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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-18-2011, 05:18 AM
borr477 borr477 is offline
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Location: MA
 
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Mein Auto: BMW 540 2002
2002 540 transmission failsafe

I have seen a lot of correspondence regarding this problem on this web site. I first noticed my problem after an electronic throttle body was replaced to address engine failure mode. Anyone have any thoughts if this repair may have had any bearing on transmission fail safe showing up? Car transmission was fine up until that point. Any other thoughts would be appreciated. Transmission has about 170k miles.

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  #2  
Old 12-18-2011, 05:41 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
It seems more than half the time the Trans Prog Failsafe warning is triggered by other reasons. Are you in default mode (3d gear only?) If you are NOT in default mode, the warning light has probably been triggered by a sensor (i.e. ABS) malfunction or an electrical (i.e. alternator) problem. Who did the work on the throttle body? If it was a shop, have them clear the code and see if it returns. If you did the work, you'll need to find a shop with a GT-1 or equivalent code reader to clear the code for you. If the warning returns, you may have a tranny problem. But check the other possible causes first.
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:10 AM
borr477 borr477 is offline
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I think it is 3rd gear it is draggy. A certified mechanic did the work on
the throttle body and the alternator has just been replaced. It's happened
about 3-4 times over the last 6 months.

Thanks,
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  #4  
Old 12-18-2011, 06:22 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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That's a bit more info. You should be able to tell if you are in 3d gear only. The car becomes almost unbearable to drive (very slow off the line, cannot exceed 40 mph, etc.). If this is the third or fourth time it has happened, how did it reset itself? If the mechanic is certified, have him reset it for you. Repetitive tripping of this warning and self resets suggests something else (alternator or sensor) is triggering this issue. However, you may actually have a tranny problem. May be time to see a qualified indy (although I know what stealer wiill say: you need a new tranny).
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:55 AM
borr477 borr477 is offline
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I have reset per the owners manual and yes you are right they did say I needed to replace the tranny.

Thanks,
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  #6  
Old 12-18-2011, 09:34 PM
Solo1 Solo1 is offline
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I would be interested to know what the answer is. I hope it turns out positively for you. Good luck.
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  #7  
Old 12-20-2011, 09:50 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
The OP may want to see some of these:
- How people resolved transmission "Trans Failsafe Program", aka "Limp Mode" (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16)
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