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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 11-25-2012, 02:39 AM
4given 4given is offline
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Fail-safe question??

I recently changed my transmission fluid and I ran it about 2 quarts low for 10 miles. I topped it off and it runs and shifts like butter now. Now I've noticed that a trans fail safe light comes on for a few seconds and then goes off. I've read that when it goes into fail safe mode that it usually stays in 3rd gear. Would running it low set off the fail safe? I don't have a reader as of yet. Could autozone scan for transmission codes?
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  #2  
Old 11-25-2012, 07:44 AM
4given 4given is offline
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It's the 5HP24 transmission. I'm hoping its nothing serious.
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  #3  
Old 11-25-2012, 08:09 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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It is likely the warning light is directly related to your ATF issue. You are fortunate you did not go into failsafe mode. It is also possible that the code has been stored but not erased, which is why the warning message recurs. A standard OBD scanner will not read nor erase BMW tranny codes. This requires a GT-1 or equivalent scanner. Go find an indy or a BMW enthusiast with the proper software to erase this code. The dealer will charge you 1 hrs labor.
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  #4  
Old 11-25-2012, 09:01 AM
4given 4given is offline
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That's what had me confused. The message pops up for a few seconds and then goes off. It's running great too. Would disconnecting the battery for a little while reset the code? Also, I've been reading about scan tools but haven't decided which would be good to get. What reader reads OBDII and tranny codes? I do most of the work to my vehicles so having a good scanner/reset tool would help greatly. Thanks for your help.
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  #5  
Old 11-25-2012, 10:10 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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No, disconnecting the battery will not reset a tranny code. See this thread for the software you would need: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...7&highlight=gt
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  #6  
Old 11-25-2012, 10:44 AM
4given 4given is offline
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Thanks for the help. I read through the link you provided and I was just looking for an "All-in-one" type scanner. It seemed like they were talking about using a PC for everything.
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  #7  
Old 11-26-2012, 02:53 PM
4given 4given is offline
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Ok, the fail safe went off when I started the car this morning but came back on 12-14 miles later. But now the DSC and Yellow brake light came on as well. I shut the car off and started it back up and the lights were off. On my way home all the lights came back on. After doing some research it sounds a lot like the dreaded Tri-fecta only I don't have the ABS light on. Ill report later as I figure this out.
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  #8  
Old 11-27-2012, 02:05 AM
4given 4given is offline
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Started the car this morning and the Trans fail safe and yellow brake light are on. But something strange happen, as I was driving down the highway my steering wheel lights and my radio turn off and come back on 2 secs later. Then the yellow brake light goes off and the DSC light comes on and stays on the rest of the way to work. From what I've been reading it seems like it could be the ABS module. I found a place on EBay that rebuilds them for $95. Ill keep everyone update as I figure out more.
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  #9  
Old 11-27-2012, 03:55 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Check your alternator!
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  #10  
Old 11-27-2012, 04:47 AM
4given 4given is offline
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Ill give that a shot when I get home. My interior lights flicker a little so it's very possible that the alternator my be going bad. What should it read when it's running? I'd say 13.5 volts but not sure. Ill check the battery as well just in case. Ill report back with results.
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  #11  
Old 11-27-2012, 05:19 AM
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Follow this post: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...51#post5747151
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  #12  
Old 11-27-2012, 05:31 AM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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Could also be the ignition switch.
After you get the electrical problems sorted you may want to recheck the tranny fluid level again when it's at the correct temp.
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  #13  
Old 11-27-2012, 06:49 AM
4given 4given is offline
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Thanks guys! I'm hoping to stop by autozone on my way home and see if they can check the alternator and battery.
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  #14  
Old 11-27-2012, 08:05 AM
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Or you can do this on your car, yourself, using the OBC.
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  #15  
Old 11-27-2012, 08:34 AM
4given 4given is offline
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That too. I forgot you can do that but my pixels are so bad that I couldn't read it anyways. LOL
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  #16  
Old 11-27-2012, 02:56 PM
4given 4given is offline
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Ok, I hopped in the car and my airbag and yellow brake light are on. I figured I'd go and check the battery terminals and noticed that my brake lights are lit up like someone is pressing the brake pedal down. So I sit in the car and pump the brakes a few times and the yellow brake light turns off but my service engine soon light comes on but my brake lights turn off. I then drive to Autozone for a battery/alternator test and it turns out that my battery is good but the alternator is putting 11.9 volts. So I guess I'll start with a reman alternator and see what happens.
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  #17  
Old 11-27-2012, 03:28 PM
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moots moots is offline
wat's dat noise
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radio cutting out,brake lights lighted without pressing on the pedal....classic symptom of ignition key switch failure.happened to me. i disassembled,clean and reassembled.....been good so far 4 yrs down the line.
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  #18  
Old 11-27-2012, 03:48 PM
4given 4given is offline
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Really?? Yet another thing to look into I guess.
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  #19  
Old 11-28-2012, 08:41 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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Most likely it's your voltage regulator on the back of your alt. You can replace it for about 50 bucks without removing the alt. Fixed mine that way--hope that helps
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  #20  
Old 11-28-2012, 08:55 AM
4given 4given is offline
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Crap! The alternator is already out. LOL
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  #21  
Old 11-29-2012, 02:30 PM
4given 4given is offline
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Update: I took the alternator out and had it rebuilt for $127 at a local shop. I installed the alternator and took it for a 10 min drive and everything is great. The test will come tomorrow when I drive it to work. But so far so good. Thanks for all the help!!
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  #22  
Old 02-11-2013, 05:23 AM
4given 4given is offline
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New problem same symptoms. I hopped in the car this morning and when I started it, the yellow brake light came on and the trans fail safe warning appeared. And I noticed that my radio and heated seats wouldn't work. So I turned the car off for 10 secs and started it back up and everything was fine. I checked the alternator and its putting out 14.1volts so could it be my battery going dead?
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  #23  
Old 02-11-2013, 06:08 AM
HTK12 HTK12 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4given View Post
New problem same symptoms. I hopped in the car this morning and when I started it, the yellow brake light came on and the trans fail safe warning appeared. And I noticed that my radio and heated seats wouldn't work. So I turned the car off for 10 secs and started it back up and everything was fine. I checked the alternator and its putting out 14.1volts so could it be my battery going dead?
Get the battery load tested, check battery cables for tightness, check all ground cables. If those all check out you might want to check the battery voltage in the morning before starting up.
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  #24  
Old 02-11-2013, 06:24 AM
4given 4given is offline
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Will do. Hopefully it was acting up because it was 9 degrees out.
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  #25  
Old 02-11-2013, 08:25 AM
chrsto03 chrsto03 is offline
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Guys,

I have a 97 bmw 540i the tran safemode message came on this morning. It will not go into reverse and when you go into drive it feels like im in low gear. Please help.
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