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

Manual Transmission

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FLUID RECOMMENDATIONS



BMW recommends the use of non-hypoid GL4 SAE 80 in all models except the M5 and the 1993 318i and 325i. In the M5 and 1993 318i and 325i, use Dexron®II ATF.

Due to running production changes, the lubricant in your transmission may be a different type than what is listed here or in your owners manual. The recommended fluid for the transmission installed in your vehicle will be specified on a tag on the transmission body.

Synthetics can offer easier shifting in cold weather and greater protection from wear, but can sometimes cause noisier operation and they may not be compatible with all transmissions. If you wish to use a synthetic manual transmission lubricant, check with your BMW dealer for suggestions and details.

LEVEL CHECK



See Figure 1



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Remove fill plug 2 before drain plug 1 when checking the manual transmission lubricant level

  1. With the car parked on a level surface or raised and supported in a level position, remove the filler plug from the side of the transmission housing.
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  3. If the lubricant begins to trickle out of the hole, there is enough and you need not go any further. Otherwise, carefully insert your finger (watch out for sharp threads) and check to see if the lubricant is up to the edge of the hole.
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  5. If not, add lubricant through the hole until the level is at the edge of the hole. Most gear lubricants come in a plastic squeeze bottle with a nozzle; making additions simple. You can also use a common kitchen baster. Use standard non hypoid-type gear oil-SAE 80 in all models except the M5 and the 1993 318i and 325i. In the M5 and 1993 318i and 325i use Dexron®II ATF.
  6.  

Due to running production changes, the lubricant in your transmission may be a different type than what is listed here or in your owners manual. The recommended fluid for the transmission installed in your vehicle will be specified on a tag on the transmission body.

  1. Replace the filler plug, run the engine and check for leaks.
  2.  

DRAIN AND REFILL



  1. The lubricant must be hot before it is drained. Drive the car until the engine reaches normal operating temperature.
  2.  
  3. Remove the filler plug to provide a vent. Be sure to remove this first. If the fluid is drained and trouble is encountered removing the fill plug, the car will be out of service until a method to remove the stuck fill plug is found.
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  5. Place a large container underneath the transmission and then remove the 17mm drain plug.
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  7. Allow the lubricant to drain completely. Clean the magnetic drain plug of any excessive metal particles and replace it; tighten it until it is just snug.
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  9. Fill the transmission with standard API GL4 non hypoid-type gear oil-SAE 80W in all models except the M5 and the 1993 318i and 325i. In the M5 and 1993 318i and 325i use Dexron®II ATF. Refer to the "Capacities" chart for the correct amount of lubricant.
  10.  

Due to running production changes, the lubricant in your transmission may be a different type than what is listed here or in your owners manual. The recommended fluid for the transmission installed in your vehicle will be specified on a tag on the transmission body.

  1. When the lubricant level is up to the edge of the filler hole, replace the filler plug. Drive the car for a few minutes, stop, and check for any leaks.
  2.  

 
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