7 out but also took off the pan to clean all the gunk that was on it.
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  #24  
By bmw6953 on 09-16-2010, 11:03 AM
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I will be doing this on sunday (next day off) but I am buying the OEM fluid at the dealer. I dont mind spending a few bucks I guess.I will post my results and post pictures because I will be taking the pan off as well.
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  #25  
By Chriztofor on 09-16-2010, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw6953 View Post
I will be doing this on sunday (next day off) but I am buying the OEM fluid at the dealer. I dont mind spending a few bucks I guess.I will post my results and post pictures because I will be taking the pan off as well.
Excellent, you can't go wrong changing the oil. I didn't take off my pan, maybe next time.
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  #26  
By bmw6953 on 09-18-2010, 07:32 PM
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I agree.
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  #27  
By Chriztofor on 09-21-2010, 01:11 PM
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^ Any update? How did it go? So far so good with me.
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  #28  
By uno on 09-28-2010, 10:16 AM
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Thanks for this great info.
May I ask a question?
Why for Rear wheel drive, we must jack up the front of the car first?
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  #29  
By Chriztofor on 09-28-2010, 11:23 AM
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^ The car will roll, if you don't chock the front wheels.
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  #30  
By uno on 09-28-2010, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriztofor View Post
^ The car will roll, if you don't chock the front wheels.
Thanks a lot
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  #31  
By bmw6953 on 09-28-2010, 11:07 PM
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My bad guys i still have not done this to my 325i . its comming soon
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  #32  
By Chriztofor on 10-11-2010, 01:04 AM
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Update: 7,400 miles since last change

Decided to change the oil again. Just trying to get whatever oil that was left behind since the last change. Well the oil came out looking NEW. Since it was only 7,400 miles from the last time I changed it, it is not that shocking. But it does confirm that the oil needs to be changed. Black oil in your transmission is not normal (which is how it looked (yellow to black) the 1st time I changed it). Still shifts smooth.
Last edited by Chriztofor; 10-11-2010 at 08:55 AM.
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  #33  
By carve on 10-12-2010, 01:33 PM
Does anyone know if the same procedure applies with the ZF transmission hooked to the N54 on the 335i?
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  #34  
By govtec on 10-12-2010, 08:03 PM
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If anybody does this project, please post pics as I would like to get this done before winter sets in. I've read through the thread a couple of times but I'm afraid of pulling the wrong hose. Thanks
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  #35  
By Chriztofor on 10-12-2010, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by govtec View Post
If anybody does this project, please post pics as I would like to get this done before winter sets in. I've read through the thread a couple of times but I'm afraid of pulling the wrong hose. Thanks
What pics do you need? You don't need to pull any hoses. You need to fill the transmission with a transfer pump.
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  #36  
By govtec on 10-13-2010, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriztofor View Post
What pics do you need? You don't need to pull any hoses. You need to fill the transmission with a transfer pump.
Sorry wrong thread, I thought this was the coolant change thread. Please post pics for that if anyone does the project next.
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  #37  
By govtec on 10-14-2010, 09:50 PM
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Chriztofor,

I have an xi, so the front should be on jack stands and for the rear use the floor jack on the rear differential area. Do I have this right?

How come the fluids don't leak out when the engine is warm and the plug is open? I'm picking up the oil from the dealer tomorrow and will attempt this over the weekend.
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  #38  
By Chriztofor on 10-14-2010, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by govtec View Post
Chriztofor,

I have an xi, so the front should be on jack stands and for the rear use the floor jack on the rear differential area. Do I have this right?

How come the fluids don't leak out when the engine is warm and the plug is open? I'm picking up the oil from the dealer tomorrow and will attempt this over the weekend.
Jacks stands should be used in the front and the rear (don't just rely on the jack).

Correct, jack the rear of the car under the differential (not the cover) see attached.

As for your last question, when you place fluid in the transmission, recap the fill plug, and shift the gears, when you re-open the fill plug you still need to fill up the transmission because it will be low in fluid. See steps 8-12. Good luck and tell us about your experience.
Attached Images
File Type: pdf Differential jacking point.pdf (75.4 KB, 806 views)
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  #39  
By govtec on 10-14-2010, 10:52 PM
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Cool, this is very clear. I hope you post pics when you change your pan next. Thanks
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  #40  
By Chriztofor on 10-14-2010, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by govtec View Post
Cool, this is very clear. I hope you post pics when you change your pan next. Thanks
^ Will do!
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  #41  
By govtec on 10-15-2010, 10:39 AM
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Unbelievable! Stop by the dealership this morning to pick up 6 qts of tranny oil and guy said it's illegal for him to sell it to me! He said it comes in big drums and are not for retail sale. After he spoke with his manager he said they will sell it to me @ $19/liter but I need to keep it on the down low. Are there any other options out there that are high quality? Can someone else confirm if tranny oil can be purchased from dealership?
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  #42  
By Chriztofor on 10-15-2010, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by govtec View Post
Unbelievable! Stop by the dealership this morning to pick up 6 qts of tranny oil and guy said it's illegal for him to sell it to me! He said it comes in big drums and are not for retail sale. After he spoke with his manager he said they will sell it to me @ $19/liter but I need to keep it on the down low. Are there any other options out there that are high quality? Can someone else confirm if tranny oil can be purchased from dealership?
1) It is not illegal to sell you oil. LOL
2) They do charge a lot of $$$$ per liter.
3) Be careful of "high quality" oil, whatever oil you buy make sure it is an approved oil. The oil I used specifically lists our oil. See attached spec sheet. I believe Mobil 1 synthetic ATF is not recommended for BMW transmissions.

Sidenote, the dealer and BMW claim that transmission oil is lifetime, then why do they carry barrels of the stuff?!
Last edited by Chriztofor; 10-15-2010 at 11:19 AM.
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  #43  
By govtec on 10-15-2010, 09:34 PM
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I'm leaning towards buying the oil from the dealership and drive it until 200K. Then, I'll do the next oil change along with the pan.
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