The longitudinally installed BMW E60 drivetrain came with a choice of three styles of transmission:
Manual 6-speed transmission with manual clutch.
Sequential manual 6-speed gearbox (SMG) with automatic computer controlled hydraulically operated clutch. SMG models are equipped with paddle-shift levers on the steering wheel.
Automatic 6-speed Steptronic transmission with choice of Normal, Sport or Manual mode. When Manual mode is engaged, the driver can upshift or downshift through gear ranges by flipping the shift lever forward or backward.
The manual and SMG transmissions are filled with manual transmission fluid, while the automatic is filled with ATF (automatic transmission fluid). BMW specifies "lifetime" fluid for all its transmissions and sometimes defines lifetime as 100,000 miles. I think 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.
BMW E60 models were equipped with a few different manual transmissions. Please see the table below. When servicing your fluid, check the label on the transmission that identifies the fluid your transmission requires. If you have any doubt, give our parts specialists a call. They can help you figure out which fluid is right for 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. You will also want to replace your fluid if you have repaired a leak.
E60 Manual Transmission Types
|525i 2004 - 2006||ZF 6HP19 type H|
|530i 2004 - 2007||ZF 6HP19 type H|
|525i, 528i 2006 - 2009||Getrag type I|
|525xi, 528xi, 530xi 2006: 2009||ZF 6HP19 type H|
|535i 2008 - 2009||ZF 6HP26 type G|
|535xi 2008 - 2009||ZF 6HP26 type G|
|545i 550i 2004 - 2009||ZF 6HP26 type G|
All of the E60 manual transmissions require about 1.5 Liters of fluid. I suggest having 2 liters on hand, in case you spill some.
Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.
Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.
Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.
Jack up all four corners of your vehicle. I suggest using four jack stands and slowly raising the vehicle to the required height. The vehicle needs to be level when checking and replacing fluid. Remove the splash shield. See our tech article on engine splash shield removal. Also consult the article on safely raising your vehicle. Whenever you work under your car, wear safety glasses.
Working at the right side of the transmission, remove the 17mm fill plug (yellow arrow). The fill plug can be tight. Use a ratchet with a long handle or a breaker bar if you cannot get it loose with a wrench. Next you will remove the drain plug (green arrow).
Using an 8mm Allen bit, remove the fill plug (green arrow).
Place a drain pan under the transmission and remove the 8mm Allen fluid drain plug (green arrow). Be sure your drain pan (yellow arrow) has a capacity of at least four liters. Once the fluid has drained, reinstall and tighten the drain plug.
Using a fluid pump (green arrow), fill the transmission until fluid flows out of the fill plug hole (yellow arrow). Then allow the fluid to run out until it flows out slowly from the bottom of the hole. Replace the fill plug if the seal is worn, as it is integrated into the plug (inset). Install the fill plug and tighten. The torque specs are as follows: M12 x 1.5 25 Nm (18 ft-lb), M18 x 1.5 35 Nm (26 ft-lb).