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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Wed, Apr-27-2011, 06:22:09 PM   #41
Goyo
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Default Re: DIY Tips for SMG Transmission Fluid Change

Hi to all,

I had to take my E46 2005 SMG again today to the dealership to get the proper oil (you can read in here http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showp...8&postcount=26). I am the second owner and from the paperwork I have they did not change the transmission fluid when the inspection II was done. This is the third time I ask about it, this time to one of the service managers, and he said exactly the same: "Is your car SMG? Ah, OK, that's why, you do not change the transmission fluid in SMG, it is a lifetime fluid". I did not want to argue more.

From what I have read and seen here, the transmission fluid in an E46 SMG should be change at least every 50 or 60k miles.

I do not understand why they do not want to change it since it is not a terribly expensive fluid. Only that comes to my mind is the fact that it can take maybe 2hrs, but still...it is not too long to do.

In any rate, thank you all you guys for answering my question !!!

Cheers !!!
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Old Wed, Apr-27-2011, 06:57:35 PM   #42
cncmastr
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Default Re: DIY Tips for SMG Transmission Fluid Change

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Originally Posted by Goyo View Post
Hi to all,

I had to take my E46 2005 SMG again today to the dealership to get the proper oil (you can read in here http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showp...8&postcount=26). I am the second owner and from the paperwork I have they did not change the transmission fluid when the inspection II was done. This is the third time I ask about it, this time to one of the service managers, and he said exactly the same: "Is your car SMG? Ah, OK, that's why, you do not change the transmission fluid in SMG, it is a lifetime fluid". I did not want to argue more.

From what I have read and seen here, the transmission fluid in an E46 SMG should be change at least every 50 or 60k miles.

I do not understand why they do not want to change it since it is not a terribly expensive fluid. Only that comes to my mind is the fact that it can take maybe 2hrs, but still...it is not too long to do.

In any rate, thank you all you guys for answering my question !!!

Cheers !!!

Good advice, my only comment is that it should not take 2 Hours.
You jack the car up, un-snap the metal SMG pump lines, loosen plug and drain. Apply new crush washer, fill with new fluid, tighten plug, lower car and drive.
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Old Tue, Nov-29-2011, 02:09:22 AM   #43
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Default Re: DIY Tips for SMG Transmission Fluid Change

Great thread - subscribed!
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Old Tue, Nov-29-2011, 05:39:48 PM   #44
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Default Re: DIY Tips for SMG Transmission Fluid Change

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Originally Posted by cncmastr View Post
Good advice, my only comment is that it should not take 2 Hours.
You jack the car up, un-snap the metal SMG pump lines, loosen plug and drain. Apply new crush washer, fill with new fluid, tighten plug, lower car and drive.
so there is a crush washer?



edit: also you can see in this picture it has a sticker that says "lifetime oil, no oil change" on it. im pretty sure that is a 6mt as well...

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Old Tue, Nov-29-2011, 06:44:51 PM   #45
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Default Re: DIY Tips for SMG Transmission Fluid Change

I had ordered spare copper crush washers and I think I just used that. I don't think there is any harm in adding it in.
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Old Thu, Dec-01-2011, 04:49:22 AM   #46
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Default Re: DIY Tips for SMG Transmission Fluid Change

there is no crush washer on these plugs. these are pipe threads and as such there is no need or use for a washer. Also, make sure to not over torque them, they are not as strong as regular threads.

That said there is also no need to move or remove the hydraulic lines from their holder. Get a small extension and/or a proper sized deep socket and you should be able to access the side fill plug just fine.

BMW will not change this fluid unless you specifically ask and PAY for it. There is a Lifetime fill sticker on the gearbox as pictured above and this fluid change is not part of any regular maintenance service.

From experience, these fluids start looking somewhat dirty after about 50-60k miles of driving, or sooner if the car is tracked or abused. I always did mine every 30k and they are still clean.

The SMG fluid can be checked through the reservoir ... pull the dipstick out and look at the color. It should be honey colored. If it's dark i would change it out. You do need to bleed the system via a scan tool(i'm sure there are other methods as well)


hope this helps.
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Old Thu, Mar-29-2012, 04:08:24 AM   #47
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Default Re: DIY Tips for SMG Transmission Fluid Change

How many of you SMG owners have done this? I am doing the diff fluid this weekend but I rarely see anyone mention changing out the tranny fluid on their SMG's... Seems easy enough but if it's not really necessary I'll skip it. I have 87K and I do not believe it was ever done.
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Old Thu, Mar-29-2012, 03:25:46 PM   #48
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Default Re: DIY Tips for SMG Transmission Fluid Change

This lifetime tranny fluid thing isn't unique to BMW. My old CLK430 also had "lifetime" transmission fluid. When I changed it out at just over 100k, it had used up most of that first life. I'm at 199k now.
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Old Thu, Mar-29-2012, 03:36:46 PM   #49
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Default Re: DIY Tips for SMG Transmission Fluid Change

Will be doing my tranny fluid in my SMG next week, car is at 49k miles.
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Old Thu, Mar-29-2012, 04:52:40 PM   #50
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So is it 100% necessary to have the software and computer to bleed the system or are there alternate ways to do this?
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Discussing DIY Tips for SMG Transmission Fluid Change in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)