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DIY: Do It Yourself
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Old 01-11-2016, 01:07 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Newark De
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My Ride: E46 m54b30
Transmission 5hp19 overheating 130C

Hi gays that`s my first post here , and i have a really big issue with my transmission. My car is e46 m54b30 with ZTF 5hp19 tranny. The car was driving and shift perfect , but 2 days ago started to going in limp mode(the gear with (!) sign). I been checking couple times a week the car for errors with my inpa and the temperature before was around 100-105 C degrees. But now is going to 120-130 C which i know is not very good for the transmission. I change the filter and the oil and still doing the same. After the change of the fluid the car is soo smooth , even i can fell when is shifting but when goes after 105 C degrees is showing the (!) gear error sign. I know is a thermostat there and I ordered today but i don`t think is gonna be from the thermostat. Also when i drove the car and when is on 4th gear when i started to stop and transmission is suppose to do downshifting the error light come on. When I accelerating doesn`t have any issues only when I start to stop. The fault which is showing is :

54 Gear Check 4
Error frequency : 1
Logistic counter: 57
Mileage/Km-reading 240660.00 km
Throttle-valve angle 0.00 %
Mean Value - Rear Wheels 304.00 rpm
Output Speed 1088.00 rpm

I dont really know what to do and I read several posts of people in this forum who knows a lot about transmissions.

Last edited by Em1l; 01-11-2016 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:11 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 5,788
My Ride: 2001 330Ci
It could be the tranny fluid cooler is blocked. It's located in the vicinity of the expansion tank. Also, check the tranny fluid level.
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Old 01-12-2016, 08:16 PM   #3
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Posts: 414
My Ride: 330 CiC, 330i
To be clear on how the transmission is cooled, it doesn't have it's own thermostat. It gets cooled by the engine coolant. Yes there is a thermostat next to the transmission cooler, but this just regulates coolant flow direction when the engine is warming up so that it warms the transmission faster than it would otherwise do. Once the engine coolant is at operating temperature (about 95 deg C), the transmission fluid is cooled by this, which explains why you normally see the transmission coolant at a bit above 95 deg C (105 in your case).

It could be one of a number of things.

Like markus said, the first thing I would do is check the transmission cooler isn't blocked. Jack up the car, disconnect one of the transmission fluid pipes at the tranny cooler, start the car momentarily (a few seconds max) and check fluid is freely flowing from the hose. Connect again and then disconnect the other and repeat.

If it seems the cooler is not blocked, the next thing I would check is the coolant flow that goes to the tx oil cooler. It may have something to do with the thermostat not directing the flow correctly, and hence not cooling it. If you haven't replaced this part of the cooling system it might be worthwhile doing. It's a component that fails regularly with time.

Also check the transmission temperature wire to see that it's OK. It should be 1000 ohms at 25 deg C. Link below is to a project I did a while back on the transmission. It has links to documents that have the information required to do this.

With regard to the INPA code, this is saying the transmission is slipping in 4th, meaning a clutch somewhere is slipping. This may be due to the temperature, so ensuring the transmission is being cooled correctly is the first thing to do prior to going down other paths.


Also have a look at this post. I put a photo in it that has the coolant flow direction.

Last edited by jjrichar; 01-12-2016 at 08:17 PM.
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5hp19, heat, transmission overheating

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