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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-08-2013, 03:36 AM
Xjayar Xjayar is offline
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Mein Auto: E46 330d ///M-Sport
BMW 330d Automatic Gearbox Intermittent Problem

Hello

Although I'm new to this forum, I have been very active on others, mainly the Audi TT Forum.

Oh no! I hear you all groan: not another auto gearbox problem thread... I do apologize. I have searched this and other forums: and the net. There are many references to automatic transmission problems: many similar, but none quite the same...

My 2005 E46 330d 204bhp M-Sport Auto Saloon with 87k miles has developed an intermittent gearbox problem.

Most of the time it behaves just as you would expect any auto box to behave, but at some time on a 10 mile run it will misbehave. Driving with a light engine load at a steady speed, between 50 and 65mph on the level or slight down hill grade, the engine revs will rise as though it has down shifted. It feels more like the box has gone into neutral without the throttle dropping back. Lifting off, the revs will drop to near idle. Or depress the throttle and 5th gear will re-engage, the revs drop and the car will accelerate. Occasionally the gearbox fault light will illuminate and the box go into limp mode, but stopping and switching off the ignition then re-starting, the fault will disappear and normal drive will resume. At motorway speeds the problem never occurs.

So as positive drive is normally available in all gears, its not like the internal clutch sets are slipping all the time. So my conclusion is that its more likely to be a electrical or software control problem rather than a mechanical problem.

So, after searching the net for similar problems, my conclusions are:

1. disconnect battery for an hour (with side lights on to ensure full discharge: shorting the leads is not recommended)
2. change the ATF and filters
3. check voltage is stable
4. check electrical connection to gearbox ECU
5. check electrical connections to gearbox lock-up and main solenoids
6. change the gearbox lock-up and main solenoids. (recommended to be changed at 90k miles anyway)
7. get the box diagnosed.

Item 1 done: no change. I've also tried the ignition on, engine not running and full throttle reset: no change. As general principle I change the oils in gearbox, differential and engine regardless of history whenever I assume ownership of a used vehicle. So item 2 is eliminated. I have the car booked in with my trusted mechanic next week to investigate the electrical items 3 to 5. Unfortunately he is out of his comfort zone with automatic transmission units, which means I need to find a trusted auto gearbox specialist for items 6 and 7.

Can anyone recommend an automatic gearbox repair specialist in the UK Midlands area?

Also useful would be feedback on who not to use! I have an instinctive dissuasion never to go anywhere near main dealers...

Anyone aware of the same problem that I have described? Anyone had a successful fix?


Many thanks
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  #2  
Old 02-14-2013, 02:30 PM
Xjayar Xjayar is offline
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Mein Auto: E46 330d ///M-Sport
300d now with an automatic gearbox specialist.

Fault is well cooked lock-up clutch pack. Mucky fluid despite recent ATF change, apperently fluid change only effective if sump is dropped or flushed with at least 20 litres ATF.

Getting main and lock-up pressure regulators changed while sump off.
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  #3  
Old 02-27-2013, 01:49 PM
Xjayar Xjayar is offline
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Mein Auto: E46 330d ///M-Sport
UPDATE

Upon dismantling the specialist has determined that: The main bearing in the torque converter failed catastrophically; this lead to a mechanical failure of the torque converter, which then cascaded a failure of the lock-up clutch pack. The debris then blocked up the oil cooler that is parasitic with the main radiator. Total bill for the gearbox rebuild is 1850!!!

Now, just to add insult to injury, the insurance company I have the warranty with are refusing to pay out claiming the all to common lame excuse of wear and tear! So now I have to find the time to fight for reimbursement. How they can claim a sudden and catastrophe failure of a bearing can be considered as wear and tear is absurdly ridiculous. The company concerned is "Customer Protect", aka "Auto Protect" and also know by about half-a-dozen other names also using the same phone number... Their first line of defence is to give you the run-around when trying to phone them... This is looking like yet another case for the insurance ombudsman and then I suspect subsequently the small claims court.

I have also had to rectify a leak in the water system. The water pump bearing had failed along with a sticky thermostat and a cracked thermostat housing. So a further bill of about 400 has to now be funded.

So much for buying a car that was supposed to be reliable!!!
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  #4  
Old 02-27-2013, 02:00 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is online now
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Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
Bimmerfest is a US-based Forum. No diesel E46s were ever sold in this country. Sorry....
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  #5  
Old 02-27-2013, 02:20 PM
Xjayar Xjayar is offline
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Location: Midlands
 
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Mein Auto: E46 330d ///M-Sport
Never mind. One day The US will catch up with the rest of The world and have diesels. Even sports ones! :-)

Audi have shown the way how effective diesels are in motorsport with numerous wins at the Le Mans 24 Hours with their TDI's

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audi_R10_TDI

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audi_R18
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  #6  
Old 02-27-2013, 02:39 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is online now
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Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xjayar View Post
Never mind. One day The US will catch up with the rest of The world and have diesels. Even sports ones! :-)

Audi have shown the way how effective diesels are in motorsport with numerous wins at the Le Mans 24 Hours with their TDI's

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audi_R10_TDI

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audi_R18
*You`re* the one that needs catching up, Bucko....we`ve had diesel BMWs since the advent of the E90. And, "to sell, or not to sell" was always a marketing decision by BMW, it had nothing to do with us....
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*Please support the Disabled American Veterans*

When faced with choosing between two evils, always go with the one you`ve never tried before....
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  #7  
Old 02-28-2013, 12:50 PM
Xjayar Xjayar is offline
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Location: Midlands
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Mein Auto: E46 330d ///M-Sport
Bucko yourself Bucko

Youve still got a long way to catch up
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