BMW X3 Automatic Transmission Service with Fluid and Filter Change for E83

automatic transmission

Here’s a walk thru of a BMW X3 automatic transmission service with fluid and filter change on a 2008 E83. The 2008 has a 6 speed GM 6L50 transmission that uses Dexron VI automatic transmission fluid. You’ll need 6-7 quarts of replacement fluid, the replacement filter, replacement pan gasket and a few other items I’ve listed below. I found it easiest to simply buy a 2008 BMW X3 transmission service kit which includes the replacement fluid, replacement filter, replacement pan gasket, hardware, O ring, and drain plug. I was paranoid about a fluid leak so I wanted to do everything right for this service. Some of the special tools I needed for this procedure were a torque wrench, and some sort of pump to get the fluid into the transmission. My Harbor Freight Tools fluid pump for under $15 did the job nicely. Parts used include:

Service kit
Gasket eraser
Form a Gasket
Brake cleaner

Here’s the full video for the BMW X3 automatic transmission service, and I’ll add more notes below:

How did it work out and how does the BMW X3 E83 ride afterward?

Before this procedure, my BMW E83 transmission was running just fine. But with 8 years and 105,000 miles on the car, I thought it was time for this service. But once I had everything open, I didn’t see much metallic sludge on the pan and I could still smell the fluid was fresh and not burnt. Plus it still looked slightly red. In my opinion, the car probably could have gone another 50,000 without needing the service, but I’m still glad I did it.

After 1,000 miles, the car drives and shifts the same as before the BMW X3 automatic transmission service procedure. One notable change was I would sometimes feel a ‘clunk’ when coming to a stop. It never did this before, and I did some research. It turns out to be a common complaint on BMWs and it’s mostly disappeared now, but why did it start? I’m not sure what happened, but I read using Sport mode helps and after a few days of using Sport mode and manual shifting, it mostly went away. I still slightly feel the clunk sometimes when coming to a stop, but it’s not really noticable anymore.
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