Cold start problems.. - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 12-10-2006, 08:45 AM
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Cold start problems..

My wife's 2002 325i has developed a problem during the recent cold mornings. When trying to pull out (in D) the car just revs as if in neutral. After warm-up it is ok, but I noticed a little rev oscillation when cruising as well. I plan to run a bottle of Techron with the next fuel fill-up, but any ideas on what the trans. is doing?
Thanks for your help
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#2 (permalink) Old 12-10-2006, 02:37 PM
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Read this:

BMW apparently was well aware of the alleged defect in the subject
vehicle. In December 2003, BMW issued Technical Service Bulletin (TSB)
SI B24 07 03, Subject: ``GM5: Delayed P [Park] to D [Drive] Engagement
on Cold Start.'' The TSB stated that ``Customer may complain of delayed
`P' to `D' engagement (2 to 30 seconds) during the first cold start in
the morning,'' and that the cause was ``Unfavorable tolerances of C1
clutch housing causing internal transmission pressure leak after
extended (overnight) parking.'' The TSB applied to the subject vehicles
and the BMW X5 3.0iA model with a GM5 transmission manufactured during
certain time periods. The TSB indicated that if a customer complained
about this problem, the affected transmission would be replaced with an
improved unit after the servicing dealer verified the aforementioned
delayed `P' to `D' engagement. On February 2004, BMW issued an updated
TSB to include the BMW X3 3.0iA model with GM5 transmission. No TSB was
issued with respect to the 5HP19 transmission.
In its response to ODI, BMW stated that the transmission engagement
delay after shifting from Park to Drive, or from Reverse to Drive, is
caused by an internal transmission fluid leak of the main drive clutch
(C1 clutch) between the molded piston outer seal and the main drive
clutch housing. The C1 clutch provides input torque to the
transmission's 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th gear. If the C1 clutch's torque-
carrying capacity is interrupted, then forward drive gear engagement is
delayed. The problem is more prevalent in colder weather, and usually
occurs during a ``cold start'' such as after the vehicle has been
parked with the engine off overnight.
In its response, BMW argued that the alleged defect does not pose
an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety, for the following
reasons:
(1) The delay can only occur at vehicle ``cold start'' after the
vehicle has been at rest for more than eight hours, and typically lasts
less than 15 seconds. At the time of a ``cold start,'' the vehicle is
stationary. It is not moving in traffic. Therefore, the driver is not
traveling at some measurable speed. There have been no crashes, no
property damage claims, no injuries and no fatalities associated with
the alleged defect reported to BMW;
(2) The delay is ``self-correcting.'' Coincident with the
transmission engagement delay, a driver who has been sensitized to this
occurrence may increase the engine speed in order to reduce the delay
time. By increasing the engine speed, the transmission's internal
pressure increases more quickly toward its operating pressure, and
enables the drive gear to engage sooner;
(3) The transition from delay occurrence to ``normal'' vehicle
usage is benign. At the end of the delay, the transition to full
engagement of the drive gear occurs in a ``smooth'' manner. There is no
sudden/abrupt forward acceleration of the vehicle. Nothing in front of
the vehicle is at an increased

[[Page 26209]]

risk of being contacted, nor is there any risk of startling the driver;
(4) The drivers are sensitized to the delay and can take corrective
actions once they have experienced the delay. They will know to expect
it in future cold starts and can increase the engine speed to avoid the
temporary effect of transmission engagement delay; and
(5) If a subject vehicle is prone to the condition of transmission
engagement delay, the occurrence will arise early in the vehicle's
lifecycle when it is fully covered by warranty. BMW's analysis of the
warranty claims suggests that most of the potentially affected vehicles
have already been repaired.
ODI has received a total of 13 consumer complaints (including one
from the petitioner, who has a GM5 transmission) regarding this issue,
of which 11 are unique to ODI. Like those reported to BMW, none of
these complaints involved a crash, injury, or fatality. Information
contained in the ODI consumer complaints and from telephone interviews
with complainants is consistent with BMW's assessment of the safety
consequences of the alleged defect. The reported transmission delay
period ranged from 4 seconds to 75 seconds, with an average of 20
seconds. The complainants indicated that the delay only occur during
``cold start,'' after the vehicle has been parked overnight. Drivers
learned to shorten the delay by increasing the engine speed; when the
engine speed is increased, the vehicle creeps forward until the
transmission is fully engaged. One complainant indicated that he
shortens or eliminates the delay by shifting the transmission in Drive
but keeping the vehicle stationary for 30 seconds with the brakes
applied for pressure to build up in the transmission.
As the petitioner noted, it is possible for a driver to back a
subject vehicle into the street from a driveway and then not to be able
to move forward as normal. While this could theoretically create a
safety problem, the risk is very small, and there are no reported
crashes or injuries due to the alleged defect. As mentioned previously,
once they are aware of the problem, the drivers appear to have learned
to take precautionary and compensatory measures.
In view of the foregoing, it is unlikely that the NHTSA would issue
an order for the notification and remedy of the alleged defect as
defined by the petitioner at the conclusion of the investigation
requested in the petition. Therefore, in view of the need to allocate
and prioritize the NHTSA's limited resources to best accomplish the
agency's safety mission, the petition is denied.
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#3 (permalink) Old 12-10-2006, 03:42 PM
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Wow. Thanks for the info.

Looks like I'll do some more research on this problem and the TSB. Anxious to hear what actual dealer experiences have been. Again, thanks for the help.
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