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Trans Failsafe - no steering wheel buttons - intermitt. seat belt warning - trans o.k

...In 2007, the "Trans Failsafe Prog" started showing. I ignored it just because I knew that it couldn't be the Tranny as it is fairly new. It would show up rougly about twice a week. When it does, the car would die for a few seconds while it was still in gear. It would happen also when I came to a stop. It would start eventually, my "clock, radio stations, program for the seats" would be resetted. Lately, when the error shows up, the light for the DSC and brake would be lit. I would lose power on my steering wheel such as horn, volume for the radio, and cruise control. My radio would also stop functioning. I would eventually return, sometimes the duration would be 10 min to 30 or sometimes a whole hour. It's very frustrating. I have an OEM battery and it has a green color on the peep hole, so I would assume it is still good. The batt is about 4 years old. I hope this could be some kind of info for anyone who is trying to decipher this very vague and frustrating error.
I know this is an old thread, and you only have 8 posts.... BUT, sure would like to know what the resolution was...

I'm getting very similar indicators:

- One night took my right front headlight out to take apart and get rid of the moisture inside it.

- Just 10 minutes after putting it in, took it for a ride - and the seat belt warning light would come on and not go out - even with all the seat belts latched... Driver and passenger in the front. Then it went out after a stop. Next morning similar situation, then at lunch, everything o.k. Thinking microswitch in the drivers seat belt.

- Next night - wash car, test seat belt - it is sort of o.k., think there was an intermittent. Then go to move it and wham - "Trans. Failsafe Mode" and the yellow BRAKE light on the dash are on... WTF...

-- Check trans fluid - nice and red, full

-- Clear trans codes by removing the battery ground for a while and turn lights on.

-- Test battery voltage while sitting there - 12.54 V

-- Test battery voltage/alternator after starting - 14 V ish

-- Move car, starts out o.k., then 100 yards away "Trans. Failsafe Mode" and the yellow BRAKE light on the dash are on... WTF..."

-- I drive it down the road - get this - even though it says TF Mode - it is shifting like it normally does - starts in first, etc. I have sport mode, and I can manually shift through all the gears - Trans seems fine...

This morning - here are some further clues - I notice that I have no functions on my steering wheel - No radio control, no cruise, and no horn...

Seat Belt Warning - Now the little red warning does not even come on...

I did test the ground point near the air cleaner as well - Continuity from the connector to battery ground tested fine with a DVM, and to make sure, I went ahead and took the connector off the stud, no corrosion there, brushed it anyway and put it back on. (I did not think this was an issue because all of my gauges work fine.

OBD II Scan tool showed no codes at all...

Is there a major connector somewhere that could be a problem?

My drivers seat has been intermittent in the past, three times - it stopped all functions, and then when I go to check it out - works fine after testing the power to the connector under it, and resetting the connector once, the other two times - it just started working...

Time to check out the schematics at least, but seriously - if anyone has seen something like this, I would appreciate it...


· Registered
438 Posts
Just wanted to close the loop - Ignition switch replacement corrected all of the problems above.

I'm picking up a computer with the BMW software - should work o.k. I have an 04 745Li - and there are no manuals for it...
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