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Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning
Talk about driveline improvements, NA tuning and DME tuning your E46 BMW here. This includes diffs, intakes, exhausts, chips, software and OBD tuning.

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Old 08-07-2013, 03:48 AM   #1
gstiag
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Irvine CA
Posts: 85
My Ride: 05 ZHP
Is this normal behavior for a Steptronic trans?

I have an steptronic that I think might be failing. I am looking for opinions, advice or someone who has experienced the same and what was done to correct it. Or, is this normal behavior?

The car is a 2005 330I ZHP with 60K. I have had it for about 6 weeks. Questionable maintenance history. Car fax shows it was at the dealer twice for service. No other records. The FCAB’s that were on the car said ‘made in China’. This tells me the PO was fairly cheap and did not really care about proper parts or maintence.

Symptoms:

The car will sometimes hold a gear during normal acceleration until it hits redline. This happens in standard drive and sport. If you back off slightly it will not upshift. If you back off completely it will still hold the gear. Only way to get it to upshift is to take it to redline or change it to sport and manually upshift. Problem is this happens sometimes when the car is cold. I am not comfortable redlining the car when it is not at normal operating temp.

Also - Sometimes when slowing to a stop the car will downshift 'hard' from 3rd to 2nd then 2nd to 1st. This happens in standard drive or sport. The downshift can be hard enough to get the tires to chirp. Other times it is fairly smooth. Either way it is a happening way to early and way to hard. Also if I let off the gas at freeway speed the car will downshift from 5th to 4th at about 50mph. Other times from 4th to 3rd depending on speed. This happens without braking. It seems like the computer is trying to anticipate what I am going to do.

I am in the process of getting all of the maintence up to date. Biggest problem is the Vanos. Rattles like a can of marbles. I am replacing with an updated/rebuilt unit from Dr Vanos this weekend and I am hoping this will take care of some of the performance issues. If the computer is reading a poorly performing engine, I would have to think it is trying to compensate with odd transmission behavior?? Or I could be completely wrong.

One important thing I left out – The fluid and filter were changed last week. It did not change any of the behavior noted.

Last edited by gstiag; 08-07-2013 at 05:52 AM. Reason: Symptoms
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:31 AM   #2
Leezy321
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Boston
Posts: 270
My Ride: 2001 bmw 325i
Is this normal behavior for a Steptronic trans?

Even if it had a immaculate maintenance history, a lot of these cars are being sold and traded in bcuz of transmission issues. I know I found out the hard way.

My car basically was doing the same things as yours'. Weird shifts, hard shifts, staying in gear too long. I noticed it within a few days of buying my 325. Then one morning when I started the car it was in "limp mode". I brought it back to the dealer (7 days after purchase) and sure enough my tranny was blown... They replaced it with a little persuasion from my lawyer and ate the $3600k bill. Good luck!


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Old 08-07-2013, 10:39 AM   #3
gstiag
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Irvine CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leezy321 View Post
Even if it had a immaculate maintenance history, a lot of these cars are being sold and traded in bcuz of transmission issues. I know I found out the hard way.

My car basically was doing the same things as yours'. Weird shifts, hard shifts, staying in gear too long. I noticed it within a few days of buying my 325. Then one morning when I started the car it was in "limp mode". I brought it back to the dealer (7 days after purchase) and sure enough my tranny was blown... They replaced it with a little persuasion from my lawyer and ate the $3600k bill. Good luck!


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Yikes.. Not what I wanted to hear. I guess I might have to spend the money if I want to keep the car. Anyone know a good BMW transmission shop in Orange County CA?
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:53 AM   #4
Leezy321
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Join Date: May 2013
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Is this normal behavior for a Steptronic trans?

You can do a manual swap (if that's something that interests you) for less money... I tried to convince the dealer to do one on mine to save $$$ and they weren't having it. If I had to pay out of pocket I would've 100% went that route...


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Old 08-07-2013, 12:25 PM   #5
gstiag
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Irvine CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leezy321 View Post
You can do a manual swap (if that's something that interests you) for less money... I tried to convince the dealer to do one on mine to save $$$ and they weren't having it. If I had to pay out of pocket I would've 100% went that route...


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Definitely something to consider.. I will have to do some research on costs. Anything trans related is not DIY for me so I would need to find a shop willing to do it.
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