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      11-28-2012, 11:29 PM   #1
Adam135
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Question Steptronic transmission fluid flush - anyone had the dealer do it?

Just looking for feedback to see if it's worth doing or not. I have a 2009 with Step trans and 31k on the odometer. Anyone know the cost?

Last edited by Adam135; 11-28-2012 at 11:43 PM.
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      11-28-2012, 11:47 PM   #2
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I don't think a dealer would change it. They only know how to replace the ENTIRE trans, not do services. You should look for a ZF service center near you(IF they even have them in the states?). Maybe you can find a good indi near you.

These guys in Cali seem fairly knowledgeable. Plus their prices on the ZF lifeguard fluid is really decent.

http://www.thectsc.com/index.php?p=c...&parent=7&pg=1


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      11-29-2012, 01:58 AM   #3
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I purchased the kit from CTSC.

I'm planning on attempting the service this weekend but I've done 100,000km on mine and it shifts like shit...
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      11-29-2012, 02:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by froop View Post
I purchased the kit from CTSC.

I'm planning on attempting the service this weekend but I've done 100,000km on mine and it shifts like shit...
I changed the trans fluid on my e39 535i(v8). I changed it like four times. The hardest part of the fluid change is locating the fill plug for the ATF. On my e39 it was just above the oil pan gasket by about an inch or two on the rear edge.

Also... make SURE you run the trans thru ALL the gears(forward & reverse - besure to use the brakes so the wheels stop spinning(!) before changing directions/gears)... keep the engine ON and IN GEAR(ie drive) while on a lift... then keep adding ATF until it spills out of the trans fill hole. The trans oil needs to be fairly hot. I think 80'C. So let the car run in gear for a good 30 minutes or so - while adding ATF all along.

I ended up changing my ATF a few more times until it came out red instead of the black/brown color of old ATF. You will see.
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      11-29-2012, 02:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone
Quote:
Originally Posted by froop View Post
I purchased the kit from CTSC.

I'm planning on attempting the service this weekend but I've done 100,000km on mine and it shifts like shit...
I changed the trans fluid on my e39 535i(v8). I changed it like four times. The hardest part of the fluid change is locating the fill plug for the ATF. On my e39 it was just above the oil pan gasket by about an inch or two on the rear edge.

Also... make SURE you run the trans thru ALL the gears(forward & reverse - besure to use the brakes so the wheels stop spinning(!) before changing directions/gears)... keep the engine ON and IN GEAR(ie drive) while on a lift... then keep adding ATF until it spills out of the trans fill hole. The trans oil needs to be fairly hot. I think 80'C. So let the car run in gear for a good 30 minutes or so - while adding ATF all along.

I ended up changing my ATF a few more times until it came out red instead of the black/brown color of old ATF. You will see.
I didn't buy enough fluid to change it that often =P. No money at the moment to do that haha.

I'll see how it goes with just the 1 flush and filter change and if I'm still not happy with it I might try flushing it some more like you say.
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      11-29-2012, 02:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by froop View Post
I didn't buy enough fluid to change it that often =P. No money at the moment to do that haha.

I'll see how it goes with just the 1 flush and filter change and if I'm still not happy with it I might try flushing it some more like you say.
Well... that wasn't my plan either. My e39 trans holds 8L of ATF. I bought just enough the first change. But once you change the ATF... you realize how darn easy it is to change. So I changed it again and then yet again. Even after the first ATF change... you will see how much smoother your trans will shift. Especially when the trans is cold.

The best oil is new oil!
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      11-29-2012, 03:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
I don't think a dealer would change it. They only know how to replace the ENTIRE trans, not do services. You should look for a ZF service center near you(IF they even have them in the states?). Maybe you can find a good indi near you.

These guys in Cali seem fairly knowledgeable. Plus their prices on the ZF lifeguard fluid is really decent.

http://www.thectsc.com/index.php?p=c...&parent=7&pg=1


Dack
Thanks for the link Dack! Almost $400 less than realOEM for the kit for my E60!

I got to believe for the same reason they (dealer) won't touch the GM6 either, correct?
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      12-02-2012, 06:46 PM   #8
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So I finally did it.

It took me like 7 hours total but I also changed the oil, HVAC filter, cleaned up, went out to buy parts etc that I needed, but I finally did it. The fluid that came out was darkish brown and had almost a water like consistency to it. The fresh ZF Lifeguard 6 that I put in was a light brown clear oil like fluid. Much thicker in consistency.

Upshifts definitely feel much faster and and smoother now and I haven't experienced any jerking that I had previously over the past 10,000km or so.

I'm probably not up for flushing and refilling to get out all of the old fluid but I'll probably look to service it every 50,000km.

If anyone wants any help doing theirs feel free to PM me.
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      12-03-2012, 10:06 AM   #9
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The dealer told me I needed a new transfer case on my X3. Tried changing all fluids and the car has had rock solid shifts for 1.5 years now

Lifetime fluid my a$$
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      12-03-2012, 04:01 PM   #10
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Per my understanding lifetime = 100,000 miles under non severe conditions
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      12-03-2012, 04:54 PM   #11
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I changed the transmission fluid in my 335i half a year ago near 90K miles.

STRONGLY recommend changing the mechatronics sleeve while you're at it. I did not and had to do the service TWICE cuz of leaking transmission oil. The mechatronics sleeve is cheap.

Also when I bought the kit it only came with 6L of oil. Not sure what the capacity was in the 135i but I had to purchase another 3L at dealer prices to complete the fill.

Just a few tips to ensure you guys don't make the same mistake I did
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      12-04-2012, 08:36 AM   #12
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Good topic. I have changed all kinds of fluids in the past- manual, automatics, gear oil, etc. without issue. This one scares me though- on one part only. How can you do this without a lift safely- on jack stands, keep the car running and in gear to top the transmission fluid off? I do all my car work myself and see this as a two person job- and even then seems risky. When my car is due, I was going to change it myself, add as much fluid as I can with the car off, then drive it cautiously to a qualified BMW service center to top it off- that has a lift. Anyone else do this approach, will it harm the tranny for the short drive with the fluid not topped off, or know of a safe way to do this at home with jack stands?
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      12-04-2012, 04:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTBMW1
Good topic. I have changed all kinds of fluids in the past- manual, automatics, gear oil, etc. without issue. This one scares me though- on one part only. How can you do this without a lift safely- on jack stands, keep the car running and in gear to top the transmission fluid off? I do all my car work myself and see this as a two person job- and even then seems risky. When my car is due, I was going to change it myself, add as much fluid as I can with the car off, then drive it cautiously to a qualified BMW service center to top it off- that has a lift. Anyone else do this approach, will it harm the tranny for the short drive with the fluid not topped off, or know of a safe way to do this at home with jack stands?
I did it on the weekend on my own.

It's just a squeeze getting under to do everything and fill it up but it's no real biggie. Car drives fine.


DIY - 135i/N54 Steptronic Automatic Transmission Fluid Flush and Service
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=777083
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