I did take it to a qualified shop, and had them run the codes for the transmission (OBD I) to see if there were any fault codes.
None showed up, so I presumed that the problem was relatively recent, minor, and could be easily fixed by replacing the transmission fluid. Okay, enough background on the automatic transmission.
The first step in replacing your fluid is to jack up your car so that you can reach the underside of the transmission.
Use the Pelican Parts Technical Article on Jacking Up as a reference, and elevate the car enough so that you can work underneath it.
On the other hand, the BMW transmissions used on the E36 were supposedly designed with a life-time fluid that did not need to be changed.
Despite the dealer's recommendations not to change or even mess with the fluid, I prefer to change mine every 3 years or 30,000 miles.
This transmission fluid change was the very first project that I performed on this particular car (my wife's 1992 325is).
I purchased the car with a known transmission problem.
On my 1988 Nissan Pathfinder, I was shocked when I found that I couldn't easily change the fluid without dropping some structural, and exhaust components.
Luckily the BMW transmissions are easy to reach and fairly easy to service.
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