Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Arma

How often should transmission oil be changed? e39

Recommended Posts

Think the trans oil on my e39 530i is getting pretty old; no idea whether it's been changed before. How often are these supposed to be changed? (along with the filter)

I think the oil has turned black/dirty. Also, will I notice much difference after putting new oil in?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It uses lifetime oil so you don't need to ever change it, unless you want the gearbox to last more than BMWs 'lifespan' of the gearbox that is :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always suggested 100,000km when asked. Oil does not last for ever and yours is black as.... remember when I checked the level for you ??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe you can't get all the old fluid out without removing the torque converter. You could get a flush machine to try and get all the old fluid out.

fwiw my old e39 540i is still going strong with the original fluid - has now done 312,000kms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does depend on the conditions and the owner but anywhere from 50,000km-100,000km is what ive seen

Just did my "lifetime" fluid and an adaption reset at 222,000km, quite brown but no filings. Shifting may have slightly improved but has elimated the slight torque convertor shudder i had.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always suggested 100,000km when asked. Oil does not last for ever and yours is black as.... remember when I checked the level for you ??

Yup, I was pretty much describing it from what you saw when you checked the level. Might have to bring it around to yours to get the oil changed. Does the filter have to be replaced at the same time?

On another note: there seems to be a small coolant leak again - not sure what since the thermostat was replaced and does not seem to be leaking out of the sensor like the last one. So might have to bring it to you for that too :). Can definitely see some small particle spray (likely from coolant falling on the belt(s) ).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You'd be wasting your time to change the fluid without dropping the pan and replacing the filter & Seal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You'd be wasting your time to change the fluid without dropping the pan and replacing the filter & Seal.

Yea just had the e46's done. Was told it was quite horrible fluid and that's at 160,000kms.

Shifts a lot nicer now, highly recommend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once you do the trans fluid, filter and seal then assuming no trans failure that job is pretty much set for life. Would certainly recommend it for an older 2nd hand vehicle, especially if there's not much else that needs money spent. It's certainly one I'd put off if you've got more major issues though, if it shifts ok now it's not going to cause massive damage in the same way old oil will.

You'll not get all the fluid out but unless you've got exceptionally dirty/burnt fluid or lumps of clutch material floating in it I would think a flush or removal of the torque converter to drain the system is a waste of time. If you want to "flush" it without a machine you can empty and refill what you can from the sump a few times with 2000km intervals but to be honest I don't think it's worth it unless you're changing to some incompatible special fluid or the old stuff was really bad.

Some transmissions have a mesh filter screens and others have one similar to an oil filter. If it's a mesh one you don't need to change it unless the seal is bad or its damaged. If it's a filter type one change it out. My ZF4HP22 has the mesh type, replaced it because the seal kit came with a new one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd opt for the full change - fluid, drop the pan and replace the filter - every 100,000km.

Flushing may not always be a good idea - this pushes all the old stuff, and any foreign matter through the trans. Or so I've been told.

Marshalls in Hamilton did our E46 at something over 200,000 miles... The fluid that came out was thin and water-like, but fortunately no bits of any sort. Marshalls recommend every 25000km, which I think is as much about them making a job for themselves as anything else. (And it'd mean them changing ours 3 times a year at $250 a time...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's certainly one I'd put off if you've got more major issues though

Didn't really have any major issues when I posted this thread. :D But now I do. Either way, I'll probably get the trans work done after I've repaired the car. Don't really want to keep dirty black oil going through my transmission.

Edited by Arma

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always done mine every 30,000km regardless of the car. On my E39 they drained the fluid and replaced the filter/gasket (fluid was described as very dirty @ 120K). As mentioned you can't get all the fluid out of these cars so I drove with the new fluid for a few thousand km's and then they drained and replaced the fluid only again to get most of the old fluid diluted to the point it didn't matter.

Yes, might be overkill but it made me feel better. I noticed a very marginal improvement in shifting quality, really in the E39 you should not be able to feel the shifts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×