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Old 01-03-2011, 01:01 PM   #16
Renboy
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That specially formulated oil seems to be working wonders. Do a search for the number of failed trannys on these cars. BMW also said that oil changes should occur every 25k kms, have you also not read about the sludge problems in these engines. BMW, much like everyone else has to learn from experience.
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:23 AM   #17
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That specially formulated oil seems to be working wonders. Do a search for the number of failed trannys on these cars. BMW also said that oil changes should occur every 25k kms, have you also not read about the sludge problems in these engines. BMW, much like everyone else has to learn from experience.
there are multiple trannies the e46 comes with. at the bottom of the tranny it clearly states lifetime oil do not change. even when you call the dealer he will tell you the same thing.

there are some e46 trannys that use dexron 3 those can be changed and they cost around 10-15 dollars a litre.

the lifetime fluid from the dealer is about 35-40 dollars a litre so a complete tranny flush is easily a couple hundred in oil. once again ONLY to be changed if you swaped trannys for some reason.

bmw sells atleast a million cars a year do you really think the online community of 20 cars that have failed matter?

if it was such a big issue bmw would not have it for over a decade and would have had a recall a very long time ago.

dont believe me? call the dealer.
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:17 AM   #18
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bmw sells atleast a million cars a year do you really think the online community of 20 cars that have failed matter?

if it was such a big issue bmw would not have it for over a decade and would have had a recall a very long time ago.

dont believe me? call the dealer.
We are not talking individual cases here, but very large numbers, in fact they are notorious for that! I would not buy an old 5/7/X5 and expect it to last long before it needs a rebuild! Even the 3's are not that good...

Dont believe me? Call your mechanic, not the dealer!
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:01 AM   #19
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20 cars? You can't even count the number that have had this happen on fanatics. I've been on quite a few boards and never seen tranny failure rates as frequent as on BMW boards.

What exactly do you consider lifetime? 100k kms? 200k kms? 500k kms? Are you really buying into the crap that there's a tranny fluid that can survive 500k kms, and is actually better left for that period than changed regularly? Furthermore, what benefits can old, burt tranny fluid possibly have over new fluid? Not to mention, to clean the magnets and change the filter you need to drain the tranny, do you think that's unnecessary maintenance? Or would you honestly pour the old crap back into the tranny rather than new fluid?

Sorry, but unless you post a test result from blackstone labs saying burnt old tranny fluid is doing the car better than new fluid, I'm not biting. I don't give a rats a55 what the sticker on the bottom of the tranny says.
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Old 01-06-2011, 02:16 PM   #20
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Ummm, did BMW not go back on that lifetime crap? And start recommending regular tranny oil changes?
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:30 PM   #21
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Again I crawl out of my hole...

After doing some searching of my own.... i think the issue is WORDING...

At one point BMW offered LIFETIME FLUID, meaning they would CHANGE YOUR TRANNY FLUID for the LIFE OF YOUR CAR.

That branding\sticker you see on cars is just to "show off" that BMW is changing the fluid for you. (think of a selling/buying feature)

The reason you may be seeing a lot of broken down BMWs is because people buy them used (or new) see that sticker, and don't bother to change the fluid thinking its A-OK!

See the following thread:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=166135

and this:
http://www.bavarianmachine.com/doc_lifetime.html

If your car has more than 100k on it... I would consider it!
If you have engine problems... don't just change the fluid, as you may cause MORE problems. (??? not sure what... I am in IT not AUTO)

The other poster has a good point... how many KMs do you consider "lifetime"? when the warranty runs out or the car dies?

Last edited by blakneto; 01-07-2011 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 01-08-2011, 05:40 PM   #22
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Again I crawl out of my hole...

After doing some searching of my own.... i think the issue is WORDING...

At one point BMW offered LIFETIME FLUID, meaning they would CHANGE YOUR TRANNY FLUID for the LIFE OF YOUR CAR.

That branding\sticker you see on cars is just to "show off" that BMW is changing the fluid for you. (think of a selling/buying feature)

The reason you may be seeing a lot of broken down BMWs is because people buy them used (or new) see that sticker, and don't bother to change the fluid thinking its A-OK!

See the following thread:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=166135

and this:
http://www.bavarianmachine.com/doc_lifetime.html

If your car has more than 100k on it... I would consider it!
If you have engine problems... don't just change the fluid, as you may cause MORE problems. (??? not sure what... I am in IT not AUTO)

The other poster has a good point... how many KMs do you consider "lifetime"? when the warranty runs out or the car dies?

Hmm, that's good to know! I guess i didn't keep any of my cars long enough to actually consider a tranny change, but this is definitely news to me. I guess that sales gimmick works well! I could have sworn that a BMW tech told me not to worry about my tranny oil in one of my cars...oh well, learn something new everyday. It would be good if one of the BMW techs that work for BMW can chime in on this.
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:30 AM   #23
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I did mine for the first time, at 274,000KMs, no issues. Shifts nicer now too, and downshifts much quicker (it's an auto/step). Had no issues before or since.
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:49 AM   #24
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Maranello recommended to me against changing the auto tranny fluid (140K). They did eventually give me a price for the service, but again restated "it is a lifetime fluid, just leave it alone".

If the worst thing to happen by changing it is that I wasted a few hundred bucks, that's fine. It's the cost of piece of mind...but if it will actually bring about a tranny problem that I could have avoided. Of course, if BMW could assure me they would take care of any tranny problems due to lack of fluid changes (ie/ following their advice) then it's all good...

Apparently, we don't have a consensus here.
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:48 PM   #25
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my lexus had a tranny failure soon after changing the oil. it felt good for the first 1000km or so then problems keep on coming to a point where i just gave up and sold the car.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:01 PM   #26
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Ok well I am a horse's ass! :p

I just called AutoHaus BMW and spoke to their techs.

Apparently it IS a lifetime fluid that NEVER has to be changed. :p
That doesn't mean you cannot change it, but they did say its not a "service" they offer.

So basically... the only way you gonna get tranny fluid into your BMW is IF its leaking tranny fluid, there is some major issue with the transmission, or if you drive to downtown TO and pick one up off of Church St. :p

All hail those that were right!
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:05 PM   #27
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So basically... the only way you gonna get tranny fluid into your BMW is IF its leaking tranny fluid, there is some major issue with the transmission
Most of the debate, in my opinion, has centred around avoiding the above issues by changing the fluid. My wife works with a guy that just had to have his tranny replaced in his E46 320i. From the info she told me, it had never had fluid replaced and cost ~$2500 for the repair. I don't know the mileage on the car, but I doubt it's north of 200k kms.

Drain and fill tranny fluid every second oil change costs what, $50. That a very large price discrepancy.
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:44 PM   #28
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I have had two autos now e36 and e46, changed tranny fluid in both, twice. Both ran just fine, the issue for me is " life time " should exceed 200k lol You will NOT in any way harm your tranny by changing the fluid, thats complete BS.

Its simply a matter of draining all you can and pumping the new stuff in, takes no time really, just a hoist and a pan...oh and a rag
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:27 PM   #29
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Like I said, and like the tech told me...

You CAN change the tranny fluid... but you don't NEED to change the tranny fluid.

For example: If you are doing MAJOR tranny work... of course you'll have to REFILL the fluid.

BUT, if you feel you need to change the fluid for "maintenance" reasons, that is not necessary.

If there is nothing wrong with your tranny... you can change it.
If there is SOMETHING wrong with your tranny... you can change it, though you may run into BIGGER problems.

A regular "tranny fluid" change is a service that BMW does NOT offer.

Apparently the fluid is 100 percent synthetic, so there must be some sort of compound they are using that lasts a really really long time. which is possible.

The bottom line... like all cars (and Church St.)... you are taking a risk.

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Old 01-12-2011, 09:34 PM   #30
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Like I said, and like the tech told me...

You CAN change the tranny fluid... but you don't NEED to change the tranny fluid.
Of course you dont have to but if youre smarter than a piece of wood youll realize their life time fluid is based on a plan for a short life. So preventive main. is imo a good idea, that or getting a nice $3k rebuild bill, $450 kit and install cost. But again what do I know, just done it 4 times on 2 cars now.

Furthermore if my tranny is screwed, how changing the fluid would worsen that particular non associated problem iss beyond me.

Oh and most techs are X month course by bmw, those techs are as smart as that piece of wood, just spewing the info their feed. Theyre the same ones who recommend $50 exhaust bolts when theyre 50 cents at home depot.
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