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Sven159

Auto box flush ?

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Morning guys,

I have a 2003 525d sport tourer with 150k on the clock. It’s an auto and to my knowledge has never had the fuids in the auto box replaced. 

I’ve read differing opinions on whether it should be done but I want to extend the life of the car as much as poss, it’s in otherwise great condition. Any opinions on it guys? Are there any drawbacks or potential problems with having it done vs not?

Also, does anyone know a good independent in the Bournemouth area where I could the work done?

Cheers.

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The school of thought with most indies is changing the gearbox oil and filter between 70 and 110k miles. The web is awash with horror

tales of failing auto box's after changing ( normally flushed) the fluids But also of people changing their fluild's with 160k and seemlier miles

with no issues.

 

The question is also are you going to flush the auto box or just change the oil and filter ? the school of thinking with some people is just changing the oil and filter on some higher miles auto's leaving some of the original oil in the system is better than flushing Which is less chance of solids scale etc being displaced and sent around the box.

 

We changed the auto oil (flushed) and filter  in our 525 @ 116k and have never had any issues It's ready for another now @ 167k  I would not flush the box this time But just change the oil and filter leaving some of the old oil  in the system.

 

 But views do differ on this subject :) 

 

  

Edited by Carl-e34

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Interested I this as I am also fairly local to the Bournemouth area and wondered if there where any reliable specialists in the area....

 

Agree with Carl's comments above but also feel that in some cases when you read horror stories on the web that the oil and filter change was done by a numpty and either refilled with wrong oil or not sufficiently topped up/ serviced correctly.

 

I think the importance should be finding someone who is a specialist in the auto box field and knows what the are doing.... 

 

Either way good luck and keep us posted :)

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Thanks guys. Carl, I’ll probably look to change the filter and oil and maybe leave out the flush as it’s quite high miles. Many thanks for the advice!

If I find a good indie I’ll post it here.

Cheers.

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A flush is going to cost perhaps £250+ at an indi I'd guess

 

Personally I wouldnt bother, just keep that money towards a recon box (around 1500 fitted) if it needs it in the future

 

Seems to be a complete lottery, some boxes are perfect at 200k others fail at 120k.

 

When I sold mine at 170k I think the box itself was fine but the torque converter was failing to stay locked at higher speeds. Afaik the fluid was never changed (or even topped up)

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It's not a case of mileage with mine, but age. The car is only on 37,600 miles, but I have to assume that the same oil has been resident since build in 2001.

 

The 'box works absolutely fine, but I will be having the oil changed during the next service/MOT input towards the end of this year. Some indies have some very high spec kit now to extract pretty much all the oil from the system (BMR Performance in Sussex certainly do) and done properly, I can see no harm in having the job done.     

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Also in this thread for reads.  I've read plenty of threads of them failing after being done and it kind of puts me off.  Box has 204k on it and I can't see any receipts for it being done.  Shifts good.  A little hard when it's cold but it's an old slushy.  Oil and filter is £120 and then half an hour to change it out.  Not getting it all is a pest.  Someone suggested pulling a trans cooler line off and running the engine to pump it out.

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Thanks Loadmaster & Adam.

It sounds like there’s no definite opinion on whether it’s best to do or not, other than if you do make sure it’s someone who knows absolutely what they’re doing.

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Hi Sven,

 

As you can see from the many threads on all BMW forums, over the last 15+ years, there's no definite on this, so it comes down to how you want to go. I purchased my 530d Auto just a few months past it's 3rd birthday in 2006 at a few miles above 150K miles. It was a West Yorkshire Police car so was in fine condition mechanically but a very very, VERY scratched, swirl marked to hell and ghosted paint. A few months later at 172K miles and perhaps summer 2006, the gearbox failed. Everywhere I took it to said 150K miles was about the usual they'd see E39/E46/E53 cars in with the same issue, so I was a bit lucky I got another 22K miles. I had it overhauled and when I pulled away from the place that did it, within 50 yards it noticed it felt a lethargic, to the point I double checked I hadn't left the handbrake on! drove back to the guy, mentioned it and he said he'd rebuilt it and then flashed the ECU/Controller with factory settings. That confirmed to me my car had been remapped by the Police car preparatory centre that did it when new most likely. I drove for another 6 months or so like this before I had my ECU re-mapped. Another 100K miles or so, and early 2015, it failed again. Took it back to the same place and they confirmed a full rebuild needed and I pressed ahead. Throughout 2015 it kept crapping out on me for a total of about 9 times, I tried claiming via my Credit Card protection but that process stopped when they asked for a independent inspection to be carried out to see if it was down to bad workmanship - this would have cost at least a days labour. Fortunately, a low miled full manual 5 speed conversion kit came up and I had that done. 1st and 2nd rebuild cost £1500, and the 5spd conversion was about the same with a brand new clutch. For me it was the best solution and I absolutely love the manual gearbox on it now and I know I won't have auto gearbox issues in the future. If your car is one you intend to keep, then I'd suggest going for the same. If you think you might sell it in the future, then when the gearbox does fail (most likely) then perhaps just fit a used gearbox and hope it lasts. IF your current gearbox does last and is working good for selling time, then count yourself quite lucky !

 

Since the initial rebuild, over the years on the forums the indication is if a gearbox is rebuilt, then a full oil drain and refill is the recommended route to go every 2/3 years in order to minimise the risk of a full failure, it might just be a Torque Converter failure only which means I think, around a £5/600 job all in. Definitely speak to Dartford Tranmissions to get the latest from a specialist who works on these cars all the time :)

 

Make sure you give Automatic Man in Acton a very wide berth.

 

Cheers, Dennis!

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Many thanks Dennis. Dartford & Acton are both too far away for me as I’m based in Bournemouth are but I’ll look for a specialist and see if they’re any good and decide what to do then. I’ll prob go for prevention in first instance with oil & filter change.

cheers, Sven 

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