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BMW Automatic Transmission Fluid Level Check – No Dipstick

February 6, 2012

This answer is applicable for many BMWs in addition to the one listed below.

Q
car year: 2004
car model: 325Ci Convertible
This may sound stupid, but I can’t find the dip stick to check the transmission fluid level. I have a 6 cylinder engine and the manual doesn’t say anything about the level or how to check it. Looking under the hood I can’t find it either. Help! thanks


Automatic transmissions in most BMW models from the mid/late ’90s-on do not have fluid level dipsticks.  The fluid level is checked (and fluid added) via a fill plug on the transmission fluid pan or just above the pan on the transmission body.  See the Spring 2006 issue of our Fast Times newsletter for an article on changing the fluid and filter on late model BMW automatic transmissions (which also discusses checking the fluid level).  The specific transmission shown is the A4S-440Z  used in many late ’90s and early ’00s 540i and 740i models.  This Fast Times article was done using a 2000 540i, but the general procedures for the fluid and filter change are similar for other models as is the fluid level checking procedure outlined at the end of the article.

Different BMW models will have different fill plug locations, but the procedures for checking the fluid are the same as outlined in the article.  It is important to note that all final level checking is to be done with the transmission warm and the engine running.  DO NOT remove the fill plug unless the engine is running.  Doing so will allow about a quart of fluid to drain out. 

 The fill plug is not specifically shown in the article.  The plug for this transmission is located on the passenger side, toward the rear, above the pan (on the transmission body).  The applicable Bentley repair manuals will show the fill and drain plug locations for specific BMW models.

If additional fluid is needed, use the Bavarian Autosport Fluid Transfer Pump to add fresh fluid.

Click below for Spring 2006 Fast Times:
BMW

Click below for Bentley repair manuals:

Click below for Fluid Transfer Pump:

Automatic Transmission Fluids:

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