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7 Series - E65 / E66 (2002 - 2008)
Discussion of BMW's 4th generation E65/E66 7 Series flagship. The E65 generated much controversy, due to its radical styling and iDrive user difficulties. Nonetheless, the E65 broke records to become the best-selling 7-series iteration ever, especially after its 2005 facelift.

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Old 08-28-2017, 08:30 PM
sirken sirken is offline
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Location: Atlanta, GA
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 30
Mein Auto: 2007 BMW Alpina B7
Transmission fault - shifts into N or P while moving!

I could really use some help on this. My mechanic is stumped, I am running out of money, and there is no clear path forwards.

I have an e65 BMW Alpina B7 with about 90,000 miles. As I understand, it has a similar ZF transmission to the other E65 745i and 750i cars, but has a heavier duty torque converter.

So I've got this weird problem with the transmission where it is throwing a code and shifting the car into Neutral or Park while the car is rolling. It happened after I replaced the coils and spark plugs and the CCV valves. I took it for a test drive after I made the fix and it seemed like it has picked up about 50 horsepower, and the power hit with so much more authority. It felt awesome.

So on the test drive after I replaced the all that stuff, I am driving it on the highway and enjoying feeling the acceleration as I get into the throttle, and all of a sudden, under throttle at around 4500 RPM there was this loud THUMP sound. If I had to guess, it sounded like the car popped out of gear under throttle, which has happened a few times to me in manually transmission cars and motorcycles -- it produces an audible thump followed by deceleration. So this happened, and I instinctively took my foot off the gas and began looking at the dash to see what was happening. Well after glancing around at the dash a few seconds, my eyes reach the gear indicator, and it's in Drive, so I tentatively get back into the throttle. It seems fine, so I give it some more juice, and it feels just fine. Awesome, in fact, so I drive on, and a couple of minutes later, a transmission error comes up on the dash. The car continues to drive fine, however, so I park it at home. The next day I get up to go to the gym, drive the car there, and as I back out of the driveway, rolling at 3 mph, the car spontaneously shifts into Park, and throws a transmission error. This persists through a couple of engine restarts until I notice the fact that the "Auto Park" setting is on (you know, the hill braking setting). I'm like, "weird, I never set that", so I turn it off, and then the car is fine for the drive home. However the problem keeps reoccurring, and I keep noticing that the "Auto Park" is most often set after the car shifts into Park and I get an error. I find it so weird that this problem seems to coincide with the "Auto Park" light coming on, and wonder if this offers some kind of clue.

I took the car to a great Indy mechanic, and he saw that we were getting a code for the tranny solenoids 1 or 2, and he was pretty sure if we put in a solenoid kit that the problem would go away. So we spend $1600 and put in the solenoid kit and replace the mechantronic sleeves, and on the test drive it drives great until it gets back into the parking lot, and then boom, while tootling around the parking lot to park, the problem is back. It shifts into P or N while moving and throws an error code.

We also try swapping the gear shift selector with no success. It is still throwing codes for Solenoid 1 or 2, even though we just replaced all the solenoids We talked to ZF, and the only solution they suggested is a brand new Mechantronics unit, which in addition to being $4000 seems like playing whack-a-mole and might not fix it anyway.

Anyway, I am a bit of a loss here. I was wondering if any of you have ever run across this problem or anything similar. I read on a ZF transmission enthusiast website that pressure loss in the transmission (or valve body) can cause these kind of symptoms, and that replacing the bridge seal or valve body can fix this. Don't know enough to know whether that makes sense or not.

Anybody got some advice for me on this? Help me please!
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Old 08-28-2017, 11:04 PM
collins912's Avatar
collins912 collins912 is offline
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Location: Virginia
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,168
Mein Auto: 318i; 745i; 750Li; Denali
It may very well be the mechatronics unit. My suggestion would be to find a good working one to verify the problem. You're in Atlanta, so there are plenty of junkyards that should have 7series. Only other explanation would be a bad gear internally. Good luck bro!
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Old 08-30-2017, 05:08 AM
certifizel3 certifizel3 is offline
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Location: Atlanta
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 95
Mein Auto: 2005 BMW 745li
How much was it to change your gear selector switch? I also inboxed you to on a good shop in Atlanta Barry's Motor Works
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Old 09-02-2017, 02:39 PM
Ronin1653 Ronin1653 is offline
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Location: S. Fl.
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 2006 BMW 750Li
Same issue

im having the issue... any help would be appreciated... mine had a bad alternator and bad battery so I was hoping that was the issue since these cars are so electronically dependent..
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Old 10-08-2017, 03:35 PM
I.Devadze I.Devadze is offline
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Location: Georgia
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 10
Mein Auto: BMW E65 750i
Hi guys, please help me. All the time when i am exceeding speed of 173 km/h ( appx 108 mph) - Transmission Fault Drive Moderately msg appears. When i scanned my car for the faults, it showed that i have speed sensosr issue. I cant understand which kind of speed sensor is that, either inside of trassmission "BRAIN'" or abs/esp speed sensor? Just for reference, except of this unsatisfying thing, my trasmission works very smooth and shifts very quickly, no metal peaces vere found during oil change, but despite of these, i can't drive faster than 173 km/h, as i have already mentioned above. Please if someone knows what's rong with my transmission, kindly ask you to help me. Thanks a lot and have a good time.[/B]
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alpina, bmw, e65, fault, neutral, park, transmission

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