In Reply to: 525ia typical transmission failure/life expectancy posted by Mark on January 07, 2000 at 16:24:55:
: I have an 89 525ia purchased about 7 months ago with 137,000 miles. Searching through the service records, I found only 1 transmission service with the previous owner and that was an inspection II. When I purchased it the dealer performed another inspection II and serviced it again. So in 137,000 miles it was serviced 2 times. I have read horror stories about the tranny in the BMW ie revving in neutral, emmissions inspections, etc. I checked around with independant BMW as well as Dealer mechanics and they all said that the tranny is very robust and with proper care (should last 125,000 miles!) Everything sounded great until that point. I had already been looking 4 weeks for a replacement for a totaled e28 and this is the only car in the price/performance/quality range that I could find in a 120 mile radius. So basically I decided that BMW would sureley not put out a transmission not as good as my 75 VOLVO 245 600,000 + miles or my 88 GMC SAFARI van 200,000 + miles (no tranny problems from either car, also an 88 VOLVO 740 GLE 260,000 no problems, so I purchased it any way. Although it has not given me any problems and shifts smoothly, and positively, I am still very cautious with it. I now have 163,000 miles and have converted the AT fluid to Mobil 1 synthetic. I changed fluid about every 2,000 miles until I felt I had all the old fluid out then 1 more time with filter. It still shifts great, but I still wonder.........How much longer will it run....
It shifts so well, I out ran a 525i with a 5speed the other day.
My advice: set up a regular maint schedule and stick by it. If your tranny does not have the dipstick/filler it becomes a bit more of a hassel and check your fluid requirements before changing fluid type. I am very agressive concerning the tranny fluid/filter service and perform it more often than is called for by BMW. It is very expensive to repair/replace.
Michael 89 525ia Stickless in Atlanta