Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-24-2006, 03:57 PM
flyboyy's Avatar
flyboyy flyboyy is offline
I glow in the dark
Location: Gotham City
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 578
Mein Auto: 2003 BMW 530i
trans failsafe prog.

today I was driving and my car was idle on a red light and all of sudden this message pops up in my dashboard "Trans Failsafe Prog" the car still moves but it feels like its out of gear , I have not test it on the highway yet , I was in local street and could not drive that fast , anyone experience the same problem as me or have heard of this problem ? I have a 2003 530i automatic, luckily I still have warranty on my car , I will call up the dealer and bring it , but I was hoping someone might have some info on it . all opinions are welcome thanks.
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 10-24-2006, 04:42 PM
Rsavory Rsavory is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Memphis
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 318
Mein Auto: 98 528i, 2000 528iT Sport
You probably just need a new battery. The transmission is electronically controlled. Do a forum search for more details.

FYI: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=563162

Last edited by Rsavory; 10-24-2006 at 04:45 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-24-2006, 05:31 PM
flyboyy's Avatar
flyboyy flyboyy is offline
I glow in the dark
Location: Gotham City
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 578
Mein Auto: 2003 BMW 530i
well I think it maybe the battery as well because I have a audio system in my car, JL 500/1 amp and JL 10w6 subwoofer . when that trans failsafe prog came on my car felt like it was out of gears for sure possible starting off 3-4 gear instead of 1 , after I parked the car and went inside my house had dinner came out like 1 hour later I started the car and No more error code and the car ran into first gear this time without any problems, I will still bring it into the dealer and let them check it out. since car is still under warranty will replacing the battery be included ?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-24-2006, 05:46 PM
Johnnie Watkins Johnnie Watkins is offline
Registered User
Location: baltimore,md
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 71
Mein Auto: 2002 530i
I had the same problem a couple months ago. I had left the car wash in the message came on I paid it no attention because the car was still running when I got home I pulled out the manual read it perform the check that it prescribes. But when I tried to start the car notting happen called BMW roadside got A jumpstart drove around town to charge the battery parked the car over night. Got in the car to go to work no power at all just the fail safe message. Call BMW roadside again once started drove it to My local BMW dealer. Battery replace for 180.00 no more fail safe message.

Last edited by Johnnie Watkins; 10-24-2006 at 05:48 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-24-2006, 07:39 PM
Rsavory Rsavory is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Memphis
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 318
Mein Auto: 98 528i, 2000 528iT Sport
I think the battery is a wear and tear item not covered under warranty. But it has been quite a while since I bought a new car, so what do I know. Maybe they will cover the diagnostics.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-24-2006, 08:42 PM
flyboyy's Avatar
flyboyy flyboyy is offline
I glow in the dark
Location: Gotham City
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 578
Mein Auto: 2003 BMW 530i
ok , I think my battery is getting weak due to the fact that I am running the stock amp , and also an aftermarket amp JL 500/1 with JL 10w6 subs this is probably what is draining my battery and I need to upgrade the battery. what good heavy duty batterys are there for audio systems ?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-25-2006, 10:13 AM
540 M-Sport's Avatar
540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Seattle, WA
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,039
Mein Auto: 01' 540 M-Sport cdn, F355
Could also be your alternator. Best to have both tested before blinding changing parts. You are very limited in what batteries will fit an E39...size Group 49 is basically it. East Penn makes an absorbed glass mat battery with 900 CCA's, that is about as big as you can find. Most others are 850 to 875 CCA, the factory oem battery is 875 CCA.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-26-2006, 11:59 AM
jpettit's Avatar
jpettit jpettit is offline
keep those wagons rolling
Location: Calgary, Canada
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 208
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 540i Touring
Yea...get the alternator checked as well. I had the Trans Failsafe Prog error a couple weeks ago, and it was a dead alternator (draining my battery) so my car wouldn't start. When i jumped it, it would just show this error.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-25-2006, 04:23 PM
la1607mwv la1607mwv is offline
Registered User
Location: vegas
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 99 528i auto trans
Thank u guys
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-28-2007, 12:07 PM
flyboyy's Avatar
flyboyy flyboyy is offline
I glow in the dark
Location: Gotham City
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 578
Mein Auto: 2003 BMW 530i
I did not get that Trans failsafe program message for about a few months now, all of sudden I got the Trans failsafe program error on my dashboard today, my battery was just replaced about.. 3 weeks ago...... so For sure its not the battery. I have another question, My warranty expired 12/26/06 which I had drop my car off to the bmw dealer and I had told them that I had the Trans Failsafe program error , but error was not on when the car went to dealer ,,he said he will check it and found nothing and said nothng was wrong, it has been about 3 weeks since i got the car back from the dealer , can i bring it back and tell them that they never fixed the problem when my car was still under warranty ? should I call NA BMW customer relation ? I feel that this problem could had been fixed because I had this problem when my warranty was still active and when I got my car back which was after new years 1/4/07 and my warranty had expired. any ideas ? or opinons ?
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-28-2007, 12:28 PM
jpettit's Avatar
jpettit jpettit is offline
keep those wagons rolling
Location: Calgary, Canada
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 208
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 540i Touring
Warranty should cover existing documented problems that occured before the end of the warranty period...but they do need to be documented in the service records.

don't rule out your battery. my trans failsafe prog error was eventually due to a bad alternator. i had the battery replaced, and the error happened again. changed the alternator, and the battery a second time as the bad alternator had cooked the second battery.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-28-2007, 12:49 PM
flyboyy's Avatar
flyboyy flyboyy is offline
I glow in the dark
Location: Gotham City
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 578
Mein Auto: 2003 BMW 530i
thanks.. I will call up the bmw place where they serviced my car and tell them the problem and if they give me a problem and wont cover my warranty ...do i call up BMW NA customer relation and let them know the problem ? and complaint ?
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-03-2007, 10:44 AM
fkhatib fkhatib is offline
Registered User
Location: UAE
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: BMW 530 2003
Hey flyboyy,

have you been able to fix the (Trans Failsafe Prog) program.

Regards,

Last edited by fkhatib; 11-03-2007 at 10:48 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-03-2007, 11:50 AM
Fudman's Avatar
Fudman Fudman is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Sudbury, MA
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,258
Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
The TRANS FAILSAFE PROG is a default setting to your auto transmission when the computer detects a transmission problem. It could be serious or it could be nothing.
The tranny stays in 3d or 4th gear only. Hence, it's very slow off the line. It is intended to allow you to crawl to a dealer for a fix.

I had the same problem 9 mos ago on a wet wintry day. I took it to the dealer, who charged one hr labor ($100) to read the code and tell me I had a problem (duh!) with my transmission. I left it with them for 48 hours and they could not figure out what was wrong. They even called BMWNA. They recommended a new transmission, to which I replied thank you, NO! I had them reset the computer (luckily, they only charged me the 1 hr labor) and off I went. 9 mos and 9,000 miles later, no problems!

It is not battery related. My car had a "new" battery (only 6 mos old) when this problem occured.

Have the dealer check it out. If they can't find anything obvious, have them reset your computer. If it recurs, then you definitely have a problem.

Good luck!
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12-23-2008, 08:46 PM
hakob83 hakob83 is offline
Registered User
Location: Watertown MA
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 530I sport package
Hi I just read your comment about this message:Trans Failsafe prog and decided to ask advice .I am driving 2002 530I sport Package
I was stuck in the snow I tried to drive forward and reverse but could not get out. I got this message while I was trying. then I got pulled but now my car does not drive properly, does not shift, Its in the 3rd gear all the time and does not go backwords, I went to my machanic he said that i need a trany ,but I still hope I can get out of this without FIXING OR REBUILDING IT.I am really concerned about this issue,I also called bmw dealership they told me that is transmition that needs to be changed .They told me that I blew up my transmition while trying to get out of snow ,what u think about this issue?
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 12-23-2008, 09:12 PM
flyboyy's Avatar
flyboyy flyboyy is offline
I glow in the dark
Location: Gotham City
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 578
Mein Auto: 2003 BMW 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by hakob83 View Post
Hi I just read your comment about this message:Trans Failsafe prog and decided to ask advice .I am driving 2002 530I sport Package
I was stuck in the snow I tried to drive forward and reverse but could not get out. I got this message while I was trying. then I got pulled but now my car does not drive properly, does not shift, Its in the 3rd gear all the time and does not go backwords, I went to my machanic he said that i need a trany ,but I still hope I can get out of this without FIXING OR REBUILDING IT.I am really concerned about this issue,I also called bmw dealership they told me that is transmition that needs to be changed .They told me that I blew up my transmition while trying to get out of snow ,what u think about this issue?

if your car is in good health and you did not do some crazy sheeeit with it... then your tranny is fine and your mechinic is a retard if he told you that you need a new tranny... he obviously know **** about bmw.. i suggest you never bring your car to him.... if you want to fix this problem its very simple.... you need to find someone with a thing to clear the code... you can bring it to the dealer and they will charge you $80 last time i did mine..but that was years ago... now its probably $120.... Ive never had this problem after codes was cleared.. Knock on wood...... the last time I had it was becuz of my...... AMP and subwoofer hook up it was pulling too much juice from my battery and caused this problem... I unhooked my amp from my battery and never had this problem again....

so...if you want a quick fix..then just reset the code... it will drive fine... and if fail trans prog comes back then you got some problems.....


good luck...
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 12-23-2008, 09:37 PM
tedm's Avatar
tedm tedm is offline
I'm otay. You are not.
Location: Eastern NC
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,336
Mein Auto: 98 540i Sport Auto
Mine has done this three times. Once at around 40K, again around 78K, and again around 102K. Each time I just did what the manual said... turn the car off for a couple of minutes and then crank it up to see if the message is still there. Each time I've been good. If your light is always on, I'd say you're in bad shape. That's no diy...
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 12-24-2008, 04:29 AM
Fudman's Avatar
Fudman Fudman is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Sudbury, MA
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,258
Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
Quote:
Originally Posted by hakob83 View Post
Hi I just read your comment about this message:Trans Failsafe prog and decided to ask advice .I am driving 2002 530I sport Package
I was stuck in the snow I tried to drive forward and reverse but could not get out. I got this message while I was trying. then I got pulled but now my car does not drive properly, does not shift, Its in the 3rd gear all the time and does not go backwords, I went to my machanic he said that i need a trany ,but I still hope I can get out of this without FIXING OR REBUILDING IT.I am really concerned about this issue,I also called bmw dealership they told me that is transmition that needs to be changed .They told me that I blew up my transmition while trying to get out of snow ,what u think about this issue?

Hakob83
I have a Peake and will attempt to clear your code if you can get to Sudbury. No guarantees as the dealer cleared my code the last time. I have since gotten the Peake as I got tired of paying $100 to have them diagnose a problem for me. I will be home today between 1:00-4:00 and all day tommorrow. PM me.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 12-24-2008, 11:16 AM
dannyc9997's Avatar
dannyc9997 dannyc9997 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Massachusetts
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,403
Send a message via AIM to dannyc9997
Mein Auto: 540i
Quote:
Originally Posted by hakob83 View Post
Hi I just read your comment about this message:Trans Failsafe prog and decided to ask advice .I am driving 2002 530I sport Package
I was stuck in the snow I tried to drive forward and reverse but could not get out. I got this message while I was trying. then I got pulled but now my car does not drive properly, does not shift, Its in the 3rd gear all the time and does not go backwords, I went to my machanic he said that i need a trany ,but I still hope I can get out of this without FIXING OR REBUILDING IT.I am really concerned about this issue,I also called bmw dealership they told me that is transmition that needs to be changed .They told me that I blew up my transmition while trying to get out of snow ,what u think about this issue?
Its possible that you damaged the tranny in this case, but I get the feeling you might just be low on fluid. Shifting gears gets the fluid moving pretty good, and if the fluid is low you will defenetly get the fail safe mode at some point. How hard were you pushing it? Did you shift to park at all when you were doing this?
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 12-24-2008, 12:45 PM
web_designer web_designer is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Ca
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 266
Mein Auto: New Millennium 6 speed
flyboyy: Your 500 watt amp isn't that powerful, so unless you're using the subwoofer with the car OFF or leaving your lights on - it shouldn't do too much drainage to the battery.

You should, however, run a cap on your system if you don't currently have one.


Watch the battery voltages as you drive and idle and make sure they don't dip too low.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 12-24-2008, 01:10 PM
flyboyy's Avatar
flyboyy flyboyy is offline
I glow in the dark
Location: Gotham City
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 578
Mein Auto: 2003 BMW 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by web_designer View Post
flyboyy: Your 500 watt amp isn't that powerful, so unless you're using the subwoofer with the car OFF or leaving your lights on - it shouldn't do too much drainage to the battery.

You should, however, run a cap on your system if you don't currently have one.


Watch the battery voltages as you drive and idle and make sure they don't dip too low.
all I know is when my bass pumps out of the subs... all my headlights start to dimm.. each loud beat.. my headlights would dimm... what is causing this ?? after I unhooked everything its fine.. now...

by the way my setup was JL 500/1 amp and JL 10w6 subs.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 12-27-2008, 09:09 AM
web_designer web_designer is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Ca
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 266
Mein Auto: New Millennium 6 speed
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyboyy View Post
all I know is when my bass pumps out of the subs... all my headlights start to dimm.. each loud beat.. my headlights would dimm... what is causing this ?? after I unhooked everything its fine.. now...

by the way my setup was JL 500/1 amp and JL 10w6 subs.
Again, you need a cap.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 12-29-2008, 11:28 AM
hakob83 hakob83 is offline
Registered User
Location: Watertown MA
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 530I sport package
Hi I took my car to the dealer I left it there for 2 days and after all this they called me and told that I need a new Transmission ,Thy said that they did reset the computer and as soon as they started the car the same message came on again ,so they positive thet it is my transmission.
I guy from the same dealer gave me a number of a place who sell transmitions (general auto recycling) so I called them up they have the whole unit for $950 has 57,000 miles on it and it is not a rebuilt one the car got totaled and they took the transmission out this is what they told me and comes with only 30 days warranty. What u think about
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 12-29-2008, 12:03 PM
fkhatib fkhatib is offline
Registered User
Location: UAE
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: BMW 530 2003
Changing the Tranny is your last choice and its 5% possibility that your burned the tranny.

Just take the car to the dealer and ask them to reset the DME, or if you have an OBD scanner you can do it yourself, this is the case most of the times.

Good luck.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 12-29-2008, 05:03 PM
EBBMW EBBMW is offline
Registered User
Location: Providence, RI
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 20
Mein Auto: 99 E39 528i Sport PCKG
Quote:
Originally Posted by fkhatib View Post
Changing the Tranny is your last choice and its 5% possibility that your burned the tranny.

Just take the car to the dealer and ask them to reset the DME, or if you have an OBD scanner you can do it yourself, this is the case most of the times.

Good luck.
I'm in the same shoes as hakob83. My car was at the Dealer for 2 days because it was driving in Tranny Fail-safe program mode (feels like its Limping in 3rd gear). The ASC, ABS, Engine Check and the ATC indicator Lamps were all on. After a Diag, The Dealer recommended I need a Speed sensor, maybe a ABS module, a thermostat and a Tranny. I decided to take my car home without having them do the repair.
After bringing the car home, I decided to replace the speed sensor and it cleared the ASC, ABS indicator lamps. ATC lamp is still on and the car is still limping. Does it make sense to pay for another 1hr labor cost($117) for the Dealer to reset the DME or OBD. Will this be the solution for the limping.
Thank you for your inputs on this issue.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2000 323i is it a bad trans jaydee E46 (1999 - 2006) 3 06-02-2006 12:57 PM
engine failsafe prog - car stalling ofivex5 X5 E53 (1999 - 2006) 2 03-03-2006 07:07 AM
trans failsafe mode in cold weather dcampbell E39 (1997 - 2003) 2 11-25-2005 02:08 PM
2000 540 engine failsafe Prog dagoo98 E39 (1997 - 2003) 12 11-10-2005 08:35 AM
Trans. failsafe CFMBENSON E39 (1997 - 2003) 3 05-06-2005 09:24 AM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms