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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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  #1  
Old 09-28-2009, 06:58 PM
stjoelax07 stjoelax07 is offline
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Unhappy 05 545i Transmission Surging Issues help!

So for the past several months I have noticed that when my 5 gets between 35 and 40 mph it starts surging, like it starts loosing power but gains it back, and it only happens within 35-40 and just steady driving. I took it to the dealer, and there are no codes present, the service manager, tech's and the advisor all took a ride and felt it each time. They said they contacted BMW NA and that they wont do anything, unless it throws a code, but when I call them(BMWNA) to talk(complain) about it they tell me it has to have a code as well, and yet I still ask them why I am driving around their car that has issues that they wont fix, and all they can say is sorry until a code comes up. Has anyone had any issues like this with the surging transmission, or know how to talk to Customer Relations so that something does happen? It's just really annoying driving around a car that has issues, and they wont stand behind their product.
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  #2  
Old 09-29-2009, 05:37 PM
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WillInDenver WillInDenver is offline
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Mine does it too, precisely as you describe. I took it to the dealer about a year ago - they claimed that that valves had carbon buildup. I paid $200 to have them cleaned, and the car exhibited the same behavior on the way home from the dealer, that same day. So avoid that diagnosis.

I think I notice that it stops happening if I reset the transmission programming with the 60 seconds on the foot pedal trick, but if so, it always returns. I'm not sure it's a showstopper problem, as long as it's not causing additional harm - but I wish it wouldn't do it.

Please post back here (or, better yet, PM me) if you determine what this issue is.
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  #3  
Old 09-29-2009, 05:47 PM
CapeBimmer CapeBimmer is offline
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Foot on pedal trick ??

Please explain -

Thanks,
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  #4  
Old 09-29-2009, 06:23 PM
stjoelax07 stjoelax07 is offline
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They told me the same thing in the start, stated that I should use gas with less ethonal, that didn't work. They told me that I should also have 3 to 5 fuel injection cleanings performed ($160.00 per time) But it was funny because when they suggested that, I had just had it done about 2 weeks prior to that comment. As far as the trick goes I don't really want to be doing that all of the time, It just really get's annoying when your driving down the road and it starts acting up, and wont stop until you decrease speed or increase your speed. Ill keep you up to date with any info, and if you here anything let me know. Thanks!
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  #5  
Old 09-30-2009, 03:30 AM
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Hogie Hogie is offline
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What are the RPMs that you are at when this happens? I am also wondering what would happen if you placed the tranny in sport mode at the same MPH or even go into manual mode at the same MPH using gear 3 and 4.

I am just wondering at that speed in auto mode ( assuming a Steptronic) if the car is searching for the next gear or previous gear, might be right on a threshold.

Try it with the A/C on and A/C off too ( changing engine load.)
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  #6  
Old 09-30-2009, 04:50 AM
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SeeYal SeeYal is offline
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Same thing here, does it for a while, then goes away.... like the OP, it happens at very low rpm's at the same speeds - seems like the car wants to shift down, but then just shift back up, with a little jerk or knock....... at first, I thought I had a misfire on one cylinder,... still do not know thoug...???
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  #7  
Old 09-30-2009, 09:24 AM
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WillInDenver WillInDenver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hogie View Post
What are the RPMs that you are at when this happens?
For me, about 1500-1750 RPM, usually with very light throttle, moving at about 40 MPH.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hogie View Post
I am just wondering at that speed in auto mode ( assuming a Steptronic) if the car is searching for the next gear or previous gear, might be right on a threshold.
I had this thought as well, and I specifically suspected that the transmission was indecisive about the 5 to 6 shift. I have since noticed that the problem _does_ occur in DS mode, where the transmission holds 5th gear, so that theory has lost steam in my mind.

I think the problem may be with the throttle, and not the transmission. There is no discernable tachometer movement when it happens - it really just feels as if I lighten my foot on the pedal very slightly and then resume.
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Last edited by WillInDenver; 10-01-2009 at 08:15 AM.
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  #8  
Old 09-30-2009, 09:25 AM
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WillInDenver WillInDenver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapeBimmer View Post
Please explain -

Thanks,
If you turn the key to position 2 (where all the power is on, but do not start the car), then push the throttle all the way down and hold it for 60-90 seconds, the car resets the information that the transmission has "learned" about your driving and begins anew.
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  #9  
Old 09-30-2009, 09:27 AM
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WillInDenver WillInDenver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stjoelax07 View Post
They told me the same thing in the start, stated that I should use gas with less ethonal, that didn't work.
That may be plausible - I live in Denver, and they use more ethanol in our gas here than is average. I don't think I can escape it though, if that's the case, unless I drive to Texas every time I want to fill up the tank...
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  #10  
Old 09-30-2009, 10:53 AM
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Eric B Eric B is offline
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I have the same problem as noted above. One thing I did notice is that when the surging starts, if I try to shift to 6th manually it isn't smooth at all, and seems to jump when shifting. I was wondering if it was a 5th vs 6th thing as another poster was...and when shifting manually seemed to be a problem, I thought that may be part of the solution.

I took it to the dealer, and they couldn't reproduce it, as usual...so no fix.

It only took 6 times for them to fix my steering knock, so maybe I just have to keep taking it in.
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  #11  
Old 10-01-2009, 05:53 AM
stjoelax07 stjoelax07 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hogie View Post
What are the RPMs that you are at when this happens? I am also wondering what would happen if you placed the tranny in sport mode at the same MPH or even go into manual mode at the same MPH using gear 3 and 4.

I am just wondering at that speed in auto mode ( assuming a Steptronic) if the car is searching for the next gear or previous gear, might be right on a threshold.

Try it with the A/C on and A/C off too ( changing engine load.)
Hey Tired what you suggested, and it is still doing it but seems to be harsher in DS, and in manual mode, like others I think its narrowed down between 5th and 6th gear. I don't understand why all of us can feel this issue, but nothing is being done about it. Great customer support sometimes...
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  #12  
Old 10-01-2009, 01:48 PM
Vyce77 Vyce77 is offline
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I had the same issues. Just got full updates on the computer and it is completely gone
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  #13  
Old 10-01-2009, 04:02 PM
stjoelax07 stjoelax07 is offline
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Is there a new update since July 2009?
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  #14  
Old 10-07-2009, 10:55 AM
SpaceRoach SpaceRoach is offline
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I have an 04 545 with 60k on the odometer. This same problem has been ocurring for 6 months. I have brought it to the dealership 3 times, and the first 2 times they could not replicate it.

They finally did and say it needs a new "valve body" which is about $5K for parts and labor. I am now trying to get my 3rd party warranty to cover it, and having no luck.
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  #15  
Old 10-07-2009, 11:28 AM
Vyce77 Vyce77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceRoach View Post
I have an 04 545 with 60k on the odometer. This same problem has been ocurring for 6 months. I have brought it to the dealership 3 times, and the first 2 times they could not replicate it.

They finally did and say it needs a new "valve body" which is about $5K for parts and labor. I am now trying to get my 3rd party warranty to cover it, and having no luck.
That does not sound right. Have any trusted BMW indys in your area?
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  #16  
Old 10-07-2009, 11:29 AM
Vyce77 Vyce77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stjoelax07 View Post
Is there a new update since July 2009?
I am not positive. Mine was updated ~ Sept 22nd. If you would like me to check version I can, I just don't know the key sequence to get there.
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  #17  
Old 10-07-2009, 09:12 PM
stjoelax07 stjoelax07 is offline
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I was looking into other e60 sites, and found a topic related to ours its http://forums.5series.net/index.php?showtopic=83926 not sure if it will help but we'll see where it goes..
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  #18  
Old 10-10-2009, 07:04 PM
Tommy Sea Tommy Sea is offline
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Possible Solution

Perhaps my experience will help others. Sorry if this is too lengthy.

Last Monday I took my 2005 545 in for service with this comment:
"The car goes through periods where a series of shocks go through the drive train while driving. They happen when the car is running on light throttle, like cruising. They feel like rough shifts but the RPMs don’t change. It has been happening off and on for the last 6 months but has not been consistent enough to think that it would do it when brought in for service. A couple of weeks ago I noticed that it was happening in “S” mode at 60 to 70 mph almost every time. In drive mode it happens around 30 to 40 mph. In drive there will be a series of jerks and then a shift where I can see the RPMs drop. In “S” I get a series of jerks that don’t seem to stop until I move the control to drive and then I get a hard shift into top gear. The speeds are pretty consistent. I only get the jerks in drive around 30 to 40 and only get the jerks in “S” around 60 to 70. Running up through the gears with the transmission shifting itself seems normal with no rough or hard shifts. It is only in the “cruising” part throttle situation where it shows up."

I am 8 months out of warranty and used my aftermarket warranty on this car for the first time.
The diagnosis was "Issue occurs in 5th gear regardless of manual/sport drive setting. Mechatronics/valve body is faulty and requires replacement along with use of new trans oil."
The bill was $4151.81. The dealer (Crevier in Santa Ana, CA) did have to get approval from the warranty adjuster. My payment was $100.00. (Yes I was 'repaid' my warranty cost on the first use.)

I picked the car up last night and, so far, everything is normal. The hard shift when moving from S to drive at freeway speeds is gone.

The part number on the invoice is 24-34-7-571-233 and is listed as "RMFD Mechatronics" a rebuilt unit. Unit price $2919.27. Also listed is 12 1/2 liters of oil (I'm assuming trans fuid). Labor was $870.00.
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  #19  
Old 10-11-2009, 06:37 AM
MikeTz MikeTz is offline
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I had a similar annoying transmission issue with my 550. There are two SIBs out that address transmission programming issues and the fix for both problems is the same software update. Often BMW will not update your car upon request unless you describe the exact problems on the SIBs (sometimes service advisor's don't know about the SIBs) so do a search for transmission surge SIBs, take a copy of the SIB in to BMW, tell them your car does exactly what is described in the SIB, and get you car transmission software updated. Bottom line: what you describe is likely a programming issue and can be changed with an update.
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  #20  
Old 10-11-2009, 07:55 PM
stjoelax07 stjoelax07 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy Sea View Post
Perhaps my experience will help others. Sorry if this is too lengthy.

Last Monday I took my 2005 545 in for service with this comment:
"The car goes through periods where a series of shocks go through the drive train while driving. They happen when the car is running on light throttle, like cruising. They feel like rough shifts but the RPMs don’t change. It has been happening off and on for the last 6 months but has not been consistent enough to think that it would do it when brought in for service. A couple of weeks ago I noticed that it was happening in “S” mode at 60 to 70 mph almost every time. In drive mode it happens around 30 to 40 mph. In drive there will be a series of jerks and then a shift where I can see the RPMs drop. In “S” I get a series of jerks that don’t seem to stop until I move the control to drive and then I get a hard shift into top gear. The speeds are pretty consistent. I only get the jerks in drive around 30 to 40 and only get the jerks in “S” around 60 to 70. Running up through the gears with the transmission shifting itself seems normal with no rough or hard shifts. It is only in the “cruising” part throttle situation where it shows up."

I am 8 months out of warranty and used my aftermarket warranty on this car for the first time.
The diagnosis was "Issue occurs in 5th gear regardless of manual/sport drive setting. Mechatronics/valve body is faulty and requires replacement along with use of new trans oil."
The bill was $4151.81. The dealer (Crevier in Santa Ana, CA) did have to get approval from the warranty adjuster. My payment was $100.00. (Yes I was 'repaid' my warranty cost on the first use.)

I picked the car up last night and, so far, everything is normal. The hard shift when moving from S to drive at freeway speeds is gone.

The part number on the invoice is 24-34-7-571-233 and is listed as "RMFD Mechatronics" a rebuilt unit. Unit price $2919.27. Also listed is 12 1/2 liters of oil (I'm assuming trans fuid). Labor was $870.00.
Hey Quick question, how did you get the dealer to finally realize this was the issue? They keep telling me to get a fuel injection cleaning or 3 (which one was done not even 2,000 miles ago) Was there any special thing that you had to do to get a code or something, it seems like my dealer here is just being stubborn...
Thanks!
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  #21  
Old 10-12-2009, 06:01 AM
Tommy Sea Tommy Sea is offline
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I did not go through anything like the problems that some others have had. I just gave the dealer my written comments that I quoted above and told the service rep I would be available to take a test drive. The service technician did not need me to do that.
Here is the write up from the technician:
"Test drove car-When vehicle is in 5th gear customer's issue is observed (regardless of manual/sport setting. Issue occurs in 5th). Check fault memory. No relevant faults logged. Check trans fluid level/condition. Fluid slightly grey. But not excessively dark or contaminated. Check vehicle E. software status and contact ZF transmission rep. As per transmission rep, mechatroics/valve body is faulty and requires replacement along with use of new trans oil"
I don't know why there were no faults logged. It's odd how the car will record somethings and not others.
I do have to say that I would rather have had the solution be a software reprogram than this hardware issue since it would have been a lot cheaper but the hardware change does seem to have solved the problem for me.
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  #22  
Old 10-12-2009, 07:22 AM
mfumbesi mfumbesi is offline
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Glad to hear that you were sorted out Tommy Sea. I would hate to be in that situation when I'm out of warranty.
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  #23  
Old 10-12-2009, 10:05 AM
stjoelax07 stjoelax07 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy Sea View Post
I did not go through anything like the problems that some others have had. I just gave the dealer my written comments that I quoted above and told the service rep I would be available to take a test drive. The service technician did not need me to do that.
Here is the write up from the technician:
"Test drove car-When vehicle is in 5th gear customer's issue is observed (regardless of manual/sport setting. Issue occurs in 5th). Check fault memory. No relevant faults logged. Check trans fluid level/condition. Fluid slightly grey. But not excessively dark or contaminated. Check vehicle E. software status and contact ZF transmission rep. As per transmission rep, mechatroics/valve body is faulty and requires replacement along with use of new trans oil"
I don't know why there were no faults logged. It's odd how the car will record somethings and not others.
I do have to say that I would rather have had the solution be a software reprogram than this hardware issue since it would have been a lot cheaper but the hardware change does seem to have solved the problem for me.
This is great, not the whole situation, but that it can be resolved, hopefully this means good things, Im taking all of this to my SA today hopefully this goes well. Thanks for the info!
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  #24  
Old 10-12-2009, 03:24 PM
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Eric B Eric B is offline
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I am unable to find any SIBs related to this issue on the E60...does anyone have a link? I would like to have it next time I am at the dealer...
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  #25  
Old 10-14-2009, 03:11 PM
stjoelax07 stjoelax07 is offline
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Update so far, dealer called yesterday said they were "working on it" and that they would be calling me within a day or two to let me know if they will be able to fix it or another no... One thing that they said to me was, "well the person on here who had it fix lived in California....They have different emissions there" But when I asked how they could have the same exact problem I was having, they couldn't answer that. Great huh?
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