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  #1  
Old 12-07-2005, 07:10 AM
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Transmission Fluid Change DIY

The X5 4.4 transmission holds a total of 9L. BMW says the fluid never needs to be replaced but for all we know they might consider 100k the life of a vehicle. Some say that changing the transmission fluid will "shock" the transmission because it adapts to the fluid or something. A simple drain and fill through the plugs on the transmission oil pan will change about 4L, 45% of the fluid, and that's better than nothing - which is what BMW says to do. Changing about half the fluid should be a good compromise to satify the critics and skeptics. As long as you re-fill it with the same fluid that's already in there, this should re-vitalize the transmission fluid.

I am doing this as part of my 60k mile maintenance.

There is also a transmission filter that can be replaced but that requires dropping the whole transmission oil pan and I don't believe it's necessary at 60k miles, especially when it's supposed to last forever.

Here is a quick DIY for changing the Automatic Transmission Fluid for a 2001 X5 4.4

You will need 5L of ESSO ATF LT 71141 or VW G-052-162-A2 Transmission Fluid and a fluid pump. (Available at any VW/Audi Dealer)


1. Lift the car with ramps or put it on jacks stands so that the oil pan is level with the ground. Put a level up to the tranmission oil pan if you're not sure.

2. Make sure the engine/transmission is cool and the car has been off for a while before proceeding, this will ensure all the oil is in the oil pan. Place an oil pan underneath the filler plug.

3. Remove the filler bolt with an 8mm hex socket. You may need a breaker bar.
WARNING: A lot of oil will come out once you remove it.


4. After the oil is done draining from the filler hole, move the oil pan underneath the drain bolt and remove it with an 8mm hex socket.


Neither of the bolts have crush washer so you donít have to worry about replacing them.

5. After the oil is done draining from drain hole, re-install the drain bolt and torque to 30 Nm (23 lbs-ft).
You should have roughly 4L of oil drained out of both holes.

6. Pump the new fluid into the fill hole until a steady stream begins to leak back out, it should take about 2L


7. Loosely re-install the fill bolt just enough to stop the oil from draining.

Take caution in the next couple steps.

8. Make sure the car is level to the ground. Start the engine and turn on the air conditioning to increase the idle speed and ensure that all oil passages in the transmission are filled with oil.

9. Apply the parking brake. With your foot firmly on the brake pedal, shift the car through each gear position, pausing briefly in each gear.

10. WITH THE ENGINE RUNNING and the gear selector in Park, remove the filler plug on the oil pan and begin pumping in more transmission fluid until a steady stream leaks out. It will take a little more than 2 more liters.

WARNING: The exhaust will get very hot and is on both sides of the transmission oil pan, be careful not to touch it!

11. Re-install the fill bolt and tighten to 35 Nm (26 lbs-ft).

12. Only after youíve tightened the fill bolt, turn off the engine and youíre done.
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Last edited by RevJunky; 12-07-2005 at 03:24 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2005, 09:23 AM
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This a great DIY Thanks for sharing. As you indicate we can only drain a part of the transmission fluid capacity. I am not 100% sure for the X5 but the following statement was true with most BMW's automatic transmissions in the past. Most of the transmission fuild is in the torque convertor which cannot be drained without dissassembling the transmission. The entire fluid can be refreshed though by flushing the transmission. To do that the fuild needs to be drained several times with new fuild and by running the car for few minutes each times. That will consume more than the full capacity of the transmission but it is a good way to replace the entire transmission fluid.
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  #3  
Old 12-07-2005, 10:24 AM
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Nice job. I added a link to this in the ENGINE & TRANSMISSION section, and will convert it into an article in the near future.

Jeff
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  #4  
Old 12-07-2005, 11:09 AM
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This is an excellent write-up! Does anyone know where the filter is and how to change it?
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  #5  
Old 12-07-2005, 11:53 AM
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RevJunky,
Great write up! I want to change my transmission fluid too but I want to clarify one step: after you drain, fill and run the engine, do you lift your car above ground to have access to the transmission oil fill hole while your car is running or do you leave your car on the ground and try to get access to the oil fill hole? Thanks.

Justin

Quote:
Originally Posted by RevJunky
The X5 4.4 transmission holds a total of 9L. BMW says the fluid never needs to be replaced but for all we know they might consider 100k the life of a vehicle. Some say that changing the transmission fluid will "shock" the transmission because it adapts to the fluid or something. A simple drain and fill through the plugs on the transmission oil pan will change about 4L, 45% of the fluid, and that's better than nothing - which is what BMW says to do. Changing about half the fluid should be a good compromise to satify the critics and skeptics. As long as you re-fill it with the same fluid that's already in there, this should re-vitalize the transmission fluid.

I am doing this as part of my 60k mile maintenance.

There is also a transmission filter that can be replaced but that requires dropping the whole transmission oil pan and I don't believe it's necessary at 60k miles, especially when it's supposed to last forever.

Here is a quick DIY for changing the Automatic Transmission Fluid for a 2001 X5 4.4

You will need 5L of ESSO ATF LT 71141 or VW G-052-162-A2 Transmission Fluid and a fluid pump.


1. Make sure the engine/transmission is cool and the car has been off for a while before proceeding, this will ensure all the oil is in the oil pan.

2. Place an oil pan underneath the filler plug.

3. Remove the filler bolt with an 8mm hex socket. You may need a breaker bar.
WARNING: A lot of oil will come out once you remove it.


4. After the oil is done draining from the filler hole, remove the drain bolt with an 8mm hex socket.


Neither of the bolts have crush washer so you donít have to worry about replacing them.

5. After the oil is done draining from drain hole, re-install the drain bolt and torque to 30 Nm (23 lbs-ft).
You should have roughly 4L of oil drained out of both holes.

6. Pump the new fluid into the fill hole until a steady stream begins to leak back out, it should take about 2L


7. Loosely re-install the fill bolt just enough to stop the oil from draining.

Take caution in the next couple steps.

8. Make sure the car is level to the ground. Start the engine and turn on the air conditioning to increase the idle speed and ensure that all oil passages in the transmission are filled with oil.

9. Apply the parking brake. With your foot firmly on the brake pedal, shift the car through each gear position, pausing briefly in each gear.

10. WITH THE ENGINE RUNNING and the gear selector in Park, remove the filler plug on the oil pan and begin pumping in more transmission fluid until a steady stream leaks out. It will take a little more than 2 more liters.

WARNING: The exhaust will get very hot and is on both sides of the transmission oil pan, be careful not to touch it!

11. Re-install the fill bolt and tighten to 35 Nm (26 lbs-ft).

12. Only after youíve tightened the fill bolt, turn off the engine and youíre done.
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  #6  
Old 12-07-2005, 02:16 PM
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nice job aaron!

vinuneuro: to change the filter, you have to remove all those bolts on the bottom that you see... the entire pan at the bottom must be removed.
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Old 12-07-2005, 02:19 PM
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you shouldn't have to lift the vehicle much at all to reach the fill plug. leaving the vehicle overnight will get the most fluid in the pan.

I used multi-ATF from penzoil (quakerstate has the same). according to some documents I found it's approved to replace the esso fluid. they are semi-synthetic.

I did a change at 65k and another one at 70k in an effort to phase out the old fluid.
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Old 12-07-2005, 02:37 PM
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here's another tip:

you may want to remove the drain plug first. while the oil is draining from there, you can remove the fill plug to allow air into the pan to help the oil drain instead of creating a vacuum and holding it up. that way there won't be so much oil spilling out from the fill plug.
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Old 12-07-2005, 02:43 PM
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hayaku, what fluid did you use when you did your change? I'm thinkin about either using Amsoil or Redline for all the driveline fluids (different weights of course).
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  #10  
Old 12-07-2005, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hayaku
here's another tip:

you may want to remove the drain plug first. while the oil is draining from there, you can remove the fill plug to allow air into the pan to help the oil drain instead of creating a vacuum and holding it up. that way there won't be so much oil spilling out from the fill plug.
You could save some time by doing that but you'll need a really big pan to cover both holes or 2 seperate pans. The fill plug drained plenty quick without removing the drain plug.
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