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Hi I'm currently having issues with the dreaded trans fail safe prog making an appearance on my 2002 (52) 3.0d with 113k on the clock. So all was fine until I went round a round about and went to overtake a Lorry. I put my foot down it down geared took off then just revved as if I put it in neutral, tried to change manually but nothing. Message came up on the dash I pulled over and got AA to take me home. Now I've drove it round my block came up once I hit 4th gear drove fine up until 4th.. Today I took it to a garage and drove it there in manual and drove perfect changing every time I told it to.. Went into 4th for about 30 yards and again no issue.. Scanned and cleared the codes and drove it in auto and came up again as got into 4th.. Now I'm being told it's pretty much knackered and need a new part inside the box that tells it when to change gear? And maybe need a new box at around £1000-£1500? Any pointers advice etc would be great!! ImageUploadedByBimmerApp1468447875.542865.jpg
 

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Which trans do you have - GM or ZF five speed?
Regardless, it sounds like a solenoid sticking or dirty valve body. Has the trans ever been serviced? Do you use the vehicle for towing heavy loads? There are a host of issues that can affect the transmissions in these vehicles. Without knowing some of these, it's near impossible to diagnose your problem/s. You need to be more specific about the use of, general driving habits, possible water ingress etc.
The first, and most affordable step, would be to service the transmission - inspect pan magnets for steel shards and evaluate the ATF for function (does it smell 'burnt'?).
 

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Hi sorry for the late reply I've been snowed under at work. I've only had it about 4-5 months it's immaculate no rust oil or anything just no service history (the owner died I purchased off their family member) My driving style is typical BMW at the time I was driving relatively smooth

It's the GM box GM 96023330 i now know it's shot to bits the garage went to service it and this was the result. So my next question is I've found out that this box was used in e46 330d e39 530d and the x3 aswell as the x5 so can I use any box from those without having to reprogram? I know I have to swap the shafts in the boxes so I can put on my transfer box, it's just that a recon box is around £1500+ where as I could get a damaged e46/e39 for half that? Again I really appreciate the help ImageUploadedByBimmerApp1469808145.149599.jpg ImageUploadedByBimmerApp1469808168.948918.jpg
 

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Not sure I would bother with a second-hand box...could be more trouble than it's worth.
Bite the bullet and have a recon box installed. You'll get a warranty and should have years of trouble-free driving.
Remember - your E-53 is 14 years old now and has 113K (miles?) on it, so components in some cases have reached the end of their service life. Time to invest in replacements if you intend on keeping it for a while longer. BMW's are inherently one of the most expensive vehicles to maintain, according to survey results I've read.
 
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