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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 01-08-2008, 09:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question '94 525i trans program

I've read a good number of "trans program" posts, but none are giving me the info I want. My wife is driving a family member's '94 525i wagon. This morning when she was leaving for work, she backed out of her parking place (no problem), put the car in drive and it wouldn't move (BIG PROBLEM!) The "trans program" indicator came on. She didn't know to try any of the lower gears, so she just reversed into another parking place.

So my question is how bad is this? From other posts I've gathered that there are a wide variety of problems that can cause the "trans program" indicator to come on. Could one of these lesser problems prevent the car from driving forward, or is our transmission shot?

If anyone knows of a reputable BMW service place in Birmingham, AL please let me know. I don't want to get screwed by our dealership. I still haven't quite recovered from paying $45 for some power steering fluid.

Thanks for any advice you guys can provide.

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Old 01-09-2008, 03:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Yeah $45 for power steering fluid sucks...
I paid $90 for oil....but still OEM is the best.....
Hopefully somone can point you to a specialist in your area
BUT How many miles are on the car?
Try putting is into the lower gear's.
Sadly your trans could be gone....
How many miles since last fluid change?....
Could be the valve body is sticky......
Also when it is in the low gear try verying the RPM's it might pop in gear.......
Buddys 535i did that.... It did pop into gear....
But the trans needed to be replaced shortly later because or slippage.... have you noticed any slippage?
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Interesting development

When I got home last night, I started up the car to check out the lower gears, and the car drove just fine in all gears. The "trans prog" indicator didn't even come on. What is that all about?

Anyway, in answer to your question, the car has about 215,000 miles on it. I haven't noticed any slippage in the transmission, but I don't drive the car nearly as much as my wife does. Since it is borrowed, we don't know when the fluid was last changed. Thanks for the input though.

If anyone can explain the sudden change in the transmission working I would appreciate it.

Thanks!
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Old 01-09-2008, 05:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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yeah... the valve body is probably sticking.... i sugest a fluid and filter change.....
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Old 01-10-2008, 09:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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sp0rky is an unknown quantity at this point
at 215,000 miles, it could be anything.

Has anything been spilled in the gear selector? A lot of times, that may cause the problem.
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Old 01-17-2008, 03:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Relax man, it's not really that bad. Trans program is a computer error, not a huge transmission problem. Your trans is most likley fine, but it's not properly communicating with the computer. Just like most bmw problems, the part did not break, but the sensor that monitors the part did.

Alpine, the valve body is definatley not causing a trans program message. Trans program occours when the transmission computer runs into an error, faulty ground, shorted connection. What the car does when trans program appears is lock itself in 3rd gear. you can drive it.... but you've got 3rd gear to start and end with. It won't shift.

as someone who has battled trans program before...

There are MANY things that cause this. Your dealer will want to replace the transmission and trans computer. Don't.

Check here: BMW E34 Website

I noticed that on my vehicle, the 1993 525i (my dad's), the problem seemed to come and go with temperature. I suspect a faulty ground and I never really got to the bottom of the problem. All I know is following those troubleshooting steps took the problem from constant whenever there was cold weather, to very very seldom. By seldom I mean maybe once every 3 months I start the car and it does it, however, shutting it off and turning it back on fixes the problem.
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Old 01-17-2008, 10:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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^Then why woulnd the car move? my friend 535i Did it. trans program thing came on didn't have any gears but reverse.... then again it was turbo'ed...
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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sp0rky is an unknown quantity at this point
Transprogram is NOT just a computer error.

Its a failsafe program designed to keep the transmission from causing itself even more damage.

It's POSSIBLE that its related to a computer issue, but its even more likely that its a hardware issue. Transprogram is mostly set off when a transmission slip is detected - meaning the clutches are at the end of their service life.
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Old 01-21-2008, 08:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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^ thats what i thought......... i just was going of preveous expereance with a 535i turbo.... and he killed the clutches....
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