E39 2000 525i Auto - No Reverse/Reverse Gear does not engage. Please Help!. - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-11-2012, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation E39 2000 525i Auto - No Reverse/Reverse Gear does not engage. Please Help!.


I am wondering if I can seek some advice (I have already searched and come across similar problems - but still hoping for some clarity) and diagnostic value.

After a week of my car being parked on the drive and not driven (because I was away on business in Europe), I came back yesterday and had the car cleaned etc ready for an evening out.

After driving for about 3 hours in the evening, I first noticed that the 'Reverse Gear' did not engage (but assumed I had not pressed the brake pedal hard enough) for the gear to engage - so i thought nothing of it and proceeded with the evening out. Around 10pm last nite, it was confirmed when I tried to back the car out that the reverse gear fails to engage and the engine just 'revs'.

All the others, P, N, D, 1, 2 engage fine.. I took the car home and again this morning (on the drive) tried to engage the 'R' but nothing happens, no shift, no 'jerk' (to indicate the car had engaged) - absolute nada.

I have been told this could be due to potentially Low Auto Gearbox Oil (but I assume this was 'sealed' for life by BMW) or also a Mechatronics Valve Body Fault?? The car was parked for a week in the cold weather..

Worst case scenario - i have been told that this could be the transmition which is ont he way out, something about a Reversing Drum?

Is the transmission knackered? Or could this just be a Automatic Fluid/Filter Issue? Broken Valve?

Money is really tight at the moment and I am hoping this sounds worse than it actually is..

Any advice from others who have experienced this/remedies/diagnostic would be extremely appreciated.

Thank You.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 10:13 PM
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e39 trans

Sorry to say that your tranny is probably going to need a rebuild.

I have a 2000 e39 (540) with the steptronic and experienced exactly what you did - I even drove it around for 2 days being careful not to end up anywhere that I had to back out from and couldn't just roll out. I drove to my mechanic and he found several issues with the trans. I had a full rebuild done.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-18-2012, 05:17 AM
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Welcome to the Werkz.

It may be a failied/failing transmission. What I'd suggest is find a specialst auto transmission shop and get them to look at it. It might be that something has found its way into a critical place and a simple fluid flush, new filter and fluid may fix it, or not.
The sealed for life term refers to the life of the gear box, not the car. I will get my ATF changed every 40,000 - 60,000 kms depending on the conditions, and the first time I did it, there were a number of seemingly unrelated issues resolved by the process.

Start there, it might not give you a long term fix, but its not likely to make it any worse.

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