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Old 04-06-2004, 08:41 PM   #1
Mark VIII
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Ok, next question about my chick's 318Ti.

The car is a 1997 automatic with 94,000 miles. The tranny fluid has never been changed. How should it be done, and with what fluid? (in my Lincoln you have to use special fluid (mercon V) and make sure the person doing the work drains the torque convertor.)

I'm not going to change the fluid myself. Should I have a dealer do it, and what should I tell them to make sure they do while changing it? Do they flush it, or just drain and fill.

I'm sure BMW has 'special BMW tranny fluid' like they do with every other part on this car.

Thanks!
Ken
1997 BMW 318Ti
1993 Lincoln Mark VIII
1984 Chrysler LeBaron Turbo Convertible Mark Cross Edition
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Old 04-26-2004, 04:12 PM   #2
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Help! No hints on how, where, and when to change the auto tranny fluid for this car?

If I don't get any replies, I might take it to a dealer! (nobody wants that)

Thanks,
Ken
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Old 04-27-2004, 03:14 AM   #3
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Sorry. I don't know anything about automatics.

Don't they have 'lifetime' fluid?
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Old 04-27-2004, 04:33 AM   #4
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i thought it was "lifetime" as well....
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Old 04-27-2004, 05:48 AM   #5
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According to BMW and the owner's manual, both the automatic and manual transmissions have "lifetime" fluid fills. That only means that the life of your transmission is tied to how frequently you change it! If you never change the "lifetime" fluid it came with, you'll have a self-fulfilling prophecy and the fluid will certainly last the life of your transmission.

My car's previous owner changed the auto trans. fluid at 65k and again at 115k using BMW transmi$$ion fluid. That's part of the reason I felt comfortable enough to buy the car at 120k miles. It now has 124,000 and the transmission works beautifully. Most serious BMW techs tell you to change even the lifetime fills at 60,000 mile intervals.

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Old 04-27-2004, 05:50 AM   #6
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One problem with changing the fluid yourself is that there is no dipstick on these Turbohydromatic units. The BMW dealer "reads" the level on their diagnostic equipment.

-Phil
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Old 04-27-2004, 06:19 AM   #7
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Oddly enough, according to this web site:
http://www.nmia.com/~dgnrg/SD92-113.pdf

the correct fluid for these THM R1 automatics is normal stuff:

CASTROL DEXRON III - MERCON
TEXACO ATF MERCON - DEXRON III
LIFETIME FILL AS OF 9/95 VEHICLE PRODUCTION
UNICAL DEXRON III - D - “MULTI - PURPOSE ATF”

Fill capacity is listed as:
FILL CAPACITY: TRANSMISSION MODEL
THM-R1 (A4S 270R)
WITH TORQUE CONVERTER
8.8 LITERS
WITHOUT TORQUE CONVERTER
7.8 LITERS
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Old 04-27-2004, 03:18 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies!

If there is no dipstick how do you fill the fluid? 'lifetime fluid'!? Where do they come up with this stuff. My chick's car has 95,000 miles on it, and we'll probably keep it to 150,000-200,000 miles. There is no way the fluid won't break down after 200,000 miles...........but the transmission will.

This isn't something I was going to do myself, but I was hoping I could bring it to a local garage. I guess I'll look into a dealer doing this, unless I can find a BMW specialty garage.

Is the fluid in the rear 'lifetime' as well?

Ken
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Old 04-27-2004, 11:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark VIII

Is the fluid in the rear 'lifetime' as well?

Ken
Yes, which is exactly why you should replace it

Refilling the rear diff is easy though, you can do it yourself if you can get the back of the car safely in the air.
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Old 06-20-2004, 06:12 PM   #10
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There is no dip stick to check if its full or not. You must put the car in the air and check it while the car is running and the tranny has to be between a certian temp for the fluid check, its not an easy job. Also the tranny fluid from BMW is like 80.00 a quart for the lifetime stuff..
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Old 08-02-2004, 05:03 AM   #11
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To clear up some confussion on tranny fluid. The fluid in all Ti w/ auto says lifetime fill. The fluid is regular dextron 3. The same fluid that used to be changed @ InspII. You have to have the tranny hot and remove the plug (17mm head) on the drivers side up high on the pan. The fliud should trickle out. The special BMW fluid Turbo talks about is only in the 5 and 7 series cars and some M's. Those cars hold 13 - 14 liters at $65 a liter. Yes that is $850 worth of tranny fluid. As a BMW tech we do not change fliud on the ti trannys because it is listed as lifetime fluid, but it could only help. Any other questions just reply. Hope this helps someone.
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Old 08-03-2004, 04:06 PM   #12
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Use Mobil One ATF fluid. It is much cheaper than what you quote and is a great product.
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Old 08-04-2004, 03:45 PM   #13
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In my own cars I would, but as a BMW repair shop we sell the original fluid and nothing else. There are ways to save money to save a lot of money on repairs by doing it your self, but to be able to back your service and parts as a shop is not cheap
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