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///M3 Forum
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 06-18-2012, 02:16 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Augusta, ME
Posts: 357
My Ride: 06 STi
SMGII Troubleshooting guide

So far I have helped many people fix their SMG's through troubleshooting via PM's and locally through test driving and reading codes. This guide is for people that do not have access to the dealer software. I highly recommend that you get your codes read by someone with the appropriate software regardless of what this thread identifies as the issue. I make no guarantees that this thread will be correct 100% of the time, as with any troubleshooting, this offers a "best guess"

Go out to your car after it's cooled down.
Stand next to it.
Hit the unlock button.

Do you hear the SMG pump priming?

No - Best guess is the Salmon Relay (~$10)

Yes -
How long does the pump run before it shuts off?

More than 10 seconds - Points to a low battery or bad accumulator (Battery ~$120) (Accumulator ~$Life savings)

Less than 10 seconds - Good news. The really expensive stuff seems to be ok.
Get in your car and put it in "N" with your foot on the brakes, start your car.

Car does not shift to "N" - Most likely the actuator, but could also be the brake pedal sensor.

Car shifts to "N" and starts.

Shift to "1" or "R"
"N" Flashes or car selects "2" instead of "1"- Bad Gear Position Sensor (~$300)
"1" or "R" Flashes - Hood or door sensor is most likely (DIY resistor fix ~$15) or Compression Spring (~$20)

The car shifts into the selected gear. Go for a drive.
Car shudders when taking off - perform SMG soft reset get above 40 MPH, shift to "N", pull back both paddles for about 10 seconds, shift back into gear. (~$0)

Continue driving.
Car is not shifting to 1st at stops - Gear Position Sensor
Only usable gears are R,2,5 and 6 - Gear Position Sensor (~$300)
Car will sometimes miss shifts randomly for the same gears - Broken Compression Spring (~$20)
Car drives fine, but then after a while the gearbox light comes on and it shifts to "N" - Hydraulic fluid temperature sensor issue search forums for the resistor fix. (~$30)
When hitting shifter paddle, nothing happens but car shifts fine using stick - Bad Paddle Switch Recommend replacing both

Go home and relax, if none of this happened, you're probably going to be okay.

A few tips-
1. Always make sure you have a fully charged battery.
2. Buy Salmon relays in pairs (sometimes you get a bad one and a spare is better than waiting for shipping).
3. Invest in a code scanner, even a simple cheap one can be helpful.
4. Make friends with someone that has better code scanning equipment like DIS/SSS/PROGMAN ect.

Open to suggestions for improving this thread. Will continue to edit this post as required.

- Added prices for most common fixes, DIY of course. The SMG is fairly inexpensive to own, especially considering the added clutch life from flawless shifting.

Last edited by roadtrip1098; 10-25-2012 at 02:02 PM. Reason: Added some info, price estimates for DIY
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