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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 04-07-2009, 07:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry Help - transmission problems !

Hello - I am new to the forum, having had two BMW's in the past 3 years & thought it was well worth joining. Currently I have a 525 Sport Auto E39 (Jan2003) with 55k miles on the clock and I am very sad to say it has been an absolute nightmare. I bought in in August 08 and so far it's had:

Service 2
Brand New Brakes rear & front
Refurbed alloys with 2 new Michelen tyres (250+250 ouch)
New engine (last one blew up with 3 cyclinders & pistons frying while I was doing 60mph down the motorway)
Associated : new engine sensor, new radiator, new thermo, new maf sensor, waterpump
Finally : recon gearbox!

The point of note is the gearbox, the first gearbox would go into safe mode (a clunk then it will stay in one gear I presume third?) every so often when I was doing stop start driving. I really hoped with the new recon box this problem would stop ........ but alas it hasn't. Now reading up on the transfail safe program which I presume this is, I have seen all sorts of posts from gearbox sensors, wheel sensors, alternators, maf sensors, tranny oil changes, and of course tranny replacement needed. I have done all the expensive parts as above and am wondering what else it could be as it only happens during stop start driving (normal urban driving) rather than on a motorway. Any help would be much appreciated as the guy who rebuilt the gearbox has had it back 4 times in the last 1.5 months for more than a week at a time and it is beginning to do my head in.
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Has the chap not run 'live' diagnostics on it ???? thats the 1st thing I did and sorted my box out, It may be a solonoid or the speed input or output sensor in the valve control body, may also be low fluid level as this has to be filled properly or it will play up, but in the end diagnostics will tell you most of the problem, It does sound to me to be associated to the valve control body, so probably a sensor, there's two in the box.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Just an update - gearbox fella has read codes which say there is a misfire in the engine which is causing it to go into limp mode. He is taking it to a BM specialist in Hitchin ........ my trials continue !
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Oh! interesting, please let me Know what the outcome is, a misfire can be caused by many things.
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Old 04-23-2009, 02:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I will be interested on the outcome too. This winter, the same thing happened to me. It would go on safe mode but after a while it would be normal. Now, if I don't run the engine for a few minutes before I drive away, it takes a while to change gears initially but again after it's warmed up, it's normal.
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Old 04-23-2009, 05:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Sounds to me you need a fluid and filter change and the adaptions erased.
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Has the chap not run 'live' diagnostics on it ???? thats the 1st thing I did and sorted my box out
Which "Live Diagnostics" tool gets the most credit? There's a separate thread on CarSoft. What seems to be working for DIYers?
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Just an update - gearbox guy finally returned car to my local and trusted indy. Car is throwing out multiple misfire codes - coils . Indy doesn't believe all the coils have gone so has cleared all the codes, filled it with petrol and test driving tonight to see what codes come up. Happy to say I got warranty on the car which should cover it
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Old 04-30-2009, 09:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Bet your glad you've got a warranty and the chances of all the coils going at once are millions to 1, you have more chance of winning the lotto!
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Old 05-01-2009, 04:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Just out of interest how many coils are there in the e39 525's? n how much do they cost? - As you can prob see I luv BMW's just don't know that much about how they work !
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Old 05-01-2009, 06:56 AM   #11 (permalink)
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An E39 525i has six one on each plug:

RealOEM.com   BMW E39 525i Igtn. coil/sparkplug connector/sparkplug

Don't take any notice of the price.
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Old 05-08-2009, 04:45 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Turns out car also has a few air leaks (don't know where from - possibly breather pipes?) but mechanic too busy to undertake my repairs this week. A bit irritated since I haven't had my car since this post began - but oh well.
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Old 05-08-2009, 04:54 AM   #13 (permalink)
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The vacuum leaks will more than likely be on the intake hose from the air-box to the throttle body the hose where the MAF is situated, if you have one that's concertinered it will be in one of the folds, if you find it there is a DIY job, buy a new one, put it on.
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Old 05-16-2009, 06:36 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Finally spoke to mechanic. Your were right it was 2 vacumm pipes, one which was broken and the other had a hole in it. Mechanic says they are only about £6 each and were probably broken during the refit of gearbox or new engine ! Should collect car midweek - incredible how many problems just for such parts
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Old 05-18-2009, 04:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Car has recently been chucking out service engine soon light. Hence as above the mechanic changed vaccum pipes as he suspected that an air leak was causing the car to misfire and throw it into limp home mode. Strangely the pipe change/s have gotten rid of the limp mode issue, however the car is still throwing out - System too lean bank 1 and bank 2. Any idea what could cause this ? Have heard it could be intake air boot or adjuster unit ? Any advice would be very helpful - car going back to mechanic next week as he is off on leave - had a baby ...... shall let him off this time lol!
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