Question about 1999 BMW 5 Series

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My fiance has a 1999 BMW 528 I, it now requires that you manually shift it from 3rd to the normal driving gear almost 1/2 the time. It is an automatic, what causes that, where can the dip stick be found for transmission fluid?

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The automatic transmission in a 1999, Series 5 BMW, which is classified as Tiptronic (access to individual Drive positions 1 to 5 is offset toward the Operator, from the P,R,N,D positions), and the transmission is lubricated for its' life; therefore, a dip stick is not available. BMW does NOT recommend shifting the transmission fluid. However, it can be shifted by first draining the old fluid, and then refilling with the recommended fluid level to the fill hole, directly at the transmission itself.

Posted on Feb 28, 2011

  •  KENT OLSSON
    KENT OLSSON Nov 26, 2014

    Since the comment above, made in 2011, BMW has revised its' thinking on the lifetime duration of the automatic Tiptronic transmission fluid. A transmission fluid change, with normal driving, ought to be performed by an authorized dealer at about a 100,000 miles or 160,000 kilometers intervals. Although there is no stick to measure the fluid level, the service should include: draining the fluid, removing the fluid pan, cleaning the magnetic collector of metal filings from normal operation, inspection of the transmission, replacement of the gasket seal for the fluid pan, ordered torquing of pan bolts to ensure proper, uniform pressure on the fluid pan to ensure a leakproof seal, refilling of specified transmission fluid to specification levels, refitting of fill hole bolt to specified torque for leak protection. All work should be conducted in a clean environment, free from dust, grit and rag particles left in the transmission. This service can cost about $1,000, but guaranteed less than the replacement of a transmission, even a rebuilt transmission. Just do it, and have a professional BMW dealer do it.

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