NonMain Dealer BMW Specialist - Liverpool Area?

Afternoon all
My 05 525d is shortly to come out of it's 3 year BMW warranty and I would like to explore having it serviced outside of the BMW dealer network.
Its an automatic and having completed 60k I am particularly interested in having the gearbox oil (?)changed. I understand that BMW consider the auto boxes to be sealed for life with the end result they tend to fail at about 120k.
"General Warning about Automatic Transmissions: Many BMWs have "sealed for life" automatic transmissions. Regardless of whether you have a full BMW service history, the dealer will never change the auto fluid. Many of these boxes are failing around the 120-150k mark - often well outside of warranty and to a cost of 3.5k plus VAT. A good independent or automatic transmission specialist can and will change the fluid for you (and any good BMW independents will recommend this anyway). This is commonplace in the US and means the 'box should last the life of the car rather than being the cause of it being written off. General advice is ensure the fluid is flushed out every 60k or more preferably at each Inspection II. "
From > http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/index.htm?mdS7 &
Any recommendations?
Cheers
Alan
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Pure speculation on 'Honest John's' part as he cannot possibly have meaningful figures as to whether changing the ATF extends the life. And many of these US reports refer to a different make of auto anyway on earlier cars which wasn't fitted to UK ones.
What you have to remember is that it's near impossible to change the ATF as a substantial quantity remains in the torque convertor which cannot be drained without removal.
Whether it is worthwhile to do a part change is really up to your guess. The ATF is expensive.
FWIW I subscribe to a BMW group which deals with E39s some of which are fitted with a similar box, and reports of auto transmission failure are rare. Unlike problems with front suspension and cooling systems. Of course that is only a straw poll, but a decent enough one nevertheless.
--
*If your feet smell and your nose runs, you're built upside down.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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I've used Autotech a number of times and found them to be very good. The last job was on a 320i which got stuck in second gear. They tried to source a second hand or reconditioned box but couldn't find one as these gearboxes are 'unbreakable' supposedly, so they removed it and stripped it down and found a broken selector fork. They replaced this and refitted the box - great job, can't recall the cost but it was, IIRC, much cheaper than even a second hand box.
Auto Tech Centre www.autotech-bmw-northwest.co.uk
12 Regent St Liverpool, L3 7BN, UK 0151 236 6966
John
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Ranger wrote:

H'm - thanks for the comments guys
Cheers
A
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