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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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Old 10-11-2012, 12:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Transmission fluid change for 323i

I'm pretty new to this so bare with me. I have a 2000 BMW 323i manual transmission and I was wondering if there is any difference between changing transmission fluid/rear differential fluid for automatic and manual transmissions?

I've been meaning to change these fluids myself for awhile now since I have 107k miles now and I haven't changed it since I got the car. I've been doing some research on the internet and im getting a little confused on the different fluids, transmission oil filters, etc.

If someone could please clarify this for me and tell me exactly what I need to get and do as far as procedure goes, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Its quite straight forward. First, you need to figure out what transmission model you have. Not auto or manual, but the actual type of transmission. Their should, key word being should, be a sticker on the bottom of the transmission pan. This sticker will tell you what transmission fluid to use based on which one you have. A green label generally denotes that Dexron III ATF is sufficent.

This is what the sticker on my 98 E36 looks like. Ignore the "lifetime fill" crap.


The vehicle needs to be level, and the fluid needs to be warmed up to operating temp before being drained. Always make sure you can remove the fill plug before you remove the drain plug. The link below is for a good DIY:

ATF Change DIY/FAQ (Pictures) - E46Fanatics

This is a thread about how the fluid isnt lifetime. Good read, but not too relevant.
The Verdict Is Here: E46 Auto Transmission Fluid Change (Pics and Lab Report) - E46Fanatics
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