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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 05-05-2005, 04:16 PM
540ia 540ia is offline
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Mein Auto: 2011 X3 35i
e39 transmission problems

I am a proud owner of a 2002 540ia with 62,300 miles. Today I was told that I may have a possible transmission problem that may ultimately need replacing I hear a slight whine at idle and goes away when put into gear. Other then the whine at idle I have had nor heard any shifting problems. Has anyone had anything similar to this? It just seems so premature at just over 60,000 miles. I love the car but I am getting frustrated by the repairs needed with such a young car. I knew being a driver's car that I'd be doing some tinkering but having just replaced a thermostat and burnt out wiring harness I don't need this transmission problem. Any input appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 05-05-2005, 05:06 PM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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Well, I wonder if a fluid/filter change is worth it to try first before replacing the whole tranny?
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  #3  
Old 05-05-2005, 06:52 PM
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M.Wong M.Wong is offline
E38 E91 (R56 E30 E39)
Location: Seattle WA
 
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Any chance there was work done on the transmission? A non-OE filter in there could cause the whine...
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E38 2000 740iL Orient Blue
E91 2012 328xiT Alpine White

Passed on to new families:
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  #4  
Old 05-05-2005, 07:07 PM
540ia 540ia is offline
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Agent 99--wouldn't hurt to try that. Sure beats the cost of replacing the transmission first thing.

M. Wong--As far as I can tell there has been no work done on the transmission by the prior owner. I did the standard research..called BMW NA and the dealership that had serviced it. One owner prior to me. Everything checked out clean. I just did some Dinan upgrades about 3 months ago. I know that that one of the upgrades was a transmission program upgrade I chose Dinan because of their reputation and relationship with BMW, warranty, etc. Prob. wouldn't hurt to confirm transmission program checks out.

Thanks guys for the input.
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  #5  
Old 05-19-2005, 10:53 AM
Josephbmw Josephbmw is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 528i
Angry Me too

My 1999 528i has to have a new transmission after 54,000 miles. Rediculous as it seems, I suspect BMW automatic transmission problems are more prevalent than anyone would like anyone to know. Why not, the transmission was made in France, and the rest in Germany. The French are still getting back at the Germans and I have to pay for it. Not a happy BMW camper, join my club.
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  #6  
Old 06-15-2005, 04:09 PM
Fin Fin is offline
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Location: Vancouver, Canada
 
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Mein Auto: 540i
540ia et al.,

I'm just experiencing the same problem as 540ia has experienced. Last week, I've parked the 97 540i in a shopping mall, the car was great, everything was running fine. However, when I go back to the car, started the engine, and this long whine noise came up. The car was bouncing up and down too.

Luckily, it was close to a local shop that I go to, so I drove it there. The whining sound seems to stop when I drive it, but when I hit a stop sign, the noise came up again. The noise is sooooo loud that people on the streets were looking at me

Anyway, the mechanic said the bounce was caused by a leak in the engine dripping on to the sparkplugs. He then said there is some sort of leak in the valve between the engine and the tranny (then leaked into the tranny) that causes the noise. He said I need the tranny replaced. BMW quoted a price of $7000 but the car worths only double that.

My question is, do I really have to replace the tranny? Anyone bought transmissions off ebay? Did fluid/filter change help?

Thanks!
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  #7  
Old 06-28-2005, 07:18 AM
Quotewriter Quotewriter is offline
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Location: Anderson, IN USA
 
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Mein Auto: 1999 528i
About 2 years ago, my 528 had to have the Transmission replaced. The dealer did it, but he used a BMW rebuilt Tranmission, total cost was 1800.00, so you might check into that option
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  #8  
Old 06-28-2005, 07:26 AM
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GJR GJR is offline
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Check out the website in the following link. I was browsing it a few days ago and found quite a few used transmissions in the 30-40k mileage range for a 540, and reasonable prices...I'm sure there are 6 cylinder trannys there as well. Good luck.

http://www.car-part.com/
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  #9  
Old 06-28-2005, 08:16 AM
markseven markseven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josephbmw
The French are still getting back at the Germans and I have to pay for it.


-Mark
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  #10  
Old 06-28-2005, 09:14 AM
EuroRocket EuroRocket is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW soon to be! volvo/toy
ask the dealer or shop to replace fluid and the filter first before taking other steps to replace the transmission.
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  #11  
Old 07-20-2005, 07:45 AM
Josephbmw Josephbmw is offline
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Location: Pennsylvania
 
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Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 528i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josephbmw
My 1999 528i has to have a new transmission after 54,000 miles. Rediculous as it seems, I suspect BMW automatic transmission problems are more prevalent than anyone would like anyone to know. Why not, the transmission was made in France, and the rest in Germany. The French are still getting back at the Germans and I have to pay for it. Not a happy BMW camper, join my club.
Just got a call from my service manager at my BMW dealer who went to bat for me with the factory rep regarding my need for a transmission replacement after 54,000 miles, at my cost. Warranty is 50,000 miles. Factory rep says I will get a full 100% refund of what it cost me at the dealer to have a rebuilt transmission installed. My 1999 528iA is now running great! THANK YOU BMW! You are super fair!

PS: New tires help make my car as quiet as ever. It floats over the highway as I listen to music in the quiet interior.

Josephbmw
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  #12  
Old 07-20-2005, 07:51 AM
Patrick Patrick is offline
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Good to hear!


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