Yaaaayyyyy, I'm $3641 lighter now

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Thanks, Mr. E36, my friend. You've been very well maintained; you been pampered like a baby, and driven by a gentleman. You've been a bit of a problem child, but I forgave you. But now,
you're pressing your luck a bit.............you may find yourself with a new and not so nice owner in the not too distant future.
I just knew it was about time for some new problem to arise with this fink of a car, and boy did it. Auto trannie began the slip less than two weeks ago...diagnosis from three different BMW shops: replace. Done. Total drive out cost: $3641.62 Car only has 86,400 easy miles on it.........
I've 1979 Fords more reliable.
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It's hard to find a reliable auto tranny that can last as long as a 5-speed.
Autos overheat and fail. External tranny cooler help some, but some designs are flawed.
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Funny, I wore out 2nd gear syncros like crazy but have had stupid good luck with autos.
--
Need Mercedes parts? http://parts.mbz.org
Richard Sexton | Mercedes stuff: http://mbz.org
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Why didn't you get the transmission rebuilt by a specialist? Would have cost about half that and make no difference to the resale value of the car.
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*It IS as bad as you think, and they ARE out to get you.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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wrote:

It is a rebuilt transmission, which was my only option apparently, and was built by GM France. I could have taken it to a place like AAmco, and let them go into it, but felt that even if they could get it to behave, the repair wouldn't have lasted with this crappy trans, and I would've had to replace it anyway, throwing who knows, maybe $1500 (a guess) at AAmco when it would be a complete waste.
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Ah - it's a GM transmission. Don't know who you'd blame about that - all other countries got the better ZF.
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*He who dies with the most toys is, nonetheless, dead.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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wrote:

It is a rebuilt transmission, which was my only option apparently, and was built by GM France. I could have taken it to a place like AAmco, and let them go into it, but felt that even if they could get it to behave, the repair wouldn't have lasted with this crappy trans, and I would've had to replace it anyway, throwing who knows, maybe $1500 (a guess) at AAmco when it would be a complete waste.
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In the course of those 86,400 miles, how many times did you drain and refill the fluid?
R / John
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Lifetime fluid, no service required so say the materials. Besides, every BMW service dept. says TOTALLY unnecessary if under 100,000 miles. My shop said servicing would've almost certainly made no difference. The guy told me that BMW have put such bad trannies into their cars that in years past, they actually had a sign (no joke) saying to customer that if transmission failed while car in their possession, they were not responsible!!
Enjoy: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/bmw_trans.html

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SNIP

True enough, BMW is not noted for the longevity of their auto transmissions. Lifetime fill was changed to 100,000 mile service several years ago ... evidently even the boys in Munich had doubts. It's possible nothing would have helped the box, but most transmission specialists think 30K fluid flushes improve the life of the beast.
R / John
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is this a problem with earlier cars? i took a quick peek at the consumer affairs site that was posted and all the complaints appeared to be for cars from 2000 on. i'm asking b/c i've been looking at cars from the mid-90s and a transmission replacement appears to cost about the same as their blue book value = >:(
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Would that be the GM or ZF? Many seem to say US autos last more than 200,000 miles, but this one failed at less than 90k. My last ZF was fine at 140k+.

It might do if useing Dexron II. But that fluid has been superseded.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Exactly. If you go "by the book" and only use the prescribed Shell LA 2634 you'd go broke changing it every 30k miles.
Of course, there are those risk takers out there that have discovered that Penzoil sells the same stuff as Multi-Vehicle semi-synthetic ATF for a small fraction of the cost of the Shell offical stuff.
--
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My father worked for GM for many years and drove nothing but GM cars. The one thing that always seemed to be very reliable about these cars were their transmissions.
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Yes - at one time they were the choice of Rolls Royce, Jaguar and other UK makers who didn't make their own and could seek out the best from around the world.
They seem to have lost the plot recently, though. ;-)
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Stirling Moss once said something like "Why on earth would you choose to shift a manual when you Yanks make the best automatic transmissions in the entire world?"
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I doubt he'd say that now. The toss up would be between M-B and ZF.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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IMO the lesson of all this is that BMW is best with a manual.
Not so much for performance as for reliability.
I recently had the clutch replaced on my 87 325i, turns out it was original with ~200K miles on it.
Agree about the '79 Ford. The old 3-speed-no-overdrive domestics were, and still are more reliable modern 3-speed+overdrive.
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Might be for the US ones with the GM box.

Most 'modern' autos are at least 5 speed - some BMWs in Europe since '91. Many have 6 or 7 gears these days. And give equally as good performance and econonomy as manuals.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Not true. Every performance test for acceleration I have ever seen says that autos are always slower than manuals. If you want, I can dig out examples from Car & Driver magazine. Every test I have seen - including the US EPA shows that manuals get better mileage: http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/spec_engines.aspx?year 06&make=BMW&model=3-Series#mpg.
FloydR
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