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Old 03-22-2017, 12:06 PM   #1
BD330
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Automatic Transmission Question

I booked an appointment to have my Automatic Transmission fluid changed at an indy shop(they had bunch of bmws, and other foreign cars). When I got there the mechanic said he didn't want to change the fluid and filter as it may make the transmission worse. He said he was going to scan it for free and he'll let me know what happens after that; few hours went by and he said there is problem in the internal transmission and I will need a rebuild/new transmission and quoted me almost $5k for it and 2 year/24k.

Car facts:
110k mileage (ATF never been changed as far as I'm aware)
2003 330i
Automatic

Symptoms:
Cold starts the car would rev up to about 2k-3kish and only then it will engage in a gear. I am able to bypass this by putting it in "manual" mode(steptronic) and it will not have a rough gear engagement.
on normal drive the shift is starting to feel rough. and sometimes doesn't change gear until way in to the higher RPM.

Questions:
1) Do I need a new Transmission?
2) Shall I go ahead and find another indy shop to have my Transmission Fluid changed?
3) I was thinking of selling the car. $5k work on roughly around $5k value of the car.
thanks
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:14 PM   #2
VerrKol
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Do you have a check engine light? Did he tell you what codes were present?
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:02 PM   #3
BD330
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VerrKol View Post
Do you have a check engine light? Did he tell you what codes were present?
There was no transmission code. only crankshaft sensor signal? Code 3C1D
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:56 PM   #4
Dave1027
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No codes and he says you need a new transmission? Sounds really sketchy to me.

What brand transmission do you have? ZF or GM? You can tell by looking at the pan. Cross hash pan means ZF. Smooth pan means GM. Or maybe ask the indy.

About the cold start issue you are having, when the drive does engage does it slam into gear or is it gradual? Does the problem go away completely after it warms up?
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:23 PM   #5
BD330
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave1027 View Post
No codes and he says you need a new transmission? Sounds really sketchy to me.

What brand transmission do you have? ZF or GM? You can tell by looking at the pan. Cross hash pan means ZF. Smooth pan means GM. Or maybe ask the indy.

About the cold start issue you are having, when the drive does engage does it slam into gear or is it gradual? Does the problem go away completely after it warms up?
I believe I have the GM transmission.
the gear engangement in the cold start is a little rougher than normal.

Once warmed up. theres no problem except recently i have noticed that when I'm driving it hard the gear changes are delayed.
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Old 03-22-2017, 06:17 PM   #6
Dave1027
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BD330 View Post
I believe I have the GM transmission.
the gear engangement in the cold start is a little rougher than normal.

Once warmed up. theres no problem except recently i have noticed that when I'm driving it hard the gear changes are delayed.
Gonna need more detail than "rougher than normal". Rougher in what way?

It's normal for the gear changes to be delayed when driving hard. It will stay in gears longer to get the engine into the upper RPM range. Put it in sport mode and see what happens when you floor it. It won't shift till it hits redline.
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Old 03-22-2017, 06:39 PM   #7
BMWCaptain
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I would DIY a fluid change and filter or take it to anothet indy.

GM is known for sluggish start if cold morning start.

I notice on my GM with over 200k miles sometimes i will accelerate hard and i want it to upshift, but takes longer.

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Old 03-22-2017, 07:55 PM   #8
mikebriley
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This is a known problem with some GM transmissions. Some have had success by resetting adaptations and/or topping off their fluid level (see for example http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=735127). There's also a service bulletin about it (see http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachm...4&d=1481771575) which recommends a reflash of the EGS module with new software that raises the pressure on the C1 clutch.
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:33 AM   #9
Njohc
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If he has access to dealership programs that allow him to re-flash the trans with the latest software, try that first. I had similar issues. Turns out there is a TSB out on the GM trans for symptoms that resemble yours. My problems were also fixed when I engaged manual mode. That should tell you, as well as your mechanic that there is nothing mechanically wrong with the trans, its just the programming of how it works in auto mode. Resetting adaptations doesnt do anything but slightly adjust to your driving habits. Is it worth a try? Sure. But I would give it the latest software from BMW. Regardless I would 100% do the fluid. If that shop wont do it, Id switch shops and find somebody who will.

I went through all this when I first got my car. Its no secret these trans have some common problems. No automatic trans lasts forever. But you can prolong the inevitable by keeping that fluid as clean as possible in the meantime. And definitely get it to somebody who can give it the latest trans software update.

Last edited by Njohc; 03-23-2017 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:21 AM   #10
BD330
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I appreciate all your help everyone! cheers!
I'm gonna get my fluid and filter change and find a place to get my software updated!
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Old 03-24-2017, 07:52 AM   #11
markusmarkus
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Try www.bimrs.org. Also, members of the Golden Gate chapter of the BMWCCA can provide recommendations.
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