HELP!! 03 325xi transmission fluid check - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 02:32 PM
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HELP!! 03 325xi transmission fluid check

Hello all,

I'm trying to check the transmission fluid level on my XI.

I've located possible fill 2 plugs on the (GM) transmission. Neither of them match the descriptions I've read about on any of the forums.

They are both just above the top of the pan, in the cast aluminum body of the transmission. One has a shallow 17mm (or so) hex head, the other has a Torx style socket head.

The hex head is near the rear of the transmission on the passenger (right) side of the car, the other its near the front of the pan on the drivers (left) side of the car.

Front plug:

Rear plug:


I just opened the "rear" plug with the engine running and the transmission up to temp in park and fluid just started blowing out of it. I haven't opened the other plug yet.


Can anyone tell me which one I should be using????


Thank you!!
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#2 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 08:53 PM
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Which ever one is higher is the fill/check plug. The fluid level should be to the hieght of the top plug.

Having it warmed up is how you check the level, but I personally like to leave the engine off when im working on the car.


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#3 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 09:00 PM
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They are both at the exact same level. It seems that one of them is difficult to access without the front driveshaft removed, so the other is provided. Idk.
I'm pretty sure you are supposed to check the level with the engine running on any auto shift.
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#4 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 09:57 PM
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See if this link helps. Its the Online Technical Service manual, commonly known as the TIS.

BMW TIS Online • 3' E46 • 325xi (M54) Saloon • Automatic transmission


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#5 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 03:02 PM
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You cannot check any fluid levels with the motor running matey ! (except the diff and washer lol)


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#6 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dabsy View Post
You cannot check any fluid levels with the motor running matey ! (except the diff and washer lol)
While I appreciate the input, you are clearly ignorant on the topic. I finally found the Bentley manual and the plug I was using is the correct one. The car must be running in neutral during the fluid check. The transmission must reach just the right temperature (85-120F) in order for the level to be accurate.

To anyone looking to this thread for advice, it is the hex head plug near the shift cable on the right side near the rear of the pan.

Last edited by daytonatrbo; 02-20-2012 at 05:17 PM. Reason: iPhone+fat fingers=fail
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#7 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
you are clearly ignorant on the topic.
Not ignorant, misunderstood/read the question.

Whilst re-reading the post, I assume you do not have a dipstick to check your oil from under the bonnet (Excuse MY ignorance, I only ever had older BMWs). Your BMW would be fitted with a transmission not built to be tampered with by the layman and probably comes with one of those life time guarantee service-less jobbies yada yada. I would not check that whilst the engine is running yet I would allow time for the engine to warm up first. Also to check the oil level from the 'plug' your advised to stick your finger in the hole and if the engine is running, I don't fancy doing that much so. Well, I can think of things I would rather be doing then doing that. The film 'The Mangler' springs to mind.

Still learning about Auto transmissions as I've never owned one and don't intend to. Fascinating never the less. I guess I don't know enough to start prodding around like how I do with manuals

I wish you the best of luck and please post your findings

Last edited by DazH; 02-20-2012 at 06:17 PM. Reason: d0h!
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#8 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 06:29 PM
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Even if it had a dipstick, MOST if not all automatics are checked while the engine is running. The fluid drains down when the engine is off and if you pull the fill plug after the car has been resting a while you will dump about 2 quarts on the ground. This isn't a BMW thing, it's an automatic transmission thing. My Isuzu rodeo transmission is exactly the same way (in fact it has the same gm trans as some e36's)

I don't want answers from people who don't know what they are talking about. I want answers from people who have done it. Clearly this is the wrong forum for that type of person. I'll go sign up for bimmerforum or one of the others.
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#9 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daytonatrbo View Post

I don't want answers from people who don't know what they are talking about. I want answers from people who have done it. Clearly this is the wrong forum for that type of person. I'll go sign up for bimmerforum or one of the others.
Haha, you come here asking for help on an issue you don't know about and chastidize people who are trying to help you. Dabsy is definitkey not ignorant on the topic. It is you who is ignorant for not willing to listen to someone else.

People like you don't belong here if that's your attitude. I'm sure your attitude will fit in well at Bimmerforums. I don't care if you ever read this or not, but you probably overstayed your welcome.


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#10 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 02:53 PM
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???
That went down well, Bimmerforums - Nah, The Muppet Show

I'm not bitter, thanks Vader !!

BTW, daytonatrbo, glad you found it


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Last edited by Jack Dabsy; 02-21-2012 at 02:58 PM.
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#11 (permalink) Old 04-04-2012, 10:30 AM
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2 fill plugs to bmw transmission - pressure and fill/measure

Quote:
Originally Posted by daytonatrbo View Post
Hello all,

I'm trying to check the transmission fluid level on my XI.

I've located possible fill 2 plugs on the (GM) transmission. Neither of them match the descriptions I've read about on any of the forums.

I just opened the "rear" plug with the engine running and the transmission up to temp in park and fluid just started blowing out of it. I haven't opened the other plug yet.


Can anyone tell me which one I should be using????


Thank you!!
I'm assuming a response now is too late to benefit you, though it appears you figured it out (however I'm having difficulty following your conclusion) , but hopefully it can help someone else who runs into a similar problem

I can reassure you the plug that shows an extreme pressure release (if this is what you meant when you said "fluid just started blowing out of it") when opening is NOT the correct fill plug. Though this plug can technically be used to fill the transmission with fluid (car must be OFF or it will release massive pressure) it is not the correct way to refill and achieve a proper fluid measurement. The car must be at idle, in park and at proper temp for measurement). Unfortunately there's limited information about this 2nd plug on the internet and some people mistake this for the fill plug. I was one of them That 2nd plug is for reading the pressure of the trans/valve body. It is NOT the fill plug.

The fill plug for my 2005 BMW 330i is a T-45 torx (understand the e46's have different transmissions so your fill plug may be a different size). This site will show you info on the fill plug and a picture BMW E46 330CI Auto Transmission Change

There is limited space so you must improvise. My solution was to insert the tip of a t45 socket into a 8mm closed wrench (my t45 happened to be this thick yours may be different) and than place the t45 into the fill plug. As the wrench is now attached to the t45 I than used a rubber mallet (start easy) to break the fill plug free. It worked great and loosened the fill plug after the 2nd strike.

So in short, you open your fill plug and fluid spews out and sounds like an air hose think twice before you proceed. It very well is the wrong plug.
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#12 (permalink) Old 04-04-2012, 11:32 AM
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Excellent information. It may be too late for the OP but it will certainly help other people reading this in the future.


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#13 (permalink) Old 10-03-2012, 11:23 PM
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I serviced the GM trans in my 03 325xi and used the hex plug the OP has pictured to refill the trans. Filled till it ran out with the engine off and then topped off with the engine running after a short warm up per the DIY from Bav Auto.


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#14 (permalink) Old 05-03-2014, 12:15 PM
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Just in case anyone else comes looking for an answer:

Since making this post, I have gone on to change the fluid and filter in my transmission, and while I had the pan off, I discovered the secret to the mystery.

The plug in my first pic is the standard fill plug for the GM transmission. However, the front driveshaft blocks access to this plug. The second picture shows a plug that seems to be unique to the AWD chassis for this reason. It accesses the same cavity and at the same level as the standard plug, but it is accessible without removing the front driveshaft.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Vader View Post
Haha, you come here asking for help on an issue you don't know about and chastidize people who are trying to help you. Dabsy is definitkey not ignorant on the topic. It is you who is ignorant for not willing to listen to someone else.

People like you don't belong here if that's your attitude. I'm sure your attitude will fit in well at Bimmerforums. I don't care if you ever read this or not, but you probably overstayed your welcome.
I agree that my attitude was crappy, but I don't appreciate the tone of condescension coming from someone that is not only wrong, but vehemently wrong. Anyone thats ever worked on an automatic transmission knows that you check the level with the engine running. Your comment about working on the car with the engine off was no more helpful.

I may have been ignorant on the specifics of which plug to use, but if I had listened to the poster I would have dumped almost a gallon of ATF on the ground by removing the plug with the engine off. I am not ignorant to general automotive maintenance.
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