1997 528i Auto transmission Won't Manually Shift Down to 3rd or 2nd Going Downhill - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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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 06-14-2018, 12:13 AM
MikeGouveia MikeGouveia is offline
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1997 528i Auto transmission Won't Manually Shift Down to 3rd or 2nd Going Downhill

I have a 1997 528i automatic and recently manual downshifts to 2nd or 3rd to slow down going downhill using engine braking have stopped working. Downshifting to 1st gear still works but of course the RPM in 1st gear is too high for normal driving speed downhill. When you shift down to 3rd or 2nd, the car acts like you have shifted to neutral and just accelerates downhill with the engine RPM fixed at about 900RPM. 2nd or 3rd gear won't engage when selected manually. In normal flat or uphill driving in Drive using the gas it seems to shift normally. I changed the fluid 6 months ago and its been driving fine. There are no error codes or warning lights showing up on my diagnostic tool or dash. Anyone have any ideas what could be going on? I live on a steep hill and using only brakes to go down is very hard on the brakes. I need to get this attended to as its potentially dangerous.

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Old 06-14-2018, 12:18 AM
Inline 6IX Inline 6IX is offline
Location: GTA
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Mein Auto: 2011 528i
Transmission fluid, filter and solenoid replacement
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:50 AM
528iAut 528iAut is online now
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Mein Auto: 1996 528i
Yeah, normally a very slight nugde on the brakes should make the transmission shift down, mine does that and its very nice.
E39 528i Steptronic 1996, Comfort seats, Rear sunshade, Focal amplifier and front speakers, Oxford Green.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:09 AM
BavarianE31 BavarianE31 is offline
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Mein Auto: '03 BMW 530i Sport Auto
Seems like transmission maintenance is in order. Btw how is it potentially hazardous to use brakes when going down a hill? You're not driving a loaded semi. Use the brakes for what they are designed to do (stop the car). It's funny how people think engine breaking is good for slowing down the car when it's actually bad (trying to maintain a certain speed is fine but it sounds like you're over using it). Brake pads and rotors are specifically designed for one and only one thing. Use them. They are also cheaper than a transmisson

Last edited by BavarianE31; 06-14-2018 at 10:12 AM.
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