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Re: 94 530i Auto Transmission fluid - how to check (archive)

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Posted by Dave B on July 02, 1999 at 08:21:24:

In Reply to: 94 530i Auto Transmission fluid - how to check posted by John B. on July 01, 1999 at 22:57:08:

: I was wondering if there is a way to check to auto transmission fluid on a 94 530i other than the way I understand it needs to be done - from the bottom of the car? This necessitates a trip to a dealer/service location that can lift up the car. Is there a dipstick or way I am not aware of? Thanks in advance.

If you have the ZF 5-speed automatic there is only one way to check the tranny fluid level, from underneath. The good news is that these transmissions are supposed to have 'lifetime' fluid and rarely leak. Unless you've noticed a leak, you probably shouldn't worry about it. Consider having your service center check it with an oil change at around 100,000 miles or so. I had my '94 540i tranny fluid checked for the first time recently at 154,000 miles and none was needed. BTW this fluid is a special BMW only formula and costs about US$100 for 5 liters (the only way it is packaged). If the transmission oil pan is removed-the only way to drain the transmission while it is in the car-only 5 liters out of a total of 15 will be drained. To completely drain the transmission and torque convertor it is necessary to remove and disassemble the transmission. Obviously they really meant this to be a lifetime fluid.

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