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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 03-07-2011, 02:00 AM
k9cop k9cop is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 528i
Exclamation Transmission in D, but won't shift out of 1st

Hello and new to this forum. After reading alot of these posts, my son and i found alot of info about some of the items that have been wrong with car. Since we are DIY'ers, we are looking for some more help.

The issue we are having problems with are there are alot of codes present when scanner reads. some of these codes are : po 731a - gear 1 incorrect ratio, po500 - speed sensor, po133 o/2 sensor bank 1 sensor, po153 - o/2 sensor bank 2.
DME faults- secondary air pump inactive when commanded on, o2 sensors post cat may be mixed up or faulted due to secondary air.
EGS faults - Shift lock solenoid, asc interface, atf sump temp sensor, 1/2 solenoid valve, 2/3 solenoid valve and speed monitoring fault.

Now with all that being said, a little back ground. The guy that the car was bought from had put a newer engine in it ( has 166 K on it - new engine 70K) and also had the tranny rebuilt. He had everything replaced (solenoids, valve body etc.)
If you put the car in drive, it starts out like there is nothing wrong but won't shift out of 1st. If you drive the car in 3, it drives beautifully, and no problems. The guy took the car back several times and after a couple more things, still the same. I have all the receipts from the work that was performed. He was told that since the new engine and tranny rebuilt, the 2 computers (ecm and tcm) are not talking to each other ( much like my wife and I since I let my son buy this car - 18 yo). He was told that the computers may have to be reflashed and this would cure what ails this car. After doing some research with mechanics, they all said that it is a good possibility thats all that would have to be done, but no guarantees. Well since taking it to BMW, that said reflashing the computer would not help and that the tranny should just be replaced. Well frankly, I just don't buy it.
If anyone could give me some more insight on this problem, it would be seriously appreciated.

Also I forgot to add. the reverse lights do not work.

The telescopic steering wheel and the drivers seat do not work. Is there a connection between the two.

Last edited by k9cop; 03-07-2011 at 02:25 AM. Reason: wording
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  #2  
Old 03-07-2011, 05:06 AM
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02BMW530 02BMW530 is offline
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Quite the predicament but I'm not surprised that BMW said the tranny needs replaced. I've heard horror stories of transmissions not communicating with the vehicles computers in all kinds of cars, including cars as lowly as Hyundais. I'll venture my idea that they may be right.

Transmissions can be replaced, but need coded in to match the car I believe. Again, speaking of my friends horror story in his Hyundai, his symptoms matched yours - stuck in first gear with no way out. They (dealership) warned him that he didn't have an infinite number of miles before it needed coded/replaced before the car she down for good until it was fixed.

Someone will chime in later with a crazy amount of facts and possibly contradict what I say, but it's my $0.02. It sounds reasonable that the trans won't work. And with all of BMWs quirky electronics and oddball sensors, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that a transmission would need registered with the car.

Even for DIYers, an E39, particularly a higher mileage, is a handful. You and your son will undoubtedly be quite busy with this car, perhaps busier then you expected. These require a lot of relatively expensive maintenance.

Please keep us informed of what you do/learn/are told.

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  #3  
Old 03-07-2011, 09:12 AM
Cirrusnine Cirrusnine is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 528i/2003 530i
General Body Control Module

Quote:
Originally Posted by k9cop View Post
Also I forgot to add. the reverse lights do not work.

The telescopic steering wheel and the drivers seat do not work. Is there a connection between the two.

I believe the three items above are controlled by the General Body Control Module located behind the glove box. It looks like this: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BMW-E...Q5fAccessories

Good luck!
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  #4  
Old 03-07-2011, 08:34 PM
k9cop k9cop is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 528i
Does anyone else think or agree the the computer/s need reflashed in order for the transmission to shift out of first when in D.

Thank you for your posts.

I quess I should also mention that the ABS traction control light was on right after we bought car, but has since gone out. It seems to me that all of these things seem to be related and can't help to think also that it all goes back to the computers.
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  #5  
Old 12-18-2011, 12:27 PM
WadeLovell WadeLovell is offline
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Mein Auto: 528i
What was the resolution to this issue? I have a 528i E39 manufactured in March 1998 (so almost certainly the A4S 310R - TJ tranny) {BTW, what is the difference between the -TJ, the earlier -SC and the -VK off similar era 3 series}.

Mine is stuck in first and I would be very happy just to get it into limp home mode so I could, well, limp home!
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  #6  
Old 02-13-2013, 11:56 PM
J5seriesbeam J5seriesbeam is offline
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Wow! I've been having the exact same problem with my bmw e39.
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  #7  
Old 01-14-2014, 11:52 PM
Sevastion Sevastion is offline
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Sorry, I know this thread is dated, but I have a e39 with similar problems and I can't seem to find anything specific. Has anyone found a solution?
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  #8  
Old 01-15-2014, 09:06 AM
97e39blue528i 97e39blue528i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k9cop View Post
Hello and new to this forum. After reading alot of these posts, my son and i found alot of info about some of the items that have been wrong with car. Since we are DIY'ers, we are looking for some more help.

The issue we are having problems with are there are alot of codes present when scanner reads. some of these codes are : po 731a - gear 1 incorrect ratio, po500 - speed sensor, po133 o/2 sensor bank 1 sensor, po153 - o/2 sensor bank 2.
DME faults- secondary air pump inactive when commanded on, o2 sensors post cat may be mixed up or faulted due to secondary air.
EGS faults - Shift lock solenoid, asc interface, atf sump temp sensor, 1/2 solenoid valve, 2/3 solenoid valve and speed monitoring fault.

Now with all that being said, a little back ground. The guy that the car was bought from had put a newer engine in it ( has 166 K on it - new engine 70K) and also had the tranny rebuilt. He had everything replaced (solenoids, valve body etc.)
If you put the car in drive, it starts out like there is nothing wrong but won't shift out of 1st. If you drive the car in 3, it drives beautifully, and no problems. The guy took the car back several times and after a couple more things, still the same. I have all the receipts from the work that was performed. He was told that since the new engine and tranny rebuilt, the 2 computers (ecm and tcm) are not talking to each other ( much like my wife and I since I let my son buy this car - 18 yo). He was told that the computers may have to be reflashed and this would cure what ails this car. After doing some research with mechanics, they all said that it is a good possibility thats all that would have to be done, but no guarantees. Well since taking it to BMW, that said reflashing the computer would not help and that the tranny should just be replaced. Well frankly, I just don't buy it.
If anyone could give me some more insight on this problem, it would be seriously appreciated.

Also I forgot to add. the reverse lights do not work.

The telescopic steering wheel and the drivers seat do not work. Is there a connection between the two.
k9cop, I too am new to this forum, but have already discovered the incredible expertise present in this group. That is, I'll be shocked if there are not posts in the "best posts" sections and elsewhere in the forum that have already dealt with all these problems. With that said, I'll discuss the transmission issue, as I had the same happen, and we too have a '97 528i. First, when we started to have transmission issues (about 150K miles) I did research and learned the following: For the '97, different transmissions are needed for production cars through 12/96 versus after. The '97 was introduced quite early, I understand, BTW. Mine's an early production (pre 12/96). Those auto transmissions were made by GM and are regarded as junk. But we are stuck with it (I understand that any swap-outs are a huge project due to the electronics/computers issues, among others. OK, the choices for us were a new transmission, a rebuilt transmission, or a used transmission. The new ($8K) and rebuilt ($4K) were super expensive and more than the value of the car. So we went with a used unit that was available with warranty that included labor cost for replacement (which is extra and you have to pay for). That ran about $1.5K if memory serves. The whole operation came in at under $2K and it's been fine for two years.

When the transmission failed, we had the tansmission light on with lots of codes, but that was it. I wonder if the engine swap caused problems because it is not a perfect match. I understand that as the computers and components are integrated, there are problems when a non-matching component is used. That is, the mechanical fit is not the only issue in these cars.

I bought this car with 50K in '99 and used it until it had 125K on it, when I gave it to my son. I've always had a love-hate relationship with the car. It rides and handles perhaps better than any sub-$100K car I've had the chance to drive. But, I hate having check engine and other lights on that signal a problem --and the car has had one or other light going on a one point or another (airbag, seat belt systems to name two). Another challenge that you will have is that while parts of the car are engineered to be tank-like, others are insanely the opposite (the suspension, plastic cooling system, several components RE seat belts and airbag systems come to mind). As has been mentioned by someone else in this thread, these cars are not the most DIY-friendly. They are complex and at the age where our cars are, maintenance is significant. For example, the cooling system has to be replaced end-to-end (mostly) in our cars; otherwise, one or another plastic part will give you grief if you replace the typical items like the pump and radiator only.

Having stated all that, your son will enjoy a 5 series BMW much more than driving a reliable honda civic (my commuting car)!
;-)
Good luck
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  #9  
Old 01-15-2014, 09:25 AM
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JDeGraff89 JDeGraff89 is offline
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Mein Auto: 04/1997 528i Auto,
If it hasn't been addressed. The steering wheel and driver seat.. Pull back the platic base that hold the controls for the driver seat and makke sure they are connected. Wiggle the plug a little to make sure. They come unplugged sometimes and for some reason when they do the steering wheel won't adjust either. If this doesn't work search the forums a bit more as I have no info on the GMIII
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  #10  
Old 01-15-2014, 12:32 PM
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bartelbe bartelbe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevastion View Post
Sorry, I know this thread is dated, but I have a e39 with similar problems and I can't seem to find anything specific. Has anyone found a solution?
What issues are you haveing exactly, codes will also help in us assisting you in a path
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  #11  
Old 01-15-2014, 05:52 PM
Sevastion Sevastion is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 540iA
Exclamation

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Originally Posted by bartelbe View Post
What issues are you haveing exactly, codes will also help in us assisting you in a path
So far I haven't had any codes from the OBD2, though I haven't driven it more then a mile tops. As for the other computer system, I don't have a reader yet, so I'll get those as soon as I can.

Its kinda a long story, but I'll try to stick to the most likely relevant and make it concise.
A couple weeks ago working on my 1998 540iA (e39) we put a big battery from my friend's 7 in, it was about 1,000 CCA in 32+ fahrenheit (900 at 0). A few things happened, the gas gauge showed no fuel (the tank was at half) and the DSC (little yellow light, circle arrow with a warning triangle in the middle lit-up). We thought maybe a fuse had blown, after a test drive it worked fine. Weeks later on after re-sealing part of the engine and using a slightly smaller battery (should have been powerful enough, also should mention the gas guage was working again on this battery) I take it around the block and, even at 4,000-ish revs it won't go up a gear from first (it's an automatic, and yes I can reverse and put it in park)
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  #12  
Old 01-15-2014, 06:52 PM
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bartelbe bartelbe is offline
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What's the alternator output? Also can you manual shift "s1, s2, s3" ? When shifting into gear does it firmly engage? Installing the larger battery would not have caused any damage or vice versa.
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  #13  
Old 01-15-2014, 07:33 PM
Sevastion Sevastion is offline
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by bartelbe View Post
What's the alternator output? Also can you manual shift "s1, s2, s3" ? When shifting into gear does it firmly engage? Installing the larger battery would not have caused any damage or vice versa.
I am planning on running a battery test with the OBC, which should give some indication if its working well, no? I can move the gear selector, but the engine won't switch up. Doesn't really feel like its slipping as far as I've noticed yet. Glad to have cleared up the battery confusion.

##UPDATE##
So I ran the test, at 3k revs it topped at 14, but it was only a brief test, so it would appear to be charging the battery.

#New Thought#
Tomorrow I'm going to check the abs tire speed sensors (and anything else I or anyone can think of) with a multimeter.

Last edited by Sevastion; 01-18-2014 at 11:06 PM. Reason: New Thought
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  #14  
Old 05-26-2014, 09:33 AM
Alika808 Alika808 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k9cop View Post
Hello and new to this forum. After reading alot of these posts, my son and i found alot of info about some of the items that have been wrong with car. Since we are DIY'ers, we are looking for some more help.

The issue we are having problems with are there are alot of codes present when scanner reads. some of these codes are : po 731a - gear 1 incorrect ratio, po500 - speed sensor, po133 o/2 sensor bank 1 sensor, po153 - o/2 sensor bank 2.
DME faults- secondary air pump inactive when commanded on, o2 sensors post cat may be mixed up or faulted due to secondary air.
EGS faults - Shift lock solenoid, asc interface, atf sump temp sensor, 1/2 solenoid valve, 2/3 solenoid valve and speed monitoring fault.

Now with all that being said, a little back ground. The guy that the car was bought from had put a newer engine in it ( has 166 K on it - new engine 70K) and also had the tranny rebuilt. He had everything replaced (solenoids, valve body etc.)
If you put the car in drive, it starts out like there is nothing wrong but won't shift out of 1st. If you drive the car in 3, it drives beautifully, and no problems. The guy took the car back several times and after a couple more things, still the same. I have all the receipts from the work that was performed. He was told that since the new engine and tranny rebuilt, the 2 computers (ecm and tcm) are not talking to each other ( much like my wife and I since I let my son buy this car - 18 yo). He was told that the computers may have to be reflashed and this would cure what ails this car. After doing some research with mechanics, they all said that it is a good possibility thats all that would have to be done, but no guarantees. Well since taking it to BMW, that said reflashing the computer would not help and that the tranny should just be replaced. Well frankly, I just don't buy it.
If anyone could give me some more insight on this problem, it would be seriously appreciated.

Also I forgot to add. the reverse lights do not work.

The telescopic steering wheel and the drivers seat do not work. Is there a connection between the two.
K9cop, read this thread and might gives you some ideas. I hope it help.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...993&highlight=
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