BMW 1 Series Coupe Forum / 1 Series Convertible Forum (1M / tii / 135i / 128i / Coupe / Cabrio / Hatchback) (BMW E82 E88 128i 130i 135i)
 





 

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      10-21-2015, 04:55 PM   #1
Fast.asleep
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Reliability of the GM auto?

new guy saying Hi

After an inatentive driver totalled my mint 328is I've been looking for a new car. The Newer 3 series are too long for my tastes but the 1 series is perfect.

I'm looking at a 128i that is exactly the vehicle I want except it has that GM 6 speed auto. My 328 had a GM auto as well and it was OK but it wasn't the best tranny. (Yes I'd prefer a 6mt but at this price I'll live with a girlomatic)

I don't want this to become a auto vs manual thread but I have to know:

How good are these GM auto's as far as reliability?

Will
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      10-21-2015, 05:04 PM   #2
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They are fine. IF you will keep the car for a long time... perhaps change the ATF and pan filter. But the GM transmissions are robust.
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      10-21-2015, 10:53 PM   #3
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How safe is it for the transmission driving it in "Sport" mode? (Nothing killed the e36 GM tranny faster than "manual mode")
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      10-26-2015, 01:49 PM   #4
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Change the fluid and filter every 50,000 miles and the GM autos are just fine.
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      10-26-2015, 02:02 PM   #5
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Get a manual, problem solved.
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      10-26-2015, 02:45 PM   #6
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Isn't this the same transmission as the Cadillac CTS V6? With 335hp or more? Seems it ought to easily handle the 230hp of the 128i.

I drive a manual but my wife lovers her automatic. Hers is a 2013 so not a lot of miles but they have been trouble free.
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      10-27-2015, 04:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast.asleep View Post
How safe is it for the transmission driving it in "Sport" mode? (Nothing killed the e36 GM tranny faster than "manual mode")
I would love to hear opinions on this. I gave my 2007 328i to my son and he loves to drive in manual mode. How long will the tranny last? It has 118,000 on it now.
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      10-27-2015, 04:59 PM   #8
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Really don't see how driving in manual mode would affect life. May actually make it better due to less slipping of the clutches.
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      10-29-2015, 02:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyMouseTech View Post
Get a manual, problem solved.
I prefer manuals. Even tried teaching the wife. She promptly killed the clutch. She might have been telling me something...


Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyMouseTech View Post
Really don't see how driving in manual mode would affect life. May actually make it better due to less slipping of the clutches.
It was years ago and I don't recall the specifics but I believe it was a combination of increased heat and pressures higher than the tranny was designed for destroying the seals. BMW designed manual mode for holding a gear for hills and such.
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      10-29-2015, 02:08 PM   #10
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owned my 2008 128i since 24k miles. just flipped 100k the other day. had trans fluid, filter, gasket changed about 5k miles ago. no problems. plan to go another 100k!
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      10-29-2015, 02:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyMouseTech
Really don't see how driving in manual mode would affect life. May actually make it better due to less slipping of the clutches.
The GM tranny on the x28 models has no clutch(s). It uses a torque converter. The only transmission with clutches on a 1 series is the 135i 2011+ equipped with the DCT, or a 335is, with DCT within the E8x and E9x chassis range.

As for wear, well torque converter + software. The software will prevent you from doing stupid things you can in a 6MT like shifting into 2nd on the highway. The torque converter will absorb extra stress via transmission fluid and impeller/turbine should something odd happen, but now we're back to the software which rev matches (pretty accurately too) anyway...

I used to have a 3 series with the GM 6AT trans and looked into it a fair deal. If you want to add paddles it's actually not that difficult either, I made a DIY, it's in both the 1addicts and E90 post DIY sections.

Good choice with the 1er OP!

EDIT: on the note of wear, it's well documented that over time the push/pull wears through one of the wires which registers a shift up/down request in MS mode.

It's an easy enough fix if you're any good with soldering and the design appeared to be improved on the LCI models - this was the case with the E90 at least. I wouldn't worry or change your driving habits, but it's something to be aware of should your up or down shift in MS stop working suddenly.
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      10-29-2015, 03:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1AddictsAnonymous View Post
The GM tranny on the x28 models has no clutch(s). It uses a torque converter. The only transmission with clutches on a 1 series is the 135i 2011+ equipped with the DCT, or a 335is, with DCT within the E8x and E9x chassis range.

As for wear, well torque converter + software. The software will prevent you from doing stupid things you can in a 6MT like shifting into 2nd on the highway. The torque converter will absorb extra stress via transmission fluid and impeller/turbine should something odd happen, but now we're back to the software which rev matches (pretty accurately too) anyway...

I used to have a 3 series with the GM 6AT trans and looked into it a fair deal. If you want to add paddles it's actually not that difficult either, I made a DIY, it's in both the 1addicts and E90 post DIY sections.

Good choice with the 1er OP!

EDIT: on the note of wear, it's well documented that over time the push/pull wears through one of the wires which registers a shift up/down request in MS mode.

It's an easy enough fix if you're any good with soldering and the design appeared to be improved on the LCI models - this was the case with the E90 at least. I wouldn't worry or change your driving habits, but it's something to be aware of should your up or down shift in MS stop working suddenly.
All transmissions use some kind of clutch. Has to be able to hold the sun gear some how.
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      10-29-2015, 08:05 PM   #13
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These are the kind of clutch plates Mighty Mouse is talking about. All automatic transmissions have multiple clutch packs similar to this.
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      10-30-2015, 11:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coleroad View Post
These are the kind of clutch plates Mighty Mouse is talking about. All automatic transmissions have multiple clutch packs similar to this.
Exactly. In order for any kind of transmission to engage and disengage anything, there must be a clutch of some kind.

Honda is different in that their automatics look more like a manual inside. Instead of a syncro, there is a clutch on each gear.

Not saying it is better or worse, just different. Most auto's are more like the GM verison with clutch packs and bands operating on a planetary gear set.
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      11-02-2015, 12:57 PM   #15
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I don't worry much about conventional automatics. It's possible to mess them up but there isn't much excuse after >50 years of use. Normally they work pretty well. But DCTs and CVTs are newer designs and I would worry more about them.
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      11-02-2015, 01:16 PM   #16
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My ex-wife drove a 2002 X5 for a number of years. GM 5spd auto. I replaced the ATF in that thing a few times over the years (using the exact same Texaco ATF used by GM) and that tranny was robust until she finally sold the car.

I would be leery of buying a slushbox with over 50K miles on it unless there were trusted service records showing an ATF change.
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