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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
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  #1  
Old 12-19-2011, 11:28 PM
dominoaz dominoaz is offline
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Cool Shift Lever Won't Go Into DS Mode

Over the last month or so, I have been having difficulty getting the shift lever to move into DS mode from D mode on my 2011 528. Today, the lever will not move into DS at all. Anyone experiencing this problem? What was the solution?
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  #2  
Old 12-19-2011, 11:44 PM
Sophisto Sophisto is offline
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I do not know the problem.
I would take the car to a Bmw garage.
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  #3  
Old 12-20-2011, 03:14 AM
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Thanks for the post, sometimes I have to whack it into ds mode or wait awhile and try again.

I have a 550xi msport w paddles.
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  #4  
Old 12-20-2011, 04:39 AM
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BobRBob BobRBob is offline
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Definitely a problem. Get it serviced right away. You don't want to take any chances with your transmission.
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  #5  
Old 12-20-2011, 04:52 AM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobRBob View Post
Definitely a problem. Get it serviced right away. You don't want to take any chances with your transmission.
You will not have any issues with your transmission. You do not need to service it right away.

I had this problem, as did MarkL. I think his case was intermittent enough that he chose to do nothing about it (that was months ago, though), but mine was getting very annoying so I brought it in. It required replacement of the entire shifter mechanism.

The shifter mechanism is completely electronic. It consists of the lever which sits on top of a housing about the size of 2 rubix cubes stacked next to each other. It is a sealed unit with a couple of electronic connectors. The unit contains switches and the lever itself is controlled by springs and solenoids. This is how the lever can be prevented from moving and moved from D/S to D when you press Park. There isn't a pin or anything. If the solenoids fail, the shifter becomes a lifeless thing that can flop around at will, essentially. If they fail in the opposite direction, it is locked in place just like when your car is off.

The shifter is nothing more than a large switch. So being locked out of D/S will not harm your transmission at all. Bring it in and they will replace your shifter.

P.S. it was at this time when I learned that the SAT shifter cannot be retrofit in place of the normal shifter. I know it would not have given me paddles or the faster shift calibration, however I liked the design better. However, each electronic part has a number electronically tagged to it. If the computer "sees" a part different than what it's looking for, it will freak out. IN the case of the shifter, that means NO shifting. So the SAT shifter cannot be retrofit. This was the info I got from the shop foreman of a very large local dealership, one who has done a manual swap on his own E46 wagon and was willing to order me the SAT lever under warranty. But no dice...
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  #6  
Old 12-20-2011, 07:12 AM
baloo588 baloo588 is offline
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Yes i had mines replaced for same problem. Now it shifts smooth into ds mode. Will need to order new shifter and reprogrammed.
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  #7  
Old 12-20-2011, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Needsdecaf View Post
You will not have any issues with your transmission. You do not need to service it right away.

I had this problem, as did MarkL. I think his case was intermittent enough that he chose to do nothing about it (that was months ago, though), but mine was getting very annoying so I brought it in. It required replacement of the entire shifter mechanism.
Yes, mine does it at times, and I still think it's temperature related. This happened to me first last winter. Then all summer it was fine. Now that temps are getting colder, I can hear the delay in the "solenoid click" that tells me the DS gate has opened up. I'll probably take it in when we have consistenly cold temps and I can definitely demonstrate the problem. My trick to get it to DS is this -- just gently keep tapping it over toward DS, not hard, just gentle about 5-10 times, then it will go in. Once you hear the little "click", the gate will be open until you shift out of D to N, R, Park etc. I believe there is a small spring-loaded lever in the mechanism where the oil gets stiff when the temperature is colder. Like I said, listen for the slight "click" near the shift lever and you'll know when the gate releases. When it's working normally, you may not notice the click because it happens as soon as you engage "D". The gate locks in positions other than D.
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Last edited by markl53; 12-20-2011 at 01:38 PM.
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  #8  
Old 12-21-2011, 09:54 AM
pal joey pal joey is offline
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if you are already in sport mode for drive train,then push the shifter left into ds is there a differance?
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  #9  
Old 12-21-2011, 10:36 AM
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chuck92116 chuck92116 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pal joey View Post
if you are already in sport mode for drive train,then push the shifter left into ds is there a differance?
From what I can tell,

If you push the level to the left, shifts occur when you want or when max RPM is reached.

If you use the switch and have it configured for drivetrain or suspension/drivetrain, the car will shift on its own at higher RPMs with increased throttle response.

One is more manual, the other full auto.
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  #10  
Old 12-21-2011, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck92116 View Post
From what I can tell,

If you push the level to the left, shifts occur when you want or when max RPM is reached.

If you use the switch and have it configured for drivetrain or suspension/drivetrain, the car will shift on its own at higher RPMs with increased throttle response.

One is more manual, the other full auto.
DS is separate from manual mode. DS is simply pushing the lever to the left. The trans is still in automatic mode but will hold gears longer. If you then push the lever forward or back, you are then out of DS mode and in manual mode. This is where you "shift when you want or max RPM". You need to push the lever back over to D and then back to DS again if you want to revert to DS auto mode.
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  #11  
Old 12-21-2011, 10:45 AM
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chuck92116 chuck92116 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markl53 View Post
DS is separate from manual mode. DS is simply pushing the lever to the left. The trans is still in automatic mode but will hold gears longer. If you then push the lever forward or back, you are then out of DS mode and in manual mode. This is where you "shift when you want or max RPM". You need to push the lever back over to D and then back to DS again if you want to revert to DS auto mode.
So is DS mode the same as using the switch?
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  #12  
Old 12-21-2011, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck92116 View Post
So is DS mode the same as using the switch?
I don't have the dynamic handling package so I can't really answer. Does switching to sport or sport+ automatically hold gears longer? There must be a difference.
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  #13  
Old 12-21-2011, 07:07 PM
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I also got a drivetrain failure, knocking and stall after starting out of my driveway
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  #14  
Old 04-06-2012, 08:04 AM
Alecop Alecop is offline
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An update on this matter. After several attempts at "re calibaration" my dealer ordered and installed a new shifter. A week now - and the issue appears to be resolved.
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  #15  
Old 04-06-2012, 10:59 AM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck92116 View Post
So is DS mode the same as using the switch?
Putting the toggle switch into sport will put the tranmission into the same mode as moving the shift lever to the left. But using the toggle switch to switch the transmission into DS mode will also alter other things besides the tranmission. What is altered will depend on which options you have installed on your car.
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  #16  
Old 06-14-2012, 07:26 AM
RocklandSkier RocklandSkier is offline
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HI all, I have2006 325xi...suddently, nothing happens when I move the shifter to the left to go into sports mode/manual. It just stays in full auto mode. The dash still lights up as "D", and it drives fine. I hear no unusual noises or clicks when shift it over. Any chance this is just a "reprogramming" issue and won't require a shifter assembly replacement?

Thanks!
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  #17  
Old 06-14-2012, 08:12 AM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Originally Posted by RocklandSkier View Post
HI all, I have2006 325xi...suddently, nothing happens when I move the shifter to the left to go into sports mode/manual. It just stays in full auto mode. The dash still lights up as "D", and it drives fine. I hear no unusual noises or clicks when shift it over. Any chance this is just a "reprogramming" issue and won't require a shifter assembly replacement?

Thanks!
Doubt it.

The shifter on your car is still mechanical, unlike the newer cars which are completely electronic. There are hall effect switches that note the position of the lever and that's likely what's bad.

If there were an error in the actual shifter programming, you'd likely be getting an error, but your dealer will be able to tell you that.
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  #18  
Old 08-09-2012, 08:07 AM
RocklandSkier RocklandSkier is offline
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Won't go into DS mode...replaced shifter assembly

Hi all,
I had the problem described below...simply nothing when I moved the shifter over to go into sports mode. It just stayed in 'D'...and was otherwise fine. Of course, you have no manual ability to change gears...can't even go into a low drive mode. I used the DS mode and shift gears manually all the time, so apparently the constant use helped wear out a switch or a wire.
I brought it into the dealer...unfortunately, the CPO warranty expired in February, but they replaced the shifter assembly. The part alone was $650 plus tax, but my dealer in Westchester, NY cut me a break on the labor, only charged me for about an hour or so, so the final bill was well under $1000.

It is working fine now, and the work comes with a two year warranty, so I'm not feeling too bad about things.
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  #19  
Old 08-09-2012, 10:42 AM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RocklandSkier View Post
Hi all,
I had the problem described below...simply nothing when I moved the shifter over to go into sports mode. It just stayed in 'D'...and was otherwise fine. Of course, you have no manual ability to change gears...can't even go into a low drive mode. I used the DS mode and shift gears manually all the time, so apparently the constant use helped wear out a switch or a wire.
I brought it into the dealer...unfortunately, the CPO warranty expired in February, but they replaced the shifter assembly. The part alone was $650 plus tax, but my dealer in Westchester, NY cut me a break on the labor, only charged me for about an hour or so, so the final bill was well under $1000.

It is working fine now, and the work comes with a two year warranty, so I'm not feeling too bad about things.
Hey, fellow Rocklander....formerly from there, in any event.

Your car has a different shifter than the F10. The F10's shifter is all electronic. Your shifter is electromechanical, and likely what happened is one of the hall effect switches that sense the movement of the lever in manual mode wore out. Happened to me on a previous car.

Glad to see you had it fixed.

The problem we were describing was the car's locking out the lever from being moved over at all!
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Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are French, the cars are German, the lovers are Italian and it is all organised by the Swiss.

Hell is where the police are German, the cooks are English, the cars are French, the lovers are Swiss, and it is all organised by the Italians
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  #20  
Old 09-28-2013, 10:02 PM
Fastpaddler Fastpaddler is offline
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My 2011 BMW528i also would not switch from D to DS mode. The dealer replaced the entire shift lever assembly after ordering a new one from Toronto. No further problems. I think it is a solenoid switch which sticks. Get the lever replaced and it should be under WARRANTEE.

Al
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