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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 05-02-2012, 12:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Transmission Fluid and Filter

I am looking to change the transmission the fluid on a 1997 BMW 528i - is there is a filter to be changed as well? What kind of transmission fluid do I need? Thanks!
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes their is a filter contained within the transmission pan. I recommend getting an OEM filter as some people have reported the aftermarket filters failing and causing issues.

Pelican Parts, ECS Tuning, and Bav Auto all sell transmission fluid change kits to make it easier. Their is a lot of information about what transmission fluid is best, as a lot of people have their own personal preference.

For the E39 with A4S 270R transmission Castrol Dexron III is the approved fluid. As long as it meets Esso LT 71141 specification you should be fine.

http://www.bmwtips.com/tipsntricks/T...M1999Chart.jpg

Here is some excellent reading material below, including a letter from Valvoline stating their product meets the LT71141 standard:
http://www.e38.org/Mercon%20V%20ATF%20Letter.pdf

This is for the E46, but their is a lot of excellent information contained here:
E46 ZF Automatic Transmission ATF Fluid & Filter Change DIY - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

And this is the Pelican Parts DIY article for the fluid change. Although it says E36, the A4S 270R and A4S 310R are pretty much identical so the procedure is the same.
Pelican Technical Article: BMW Automatic Transmission Fluid Change
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome to the Werkz.

I think LV covered it pretty well above, another useful site is BMW TIS Online • 5' E39 • 528i (M52TU) Saloon • Automatic transmission
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks LV for sharing. I will be bringing my car in to an auto shop to change the transmission fluid. Another auto shop told me that id they do a transmission flush, they usually change the pan gasket and filter. Is it necessary to change the pan gasket as well?
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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DONT do a "flush". A flush involves spraying fluid into the transmission at a high pressure. This usually causes parts to become dislodged and can cause damage to the transmission. Numerous people advocate agianst a flush for this reason.

The safest thing to do, is drop the pan and change the filter and fluid, drive for 500 or so miles, and then drain the fluid and refill. This results in getting ride of 91% of the old fluid. You could do it a third time for a 98% change rate, but im sure 91% should be sufficient.

Yes, you do need to change the gasket as they are in a sense "one time use". Its cheaper to replace the gasket once then worry about it leaking after that. Also their are magnets in the oil which collect gunk and need to be cleaned out.
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Old 05-05-2012, 05:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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just completed this project last weeken.. Pelican parts has excellent prices.

here are the part numbers that i use on my 97 528i with the green sticker on trans..

09-2043-004 transmission filter kit it include 1. trans gaskets and 1. tarq/converter gasket and all new bolts approx $27.00

09-9517-040 ATF oil dex.III you need (2) 5qt containers approx $30.00 each
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks LV for the advice, I will be bringing the car to my mechanic to change the transmission fluid, filter and the 2 pan gaskets. Not sure if I can get it drained after 500 miles.

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DONT do a "flush". A flush involves spraying fluid into the transmission at a high pressure. This usually causes parts to become dislodged and can cause damage to the transmission. Numerous people advocate agianst a flush for this reason.

The safest thing to do, is drop the pan and change the filter and fluid, drive for 500 or so miles, and then drain the fluid and refill. This results in getting ride of 91% of the old fluid. You could do it a third time for a 98% change rate, but im sure 91% should be sufficient.

Yes, you do need to change the gasket as they are in a sense "one time use". Its cheaper to replace the gasket once then worry about it leaking after that. Also their are magnets in the oil which collect gunk and need to be cleaned out.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I called one BMW dealer and they told me that I only need 5qt of the Dexron III. Another dealer told me that there are different kinds of dexron III and I would need to check the number under the car to let them know. Is it true that there are different variations of Dexron III?

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just completed this project last weeken.. Pelican parts has excellent prices.

here are the part numbers that i use on my 97 528i with the green sticker on trans..

09-2043-004 transmission filter kit it include 1. trans gaskets and 1. tarq/converter gasket and all new bolts approx $27.00

09-9517-040 ATF oil dex.III you need (2) 5qt containers approx $30.00 each
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Dexron is actually no longer a trade named owned by Chevron. Therefore different manufacturers have slightly different tolerances on what is "Dexron III". The OEM BMW fluid, VW/Porsche fluid, and Castrol are all good choices and are approved fluids. Castrol is more readily available at most auto parts stores, but depending on your area the VW fluid may be cheaper. I prefer to bring my own fluid as I know exactly what is going into the car, but just make sure you specifically ask for the bottles back. Some places have been known to take customers high end fluid and substitute it for cheap no name fluid and then resell the supplied fluid. Bad? Yea but unfortunately it happens. Which is why ido it all myself.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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That's what I intend to do - bring my own fluid to the mechanic. They allow to stand there and inspect while they work on my car. That's why I go to them

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Originally Posted by Lord Vader View Post
Dexron is actually no longer a trade named owned by Chevron. Therefore different manufacturers have slightly different tolerances on what is "Dexron III". The OEM BMW fluid, VW/Porsche fluid, and Castrol are all good choices and are approved fluids. Castrol is more readily available at most auto parts stores, but depending on your area the VW fluid may be cheaper. I prefer to bring my own fluid as I know exactly what is going into the car, but just make sure you specifically ask for the bottles back. Some places have been known to take customers high end fluid and substitute it for cheap no name fluid and then resell the supplied fluid. Bad? Yea but unfortunately it happens. Which is why ido it all myself.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:28 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
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That's what I intend to do - bring my own fluid to the mechanic. They allow to stand there and inspect while they work on my car. That's why I go to them
That's definitley a top notch guy then. Always good to find good mechanics nowadays.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:43 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re the fluid, I have been using Pentosin ATF tranny fluid for the past 3+ years. It shifts appreciably smoother. Expensive, but a small price to pay for durablity, IMHO. More reasonable at AutohausAz.com, but local O'Reilly has is few in stock for top offs.

I have been changing the fluid every 30K miles as recommended, and tranny is perfect at 158K miles. No residue at the last change after 30K miles, including a cross country trip in August.
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