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Old 07-16-2011, 10:44 PM   #1
Awesomeaustin99
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Showing "S" on dash instead of "P"

So, first off I would like to say that this site has saved me some pretty hefty shop bills. The information here is great! So about a week ago I got the red cog of death. My car (2003 325i) has about 155k on it so I decided to change my ATF and check the battery and all the usual you do when the cog happens. After the fluid change the cog went away with no reset. I should mention the car didn't go into safe mode at any point and reverse is all good lol. Now after about 500 miles of driving when I start the car the dash displays an S instead of a P. If I wait about a minute the P shows up. If I don't wait and engage any other gears the display is blank. When the car is put in manual mode I get S1-S5 instead of M1-M5. The car drives and shifts fine. I have no idea what is going on and neither does my indy. The closest dealership is about 2 hours away and my car is well out if warranty. Also, the tranny has no stored codes. Sorry for the book but I wanted to be thorough.
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:48 PM   #2
330i ZHP
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sport mode

In S mode the car starts in 1st gear, in D mode it starts in 2nd gear. And of course it holds the gears longer.
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:54 PM   #3
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here is a little description given by BMWNA on the Steptronic transmission:

"BMW's optional five-speed Steptronic automatic transmission features three modes of operation. Put the selector in "D" and let Adaptive Transmission Control take over. It automatically "learns" and adapts its operation to how the vehicle is driven. By tracking accelerator pedal movements, Adaptive Transmission Control recognizes how aggressively or gently you drive - and shifts gears accordingly. It also detects steep downhill driving, slippery conditions, stop-and-go traffic, and cornering, which are then factored into the shift patterns.

The Sport mode is engaged by moving the selector lever left from "D" to a second gate. Sport mode allows the engine to shift at higher rpm, for sportier driving.

You may also choose Steptronic clutchless manual shifting. From the "Sport" mode, simply tap the lever backward (upshift) or forward (downshift) to select another gear ratio."

yes, you can change the gears in the clutchless manual mode, you will see the "+" and "-" down by the selector. also, in your instrument cluster, it will show you what gear you are in should you choose to drive the clutchless manual mode.
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Old 07-16-2011, 11:00 PM   #4
Awesomeaustin99
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I don't think you understand. I've had my car since 2004, I know how that works...lol It is showing the S that it shows in sport mode while the car is in park. Also in sport mode it is supposed to show SD and in manual mode M1-M5 and my car shows S1-S5
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Old 07-16-2011, 11:04 PM   #5
330i ZHP
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yea, i cant find anything on that - sorry
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:15 AM   #6
threecoupe
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had this before, but the problem rectified itself after leaving the car overnight. that said, it could be the switch.
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:01 PM   #7
Awesomeaustin99
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Possibly, I just drove the car on a ~400 mile trip to the beach with 0 problems. Even when the light does come on the car still drives and shifts fine. I am going to pull the PRND switch when I get back home and take a look at that. Possibly replace it if it isn't crazy ridiculous expensive.
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