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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 11-29-2012, 06:11 AM
Legginit Legginit is offline
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Location: Jacksonville,NC
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Mein Auto: '99 540i
Transmission

I need help with a transmission problem. My car started dragging from a complete stop to taking off. It used to just take off when I floored it. Once it started dragging, my dash computer said "Transmission Fail". I had the transmission rebuilt and it is still doing this. Does anyone have an idea of what it might be?

Last edited by Legginit; 11-29-2012 at 06:12 AM. Reason: Its a '99 540i
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  #2  
Old 11-30-2012, 03:56 PM
oltom oltom is offline
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Location: Floida
 
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Mein Auto: 530i
DEFINE DRAGGING? Sounds like it's running in limp mode. When the transmission was rebuilt was the torque converter replaced? If not what type of oil did the shop put in the tranny? How many miles since overhaul?
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  #3  
Old 11-30-2012, 08:02 PM
Bacpque Bacpque is offline
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Location: Eagle Rock
 
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Mein Auto: BMW X5 4.4
I posted this two days ago. I have an 2001 X5, 101K miles .I had the same problem, like it's stuck in 1st gear then after 4-5 seconds, will drive Ok. Only happens from stop. So I drove for 45 minutes to work, in traffic no problem. When i exited from the freeway, from a stop light, I switched to manual , i think its called triptronic(?). Anyway, I drove for 3 miles to our parking lot and when i switched off the engine, the Transmission Fail Prog showed up from display panel. i thought that's it for my tranny. I made preparation to leave early as I may need help towing it home. When I started the X5 4 hours later, everything appears to be working OK. I also observed that before this happened, on an uphill, when I put it on cruise, it revved up between 2500-3000 rpm. But no problem then with "limping" at 1st gear. So what happened? I can only deduct that perhaps the transmission module reset itself? I was thinking of changing the ATF but its running OK now so not sure if I want to do it now. I hear two opposing views. Just thought I'd post this in case someone else experienced the same result. Im driving the X5 now on a "leisurely" pace..no more pedal on the metal at start time.
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  #4  
Old 12-01-2012, 09:03 AM
oltom oltom is offline
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Location: Floida
 
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Mein Auto: 530i
Bacpque

Not sure if this is in the transmission or something to do with the main computer itself. However if this problem is in the tranny the valve body sounds like the culprit. In the valve body two things may cause this. The solenoid controlling the shift is failing, but has not totally failed yet. The solenoid is running intermittently for one reason or another. Second possible problem a shuttle valve in the transmission valve body is sticking. Need to know is your transmission a ZF 5HP or a GM 5L40E? Sounds like a ZF. If its a ZF you'll find a colored sticker on the transmission oil pan probably located drivers side forward. What color is that sticker green, black, other. The sticker on mine was cover in road grim and could not see it, but its there. let me know. You said the transmission was rebuilt right? What type of oil was put in after rebuild? Need the name and number (exp. Esso ATF LT 71141) of the oil. BMW oil is not an answer to this question. Correct answer would be something like the following Mobil**** Esso**** Pentosin**** Royal Purple**** TS **** (total source), Dextron***, or other. Miles since rebuild? For the most part shooting from the hip the good news is that if the valve body is the problem. You probably won't need to drop the tranny unless the wrong oil was used to top off after rebuid. For now we'll forward from here.
Miles since over haul?
Type oil used after rebuild?
Was converter replaced?
Type of transmission?
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  #5  
Old 12-07-2012, 07:09 AM
Bacpque Bacpque is offline
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Location: Eagle Rock
 
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Mein Auto: BMW X5 4.4
X5 transmission shift problem

Thank you for your feedback. I purchased the car used about 5 years ago. I only change the engine oil but not the transmission oil. I think my transmission is ZF 5HP but I need to check .
X5 is running OK for now. But I am a bit concerned when you stated "solenoid controlling the shift is failing". Maybe I should make plans to sell it now? I am looking for a newer Bimmer
but it is hard to part with my X5- it is a great car to drive around. Thanks again for the feedback.
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  #6  
Old 12-07-2012, 07:44 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Location: Sudbury, MA
 
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Posts: 6,259
Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
If the TPF message appears, you have a code stored in the OBC. Pull the code and you will know what caused this error. This requires a GT-1 or equivalent code reader, not an OBD II reader.
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2012, 06:48 AM
Scarmukha Scarmukha is offline
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Location: Philippines
 
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Mein Auto: 540i
Hi I have 97 540i with an Auto Tranny... Am having the same problem as well. Been getting TRANS FAILED message quite often and this puts the car to 5th gear running only(don't know if that sounds right).. Been able to cancel this and back to normal by re-starting the car.... am confused on the solution to this problem.... I have a Range Rover L322 with the same engine and Tranny... had the same problem but Land rover was able repair by changing the Gear Selector Switch... I wonder .. would anyone know if that would be the same solution....It's a expensive part to replace. Thanks
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  #8  
Old 12-08-2012, 04:24 PM
oltom oltom is offline
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Location: Floida
 
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Mein Auto: 530i
TO all who are experiencing shift problems with there E39's, reverse or otherwise. There are 2 main things you need to know before asking questions about your shift problems.
1. What type of transmission do you have a. German ZF 5HP or b. General Motors 5L40E get under the car find the transmission tag and read it. The net will show you where it's located.
2. If you have a ZF transmission of the the drivers forward side of the TRANSMISSION OIL PAN there is a colored sticker. What color is it?
3. Has transmission fluid been added to your car FOR ANY REASON, if so EXACTLY what type ATF was put in. BMW oil is not an answer.
It is becoming more and more apparent auto companies (including american manufactures) are no longer putting an ATF dipstick under the hood. Some may say that's so the dearlers will have another way to get in our wallets or purses (EEO had to include ladies). This may be true to some degree. Here's another spin on it. With these transmissions being sealed for life very special oils are used to prolong wear and tear. The draw back is THEY DON"T MIX. Now some will say I drained it all, or I did a rebuild, ect. Unless you change the torque converter during the repair the same oil must go back in the transmission. I can here it now well I did mine 80k thousand miles back with no problems. If so you got lucky. I am of the philosophy the reason the engineers made it so difficult to get into these things is because anyone willing to go through that much trouble probably knew what they were doing, as opposed to go to Walmart, open the hood and dump it in.
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