The E36 is the body style designator for all 3 series BMWs produced from 1992 until 1998. Although it can be a complicated vehicle to work on, some routine maintenance is easy to do. Should you ever need to change the oil or do a DIY transmission fluid change on your manual transmission BMW, you can do it in an hour with simple hand tools.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- 17 millimetre wrench
- 1.2 litres of manual transmission fluid
- Drain pan
- Torque wrench
- Oil transfer pump
Drive the vehicle up onto the ramps. Engage the emergency brakes and chock the wheels.
Locate the drain plug on the bottom of the transmission, and the fill plug on the right side of the transmission, halfway up.
Remove the fill plug to release pressure and prevent a vacuum. Place the drain pan under the transmission and then remove the drain plug. Allow the transmission to drain completely.
Reinsert the drain plug, then fill the transmission at the fill hole with the transfer pump. The transmission oil is at the correct level once the fluid begins to run from the fill hole. Replace the fill plug. Torque both plugs to 37 foot-pounds.
Tips and warnings
- A warm engine and transmission drains better, preheating helps with the procedure.
- Use a quality torque wrench as it is very easy to strip out fill plugs
- Use caution when working under a hot car. The exhaust can be very hot.
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