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DIY: Do It Yourself
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Old 04-26-2009, 04:58 AM   #1
Luky
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Exclamation Why you should change your Steptronic Tranny Fluid before 100k (pics)

I did the steptronic tranny filter and fluid change last summer and took a bunch of pics and kept meaning to post them (so here they are). There are some great DIY threads on here that I don't need to repeat (just use search ), just wanted to show my results...

I did not use the super expensive BMW LT71141 fluid, but some Castrol Import Multi-vehicle ATF that said it met the same specs as the LT71141 and was only $4 a quart at Kragen (not the $25/QT from BMW). I have about 12k miles on this fluid so far and no issues with the tranny or shifting (and I drive the crap out of my car - use the sport/manual mode most of the time). Very glad I did it as the fluid that came out at ~63k miles was black and I believe it would have been very bad to let it go to 100k. The fluid was so cheap that I simply drained it with the drain plug, refilled it (just a couple of quarts), ran it for about 5-10 min while running through the gears, and repeated this four times to insure that I changed all the fluid in the torque converter (4th time the fluid came out cherry red "clean"). Then I dropped the pan, changed the filter, and filled it up, ran through the gears etc. Then I drained about 1.5 qts just to check it again and then topped it off per the procedure.

The pictures just show a little in the bottom of the bucket as I was trying to show how it got more translucent as I kept flushing it out.

I have also been using this fluid for my power steering as well. I noticed it was looking a little dirty and I was getting some "squealing" when turning the wheel, so I use a turkey baster to suck out the reservoir and then refill it. I have done this several times over multiple weekends to try and "renew" all the fluid without the hassle of draining the whole power steering system. The fluid I get out now looks clean and the "squealing" has stopped and everything is running fine.

Obviously YMMV, but the inexpensive Castrol ATF has worked fine for me...
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Last edited by Luky; 04-26-2009 at 05:09 AM.
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:27 AM   #2
kent330i
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Nice Job! Mind if you can tell me how much it drains and fill each time? (about 2 qt)?

Thanks.
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Old 04-26-2009, 07:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by kent330i View Post
Nice Job! Mind if you can tell me how much it drains and fill each time? (about 2 qt)?

Thanks.
Sorry, its been so long since I did this I don't remember specifically. I think it was more like 3-4 qts each time. May have only been 2 qts each time... I do remember you can get more out of the pan if you jack the back end of the car up higher (it was sitting level on 4 jack stands).
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:46 PM   #4
Luky
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Update... Now at 86k miles and no issues with the tranny. The Castrol Import Multi-vehicle is working just fine...
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Old 04-04-2010, 11:07 AM   #5
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be sure to keep the maintenance up! I would do the service again once you get near 100k miles, about every 40k.
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Old 04-03-2019, 10:36 PM   #6
Toni57
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Awesome

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luky View Post
Sorry, its been so long since I did this I don't remember specifically. I think it was more like 3-4 qts each time. May have only been 2 qts each time... I do remember you can get more out of the pan if you jack the back end of the car up higher (it was sitting level on 4 jack stands).
Do you recommend me taking mine to a quick lube for the change ? I want to get the same outcome as you did with yours I just canít do it myself
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Old 04-04-2019, 10:54 AM   #7
Luky
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Funny how old threads live forever. Have not had this car for about 10 years... (Have had an 2008 E90 335i, 2013 F10 535i (totaled), 2011 G37S, and now a 2016 F10 550i since then). Yes I would get it changed. Don't know if they would do it the way I did it. They may have a machine that drains from the tranny and puts new fluid in at the same time (flush) using oil cooler lines. Talk to them about what you want done (full flush and new filter) and how much it will cost and make sure the fluid they are using meets the BMW Spec for your transmission.
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:54 AM   #8
markusmarkus
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Do you recommend me taking mine to a quick lube for the change ? I want to get the same outcome as you did with yours I just canít do it myself


Never take your car to a quick lube joint! The people working there donít have the training nor the proper equipment to properly do the job. Find a reputable indie shop that specializes in bimmers at www.bimrs.org. Modern automatic transmissions require that the fluid level be within a small range. To achieve this the transmission temperature has to be with a specific temperature range. Over- or under-filling an automatic transmission is a definite no no.
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:52 PM   #9
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Thank you


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Old 11-10-2019, 10:09 PM   #10
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