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Old 04-27-2009, 12:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Please tell me how to check TRANSMISSION FLUID in my 2001 BMW 740i

I want to check the transmission fluid of my 2001 740i. It is the M sport version. I cannot find a dipstick or something that I can check the transmission fluid level..and quality with. Someone please let me know.
Thanks a lot!!!
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Old 04-27-2009, 02:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Model would be good, E38 or E65, Ive only worked on the E38 so if you do have an E65 I would presume there not to different.

Get the car up in the air, it must be LEVEL.

On the side of the box at the rear you will see a plug which takes a hex key.

Start the car up put it in 'N' undo the plug and some fluid should run out if it does its good if not it needs to be topped up with the correct fluid which should be on a sticker on the bottom of the pan.

Please note: automatic boxes do not consume fluid so unless you have got a leak it will be at level from the factory.

BMW advise that its a life time sealed unit not correct ZF whom make the boxes advise, Fluid & filter change @ 80,000 miles and thereafter every 30,000 miles.

I have service instructions for the E38 which I would say will be the same for the E65 if required
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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check transmission oil!!

thanks for your prompt reply. yes...it is the e38. is there any way to check it from up top? and do you think you really have to change it...at 80k miles. is it ok if i let it run till 100k
thx
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Old 04-28-2009, 02:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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100k is the end of BMW warranty hence that's their " sealed for life " statement as most start to play up after the 100k mark hence big bucks for BM to replace as you are then out of warranty, so its up to you if you want to go to 100k, Ive just changed my box single handed with a used box with 78K on it and its just magic, I have changed the fluid twice in a month and will do one more in two weeks then the next @ 110K.

Your risk !!, if you are prepared and are able to do a box change, fine but why risk it ??........if DIY f&f change $100

look at ebay now and again US & UK and see how many 7's and 5's say gearbox fault or stuck in limp mode...........box! and look at the mileage always just around 80-140K yet my mate's has got 260k and runs silky smooth ...why? you know the answer

and no im afraid no way of checking it from above.

Sorry to sound a bit harsh, but until you have your box die on you ...........
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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So is the Auto trans service something that any gearbox specialist can do, or does it need to go back through a BMW specialist? I am with you in keeping clean oil in automatic transmissions, if the oil is dark or has a burnt odor about it, it is well and truly due for a change. Is there anything else apart from the filter and oil that needs to be attended to when a service is being performed?
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Old 08-08-2009, 07:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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All thats needed to be changed is the fluid , filter, gasket and 'O' ring, you will only get this lot from BMW dealership , you can get the fluid else where DexronIII full synthetic.

Any gearbox specialist should be able to undertake the job, however there is a correct way to refill, if you would like instrutions please PM me.
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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marti5, i've done what you said above when i bought my used e38 now i've the problem where my tranny is lazy when its cold and even a slight sqeek from i think 1st to 2nd gear but when its warmed up its fine so i called my mechanic who works for bmw to have him check it over and i explained how i changed my fluid, flitter ect. his reply was "omg you shouldn't have done that , thats lifetime fluid from bimmer and no one should change it, you might have screwed it up"
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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That's a total load of ...you know what!!! seriously. Yes its lifetime fluid for 80,000-100,000 miles then your box dies, Ive been to ZF whom make the boxes so why would they change the fluid ????

My visit at ZF Dortmund for Gearbox maintenance.(very, very long!) HUGH RESULT!!

Here are my instructions, which obviously wrote from watching the whole process in the in the ZF workshop:

To change auto gearbox Fluid and filter on an E38 you will need:

1) a torx T20 socket for the pan screws and filter screws (male)

2) a H8 Hex socket for the drain and fill plug (male)

3) a minimum 7.5ltrs Fuchs TITAN ATF 4000 or Esso LT 71141

4) a new filter ( BMW )

5) new pan gasket ( BMW )

6) a garden sprayer ( to refill, works brill )

7) a suitable container for draining fluid and rags.



How to:

> car up minimum 400mm

> Start up.. 10mins turn off

> remove bottom plug and drain fluid / BEWARE HOT FLUID BURNS !! / safety goggles required

> replace pan plug

> remove all pan screws / clips that hold wires to the pan/ be careful there will be fluid still in the pan!!

> remove the 2 filter screws / there will be fluid left in the filter !!

> clean out pan and the four magnets/ lint free cloth / degreaser or brake cleaner

> clean surfaces for gasket

> screw in new filter / make sure its in flat and take care to get the 'O' ring in correct

> replace the four magnets

> place gasket on pan with a little fluid / replace pan

> Undo fill plug / drivers side rear

> start filling until fluid dribbles out / replace plug finger tight

> start car... go through all gear selections slowly 3 times keeping foot on brake / then in 'P' turn off after 10 mins

> undo filler plug fill some more until dribble comes out / plug back in finger tight

> Start car put in 'N' ....now be careful not to burn yourself!! whilst car running (Air-con on full blast) undo filler plug put more fluid in until it dribbles out again, put filler plug in and tighten.

> All done car down, fluid to a designated place!!

> Time for a cup of tea / can of beer or a ciggy

Note: the entire box takes 10 ltrs, but you will not require this as the torque converter will still be half full and also the valve control body also contains more, I would say that a 7.5 ltr can will be enough, but please don't quote me!!

--------------------

As for your shift problem when cold.......this is easy....but your bmw mechanic should have told you this the EGS and ECU work together, so when cold it will not let you race through the gears 1 & 2 until the ATF has reached temp and the EGS has determined the correct temp has been reached ( safety feature), if you start your car and let it idle for say 5 minutes you should see a difference, if not go back to your friend and ask him to reset the EGS adaptations, if this doesn't sort it I would say check the fluid level is correct as per fill instructions above.

Oh...as for the Squeak that will not be coming from inside the box....mounting maybe..definetly not the box.....

Just to add....Ive now changed mine 3 times with no ill effects and Ive also guided over 50 people in doing the same with no problems...but if it continues after the above..get back to me by PM its easier to find than searching through the forum.

Regards,

Marti.
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:14 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The 5 min iddle thing works like i said the problem only happens when its cold but does that mean it needs reset?
it dosnt seem normal, my e53 thank god never has a problem and i also had the tranny fluid changed on it but i got it done at maybe 95k while the e38 was done at 135k because i bought it used. oh i just also remembered before the e38's tranny fluid was changed "trans fail safe mode" came up on the warning display a few times but it never give a problem as to driving.

Thanks
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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As said get the EGS adaptations reset, I would still get the fluid level checked...following the fill instructions above and as you had "trans fail safe mode" appear a few times prior to the fluid change this points me in the direction of the Valve control body the little marbles in the brain (as in the ZF Dortmund link) wear over time and get stuck for a while in their channels, this is probably why your having a problem from start off when cold, you do have ZF places in the USA who can do a rebuild of the VCB.
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Old 12-15-2009, 05:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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is a filter and fluid change done in a service inspection 1 or 2. i have 92000 on my 740iL and wonder if mine has been done.
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:39 AM   #12 (permalink)
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is a filter and fluid change done in a service inspection 1 or 2. i have 92000 on my 740iL and wonder if mine has been done.
No, Bmw wont do it, even if you ask, you have to diy or get a BM specialist to do it and not a normal garage as you have 92k on the clock I would recommend you get it done most boxes fail after the 100k mark.....when BMW warranties finish
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Old 12-23-2009, 01:46 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Checking your car's automatic transmission fluid (ATF) every month and whenever the transmission isn't shifting smoothly is necessary to optimize performance of many components of your vehicle.
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Old 12-23-2009, 04:11 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Checking your car's automatic transmission fluid (ATF) every month and whenever the transmission isn't shifting smoothly is necessary to optimize performance of many components of your vehicle.
Not that easy on a 7 & 5 series though as no dipstick, the car has to be raised level, running in 'N' and undo the fill plug to check the level.
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