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transmission fluid needs changing?

Discussion in 'E46 (1999-2006)' started by Swooz, May 14, 2008.

    Swooz guest

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    I just called a repair shop to see what maintenance items I need to take care of for my E46 with 75K miles. In addition to the standard coolant flush the tech highly recommended changing the 'lifetime' auto transmission fluid to the tune of about $400 bucks. I also have squeaking coming from the rear of the car and the tech said I probably need to change out the rear toe bushings and strut mounts. What next? Is anyone else having these issues at this mileage?
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    mjweimer

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    At 75k miles it is possible that the rear trailing arm bushings (toe bushings) are worn and need replaced. Same holds true for the upper shock mounts. Don't be surprised if they also find that your front lower control arm bushings are worn. These tend to last about 40k miles depending on the condition of the roads in your area.

    I would recommend that the auto trans fluid be changed at this mileage as well. If you price a reman transmission from your dealer you will be shocked at the cost. You could change the trans fluid 10 times and still be well under the cost of replacement if you include labor.

    I would also recommend that you change the auto trans fluid on 40-50k mile intervals thereafter and change the differential fluid at the same time.

    Most of the cost associated with the trans fluid change is the oil itself. It can run anywhere from $4-$11 a liter depending on which is specified for your transmission and it will hold about 10 liters or so.

    Matt
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    330indy1

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    agreed. this all seems fairly standard for the e46.

    Swooz guest

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    What is differential fluid and what does it do?
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    mjweimer

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    The rear differential fluid lubricates the bearings and gears in the rear differential.

    The rear differential is essentially the final step in getting the engines power to the rear wheels. (Very) Basically the differential is responsible for changing the direction of the power produced by the engine and directing it to the rear wheels.

    For more info see:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Differential_(mechanics)

    Matt
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    fwardell

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    Save a bundle. Buy your own trans and diff fluid (BavAuto has them) and washers if needed and take your E46 to a local independent mechanic for the change. My local BMW dealer balked at wanting to change the "lifetime" fluid in my 2001 325 CiC, trans and diff, so I did the above with a nearby Valvoline oil change service. In any event, do change these fluids if you plan to keep the car.
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    prcoop1953

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    Recently had my fluid and filter changed for the first time, at 100,000 on my 2004 325i. Dealer would not do it so I went to an independent shop. I paid $400 and plan to do the next change at 50,000. I recommend anyone buying a BMW to go with a more aggressive service schedule than the company line. I was sucked in like many others, but will not be fooled again. Let the dealer do their regular free maintenance on your warranty vehicle, but in-between find an independent and do what's right.

    I plan to go for 200,000 miles so it's time to do the service right. That means catching up on some items, I just hope it's not to late as I really want to reach that magic number.

    P.S. The transmission is feeling really good. :)
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    John in VA

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    prcoop - only 200K miles?!
    I went with the BG flush for our '00 328i with GM auto tranny at 60K miles - compatible fluid, and guaranteed from BG and the independent shop. Cost was $225 with the club discount.
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    prcoop1953

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    I like your price better than mine! :)

    P.S. Recently had rear coil springs replaced, one was cracked. 107,000 miles it was due to happen.

    cpoulton guest

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    Changed mine at 60k

    Just had my transmission fluid/filter changed to the tune of about 400 bucks (indy shop). They drained the fluid on day one - I drove it home then back and they drained it, replaced the filter and refilled it the second day. My 2002 330ci convertible had pretty bad looking fluid at 60k miles so we decided to run a double shot through to dilute the stuff left in the torque converter before changing the filter. ...running significantly better now. In fact I didn't realize how rough it was shifting until I had this done.

    my $0.02, your mileage may vary,

    Chris

    Mockingbird guest

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    Timely info as I'm about to have this done on my 2004 325ci w/ 78k. Now I know what to expect.

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