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Old 12-26-2010, 02:59 PM   #1
AlpWhitE46
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Changing tranny oil (automatic)

I know the oil is supposedly "sealed for life" but i opened it and its brown, it needs a change!...

When i go into reverse, and start off, the car will make a clunk sound.


What do you guys suggest i do from experience (its an e46 320i) with about 160,000 km (Steptronic)

Rocco said they dont do that stuff for autos... and he said just to leave it.

any other opinions?
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Old 12-26-2010, 03:30 PM   #2
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BMW refuses and advises against changing the fluid in auto transmissions because they tend to go after the fluid change. No idea why this happens but it is well known. I would just leave it.
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Old 12-26-2010, 03:41 PM   #3
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Start looking for a new transmission! Chances are if you change the fluid, the transmission will go a few weeks later...Seen it more then once, this is why shops would not tuch them!
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Old 12-26-2010, 04:23 PM   #4
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Is this reverse clunk a common problem leading to a screwed up tranny?

It could possibly still run a lot longer?
rocco told me just to not go hard in reverse or anything, just release brake and dont use gas.
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Old 12-26-2010, 05:51 PM   #5
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lol...

Just as I said, we can change it. But if there are any internal problems, changing the oil often leads to the transmission failing faster then just driving it.
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:50 AM   #6
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I think I posted it earlier this year, I had a 2 second delay in very cold weather when shifting from reverse back to drive after backing out of my garage in the morning. I found out there was a technical service bulletin from BMW that required the transmission computer to have specific memory locations programmed like a patch (not a s/w upgrade but to write new factory parameters in memory).
Dealier applied this and the delay went away - this fix applied specifically to the VIN# and model year - GM steptronic, June 03 manufacturing date.

This may be not at all related but I would check the TSB's.
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:41 PM   #7
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Gnome - probably not the problem


Yeah i'll just stick to what you said rocco, drive it till it goes!
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:30 PM   #8
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My dad's 325i makes the clunk noise when hes parked on a slope and puts the car in 'P', then puts up the handbrake. A lot of the strain from the slope is put on the tranny and not the handbrake by doing this; so I always tell him to put it in neutral first, put up the handbrake and let go of the brake, then put it in park - that way, no weight is straining the tranny. It goes in reverse very smoothly afterwards.... just a thought!
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel View Post
My dad's 325i makes the clunk noise when hes parked on a slope and puts the car in 'P', then puts up the handbrake. A lot of the strain from the slope is put on the tranny and not the handbrake by doing this; so I always tell him to put it in neutral first, put up the handbrake and let go of the brake, then put it in park - that way, no weight is straining the tranny. It goes in reverse very smoothly afterwards.... just a thought!
I always do that but, this happens anytime... normal weather, cold weather, no hill, etc.

Used to be sometimes before now its 75% of the time.
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Old 12-28-2010, 03:33 PM   #10
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Noob comment:

If you are getting a clunk when you put it in reverse, why would you assume its the tranny fluid??? I mean, if it was the tranny fluid, wouldn't you have more "clunking" noises while driving and its shifting gears?

If it only happens when you go into reverse, then I suspect something more physical like the tranny than then fluid.

If I am way off base, then I'll crawl back in to the hole I came from. :p
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:16 PM   #11
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check e46fanatics for "no reverse".
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Old 01-01-2011, 05:23 PM   #12
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I had a similar issue, but it was the bushings on my diff.

Does it ever "clunk" other gears or just reverse?

I would leave it like Rocco suggested. Auto trannies should not have their oil changed unless it's opened up for another reason.
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Old 01-02-2011, 06:30 PM   #13
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Nope just reverse, im gonna leave it and forget about it! haha
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1bmw1 View Post
Auto trannies should not have their oil changed unless it's opened up for another reason.
That is completely wrong. Auto tranny fluid should be changed in regular intervals no different than, oil, brake fluid, ps fluid, diff oil, etc. It goes through heat cycles just like any of the other fluids and does degrade causing air bubbles to be trapped in it which increases the temp of the fluid, and causes seals to swell. Once the old fluid is replaced, the seals are no longer as swollen and leaks develop. Changing the fluid before it gets to that stage prevents these leaks and other problems. Lifetime fluid only exists if you are satisfied with a 160k km life expectancy for your tranny.
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Old 01-03-2011, 12:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renboy View Post
That is completely wrong. Auto tranny fluid should be changed in regular intervals no different than, oil, brake fluid, ps fluid, diff oil, etc. It goes through heat cycles just like any of the other fluids and does degrade causing air bubbles to be trapped in it which increases the temp of the fluid, and causes seals to swell. Once the old fluid is replaced, the seals are no longer as swollen and leaks develop. Changing the fluid before it gets to that stage prevents these leaks and other problems. Lifetime fluid only exists if you are satisfied with a 160k km life expectancy for your tranny.
WRONG.

bmw has a specially formulated oil that they use in their tranny that they stress not be changed.

while your right about changing oil's in trannys it does not apply here.
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