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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 11-08-2013, 07:09 PM   #1
markwainwright3
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Join Date: Sep 2013
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My Ride: 2002 BMW 330 M Sport
Transmission Problems, "limp" mode, HELP!

So I've been looking all over the web and various forums and my head is spinning with all the possible answers I've been finding. So here's my issue, I have a 2002 BMW 330i M Sport with automatic transmission and today on my way to work my car started giving me acceleration and idle problems. Before this my car did NOT have a check engine light on, but it did have the ABS (brake) sensor on which I had been putting off until I found the time to change the brakes. I thought this was fine because the car seemed to me to be braking well. The car also had the yellow check oil light on. When I got to work and put my car in park I looked down at the dash and saw the TCM (Transmission fault) sensor on which looks like a gear with an ( ! ) explanation point in the middle. I quickly Googled this and found out that my car was now in "limp" mode or safe guard/protection mode. I was at work for 8 hours and after work I drove my car straight to AutoZone to have my codes read and my battery tested because I had read that a faulty battery could be a culprit. Right before I got to AutoZone my car started giving me acceleration problems again and then went completely into limp mode and I could only drive in 3rd gear. As I accelerated to get to 3rd I heard squealing, I quickly pulled into AutoZone and shut the car off. When I looked at the dash I now also had a check engine light on. I had my battery tested and codes read, the battery tested good but the codes came up as "P0734 Gear 4 Incorrect Ratio" and "P1732" which is a BMW only code that apparently means "Manufacture Control Transmission". I left my car at AutoZone until I can get it to the mechanic, I work from 6am to 6pm tomorrow so I won't be able to get it to the mechanic and they are closed on Sunday. If any of you have had this problem or have any answers for me I would appreciate a response immensely! Thank you guys in advance!
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:18 PM   #2
markwainwright3
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My Ride: 2002 BMW 330 M Sport
I also saw that aftermarket stereos could cause problems too, something about using too much voltage? I do have an aftermarket Eonon D5150 radio/navigation unit installed and was wondering if this may have contributed to the problem?
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Old 11-09-2013, 05:43 AM   #3
NumbaOneNewb
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Transmission Problems, "limp" mode, HELP!

Next time it happens disconnect your maf and run your car. See if it helps
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Old 11-09-2013, 05:58 AM   #4
petro
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I had similar symptoms and errors from a torn lower intake boot, so you might want to check that first in case its something cheap and easy...
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Old 11-09-2013, 10:08 AM   #5
markwainwright3
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Thanks for the replies, I'm at work right now but when I go to pick my car up from AutoZone later today I will check these things.
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:35 PM   #6
loujay
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same problem after rebuilding whole A/T

let me know what they found
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:23 PM   #7
markwainwright3
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My mechanic told me that the transmission was bad and quoted me $3,741.79 to rebuild it. Loujay did you have this problem before the rebuild?
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:10 PM   #8
AutomanTurk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petro View Post
I had similar symptoms and errors from a torn lower intake boot, so you might want to check that first in case its something cheap and easy...
Had the same issue on my previous e46. Had a transmission shop tell me I needed a new transmission, another shop replaced my MAF, and in the end it was just the intake boot. Start there.
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Old 03-22-2014, 08:27 PM   #9
markwainwright3
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I know this reply is about 3 months late, but I figured I'd give an update incase anyone with the same problem happens to stumble upon this thread. So first off I did have to have the transmission rebuilt, my mechanic dropped the pan and the transmission fluid was completely black and burnt. Since I bought the car I had been having a problem with an oil leak and the check oil light coming on. My ABS brake light on the dash had also been on since I bought the car. I originally thought that my valve cover gasket was leaking but when I took it to my mechanic to get fixed he told me my vanos line and oil filter housing gasket were leaking, which I saw and confirmed. I had them both replaced and I didn't have to top off the oil for a while, but recently it starting leaking even worse than before to the point where I would have a small puddle of oil in my driveway every day. I was having to top off with a quart of oil every other week. I came to the conclusion from visually inspecting the car while it was jacked up that my oil pan gasket was leaking. I had this replaced a couple months ago and after a week the oil light was back on, but I wasn't having to add nearly as much oil as before. It was around this time that I started to see thick billowing smoke come from my exhaust on cold start ups or when taking off from a complete stop. I tried to convince myself the first couple of times I saw it that it was just steam, but I live in Florida and it was not cold enough for steam from the exhaust. My worst fear was that it was the head gasket. I had tried to determine whether the smoke was white or if it had a blue tint to it, but I could never get out of my car fast enough to tell and it only happened sporadically. Other than the smoke I had no signs of a blown head gasket, no milky oil or coolant, or sweet smelling exhaust. From doing research I thought that my CCV might be clogged or leaking, which would account for the exhaust smoke and the oil leaks. I had my mechanic do a block test on my car and check out the CCV, the head gasket was fine and turns out that the CCV was severely clogged causing a large amount of oil pressure in the engine which is why leaks kept springing from every freaking possible place. The mechanic told me that when they removed my oil dipstick while the car was running that oil shot across the garage. I had the CCV replaced and thank God the oil leaks, and smoke are finally gone, with an added bonus of having better MPG now. My mechanic also mentioned my ABS light and said that the guy who test drove my car said the brakes were great and that they had cleared the code but it came back on, they discovered that the sensor wire had been torn and that is the reason the light is on. I hope this will answer questions for someone who has had any of the same problems I've had.
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