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      02-08-2011, 02:53 PM   #1
josephbet01
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328i Transmission Fluid Replacement

Went to a few oil change places today. They said there was no way they could do a complete fluid flush / replacement. Only a drain and fill for this transmission (which is made by GM).

I think that means draining the pan only and leaving dirty fluid in the converter and valve body. Not really what I want to hear.

Has anyone done a complete fluid change on this transmission? I have a whole trunk full of Castrol Dexron VI now and nobody seems able to attach a flush machine.

How would the dealer do it? Just drain and fill too? They want $399. Ouch.
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      02-08-2011, 03:42 PM   #2
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The dealer would probably just do a drain and fill, as well.

If you are concerned about getting all the old fluid out, you could do several drain and fills.

1. Drain and fill.
2. Drive around for ten minutes, making sure to hit every gear.
3. Repeat above steps twice.

It's a bit wasteful, but you will change every bit of fluid. It may be the only way to completely flush this tranny.
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      02-08-2011, 04:44 PM   #3
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I just did a drain and fill last weekend and it is easy. Just do a drain and fill everytime you change the oil if you want for the next few times. The fluid after two drain and fills would probably come out cherry red. You could also do one drain and fill and one pan drop so you can change the filter and gasket. Thats what I'll do the next time I change it.
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      02-08-2011, 04:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWDude49120 View Post
The dealer would probably just do a drain and fill, as well.

If you are concerned about getting all the old fluid out, you could do several drain and fills.

1. Drain and fill.
2. Drive around for ten minutes, making sure to hit every gear.
3. Repeat above steps twice.

It's a bit wasteful, but you will change every bit of fluid. It may be the only way to completely flush this tranny.
+1 except I would wait a week or even a couple thousand miles and then change the fluid again.
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      02-09-2011, 11:43 AM   #5
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I'm surprised this isn't becoming more of an issue with so many vehicles over 50k now. I think the $399 dealer price is excessive.

I'm also concerned if I drain the fluid and refill the pan, when I start the car to begin adding more fluid, the transmission is going to be very low on fluid until it's warm and the fluid can be topped off.

I'm very curious how the service techs go about doing it.
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      02-09-2011, 11:59 AM   #6
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Just drain it when its warm, not hot and the temp of the metal should get the new fluid warm enough. It dosent have to be that warm and it dosn't take long. You'll be more carefull than a tech on the fluid level, most of those guys could care less.
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      02-09-2011, 12:03 PM   #7
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fyi, oil pan and filter are one pc plastic and one time use only.
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      02-09-2011, 12:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
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fyi, oil pan and filter are one pc plastic and one time use only.
nope not on a GM transmission. Its a metal pan and seperate filter.
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      02-09-2011, 02:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
Just drain it when its warm, not hot and the temp of the metal should get the new fluid warm enough. It dosent have to be that warm and it dosn't take long. You'll be more carefull than a tech on the fluid level, most of those guys could care less.
+1
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      02-09-2011, 07:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
nope not on a GM transmission. Its a metal pan and seperate filter.


my bad, OP has a 328i not 325i. only thing OP will need is filter, ATF, and oil pan gasket.
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      02-11-2011, 05:54 PM   #11
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Changed the fluid today at 70k miles but didn't drop the pan. It was a painless process and took about an hour. For the GM trans I used Castrol Dexron VI

I have the GM trans, but the DIY for the ZF will give you a good idea of what to expect. I didn't feel it was worth dicking around with the pan at 70k all highway miles.

Jacked the car up and set on 4 jackstands. Used the differential and the front center jack points to get it in the air.
Opened the plastic undershield.
Opened the fill plug first. Dropped about a quart.
Opened the drain plug. Dropped about 3 quarts.
Replaced drain plug. Filled about 2 quarts.
Replaced fill plug.
Started car and shifted slowly from P>R>P>D>P
Left it to idle in P for about 8 minutes.
With car still running, opened fill plug and it took 2.5 more quarts before coming out the fill hole.
Replaced fill plug.
Replaced the plastic undershield.

It's odd that it seems to have taken at least a 1/2 quart more than came out. Anyone have a good reason for that?
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      02-11-2011, 06:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josephbet01 View Post
Changed the fluid today at 70k miles but didn't drop the pan. It was a painless process and took about an hour. For the GM trans I used Castrol Dexron VI

I have the GM trans, but the DIY for the ZF will give you a good idea of what to expect. I didn't feel it was worth dicking around with the pan at 70k all highway miles.

Jacked the car up and set on 4 jackstands. Used the differential and the front center jack points to get it in the air.
Opened the plastic undershield.
Opened the fill plug first. Dropped about a quart.
Opened the drain plug. Dropped about 3 quarts.
Replaced drain plug. Filled about 2 quarts.
Replaced fill plug.
Started car and shifted slowly from P>R>P>D>P
Left it to idle in P for about 8 minutes.
With car still running, opened fill plug and it took 2.5 more quarts before coming out the fill hole.
Replaced fill plug.
Replaced the plastic undershield.

It's odd that it seems to have taken at least a 1/2 quart more than came out. Anyone have a good reason for that?
How did the oil look? Smell? Does it shift smoother?
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If no codes are being thrown use Chevron Techron fuel injector cleaner (concentrate). It solves rpm fluctuating upon cold start-up. Also, for most BMW problems start off by scanning your car with the Peake Research Tool. It contains the actual BMW codes. If you want to register a newly installed battery for free (just buy a $10 cable) and google/download BMWLogger
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      02-11-2011, 08:30 PM   #13
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It was black. I'm guessing I got about 50% of the old stuff out. I doubt it will feel any different.

I haven't driven it yet since it's still up on jacks in the garage. Today I replaced the differential fluid with Mobil 1 75w90 and replaced the rear brake wear sensor. Now, I'm going to flush the brake fluid with ATE Super Blue. Still thinking about getting some EBC slotted/dimpled rotors and Cool Carbons on the front while I'm at it. The front brakes are almost done and Im already running Cool Carbons on the rear.

All this stuff is easy DIY especially with guidance from the threads on this site. Great resource of useful information here.
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      02-11-2011, 09:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josephbet01 View Post
It was black. I'm guessing I got about 50% of the old stuff out. I doubt it will feel any different.

I haven't driven it yet since it's still up on jacks in the garage. Today I replaced the differential fluid with Mobil 1 75w90 and replaced the rear brake wear sensor. Now, I'm going to flush the brake fluid with ATE Super Blue. Still thinking about getting some EBC slotted/dimpled rotors and Cool Carbons on the front while I'm at it. The front brakes are almost done and Im already running Cool Carbons on the rear.

All this stuff is easy DIY especially with guidance from the threads on this site. Great resource of useful information here.
Wow, that's alot of work. I would drain and fill the trans again after a couple thousand miles. A drain and fill doesnt get all the fluid out. There is still some in the torque converter. Post an update.
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      02-12-2011, 08:10 AM   #15
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I'm not an expert on the E90 auto trans by any means, but I do know that BG Products makes a flush/fill machine that has the proper fittings for "BMW Transmissions". BG only sells the machine to professional repair shops (i.e. not to consumers). If you go to BG Products website they have a repair shop locator application (zip code) that tells you the shops in your area who perform the BG flush/fill service.

Hope it helps.
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      02-12-2011, 07:13 PM   #16
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Power steering fluid replaced with CHF11s
Brake fluid replaced with ATE Super Blue
Transmission fluid (drain/fill) replaced with Castrol Dexron VI
Differential fluid replaced with Mobil 1 75w-90

Did a few 0-100 pulls on the highway in DS mode. As expected it drives exactly the same. Nice to have fresh fluids though.
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      04-23-2013, 09:49 PM   #17
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Just an update. I changed the ATF fluid myself for the 1st time at about 70K miles. After putting another 80K miles on the car I'm at 150K miles today. I just drained the ATF fluid and it was dirty but still more or less pink. It didn't seem to be as dirty as the 1st change. Also did the PS fluid which is a quart of CHF 11s - expensive stuff. Brakes will be later this week and I average about 70K before needing to be replaced, so that seems like a good time to replace all the fluids on the car. No headaches so far. Old thread but I figure people want real world data.
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      04-28-2013, 07:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josephbet01 View Post
Just an update. I changed the ATF fluid myself for the 1st time at about 70K miles. After putting another 80K miles on the car I'm at 150K miles today. I just drained the ATF fluid and it was dirty but still more or less pink. It didn't seem to be as dirty as the 1st change. Also did the PS fluid which is a quart of CHF 11s - expensive stuff. Brakes will be later this week and I average about 70K before needing to be replaced, so that seems like a good time to replace all the fluids on the car. No headaches so far. Old thread but I figure people want real world data.
... Off topic, but York pa represent! I work there!
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