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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 06-11-2013, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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2000 540i electrical mystery

PLEASE help! owned my 540 a month. 182K Miles. Love the handling and all extras/ options work (ed). Fan clutch was locked up and replaced that yesterdayand started looking around
Out of curiosity and getting to know the underhood (since I can't find a Haynes Manual) unscrewed a large black cap while looking for a Trans fluid fill port and saw it was a receptacle for a wire harness with several big pins. Screwed it right back on. Have been getting a little more aggressive on acceleration and cornering. This morning I noticed the amber DCS light on. the tach, speedo, temp gage, econ and fuel gages failed. LED portion still functioned though. Brake, ABS and service engine were lit but eng and brake lights were on and off every 30 0r so seconds.
Was on the highway so I didn't notice till I stopped that trans seems locked in 4th (?)
The instrument panel came back to life and I got the red arrows and the Trans. failsafe prog message.Continued to work, about 9 miles through town and the panel continued coming to life and dropping off. Each time I would get the "ding" and failsafe message. Left work and everything seemed back to normal (even shifting) for about a mile and then it was a repeat of this morning's drive. Haven't had any slippage/ shifting problems and have been driving about 65 miles every day for the last 3 weeks with nothing but smiles and good things to say.
Not sure if I have two separate problems just by coincedience or do they relate. I'm an aircraft mech and usually know my way around under the hoods of most vehicles but without manuals/ schematics I'm lost and have been doing most of my own maint. for years, not being able to afford garage rates. I'm praying I haven't bought a lemmon that's going to end up costing more than I can afford and more than I paid for the vehicle (within KBB range) but a stretch on my budget. Thanks for any assistance.
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