ZF Automatic Transmission ATF Fluid/Filter Change by bmwm3coupe

By stevegolf
( 3 )

5 minute read

ZF Automatic Transmission ATF Fluid/Filter Change

Compliments of bmwm3coupe @ www.bimmerfest.com

If you really beleive in BMW's claim of lifetime ATF fluid, might as well believe in ghosts, fairies, the boogie man, etc..

This is the so call lifetime ATF fluid after 87911 miles:

This is how the pan looked like:

That black stuff in the pan is not rust - it is more of the magnetic particles that is attached to the pan as well - the magnets could not pick up more stuff themselves (look at how heavy they are coated):

This is how one of those magnets should look like once cleaned:

Here is the cleaned pan/magnets ready to go back:

although I first cleaned/removed the remnants of the old gasket (before and after):

I then tackled the filter:

It is just hard to believe how full of crap the element was:

When putting the new filter back in, remember to have the new o-ring in place:

Then the pan goes back:

And fill with whatever your research tells you is adequate fluid for your particular tranny. Myself, I don't buy in the boogie man story that only ESSO works in the 5HP24 tranny, so I used one of the many approved fluids for replacing ESSO - Valvoline MAXLIFE.

I am now going to wait about 3-4 weeks to get the new fluid to help clean everything inside the tranny, and then will repeat the drain/filter change/fill process. After this, I will probably just do a drain/fill (no filter change) on a yearly or every 18 months or so, changing the filter every other time.

The tranny was working perfectly before the fluid change, and it remains working perfectly after the fluid change (about 30 miles so far). I will report more as I put more miles on the new fluid (really a mix since I only got 6-7 quarts of the old fluid).

You will need the stubby 8mm tool (mine is a SnapOn), as well as new filter, filter O-ring, and new gasket.:

This particular site has a great summary and photos of the whole process, fill-up, etc.:

Notes/Photos for changing the transmission oil and filter on 1998 E38 ...

I also want to thank Torquewrench and other members that helped by sharing their own research, photos, etc. - much appreciated.

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