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JayPutelis
JayPutelis, Shop Foreman/ BMW Master Tech
Category: BMW
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Experience:  12 yrs Experience; ASE Master Technician; ASE L1 Certified
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BMW 328i How do I check the transmission fluid on a 1998 BMW

Customer Question

How do I check the transmission fluid on a 1998 BMW 328i
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: BMW
Expert:  JayPutelis replied 6 years ago.

Hi there,

 

Is the transmission an automatic or manual?

 

Thanks, JP

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Auto
Expert:  JayPutelis replied 6 years ago.

Here is the procedure for checking the fluid level; please note the drain and fill plug locations; you should be able to match one of the pictures up to your transmission depending on what model transmission is in the vehicle. Also note, the instructions state to have the trans fluid temp between 30-50; if you do not have a scan tool to look at the fluid level of the trans; if you start the engine cold (after sitting overnight); let the vehicle idle for 10 minutes before checking the fluid, this will put the temp around 30-35 degrees.

 

Transmission Fluid Level Checking Procedure and Application Chart

MODEL

  • All with the ZF and GM automatic transmission

SITUATION

  • Checking the fluid level may be necessary if there is evidence of a leak, a complaint related to fluid level or in the event repairs are made to the transmission.

NOTE: USE ONLY THE TRANSMISSION FLUID THAT IS APPROVED FOR USE WITH THE SPECIFIC TRANSMISSION AS INDICATED IN THE FLUIDS APPLICATION CHART. ALL OTHER FLUIDS WILL CAUSE NON WARRANTABLE TRANSMISSION DAMAGE.

PROCEDURE
Fluid Level Checking Procedure for all Transmissions without a Dipstick:

  1. The transmission temperature must be between 30°C and 50°C before checking can begin. Use the DIS or the MODIC to determine the transmission temperature.
  2. The vehicle must be level and without load. With the engine running, switch on the air conditioning. This will increase the idle speed and ensure that all oil passages in the transmission are filled with oil.
  3. Step on the brake firmly, apply parking brake fully and move the selector lever through each gear position, pausing briefly in each gear.
  4. With the engine running and the selector lever in Park position, remove the filler plug located on the transmission (see picture for location). If a small stream of oil runs out, the fluid level is correct.
  5. If no oil runs out when the filler plug is removed, the fluid level is too low. Add oil until it starts to overflow.
  6. With the engine running, reinstall the oil filler plug and tighten to proper torque. (Refer to section below for proper tightening torque)

Transmission Filler & Drain Plug Locations:

5 HP 30 (A5S 560Z)

(1) Drain Plug
(2) Filler Plug
5 HP 24 (A5S 440Z)

(1) Drain Plug
(2) Filler Plug
5 HP 19 (A5S 325Z)

(1) Drain Plug
(2) Filler Plug
5 HP 18 (A5S 310Z)

(1) Drain Plug
(2) Filler Plug
THM R1 (A4A 310R & A4S 270R)

(1) Drain Plug
(2) Filler Plug
5L40-E (A5S 360R & A5S 390R)

(1) Drain Plug
(2) Filler Plug

Fluid Level Checking Procedure for all Transmissions with a Dipstick
(As of 02/91 the THM R1 transmissions are not equipped with a dipstick):

  1. The transmission temperature must be between 30°C and 50°C before checking can begin. Use the DIS or the MODIC to determine the transmission temperature.
  2. The vehicle must be level and without load. With the engine running, switch on the air conditioning. This will increase the idle speed and ensure that all oil passages in the transmission are filled with oil.
  3. Step on the brake firmly, apply parking brake fully and move the selector lever through each gear position, pausing briefly in each gear.
  4. Pull out dipstick and wipe clean with a lint free cloth
  5. Reinsert dipstick completely. Pull out dipstick and place bottom tip on a level surface, measure level from bottom tip as shown.


Compare measurement and oil temperature reading from MoDiC or DIS with Table.

  1. Add additional oil if needed.

Reinsert dipstick completely. Pull out dipstick and look at level. Level should be between MAX and MIN marks as shown.


Amount of oil between MAX and MIN marks is 0.3 lit (0.6 pts)

On vehicles with a dipstick tube if transmission fluid is needed use only Dexron III.

Adding Oil after Transmission Repairs:

  1. With the engine stopped, add oil to the transmission until it overflows.
  2. Insert the filler plug and tighten by hand. Place the selector lever in Park position and start the engine.
  3. Follow the fluid level checking procedure as described under step A or B.

Notes on fluid level checking and adding transmission oil:

  • Whenever all lifetime use oils (Shell LA 2634, Esso LT71141 or Texaco ETL 7045 or 8072B) are to be collected in a clean container and reused.
  • It is preferred to check the transmission fluid level at 30°C , this way the transmission will hold extra oil versus topping off at 50°C .
  • If the transmission temperature rises above 50°C during the fluid level checking procedure, the resulting oil level will be too low.
  • Have necessary equipment, oil pump and transmission fluid available before starting the fluid level checking procedure.

Hope this helps, please use the accpet button as this is the only way I receive credit for my work.

 

Thanks, JP

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