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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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 08-22-2014, 10:12 AM
Recentfuture Recentfuture is offline
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2002 530i Sport Auto Transmission Issue

Hey guys, I've had my automatic 02 530i for about 6 months. It has 145,000 miles on it and the other day I felt the car jerk after I took my foot off the gas ad it was downshifting from 4th to 3rd. I've never felt that before, it was almost like a stutter. The issue has persisted and yesterday I took it to my guy. He told me it could be disengaging on the gear from 4th to 3rd and vice versa. Fixing this issue would require a tranny rebuild. $2,500 bmw tech with his own tools. He also told me it may just be the oil and filter but if that didn't work I'd be out the money for the work. This morning I threw it into manual and drove to work, no stutter or jerk at all. My question is, if it really were a gear issue wouldn't I feel it driving in manual as well? Thanks ahead.
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  #2  
Old 08-22-2014, 10:18 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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Change the filter and fluid,,,then see whats up--
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  #3  
Old 08-22-2014, 01:09 PM
Recentfuture Recentfuture is offline
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I will, just wanted to get some more insight on the issue if anyone else has experienced it.
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Old 08-22-2014, 03:16 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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The filters in these trannies are made of a fiber media--instead of the screens that were once used--they can and will clog up--hope thats all your going to need
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:08 AM
Recentfuture Recentfuture is offline
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Ok, so I go the dreaded TRANS FAILSAFE PROG flash across the cluster. Safe to say the tranny needs to be rebuilt?
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  #6  
Old 08-27-2014, 09:10 AM
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it will do that if there are irregularities in the flow of fluid too.
I would perform the service as recommended.
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  #7  
Old 08-27-2014, 02:20 PM
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eparayno eparayno is offline
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Trans fail safe can be triggered by a weak charging system too. Have the battery and alternator checked
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  #8  
Old 08-27-2014, 03:10 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eparayno View Post
Trans fail safe can be triggered by a weak charging system too. Have the battery and alternator checked
+1, a wet wheel sensor can also trigger this message.
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  #9  
Old 08-28-2014, 08:20 AM
Recentfuture Recentfuture is offline
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Going to get the codes read, someone said resetting the computer may settle the issue.
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  #10  
Old 08-28-2014, 01:53 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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FYI: Tranny codes require a GT-1, INBPA or equivalent scanner. The ODBII will not read tranny codes. However, resetting the tranny code (again, it requires the GT-1 or equivalent) can cure your problem, if it was sensor related. It did for me.
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  #11  
Old 08-28-2014, 05:04 PM
1hander 1hander is offline
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could be the valve body.. or a solenoid..
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  #12  
Old 08-28-2014, 05:39 PM
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bartelbe bartelbe is offline
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First no disrespect too anybody but lets me say that the trans fail safe message 90% of the time has nothing to do with a internal issue of the trans , also you can read trans related codes threw the obd2 port using a obd2 scanner what cant be seen with a obd2 scanner is wheel speed sensor but if one of these have failed you will likely have the tri-fecta or bi-fecta "brake, abs,&asc/dsc, lights" with some other issue " speedometer, cruise control " some of the things that will cause a trans fail safe also includes maf , tps to name a few , all are used to determine load calculation which in turn determins trans shift point and main line pressures. So is the cel light on ? if so get the codes read you can do this at any major auto parts retailer and post them here. I dont have much time to really explain much more but will later on but will say one more thing " Do not drive the car with trans fail safe message !!!!!!!!
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  #13  
Old 08-28-2014, 05:44 PM
1hander 1hander is offline
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none taken ...

hes absolutely right though it could be many things...

on my x5 .. i ended up replacing al lkinds of crap for a bumping feel when driving... if i disconnected the tranfer case actuator the problem wemnt away....after lost of money...it turned out to the connetcor on the shifter housing ..the seal had crapped out and moisture of anykind would cause a short and weird behsvior from the solenoid...

most of jump the gun based on our own past experiences that kinda sound the same...but the truth is that it could be lots of things..

look for pending codes but it takes a real diagnostic setrup to read the trans module
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Last edited by 1hander; 08-28-2014 at 05:45 PM.
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  #14  
Old 10-05-2014, 07:01 PM
Recentfuture Recentfuture is offline
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Changed tranny fluid and filter, much smoother. I still feel the jerk (not as often and no where near as violent) so essentially the fluid helped the issue dramatically but didn't totally solve it. Any ideas.
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Old 10-05-2014, 07:08 PM
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bartelbe bartelbe is offline
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And what about the codes? Or the trans fail safe?
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Old 10-05-2014, 11:31 PM
Recentfuture Recentfuture is offline
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Trans fail safe only appeared once. Haven't had the codes read.
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  #17  
Old 10-05-2014, 11:55 PM
stickbuilder stickbuilder is offline
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As said earlier, fail safe program is to protect powertrain. There are several solenoids attached to the valve body. Code reader will point you to the cause of the problem. Chances are it's nothing more than a sticking/failing solenoid. In manual mode you are doing the work instead of the programming. As to the cost of rebuilding the transmission, I replaced the front pump and torque converter in my E46 and all gaskets and seals while I was in there. Did it myself. Not much difference in the ZF and any other automatic transmission. Total cost including parts was around 600 bucks, but the converter and pump were the bulk of the cost. Seal/gasket kit were cheap. Filter and fluid cost is in the total.


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  #18  
Old 10-06-2014, 11:07 AM
Recentfuture Recentfuture is offline
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I have a feeling its a failing solenoid as well, but I was informed that replacing that would be considered a total tranny rebuild? My guy (bmw tech) is asking $2,500.00 for the job.
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  #19  
Old 10-08-2014, 09:10 AM
Nikolai Nikolai is offline
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Last edited by Nikolai; 12-09-2014 at 11:08 PM.
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  #20  
Old 10-08-2014, 03:57 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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Might try ,,just draining the fluid and refilling again--just to get some more of the dirty fluid out of it. When I first replaced mine--drained fluid,,refilled ,,drove a few mile and drained again and refilled...then after five miles or so came back and drained and let it set overnight..then the next morning dropped the pan and changed filter --that gets just about all of the junk out of there
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  #21  
Old 10-09-2014, 12:48 AM
Nikolai Nikolai is offline
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Last edited by Nikolai; 12-09-2014 at 11:09 PM.
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  #22  
Old 10-09-2014, 09:31 AM
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bartelbe bartelbe is offline
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Unfortunately the lack of knowledge or due diligence is probably going too leave a bad taste in the OP mouth. And even more so since it sounds as if his "mechanic " is more of a parts changer then a knowledgeable tech. This is the #1 reason why autos get a bad rap as one needs to look at all of the variables in the equation before coming to a conclusion. In this case the trans is shifting funny so it must be a trans issue but with the advent of the modern eletronic transmission the engine electronics play a huge role in deciding shift points and shifting charicaritics. A example would be of a bad maf sensor which along with affecting engine prrformance which may not be all that noticeable would also and more importantly affect transmission shifting charicaritics. " hard shifts , delayed shifts, etc. So $2500 is a pretty expansive guess when it could just be $$$. Just my 2 cents.
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  #23  
Old 10-09-2014, 11:15 AM
Dolan Dolan is offline
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FWIW; My '03 530i was exhibiting a fairly hard 3-2 downshift. I was planning to have the fluid checked at a local shop, but just procrastinated and didn't get around to it. Then two weeks ago I replaced the window regulator in my LF door, disconnecting the battery for roughly an hour to complete the task. I noticed afterwards that the hard 3-2 downshift disappeared, and it hasn't returned... So if you haven't done it already; disconnect your battery for 10-20 minutes and reconnect. It's free, and worth a try.

Last edited by Dolan; 10-09-2014 at 11:18 AM.
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  #24  
Old 11-30-2014, 03:05 AM
Tonytansg Tonytansg is offline
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My e39 having trans failsafe prog. And the gear was locked at 4th. What happened actually?
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