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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 01-20-2005, 11:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey guys, (posted something similar a while back...)

I have a 95 318i 133k automatic.

For some reason, when I slowly roll through a stop sign at like 3 mph, and try to accelerate, I can't because my car is often in 3rd, sometimes 2nd. I know it is in 2nd or 3rd because I can manually shift down, or I can also tell by looking at the rpms vs. speed.

If I start with the gear selector in first, my car accelerates just fine.

Also, I have tried this using the A/M switch, seeing if that has any effect. It does not matter - it only seems to keep the car in 3rd at higher rpms, like at 60 mph.

Is this a computer problem of sensing load vs rpm? Sometimes, if I push the pedal past the "click" point, it will upshift, but there is a HUGE lag time. It is really annoying if you are trying to quickly accelerate like when you are trying to get across an intersection.

please let me know if you have any ideas on this one.

someone suggested a "knockdown switch" or "torque actuator"

jkh
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Old 01-21-2005, 01:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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See if you can check your transmission fluid levels, they could be low, not causing the hydraulics to work correctly so it dosn't downshift proporly. You might as well go ahead and change the fluid, the two gaskets and filter for it.
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Old 01-21-2005, 03:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't want to start a debate - but I thought the ATF was "good for life?" I would think that means at least 100k. I can see like 300 would be a long time.

At anyrate - I am a little nervous about messing with the tranny b/c other than the shifting problem, it shifts amazingly smooth, and I wouldn't want anything to go wrong.

The thing is it does shift, and shifts smoothly, but I just doesn't downshift sometimes - so it seems more like an electronic thing to me.

jkh
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Old 01-21-2005, 06:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thats what BMW says, but there are drain plugs and fill holes for the transmission and no lubricant and filter lasts forever. Numerous people here have done it and there's even a technical writeup with pictures on pelicanparts.
http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/techarticl..._Fluid_Auto.htm

BMW says it's "sealed" when it's really not. There are a few gaskets and a drain plug where it can slowly find a way out and leak slowly. It's improbable but possible.

If you still think it's the electronics, then roll on over to the dealership and get them to diagnose the transmission computer.
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Old 01-21-2005, 07:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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it is very likely that the problem here is an computer, electronic system on the trany
BMW gearboxes are rock solid trnnys, but the electronic are not.

there a series of sensors on the tranny, so the transmission computer knows waht is going on.

i would first go under the car and ensure that all the wires are plug in, and even so, unplug them and then plug them back in, si if there was some dirt on the plgut it will help/ good time to get a contact cleaner to clean the contacts. I really think the some speed sensor on the tranny is not measuring the speed right, and is very likely because of dirt on the plug, like moisture then rust, that is creating resistance, and since many sensor work on resistance, this will give the computer wrong readout.

if everything underneat the car is clean and ok, then check so see how are the wires from the tranny up to the computer box, make sure they are not broken, etc. from under the car to the computer box, i believe there are 2 more plugs, check them too.

the reason it is very likely to be electronic is becuse you said that changing the A/m swicth does not do much. and when putting into 1 , it works, that is because there is a mechanical link between the selector and the tranny to select the postion., but the control of shifting on D is electronic.

And if after doing all this you still cannot get it, then you will have to go to the stealer, so he can pull up the transmission information....

And by the way the oil and filter can be replaced, and it is recomended once you get to such a high mileage.

good luck.
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