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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 08-12-2013, 01:44 PM
Mandorando Mandorando is offline
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Replace Torque Converter or Transmission Rebuild?

SES light came on and indicated a P0741 torque converter issue. Trans shop will replace for $1300 or rebuild transmission for $3000. They are pushing me in the direction of rebuilding with a 2 year warrantee. They say that there is a lot a ware and tare on a 120,000 mile transmission and while its out and open its better to rebuild. They say that they can't guarantee the torque converter is the ultimate fix. About 5,000 miles ago trans went into fail safe with P0720 stall speed/output sensor and 0041 gear monitoring 4 fault. It has been fine since until the recent 741 issue. I am the original owner and the car is in excellent condition. I use it as second car. Is a rebuild really necessary? 2003 530i 120,000 miles.

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  #2  
Old 08-12-2013, 02:19 PM
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Fudman Fudman is online now
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This is a total opinion question, so my response is an opinionated no, a total rebuild is not required. Given that this is a second car and the cost differential is 2.3x more expensive, I would take the chance that a TC rebuild is all you need.
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:09 PM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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replace with a junk yard one (cause thats what they mean for 1300$) and take the core and rebuild that...
so when the one you put in now blows up in a few years like it will.. you have a 2nd stand by that is fresh and ready for combat
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:53 PM
GabesJH82 GabesJH82 is offline
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Replace Torque Converter or Transmission Rebuild?

I had this code P0741 also a while back i just had the torque coverter replace. Drove car for 30,000 miles problem solved no more check engine


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  #5  
Old 08-12-2013, 09:53 PM
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120k miles is when the torque converter started to throw P0741 code on one of my 2003 530i as well
I am almost positive to replace just the torque converter but cant decide if i am able to do it
found local shop for a $500 labor so its going to cost me around ~$1000 all
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  #6  
Old 08-14-2013, 09:56 AM
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I got a new (leased) car when the P0741 code showed up...
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:11 PM
professorman professorman is online now
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Wow, sucks that it happened at that relatively low mileage. I would just replace the torque converter, since this is your second car.
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  #8  
Old 08-14-2013, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GabesJH82 View Post
I had this code P0741 also a while back i just had the torque coverter replace. Drove car for 30,000 miles problem solved no more check engine


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Same here, have driven 77,000 miles with no problems.
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:45 PM
Woodacre tom Woodacre tom is offline
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Are you sure this trans is not just low on fluid? Take it to a shop and ask them to
check the fluid level. If it is low have them top it off and clear the code.
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Woodacre tom View Post
Are you sure this trans is not just low on fluid? Take it to a shop and ask them to
check the fluid level. If it is low have them top it off and clear the code.
This is a well known problem by BMW. They were reimbursing guys for a while.
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  #11  
Old 08-14-2013, 11:00 PM
Csaylo88 Csaylo88 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burning2nd View Post
replace with a junk yard one (cause thats what they mean for 1300$) and take the core and rebuild that...
so when the one you put in now blows up in a few years like it will.. you have a 2nd stand by that is fresh and ready for combat
Is right, I did the same for my BMW when it threw a p0734 code and went into a failsafe mode also. I ultimately threw in a tranny from a junked BMW (even though Burning2nd advised against it) Its been running fine since look around you can find some good deals on Craigslist, Ebay that sort of thing Good luck to you
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  #12  
Old 09-03-2013, 06:29 AM
Mandorando Mandorando is offline
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Transmission Shop Recomendation

Thanks for all the responses. The trans shop recommends rebuilding the transmission. They say that the trans fluid has excessive amounts of metal particulates attached the magnets and the overall color of the fluid indicates that there is are more issues than just the torque converter. Attached is a picture of the pan. They want $3,800 to rebuild. I'm not sure that I'm prepared for a $3,800 repair on a 10 year old car with 120,000 miles. Any opinions?
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  #13  
Old 09-03-2013, 09:12 AM
GabesJH82 GabesJH82 is offline
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Replace Torque Converter or Transmission Rebuild?

That doesnt look that bad just indicates normal wear partical materials from the clutches, looks like it just needs a complete flush+new torque converter. Why rebuild it if you havent had any issues as far as shifting between gears. I would shop around and get different advices from other shops, some shops just want the money while others will be nice enough to help you out and save yourself some money.


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  #14  
Old 10-02-2013, 05:16 AM
rush_ad rush_ad is offline
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I have a 2003 E39 with about 131K miles on it. For last year, the torque converter SES light comes on and goes away after a while. I mean the SES light will come on, stay on for a month or so. Then go away for a week or so and then come back on again.

The SES light started to come on about a year ago. So I have driven the car for over 10K miles since then.

Is it possible that I change the transmission oil and then problem will go away? Or do I really need to replace the torque converter?
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:26 PM
teklord69 teklord69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rush_ad View Post
I have a 2003 E39 with about 131K miles on it. For last year, the torque converter SES light comes on and goes away after a while. I mean the SES light will come on, stay on for a month or so. Then go away for a week or so and then come back on again.

The SES light started to come on about a year ago. So I have driven the car for over 10K miles since then.

Is it possible that I change the transmission oil and then problem will go away? Or do I really need to replace the torque converter?
No amount of fluid changes will fix that. The seal inside your TC has hardened and deteriorated. Bite the bullet and spend around $1200 for a rebuilt ZF TC.
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