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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am hoping someone can point me in the right direction with this.

I was driving recently exiting an interstate and tried accelerate rapidly which forced a quick high-RPM downshift .. shortly after and first time ever I get the dreaded "Transmission Malfunction". :mad:

Needless to say ... immensely disappointing. Luckily a quick google search showed me a "trick" to turn the malfunction off. What's the trick you ask? If you own a computer you are familiar with it.. reboot!! Well, it worked and I was able to drive home as usual.

I figured it was a one time situation but a week or so later it happened again 3 times on the interstate... very frightening when your car immediately goes into neutral then 1st or 2nd gear.

I "rebooted" each time and continued driving. Side Note: I was heading to Jazz Fest in New Orleans so I said f'it partied for the rest of the day.

The next day I drove back but kept the RPM's low and didn't shift hard... no problems. I started to think it was a passing thing again until I took it to a certified BMW mechanic not connected with a dealer. He plugged in the diagnostic tool while we drove and was soon able to reproduce. The issue happens in between 4th and 5th gear in heavy shifting. He looked at me and said "this is not good, I advise you to be the squeaky wheel to BMW because this will be expensive".

To date I have had problems with : broken engine/fuel heater for diesel, problems with urea tanks, a broken EGR cooler although the dealership swears they have added the "bracket" that is supposed to prevent torqing and breaking of the cooler.

I bought this car and really really believed the LAST THING that would ever break is the transmission. I am hoping and praying this is a software tweak or upgrade issue.
 

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automatic transmissions are always a concern for me.

How many miles on yours? Any maintenance done????
 

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When you bring it in at 100k they will say "whoa- you dont want to mess with that now- could cause issues... crud gets stirred up and can lead to stuff gtting caught in the valve body"

But whatever- sure, BMW says 100k.

I think the mechanic will turn out to be right. Id try to find someone that knows how to rebuild getrag transmissions, and or how to open them up and flush the valve body. Anyone else will be a $7000 replace the trans solution.....

Sry
 

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Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 110K miles NOKIAN WR G3 25K miles
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+1

Search here on changing ATF.

I'm at 50K and will do underhood fluids first and then shortly undercar fluids, ATF, TC, differentials.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
When you bring it in at 100k they will say "whoa- you dont want to mess with that now- could cause issues... crud gets stirred up and can lead to stuff gtting caught in the valve body"

But whatever- sure, BMW says 100k.

I think the mechanic will turn out to be right. Id try to find someone that knows how to rebuild getrag transmissions, and or how to open them up and flush the valve body. Anyone else will be a $7000 replace the trans solution.....

Sry
This! Again, I really hope it is what Mr Huffman below recommends.

... nothing drives like a BMW . I have owned Audi 4000s, VW Jetta, VW passat (2000), Audi A4, Saab 9-5 3.0T, Mercedes C250, BMW 535i... X5
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
+1

Search here on changing ATF.

I'm at 50K and will do underhood fluids first and then shortly undercar fluids, ATF, TC, differentials.
The error codes stated there was a problem with Clutch between 4th and 5th gear.

Yesterday I tried the procedure for "resetting" the memory of the transmission and I couldn't get the car to reproduce the error. The procedure is to insert key , press start, depress accelerator to floor for 25 seconds , then start vehicle and drive. Although it is something that seems to be voodoo-ish and undocumented, it is recommended for "lag". It seems to have eliminated the transmission-malfunction-go-into-limp-mode there still seems to be a slip in the 4th and 5th range.
 

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I am not an automatic transmission expert as the X5 is the first BMW I've owned that doesn't have a clutch pedal. This is a shot in the dark, but with the E63 which shares the ZF6, there is a common failure of a part called mechatronic sleeve. When it fails, it results in a fluid leak that impacts wiring, resulting in trans malfunctions.
The part is supposed to be inexpensive and it seems to resolve most transmission glitches. My E63 has three pedals so I have not had the failure. The ZF6 is actually fairly sturdy as automatics go, so I would look for a second opinion before committing to a multi thousand dollar repair. In all the years on this forum and longer on the E63 forum, I can't recall a trans failure at such low mileage.
Good luck, and please report back with resolution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am not an automatic transmission expert as the X5 is the first BMW I've owned that doesn't have a clutch pedal. This is a shot in the dark, but with the E63 which shares the ZF6, there is a common failure of a part called mechatronic sleeve. When it fails, it results in a fluid leak that impacts wiring, resulting in trans malfunctions.
The part is supposed to be inexpensive and it seems to resolve most transmission glitches. My E63 has three pedals so I have not had the failure. The ZF6 is actually fairly sturdy as automatics go, so I would look for a second opinion before committing to a multi thousand dollar repair. In all the years on this forum and longer on the E63 forum, I can't recall a trans failure at such low mileage.
Good luck, and please report back with resolution.
Good Info.. I will look into it ... this forum reminds me of the book "The wisdom of crowds"
 

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Did the Indy tell you the actual error code ?

My transmission has been giving transmission malfunction message as well but for 6 - 5 ratio monitoring - still researching and trying different things. Hasn't fully resolved yet

Most likely it may be another ratio monitoring gearshift error in your case too.

If you have diagnostic computer and way to read transmission adaptation values, clutch related, you will get some idea about the issue

Indeed, this forum has been very helpful to me. If you provide enough data, there are lot of experienced people in here to guide you through
 

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There is a thread here with a complete ZF transmission manual (of some type) in the first post....
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Did the Indy tell you the actual error code ?

My transmission has been giving transmission malfunction message as well but for 6 - 5 ratio monitoring - still researching and trying different things. Hasn't fully resolved yet

Most likely it may be another ratio monitoring gearshift error in your case too.

If you have diagnostic computer and way to read transmission adaptation values, clutch related, you will get some idea about the issue

Indeed, this forum has been very helpful to me. If you provide enough data, there are lot of experienced people in here to guide you through
I took the vehicle in to the local BMW dealership for a full diagnosis.

"It needs a new transmission".
"whats the issue"
"the clutchpack between 4th and 5th gear is bad".
"What's the price for replacement"
"$7,000 with a 2 year warranty on parts and labor"
"What's the trade value"
"16K"

Did I mention my level of disappointment.
 

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welp, my $7k guess was prtty close. Sorry.

I said it before and will repeat- NO car dealer will rebuild a trans, they jsut dont. Yet there are shops with really good mechanics that open these things up day in and day out. They seem scary but they arent (I still wouldnt do it).

Start asking around, call good shops see who they recommend.

Sucks

GL
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
welp, my $7k guess was prtty close. Sorry.

I said it before and will repeat- NO car dealer will rebuild a trans, they jsut dont. Yet there are shops with really good mechanics that open these things up day in and day out. They seem scary but they arent (I still wouldnt do it).

Start asking around, call good shops see who they recommend.

Sucks

GL
My mechanic who specializes in BMW repairs gave me a quick estimate of 5k for a rebuilt one , he also guessed 10K that bmw would charge. At this point I will declare a small victory if it is 3k.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
BMW North America called me back and said they cannot assist with the repair. The suggestion was to speak with the dealership.

Looks like its either spend 7K on a vehicle I am told is worth 16-18 on trade.

I'm an engineer that works in the downstream reliability business. If someone gave me those economic variables my recommendation would be cut your losses. That is probably what I will do.
 

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Id be talking to a transmission mechanic...NOT a BMW mechanic, NOT a dealership
 

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I had the same issue few weeks ago.
Changing the fluid will not solve the problem now.
You should had changed it before.
I went to some transmission shop and they changed mechatronics, clutches etc and gave me 1 year warranty. Cost 1300$
 

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im bumping this...any updates?

We are starting to see more trans issues...I am dearly hoping members are finding partial rebuilds, seal kits, etc, instead of $7000 replacements!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Update

I have finally figured out what I think is the issue.

this link
http://www.bmwlogicseven.com/?p=3738

BEST ADVICE FOR YOU: SINCE 99% issues with this trannies are related to valve body fluid pressure loss, i strongly recommend new (remanufactured) valve body from ZF, or have it rebuilt by REVMAX Converters

led me to

http://www.revmaxconverters.com/index.php/valve-bodies/updated-oem-replacements/bmw-6hp26-rebuilt-oem-valve-body.html?

This is where my EXACT issue is described

"This is a completely rebuilt valve body for the ZF 6HP series of transmissions. These units are notorious for several complaints, the most common being: 2-1 downshift bump , 4-5 shift flare harsh upshifts, harsh downshifts "

Apparently the change-out is up and play with no reprogramming of the transmission needed. It will cost about 800 plus labor from local shop. I plan on also changing the transmission fluid and upgrading the transmission pan.

I will keep the forum posted as I progress. In the meantime time I shift manually (not sport mode) and try to avoid fifth gear as a hard shift in 5th caused the transmission malfunction.
 
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