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Hi all, my first post here. I bought a 2004 325xi Touring about a month ago, and have read hundreds of useful posts here.

Anyway, I dropped the pan on the GM tranny, replaced filter and gasket and refilled with Redline D4. I know that stuff smells bad, have been using it for years in my VW. Usually the smell goes away after a few days, but no luck. When I come to a stop the ATF smell shows up, no smell when driving. I've checked undrneath, and no leak from the pan. There was a very small leak from the quick couplers at the cooler, but I fixed those by replacing the o-rings in the couplers. The shifter shaft had a small leak also, which appears to be fixed with the o-ring and washer trick.

So, there are no ATF leaks, I have pressure washed the underside, and have driven about 200 miles since the fluid change. Where on earth is the smell coming from?
 

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I have a manual transmission (same fluid) and it seems to smell up the cabin every time I change the fluid for at least a month or two. In fact, it smelled in there today, but not all the time. I'm guessing there is a vent for the transmission somewhere near the top, and vapors come out when it gets warm. Furthermore, I had my transmission serviced a couple months ago (new clutch, seals, mounts, some internals) and I am still getting that smell inside the cabin. Maybe the Redline D4 is extra smelly??
 

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After 3 weeks and about 500 miles of driving, it still smelled bad at stoplights etc. and nobody was willing to ride in the car. Yes, Redline D4 is extra smelly, but I checked Valvoline Maxlife, and it seemed to have the same smell.

I finally did a full flush, used 13 quarts of Valvoline Dexron VI. Smell is totally gone and transmission is working great (just as it did with Redline D4).
 

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Hi all, my first post here. I bought a 2004 325xi Touring about a month ago, and have read hundreds of useful posts here.

Anyway, I dropped the pan on the GM tranny, replaced filter and gasket and refilled with Redline D4. I know that stuff smells bad, have been using it for years in my VW. Usually the smell goes away after a few days, but no luck. When I come to a stop the ATF smell shows up, no smell when driving. I've checked undrneath, and no leak from the pan. There was a very small leak from the quick couplers at the cooler, but I fixed those by replacing the o-rings in the couplers. The shifter shaft had a small leak also, which appears to be fixed with the o-ring and washer trick.

So, there are no ATF leaks, I have pressure washed the underside, and have driven about 200 miles since the fluid change. Where on earth is the smell coming from?
First off, the GM (French built) tranny you have has longer available the correct transmission fluid. Only dex6....which is said to be problematic for French Built GM transmissions installed in BMW..mostly wagons!
 

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I would verify you filled it to the propper level, check it while the transmission is hot (I think 80 deg C). If you have a bidirectional OBDII scanner, there is a procedure that has you perform an initial fill, slowly cycle through all gears numerous times, run until it reaches temperature, check level, and adjust if needed. If you don't have a scanner that does that, you should be fine checking it cold and fill just below the opening, warm to operating temp (drive it for a while), remove fill plug and adjust until it is right at the bottom of the fill plug opening.

My reason for this suggestion is there is a vent in the top of the trans to allow pressure/moisture out of the transmission housing during operation. If filled improperly you could be burning fluid and vapors would come from that vent. The vent is at the very top and sits in the tunnel near where the e-brake cables enter.

As far as selecting fluid, I have used different brands of DexronVI in the GM trans without any problems. However I recenlty noticed Valvoline Maxlife Multi-Vehicle becuase the product sheet shows it meets the ETL 8072B spec required for this transmission (and most others too). I've yet to see any other product that actually advertises meeting the spec, even though others are "known to work".

Here is the product info sheet...
https://sharena21.springcm.com/Publ...2d889bd3/3fa3136a-09bd-e711-9c12-ac162d889bd1
 
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