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The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 06-26-2009, 03:00 AM   #1
gav981
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SMG Pump Failure Thread

Alright... I'm not sure if I'm the best guy for this, but a couple of my fellow enthusiasts inspired me to start this thread and I figured I had nothing to lose by giving it a shot, so here it is.

All the recent news about the failing subframes of our cars has proven that if BMW is hassled enough and confronted about real defects in their cars that eventually they will take responsibility for their stupidity and do something about it. That's another reason I felt like this just might end up being worthwhile.

As I'm sure most of you already know, there is another part in our cars that is equally as defective (maybe even more defective). It is the hydraulic pump in the SMG transmission. If you own a 2002-2006 M3 with an SMG transmission it is almost certain that at some point during your cars life it will require a new pump. BMW makes an absolute killing selling these things to us. I've heard of people having to pay a grand total up to $4,000 when it's all said and done after their pump goes bad, that's insane, not to mention the inconvenience of having your car in the shop while they take their sweet time to fix it. It's just ridiculous that this gigantic hassle is all but guaranteed for every single SMG owner out there. As the owner of an M3 with an SMG transmission myself, I want to be able to commute daily and take my car on road trips without the constant fear of having my car break down (especially if the thing decides to go out while I'm on the highway doing 70+mph., which I have definitely heard of). These are nice cars that we spend a lot of money to maintain as it is, and having BMW turn a blind eye to this design flaw (just as they did for so long with the issue of cracking subframes) is just wrong IMO. Obviously there are far fewer SMG pumps out there than subframes...since not every single 3-series has one, only a limited number of M3s do. That is why I think you don't hear about it as often. My guess is that the failure percentage of these pumps is actually greater than that of the subframes (I'm not sure about this, it is just my guess). The reason I say this is because not EVERY subframe fails, there are plenty of 3ers and Ms out there with 100k+ miles and the subframes are just fine, there are hardly any SMG pumps that make it 100k+ miles without failing, and if you own one that has withstood 100k+ miles, my guess is that it will probably go out any day now. So even with this higher rate of failure, BMW still has done nothing about it. I accredit that to the fact that there are fewer of us SMG owners out there to raise hell about it. This brings me to the entire point of the longest post I've ever made.

If you've got an M3 with SMG transmission and your pump has failed then post about it here. Tell us what year your M3 is, what kind of mileage it was at when it happened, how you were driving it, how much it cost to fix etc. We see these "Oh damn my SMG pump failed" threads on almost a daily basis it seems, so lets at least start posting them all in one place so we can hopefully start to get some actual numbers on how many of these things are failing.

My SMG pump has yet to fail, but my car only has 28k miles, and I'm sure that it will happen eventually, and when it does I am more than willing to donate my "broken" pump to anyone who knows these things and would be able to take it apart and see what is ACTUALLY going wrong in there (as many members have said before, it's possibly a 10 cent o-ring or some stupid part that doesn't cost thousands to fix that is actually breaking, not the entire pump like BMW would have us believe and charges us for).

So let's hear it, I know you guys with the failed pumps are out there, and I'm sure there are many more to come. So post it here and tell us all about it.


And P.S.... You guys with the manual transmissions, there is no need for you to hop on here and say "Yep dat sounds bout right, that's why I stayed away from that crap back when I was looking for an M3" or "Boy I sure am glad I own a manual so I don't have to deal with this sorta stuff" We've heard it all before. Those kinds of posts are unwanted here. We are all fully aware of why you chose not to get an SMG, and are also aware that you like driving your manual more because you feel more "connected" to your car. None of that will help what this thread is trying to accomplish, and I would appreciate it if all SMG bashers just steered clear of this thread.
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Old 06-26-2009, 07:13 AM   #2
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Great write up Gav! My SMG pump has not failed yet either but well aware of the malady. I'll follow this as well and hopefully won't be posting my experience any time soon.
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:06 AM   #3
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Also, If anyone out there has a used SMG pump that has failed could you please donate it to someone that will take it apart and try to see how this thing works and maybe we will find the real cause of the failure. We should Sticky this if we can. Also, I think we should start another thread that only has theory about the pump and peoples opinions on what the problem could be. If we could sticky that one as well we would have these side by side.
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:51 AM   #4
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My SMG pump just failed last week while i was on the highway doing 70 approaching grid locked traffic.. however i got stuck on the for about 35 40 minutes waiting for a tow truck and after that amount of time it repressurized and went back into gear!! once i get the money to afford a pump or if bmw decides to help a poor military member i will more than likely keep the broken pump to find the problem
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:11 AM   #5
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I dont have a M3 but my non m smg pump went bad at 70k...it would first overheat and would drop into neutral by itself, then it completely failed
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Old 06-26-2009, 11:09 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by afghanman View Post
I dont have a M3 but my non m smg pump went bad at 70k...it would first overheat and would drop into neutral by itself, then it completely failed
WOW, that is impressive since your car was not availible with SMG. You have an automatic, and do not have an SMG pump.
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Old 06-26-2009, 11:23 AM   #7
ricmon
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still goinng

I will be following this thread closely. My 02 M3 has aprox. 55K miles on it, so who knows if and when it will fail. However if it does it will be nice to have the support of this community.
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Old 06-26-2009, 11:28 AM   #8
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WOW, that is impressive since your car was not availible with SMG. You have an automatic, and do not have an SMG pump.
your a smart guy huh? well bmw made non m cars with a transmission called "ssg" but sold it as "smg" it is a basic smg system and it doesnt have all the sport levels as your m3s smg....it was offered in 2004 on all 5,3,z4, and 6 series vehicles. dont assume **** if you dont know....and if u dont believe me click the search button. this subject has been beat to death.
here you go douche http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/04-BM...317|240%3A1318
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/04-BM...317|240%3A1318

and gav981 im sorry for thread jacking you brother. some people just need to be put in their place.
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Last edited by afghanman; 06-26-2009 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 06-26-2009, 12:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by afghanman View Post
your a smart guy huh? well bmw made non m cars with a transmission called "ssg" but sold it as "smg" it is a basic smg system and it doesnt have all the sport levels as your m3s smg....it was offered in 2004 on all 5,3,z4, and 6 series vehicles. dont assume **** if you dont know....and if u dont believe me click the search button. this subject has been beat to death.
here you go douche http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/04-BM...317|240%3A1318
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/04-BM...317|240%3A1318

and gav981 im sorry for thread jacking you brother. some people just need to be put in their place.
Wow, yeah you put me in my place when you NOW say you don't have an SMG, but an SSG, which I am very familiar with. It is NOT the same system, which is why it has a different name. It is similar, but not the same, nor does it use all the same parts. This thread is about the SMG system and the pump going bad on an M3, not the SSG system. They are different as the SSG does not have the same problem of heat to deal with that the M3 SMG system does, based on pump location and the different engine. Since you admit you don't have the SMG we are talking about even though your first post said you did, I do not understand how that makes ME a douche that needs to be put in his place? But hey, if that makes you feel superior, knock your self out!

Last edited by dcf; 06-26-2009 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 06-26-2009, 03:02 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by dcf View Post
Wow, yeah you put me in my place when you NOW say you don't have an SMG, but an SSG, which I am very familiar with. It is NOT the same system, which is why it has a different name. It is similar, but not the same, nor does it use all the same parts. This thread is about the SMG system and the pump going bad on an M3, not the SSG system. They are different as the SSG does not have the same problem of heat to deal with that the M3 SMG system does, based on pump location and the different engine. Since you admit you don't have the SMG we are talking about even though your first post said you did, I do not understand how that makes ME a douche that needs to be put in his place? But hey, if that makes you feel superior, knock your self out!
No need to be a douche ... Regardless whether it's SMG(SSG) or SMG2 it's still an automated manual transmission (AMT) which mechanical principle is the same thing (both system have an actuator for the clutching and a hydraulic pump) therefore we all have the same problem ... Which is the exorbitant price for the SMG/SMG2 pumps that BMW is charging for ...

P/s: Currently for SMG non ///M E46 BMW AG decided not to sell the pumps instead sell a rmfd gearbox together with the pump. How fvked up is that!!!
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Old 07-05-2009, 08:07 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by dcf View Post
WOW, that is impressive since your car was not availible with SMG. You have an automatic, and do not have an SMG pump.
Do research before you make yourself look like an idiot
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Old 06-26-2009, 03:24 PM   #12
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One reason to all the smg pump failures -can- be due to the reley that some workshop don't care to check out
and then assume it is the pump while it might actually be the reley.

I have M3 SMGII with aprox 45000 miles on it. Asked the Germans at BMW to take a closer look at the gearbox while
they were doing service Insp. II because I think it shifts gears a bit hard. They told me it was fine after.

The only problem I've had is that a couple of times it hasn't gone properly into gear and just jumped out of gear right
after and made a strange noise, i.e from 3th to 4th. Then I just put it into N or into gear and with no further problems.
This happens very rarely. I never mentioned this to the Germans though....

A friend of mine said that happened to a CSL too sometimes, assuming it was somewhat "normal".
I've heard that the software can bug sometimes.

Last edited by Morten M; 06-26-2009 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 06-26-2009, 04:51 PM   #13
dcf
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Originally Posted by Morten M View Post
Subscribed.

One reason to all the smg pump failures -can- be due to the reley that some workshop don't care to check out
and then assume it is the pump while it might actually be the reley.

I have M3 SMGII with aprox 45000 miles on it. Asked the Germans at BMW to take a closer look at the gearbox while
they were doing service Insp. II because I think it shifts gears a bit hard. They told me it was fine after.

The only problem I've had is that a couple of times it hasn't gone properly into gear and just jumped out of gear right
after and made a strange noise, i.e from 3th to 4th. Then I just put it into N or into gear and with no further problems.
This happens very rarely. I never mentioned this to the Germans though....

A friend of mine said that happened to a CSL too sometimes, assuming it was somewhat "normal".
I've heard that the software can bug sometimes.
I have had that very same problem when on track, but only on high temp days near the end of a session.
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:50 PM   #14
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No more bickering or arguing on this thread please, that will not help it get stickied, I'm just looking for M3 owners with failed SMG pumps to tell us about their experience.

You guys with the 3ers, I don't care if you car has some kind of similar pump that fails from time to time, it's a different car, and I'm looking to keep this thread focused on this one very specific issue. You're welcome to start a thread in the general section about it if you like, I would very much support that and wish you guys the best of luck. Again, I'm asking owners of M3s with SMG transmissions who have had their pumps fail to post about it here, that is all.
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Old 06-27-2009, 03:08 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by gav981 View Post
No more bickering or arguing on this thread please, that will not help it get stickied, I'm just looking for M3 owners with failed SMG pumps to tell us about their experience.

You guys with the 3ers, I don't care if you car has some kind of similar pump that fails from time to time, it's a different car, and I'm looking to keep this thread focused on this one very specific issue. You're welcome to start a thread in the general section about it if you like, I would very much support that and wish you guys the best of luck. Again, I'm asking owners of M3s with SMG transmissions who have had their pumps fail to post about it here, that is all.



I now, seriously.... I love e46f.. you guys on here are hilarious... but sometimes you guys just don't know when to shut up...
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Old 06-27-2009, 06:47 PM   #16
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55k miles on SMGII, no failure. I'm about to make the 3,000 mile journey from Austin to Seattle, though, by way of PCH/101, so that will put a major strain on the car, we'll see.

Twice, though, I've had it lock in gear and not shift correctly. Once while slowly reversing up an insanely steep driveway, once when shifting hard from 1st to 2nd while going over rough terrain.

I almost always drive the car with TC off and in full shift mode.
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Old 07-06-2010, 04:55 PM   #17
46smg
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[QUOTE=gav981;10210193]No more bickering or arguing on this thread please, that will not help it get stickied, I'm just looking for M3 owners with failed SMG pumps to tell us about their experience.

Another victim of the dreaded infamous SMG Pump failure here, 03 SMG (75.5K miles). My car is at the dealer as I write this. Going to go pick it up later today and leaving $3800 with them . I have had the 'relay' replaced in the past, but I knew sooner or later it would come down to replacing the SMG pump. After reading stories of fellow M3ers being stranded, I decided to have it replaced. Also the regulator in my passenger window has failed...and the damn window felt trim! Yes, we all need to start flooding BMWNA with phone calls/emails and let them know that we are not happy with this common defective part!
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:54 PM   #18
rhiner
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me too!

I have a 2003 M3 convertible with 55,000 miles.
Two weeks ago, amidst record setting heat, the SMG dropped out of gear waiting at a traffic light. Again 15 minutes later. Service engine light and gearbox light came on. Sent it to the dealer.. not sure what they did, but they assured me all was well (after $200 or so -- not sure exactly, I had a bunch of other stuff done too unrelated to this.)

Then, two days later, amidst another of record setting heat, the gearbox light came on. I dropped the car off a the dealer and asked them to fix it.

The email came this morning -- needs a new SMG pump at $3800.

ugh.
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Old 06-27-2009, 06:48 PM   #19
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My girls M is an 02 coupe- daily driven and maintained very well by myself- I am a technician.

Her pump failed on the highway in traffic on her way to work- she had no way to move the car,very dangerous situation.

Before the pump actually failed the SMG light would light up yellow when the car was started and once it warmed up before driving the light would go out or if the car was shut off or restarted the light would go off and the car drove fine withno problems.

This happened periodicly over the course of a few weeks- not even every week maybe every other week. When scanned ( SMG PUMP OVER LOAD,HIGH PRESSURE OUT OF RANGE, LOW PRESSURE OUT OF RANGE)

Replaced the Salmon relay, as a first step.

I bought the unit for 1900.00 plus the CHF 11S fluid- There are sensors on the unit that are replaceable, and the accumulator can be replaced- but my train of thought was to replace the complete assembly, because this system operates on the upside of 1100 psi-and things are expected to wear out- BUT THE FACT OF THE CAR DIEING ON THE ROAD AND NOT BEING ABLE TO MOVE IT IS SCARY.

IT Took a few hours to put the unit in - car runs perfect no more jerkiness either- which I think is another sign that a pump is on the way out because the pump is not moderating the right pressure for the clutch so the car gets jerky when slowing down.

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Old 07-02-2009, 05:06 PM   #20
JulianAshbee
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Hey guys....My SMG Pump just bit the dust at 50234 miles.... My local Indy shop has a genius mechanic and we are going to take the old pump out and vigorously inspect various components to see if there is any way to tell what exactly failed and if it can be repaired. I will keep the fellow SMG lovers/haters updated with the progress. Please let me know if its worth my time and energy to document the autopsy. Hopefully we can figure out a less expensive fix for this FU*k up by BMW.

Cheers,
Julian
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