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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-06-2012, 07:28 AM
93az325is 93az325is is offline
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325i transmission light and slippage

When my wife starts up the car, the tranny light stays on and it slips really bad in lower gears. I followed the procedure and filled the fluid. I start it and it drives great, no light.

The only time this happens is when she drives it. It's happened 3 times on her. Otherwise, the tranny seems fine, no slippage at all.

My question is this- It only seems to happen when the car is started and the light stays on (the little ! in the gear) If the light goes off at startup, the car runs fine. It NEVER comes on while driving and the tranny never slips if that light turns off at startup. Is there some solenoid or relay that engages during startup that could be causing the issue?

And no, I don't want to put a manual tranny in it. And yes, the fluid is the correct level... And yes, this is my first BMW and blah blah...

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  #2  
Old 12-07-2012, 08:05 PM
93az325is 93az325is is offline
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I did some digging and came up with E36 BMW Limp Mode. So now I know what it's called at least. There are a number of things that can cause this- low trans fluid, TCM, transmission control solenoid, Low alternator output, loose connections at the firewall and others...
So I'll go through the list.
Since it goes into limp mode on startup, and never while driving, and I know it's full, I can probably rule out the fluid level.
It could be any one of the others or maybe even something else.
I doubt there's an easy solution to this, just trial and error.
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  #3  
Old 12-07-2012, 08:15 PM
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jonesin jonesin is online now
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You can only rule out fluid level by checking the fluid level. Do a quick google search for the procedure, it is simpler than it looks.
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  #4  
Old 12-07-2012, 08:18 PM
93az325is 93az325is is offline
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Yeah, that's already been done. I followed the whole procedure. It actually needed close to a quart of fluid. It drove around great then she went to drive it a few days ago and it went into limp mode upon startup. She turned it off, then back on and it was still in it. I came out and started it and it was fine, no light, no limp mode.
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  #5  
Old 12-07-2012, 09:00 PM
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jonesin jonesin is online now
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Wait. Down a quart?!?

Very good chance of it being serious with that bit o' knowledge.
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  #6  
Old 12-09-2012, 04:33 AM
kmorgan_260 kmorgan_260 is offline
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There is a solenoid that engages the shift lever to lock it in park until you put your foot on the brake. Mine was doing something very similar when that started to go. Turned out in my case it was a bad connector that gave intermittent problems. Once replaced I haven't had any more issues.
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  #7  
Old 12-09-2012, 07:57 AM
93az325is 93az325is is offline
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Thank you, I believe it's something like that. I'll make sure all the connections are tight before I move on to the next thing
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  #8  
Old 12-09-2012, 08:26 AM
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HakenTT HakenTT is offline
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read the codes on the transmission, it will tell you why it is going into limp mode. You need snap on scanner for that
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  #9  
Old 12-09-2012, 09:50 AM
93az325is 93az325is is offline
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Originally Posted by HakenTT View Post
read the codes on the transmission, it will tell you why it is going into limp mode. You need snap on scanner for that
According to you, my head is cracked and my engine is junk, get a new one. I wonder why I would listen to your advice now?
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  #10  
Old 12-09-2012, 10:32 AM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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  #11  
Old 12-09-2012, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by 93az325is View Post
According to you, my head is cracked and my engine is junk, get a new one. I wonder why I would listen to your advice now?
You are the one who said seller is a crook and he suckered you into lemon. Besides M50 heads are known to crack very easy, expecialy here in HOT phoenix
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  #12  
Old 12-09-2012, 04:53 PM
93az325is 93az325is is offline
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Yes I am. And yes, he misrepresented the car, and I bought it on a whim. Fortunately, I stuck to it and and fixed the problem, relatively cheaply. Thank you for your input.
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  #13  
Old 12-09-2012, 06:31 PM
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HakenTT HakenTT is offline
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Originally Posted by 93az325is View Post
Yes I am. And yes, he misrepresented the car, and I bought it on a whim. Fortunately, I stuck to it and and fixed the problem, relatively cheaply. Thank you for your input.
How did he misrepresented the car? You test drove it, ran fine, you bought it cheap. The next day insulation on the coil cracked, causing spark to shoot into cylinder head instead of the spark plug and you had misfire. You buy an old car for cheap and if the next day something goes bad you call a seller a crook, you are not reasonable at all.
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  #14  
Old 12-09-2012, 07:11 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Alright, alright. That was a different thread. Lets keep this one on the rails.
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