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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 08-14-2012, 05:09 AM
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kskane kskane is online now
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Transmission Warning: Gear in use without Break

Yell out for help,

From past few months, everytime I start the car for the first time in the morning (cold) it starts rough and the car gives a warning message "Caution Gear can be engaged without applying brake. Possible to continue your journey with caution. Switch off engine before leaving". After running the car for couple of minutes, turning off and turning back on, the message goes away until next day when it is cold again. Any clues?

Prior to my BMW 525i E60, I had a Honda accord which died on its tranmission, I don't want this one to die on it tranmission again..............please help with any solution.

Stealer looked at it for $200+ and suggested a software upgrade or replacement of triptronic system which will cost me 5K.

I hope some BMW Guru outthere can save me here.........

Cheers.
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  #2  
Old 08-14-2012, 11:45 AM
BluebeamA BluebeamA is offline
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Sounds like my problem but for 530i 2004 I have no clue whats going on got me scared as hell
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  #3  
Old 08-24-2012, 01:30 AM
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kskane kskane is online now
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Okay, after another $220 I got a code for this transmission fault "4E87 Solenoid valve 4 (shift lock)". The guy did not wanted to do any thing else and told me to look for a transmission expert. And BMW just wanted to upgrade the software or change the entire transmission.

Any help would be welcome here guys.
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  #4  
Old 08-29-2012, 07:28 PM
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kskane kskane is online now
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Okay Guys, I need help from some BMW GURU here.

My tranmission expert who was sure to fix the problem, had a look and confirmed that the MECHATRONIC unit needs to be replaced as it can't be repaired. Issues I have is, the Mechatronic unit is programmed to the car, so I can't just change the unit, it has to be coded by the stealer. Is this true?

Secondly, I am thinking to buy a second hand tranmission and just replace the whole unit, but what I am not sure if if the electricals on the card would need to be re-prgrammed or can the physical transmission just be replaced.

All suggestions are welcome.
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  #5  
Old 09-12-2012, 06:19 PM
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kskane kskane is online now
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After some great help from CTSC, I finally figured the solenoid 4E87 is outside the trans above the top of the gear shift. In order to get to it, you have pull out the following in sequence.

1. Hazard switch
2. Panel holding the air vents
3. Front panel containing the controls to AC etc
4. Lower panel where your NAV DVD section.
5. The centre knob
6. Menu switch
7. Gear shift knob + cover + drive panel (which indicate which gear you are in)
8. The complete mid section panel.
9. Cigarette lighter holder

And now finally if you see right above the gear shift, you will see a cable going into the gear shift. That little connector wire is going into the solenoid 4E87 (picture attached). Now back to my problem. During cold start I get a warning for this solenoid not being functional and then it disappears after few minutes. I have checked the solenoid is fine to its resistance of 19-21 Ohms, and the connecting cable has the right voltage during the day time, but strangely at cold start, the cable does not have any voltage at all for few minutes thus causing that fault message.

Does anyone has any idea why the cable will not have voltage for first few minutes? Anyone good with BMW WDS and know where the current in this cable is coming from that I can diagnose further?
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  #6  
Old 09-12-2012, 09:25 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kskane View Post
After some great help from CTSC, I finally figured the solenoid 4E87 is outside the trans above the top of the gear shift. In order to get to it, you have pull out the following in sequence.

1. Hazard switch
2. Panel holding the air vents
3. Front panel containing the controls to AC etc
4. Lower panel where your NAV DVD section.
5. The centre knob
6. Menu switch
7. Gear shift knob + cover + drive panel (which indicate which gear you are in)
8. The complete mid section panel.
9. Cigarette lighter holder

And now finally if you see right above the gear shift, you will see a cable going into the gear shift. That little connector wire is going into the solenoid 4E87 (picture attached). Now back to my problem. During cold start I get a warning for this solenoid not being functional and then it disappears after few minutes. I have checked the solenoid is fine to its resistance of 19-21 Ohms, and the connecting cable has the right voltage during the day time, but strangely at cold start, the cable does not have any voltage at all for few minutes thus causing that fault message.

Does anyone has any idea why the cable will not have voltage for first few minutes? Anyone good with BMW WDS and know where the current in this cable is coming from that I can diagnose further?
If you hadn't tested the voltage on the solenoid I would have suggested you check to see if a soft drink had been spilled into the console and the solenoid was sticking.

I assume you checked the connector and pins to make sure they were making a positive contact and didn't need to be cleaned.

The fact that you begin to receive this signal after a few minutes of warm up leads me to believe that the generation of the signal has to do with heat and expansion at an electrical connection or solenoid.

The voltage is received from the TCM or Transmission Control Module, which in turn receives the signal from magnetic valve solenoids in the mechatronics unit of the transmission. There is also interaction from the ECM.

Failure of the solenoid, TCM or any electrical connections in between can interrupt the signal.

The attached PDF is for the same transmission, but specific to a 2002 745i. It explains the operation of the MV or magnetic valve solenoids and which one controls the transmission lock solenoid.

As you dig deeper into the TCM you should be able to isolate which pins bring the signal from the transmission for the transmission lock. If the TCM is getting the signal then it is the wiring between the TCM and console or the TCM itself.

I will keep my fingers crossed for you that the problem is outside the transmission. Pulling out the mechatronics unit is not for the faint of heart and pretty high on the DIY scale of difficulty.

In the PDF the writer's problem was the solenoid was stuck in the locked position, preventing the transmission from being taken out of park. Your problem is after you put it back into park the solenoid is not returning to the locked position, thus when you start the car the next time the ECM and TCM module system checks on start up sense the solenoid out of position and you throw a fault.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf DIY Mechatronics.pdf (1.12 MB, 3612 views)

Last edited by bimmerfan52; 09-13-2012 at 12:41 AM. Reason: Addtl Info
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  #7  
Old 09-13-2012, 06:30 AM
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kskane kskane is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerfan52 View Post
If you hadn't tested the voltage on the solenoid I would have suggested you check to see if a soft drink had been spilled into the console and the solenoid was sticking.

I assume you checked the connector and pins to make sure they were making a positive contact and didn't need to be cleaned.

The fact that you begin to receive this signal after a few minutes of warm up leads me to believe that the generation of the signal has to do with heat and expansion at an electrical connection or solenoid.

The voltage is received from the TCM or Transmission Control Module, which in turn receives the signal from magnetic valve solenoids in the mechatronics unit of the transmission. There is also interaction from the ECM.

Failure of the solenoid, TCM or any electrical connections in between can interrupt the signal.

The attached PDF is for the same transmission, but specific to a 2002 745i. It explains the operation of the MV or magnetic valve solenoids and which one controls the transmission lock solenoid.

As you dig deeper into the TCM you should be able to isolate which pins bring the signal from the transmission for the transmission lock. If the TCM is getting the signal then it is the wiring between the TCM and console or the TCM itself.

I will keep my fingers crossed for you that the problem is outside the transmission. Pulling out the mechatronics unit is not for the faint of heart and pretty high on the DIY scale of difficulty.

In the PDF the writer's problem was the solenoid was stuck in the locked position, preventing the transmission from being taken out of park. Your problem is after you put it back into park the solenoid is not returning to the locked position, thus when you start the car the next time the ECM and TCM module system checks on start up sense the solenoid out of position and you throw a fault.
Thanks for the PDF, if I look at the diagram at the bottom, it indicates 4E87 is connected directly to Ignition Switch Interlock. So how do I test that part?
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  #8  
Old 09-13-2012, 11:20 AM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kskane View Post
Thanks for the PDF, if I look at the diagram at the bottom, it indicates 4E87 is connected directly to Ignition Switch Interlock. So how do I test that part?
The normal sequence, as I understand it is this:

Car is in park and engine is off. There is no voltage to solenoid and it is in the extended locked position.

Engine is turned on and brake pedal is depressed. Voltage is then sent to locking solenoid which is energized and retracts the locking pin to allow gear shift lever to be moved.

When gear shift lever is returned to park (engine running) the voltage to the solenoid is interrupted and the solenoid spring returns it to the locked position and gear shift lever is locked again until brake pedal is again depressed.

Sequence of your car:

Apparently when you return the gear shift to park the solenoid is not releasing and returning to the lock position. Even after you turn the engine off, and the voltage should have been released the solenoid is still not returning to the lock position.

When you start the car the computer runs through a series of checks to see what micro switches are opened and closed and what modules successfully run their start up check lists. The physical position of the locking pin on the gear shift lever is signaling the ECM that it is not in its proper position, which generate the warning that the gear shift lever can be moved without depressing the brake.

You need to answer "Why isn't the solenoid returning to the lock position?"

I can think of only two possibilities:

1. The voltage is not being removed for some reason. I believe you could test this. Put the gear shift lever in park and turn off the car. Remove the negative battery cable which should remove all power from the car and discontinue any voltage that might still be applied to the solenoid. Reconnect the battery cable and start the car. If you don't get the warning then you have interrupted the voltage that continues to be applied to the solenoid and need to trouble shoot from there.

2. The solenoid is physically being prevented from returning to the lock position after the voltage is removed. I believe this is your problem. Is the spring broken? Is the solenoid locking pin not lining up with the locking hole? Is the solenoid sticky from a spilled drink? You might try to wiggle the gear shift lever once you return it to park to see if a misaligned pin "finds" the hole.

CTSC gave you the resistance of the solenoid. Did they give you the activation voltage that is sent to the solenoid? If you know this you can pull off the connector you circled in your picture and apply that voltage at will to the solenoid and see if it pulls out of the locked position and retracts when the voltage is removed.

After you run the check for the first possibility I think you will move to the second possibility and will probably need to dig deeper into the gear shift assembly to see the solenoid work and see why it is not physically releasing to the locked position.

Last edited by bimmerfan52; 09-13-2012 at 11:24 AM. Reason: typo
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  #9  
Old 09-16-2012, 04:46 PM
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kskane kskane is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerfan52 View Post
The normal sequence, as I understand it is this:

Car is in park and engine is off. There is no voltage to solenoid and it is in the extended locked position.

Engine is turned on and brake pedal is depressed. Voltage is then sent to locking solenoid which is energized and retracts the locking pin to allow gear shift lever to be moved.

When gear shift lever is returned to park (engine running) the voltage to the solenoid is interrupted and the solenoid spring returns it to the locked position and gear shift lever is locked again until brake pedal is again depressed.

Sequence of your car:

Apparently when you return the gear shift to park the solenoid is not releasing and returning to the lock position. Even after you turn the engine off, and the voltage should have been released the solenoid is still not returning to the lock position.

When you start the car the computer runs through a series of checks to see what micro switches are opened and closed and what modules successfully run their start up check lists. The physical position of the locking pin on the gear shift lever is signaling the ECM that it is not in its proper position, which generate the warning that the gear shift lever can be moved without depressing the brake.

You need to answer "Why isn't the solenoid returning to the lock position?"

I can think of only two possibilities:

1. The voltage is not being removed for some reason. I believe you could test this. Put the gear shift lever in park and turn off the car. Remove the negative battery cable which should remove all power from the car and discontinue any voltage that might still be applied to the solenoid. Reconnect the battery cable and start the car. If you don't get the warning then you have interrupted the voltage that continues to be applied to the solenoid and need to trouble shoot from there.

2. The solenoid is physically being prevented from returning to the lock position after the voltage is removed. I believe this is your problem. Is the spring broken? Is the solenoid locking pin not lining up with the locking hole? Is the solenoid sticky from a spilled drink? You might try to wiggle the gear shift lever once you return it to park to see if a misaligned pin "finds" the hole.

CTSC gave you the resistance of the solenoid. Did they give you the activation voltage that is sent to the solenoid? If you know this you can pull off the connector you circled in your picture and apply that voltage at will to the solenoid and see if it pulls out of the locked position and retracts when the voltage is removed.

After you run the check for the first possibility I think you will move to the second possibility and will probably need to dig deeper into the gear shift assembly to see the solenoid work and see why it is not physically releasing to the locked position.
Thank you BimmerFan32 for such a descriptive suggestion, but I am confused why does this warning only comes in the cold start in the morning? Everything functions fine i.e. "Solenoid returns to the lock position" during the entire day time, but just not on the cold start. CTSC guys did not give me the solenoid but I know when everything is working there is a voltage of 12.something without break press and 0.01/2 with break being pressed. Is there any other diagnosis I do further?
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  #10  
Old 09-16-2012, 10:44 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kskane View Post
Thank you BimmerFan32 for such a descriptive suggestion, but I am confused why does this warning only comes in the cold start in the morning? Everything functions fine i.e. "Solenoid returns to the lock position" during the entire day time, but just not on the cold start. CTSC guys did not give me the solenoid but I know when everything is working there is a voltage of 12.something without break press and 0.01/2 with break being pressed. Is there any other diagnosis I do further?
Upon further investigation I have discovered that there are two locking systems on the gear shift lever for 2004-2007 E60s, and the solenoid operated lock is only operational when the engine is running.

The first is a cable linking the ignition lock to the gear shift lever. The key can only be removed when the gear shift lever is in park. Moving the gear shift lever to park also operates a cable connected to the mechatronics transmission to lock the transmission output shaft. Conversely, the gear shift lever can only be moved out of park if the key is inserted and turned to a least the first position.

A second locking system is employed when the car is started and the shift lever is in the P or N position. The transmission control module sends a voltage to the locking solenoid to move it to a locked position. When the brake is depressed the voltage returns to zero and the pin retracts.

Either the mechatronics unit is not sending the signal or the TCM is not forwarding the voltage.

If you don't see the voltage to the solenoid on cold start up, but do see it after having driven the car, turned it off and restart it then I would guess it is the solenoid in the mechatronics unit that sends the signal to the TCM to send voltage to the gear shift lever solenoid. The mechatronics solenoid may not be operating unless the transmission fluid is warm.

If you haven't done a drain and fill on the transmission that is what I would start with. If you do it twice (with maybe 100 miles of driving in between) you will have 85% fresh fluid after both drain and fills. Even though the system holds about 11 quarts when you drain the transmission sump you will only get about 6 quarts out as the rest is held in the torque converter.
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  #11  
Old 09-17-2012, 04:40 PM
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kskane kskane is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerfan52 View Post
Upon further investigation I have discovered that there are two locking systems on the gear shift lever for 2004-2007 E60s, and the solenoid operated lock is only operational when the engine is running.

The first is a cable linking the ignition lock to the gear shift lever. The key can only be removed when the gear shift lever is in park. Moving the gear shift lever to park also operates a cable connected to the mechatronics transmission to lock the transmission output shaft. Conversely, the gear shift lever can only be moved out of park if the key is inserted and turned to a least the first position.

A second locking system is employed when the car is started and the shift lever is in the P or N position. The transmission control module sends a voltage to the locking solenoid to move it to a locked position. When the brake is depressed the voltage returns to zero and the pin retracts.

Either the mechatronics unit is not sending the signal or the TCM is not forwarding the voltage.

If you don't see the voltage to the solenoid on cold start up, but do see it after having driven the car, turned it off and restart it then I would guess it is the solenoid in the mechatronics unit that sends the signal to the TCM to send voltage to the gear shift lever solenoid. The mechatronics solenoid may not be operating unless the transmission fluid is warm.

If you haven't done a drain and fill on the transmission that is what I would start with. If you do it twice (with maybe 100 miles of driving in between) you will have 85% fresh fluid after both drain and fills. Even though the system holds about 11 quarts when you drain the transmission sump you will only get about 6 quarts out as the rest is held in the torque converter.
Thanks you BimmerFan32, I guess oil change is better option than mechatronics replacement.

Anyone know what oil to use in transmission for E60's ZF 6HP19 box?
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  #12  
Old 09-17-2012, 05:04 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kskane View Post
Thanks you BimmerFan32, I guess oil change is better option than mechatronics replacement.

Anyone know what oil to use in transmission for E60's ZF 6HP19 box?
I am not saying changing the fluid will definitely correct your problem but it is a relatively low cost attempt at a solution before digging into the mechantronics unit. Also, unless you know the fluid was changed recently it is definitely time to do this vital preventive maintenance anyway.

ZF Lifeguard 6 is the approved fluid. It can be purchased through a ZF distributor or directly through the dealer.
http://www.thectsc.com/index.php?p=p...d=10&parent=58

I personally use Pentosin ATF1 which is recognized as an OE alternative but if the two fluids were very close in price I would probably recommend the ZF fluid.

Good DIY on changing the fluid.
http://forums.5series.net/topic/8812...-drain-refill/
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerfan52 View Post
I am not saying changing the fluid will definitely correct your problem but it is a relatively low cost attempt at a solution before digging into the mechantronics unit. Also, unless you know the fluid was changed recently it is definitely time to do this vital preventive maintenance anyway.

ZF Lifeguard 6 is the approved fluid. It can be purchased through a ZF distributor or directly through the dealer.
http://www.thectsc.com/index.php?p=p...d=10&parent=58

I personally use Pentosin ATF1 which is recognized as an OE alternative but if the two fluids were very close in price I would probably recommend the ZF fluid.

Good DIY on changing the fluid.
http://forums.5series.net/topic/8812...-drain-refill/
Transmission oil change was done about 12K ago and this problem started randomly after that oil change and now has become permanent cold start issue. Indy was not reliable, so there could be a link to what you are saying is right. Or atleast that is what I would like to believe , cause I don't like the mechatronics (hate 'em bad).
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:06 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kskane View Post
Transmission oil change was done about 12K ago and this problem started randomly after that oil change and now has become permanent cold start issue. Indy was not reliable, so there could be a link to what you are saying is right. Or atleast that is what I would like to believe , cause I don't like the mechatronics (hate 'em bad).
Was the transmission fluid change done as PM or for another problem? Many shops (including BMW dealers) will reuse the trans fluid if the pan or sealing sleeve were changed due to a leak.

If the ATF was changed for PM do you know if ZF LifeGuard 6 or an equivalent OE fluid were used? If a different non-spec fluid was used that can cause a number of problems.

Have you had any other transmission issues such as slamming, sluggishness or holding gears too long that would suggest other solenoids are having problems?

The mechatronics removal for solenoid replacement is not the end of the world as far as a DIY. It just takes a tremendous amount of time, great patience and a meticulous level of cleanliness. Not even a thread from a towel can find its way into the assembly.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerfan52 View Post
Was the transmission fluid change done as PM or for another problem? Many shops (including BMW dealers) will reuse the trans fluid if the pan or sealing sleeve were changed due to a leak.

If the ATF was changed for PM do you know if ZF LifeGuard 6 or an equivalent OE fluid were used? If a different non-spec fluid was used that can cause a number of problems.

Have you had any other transmission issues such as slamming, sluggishness or holding gears too long that would suggest other solenoids are having problems?

The mechatronics removal for solenoid replacement is not the end of the world as far as a DIY. It just takes a tremendous amount of time, great patience and a meticulous level of cleanliness. Not even a thread from a towel can find its way into the assembly.
I am not sure what oil was used as I don't trust that Indy anymore. The only other issue I have with transmission which is from day one with this car, is around 35-50kmph speed, the seems like it lost power but keeps going as if it is struggling (weird noise) but the car drives okay. I think this is a common problem with many and not relevant to this.

So I am going to try and do oil change, and am trying to find a metal sump pan.
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:18 PM
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One more thing, the cold start has to be with the car not turned on for atleast 10-12 hours. If I turn the car on before 10 hours, the error is not visible. Does the time has to do anything with the car being cold or does it points to battery.

I have already checked the battery it is giving 12v in cold when the error happens, does not seems to be the battery.
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kskane View Post
One more thing, the cold start has to be with the car not turned on for atleast 10-12 hours. If I turn the car on before 10 hours, the error is not visible. Does the time has to do anything with the car being cold or does it points to battery.

I have already checked the battery it is giving 12v in cold when the error happens, does not seems to be the battery.
You might see if you can measure the temperature of the trans housing to find out what temperature it is after sitting 10 hours.

Once I was going to do a drain and fill on the transmission. I ran a short trip and then figured after 6 hours it would be cool enough to work on. No way! Still very hot.

I don't think it is the battery. If you have a charger you might "top off" the battery with a charge before starting it cold to see if that makes a difference.
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerfan52 View Post
You might see if you can measure the temperature of the trans housing to find out what temperature it is after sitting 10 hours.

Once I was going to do a drain and fill on the transmission. I ran a short trip and then figured after 6 hours it would be cool enough to work on. No way! Still very hot.

I don't think it is the battery. If you have a charger you might "top off" the battery with a charge before starting it cold to see if that makes a difference.
Will work on the trans housing temperature. But while I am preparing my mind for the trans oil change myself, I have a question below in case you might know the answer;
1. Is the trans sump has to be changed every time drain/fill is to be performed?
2. While doing a drain/fill, can the filling start at cold (meaning on cold start conditions). Or the trans has to be on a certain temperature to drain it and then on certain temperature to fill it. And then on between 30-40 C to do the second fill with car running.
3. While doing a drain/fill, the second top up has to be done with car running and in Park with handbreak or car turned off after running.
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kskane View Post
After some great help from CTSC, I finally figured the solenoid 4E87 is outside the trans above the top of the gear shift. In order to get to it, you have pull out the following in sequence.

1. Hazard switch
2. Panel holding the air vents
3. Front panel containing the controls to AC etc
4. Lower panel where your NAV DVD section.
5. The centre knob
6. Menu switch
7. Gear shift knob + cover + drive panel (which indicate which gear you are in)
8. The complete mid section panel.
9. Cigarette lighter holder

And now finally if you see right above the gear shift, you will see a cable going into the gear shift. That little connector wire is going into the solenoid 4E87 (picture attached). Now back to my problem. During cold start I get a warning for this solenoid not being functional and then it disappears after few minutes. I have checked the solenoid is fine to its resistance of 19-21 Ohms, and the connecting cable has the right voltage during the day time, but strangely at cold start, the cable does not have any voltage at all for few minutes thus causing that fault message.

Does anyone has any idea why the cable will not have voltage for first few minutes? Anyone good with BMW WDS and know where the current in this cable is coming from that I can diagnose further?
Does anyone knows if the solenoid highlighted in the picture above is actually part number "25 12 7 507 036 - SMG/SHIFTLOCK Gear shifting Steptronic, SMG". If yes, is there a way to replace it?
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  #20  
Old 09-20-2012, 09:44 AM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Originally Posted by kskane View Post
Will work on the trans housing temperature. But while I am preparing my mind for the trans oil change myself, I have a question below in case you might know the answer;
1. Is the trans sump has to be changed every time drain/fill is to be performed?
2. While doing a drain/fill, can the filling start at cold (meaning on cold start conditions). Or the trans has to be on a certain temperature to drain it and then on certain temperature to fill it. And then on between 30-40 C to do the second fill with car running.
3. While doing a drain/fill, the second top up has to be done with car running and in Park with handbreak or car turned off after running.
If you have no record of the ATF having been replaced recently you will want to do it anyway, independent of the shift lock problem.

For further details follow that DIY I posted previously.

1. If the sump is in good condition and has been replaced recently you don't need to replace it again. The filter is integral to the sump which is why it is replaced. (My pan was replaced 12K ago so no need to do the filter, but I believe they reused the old fluid which is why I replaced it recently.) You will definitely want to do the sealing sleeve as long as you are in there.

2. Initial fill can be done cold after drain is finished and drain plug replaced. This makes working under the car much more pleasant.

3. Car must be running for second part of the fill and left running until the 40C temp is reached and the fill hole capped.

Do a very short drive (1/4 km) before draining just to stir the fluid up and temporarily suspend contaminants in the fluid. If you get it too hot you will burn yourself on either the fluid or exhaust pipes or have to wait an extended period for it to cool down at which time the suspended contaminants will have settled again. About 6 qts should drain out - give it an hour or two to drain. Some do overnight in which case more fluid will drain. You will want to measure how much drained so you have a rough idea of how much you will put back in. Make sure you have enough fluid before you begin.

The fill is two part - Initial fill with engine off, then finishing fill with engine on.

Starting the engine has two purposes. First is as the transmission starts to run fluid is sucked from the sump into the torque converter. This drop in the level in sump allows more fluid to be added. Second it begins to heat the fluid to the proper temperature.

Speed is of the essence here. If you have a helper to start the car and stir the gears so you can concentrate on the fill all the better. If you are slow on the draw the trans will get too hot and you will have to cap the fill plug and start over.

Do the initial fill with the engine off until fluid dribbles out the fill hole. Then start the engine.

Then add more fluid immediately after starting the engine until it again starts to drip out of the fill hole. (If you were to turn off the engine at this point with the fill plug out fluid will gush out of the fill hole as the torque converter releases fluid.)

Quickly run the transmission carefully through the gears to insure fluid reaches all parts of the transmission, then go back quickly and observe fluid coming out of the fill hole. If it has stopped, add more fluid immediately until it begins streaming out again.

Now get out your thermometer (I bought a cheap probe thermometer at the auto store) and begin monitoring the fluid temperature in the trans. Fluid should be slowly streaming out of the fill hole the entire time (as fluid temp rises so will the fluid level in the sump). When you get to 40degC install the fill cap finger tight and turn off the engine immediately.

Then wait for everything to cool down before torquing fasteners and reinstalling everything. You may want to take it for a short test drive with the belly pan off so you can inspect for leaks (especially if you replace the pan).

ZF's reasoning behind reaching the specified temperature is three fold. First it forces the mechanic to not forget to start the engine. If the engine is not started after the initial fill the transmission will be drastically short filled.

Second, ambient temperatures vary greatly. If a guy is working in a pole barn in Alaska at -30C you want to make sure the fluid has reached at least a temperature that it is viscous and totally fills the torque converter and transmission before measuring the level.

The third reason is that the trans fluid (like most substances) experiences an expansion as it is heated. ZF designed the location of the fill hole and the temperature range (safe for mechanic at 40degC) such that the fill level is correct when fluid streams slowly at 40C. The temperature spec is not the end of the world if it is off a degree or two. That is why you are given a window to hit. The fluid rises several hundredths of an inch per degree increase of fluid temperature.

Once you go on your drive the fluid will reach operating temperature and the level will rise even more as the fluid expands further at a higher temperature. Then when you turn the engine off fluid is released and the level in the sump really rises far above the fill hole, but the sump/trans assembly is designed to have room for the fluid.

ZF went away from the filler tube and dip stick because so many people were overfilling. Under-filling is still possible if you don't start the engine after the first fill. Overfilling slightly is still possible if fluid is running out of the fill plug and you cap if before you reach 40C but it won't be by much.

I did my drain and fill in the summer in Phoenix when the ambient temperature was 105F. Needless to say it didn't take long to reach 40C so I had to move fast.
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  #21  
Old 09-20-2012, 05:26 PM
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kskane kskane is online now
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Originally Posted by bimmerfan52 View Post
You will definitely want to do the sealing sleeve as long as you are in there.
Thank you for such detailed procedure which definitely helps me prepare for this last major oil change on these vehicles as a DIY.

With the sealing sleeve, are you referring to the sleeve between the sump and valve body that goes into mechatronic?
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  #22  
Old 09-20-2012, 06:56 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Originally Posted by kskane View Post
Thank you for such detailed procedure which definitely helps me prepare for this last major oil change on these vehicles as a DIY.

With the sealing sleeve, are you referring to the sleeve between the sump and valve body that goes into mechatronic?
http://www.thectsc.com/index.php?p=p...id=3&parent=10
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  #23  
Old 09-20-2012, 07:01 PM
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kskane kskane is online now
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Thanks and will order one, and a spare drain plug for the second fill after 100miles as you suggested originally.
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  #24  
Old 09-20-2012, 08:34 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Originally Posted by kskane View Post
Thanks and will order one, and a spare drain plug for the second fill after 100miles as you suggested originally.
Make sure you read this before ordering the sleeve to see if there is anything else you need.

http://www.thectsc.com/images/pdf/6_...eplacement.pdf
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  #25  
Old 10-03-2012, 06:00 PM
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kskane kskane is online now
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Originally Posted by bimmerfan52 View Post
Make sure you read this before ordering the sleeve to see if there is anything else you need.

http://www.thectsc.com/images/pdf/6_...eplacement.pdf
Thanks, one last questions, the sleve O-ring has to be lubricated with Vaseline (according to CTSC guide) or can I use the oil to do the same?
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