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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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  #451  
Old 10-21-2012, 03:12 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Location: Greensboro, NC
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 545i
One more update for anyone still reading:

I had reset my transmission using the hold the gas pedal to the floor for 30 seconds thing a few times and it never really made much difference. Friday I finally got my D+K CAN cable in and reset all the adaptations via INPA. First drive, it had a little trouble shifting smooth, little jerky, high RPM's once or twice before finally changing gears, etc. etc. BUT ultimately after it figured it out, basically all of my problems are gone. I've driven a few hundred miles this weekend and the 5th gear hardcore jerking is at most a small hiccup, only at a certain speed/throttle position (so seldom I haven't been able to really even repeat it, only felt it barely once by coincidence). Jerky 5 to 6 change is gone. Jerky 3 to 2 is gone. The little jerk right before you stop (2 to 1) is still present, but a software update should take care of that one. I just haven't gotten up the nerve to update the transmission computer software yet, lol.

Also, changed spark plugs today and my god the old ones looked horrible. 5 were the original bosch style (the car has 180K on it so I sure hope they aren't actually originals) and the electrodes were half gone. The other 3 (easiest ones to get to..) had been replaced at some point with NGK ones. I replaced all 8 in about an hour (not sure why everyone acts like it's a tough job? It was really relatively easy and painless).

Verdict: It's a whole different car. It used to be so jerky off idle I was almost embarassed to have people ride with me and def wouldn't let anyone else drive. I almost preferred to drive my work car (Imapala) just because this thing was such a pain to drive halfway smoothly. Between the plugs and transmission complete reset, it's completely different. So much better to drive now!

edit: added pics of sparkplugs
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Last edited by schpenxel; 10-21-2012 at 03:56 PM.
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  #452  
Old 10-27-2012, 02:39 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Location: Greensboro, NC
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 545i
One more update:

I ordered a solenoid kit a few weeks ago, but never had a chance to install it. A couple of days ago I started having issues with 4 to 5 shifting under hard acceleration (once it even gave the transmission warning message and locked me into one gear. turning car off/back on got me going again at least), so I figured it was time to put these in.

Is there a DIY for how to do this? If not, I'll try to write one up if anyone wants or needs it. Please let me know if anyone wants this.. It's pretty easy. Just pull the mechatronics/valve body. Take mechatronics (plastic + electronics) off of valve body, remove solenoids, install new solenoids and put it all back together.

One thing that really freaked me out was I got it all apart and the old solenoids were green, new ones were blue. I just about put the old ones back in, but realized when I blew on some of them they were leaking pretty bad, so I figured I'd try the blue and see what happens. About the time I got it back together thectsc wrote me back and said it was just a color change, but what I had would work fine.

So, the verdict: With new solenoids, this is the best shifting I've seen out of this car so far. Shifts are quick and firm, but not jerky at all. Much better than before. Going into reverse is almost instant now, where it used to take 2-3 seconds before it would engage. I reset all of the adapatations so I've had a few little jerks here and there during downshifts, but you can tell it's changing fine, just sometimes the computer is changing down a little too early. Hopefully it learns how to be smoother about it.

I can also be hard on the gas and no problems with the 4 to 5 shift or any others for that matter


If I drove it hard I used to get some codes about output speed not being correct or something like that, which I assume was either from slow shifting or slipping clutch packs. Regardless, I drove it hard earlier and got no error messages at all.

I would suggest anyone about to replace their whole valvebody/mechatronics who has the classic symptoms consider just replacing the solenoids, if you are so inclined.

Last edited by schpenxel; 10-27-2012 at 02:41 PM.
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  #453  
Old 10-28-2012, 03:09 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Location: Greensboro, NC
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 545i
And here's a video of the valve body / mechatronics removal and solenoid swap that I made:



Let me know if there are any questions. This isn't a full step by step, but in my opinion gives more detail than I was able to find anywhere else on the web.

Last edited by schpenxel; 12-09-2012 at 08:33 PM.
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  #454  
Old 10-30-2012, 02:03 PM
greeniner greeniner is offline
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Seems that the surging in mine is worse the colder it is outside and only first thing in the morning. I have 48,000 miles and am taking it to the dealer this Saturday. (09 550i)
The dealer was able to duplicate the problem and are opening a case with BMW, we shall see. ***** Update They did the software update and after I test drove, it didnt fix anything. So on to mechtronics work I assume.

Last edited by greeniner; 11-12-2012 at 10:41 AM. Reason: Update
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  #455  
Old 11-03-2012, 07:18 AM
tommyv tommyv is offline
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Mein Auto: 2005 545i
yesterday I had the sealing sleeve and leaking trans pan replaced. Replaced fluid with Redline D4 and all of my surging issues are gone. Total cost for the work was $735. My symptoms prior to the change were hard 2-1 downshifts and a noticeable surge when shifting from Reverse to Drive. I should also add that no software updates were done as my mechanic said that all software was up to date. I'll report back in a few weeks as to whether or not this resolves my trans issues long term.
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2005 545i Black Sapphire Metallic - Sport/Premium/Cold Weather

2007 328xi coupe/Auto/sport/premium/black saph/saddle-turned in Aug. 2010

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  #456  
Old 11-07-2012, 09:24 PM
elektron82 elektron82 is offline
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Location: Florida
 
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Unhappy Oh boy...

Hi all.

I just bought an 05 545i a little over a week ago with 76k miles. Its an automatic. The dealer thought it had the sport package but I found out via research that it actually does not. Because of that I didn't think much about the rough shifting it had on test drive. At this point I am starting to notice it more because I am not "getting used to" the car and getting smoother technique.

I have a lot of dead zone in the gas pedal, about the first 10 degrees has almost no effect. Then it picks up and causes a "surge" of torque at once after pressing down far enough.

The other thing I noticed was that I can't smoothly stop the car. The downshifts are noticeable no matter how much braking is applied. Once about to stop it seems like it downshifts and then the idle suddenly drops. If i don't time my foot letting up on the brake pedal carefully then the car ends up bucking wildly.

I don't have any slams or sounds going on. I don't notice any hiccups or hesitation in any gear. Its just when starting off, braking, and especially when coming to a stop it has issues.

Does this sound like the mechatronics unit is starting to fail? If so I am thinking to do fluid/filter service and save up for a different car. Of course on the other hand I feel confident I could replace it myself and if the car drove nicely afterwords then it might be worth it to me. I paid 18 for the car. I think I will start with either a test drive of another 545 or have an experienced tech confirm it.

Thanks.
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  #457  
Old 11-08-2012, 04:42 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Location: Greensboro, NC
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 545i
Quote:
Originally Posted by elektron82 View Post
Hi all.

I just bought an 05 545i a little over a week ago with 76k miles. Its an automatic. The dealer thought it had the sport package but I found out via research that it actually does not. Because of that I didn't think much about the rough shifting it had on test drive. At this point I am starting to notice it more because I am not "getting used to" the car and getting smoother technique.

I have a lot of dead zone in the gas pedal, about the first 10 degrees has almost no effect. Then it picks up and causes a "surge" of torque at once after pressing down far enough.

The other thing I noticed was that I can't smoothly stop the car. The downshifts are noticeable no matter how much braking is applied. Once about to stop it seems like it downshifts and then the idle suddenly drops. If i don't time my foot letting up on the brake pedal carefully then the car ends up bucking wildly.

I don't have any slams or sounds going on. I don't notice any hiccups or hesitation in any gear. Its just when starting off, braking, and especially when coming to a stop it has issues.

Does this sound like the mechatronics unit is starting to fail? If so I am thinking to do fluid/filter service and save up for a different car. Of course on the other hand I feel confident I could replace it myself and if the car drove nicely afterwords then it might be worth it to me. I paid 18 for the car. I think I will start with either a test drive of another 545 or have an experienced tech confirm it.

Thanks.

The first 10 degrees of pedal movement not doing much is the same on mine--google BMW throttle tip in and you'll find tons on it. It's a common issue but seems to be kind of an "is what it is" thing with no options to improve it. Some say you can reset "throttle adaptations" (google it) and it will help for a while anyways.

I can still barely smoothly stop mine as well. There's a transmission software bug where it shifts down from 2nd to 1st right before you stop, making it jerk at a horrible time. Try this: drive it in manual mode, when coming to a stop and downshifting manually, don't use 1st. Stop with it in 2nd and see if it's smooth then. My guess is it will be. If you don't downshift at all, it will shift down to 3rd for you before you stop (but not go any lower until you tell it to). Try that also and see if it's smoother.

There's a software update that fixes the issue (I think it basically just doesn't use 1st unless you're in sport mode) that may be an option for you to consider if stopping in 2nd via manual mode helps.

Sounds like normal stuff to me, not a mechatronics failure. I wouldn't tell anyone you paid that much

Last edited by schpenxel; 11-08-2012 at 05:05 PM.
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  #458  
Old 11-09-2012, 05:55 AM
elektron82 elektron82 is offline
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Location: Florida
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Mein Auto: 05 545i
Thumbs up Sigh of Relief

Muchas Gracias amigo.

That puts my mind very much at ease!

I did notice exactly what you describe in manual mode. I can start nicely in 2nd or 3rd as well as stop better. As an update I also noticed that its a whole lot smoother in normal mode when the car is cold and I am starting off in the morning. As it warms up it gets gradually harsher and with more throttle tip-in.

I will definitely look into the software update as I would like it to act like it does in manual mode. I am also thinking the flush and filter is still a good preventive maintenance measure.

For the price yeah I do feel I paid a bit much but my philosophy when buying from a dealer is instead of pushing for lowest price I usually ask for other extras in case I need or find out something is wrong. Oh and yeah I do lie about the price especially to my Indian co-workers because they get so jealous.
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  #459  
Old 11-09-2012, 06:09 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Location: Greensboro, NC
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elektron82 View Post
Muchas Gracias amigo.

That puts my mind very much at ease!

I did notice exactly what you describe in manual mode. I can start nicely in 2nd or 3rd as well as stop better. As an update I also noticed that its a whole lot smoother in normal mode when the car is cold and I am starting off in the morning. As it warms up it gets gradually harsher and with more throttle tip-in.

I will definitely look into the software update as I would like it to act like it does in manual mode. I am also thinking the flush and filter is still a good preventive maintenance measure.

For the price yeah I do feel I paid a bit much but my philosophy when buying from a dealer is instead of pushing for lowest price I usually ask for other extras in case I need or find out something is wrong. Oh and yeah I do lie about the price especially to my Indian co-workers because they get so jealous.
One thing that makes everything smoother when cold (for me anyways) is that the torque converter stays unlocked 100% of the time until the transmission fluid gets up to around 100*F. You'll probably barely feel any shifts at all when it's unlocked--but it locks a large portion of the time after it gets warmed up. This is to get the fluid warmed up as quick as possible.
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  #460  
Old 11-09-2012, 10:52 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Location: Greensboro, NC
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elektron82 View Post
Muchas Gracias amigo.

That puts my mind very much at ease!

I did notice exactly what you describe in manual mode. I can start nicely in 2nd or 3rd as well as stop better. As an update I also noticed that its a whole lot smoother in normal mode when the car is cold and I am starting off in the morning. As it warms up it gets gradually harsher and with more throttle tip-in.

I will definitely look into the software update as I would like it to act like it does in manual mode. I am also thinking the flush and filter is still a good preventive maintenance measure.

For the price yeah I do feel I paid a bit much but my philosophy when buying from a dealer is instead of pushing for lowest price I usually ask for other extras in case I need or find out something is wrong. Oh and yeah I do lie about the price especially to my Indian co-workers because they get so jealous.
Just saw this--I would just change the oil / filter, not flush. Use ZF's fluid. It's not worth the risk of using something else that may or may not be ok in the long run.

Maybe swap out the fluid twice so you change most of it (just filter once).

And again, make sure the adaptations are reset after changing it

also--I agree, definitely change it. The EDS solenoids begin to leak/fail in transmissions where it's not changed past 100K miles. They aren't too horrible to replace, but I've never heard of a shop that would actually do it that way (I DIY'd mine)

Last edited by schpenxel; 11-09-2012 at 10:56 AM.
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  #461  
Old 11-19-2012, 09:02 AM
Graf545 Graf545 is offline
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So the bottom line is:

If you E06 with steptronic transmission experiences the following symptoms: when car is warmed up, there is a slight RPM 'flutter hiccup' around 37 MPH & 1,700 RPMs, which does not seem to occur at other speeds or RPMs, and sometimes also has a slight delay after shifting in Reverse.

Then the cause is most likely transmission ZF mechatronics solenoids which can be replaced and then needs a computer update BEFORE driving ANY distance.

So, don't waste time and money with other potential suggested causes such as: bad gas; MAF sensor; 02 sensors; fly by wire; fuel filter; CCV; Carbon buildup; tourque converter; spark plugs; VANOS, computer software updates; re-train the "learned" transmission with the 30 second pedal to floor reset; transmission control module, etc...

If above were the cause, then issue would likely occur across many speeds / RPM's. This mechatroinc solenoid issue is specific to this RPM and speed range.

Ignoring this may lead to transmission fluid leak and failure.

How many BMW's (E06 and other) are impacted by this?

The cost to fix is ~$4,000?

How do we get BWMNA to issue a recall?

We had Beemers since 1990 and this is not a plus when we consider our next upgrate within a year.
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  #462  
Old 11-19-2012, 09:21 AM
Graf545 Graf545 is offline
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oops, E60, not E06
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  #463  
Old 11-19-2012, 10:44 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Cost to fix is < $1,000 for solenoids
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  #464  
Old 11-21-2012, 01:17 PM
Graf545 Graf545 is offline
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Does anyone know a good Indy in the Boston south shore area to change mechatronics solenoids? Thanks
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  #465  
Old 12-08-2012, 08:55 AM
aiwapro aiwapro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graf545 View Post
Does anyone know a good Indy in the Boston south shore area to change mechatronics solenoids? Thanks
Or in the Detroit area?
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  #466  
Old 12-23-2012, 10:38 AM
Jay25 Jay25 is offline
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I am facing the same issue and the problem is inside the transmission: TCU, transmission control unit needs replacement but BMw

will not work on the transmission. They want to replace the whole transmission for a tag price of $7,000. If u r under warranty, u r in luck but in my case, I have to come up with the cash to get it replaced. I also complained to BMW of America . They won't do anything and my car has only 76,000 miles. Go figure.
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  #467  
Old 12-23-2012, 01:30 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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You can buy a replacement mechatronics unit with TCU for I think around $1500. Any independent BMW mechanic should be able to install it.

BMW is taking advantage of you.

(From thectsc.com)

Last edited by schpenxel; 12-23-2012 at 01:31 PM.
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  #468  
Old 12-24-2012, 11:01 AM
Jay25 Jay25 is offline
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Thanks for the advice. What does that component do for the transmission and can I trust a local Indy to reinstall it? Merry Christmas to u n to all at the forum.
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  #469  
Old 12-24-2012, 11:04 AM
Jay25 Jay25 is offline
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By the way, my transmission is an automatic.
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  #470  
Old 12-24-2012, 11:06 AM
Jay25 Jay25 is offline
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Can bad struts cause brand new tires to wear out?
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  #471  
Old 12-24-2012, 11:09 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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I've got a long reply I'll post shortly that should cover everything you'll ever want to know, lol
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  #472  
Old 12-24-2012, 11:19 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Basically, in old school automatic transmissions, a part called the valve body used a few variables like engine speed, throttle position and vehicle speed to determine what gear the transmission needed to be in and when to change gears. It would open and close different hydraulic circuits to turn different things (bands and clutch packs) on and off to get different gear ratios and ultimately gave us the automatic transmission. This was all done with no electronics and quite honestly blows my mind that it actually worked--it all worked on hydraulic pressure

Now, the bands/clutch packs are still controlled by oil pressure, but that oil pressure and what circuits are on/off are controlled by solenoids inside the valve body. The solenoids are controlled by the TCU (transmission control unit).

In the E60, the valve body, solenoids and TCU are all in one assembly called the mechatronics unit (I assume it's derived from mechanical valve body and electronics control spliced together or something like that).

On my E60 I had issues with the solenoids no longer sealing correctly--this is very common, however, BMW refuses to replace any individual components and will almost always only replace the entire transmission or entire mechatronics assembly, even when a few hundred dollars in solenoids would have fixed the issue. The video below shows me pulling the mechatronics unit and changing the solenoids. The black plastic piece in the video towards the end has the TCU built into it--you can kind of see how it connects to the solenoid once put back together.

Ultimately, if I could do it in my driveway on jack stands, I'm sure any decent mechanic could do it.

Just curious--what exactly is wrong with yours that makes them say the TCU is bad?

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  #473  
Old 12-24-2012, 11:23 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay25 View Post
Can bad struts cause brand new tires to wear out?
What kind of wear pattern? Front or rear or both? Did you get an alignment when you replaced the tires? If so, do you have a print out of the specs from after they were done?
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  #474  
Old 12-24-2012, 11:55 AM
Jay25 Jay25 is offline
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When I am driving sometimes, I got a the transmission malfunction that comes on the dash board then the vehicle lost power. I have to pull over, turn it off n turn it back on and everything is fine.
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  #475  
Old 12-24-2012, 11:57 AM
Jay25 Jay25 is offline
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Both, front and rear. Uneven wear.
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