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BMW E39 Manual Transmission Fluid Change
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW E39 Manual Transmission Fluid Change

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$40

Talent:

**

Tools:

Drive socket

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i Sedan/Wagon (2001-03)
BMW 528i Sedan/Wagon (1997-00)
BMW 530i Sedan (2001-03)
BMW 540i Sedan/Wagon (1997-03)

Parts Required:

Oil

Hot Tip:

Drive the vehicle to make the fluid hotter so more will drain out

Performance Gain:

Help extend gearbox life and improve shifting

Complementary Modification:

Change engine oil at the same time

Like any component in the drivetrain your manual gearbox takes a beating, especially if you drive hard. Your gearbox is responsible for transmitting all of your engines horsepower to your driveshaft, rear differential and finally the rear wheels. Within your gearbox gears are mounted to and input and output shaft. These shaft hold gears that mesh with each other and transfer power from the input shaft to the output shaft. As the gears mess they break the polymer chains that give oil its viscosity. Over time the oil will get thinner and allow the gears to wear against one another. The same wear will occur on the shift dogs and the synchronizers, which will reduce smooth shifting. In this tech article we will go over all the steps to replace your manual gearbox oil and restore smooth shifting and extend the life of your gearbox.

In order to access your manual gearbox you need to lift the vehicle. See our tech article on jacking up and supporting your vehicle.

Here we are under the car at the bottom of the transmission.
Figure 1

Here we are under the car at the bottom of the transmission. At the bottom of the transmission and on the left side identify the two 18mm plugs (green arrows) on the manual gearbox.

Remove the 18mm plug on the left side of the gearbox.
Figure 2

Remove the 18mm plug on the left side of the gearbox. This is the fill plug, it is always a good idea to make sure you can remove the fill plug before you drain anything

Place a drain pan that can hold more than 2 liters under the middle of the gearbox.
Figure 3

Place a drain pan that can hold more than 2 liters under the middle of the gearbox. Remove the 18mm drain plug from the bottom of the gearbox and allow fluid to drain out.

Install the 18mm plug to the bottom of the gearbox.
Figure 4

Install the 18mm plug to the bottom of the gearbox.

Use a suitable hose or fill tool to pump fluid into the side fill plug hole.
Figure 5

Use a suitable hose or fill tool to pump fluid into the side fill plug hole. Continue to pump into the hole until it starts to drip out

Fit and tighten the 18mm fill plug (green arrows) on the left side of the gearbox.
Figure 6

Fit and tighten the 18mm fill plug (green arrows) on the left side of the gearbox. Make sure both plugs are torqued to 50ft/lbs. Start the engine and let the car come up to operating temperature. Go on a test drive to verify you can shift gears.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Doppleganger Comments: Manual 01 525i here.
Was shifting from 1st to 2nd when it slipped out of 2nd and now I get no engagement from 2nd. There was a thud when it slipped but no grinding.
Any helpful input would be appreciated.
November 14, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: it's worth checking if the linkage is the issue. Detach it and see if you can manually shift the trans. If not, the trans has an internal problem and will need disassembly to diagnose. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Chivaz. Comments: i have bmw328i automatic dolphin shape 1995/96 model.My problem is it is not taking gears.gear 1,2 and reverse are working bt 3,4 and 5 are not workng instead it just pick up revs.what could be the problem?i need your help please.
August 18, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You could have a faulty shift linkage or clutch that will not engage. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Sun 5/28/2017 02:07:16 AM