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Old 06-27-2012, 02:58 PM   #1
gvg5004
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Exclamation $3000+ in maintenance and repairs...then auto transmission breaks

2002 330xi 78k miles (I read all 16 pages of the transmission sticky)

I love my car and baby the hell out of it but it's killing my wallet. I know you guys / gals can relate. I'm looking for some advice:

I was driving on the highway cruising at 75 and my transmission completely goes. I see the RPMs spike so I pull over. I put the car in park and it starts rolling backward. I restart the car and the transmission just won't engage. I engage the parking brake and get it towed.

I recently had maintenance and service done (at an indy shop) to the vehicle including:
- fuel service / tune up
- all belts replaced
- brake fluid flushed
- front right tie-rod replaced
- CV joint replaced
- control arm bushing replaced
- alignment

about $2300

I drive the car for about 20 miles and my ABS and DSC lights illuminate orange. I bring the BMW dealership and they replace a sensor for $170.

I drive the car for about 50 miles after that and my transmission goes on the highway.

I drove the car every day for about 3 years and had no problems with the transmission; it was like butter. Then, right after this series of repairs it completely goes. Do you guys see anything that was repaired or serviced that could have done this? The indy shop I brought it to does not see many BMWs.

I have it being looked at another indy shop closer to where I broke down and I opted to go for a used transmission they found in a junkyard for $1800 + $900 in labor. As you can see my wallet is hurting and I'm wondering if there is any foul play involved.

I'd like to consult the experts here...

- Greg
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:58 PM   #2
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Could they have f'd up the fuel service? Perhaps they put in the additives incorrectly?
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:59 PM   #3
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sounds like one of the drive shafts/axles either popped out or snapped especially when you say the car rolls backward when in Park.
never heard of xi's GM transmission going bad.
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:01 PM   #4
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That's a LOT of money on maintenance for those little things. I'm sure you were already expecting someone to bring that up though, right?

I see nothing that would/could have contributed to your failure. I'd just get a used tranny and have it put in or if you're adventerous, do a manual swap.

It doesn't seem normal for any trans to go at that mileage. thing is though you couldn't prove anything. This is why I do ALL work on my car myself.
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:05 PM   #5
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Yep, going through the list of repairs myself I didn't see anything that directly influenced the transmission - besides from just pure sabotage but I'm a very polite guy when dealing with people that handle my car, so that would be a surprise!

If I'm the victim of just some unfortunate timing, so be it. I'll put some more money into the car as I love driving this vehicle but it just raised a lot of red flags as it broke within 75 miles of it being serviced...
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:06 PM   #6
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If I could go back I would have went for the manual swap. I've already asked them to order the auto though. I wasn't thinking on my feet to get the manual as I was in pure shock / state of rage when it went after I put $3000 into it and it only having 78k miles.
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:08 PM   #7
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If I could go back I would have went for the manual swap. I've already asked them to order the auto though. I wasn't thinking on my feet to get the manual as I was in pure shock / state of rage when it went after I put $3000 into it and it only having 78k miles.
really dont think its the transmission. I would go down the shop and look at the car yourself before forking out that money.
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:28 PM   #8
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really dont think its the transmission. I would go down the shop and look at the car yourself before forking out that money.
thanks - yes, the 2nd indy shop I brought it to closer to where I broke down gave me a demonstration on why it was broken. The tech was shifting the car back and forth and pointed out all the bad noises the car / trans was making. He gave me a detailed explanation of how it works and what the noises indicated and stated that it needed to be replaced.
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:31 PM   #9
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The tech called me up just now and said that the previous shop incorrectly installed the CV joint. He stated that the way they installed it is is tampering with the the gear box. I've faxed him the bill I received from the previous shop so he can go over exactly what they did.

Does this make sense to you guys?
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:53 PM   #10
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The tech called me up just now and said that the previous shop incorrectly installed the CV joint. He stated that the way they installed it is is tampering with the the gear box. I've faxed him the bill I received from the previous shop so he can go over exactly what they did.

Does this make sense to you guys?
no it does not make sense at all. the drive axles (CV) are no where near the transmission.
I am also suspecting your transfer case might gotten damaged due to unknown reason(leak?).
you said putting gear in park the car was still rolling back makes me really think your transfer case is broken.
you can tell by putting the car in air and put the gearbox in gear, if both front and rear drive shaft coming out of the transfer case are not spinning or if you can twist one of the drive shafts freely its broken.
see that small piece at the end of the transmission where two black drive shafts come out? that's the transfer case.
but either way, inspect every joints on the drive train carefully because any disconnected drive shaft would make the car roll back and lose power.
I remember there was an xi owner made a uturn and one of the front drive axle popped out.
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:20 PM   #11
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check the fluid that comes out of it for the following:

enough fluid (i think 8 quarts?) and metal shavings, debris, etc.
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:29 PM   #12
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If your freshly replaced CV joint wasn't tightend, it would make a lot of sence that in 70 miles it could disconnect. Also it would explain why the car could have rolled while in park. You may be getting taken advantage of. That would be REALLY sad if both mechanics were negligent. One on tightening the CV,and the other for selling you an un needed tranny. It is hard to diagnose from the internet though.
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:33 PM   #13
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If your freshly replaced CV joint wasn't tightend, it would make a lot of sence that in 70 miles it could disconnect. Also it would explain why the car could have rolled while in park. You may be getting taken advantage of. That would be REALLY sad if both mechanics were negligent. One on tightening the CV,and the other for selling you an un needed tranny. It is hard to diagnose from the internet though.
Brian,

I actually read your post after I just stated that the tech called me up saying that the CV joint was not correctly installed. Would you explain to me how the 2nd tech could have been negligent in suggesting I needed a new transmission?

I'm in no way doubting you but I'm just looking for some ammo in case I need to raise hell.
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:52 PM   #14
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I would have most definitely said CV Joint. Wouldn't an incorrectly installed CV Joint in an all wheel drive car cause hell in that transmission?
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Old 06-27-2012, 04:21 PM   #15
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you better let them know asap so they don't try and accuse you of waiting too long.
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Old 06-27-2012, 04:27 PM   #16
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you better let them know asap so they don't try and accuse you of waiting too long.
I've already gave them a call telling them about the issue. At the very least they are going to have to compensate the replacement of the broken right front CV axle as I've already paid to have that repaired.

The big question is, if the new shop determines that the CV axle was improperly installed and that caused my transmission to break, I hope I don't get fine-printed out of them compensating me for the new trans.

FYI it's Firestone, I'm not sure if anyone has gone through their claims process...

What a nightmare but I'm willing to deal with any and all of this to save $3500 of course.
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Old 06-27-2012, 04:31 PM   #17
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I've already gave them a call telling them about the issue. At the very least they are going to have to compensate the replacement of the broken right front CV axle as I've already paid to have that repaired.

The big question is, if the new shop determines that the CV axle was improperly installed and that caused my transmission to break, I hope I don't get fine-printed out of them compensating me for the new trans.

FYI it's Firestone, I'm not sure if anyone has gone through their claims process...

What a nightmare but I'm willing to deal with any and all of this to save $3500 of course.
Firestone
expecting them to pay for your transmission (IF its broken which is very unlikely)
I still dont get how CV axle can cause your transmission to break. they are not even connected together.
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:19 PM   #18
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Morals of the story:

Quote:
Originally Posted by gvg5004 View Post
The indy shop I brought it to does not see many BMWs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gvg5004 View Post
FYI it's Firestone, I'm not sure if anyone has gone through their claims process...
  1. If you use an indy shop instead of BMW, use one that does work regulary on BMWs and Mercedes.
  2. Firestone (or any tire store) is okay for suspension and brakes, but limit using them to those areas. My tire store recommended me to a transmission shop when I had a differential noise (in my Kia).
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Old 06-27-2012, 04:43 PM   #19
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The CV breaking will cause the car to not drive at all,and not allow park to function due to the lack of 100% center locking differential. All or the power will go to rotating the snapped shaft that is no longer attached to a drive wheel.
You "transmission breaking" is a loose term being used here without being able to see it. You may have actual mechanical damage from broken parts shearing on the output yoke,or the sudden overspeed of the one broken shaft could have put the traction control in a fault mode or caused internal damage. You might get lucky with just a new shaft being installed to get it fixed and running.
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Old 06-27-2012, 04:50 PM   #20
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- fuel service / tune up
- all belts replaced
- brake fluid flushed
- front right tie-rod replaced
- CV joint replaced
- control arm bushing replaced
- alignment

about $2300
Wow, raped.
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