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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > Automatic transmission fluid - flush or no flush? Thanks



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      05-12-2016, 12:02 PM   #1
WhiteBeard
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Automatic transmission fluid - flush or no flush? Thanks

I'm on a fence right now, don't know what should I do? I have 2007 e90 with 37K miles only, with GM Auto transmission. According to mileage I don't need to flush it - it's only 37K miles. However, car is almost 10 year old and I've heard lot's of stories when someone flushed old transmission that was never before flushed and got issues afterwards. Lot's of people say you either flush Auto transmission every 50-60K periodically or if you for some reason never did it and have high mileage car - it's better to leave it alone. However, no one says what to do if you have low mileage but high age car?
Your suggestions would be appreciated
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      05-12-2016, 01:47 PM   #2
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      05-12-2016, 04:57 PM   #3
kkasson
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Don't flush it...a real "flush" uses a pressurized machine to force out all the old fluid. There's no harm in draining and refilling it.

I'd wait until you have maybe 50k miles and do it then. Engine oil is much more sensitive to age than transmission fluid...engine oil wears out because it fills up with combustion byproducts, which will degrade the oil even if it's just sitting. The transmission fluid mainly breaks down from heat cycles, so it holds up much better when it's sitting than engine oil does.
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      05-12-2016, 11:18 PM   #4
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How long are you going to keep the car? The question you need to answer is whether a fluid change will be due at some point during your ownership. If you are going to sell the car in a couple years, then don't worry about it. If you will keep the car longer, you can probably do it now and never worry about it again.

I changed mine at about 65k miles because I had a cheap mechanic available at the time, and I knew that I would never need to change it again anyway, whether I waited or not.

With this transmission a normal fluid change interval is 100k miles. GM transmissions are pretty solid.
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      05-13-2016, 04:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patents View Post
How long are you going to keep the car? The question you need to answer is whether a fluid change will be due at some point during your ownership. If you are going to sell the car in a couple years, then don't worry about it. If you will keep the car longer, you can probably do it now and never worry about it again.

I changed mine at about 65k miles because I had a cheap mechanic available at the time, and I knew that I would never need to change it again anyway, whether I waited or not.

With this transmission a normal fluid change interval is 100k miles. GM transmissions are pretty solid.
Makes sense, thank you! Yes, I'm going to keep it for long. So I'll change it then. Just a quick question - is there a filter to change and what fluid to use? Thank you
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      05-13-2016, 04:54 PM   #6
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Use the BMW fluid (which is GM fluid, the manual may tell you which kind, Dextron xx). I'm leary of using other fluids.

There is a filter, go ahead and replace it since there is no extra labor. You're dropping the pan to change the fluid anyway. The filter is not part of the pan, so it's not too expensive. I bought a kit from the dealer that had fluid, filter, and I think the gasket and bolts? It's an easy job if you have a lift.
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      05-13-2016, 05:16 PM   #7
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I used Valvoline Dexron VI for mine, but any Dexron VI will work. I didn't feel the need to use BMW fluid because this same transmission is also used on Chevy and Cadillac vehicles with a normal GM factory fill. So whatever works for other Dex VI applications should be fine here.

Since the mileage is so low, if it were me I'd just drain and fill it and save doing the filter for another time. But yeah, not too much more difficult to change the filter if you want to, and you'll drain out another 1.5 or 2 quarts of fluid if you drop the pan.
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      05-14-2016, 08:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteBeard
I'm on a fence right now, don't know what should I do? I have 2007 e90 with 37K miles only, with GM Auto transmission. According to mileage I don't need to flush it - it's only 37K miles. However, car is almost 10 year old and I've heard lot's of stories when someone flushed old transmission that was never before flushed and got issues afterwards. Lot's of people say you either flush Auto transmission every 50-60K periodically or if you for some reason never did it and have high mileage car - it's better to leave it alone. However, no one says what to do if you have low mileage but high age car?
Your suggestions would be appreciated
Buy about 16qts of fluid, if your wanting the fluid to be new 95% or higher.

1) Drain it

2) replace the pan filter and refill it

3) Turn the car on and run it through the gears a few times both in non and sport mode

4) Wait till the temp of the trans oil reaches 120 then top it off.

Wait 500 miles and repeat steps 1, 3 & 4.

Do this one more time for a total of 3 times total, over all.
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      05-14-2016, 12:52 PM   #9
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Drain and refill. You can flush but only after checking the condition of your fluid. If it smells burnt, flushing will destroy your transmission, hell if it's burnt your transmission is probably on its way out anyways.

I used Valvoline maxlife in my zf transmission as it met the shell m1375.4 spec while also being affordable. It should work in the GM transmission too.
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