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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 05-12-2011, 11:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Auto Transmission: Too Full? Not Full Enough?

First time BMW owner here. I have a 1995 325i that's kind of a beater but she gets me to work every morning. Anyway, I had the transmission flushed at a shop recently. I read over the drain/fill procedure at Pelican Parts and knew it was something I could do myslf, but the shop has a machine that will completely flush everything including the torque convertor so I had them do it. They weren't a BMW specific shop and after talking to them when they were done I wasn't thoroughly convinced they knew exactly how much fluid to put back in it. Lesson learned, I know, but moving on...

Tonight I decided to check the level myself. I went over the DIY again at Pelican Parts and did exactly what they said. In fact, I even jacked the left side up a tad higher than the right side to move the fluid away from the fill plug to avoid making a mess. Anyway, I removed the plug and fluid GUSHED out! I probably lost an entire quart of fluid. So after it was done running down my arm and all over the garage floor, I took my little hand pump and forced about a half-quart of fluid back in it. I then took it out and drove it for about 15 miles on the freeway at first, then in town. I manually shifted from 1st to 2nd to 3rd a few times, stomped on the gas to make it downshift, and generally drove it like an a-hole. It still seemed to shift perfectly fine every time. No slipping, no shuddering (well, no more shuddering than it already did lol) and no leaks.

So my question is this: Given the fact that with the engine nice and hot (I had driven it home from work, about a half-hour before I started) the fluid leaked out of the fill plug right away instead of just a little or not at all, was it too full to begin with? And more importantly, is it full enough now?

Thanks for taking the time to read this and hopefully help me!
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Old 05-13-2011, 03:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It may have been slightly overfilled from the service. The hard part is getting the car up and level so that you can fill the trans properly, the fill plug is at the rear of the trans, so if the front of the car is slightly higher, it may tend to lay more toward the rear of the oil pan.
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