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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so I got the car a couple months ago and I'm ready to do a tranny fluid change. I crawled under it and saw there's a GM print on the tranny itself. However I CAN NOT find out exactly what kind of tranny it has in it. It's automatic with the Steptronic in it. That's all I know and I've been searching the web to find the answer for a couple hours. I can not for the life of me figure out what kind it is. Any help would be AWESOME!!!!!!!!! Thanks!
:banghead:
 

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Have you tried reading the sticky at the top of the page about gm transmissions? If you actually spent more than 5 mins searching I'd be surprised.
 

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Realoem.com put in the last 7 of the vin, bingo. As said above, please search before you waste space on the internet

[bimmerapp]
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Have you tried reading the sticky at the top of the page about gm transmissions? If you actually spent more than 5 mins searching I'd be surprised.
Actually slavemaster I did search for like 3 hours. Do your research before you criticize me. Theres so much back and forth about the year and trannys its unreal and very complicated to get the straight scoop. I will search the vin thanks.
 

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@OP Ouch why so harsh. Even if you googled your question it would lead you back to this site. The VIN number is the key for every car. It tells you everything. Something everyone should know about cars. You could easily go to a auto store and they will tell you too.

check the vin
http://www.rubmw.ru/vincode/eng/


facts on e46
http://www.e46fanatics.com/faq/faqs.php


I keep near my computer an old copy of my DMV car registration which has my VIN number on it. This way if I need to research something I will have it next to me.


Top Google searches "how to tell which kind of transmission you have in a e46"

3. http://www.ehow.com/how_7711525_out-transmission.html
2. http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=820352
1. http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=556855

Now that took me two minutes.. actually one because I had to stop to go to el baño :) Honestly this site and the hours of searching here has taught me a lot about cars. I can actually have a conversation with my mechanic without him dumbing it down for me.

#girlE46power
 

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Discussion Starter #7
@OP Ouch why so harsh. Even if you googled your question it would lead you back to this site. The VIN number is the key for every car. It tells you everything. Something everyone should know about cars. You could easily go to a auto store and they will tell you too.

check the vin
http://www.rubmw.ru/vincode/eng/


facts on e46
http://www.e46fanatics.com/faq/faqs.php


I keep near my computer an old copy of my DMV car registration which has my VIN number on it. This way if I need to research something I will have it next to me.


Top Google searches "how to tell which kind of transmission you have in a e46"

3. http://www.ehow.com/how_7711525_out-transmission.html
2. http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=820352
1. http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=556855

Now that took me two minutes.. actually one because I had to stop to go to el baño :) Honestly this site and the hours of searching here has taught me a lot about cars. I can actually have a conversation with my mechanic without him dumbing it down for me.

#girlE46power

Yes absolutely true. I like e46fanatics and everything ppl talk bout on it for e-46's. It's awesome! :woot:
Well so I did run the VIN (realoem.com) and it ultimately (after I entered in all the search settings) came back with AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION A5S360R / A5S390R and AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION A5S325Z for 2000 323i. The part/model/type of transmission that ends in "Z" is the ZF (BMW) stamped tranny. Mine has to be A5S360R type, because it literally has "GM" stamped on it and is a "2000 323i / E46". I believe the A5S390R is for later models and bigger vehicles than the 323i. There was so much information to read thru and people have had the same trouble as me finding which one is there's and all that. Actually after reading it I'm not sure that I should go ahead with the fluid change because some suggest that it will do more harm to loosen the grime that's holding it together at this point. With new/ fresh fluid it could loosen everything thats holding it together mechanically. :hmm:
Basically tho it's a 50/50 chance that it will help vs. be problematic.
Finding the tranny type really is very confusing and should be more user friendly somehow. But realoem.com helped a lot and I thank everyone on this thread for pointing me in the right direction. : I learn a lot from E46 fanatics and I think its an honor to be part of it.
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Should be on the sticker on the transmission.

Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
Yes it should be but it is not! The only sticker on it is the green "WARNING... blah blah blah... dont use any other type fluid or else it will void warranty" sticker. Should have tranny model type and replacement fluid specs even if its warranty specified. Ya know? I will call BMW custy servy tmrw to see if my research corresponds with what they have in their data files. None of the quicky auto part stores around my area had the right part number fluid so it very much is a pain in the neck to get the right stuff for a DIY fluid change.
:loco:

However with my research I am beggining to conclude that "Redline D4" or "Liqui Molly 1200" is a good fit. Others have used Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF, Dexron VI, Amsoil universal ATF, Valvoline QT-ATF Max Life VV324, ((RESPECTIVELY)) Texaco ET
L ***8211; 7045 or Dexron® III were OEM from factory ((RESPECTIVELY)). SO as you can see there is much debate. I have yet to dig into which of these are still in production and current on leading quality.

I might go with cheaper stuff to start... wait for 1k miles and drop the pan and add freshy to it again. Its got 148k miles on it so its def time to cherish this baby and nurse it into good standing for the remainder of its life. :) Well worth the time and energy.
 

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Ok so I got the car a couple months ago and I'm ready to do a tranny fluid change. I crawled under it and saw there's a GM print on the tranny itself. However I CAN NOT find out exactly what kind of tranny it has in it. It's automatic with the Steptronic in it. That's all I know and I've been searching the web to find the answer for a couple hours. I can not for the life of me figure out what kind it is. Any help would be AWESOME!!!!!!!!! Thanks!
:banghead:
Read the thread, POSSIBLE NO REVERSE SOLUTIONS, at the top of the forum, there is very precise and accurate information as to the transmission in your car.

Your car has two choices, the GM5 or the ZF. Since it is an '00, then the GM5 is used up to and including March 2000 production, then the ZF is used. Your car never got the AS390R (the BMW designation). You are correct, the 390R is used on heavier cars, and it made it into the 3 Series, but was after the 323 was out of production.

When changing transmission fluid, be sure to use the correct fluid for your transmission. I'm not sure that the fluid change causes the transmission to fall apart as you are suggesting to have read, but if the wrong fluid is used then all hell can break loose that looks like it came from changing the fluid -- changing the fluid is not the problem, the wrong fluid is the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Read the thread, POSSIBLE NO REVERSE SOLUTIONS, at the top of the forum, there is very precise and accurate information as to the transmission in your car.

Your car has two choices, the GM5 or the ZF. Since it is an '00, then the GM5 is used up to and including March 2000 production, then the ZF is used. Your car never got the AS390R (the BMW designation). You are correct, the 390R is used on heavier cars, and it made it into the 3 Series, but was after the 323 was out of production.

When changing transmission fluid, be sure to use the correct fluid for your transmission. I'm not sure that the fluid change causes the transmission to fall apart as you are suggesting to have read, but if the wrong fluid is used then all hell can break loose that looks like it came from changing the fluid -- changing the fluid is not the problem, the wrong fluid is the problem.
I beg the differ bro. There's all kinds of debates on what fluid to use and if it is even a good idea to do it. LOOK INTO IT!!!!!! I've been researching this for like 5 HOURS now! lmao MY final conclusion is made and I will keep it a secret. If anyone wants to know pm me!!!!!!!!! Good luck Ya'll!
:argue:
 

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I beg the differ bro. There's all kinds of debates on what fluid to use and if it is even a good idea to do it. LOOK INTO IT!!!!!! I've been researching this for like 5 HOURS now! lmao MY final conclusion is made and I will keep it a secret. If anyone wants to know pm me!!!!!!!!! Good luck Ya'll!
:argue:
There is lots of debate, I just don't know that changing fluid makes a difference, or if changing the fluid and putting the wrong kind is what makes the difference.

Before I knew of the debate, I changed the fluid in my car because it is the GM5 that refused to go into Reverse from time to time. Mine had gotten to the point that the guy that sold me the car let me have it for like $2,000 because it needed a transmission and his wife could not tolerate parking the damn thing because it would not back out of a parking space with any amount of reliability. She had to circle the parking lot looking for spots where she could drive through the stall and park facing out of the next one.

All it really needed was a solenoid, but to do that the fluid has to be emptied and I see no point in putting old fluid back in so I put in fresh new fluid. My transmission seems no worse for the wear, and the solenoid cured the problem. That's a win-win in my book, and an indication that changing the fluid is not in and of itself a disaster in the making.

Regardless of what you do vis a vis the fluid, you have a GM5L40E, the BMW designation is the AS5-360R. There is also a GM5 that is the AS5-390R, but you do not have that -- well, you could by now, but it was not used in productoin of your car, and you also do not have the ZF transmission because they don't put GM stickers on ZF transmissions.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
There is lots of debate, I just don't know that changing fluid makes a difference, or if changing the fluid and putting the wrong kind is what makes the difference.

Before I knew of the debate, I changed the fluid in my car because it is the GM5 that refused to go into Reverse from time to time. Mine had gotten to the point that the guy that sold me the car let me have it for like $2,000 because it needed a transmission and his wife could not tolerate parking the damn thing because it would not back out of a parking space with any amount of reliability. She had to circle the parking lot looking for spots where she could drive through the stall and park facing out of the next one.

All it really needed was a solenoid, but to do that the fluid has to be emptied and I see no point in putting old fluid back in so I put in fresh new fluid. My transmission seems no worse for the wear, and the solenoid cured the problem. That's a win-win in my book, and an indication that changing the fluid is not in and of itself a disaster in the making.

Regardless of what you do vis a vis the fluid, you have a GM5L40E, the BMW designation is the AS5-360R. There is also a GM5 that is the AS5-390R, but you do not have that -- well, you could by now, but it was not used in productoin of your car, and you also do not have the ZF transmission because they don't put GM stickers on ZF transmissions.
Yes you got a smokin deal. Thats great that you were able to just use the new solenoid. I hope when mine goes out thats all it needs as I'm sure everyone on here does too.
As for the fluid... its the grime that comes out and is thought to be "holding it together". Once thats all stripped out it leaves minute gaps between parts that were worn from the bigger minute sludge particles floating around in the tranny.
 

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The damage comes from flushing the fluid not changing it. Its the high pressure flush(done by a machine) that people say could cause more harm than good.
 

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Funny thing is that my 323i was made in March of 2000. So all of the changes made then are not always listed on my VIN lookup. As for the transmission. I could not tell by looking it up. I only knew when the reverse gear went out. lol
 

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There is no grime holding anything together in the GM transmission, as far as I am concerned this is urban legend.
What could happen from the high pressure flush is sediment from the normal clutch pack wear could clog solenoid filters and small orifices in the valve body.
I can see no way that updating fluid "with the proper fluid" could cause any harm. I think that most people are changing fluid to try to correct a problem which will get worse regardless of new fluid. I would change fluid and keep changing it every 30-40K miles.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1000845
 
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