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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 06-08-2004, 04:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Just joined the forum after just gettin a 96 318is. I'm wondering about the automatic overdrive. How would I know if it's working or not? At about 70 mph the RPM's are at about 3000. Normal? Or is the overdrive not kicking in? I sort of only hear it shift 4 times. I think the overdrive is actuated by a solenoid, so I'm wondering if it's actually functioning of not. Anyone have any info on how many RPM's I should be seeing at freeway speeds? Thanks a lot!
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Old 06-08-2004, 05:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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No over drive that i know of.

there is "sport mode" which is 3rd while still in "A" mode...
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Old 06-08-2004, 05:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You hear it shift 4 times? Or 3 times? 4 Times would be correct to be into an OD gear.

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Old 06-08-2004, 07:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hmmmmm, I guess that I mean that I only hear it shift 3 times since it starts out in a gear to begin with (naturally). So like I'm only seeing the RPM's drop from first to second, second to third, and then third to fourth. If there is an overdrive gear, I would think to see the RPM's drop one more time. They do call the transmission an "four speed automatic overdrive". Is fourth supposed to be the "overdrive"? Is 3000 Rpm's at 70 mph normal for this car? Thanks!!!

Oh .... and thanks for this site! Great info on the FAQ page! Already reset those change oil lights (which was really bugging me!).
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Old 06-08-2004, 07:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well it could also be you're hearing the following three shifts, 2-3 3-4 4-OD, All the automatic cars we have (with the exception of the mini van) start in 2nd unless you nail the gas to the floor. But they're all mercedes, so that probably makes a difference.

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Old 06-09-2004, 07:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Does anyone have any experience with benefitting from driving in 3rd - aka Sport Mode? I've only used it in the Snow in St Louis and during hard rain storms. I like the extra torque it adds in the rear wheels because it's hard to catch grip sometimes in horrible weather.
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Old 06-09-2004, 09:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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correct me if i'm wrong, but wouldn't more torque make it HARDER to get more grip, especially in snow? Because torque is what makes you quick off the line and lets you lite up the tires at will, no?

maybe the sport mode stays in a lower gear longer giving you more control in the snow? i've always been told that stick is better in the snow because you can keep the car in a low gear to keep the car from getting away from you. so maybe the sport is more like stick in that it doesn't automatically shift at 3 or so thousand rpm's?

i was never a big fan of auto's so i never took it upon myself to learn all about them, so sry if i'm wrong.

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Old 06-09-2004, 10:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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3k at 70 sounds about right...

and yes extra torque would take away the grip you have...
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Old 06-10-2004, 12:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hmm...I got mine to kick into last gear..but I had to take her up to 130mph..to do it...
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