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Automatic Trans Fluid Replacing
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Automatic Trans Fluid Replacing

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

****

Tools:

Fluid pump, 17mm, 19mm wrench

Applicable Models:

BMW Z3 (1996-02)

Parts Required:

Automatic transmission fluid, Strainer, Gasket kit

Hot Tip:

Work on hard level surface.

Performance Gain:

Extend lifetime of your transmission

Complementary Modification:

Replace differential fluid

The automatic transmission fluid is normally filled with lifetime fluid. However, BMW does not define what the lifetime is. Therefore, it is a good idea to service your fluid every 60,000 miles. If you're unsure of the last service, replace the fluid as soon as possible. Doing so will extend the life of your transmission. There are many options for replacement fluid. Choose the best you can afford and be sure it meets BMW's current specifications for your vehicle. To determine the fluid that belongs in your transmission, check your owners manual, or give our parts specialists a call. You have two options when replacing, you can drain and fill the fluid, or you can drain the fluid and replace the fluid strainer by dropping the transmission fluid pan. For the first service, I usually drain and fill only, then the next one I would replace strainer. Replacing the strainer allows you to clean transmission fluid pan of dirt and debris. If replacing the strainer, I suggest removing and draining the small front sump also. Draining and filling will require about 3 liters of fluid, a complete service about 7 liters. Have extra on hand in the case you spill it.

In this tech article I will go over how to replace the strainer and drain and fill your transmission fluid.

Drive vehicle for about 3 miles to warm transmission fluid.

Jack up all four corners of your vehicle. I suggest using four jack stands and slowly raising vehicle to required height. Vehicle needs to be level when checking and replacing fluid. Please see our article on safely jacking up and supporting your vehicle.

This photo shows the sticker on the transmission pan that notes the fluid type and information (green arrow).
Figure 1

This photo shows the sticker on the transmission pan that notes the fluid type and information (green arrow).

Place drain pan under transmission and remove the 19mm fluid drain plug (green arrow).
Figure 2

Place drain pan under transmission and remove the 19mm fluid drain plug (green arrow). If you are only draining and filling the fluid, skip the next step. You will not have to remove the transmission oil pan. Reinstall and tighten drain plug to 18 ft-lbs once drained.

Once fluid is completely drained.
Figure 3

Once fluid is completely drained. Remove transmission pan mounting fasteners, there are sixteen 10mm fasteners (green arrows), for the main transmission pan. There are twelve 10mm fasteners for the small sump pan (yellow arrows). Before loosening these fasteners, clean all dirt and debris from bolt heads. Then remove transmission pans from transmission. Pull old gasket off transmission and discard. To remove strainer, remove bolt, then pull strainer down, be sure strainer O-ring comes out with strainer. If not, remove O-ring from transmission. Do we need a picture of this? Install new strainer in reverse order of removal and tighten fastener to 44 in-lbs. Then install transmission fluid pan and tighten fasteners to 9 ft-lbs.

Continue here if only performing a drain and fill - Measure amount of fluid drained from transmission.
Figure 4

Continue here if only performing a drain and fill - Measure amount of fluid drained from transmission. Remove 17mm Allen fill plug, green arrows point to fill plug location. Fill transmission with same amount of fluid that was drained. Start engine, then apply parking brake, hold your foot on brake pedal and shift transmission through all gears. This with circulate transmission fluid. Place transmission selector in Neutral, then remove fluid fill plug. Monitor transmission as it reaches a temperature of 100° F. You can check this with an infrared temperature gauge. If a small stream of fluid runs out of fill plug, fluid level is correct. If no fluid runs out, add oil until it starts to run out. Reinstall fill plug and tighten. Once complete I suggest driving car, then allowing to cool and rechecking fluid level. Now here's the tip, once you have filled the transmission with the same amount of fluid drained the level should be close to what it was. Start engine, move gear selector as noted above. With the transmission fluid still cold and fluid fill plug removed, monitor the temperature and fluid flow at fill plug. When the fluid warms up it will expand and should run out of fill plug, if it does not, add fluid until it starts to run out. Install fill plug and repeat once vehicle is cool.

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:08:01 AM