BMW 318/325/M3/525/535/M5 1989-1993 Repair Information

Automatic Transmission

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FLUID RECOMMENDATION



BMW recommends the use of DEXRON®II automatic transmission fluid (ATF). Check the level at Inspections as indicated by the Service Indicator.

FLUID LEVEL CHECK



See Figure 1

Most of us are familiar with the ATF dipstick found at the back of the engine compartment. On some BMW vehicles, use of the dipstick has been discontinued. The transmission fluid is checked and added through a pipe plug on the side of the transmission sump pan. The procedure to check and change the fluid is similar to that of a manual transmission equipped vehicle.

Check the automatic transmission fluid level at Inspection intervals. The dipstick can be found in the rear of the engine compartment. The fluid level should be checked only when transmission is hot (normal operating temperature). The transmission is considered hot after about 20 miles (30 km) of highway driving.



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Fig. Fig. 1: Tilt the top of the automatic transmission dipstick to unlock

  1. Park the car on a level surface with the engine idling. Shift the transmission into Neutral and set the parking brake.
  2.  
  3. Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean and then reinsert it firmly. some models have locking dipsticks that require the top of the dipstick to be tilted to unlock. Be sure that it has been pushed all the way in. Remove the dipstick again and check the fluid level while holding it horizontally. With the engine running, the fluid level should be between the 2 marks on the dipstick.
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  5. If the fluid level is below the second mark, add DEXRON®II automatic transmission fluid through the dipstick tube. This is easily done with the aid of a funnel. Check the level often as you are filling the transmission. Be extremely careful not to overfill it. Overfilling will cause slippage, seal damage and overheating. Approximately one pint of ATF will raise the fluid level from one mark to the other.
  6.  

Always use DEXRON®II ATF. The use of ATF Type F or any other fluid will cause severe damage to the transmission. The fluid on the dipstick should always be a bright red color, If it is discolored (brown or black) or smells burnt, serious transmission troubles, probably due to overheating, should be suspected. The transmission should be inspected by a qualified technician to locate the cause of the burnt fluid.

DRAIN AND REFILL



See Figures 2 and 3



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Fig. Fig. 2: Automatic transmission drain plug



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Fig. Fig. 3: Automatic transmission fill plug when not equipped with a dipstick

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle in a level plane. Place a drain pan under the transmission sump. Remove the dipstick on vehicles so equipped. On vehicles with locking dipsticks, tilt the top of the dipstick to unlock.
  2.  
  3. Loosen and remove the oil filler tube from the sump pan if not equipped with a drain plug. Be ready to catch fluid as it drains.
  4.  
  5. Remove the sump pan drain plug and catch the draining fluid.
  6.  
  7. Attach the oil filler tube, if disconnected, and torque to 71 ft. lbs. (98 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Replace the gasket or crush washer on the drain plug and torque to 11-12 ft. lbs. (15-17 Nm) for transmissions with an M10 drain plug or 29-33 ft. lbs. (40-46 Nm) for transmissions with an M18 drain plug.
  10.  
  11. Fill the transmission with the proper amount of DEXRON®II automatic transmission fluid through the dipstick tube on vehicles with dipsticks or through the fill plug on transmissions without a dipstick. The transmission will take approximately 3.2 quarts (3.0 liters) of ATF.
  12.  
  13. Check the fluid level once completed.
  14.  

PAN AND FILTER SERVICE



  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle in a level plane. Place a drain pan under the transmission sump. Remove the dipstick on vehicles so equipped. On vehicles with locking dipsticks, tilt the top of the dipstick to unlock.
  2.  
  3. Loosen and remove the oil filler tube from the sump pan if not equipped with a drain plug. Be ready to catch fluid as it drains.
  4.  
  5. Remove the sump pan drain plug and catch the draining fluid.
  6.  
  7. Note the positions of the pan holder at each bolt and loosen and remove the bolts.
  8.  
  9. Remove the pan and gasket. Remove the screws from the filter. Note their positions. Check that the O-ring from the filter did not stick to the transmission valve body.
  10.  
  11. Install the new filter and O-ring. Replace the screws in their original positions.
  12.  
  13. Clean the pan and magnets. Replace the pan gasket and install the pan on the transmission. Replace the pan holders and bolts at their original positions. Torque to 4.5-5.0 ft. lbs. (6-7 Nm).
  14.  
  15. Attach the oil filler tube, if disconnected, and torque to 71 ft. lbs. (98 Nm).
  16.  
  17. Replace the gasket or crush washer on the drain plug and torque to 11-12 ft. lbs. (15-17 Nm) for transmissions with a M10 drain plug or 29-33 ft. lbs. (40-46 Nm) for transmissions with a M18 drain plug.
  18.  
  19. Fill the transmission with the proper amount of DEXRON®II automatic transmission fluid through the dipstick tube on vehicles with dipsticks or through the fill plug on transmissions without a dipstick. The transmission will take approximately 3.2 quarts (3.0 liters) of ATF.
  20.  
  21. Check the fluid level once completed.
  22.  

 
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