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Trans Failsafe Prog: "IFH-0009: NO RESPONSE FROM CONTROLUNIT. Program will be stopped

2002 E39 ZF Automatic with 180K miles went into Trans Failsafe Prog today in the rain.

I need expert advice where I haven't used INPA in a few years.
It's the same laptop, cable, & daily drive car so I know the steps to clear the transmission failure but I can't get INPA to communicate with the transmission ECU.

I'm getting this error when I try to read the transmission ECU.
"IFH-0009: NO RESPONSE FROM CONTROLUNIT. Program will be stopped!"

Inpa can read the other ECUs so it's likely not the cable or the Ediabas COM1 settings or the ignition position (engine is running).

Of course I will put the battery on a charger, where there is no indication of other electrical problems that I know of that would affect the transmission.

I was on the highway at something like 50 or 60 mph steady when I felt BUMP!
There was a noticeable jolt, and then the Trans Failsafe Prog showed on the dash.
There was no way I hit anything or ran over anything.
It was pure automatic transmission feeling. Not a noise. But a palpable jolt.
Sort of like how a manual feels when it pops out of gear at speed.

Limped home stuck in 3rd gear.

Dug up my old Windows laptop with INPA that came with the cable where INPA definitely works since it reads and clears engine codes in the engine ECU.

But Inpa won't read the transmission ECU.
"IFH-0009: NO RESPONSE FROM CONTROLUNIT. Program will be stopped!"

It's my daily drive.
Any expert advice?
 

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Likely the transmission electrical connection got wet and is causing issues. The harness has a sheathe that degrades. As water is let into the electrical connector, bad things happen.
Get under the car, check it out. Unplug, dry, and dielectric grease it.
That is my guess.


2001 750iL DD74441
Stock

RIP: 2003 540iA Sport GS56111
H&R front springs, Ultimate Cup Holder, Euro Dash & Armrest, Grom, BavSound Stage1
 

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Get under the car, check it out. Unplug, dry, and dielectric grease it
Thank you for that advice to get under and check all the connections.

I also put the battery on a charger overnight, just in case but I don't think that's likely the problem because INPA communicates ok with the Engine ECU but INPA won't communicate with the Transmission ECU.

All I had wanted to do was clear the transmission ECU failsafe code.

I googled for the error I'm getting trying to communicate with the transmission ECU but most of what I find on the net talks about a bad Windows setup, or a bad cable, but I am pretty sure the setup (Device Manager COM1 latency = 1 for example) and cable are good since it used to work and it works for the other ECUs.

For whatever reason, INPA won't communicate just with the transmission ECU.

Does anyone know WHERE the transmission ECU sits?
Does the transmission ECU have a fuse?
Can I remove the transmission ECU and dry it out inside the apartment?
 

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I agree with TAB. If it connects with all the other modules and you don't have a connection with the transmission, it's either a bad module or the connection to it is bad due to a broken wire or (as TAB suggests) water in the connection.
 

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2002 E39 ZF Automatic with 180K miles went into Trans Failsafe Prog today in the rain.

Just saying the cable going south is a common occurrence. That is one reason why auto car washes are discouraged.
This is what you are looking for if you follow my advice
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=560178&stc=1&d=1461286455

As for the TCU, I believe it is in the ebox under the hood.



2001 750iL DD74441
Stock

RIP: 2003 540iA Sport GS56111
H&R front springs, Ultimate Cup Holder, Euro Dash & Armrest, Grom, BavSound Stage1
 

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The above advice is sound. You also stated that you charged your battery. Do you know the output voltage from your alternator? The transmission is very sensitive to voltage and low output from the alternator will do exactly what you stated happened to you. Felt like you ran over a piece of 2x lumber, didn't it? Happened to me once. Not fun. Make sure you alternator is putting out somewhere between 13.6-14.1 volts. Output voltages below that could explain the failsafe mode, but not necessarily your connectivity issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I'm checking in where I will follow the instructions below and write back what I find.

So far this morning with the car in a garage overnight & on the battery charger all night, there has been no change in the INPA error of not communicating with the "transmission control unit".

If it connects with all the other modules and you don't have a connection with the transmission
I agree most likely it's something broken in the transmission ECU or wires which means I will need to inspect underneath and around the transmission computer module.

This is what you are looking for if you follow my advice
Thank you for that help as I needed to know WHAT to look for and WHERE to look for it!

As for the TCU, I believe it is in the ebox under the hood.
I will look first underneath at the wires and only later up under the hood, because if the TCU is there, it's less likely that rain affected it then.
Looking ahead, is the TCU something that can be easily replaced with salvage parts?
Does the TCU need to be programmed?
Should it be bought new instead and then programmed perhaps?

Make sure you alternator is putting out somewhere between 13.6-14.1 volts.
I will look up how to check the dash readout with the engine idling and write back what I find for the alternator output.

Felt like you ran over a piece of 2x lumber, didn't it?
It was unmistakably "something" big. All of a sudden. It actually happened twice within the same minute it seemed. I would never have associated the "feeling" with the transmission but there was no mistaking that the bimmer was suddenly "shaken" by "something" in an unmistakable "Houston, we have a problem" bump shock.

Since I was cruising on the highway, the only way I knew it was the transmission was the trans failsafe prog on the cluster.

I guess what happened is that the transmission suddenly went from high gear to third.
 

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Battery

Did that this morning after charge to 100%. 5yr old battery. put headlights on for a few mins while checking a code # 7 / core engine temp. Across the +- battery terminals was 12.1 with everything off. 14.0 v at cigarette lighter while engine idled.
 

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Did that this morning after charge to 100%. 5yr old battery. put headlights on for a few mins while checking a code # 7 / core engine temp. Across the +- battery terminals was 12.1 with everything off. 14.0 v at cigarette lighter while engine idled.
Was the engine running? If so, then 12.1v is too low. If engine off, then still too low. Should be between 13.6-14.1 volts with the engine running. Engine off should be 12.6-12.7v to indicate fully charged battery.
 

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2001 BMW E39 540i Automatic Sedan, 192 K miles
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So, a 5 years old battery, reads 12.1 v after charging it overnight ?!
Your battery is reaching its retirement age, but still works though. Time to replace it...??
 

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Battery on the way out ?? Absolutely >>

Battery was new 2014 before 8000 mi. road trip. So, what 5yrs old. .Say, if I were to drive 7000 mi on I-10 and another 1000mi. up, down, around California again: New Battery tomorrow. However, I watch the % drain often and charge it... you are absolutely correct and is on my purchase list. My present battery is a GOLD (Advance auto??) equivalent of the Walmart MAXX as follow (see battery search). I believe in 2014 I was out of $150+ including a $20 + core credit. So, this present day Everlast/Walmart PLATINUM (thin wall AGM H8) @ $150 is a good deal.
When i hit my HG8 GOLD battery last night it was at 40% just from driving around 20 miles checking core engine temps....
If you get a battery at Walmart and want to avoid a long install wait (a given...1st come 1st serve) and have other transportation, see that they have that battery on the shelf at a location near you and bring in your core battery. Take new battery home and charge to see if it needs to come up to 100%...rather than letting your alternator do that task.

>> https://www.battfinder.com/

RE: the 12.1v @ battery car shut off, I believe the ambient temp was 81degF yesterday at that time. I had the headlights and some other things on for a few mins to kill the surface charge...but, battery over the hill.

>> http://www.meeknet.co.uk/E38/E38_Battery_Drain.htm
 

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Having similar problems. ECU, TCM are both under the hood, passenger side, firewall, under plastic air filter cover. They're in a box, with Allen hex screws. There's also, 5 hidden fuses that are very important. They're for ECU, TCM, Coils, and some other things. I had bad fuse. Stopping communication with TCM and other lights. What other lights are on with your car?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
 

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Check for "COM1" and "Latency Timer = 1".
No, that is not the problem. Because the OP does communicate with INPA to the other engine modules.

My money is on the battery, fuses or electric connections.
 

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You will be surprised when people check for "COM1" and "Latency Timer = 1" and what it solves.
Very true, it worked for me a long time ago when I had issues trying to connect. Won't cost any money to give it a try.
 
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