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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As reported in AOL autos for the 7-series, this also applies to the 3-series, and is a serious pain in the neck. I don't know why other reviews do not mention this. I did notice this briefly on the test drive as the drive seemed "tight", but ignored it unfortunately as most of the test drive was at higher speeds where it is not present. I cannot drive this car in stop and go traffic without getting car sick because of the jerking nature of the steptronice transmission:

http://autos.aol.com/cars-BMW-750-2012/expert-review/

"The gray area of 7 Series satisfaction and performance sits largely in the transmission. The 6-speed automatic seems over-engineered, or at least over-programmed. It insists on doing too many things for the driver, and that's in Normal mode. We're not talking about our usual frequent complaint, that the manual mode isn't very manual; we're talking about a relentless number of automatic downshifts.

Basically, the transmission won't let the car glide. Around town, it almost feels like the emergency brake is on. Back off the throttle, and some program says: The driver wants to slow down. Let's help him! You're going 20 mph and ease off the gas for a red light, intending to coast there, and it downshifts so eagerly that you have to get back on the gas to get to the intersection. It's like the 7 Series is a pickup truck with its transmission in perpetual tow/haul mode. That's great on a race track, but a bit too tense for everyday loafing around.

We had to accelerate to go down our steep hill, because the transmission held the car back so much. Going up a less-steep hill, one-half mile at 25 mph, it downshifted three times and up-shifted twice, all in an effort to keep the car in the optimum gear. It's like the transmission is compelled to use all six of its gears as often as possible. With all that engine torque, it makes no sense. There's plenty of torque in these easy situations to motor along in a lower gear. What's more, the kick-down shifts are often not smooth. Lurch is the word that popped up on our tape recorder, three times.

Out on the highway, this annoyance goes away. It's only poking around town that the 7 Series can be unwilling to glide smoothly."
 

· Worlds Foremost Authority
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I have a 7 and a 3 both with Steptronics and I have no idea what whoever wrote that is talking about.

CA
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have a 7 and a 3 both with Steptronics and I have no idea what whoever wrote that is talking about.

CA
You don't notice how when you let up on the gas, the car breaks significantly? You don't notice how the car does not coast easily? Try driving it up hill or parking garage and take your foot off the gas - the car will abruptly shift down. At slow speeds the car downshifts hard unlike any other car I am aware of.

And the AOL reviewer noticed this. I can see how it may not bother you (for example, some people do not get car sick even when they read as passengers), but I cannot see how you do not notice it.
 

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I cannot drive this car in stop and go traffic without getting car sick because of the jerking nature of the steptronice transmission....

Out on the highway, this annoyance goes away. It's only poking around town that the 7 Series can be unwilling to glide smoothly."
Clearly a sensitive soul, this person's amazing ability to perceive is evident here.

Illustration


Although I am unfamiliar with the steptronice, I do own a Steptronic, and find it not turbine smooth but competent, lacking in jerkiness and unwillingness.

One thing's for sure: this steptronice is no match for my Steptronic!

OP, your comments?

.
 

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What year is your car(s). I believe BMW may have just introduced this feature in 2010.
As with many issues, isolated data points do not mean all vehicles suffer from the same issues. My 2011 335d is wonderful coaster, let off the gas and it will coast nearly unimpeded for a good while. My 2011 550 can be a bit sensitive at very low speed stop and go, but I would put most of the blame the 511hp and not the transmission. Correct modulation of the throttle eliminates any jerkiness.

Throttle lag is common complaint on the 8spd ZF trannys, but not all cars have that issue either.
 

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Mine is the wonderful ZF unit with no issues like noted above, but the 328 has the GM sources steptronic and I have driven a couple of those and would agree they are terrible transmissions - BMW should stop using the GM unit to save money and stick with the ZF units.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Clearly a sensitive soul, this person's amazing ability to perceive is evident here.

View attachment 340555

Although I am unfamiliar with the steptronice, I do own a Steptronic, and find it not turbine smooth but competent, lacking in jerkiness and unwillingness.

One thing's for sure: this steptronice is no match for my Steptronic!

OP, your comments?

.
Not just me; it is also the opinion of the AOL reviewer. It is also as problem complained about according to BMW mechanic on "JustAnswers" forum.

As far as perception, it is the capablity to perceive that you lack , not me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
As with many issues, isolated data points do not mean all vehicles suffer from the same issues. My 2011 335d is wonderful coaster, let of the gas and it will coast nearly unimpeded for a good while. My 2011 550 can be a bit sensitive at very low speed stop and go, but I would put most of the blame the 511hp and not the transmission. Correct modulation of the throttle eliminates any jerkiness.

Throttle lag is common complaint on the 8spd ZF trannys, but not all cars have that issue either.
I don't know about the 335d; it may not have the problem. I just know it is present in the 2011 328i sedan, and, according to AOL, in the 2012 BMW 750.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Clearly a sensitive soul, this person's amazing ability to perceive is evident here.

View attachment 340555

Although I am unfamiliar with the steptronice, I do own a Steptronic, and find it not turbine smooth but competent, lacking in jerkiness and unwillingness.

One thing's for sure: this steptronice is no match for my Steptronic!

OP, your comments?

.
What year is your car? I have heard this feature was implemented in 2010.
 

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I don't know about the 335d; it may not have the problem. I just know it is present in the 2011 328i sedan, and, according to AOL, in the 2012 BMW 750.
You only know it is present in your car and in one magazine's test car. So an unrelated 6spd GM tranny and a 6spd ZF have similiar issues, so all cars must have the same issue? You have only two data points on two different trannys out of the hundreds of thousands of BMWs out there. There have been numerous reviews of both of these cars and numerous contributors here at the Fest who own these cars. Even if there was a huge clamor of owners here at the Fest, that still may only represent a small percentage. Afterall, we tend to be a vocal crowd whenever we find something that doesn't make us happy.
 

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You don't notice how when you let up on the gas, the car breaks significantly? You don't notice how the car does not coast easily? Try driving it up hill or parking garage and take your foot off the gas - the car will abruptly shift down. At slow speeds the car downshifts hard unlike any other car I am aware of.
It downshifts because it's supposed to. If you (or the fool of an AOL reviewer) had ever driven a manual transmission, you would recognize and appreciate this feature.

It's especially important for turbo-charged cars (335i and 335d), because the engine needs to be turning over fast enough to generate enough exhaust to keep the turbos spooled up for instant power/torque. The 328i needs to keep revs above 2K so that it will be on the torque curve for the same reason.

You want a coasting slushbox, buy a Honda or Toyota.
 

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I actually like that it brakes more than other cars.
Exactly, anyone who is used to manual tranny would appreciate engine braking. Although in D mode I don't sense it, so I use DS mode to bring it out.:)

This has to do with ECU tuning, not the brand of 6spd trannies, since from the OP it happens on both the GM and ZF trannies.

My suggestion for OP is, make sure next time you use D mode not DS (sport) mode. If you still don't like it, really should find a different brand.

We have too many people who are used to drive Toyota or Honda, now they want BMW to drive just l like a Toyota or Honda, so they can be seen in a Bimmer, hence the F30. I have a suggestion for them, drive a Lexus.
 

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You don't notice how when you let up on the gas, the car breaks significantly? You don't notice how the car does not coast easily? Try driving it up hill or parking garage and take your foot off the gas - the car will abruptly shift down. At slow speeds the car downshifts hard unlike any other car I am aware of.

And the AOL reviewer noticed this. I can see how it may not bother you (for example, some people do not get car sick even when they read as passengers), but I cannot see how you do not notice it.
If the car breaks when you let up on the gas you should get rid of it. That must cost a fortune in repair bills.
 

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As with many issues, isolated data points do not mean all vehicles suffer from the same issues. My 2011 335d is wonderful coaster, let off the gas and it will coast nearly unimpeded for a good while. My 2011 550 can be a bit sensitive at very low speed stop and go, but I would put most of the blame the 511hp and not the transmission. Correct modulation of the throttle eliminates any jerkiness.

Throttle lag is common complaint on the 8spd ZF trannys, but not all cars have that issue either.
+1. The only thing that ends the coasting (absent traffic or stop sign/light) is the compression of the engine. But there is zero jerkiness in shifting or coasting.
 
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