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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 03-12-2016, 04:09 PM   #1
BADxASSxBubbles
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545i SMG problems (I know not a m3)

Hey there, I just got a 2005 545i with 122k recently. It was sold as is and stuck in neutral. Guy told me the pump needed replacing. Anyway, I brought it home and could hear the pump trying to prime very loudly. I ordered a genuine denso pump from ecs for about $340. I also tried replacing the salmon relay with no change. I get the pump and when I get under the car, I discover I am out of fluid. I put the new pump in for good measure as it was ran dry and top it off. In 3 - 4 days it lost all its fluid again. I did notice that the shifts were so slow, and the throttle was dead in between shifts taking almost a second and a half. I hook up inpa and discover I am losing hydraulic pressure rather quickly ONLY when the engine is running. I noticed that it only drops fast when in neutral or when the clutch would be "pushed" in in gear. When clutch released or "engaged" it goes down slowly. I am assuming the actuator "slave cylinder" is bad?

Any advice would be appreciated.

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Old 03-14-2016, 10:39 AM   #2
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Here is "any" advice -

I don't think you have an SMG transmission, for two reasons: 1) you say you have a 545i and SMG was available only on M cars (3 and 5 Series); 2) those paddles are used with a standard automatic transmission, not an SMG.

The pump/hydraulic fluid/leak issue needs attention by someone who is pretty familiar with these models. Your description sounds like a fairly big leak, for which there is more than one potential cause. Simply replacing parts without knowledge and a logical plan may not solve the problem(s) and will definitely be an overly-costly experience. That seems to be the situation you've had.

With that in mind your video shows many error/warning messages:
- ABS warning
- Active Roll Stabilization malfunction
- Active Steering malfunction
- DSC malfunction (ABS + DSC lights)
- Air Bag fault

This is a LOT of malfunction/warning/error messages. It generally indicates an overall electrical/computer issue, even though it could indicate several systems that are failing. There is a lot to diagnose, track down and figure out what needs replacement.

You say this is a 2005 model. To the best of my knowledge - and personal experience - they did not have a paddle-shift option. It raises the question as to whether a prior owner added them. It is a fairly involved process and requires not only hardware but coding work. If such a mod was attempted and the coding was not done properly it could be responsible for (some of) the error codes.

You potentially have several and serious problems. A good shop/dealer is necessary and the only way to get your car usable. Good luck.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hlmiii View Post
Here is "any" advice -

I don't think you have an SMG transmission, for two reasons: 1) you say you have a 545i and SMG was available only on M cars (3 and 5 Series); 2) those paddles are used with a standard automatic transmission, not an SMG.

The pump/hydraulic fluid/leak issue needs attention by someone who is pretty familiar with these models. Your description sounds like a fairly big leak, for which there is more than one potential cause. Simply replacing parts without knowledge and a logical plan may not solve the problem(s) and will definitely be an overly-costly experience. That seems to be the situation you've had.

With that in mind your video shows many error/warning messages:
- ABS warning
- Active Roll Stabilization malfunction
- Active Steering malfunction
- DSC malfunction (ABS + DSC lights)
- Air Bag fault

This is a LOT of malfunction/warning/error messages. It generally indicates an overall electrical/computer issue, even though it could indicate several systems that are failing. There is a lot to diagnose, track down and figure out what needs replacement.

You say this is a 2005 model. To the best of my knowledge - and personal experience - they did not have a paddle-shift option. It raises the question as to whether a prior owner added them. It is a fairly involved process and requires not only hardware but coding work. If such a mod was attempted and the coding was not done properly it could be responsible for (some of) the error codes.

You potentially have several and serious problems. A good shop/dealer is necessary and the only way to get your car usable. Good luck.
Non American markets had 330's with SMG. There are a few around here
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:50 AM   #4
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Correct, but I'm assuming OP's details are correct - they indicate he has a 545 and that he's from NY, USA.


Are you saying that there are a few of the Euro/UK models in the United States?!?
Can't imagine why anyone would go to the effort to import them. Conversion and NHTSA acceptance would be very expensive and lengthy - and they'd be orphans!

Thanks.

Last edited by hlmiii; 03-14-2016 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hlmiii View Post
Here is "any" advice -

I don't think you have an SMG transmission, for two reasons: 1) you say you have a 545i and SMG was available only on M cars (3 and 5 Series); 2) those paddles are used with a standard automatic transmission, not an SMG.
Wrong.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:39 PM   #6
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Wrong.
Why?
This without details doesn't help him.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:58 PM   #7
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545i SMG problems (I know not a m3)

Hello there guys, yes it is an SMG, not a sport auto and not a ssg like the 3 series got. Albeit it's not the same as an m car in terms of speed, it is an SMG.

Option code 206 in the ordering guide and option206 in the car.

The reason for all those errors is from disconnecting the battery and driving the car in the air with no rear wheels on and the front on ramps. That's why the car has a heart attack and no speed displayed in the heads up display.

I am suspecting the clutch actuator ( slave cylinder) because lots of fluid towards the front of the bell housing and it looks wet on the actual actuator and sensor. Was just asking for options as it's usually a pump that goes bad.

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Old 03-14-2016, 01:38 PM   #8
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Why?
This without details doesn't help him.
Because you can find SMG in plenty of non-M cars. It's just not the same version. SSG, whatever you want to call it. It was eventually just called SMG.



Slave cylinder sound like a reasonable culprit. They've been known to leak.
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Old 03-14-2016, 01:52 PM   #9
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Thanks @choxor. That's the answer I was looking for. How often are they known to go compared to pumps
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Old 03-14-2016, 01:53 PM   #10
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I suggest going on realoem.com and looking for your part numbers, then compare them to an SMG M car
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Old 03-14-2016, 02:13 PM   #11
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Thanks @choxor. That's the answer I was looking for. How often are they known to go compared to pumps
Not sure how often they fail. Don't really follow the non-M SMG problems that much. Doesn't seem to be a huge problem on the M3.


The pump is building pressure. It's just leaking out. All over the floor. I'd start with the slave. It's a bit of a pain in the ass to replace, but far cheaper and could be seen as preventative maintenance even if it doesn't fix the problem. Pump failure usually doesn't result in an external leak. At least not from what I've seen.
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Old 03-14-2016, 02:16 PM   #12
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Check clutch actuator if leaking. It's very likely to be the cause of this problem.
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Old 03-14-2016, 02:40 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by BADxASSxBubbles View Post
Hello there guys, yes it is an SMG, not a sport auto
Holy $^#&! I stand corrected.

I owned a 545, followed by 2006 and 2010 M5's. I've never heard or seen of this in US.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BADxASSxBubbles View Post
The reason for all those errors is from disconnecting the battery and driving the car in the air with no rear wheels on and the front on ramps. That's why the car has a heart attack and no speed displayed in the heads up display.
Assuming no problems before your work, that would almost certainly be the reason for several lights all at once. BMW's really don't like less than optimum circuit conditions.

FWIW - a (real) Active Steering malfunction can also cause several unrelated lights/errors. Happened more than once to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BADxASSxBubbles View Post
I am suspecting the clutch actuator ( slave cylinder) because lots of fluid towards the front of the bell housing and it looks wet on the actual actuator and sensor.
Pump, actuator, hydraulic unit/hoses, connections/seals are the possibilities. Is there a reason for your initial replacement piece?

Need to determine where the leak is, before you go much further. Have you (re)filled the system, and then had someone else look underneath while you start the car? Where is the fluid flowing from? Is the replacement part installed properly?

General points:
- if you can hear the pump operating the relay is probably good
- if the pump noise is very loud (more than normal) it is being overworked due to inability to build pressure (leak)
- best SMG reference I've found is http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=231113 It's for E46 SMG, but the overall design information and hardware points are good for the E60.

Last edited by hlmiii; 03-14-2016 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 03-14-2016, 05:23 PM   #14
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The reason why I replaced the pump was because previous owner (number 6 actually) said the pump was bad. Fine. I paid 3000 for the car so I bought a pump before I even got under it. The pump was $343. I put it in because when I got under it, I noticed that there was no fluid in the reservoir so I replaced the pump because it was ran dry and priming for weeks.

A clutch actuator is $1,062.21 for a replacement. I can't find a rebuild kit with new seals.

The worst part about it all is that it doesn't really leak on the outside, only when you let it sit for a few days. I was under the car for over 1/2 hour with it running through the gears and nothing.
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Old 03-14-2016, 05:52 PM   #15
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Are you saying that after the replacement pump and proper fluid level, it didn't leak during initial testing? But it loses fluid after that point and a few days later?

Did it shift properly for a short time during the initial try? Or not at all, like before pump replacement?

I've got a call into my trans expert. I'll let you know.
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Old 03-14-2016, 05:59 PM   #16
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545i SMG problems (I know not a m3)

I have never tried it before the replacement pump. I have since pulled it out and put back in the "old" pump and it acts the same way. It will empty out the res in a few days but when running it, it doesn't drip or squirt out to see where it's coming from. Leads me to be afraid of a massive puddle in the bell housing making its way closer and closer to the clutch.

The shifts have been consistent and slow

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Old 03-15-2016, 09:06 AM   #17
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Okay ... I've had two conversations with a tech that has done lots of SMG work (M3 and M5) and SMG->Manual swap.

He was pretty puzzled - couldn't understand how a leak wouldn't show something right away. The fact that that it shows up much later and after not running leaves him without a quick answer, especially since it simply starts leaking after sitting without more usage.

Here is what he said he'd do. This is assuming lots of time and not having to bill for all of a shop involvement:
- clean up everything that has fluid/oil on it. Especially anything in the area that is bolted/clipped/seamed together. Basically start with close to "new" appearance.
- refill SMG fluid; ensure engine oil. brake, steering levels and refill if needed.
- with car up on lift, get someone under it while it is being started. Keep someone there for about 30 minutes.
- note evidence of fluid, or not.
- shut car off.
- start checking for fluid. Do this without key fob around or without opening doors, etc. Basically, you don't want anything that will trigger pump priming.
- return in about an hour. Check for fluid leak.
- keep returning regularly every couple of hours or so. Check.
- keep this up until you start seeing leak(s).
- note position. Take pictures.
- check fluid levels - SMG, oil, brake, steering - to ensure source of fluid.
- do quick clean up.
- check periodically. Basically repeat above process to see if leak continues.

This will give you some evidence of where outside leak is at. That is starting point to allow tracing as to problem.
Proceed ....

The fact that there is no gear engagement could mean lack of fluid or some other issue or both/many. Hard to know at this point.

He also said that once a car has such a situation with new/different pump, especially with battery disconnected and multiple lights on reconnect, that the car needs to reacquire SMG parameters. This involves hooking into the OBD II port with software that monitors (and maybe loads) programming. It takes at least half an hour.

Whew ....

His first comment, "that's the second worst car BMW has made; it's next to that 7 Series" (the first gen I-Drive model).


Good luck. Post back with progress.
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:01 PM   #18
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545i SMG problems (I know not a m3)

I'll take all your suggestions and try it out. If you have never owned a BMW v8 you can't comment but they leak out of every fu**ing seal imaginable. I used BMW INPA to bleed and re learn the clutch bite point. I know it's hydraulic fluid because CHF 11S is this teal color that smells and tastes minty (don't ask how I know...bad day). I actually have 3, a 530xi with 3 pedals @133k (original clutch), this 545i with 123k and a 2007 750li with 223k. That one is a pain in the ass and just finished alternator bracket to oil cooler lines gasket.
(Supercharged regal hiding in there somewhere)

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Old 03-15-2016, 12:11 PM   #19
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Yeah, sorry to hear of your history.
I had a 2004 545 for fours years and it was a near-flawless performer for 48K miles before selling.
The M5 history has been the same - without much incident. I know I'm one of the fortunate ones, though .....

I do take very good, regular, and pro-active care of my cars. From what I can tell on the internet your car has a well-traveled, multi-owner history for the first 100+k miles. That makes things tough for you, assuming yours is the car I've looked at. Such a history usually means that subsequent owners are cheapening out on service/repairs.

Again - good luck. Keep posting with what you do and find.
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:33 PM   #20
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Looking at the second picture - that is a lot of oil, spread out through a big area. It is mainly from the leak after your pump work?

It seems to be most concentrated around the hydraulic lines ("pipes') entering the hydraulic unit. Is the fluid also in the other side, around the pump and/or actuator?
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