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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 03-25-2009, 05:56 PM
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robingo robingo is offline
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Automatic Transmission 'jerky' downshifting when stopping

hi... this may be a known issue, but i'm new to the BMW scene, so i figured i'd ask:

i have a new '09 328i vert with the auto transmission. i've noticed that when i come to a traffic light and smoothly brake, the car's transmission seems to downshift in a fairly 'jerky' manner...

paying close attention last night (on a closed street) letting the car coast to a stop, it seems that what happens is that as the speed slows there's a point where it feels like the transmission is disengaged (almost like depressing the clutch in a manual) and then the transmission kicks back in and the tach swings upwards, way past where it was... and the car 'jerks' slower... this happens 2 or 3 different times as the car slows.

i'm sure i've driven at least 30 or 40 different auto transmissions in my life and have never experienced this before.. i know there is some kind of engine brake assist function, but not sure if this is related... i'm not even sure how i would describe it to a service adviser... (always worried about the 'feels fine to me'

advice/thoughts/links to other posts?

thanks!
robin
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  #2  
Old 03-25-2009, 06:07 PM
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dannyc9997 dannyc9997 is offline
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This seems to be a common problem with BMWs. I know the exact problem your having. Were it an older car id suggest cleaning or buying a new MAF sensor (since that is the sensor used by the transmission to indicate vehicle speed) but clearly your car is brand new. Can you make this symptom repeat? If you can then take someone from the dealership in your car and show them the problem. Some software may need adjusting or whatever. If you cant repeat it, tell them the car is surging when slowing to a stop. Take note of any idle speed changes while its happening and give them that information. Also exactly what speed ranges this is happining at. Basically, the more info about what exactly is happening while the problem is occuring, the better the chances they can get the car fixed.
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  #3  
Old 03-25-2009, 08:30 PM
neapolitan neapolitan is offline
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It is a bit difficult to tell exactly what is going on. I had a loaner once that did something like what you describe.

I pay very close attention to my car feel, and I have a manual transmission. When coasting at high engine rpms (>1.5k), if the engine is warm the ECU will cut fuel to it completely, and it will turn over solely from kinetic energy. When this drops below 1.5k rpm, it will "wake up" and you can feel a very slight "lurch" as fuel is again added to prevent any stall (all you manual guys -- try it coasting to a stop! You'll feel the "lurch" when it drops to 1.5k rpm, almost like you engaged the clutch). Most modern fuel injected cars will do this; BMW advertises this as part of its "Efficient Dynamics" energy saving feature set. If you have a MPG gauge you will also see it swing to infinity when the ECU cuts the fuel supply, and if you are watching a car do this (e.g. going downhill using engine braking) there will be no tailpipe smoke, kind of cool.

One fault / feature of this, is that there seems to be no hysteresis at the fuel turn-on point, that is, if you are hovering this rpm, say with the car going downhill, it will repeatedly engage/disengage, and make the car lurch very slightly. On an auto, as the thing down-shifts it will cut fuel, then add fuel, giving a very, very slight lurch but noticeable.

I'm not sure if this is what you are experiencing, but I would not have really noticed it unless I was really focusing on things -- how big a jerk was this -- enough to make your head bobble? If so, this is definitely not just the ECU giving / taking away fuel. However, if it was only a slight jerk, when the ECU wakes up supplying fuel it does feel kind of like putting your foot on the clutch as you describe.

Take a ride with the SA and see what he thinks...
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  #4  
Old 03-26-2009, 02:15 PM
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drwtsn32 drwtsn32 is offline
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Same problem as what is discussed in this thread, perhaps?
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  #5  
Old 03-26-2009, 03:11 PM
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robingo robingo is offline
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thanks! (but unfortunately, i don't think so, though there may be a similar underlying root cause)... i had searched before posting () and the thread you note was the closest... i don't seem to have any problem getting started after the car is at a dead stop... its the slowing down part... i'm going to take a flip video camera and do some runs 'taping' the tach and speedo, so i can talk through what i'm feeling and what the car is doing at that point...

interestingly enough, i found a closed street at lunch today and let the car coast to a stop in neutral, gently applying the brakes... fairly smooth (thought the brakes are certainly more 'touchy' than my old Saab brakes), so the 'jerkiness' is some interaction with the automatic transmission... some data, anyway.

cheers
robin
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  #6  
Old 12-20-2009, 08:34 AM
DFW745 DFW745 is offline
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Have you had any luck with this issue? I am encountering the same problem with my 745.
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  #7  
Old 12-20-2009, 10:04 AM
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robingo robingo is offline
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no, basically i've been told "there's no problem" or "we can't feel anything" or "you're nuts, you need to hit the brake harder" or "huh"... it is monumentally frustrating and actually had me out about a month ago looking at replacement automobiles (yes, i spent a s&&tload of money but why be miserable for 3-5 years? life is too damn short!)

in any event (flame off) here's what i think is going on in my car:

the downshift program in normal Automatic mode is not very smooth and there's a pretty large delay between the downshifts as the torque converter disengages/transmission is briefly in neutral... i don't know exactly what's going on i only know that there is a momentary loss of forward thrust while the car is downshifting...

now as i'm slowing down (feathering the brake pedal in city traffic) i'm counteracting the forward momentum of the engine/transmission in real time in order to prevent jostling the passengers... just enough brake pressure to slow the car without it being too much to cause the brakes to lock or have everyone lurch forward... normally (in every other car with an automatic i've owned -and- with my '09 328i vert when its in steptronic manual shift mode) the time between shifts is so short that there's no change in the amount of pressure i apply to the brake pedal... just a slow increasing pressure to slow/stop the car and then a release as we get right to actually stopping... but with my 328i when its in normal DRIVE mode, the space between shifts is so great (sometimes, not all the time) that the car seems to 'freewheel' as though the clutch were depressed... at this point, with no power pulling the car forward, i ease up on the brake pedal (i'm not thinking about this, you understand... this is all happening instinctively) so that i'm not overbraking and when the transmission then reengages the car lurches as the drivetrain applies power and there's a sudden (though small) increase in forward momentum... if this happens in the final shift (from 2nd to 1st) and i'm close enough to the car in front of me (stopping while coming to a red light for example) this lurch is greater than the braking power i'm applying (and unexpected) and as a result the car jumps forward causing me to panic brake harder, and increase the lurching factor. couple this with the fact that the brakes in my car are overboosted (feature, not a flaw i'm told) and you get an awful and potentially dangerous situation (almost rear ended the car in front of me 3 times since i've had my car)

if you're stopping quickly or stomping hard you don't experience this since everything happens so quickly the intervals between shifts are relatively small... but in typical US stop and go city street driving, this can be a real problem.

i know this is a programming issue since, as i say, if you put the car into steptronic mode (not DS, but 5th for example,) and let it downshift by itself you won't experience this. (at least i don't)

so this is a programming issue.

can it be fixed? i'm guessing so.

why doesn't everyone complain? my theory is that there are two reasons... first, everyone's driving style is different and a lot of people have a much heavier foot on the brake while stopping than i do... second, every transmission is different and i'm guessing that some remain in the freewheeling-between-shifts state for a smaller time... not much smaller, but just less enough for the driver not to notice and ease up on the brake.

i offered all of the above as a theory to one of the shop foreman at my local dealer and he just stared at me for a while and then said i seemed to understand more about my car than many of his mechanics... that's nice but doesn't get to the root of the problem...

when i was a kid (and we used to walk 40 miles to school, each way, with no shoes or ears) i think manufacturers had a 90/10 rule (or maybe even 95/5)... a product was 'good' when 90% of the people were happy 90% of the time... now i think its more like an 80/20 rule, so as long as 80% of the purchasers are happy 80% of the time, profits are maximized and there's no incentive to change/fix things since they aren't recognized as being broken.

sigh

anyway, what was your question?

i'm not giving up and plan to raise this with both BMW NA and BMW AG, as soon as i find some free time (or spare change)

good luck in your own sleuthing and happy motoring!
robin

Last edited by robingo; 12-20-2009 at 10:08 AM.
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  #8  
Old 05-30-2010, 11:12 AM
jdub4051 jdub4051 is offline
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i have the same issue on my 2003 745LI.

just reigniting this thread for answers. i have the same problem in my 2003 745LI
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  #9  
Old 05-30-2010, 11:16 AM
jdub4051 jdub4051 is offline
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see bulletin: SI B 24 17 07
for the fix on 745

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdub4051 View Post
just reigniting this thread for answers. i have the same problem in my 2003 745LI
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  #10  
Old 05-30-2010, 02:36 PM
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beden1 beden1 is offline
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My wife's '08 535xi had a similar issue that included jerky upshifting from starting off through the first 3 gears as well. The dealer did some programming and all is very good now. Very smooth up and downshifting.
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  #11  
Old 05-31-2010, 10:32 AM
zamba0321 zamba0321 is offline
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guys, General Motors builds these transmissions... do I need to say more ...
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  #12  
Old 07-25-2010, 11:50 AM
adamrover adamrover is offline
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Smile re auto transmission jolts when stopping

I have a 2005 X5 3.0D SE and have this fault. It only occurs in standrd auto mode, if I am in sports mode it does not occur, and alsom when in tiptronic it doe not occur. is it just a ECU programming soft wear issue?

regards

Adamrover

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  #13  
Old 12-01-2010, 01:49 PM
DorseyFan DorseyFan is offline
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Kind of a pointless bump, but I was test-driving an 07 335i today and it had exactly the same issue (which is why I ended up searching and finding this thread). I made sure my pressure on the brake pedal didn't change while coming from 45ish to stop, and it tried to throw me forward a couple of times, repeatedly. I finally figured out it was on downshifts. It also had something going on with getting up to about 30 before it behaved well.
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  #14  
Old 12-01-2010, 01:52 PM
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paximperium paximperium is offline
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Programming issue. There is a service bulletin on this.
I had the same problem and they upgraded my ECU and this problem is now gone.
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  #15  
Old 02-19-2012, 02:36 AM
saifmsk saifmsk is offline
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I know about this issue. its a problem with the transmission adaption system. if you can find a good mechanic who can hook up your car to a bmw diagnostic program, he can reset the transmission adaption values. that should fix it. I had the same problem a few days ago after topping up the ATF. At first i thought, my transmission went kaput cuz i did something i wasnt supposed to do(refill "lifetime" fluid). luckily i found a really good bmw mechanic who knew the problem from experience. fix took like 5 mins and the car has never been smoother.
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  #16  
Old 02-19-2012, 07:32 AM
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tturedraider tturedraider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robingo View Post
hi... this may be a known issue, but i'm new to the BMW scene, so i figured i'd ask:

i have a new '09 328i vert with the auto transmission. i've noticed that when i come to a traffic light and smoothly brake, the car's transmission seems to downshift in a fairly 'jerky' manner...

paying close attention last night (on a closed street) letting the car coast to a stop, it seems that what happens is that as the speed slows there's a point where it feels like the transmission is disengaged (almost like depressing the clutch in a manual) and then the transmission kicks back in and the tach swings upwards, way past where it was... and the car 'jerks' slower... this happens 2 or 3 different times as the car slows.

i'm sure i've driven at least 30 or 40 different auto transmissions in my life and have never experienced this before.. i know there is some kind of engine brake assist function, but not sure if this is related... i'm not even sure how i would describe it to a service adviser... (always worried about the 'feels fine to me'

advice/thoughts/links to other posts?

thanks!
robin
Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyc9997 View Post
This seems to be a common problem with BMWs. I know the exact problem your having. Were it an older car id suggest cleaning or buying a new MAF sensor (since that is the sensor used by the transmission to indicate vehicle speed) but clearly your car is brand new. Can you make this symptom repeat? If you can then take someone from the dealership in your car and show them the problem. Some software may need adjusting or whatever. If you cant repeat it, tell them the car is surging when slowing to a stop. Take note of any idle speed changes while its happening and give them that information. Also exactly what speed ranges this is happining at. Basically, the more info about what exactly is happening while the problem is occuring, the better the chances they can get the car fixed.
It's not a problem. Most automatics just coast to a stop. BMW Steptronics actually down shift just as one might do with a manual transmission. They're designed that way. It is more pronounced if you are in DS.
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  #17  
Old 02-23-2012, 08:29 PM
robreza2003 robreza2003 is offline
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Try a new K&N air filter. It worked great for my rough transmission.
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  #18  
Old 02-23-2012, 08:31 PM
robreza2003 robreza2003 is offline
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X

Last edited by robreza2003; 02-23-2012 at 08:33 PM. Reason: duplicate
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  #19  
Old 03-21-2012, 03:23 PM
Tbravado Tbravado is offline
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Had the same issues....after 6 visits to Tom Williams BMW, I got the tranny replaced via Puma....smooth as a baby's bottom since...
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