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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 06-17-2004, 09:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Some people said we don't need to change ATF for E36 model because its lifetime with the car and will damage the tranny. However, I heard some members changed ATF and their car still running well with out any problems. Just wondering should we change the ATF?

The reason that I start this thread because my 95 E36 have some problem on the tranny. The problem is sometime the car running like in "N" but actually is in "D", only the rpm rise but the car cannot go. A mechanic told me I should not change ATF but it does this happen before I change ATF. He said this problem can be fix but now you changed the ATF. The only way is replace a new tranny.

Any members, Bimmer's expert, and machanic can share their opinion?
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Old 06-17-2004, 11:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I just bought a '95 318i with 115,000 miles and it my habit to change all the fluids when I buy a used car. When I researched this trans-topic it was clear to me at least that many had opinions but no one had any facts.

In my case I decided to skip changing the trans fluid because I was pretty sure that it had been done as part of the BMW maintenance or warranty claim on the trans on my car at about 60,000 miles.

The Haynes manual describes it as a pretty ordinary change except for, get the car perfectly level, and then, recheck the fluid level when the trans is warm not hot at 105 to 135 degrees. If you do a search you will get plenty of advice.

If the trans is slipping in your car, it is way too late for a fluid change to make any difference. But maybe the gear selector is a little off, so look closely at that first, from end to end. Troubleshooting hierarchy: first look at mechanical objects, second at fluids, and third at electrics.
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Old 06-18-2004, 12:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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What problem cause tranny slipping? Its happen on my car before I changed the ATF.
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Old 06-18-2004, 12:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Read This Thread
and read This thread
and finally, check This thread...
BTW, Be sure you havn't engaged the manual gear selection mode, (the switch next to the gear selecter with A and M on it, should light up when M is pressed) otherwise the transmission wont shift gears until you tell it to. If that's not the problem, Try driving the car in manual mode, shift gears just like you would in a manual car (you don't have to let off the accelerator when shifting, it does that for you) and see if it "slips" as bad.

I have this slipping problem too. I self-diagnosed it to be the torque converter and I need a replacement to "fix" it.
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Old 06-18-2004, 12:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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No, I never use the A/M mode coz its useless. Nothing different for the A/M mode, I cannot feel any different
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Old 06-18-2004, 10:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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In M mode you shift 1/2/3/d=4

there is a diffrence if you don't feel it something is wrong.
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Old 06-18-2004, 10:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I had a similar problem on my AT 93' 325i. I would lose power and it felt like the transmission was slipping. But my transmission light would come on when it happened (looks like a gear with a '!' in the middle and appears in the bottom center of your instrument panel). The dealership said it was an EPROM that needed to be upgraded and they replaced it for a couple hundred bucks. I haven't had the problem since.
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Old 06-18-2004, 11:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If you press the M and try to start from a standstill with the selector in D (4th gear) then it's going to feel like you have a 15 Hp. engine in the car.


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Old 06-18-2004, 12:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I had the same problem as 123notit. But it only did that once then it went away. But my car always starts hard and the idling RPMs go down when I use a window or something mechanical. I was thinking that my alternator was going out, but could it be an EPROM? and what is an EPROM?
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