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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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Old 07-01-2013, 11:55 PM
E39Sport E39Sport is offline
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Location: Texas
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 5 Series Sport
E39 Auto transmission issue

This is my first Post and has been edited!
For the past few years I've read through several threads for answers to various E39 issues. To be honest I became a member because I couldn't find anyone with a similar transmission issue!

At 115K mi, my 1999 5 Series Sport automatic trans started intermittently missing 4th gear and going into neutral. After coasting down it goes back into 3rd and will usually shift into 4th next attempt. This seems to occur when slowly cruising through the gears in traffic, feathering the throttle and trans is hot.

It never has done it when cold from setting up over night or taking off briskly to say 40-45 MPH it shifts through the gears perfectly, never missing 4th or hitting neutral before 4th. Almost a year ago it started happening more often so I took it to a local transmission shop where it was rebuilt and new stall converter installed.
A few days after rebuild it started doing it again, I was told to drive it for a while to break in the new trans and to see what happens.
The issue never went away and intermittently returns!

Last week the trans shop sent it to a European Repair Shop who said they were getting a Transmission Output Speed Sensor Error.
The Trans Shop then installed a new Output Speed Sensor. A few days later it's doing the very same thing!

Last night it shifted to 3rd, hit neutral, revved up, shifted into 4th and tripped the "Gear" dash light and this time also tripped the Check Engine Light! As usual, I shut it down for about 30 seconds, restarted and took off as though nothing ever happened except Check Engine Light still on and will usually cycle off after several restarts.

Has anyone had this problem or an explanation or an idea as to what the problem may be? Please advise!

Last edited by E39Sport; 07-03-2013 at 01:19 PM. Reason: Update
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:03 PM
HeelBilly86 HeelBilly86 is offline
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Location: Asheville, NC
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 12
Mein Auto: 2001 530i
Could it be the temperature sensor in the tranny wiring harness? There is a Tech Service Bulletin 24.02.01 on this issue and other threads referencing it.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:16 PM
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dtadrian dtadrian is offline
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Location: miami
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Mein Auto: 1994 540i
E39 Auto transmission issue

So you think this could be related to the throttle position ? From what your saying it only happens when your feathering throttle. Not when you give it a good accel. Check into that.

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Old 07-02-2013, 08:29 PM
E39Sport E39Sport is offline
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Location: Texas
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Mein Auto: 5 Series Sport
Thanks, when I say feathering, I mean barely giving it gas which seems to confuse the trans as to whether it needs to shift to 4th or stay in 3rd and ends up hitting neutral.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:51 PM
E39Sport E39Sport is offline
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Location: Texas
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 5 Series Sport
Thanks for reply HeelBilly86! I tried to reference no. 24.02.01 in the BMW TSB's, but found nothing. I will futher explore the Bimmerfest forums as well!

As of late this evening, couldn't find that ref no. or any with dots in between the numbers in Bimmerfest. Is that by chance a date??
Please direct me when you have the time!

Thx again!

Last edited by E39Sport; 07-02-2013 at 11:41 PM.
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