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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 08-28-2013, 12:02 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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It's my turn for the E39 TRANS. FAILSAFE PROG transmission failure stuck in high gear

Bad news on the eve of a long road trip to Tahoe this weekend!
It's suddenly and unexpectantly my turn for the E39 TRANS. FAILSAFE PROG transmission failure error message.

After fueling up so that I'm ready to leave before dawn early Friday morning, the automatic transmission wouldn't shift out of high gear and showed the dreaded TRANS FAILSAFE PROG error message on the cluster.
Changing plans, I cancelled my errands and immediately limped home about a dozen miles after the message; so here's all that I know so far ...

My symptoms are:
- The transmission fluid is original. Green sticker. 121,871 miles. I've never checked the ATF level.
- There were no prior symptoms. <== EDIT: In hindsight, the last two stops at lights seemed very sluggish, but I only thought about it afterward.
- The transmission appears to be stuck in high gear (perhaps it's 5th gear, I don't know). <== EDIT: Limp mode is apparently 4th gear, i.e., 1:1 ratio
- It does not shift up or down, even under very high load (e.g., starting from stopped, or climbing a hill).
- Putting the automatic transmission in manual mode changes nothing - it won't shift manually either <== EDIT: And it shows an "S" instead of "M" in the cluster.
- At one point, I couldn't even move the shift lever out of D while driving or with the vehicle stopped; but now it's parked and in the P position.
- Electrical system is, AFAIK, good; but I will check anyway. <== EDIT: Autozone subsequently tested the charging & starting system as good.
- The problem "feels" very mechanical, at least by the clear and obvious baulkiness of the shift lever.

I've never done much with everyone elses' TRANS FAILSAFE PROG error other than to point them to the VERY best of E39 Links ... so that's exactly what I'll do first.
- How people tested & resolved transmission "Trans Failsafe Program", aka "Limp Mode" (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17)

But I figured I'd start a thread, to ask for advice and to document the diagnostic scenario.
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Last edited by bluebee; 09-04-2013 at 02:52 AM.
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  #2  
Old 08-28-2013, 12:10 PM
edjack edjack is online now
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Read the P-codes and report back.
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  #3  
Old 08-28-2013, 12:14 PM
HTK12 HTK12 is offline
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Get the transmission codes. Check the voltage engine off (in the morning before starting the car), idle and on 1000 rpm. I had trans failsafe due to failing battery. New battery fixed the issue. I've been driving without trans failsafe for about a year now.
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  #4  
Old 08-28-2013, 12:32 PM
pshovest pshovest is offline
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I found this GREAT advice here somewhere.......good luck with the seconds part.


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  #5  
Old 08-28-2013, 01:03 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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BlueBee:

You are actually in limp mode, which defaults to 3d gear. You have a 50:50 chance that this is nothing major. The TPF can be triggered by a number of sources. A failing alternator or battery are the most common. However, you replaced your alternator a few years back so this is less likely. How's your battery? Another common cause is a wet sensor (not sure which). My TPF was triggered by driving on a very wet day. The dealer said the tranny needed to be replaced. I said the dealer needed to be replaced. I had them reset the OBC and the TPF never came back over 40K. My recommendation is to reset your computer to see if the TPF returns. You will need a GT-3 or equivalent software to access the tranny codes. If it returns, the likelihood you have a real problem (most common is a failing torque converter) increases. Driving to Tahoe may not be a good idea until you can determine if this is a fluke or not. Good luck!

I see yours says TRANS FAILSAFE PROG. Mine said TRANS PROG FAILSAFE. They should be the same.

Last edited by Fudman; 08-28-2013 at 01:04 PM.
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  #6  
Old 08-28-2013, 01:47 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by pshovest View Post
I found great advice
Heh heh ... those two links are a taste of Fudman's and my own medicine.
The good news is that try to document and report back the results from every suggestion, so, this thread (hopefully) will be one that others can follow, as long as good advice is given, and taken.

Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
Read the P-codes and report back.
Unfortunately, all I have handy is a basic OBD scanner which reports only a pending P0171 which I don't think is the problem:
- All OBDII codes, including BMW-specific P1xxx DTCs specific to the engine computer of each BMW (1)
- P0171,227,System Too Lean (Bank 1)

From that link above, the P0171 is merely a lean condition code (I haven't had an SES since I fixed myriad vacuum leaks on 2/17/2013 at 117,293 miles):
- One user's convoluted quest to find & fix persistent intermittent misfire set of lean condition vacuum leaks P0313 P0300 P1353 P1083 P1085 P1351 P0171 P0174 (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by HTK12 View Post
Get the transmission codes.
Drat. I don't have a BMW-specific code reader; I just have the recommended el-cheapo OBD scanner:
- Cheapest CAN OBDII scanner on the net that reads DTCs, pending codes, & clears codes

Many years ago, when my 2002 525i was still under warranty, I bought Carsoft 6 to unset the auto-doorlock "feature":
- Description of Carsoft, GT1, INPA, DIS, EDIABAS, & Peake (1) & which can modify the auto-lock car door feature (1)

But, I never used it (because Carsoft 6 doesn't unset the auto-doorlock feature!):
- What does Carsoft do anyway (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

I still have the Carsoft 6 OBD cable, but long ago my serial-port computers died.
Unfortunately, I don't have an OBD-to-USB cable and all my WinXP/Win7 PCs are USB only.

If I do get a hold of a USB cable, which of the following (INPA, NPA, EDIABAS, NCS Expert, DIS, EasyDIS, Progman) would be best to read the transmission codes?
- Making sense of the most often recommended BMW diagnostic tools & cable interfaces (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by HTK12 View Post
Check the voltage engine off (in the morning before starting the car)
It's about two hours since I returned home after aborting my morning errands due to this error.
Going back to the car, I belatedly realized I had left the key in position 2 for about an hour (after having cleared the OBD codes). Drat.

Anyway, after that, I found the voltage to be a bit on the low side:
  • Key out of the ignition: 11.90 VDC
  • At idle speed: (TBD WIP)
So, I just now removed the negative cable and put it on the trickle charger, which seems to want to put 4 amps into the battery:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
You are actually in limp mode, which defaults to 3d gear.
Thanks Fudman, for taking the time to explain that. I wasn't sure what gear I was stuck in!
All I knew was that it wasn't first gear because the engine was lugging at starts and when going uphill.

In fact, when I moved the shift lever left while in "D", to put it in manual mode, it easily moved into manual mode - but the gears did not show up on the dash. What showed up was this "S" as shown below (but it wouldn't manually shift no matter what I did with the shift lever).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
A failing alternator or battery
I will check alt & battery at autozone, later on today (and report results back).

Here's the vintage of the alternator and battery (currently at 121,871 miles):
  • Bosch 120amp rebuilt alternator was replaced 7/26/2010 at 91,264 miles (i.e., 30,607 miles ago):
    • One users' example of total electrical failure (AAA towed away) alternator repair (1)
  • Duralast DL-49 battery was replaced 9/19/2011 at 102,894 miles (i.e., 18,977 miles ago):
    • One user's experience debugging a half-dead instrument cluster (1) which, after testing the fuses (1) battery & alternator (1) thankfully turned into an alternative battery search (1) and a simple battery replacement DIY (1)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Another common cause is a wet sensor (not sure which).
Hmmmm... it's a dry day, but the car was parked outside and had dew all over it in the morning (I had lent it out and the person who borrowed it didn't have the garage code).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
reset your computer
I reset the one pending P code that I had.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
You will need a GT-3 or equivalent
I was able to find my old, unused Carsoft 6 kit - but it's missing the software.
Also, the Carsoft 6 cable is a serial port cable but I haven't had a serial port computer for many years.

I can download INPA from here - but I'd have to get a WinXP/Win7 USB cable first:
- Making sense of the most often recommended BMW diagnostic tools & cable interfaces (1)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
I see yours says TRANS FAILSAFE PROG. Mine said TRANS PROG FAILSAFE. They should be the same.
Notice, once parked in the garage, the ambient temperature shows in Celcius (maybe I accidentally changed it?).
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Last edited by bluebee; 08-29-2013 at 08:12 AM.
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  #7  
Old 08-28-2013, 02:05 PM
HTK12 HTK12 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Unfortunately, all I have handy is a basic OBD scanner which reports only a pending P0171 which I don't think is the problem: P0171,227,System Too Lean (Bank 1),


I do have a carsoft 6 OBD cable, but no serial-port computers anymore.

I don't have any other OBD cable (hence no INPA, EDIABAS, etc.); but if I have to load the diagnostic software, I can (but I only have WinXP & Win7 USB PCs).
If you want really easy few click install INPA, DIS etc. buy BM technic cable. Since you got facelift e39 you only need the 16 pin OBD cable. BM technic cable + software is 46.99 + 8.00 P&P (world wide shipping). That is ~$88, but that should be totally hassle free install. Should work without hassle even on Win7 64 bit.
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  #8  
Old 08-28-2013, 02:39 PM
crazy4trains crazy4trains is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HTK12 View Post
Get the transmission codes. Check the voltage engine off (in the morning before starting the car), idle and on 1000 rpm. I had trans failsafe due to failing battery. New battery fixed the issue. I've been driving without trans failsafe for about a year now.
+1 Before you do anything check your electrical system. A bad or failing battery can cause you to go into limp mode.
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  #9  
Old 08-28-2013, 02:53 PM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 530 Sport Twins
~120,000 miles is exact miles when these transmissions start to fail
my failed on ~119,000

GT1 is the way to go but try just disconnect battery for > 30 min
this might reset your car brain for sometime
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Last edited by champaign777; 08-28-2013 at 02:57 PM.
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  #10  
Old 08-28-2013, 03:34 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by HTK12 View Post
install INPA, DIS etc. buy BM technic cable.
I've always been confused WHICH USB cable to get for my 2002 OBD-only E39, mainly because none of the sellers tell you what's going on with pin 8:
  • Preferred cable:
    • K+CAN with the Primary K-Line on pin 7 (for the engine & gearbox); and with the secondary K-Line on pin 8 (for all else)
  • Less-preferred cable:
    • K+DCAN with the Primary K-Line on pin 7 (for the engine & gearbox); and with the secondary K-Line on pin 8 (for all else)
  • Not preferred cable:
The only OBD cable I have is the Carsoft 6 OBD-to-serial cable.

Do you think this $40 serial-to-usb converter cable will work with that on INPA on a Windows PC?
- Staples USB-to-Serial Adapter, Item: 837560 Model: 18762
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Last edited by bluebee; 08-28-2013 at 10:09 PM.
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  #11  
Old 08-28-2013, 04:06 PM
HTK12 HTK12 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I've always been confused WHICH USB cable to get for my 2002 OBD-only E39!
The only OBD cable I have is the Carsoft 6 OBD-to-serial cable.

Do you think this $40 serial-to-usb converter cable will work with that on INPA on a Windows PC?
- Staples USB-to-Serial Adapter, Item: 837560 Model: 18762

No people don't seem to get the ADS cable to work with serial adapters. BTW why would you want to get serial cable? E39 doesn't need serial cable. Only older BMWs need serial ADS cable(early E36, E34, early E38 etc.). So you'll be perfectly fine with cheap usb obd cable. On facelift car like yours, there isin't even even need for the 20 pin adapter. So you only need a cable like this for you car.
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  #12  
Old 08-28-2013, 04:10 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HTK12 View Post
why would you want to get serial cable?
I don't want a serial cable; but that's all I have at hand this moment.

What I want is a USB cable, so I can use it with INPA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HTK12 View Post
So you only need a cable like this for you car.
See what I mean? I looked at that listing, but it doesn't say a thing about how the two K lines are configured:
  • Preferred cable (with double k-line support):
    • K+CAN with the Primary K-Line on pin 7 (for the engine & gearbox); and with the secondary K-Line on pin 8 (for all else)
  • Less-preferred cable:
    • K+DCAN with the Primary K-Line on pin 7 (for the engine & gearbox); and with the secondary K-Line on pin 8 (for all else)
  • Non-preferred cable:
Meanwhile, I called Autozone.
They don't have the 49-DL anymore.

But, they say mine is warranted for $127.52 until mid September.
They'll sell me one of these, as a replacement, if my battery tests bad:
  1. H8 ==> $130-127=$3 + 8.75% tax on $130 = $14.37
  2. 94R ==> $165-127=$38 + 8.75% tax on $165 = $52.44
  3. H7 ==> $180-127=$53 + 8.75% tax on $180 = $68.75
Interestingly, I called another Autozone, which gave me different figures (but relatively similar):
  1. H8 ==> $130-105=$25 (plus 8.75% tax on $130 which is another $11.38)
This second store said they'd need to charge the battery for an hour, so, I'd better get going to give them the time to do that.

Googling, I think we can fit any battery of size H7, 49 (aka DIN H8), 94, 95 (aka DIN H9) ... as long as it's at least 850CCA, 720Amps, and 90AH.

EDIT: After charging the battery, I drove to Autozone:

The voltage seemed OK on the cluster while driving to Autozone (also notice the temperature switched back to Fahrenheit):

And, Autozone confirmed the battery seemed to be just fine:

They put a load on the battery - and - it passed:

Then we started the car - and they tested the alternator.

It too passed all three tests:

I'm not sure what is going on - but - now - suddenly - the transmission seems to be back to working properly, even when put in manual mode:
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Last edited by bluebee; 08-29-2013 at 08:30 AM.
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  #13  
Old 08-29-2013, 03:53 AM
hqstu hqstu is offline
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Did this occur whilst you were idling at standstill? No long after starting car from cold?
The trans failsafe has happened a number of times for me, every 3-5 months it might occur.
It's always 3km or so after starting the car from cold, and always while idling waiting at lights etc.
The trans will failsafe into 4th gear after reading the literature on the trans itself.
All I do is stop somewhere safe as soon as it happens, switch off car, wait 30s or so, restart, everything back to normal, wait 4 months for it to happen again.
I've got into the habit of selecting neutral at lights, perhaps falsely thinking it idles slightly higher thus the alternator pumping out more amps to support the electrical loads.
I suspect electrical and I suspect the turbine speed sensor TSS and/or output speed sensor OSS (in the trans) having a bit of a hiccup possibly due to low system voltage.
I haven't had my battery or alternator checked but the onboard voltage reading seems OK, I think...
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  #14  
Old 08-29-2013, 05:17 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hqstu View Post
Did this occur whilst you were idling at standstill? No long after starting car from cold?
From memory ...

Car was borrowed by a friend, and returned in the middle of the night and left outside (she didn't have the garage code). In the morning, the car was dew covered (no big deal ... just mentioning because of "wet sensors" comment prior), when I started it up to head into town to stock up for the trip. Stopped once for a few minutes after about six miles, and (in hindsight) I had barely noticed the car didn't accelerate - but I didn't think much of it at the time. Stopped again at a long light, and (belatedly) noticed again, it wouldn't accelerate. Gassed the vehicle, and at that point, I finally, for the first time, overtly noticed it was starting in high gear, and for the first time, the Transmission Failsafe message appeared. Also the shift lever wouldn't shift out of Drive for the first time. By now, I was in full limp mode. Drove the dozen miles back home in limp mode, and noticed I couldn't manually shift ("S" showed instead of "M"). At some point, I stopped (and left the vehicle idling), but the shift lever would NOT move out of Drive, so I put the E-brake on tightly. Back home, the car shifted out of Drive when I shut the engine down. Snapped a few photos of the failsafe message, and began this thread asking for advice. One oddity was that the cluster temporarily shifted into Centigrade temperature readings. I'm not sure if that's from me touching the cluster to get readouts, or not, but it's back in Fahrenheit even though I didn't overtly switch the gauge settings.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hqstu View Post
It's always 3km or so after starting the car from cold, and always while idling waiting at lights etc.
Yes. This appears to be what happened to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hqstu View Post
The trans will failsafe into 4th gear after reading the literature on the trans itself.
It did seem to be in a 'high' gear; although I don't really know which gear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hqstu View Post
All I do is stop somewhere safe as soon as it happens, switch off car, wait 30s or so, restart, everything back to normal, wait 4 months for it to happen again.
I did gas the vehicle - which would have taken about 5 to 10 minutes with the engine off. I did not shut it down again until I arrived home though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hqstu View Post
I've got into the habit of selecting neutral at lights, perhaps falsely thinking it idles slightly higher thus the alternator pumping out more amps to support the electrical loads.
I very often shift into neutral, mostly for the fun of it, when rolling down long hills, even at 70mph.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hqstu View Post
I suspect electrical and I suspect the turbine speed sensor TSS and/or output speed sensor OSS (in the trans) having a bit of a hiccup possibly due to low system voltage.
I think I'll finally spring for the OBD USB cable and see if I can read the transmission codes next time.
The hard part is finding a seller who will state whether it's a double K line or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hqstu View Post
I haven't had my battery or alternator checked but the onboard voltage reading seems OK, I think...
When I arrived home, mine was a bit low, at 11.90 volts with the key out of the ignition; but when I charged it and took it to Autozone, both the battery and alternator tested as "good".

I will keep a sharp eye on it all as I'm leaving at 5am on Friday (the Bay Bridge is closed, so traffic might be horrendous) for a weekend drive to Tahoe with friends - and - that's a big mountain to climb!
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Last edited by bluebee; 08-29-2013 at 08:24 AM.
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  #15  
Old 08-29-2013, 05:36 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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BB:
Is the tranny working properly now? If yes, then this suggests something in the electrical system is causing this fault. These few odd, unrelated electrical symptoms also seem to suggest the same. Having the car go into limp mode before the TDF error message is also something unusual. If you need this repair done immediately, find a garage with the proper software that can scan and erase a tranny code. The cost would be about one hours labor. If you're in no rush, get the correct cable. Good luck in getting this fixed.
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  #16  
Old 08-29-2013, 06:25 AM
HTK12 HTK12 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I don't want a serial cable; but that's all I have at hand this moment.

What I want is a USB cable, so I can use it with INPA.



See what I mean? I looked at that listing, but it doesn't say a thing about how the two K lines are configured:
[LIST][*]Preferred cable (with double k-line support):
  • K+CAN with the Primary K-Line on pin 7 (for the engine & gearbox); and with the secondary K-Line on pin 8 (for all else)
[*]Less-preferred cable:
  • K+DCAN with the Primary K-Line on pin 7 (for the engine & gearbox); and with the secondary K-Line on pin 8 (for all else)
[*]Non-preferred cable:
To me it's quite clear, if you want to diagnose BMW between 96-07 you'll be fine with K-CAN cable, if you want to diagnose 96-2013 get K+DCAN. I personally have K-CAN, because that was affordable choice when I was buying it. Now I would buy K+DCAN, because I read codes, code modules, change settings etc. for local Bimmer enthusiast.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee
If I do get a hold of a USB cable, which of the following (INPA, NPA, EDIABAS, NCS Expert, DIS, EasyDIS, Progman) would be best to read the transmission codes?
- Making sense of the most often recommended BMW diagnostic tools & cable interfaces (1)
To read codes you need to use INPA, DIS. AFAIK EasyDIS is just easier version to install compared to DIS.
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  #17  
Old 08-29-2013, 06:56 AM
Bimmer Remorse Bimmer Remorse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hqstu View Post
Did this occur whilst you were idling at standstill? No long after starting car from cold?
The trans failsafe has happened a number of times for me, every 3-5 months it might occur.
It's always 3km or so after starting the car from cold, and always while idling waiting at lights etc.
The trans will failsafe into 4th gear after reading the literature on the trans itself.
All I do is stop somewhere safe as soon as it happens, switch off car, wait 30s or so, restart, everything back to normal, wait 4 months for it to happen again.
I've got into the habit of selecting neutral at lights, perhaps falsely thinking it idles slightly higher thus the alternator pumping out more amps to support the electrical loads.
I suspect electrical and I suspect the turbine speed sensor TSS and/or output speed sensor OSS (in the trans) having a bit of a hiccup possibly due to low system voltage.
I haven't had my battery or alternator checked but the onboard voltage reading seems OK, I think...
Over the past year my e39 had similar symptons but typically the trans would toggle quickly between high gear and low gear while driving, although twice it did go to safe mode. About two months ago, I noticed some trans oil spotting on my garage floor. I finally took the car to my indie about three weeks ago and the trans was leaking at the trans selector rod seal. Mounted over that seal is the trans position switch located on the driver side of the trans. My switch had some exposed and brittle wires and they were wet from the leaking oil. This *may* have been the culprit and so I had the switch replaced, a $300 part (the more skilled wrenchers can easily DIY). The trans symptons sometimes would be many weeks apart so I'm not prepared to conclude victory yet but so far no trans issues. Anyways, check to see if there is some trans oil leaking around that seal and switch. Just my two cents.
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  #18  
Old 08-29-2013, 07:05 AM
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mjalloul11 mjalloul11 is offline
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It does go to fourth gear in limp mode because 4th is a direct 1:1 ratio, so no load on the transmission. BB, i thought you would have changed the oil after so many talk about SEAL FOR LIFE trans oils.
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  #19  
Old 08-29-2013, 08:03 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjalloul11 View Post
I thought you would have changed the oil
It's on my list, after the huge leaks in the windshield wiper system, seat twist, front window regulator making strange noises, and strange FSU issues which are all pending in the queue (my repairs take longer than most).

Plus, there's that age-old argument to not disturb the crud in the automatic transmission:
- ATF: Automatic transmission fluid (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & automatic transmission fluid & filter DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & torque values (1) & how to find the hidden E39 transmission fluid level dipstick (1) & why ATF gushes out of the fill hole (1) & ZF 5HP19 facts (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Is the tranny working properly now?
Yes. The strange thing is that it sure felt hugely mechanical when I couldn't even get the shift lever out of drive! But, now, it's as if nothing happened.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
These few odd, unrelated electrical symptoms also seem to suggest the same.
Yes. The cluster showed "S" instead of "M + the five gears"; and the ambient temperature showed Celcius, but, interestingly, after charging the battery, the ambient is back to Fahrenheit on the cluster.
Note: 40.5C is 105F


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Having the car go into limp mode before the TDF error message is also something unusual.
I only thought about it after the fact, so, I could be wrong. But that's how I remember it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
get the correct cable
I searched last night for USB cables. The problem is how to figure out those with double K lines (pins 7 and 8) since no seller seems to mention this apparently important fact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HTK12 View Post
To me it's quite clear, if you want to diagnose BMW between 96-07 you'll be fine with K-CAN cable, if you want to diagnose 96-2013 get K+DCAN.
The problem, if I understand it correctly, is that the K+DCAN cable must have double-k-line support (pins 7 and 8). For me to buy a cable without knowing whether it has double-k-line support is difficult. I hate guessing.

NOTE: I want to change my automatic door locks also, so, I would want full functionality in the cable for my 2002; but I don't need it to work on any other bimmer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer Remorse View Post
check to see if there is some trans oil leaking around that seal and switch.
I need to buy two more jack stands from Harbor Freight, and then I will put the car up on all four, and take a look.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjalloul11 View Post
It does go to fourth gear in limp mode because 4th is a direct 1:1 ratio, so no load on the transmission.
Interesting.
I'll bring my DMM with me to Tahoe (leaving at 5am tomorrow).
If the failsafe mode kicks back in, climbing the Sierra Nevada mountains is sure to put a load on the transmission!
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 08-29-2013 at 10:48 AM.
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  #20  
Old 08-29-2013, 02:02 PM
daytradeoil daytradeoil is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 bmw 525i
It's my turn for the E39 TRANS. FAILSAFE PROG transmission failure stuck in hig

Bluebee,

Not sure if the PASOFT works for looking at transmission codes but i live in SJ and you are more then welcome to give it a go if it does.



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  #21  
Old 08-29-2013, 02:43 PM
HTK12 HTK12 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post

I searched last night for USB cables. The problem is how to figure out those with double K lines (pins 7 and 8) since no seller seems to mention this apparently important fact.



The problem, if I understand it correctly, is that the K+DCAN cable must have double-k-line support (pins 7 and 8). For me to buy a cable without knowing whether it has double-k-line support is difficult. I hate guessing.

NOTE: I want to change my automatic door locks also, so, I would want full functionality in the cable for my 2002; but I don't need it to work on any other bimmer.
Then buy just the K-CAN cable. I bought mine from bmwcables-co-uk (ebay seller). They are still selling the same blue cable that I have. Now they are calling themselves bmwcables-com (ebay seller). That address leads to bmwcables.co.uk. Their ebay account bmwcables-co-uk was closed to due to copyright issues, if memory serves me right. On ebay it's 23,99+ 7,5 international S&H (more expensive on their site bmwcables.co.uk). Now it comes with the one click easy install that wasn't available when I bought mine. Pretty sweet deal for $50.

With that cable you will be able to anything to your car that is possible with the BMW tools.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
If the failsafe mode kicks back in, climbing the Sierra Nevada mountains is sure to put a load on the transmission!
I hope all the best for you trip. Hopefully you don't get failsafe while climbing the mountains.

Last edited by HTK12; 08-29-2013 at 02:52 PM.
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  #22  
Old 08-29-2013, 10:46 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by HTK12 View Post
just the K-CAN cable.
I will try to find a dual-K K-CAN or dual-k D-CAN cable, and then, finally, not only can I then read transmission codes, but, I'll also be able to finally get rid of that autodoorlock feature!

All day today, the transmission shifted normally; so, I am hoping all will be well when I pick up my friend at 5am tomorrow morning for the mountains!
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #23  
Old 09-02-2013, 12:26 AM
Crutzy Crutzy is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 5-series E39
Update?
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  #24  
Old 09-02-2013, 04:01 PM
PrologRocks PrologRocks is offline
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Mein Auto: '98 528i
BB - I have an OLD IBM ThinkPad 380Z running Windows 98 with a serial port that is your for the taking if you are interested, otherwise it is going to Goodwill to be recycled.
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  #25  
Old 09-03-2013, 11:27 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Thanks everyone for the help and advice and support.
The bimmer handled just fine on the five hour drive to Tahoe uphill; and coasted all the way back for the 8 hour drive in traffic without problems.

I guess it was a glitch, either electrical or whatever.
__________________
Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 09-03-2013 at 11:31 AM.
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