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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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Old 09-05-2004, 06:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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This is a wierd one...

I have a 1999 330 SE Touring (auto) with 55k on it. Drove it onto my driveway yesterday to get something from the house, popped out 30 mins later and the thing would not reverse.

In detail, The car selects reverse correctly, as you can feel the car start to move slightly backwards as it engages the gear, but when revs are increased the clutch is never engaged and hance no movement. All forward gears work fine. If you just put it into reverse and do not touch the throttle when putting into reverse the car will creep back slightly before stopping.

In searching the net I have found a few people who seem to have experience the problem, one posted that he had been told to replace his gearbox!! which strikes me as being unlikely as the gear is being engaged correctly and the other talked about a replacement TCC Solenoid (Torque Converter Solenoid) that seems more likely, although having one fail just for the reverse gear also seems unlikely, but I do not know enough about the mechanicals.

For the moment I have adopted my standard response to a problem, disconnect the battery and leave overnight in case it is a computer glitch, but there has been no change. I have found a service advisory on AllData for a TCC Solenoid for auto cars but there is no further information.

Has anyone any advice or experience on this one.

Cheers

Mike
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Old 09-05-2004, 02:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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FYI, automatic transmissions don't have a clutch, they have a torque converter. It's a viscus fluid inside a turing casing that transfers the torque to the transmission resulting in a smoother transfer of power, the abilty to keep the car in gear with the engine turning, but you loose power untill the locking mechanism kicks in and locks the two shells together.

how stuff works: torque converters

my locking mechanism is all worn out so it dosn't engage until I'm on the friggin highway already going about 60 in 4th gear.
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Old 09-05-2004, 04:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ta,

I found that out for myself today as I did a load of home work to see what went on in there.

Having learnt that I am at a loss as to what would cause my symptoms. I took the car out for a drive today and it drives fine while going forwards, and if reverse is engaged on a nice flat surface the car will reverse just fine, although it doesn't respond to any throttle input.

The fact that it will go backwards when reverse is engaged does seem to tell me that the gears have all been engaged correctly.

That the car drives correctly in all forward gears tells me that the torque converter does it's job.

All I have left is some electronic/hydraulic thing that is stopping something fundamental from happening. I have heard of the TCC Solenoid but I have yet to understand what it is that it does, or if it even has a different one for the reverse gear.

Can't believe it is a whole gearbox thing. I tend to believe that BWM build good mechanic cars, it's just their debugging that lets them down.

Mike
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Old 09-08-2004, 08:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Bit of an update.

Computer diagnostics show no electrical faults and beyond that they are talking about replacing the gearbox. A reconditioned one can be dropped in for 1600 (!) else it is a case of taking it out and letting the costs add up as they search.

All I have spoken to cannot believe an auto box has broken with only 54k miles on the clock. I am taking it up with BMW, using a friend who works in BMW sales to make the approach. It's got a full BMW service history which has got to count in it's favour.

fingers crossed and I'll see what happens.

Mike
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Old 09-08-2004, 09:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have a 2004 3.30 CI. I have the same problem which I can hear metal-to-metal crunching when I try to engage to R from P. The car will be at the service tomorrow.

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Old 09-13-2004, 05:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have a 2000 323 CiC with 69k on it. I'm having the exact same problem as Mike. My traction control light stayed on after going over a few pot holes. I later arrived at my destination and attempted to reverse, but nothing happened. All other gears work fine. I'm taking it in tomorrow. -Matt
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Old 09-14-2004, 04:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I hope you have better luck than I have had.

Mine was in Barons of Farnborough today (very nice people, great service). They have checked it through and there is nothing on the computer and the fliud levels are fine.

The downside is that the fluid is black and smells burnt, which means something nasty has happened inside. Thay are basically saying it is a gearbox out job, probably replace.

I have asked them to submit a goodwill claim to BMW as the gearbox should not be going on a 4 year old car with only 54k miles on it. Unfortunately BMW would have to have lots of goodwill, as even if they offered me half of the cost it would still be cheaper to spend 1600 on a reconditioned unit being fitted.

Interesting to hear that other people are having the problem though. I will have to mention that to them.

Mike
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Old 09-17-2004, 08:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The Outcome....

I have heard back from the dealer and BMW have offered to pay 50% of the parts costs. Basically they will pony up 1250 towards the exhaust and I'll pay the other 1250 and the 300 fitting change (need to add VAT to those figures as well).

I'm going to go for it as I'll get the 2 years warranty on that gearbox which is better than a reconditioned unit.

Got to say a good word for Barons of Farnborough in all this. They have been great and have kept in contact with me the whole way through and have agreed to drop the charge for the initial diagnosis and checks. They should get it sorted in about a week.

Mike
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