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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 08-20-2014, 10:27 AM
mauricir mauricir is offline
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Location: Midlothian, VA
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Mein Auto: 530i
Trans Fail Safe

Hello all,
I have a 2001 530i. The trans fail is intermittent and it seems like it happens when the car has been running for about 7-9 miles. I replaced the speed sensor and also serviced the Auto transmission oil/filter. The car runs and shift perfectly but kind of staggered after 7 miles once it's about to stop.

I took it today to AUTOZONE to get it scanned. The error indicates:

code P1603= Internal Control Module self Check
And code P0103= Mass or Volume air flow sensor circuit High.

Are these related to Trans Fail Safe Fault? Anyone have the same problem on this code?

For owners like us that doesn't have any knowledge on BMW, WE appreciate your help. Please point me out on the right direction so at least I know what's causing the problem. Thank you in advance.

Best Regards,
Romuald
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  #2  
Old 08-20-2014, 11:07 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Location: Sudbury, MA
 
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Posts: 6,356
Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
The P103 code is not related to the tranny. The P1603 is probably related. It normally indicates a communications error between the ECM and TCM. This suggests that your problem is not tranny specific (e.g. mechanical failure) but more likely an electronic failure. Before anything else, check your battery and alternator output. Low voltage output can trigger an electronic failure that manifests itself as a TPF signal. A code check on a more sophisticated scanner (GT-1, INPA, etc.) may yield more specific info on your fault.
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Old 08-20-2014, 12:45 PM
mauricir mauricir is offline
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Location: Midlothian, VA
 
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Mein Auto: 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
The P103 code is not related to the tranny. The P1603 is probably related. It normally indicates a communications error between the ECM and TCM. This suggests that your problem is not tranny specific (e.g. mechanical failure) but more likely an electronic failure. Before anything else, check your battery and alternator output. Low voltage output can trigger an electronic failure that manifests itself as a TPF signal. A code check on a more sophisticated scanner (GT-1, INPA, etc.) may yield more specific info on your fault.
Thanks Fudman! Autozone checked the battery and alternator and both are good. The code P1603= Showed ECM FAILURE. I disconnected the battery last week, thinking it will reset the computer and the engine light went away but came back this morning when I drove the car. That's when I decided to get the battery check and scan the code.

Where is this ECM located at in the car? And do you have any idea how much will it cost to replace it? I just want to make sure I don't get killed when I get the bill from the shop. LOL. Thanks for your help Sir.
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  #4  
Old 08-20-2014, 01:27 PM
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mjalloul11 mjalloul11 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1996 528i 1999 MB c240
The ECM is under the leaft air intake under the hood, but you cannot just pull it out and replace with another, the new one needs to be coded to your car for it to work.
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Old 08-20-2014, 02:20 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
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Trans Fail Safe
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjalloul11 View Post
The ECM is under the leaft air intake under the hood, but you cannot just pull it out and replace with another, the new one needs to be coded to your car for it to work.
I'll add that quote to this thread:
- What is the definitive list of E39 computer modules which, when replaced (new or used), need to be recoded (1)
__________________
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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  #6  
Old 09-10-2014, 10:16 AM
mauricir mauricir is offline
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Location: Midlothian, VA
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Mein Auto: 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
The P103 code is not related to the tranny. The P1603 is probably related. It normally indicates a communications error between the ECM and TCM. This suggests that your problem is not tranny specific (e.g. mechanical failure) but more likely an electronic failure. Before anything else, check your battery and alternator output. Low voltage output can trigger an electronic failure that manifests itself as a TPF signal. A code check on a more sophisticated scanner (GT-1, INPA, etc.) may yield more specific info on your fault.
Just an update: Took the car to the shop and they diagnosed that the Steering angle Sensor needs to be replace.. Will see and will let y'all know for future reference! I should get the car back tomorrow..
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