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      10-02-2008, 01:03 PM   #1
jkp1187
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Question about steptronic maintenance

As some of you know, I'm thinking about buying a 128i or 135i with steptronic in the near future (via European Delivery). This will be my first BMW, and I understand that the automatic transmissions (supposedly) do not require any maintenance.

Is this correct?

Even if I wanted to have the fluid/filter changed, could this be done (at the dealer or at an independent shop)? How much should I expect to pay for this?

Is there anything else I should be aware of concerning these transmissions that may be different from the other automatic transmissions I've dealt with from other makers?

Should I just buckle down and learn how to drive a manual if I want long-term reliability? Having driven nothing but slushboxes all my life, I'm not sure if I want to do this....all the more so b/c the first time I drive the car will be in Europe! My wife thinks I'll hate every minute of it since it'll be a daily driver.... But saving the money I'd otherwise spend on the Steptronic is appealing.

Thanks.
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      10-03-2008, 11:44 AM   #2
Tom K.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkp1187 View Post
As some of you know, I'm thinking about buying a 128i or 135i with steptronic in the near future (via European Delivery). This will be my first BMW, and I understand that the automatic transmissions (supposedly) do not require any maintenance.

Is this correct?

Even if I wanted to have the fluid/filter changed, could this be done (at the dealer or at an independent shop)? How much should I expect to pay for this?

Is there anything else I should be aware of concerning these transmissions that may be different from the other automatic transmissions I've dealt with from other makers?

Should I just buckle down and learn how to drive a manual if I want long-term reliability? Having driven nothing but slushboxes all my life, I'm not sure if I want to do this....all the more so b/c the first time I drive the car will be in Europe! My wife thinks I'll hate every minute of it since it'll be a daily driver.... But saving the money I'd otherwise spend on the Steptronic is appealing.

Thanks.
I suggest you check with your dealer's service dept. as to the cost of a stepronic fluid change. After they tell you it's lifetime fluid, they should be able to quote a figure. When I had the fluid changed in my E46 manual transmission, I was originally told that the fluid was around $300 (plus 1 hour labor) - However, I later found out that this was the price for an automatic. I subsequently bought 2 quarts of Redline MTL for about $30 and had the dealer change it for the hour's labor charge.

Whatever the price, it won't be included in the 50k free maintenance and probably is unneccessary for at least that period.
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      10-03-2008, 11:48 AM   #3
jkp1187
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Thanks. I just wanted to make sure that it was, in principle, possible to change the fluid and that, if pressed, BMW (or someone) would be able to do it. I'll likely get the Steptronic (unless I get some practice time in with a manual before next year.) But that said, ever since blowing through two transmissions in this beater Chevy Beretta I used to drive in school, I have been very religious about changing transmission fluid in my current car. (121,000 miles so far, with no complaints.)

Do you remember how much the hourly labor charge was for your dealer?
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      10-04-2008, 08:22 AM   #4
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About $115 in the Washington, DC area. My dealer gives a 10% parts discount to all BMWCCA members.
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