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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought my 1997 528i (auto transmission) from my cousin in Dec 04. As far as I know it has always been dealer maintained. I've got a transmission related question.

When I pulled into a parking lot today and shifted from "D" to "Park", the shift indicator on the LED screen showed "S3" instead of "P". This is the second time it happened since I got the car. But what was more worrying was that when I shifted it to "N", the LED showed "D". When I shifted to "D", there was a sudden shuddering of the car. I shifted to "P", and found that there was no "P" light even though the car was engaged in Park.

I switched off the engine and let the car "rest" for a few minutes. When I switched it on and started the car, again no "P" light. Same thing happened when i engaged "R" and the other gears. NO MATCHING LED DISPLAY of THE GEAR. I shifted the gears around a bit more and finally the S3, S2, S1 lights came on in sequence as i shifted. Then i shifted back to "P" and the "P" light reappeared.

During this whole time, when I engaged Park, Reverse, Drive and Neutral, the car felt like it was in the correct gear even though the DISPLAY DID NOT SHOW the correct corresponding gear.

I don't have any idea what is causing it- is it

1) transmission fluid that needs to be changed?
2) the transmission sensor ?


After reading multiple posts about "lifetime" trans fluid and what the dealers claim about it, I'm assuming the transmission fluid hasn't been changed at all in my cousin's dealer maintained car. Some posts say if it has never been changed, to not try to change it at all. Some say to change it...Is there a consensus on this?

Also, I read about the hard shift from P to "R" or "D" when engine is cold (first trip of the day). I've got that too, even when temps are 40-50F. It is only when the car is warmed up that shifting is smooth. Read in the other posts that it could be trans related. Is this normal or is it an indication of bigger trans problems?

WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE IT IF SOMEONE COULD HELP ENLIGHTEN ME.....THANKS SO MUCH!!! :eek:
 

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Off the cuff, it sounds like the sensor for detecting the position of the gear shifter is on the fritz but I really don't know much about it so this is a mostly useless post! :(
 

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Remove the piece of leather around your shifter and take a look inside.
 

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Hey just a quick note. There is a sensor on the tranny. Its a shift indicator position switch. Its just a sending unit to tell the computer what gear the car is in. It is located below, not in the car. If I remember it is on the left side.
 

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Trans Sensor

RakNak is completely correct. I just got my 97 528i out the shop for the same exact problem, mines only happens when it rains. The sensor had to be replaced $450.00.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for all your replies, they have been really helpful. Sensor's not been acting up thus far, probably due to dry weather. Will bear your advice in mind though. Thanks again :)
 

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HERE WHAT I JUST FOUND OUT RESEARCHING A 528 THERE WAS ONE RECALL FOR THAT MODEL:

Change Vehicle1998 BMW 528
Back to Recalls ListRecalls current as of 08/24/2005


NHTSA Model Name:
528IA

Component:
POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION:GEAR POSITION INDICATION (PRNDL)

Recall Number:
98V143000

Date recall entered into NHTSA database:
06/30/1998

Summary:
DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE TRANSMISSION GEAR POSITION SWITCH.

The manufacturer first notified owners of this recall on 12/28/1998.

This recall affects vehicles manufactured between 08/29/1997 and 11/05/1997.



HOPE THAT HELPS.

I'M GETTING ONE NEXT WEEK LOOKING FORWARD TO IT.
 
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