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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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Old 09-19-2012, 09:04 AM
npbisbee npbisbee is offline
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Location: Columbus, TX
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Mein Auto: 98 BMW 328i
Exclamation transmission help please!!!!

Looking for some help, advice, solution anything really i would appreciate anything. im new to BMW so please bare with me if i sound like a complete idiot! i have a 1998 BMW 328i and everything is great except for the transmission. Its an automatic and it shifts perfectly fine from a stop through all the gears except from 2nd to 3rd from 2 to 3 it jerks really hard. as for the slowing down when it down shifts im not able to place it but it does the same when it down shifts from 3 to 2 and on ocasion it also does it from 2 to 1. now from a dead stop if i floor it it shift really hard through all the gears except 1 to 2. the transmisson light IS on in the dash and i have checked the fluid level and decided to do a service on the transmission. i drained the fluid changed the trans filter, new trans pan seal, and put the approved trans fluid in and made sure it was the right level/amount. im very good mechanically with cars/trucks and can do almost anything to/with cars and trucks, but BMW's elude me cause there a vehicle im not at all familiar with. please help me out yall this is my first BMW ever and i really want to experiance it for what it really is!! thanks

Last edited by npbisbee; 09-22-2012 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:31 AM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Welcome to the fest!

First off, that manual transmission switch is NOT for manually shifting the gears! It's strictly for locking the transmission in the gear it's presently in (such as 2nd) if you encounter poor traction. It keeps the transmission from up-shifting and then downshifting again when traction is regained. DO NOT push the "M" button and then run the car through the gears with the shift lever. BMW automatics are notoriously weak in the E36s, and manual shifting one will rapidly hasten it's demise. Read your owner's manual. The transmission should be operated in the "D" position or "3" for more rapid acceleration and then shifted into "D". Running it in "3" raises the shift points so the car has better acceleration.

For your problem, I'd say a fluid and filter change might help, but it really sounds like it may be a transmission computer problem OR the valve body misbehaving. The automatic transmissions in our E36s are French-built GM transmissions. Repair of them is pretty much beyond the ability of most of us. You need to have the transmission codes read by an independent BMW repair shop, or as last resort, a BMW dealership. By your description of the shifting, it is bound to have some error codes stored. Good luck.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:02 AM
npbisbee npbisbee is offline
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Location: Columbus, TX
Join Date: Sep 2012
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Mein Auto: 98 BMW 328i
Oh I had no idea that the manual button wasn't for shifting I appreciate the knowledge I really do thank you boy am I glad it didn't mess it up anymore than it already is. Unfortunately the guy I got the car from didn't take care of it at all so I basically making up for his slack.....I feel sorry for the Bimmer!
Again thank you very much

Last edited by npbisbee; 09-22-2012 at 05:43 AM.
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:18 AM
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shaftdrive shaftdrive is offline
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Originally Posted by npbisbee View Post
I feel sorry for the Beemer!
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:00 AM
josephroberts75 josephroberts75 is offline
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Mein Auto: e36 bmw
sounds like overrun piston seal rolled into piston bore or the second gear drum has a grove cut into it from hammer shifting controlled by car
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:27 PM
npbisbee npbisbee is offline
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Location: Columbus, TX
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Mein Auto: 98 BMW 328i
Transmission Hard Shifting

Ok I hear how some people are having trouble with hard shifting in the tranny well I had the same problem. Forever I couldn't figure it out it was shifting hard from 2nd to 3rd and through all the gears when I floor it! Well, I could tell it was a sensor issue but of course WHAT sensor is it?! Try the MAF sensor cause I swapped the MAF sensor with a new one and it solved EVERYTHING even the check engine light!!!
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