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#1 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 01:56 PM
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e38 transmission fluid change

I just had the ATF on my 2001 740il changed and the car seems to run sluggish, especially in the morning and at times when I come to a stop it seems like the car wants to stall but it does not. Can anyone tell what is going on?
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#2 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 09:21 AM
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It's probably not transmission related. You could have a vacuum leak. Inspect all your hoses including your intake for small tears or cracks.


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#3 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 12:33 PM
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Obd code 0720

Thanks kindly for your reply. AS it turns out I am getting and ODD Code 0720, which refers to a potential fault with the Output Speed Sensor. I actually went to a foreign car specialist this morning and described the problem with the car, and he basically told me that the CODE is almost irrelevant as he believes I need to replace my transmission. I do not know if I should just replace the SPEED SENSOR and see what happens or should I be thinking of getting rid of the car, which I really do not want to do. Any further advice would be helpful.

CUANZA
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#4 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 04:21 PM
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You don't need a new transmission, at least not yet.

This is a really long read but worth it: How I fixed the tranny limp mode, error p0720 - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

The speed sensor is also called a "pulse generator" (was the guy naming this a Star Wars fan?). Now in the post above he discovered the difference in terms and the "pulse generator" is located on top of the transmission. He said he had enough room to reach up ther and start feeling around for it. He found that it was hanging their loose.

This is the RealOem.com diagram showing the part. In this case it's #4. Check this first.
RealOEM.com BMW E39 528i A4S 270R/310R output

If you can, remove and inspect it. $75 is a LOT cheaper then a new transmission. Start with that and see if it fixes it. I bet you anything the mechanic you took it too would probably have either done just this and billed you for the tranny or put in a new tranny and sold yours after fixing this part doubling his money.


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#5 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 10:57 AM
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I decided to take my vehicle to a BMW shop called Bridgewater Motor Works in Massachusetts to have a complete diagnostic be done on the vehicle. So fat I agree with you that the car, at least at this point does not need a tranny. Hoping to have the Output Speed Sensor Replaced over the weekend to see if it will correct the problem. Any idea where this sensor is located on a 2001 740il?

Thanks - cuanza
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#6 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 09:23 PM
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This is the diagram from RealOEM.com. You would have to confirm this is the same transmission you have by looking at the green label affixed to the bottom of the transmission oil pan. The pulse generator is #6.

RealOEM.com BMW E38 740iL A5S440Z MOUNTING PARTS CONTROL UNIT

Let us know what this other mechanic finds.


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#7 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 11:34 PM
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Very help information. One other question? Can I purchase transmission fluid say at Autozone or Advance Autoparts or do I have to get at the dealer. The reason being is that the dealer wants $26.00 for each quart. Please advise me on this issue.

Thanks again for all your help...
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#8 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 11:53 PM
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Castrol is the OEM fluid in North America. Dexron III is the type of ATF needed. You got a good dealer if they will actually sell it to you by the quart. Most only sell it in 20L pails.

One thing you should know: Some VW transmissions are made by ZF who supplies BMW with some of their transmissions. VW ATF is compatible with any ZF transmission and is safe to use in your BMW. It's available at VW dealerships for like $8-10/quart.


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#9 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 11:53 AM
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My car is finally back on the road and running smooth. Two things were affecting the overall performance of my vehicle. I found out from the shop that my ATF level was too low, and this in turn was causing the transmissioin to flare up between 1st and 2nd gear (thus creating a feeling that the car was about to stall on take-off and stopping). I needed an additional 3 liters of ATF which took care of this problem. I also had the TCM updated with the latest software. The car has been running fine, and thanks a million for your advice, and as you suggested early on it was not a TRANNY problem.
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#10 (permalink) Old 06-28-2012, 08:11 AM
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Your welcome. Glad it worked out for you.

Sad to still see their are shady mechanics out their though.


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#11 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 01:27 PM
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Dear Trusted Advisor...I am noticing for the past two weeks after ruling out my transmission problems that my 2001 740il is sputtering/hesitating as though its choking for air of fuel in both low and high speeds. At first I got an engine code for an O2 sensor, which I have replaced. The problem still persisted. I later decided to change the plugs which were oily and at the same time replaced the valve cover gasket seals. The problem still persists. I was wondering if you could tell me what else to check for?

Thanks Cuanza
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#12 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 02:12 PM
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Check the OBD system for any additional or new codes. Check all vacuum lines ad intake boot for rips or tears. Clean your MAF as well.


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