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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 08-23-2008, 01:49 PM   #1
mcbreez
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: London
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My Ride: 318i SE - 52 plate
1st 2nd 3rd Very Stiff Gear Change

Dear All,

Only had my e46 a week or so now but have noticed that going into 1st from Neutral and all the way up to 3rd can be very stiff and painful at times, I also get a little bump sound from the rear when releasing and going through from 1st to 3rd but smooth as can be and deadly quiet from 3rd to 5th...?? Helpp!! Still got a second hand warranty on it so need to really identify the problem unless the dealership will tell me there is nothing there.

2002 318i SE
58,000 on the clock.
Manual

Any help would be so appreciated as driven manuals all my life and never found any to be as stiff as this, can feel so stiff after a while that my arm starts to really really ache from it.

If this helps identify it anymore, if I go from neutral to 1st a few times messing about while at lights it frees up after about the 3rd time and feels smooth..

Thanks all.
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Old 08-23-2008, 01:57 PM   #2
turbo1168
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Sounds like someone had put gear oil in the trans. instead of fluid designed for it. Gear oil is a 90 weight, ATF or the equivalent is about a 10-15 weight. Make sure the trans is quiet when refilling it, because some unscrupulous people will put gear oil in to help quiet down a noisy trans. Could also be the clutch isn't fully disengaging.
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:14 PM   #3
mcbreez
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hmmmm interesting.. now have to learn how to check the trans fluid. Out with the owners manual!
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:18 PM   #4
rorschach
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First of all, that bump is probably caused by worn (diff?) bushings. Something like that, it's been discussed ad nauseum.

Now, I just had the oil in my manual 5-speed tranny changed. It's notchy and stiff in the first few gears, too. It seems like that's how the tranny is and has always been and there's no real cure.
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:21 PM   #5
mcbreez
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Yeah I was quite suspicous of them actually as when I searched about the forums thats what a few people said it might be.. im really thinking they could be the bumping cause and the 1-3 is just a getting used to factor aswell as im not used to having to go so far down on the clutch to change. In my past cars I was used to only putting my foot half way down but in this to get a real clean sweep you have to go all the way down at the clutch pedal.

Last edited by mcbreez; 08-23-2008 at 08:23 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:25 PM   #6
rorschach
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No, you shouldn't. The engagement point of the clutch is about halfway, you definitely don't have to press it all the way down to the floor. Also, you'll get smoother changes if you remove the CDV. It's been discussed as well, do a search.
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:27 PM   #7
mcbreez
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Well obviously there is something slightly wrong there as to get it quite smooth the clutch has to go all the way down when working my way up the gears. Think the CDV will be the first thing to come out.
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Old 08-25-2008, 04:21 PM   #8
mcbreez
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Ok a little update on the situation... Tried a few different methods out to try and pin point the issue a bit more and found out im getting the most resistance when working down from 3rd to 2nd. Can also get this resistance with or without the engine running. If I push it into a gear you know that first little bit of resistance you get that stops it slipping into any gear from neutral that is what can be really strong sometimes and that I have to really push through it to get it into that gear.. After that though that gear will be ok. BUT if I release, reset the clutch then it can lock up again getting into that gear. When I face the strong resistance it feels like I feel a slight grind in the stick when having to push it into gear but then immediatelly after if I reselect that gear without releasing the clutch it'll be ok.

Ok so I hope thats a little help at identifying this issue if any of you know any more.

Just to let you all know the joy im having with my new e46 in it's first week... it has now gone on a bulb blowing mission! it blew the rear left outer bulbs yesterday (both sides and indicator) replaced them and within 5 seconds it blew them again.. it had also started giving an incorrect reading on the rear right saying something is out when they are all working fine. Can I get a refund on a warranty or just the vehicle fixed as in my opinion now it seems non fit for purpose!

Thanks all for your help.

Simon / Breeza (nik-name)
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Old 08-25-2008, 04:40 PM   #9
willsbma
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Not too sure about the tranny thing but for your bulb problem, it could be the harness that plugs into the light. Mine actually burned a pin completely off and I had to work some magic on it. Look at the connector and see if it is good or not.
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:06 AM   #10
mcbreez
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Going to get it seen to this week by a garage that my uncle has spoken to and agree the gear change should be reasonably smooth and not stiff and hopefully they can back me against the dealer who has agreed to let me have the work done locally and they will pay as the dealer i purchased it from is 100 miles away... not driving back there!
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:18 AM   #11
kafka
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Bump.

What turned out to be the issue, and what was the solution?
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:43 PM   #12
Marc T
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Hi, did you have any luck with this. Mine is exactly the same and I'm stuck where to start.

Thanks
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Old 10-19-2014, 12:45 AM   #13
quickad
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Bump. Anyone solve this issue?
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Old 10-20-2014, 05:20 AM   #14
sprintman
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Had same and changed the oil to Redline MTL and then it was fine. OEM fluid isn't that good to start with and then it degrades
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Old 10-20-2014, 06:58 AM   #15
CheapDailyDriver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quickad View Post
Bump. Anyone solve this issue?
You realize the OP's question is from over 6 years ago..... Just sayin
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Old 10-20-2014, 08:00 AM   #16
glhx
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Doesn't matter when the post was. Others read through these threads looking for similar situations and fixes......post 14 is the only answer to this thread. The op has done nothing to help this community. He came for what he wanted and was gone as fast as he showed up.

If you see a ten year old thread not answered and you have the answer to it. Post it.
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