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Old 08-30-2019, 05:50 AM   #1
tivanov
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: North Macedonia
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My Ride: BMW E46 330d
Year: 2004
Model: E46 330D
Transmission: Auto
Very weird auto transmission slipping problem

Hi everyone,

I have a very specific transmission slipping problem that has been bothering for a while.

The place where I park my car is a little higher than the road and sometimes when I climb the "hill" the transmission starts slipping.
To be more specific, I engage drive, start climbing and the engine RPM climbs but the car stays still. After certain RPM have been reached, I feel a kick forward and the car starts moving.
This happens very rarely, all the other times the transmission is working properly. Gear changes are smooth and there is no slipping while driving.

I have recently replaced the torque converter along with all of the transmission fluid from the transmission (It was filled with fluid while removed from the car).
This appears to have made the problem worse, because the last time it started slipping there was no kick, the car wouldn't climb the hill and the cog warning light appeared.
Reverse still worked fine, so I used it to park my car somewhere safe. When I got back (5 minutes later) with a laptop and INPA, the cog of death was gone and the transmission was working properly.
The error that caused the cog of death was something about the output speed sensor, which I think is logical since the car was revving in gear but not moving. I checked the output speed sensor and it is working fine when the car is moving. I also checked the transmission temperature (~200F, same as the engine at the moment) and the turbine speed sensor, which was also fine.

Almost forgot to mention, my car is an E46 330d sedan (204hp model) with 260k kilometers.

Please help, I love my car but this problem is driving me crazy.

Best regards,
tivanov

Last edited by tivanov; 08-30-2019 at 05:51 AM.
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Old 08-30-2019, 08:44 AM   #2
markusmarkus
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The first step in diagnosing a problem is to scan the engine computer (DME) and the automatic transmission computer (EGS) with proper software to get all of the codes. Is the transmission a ZF or a GM? The use different fluids. The GM transmission uses Dexron3 while the ZF transmission uses a more exotic fluid. Did you follow the manufacturer’s procedure when filling the transmission? Basically, both under- and over-filling the transmission will cause issues. Did you replace the fluid filter? If you did, what brand did you use? One the transmissions (ZF or GM) has a problem with the wiring harness that needs to be checked and corrected if it’s damaged. Also I think the software in the EGS for the GM transmission was updated do to correct for a fluid pressure issue when the transmission is cold.
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Old 08-30-2019, 09:14 AM   #3
tivanov
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Location: North Macedonia
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My Ride: BMW E46 330d
Year: 2004
Model: E46 330D
Transmission: Auto
Thanks for the reply markusmarkus.

The car has a GM transmission. I have updated the software myself using ISTA-P through ICOM interface. I have access to ISTA-D and INPA as well and did scan the car, but there are no DME errors and the only EGS error was present was the one I described.
When I changed the oil I used proper Dexron fluid with Febi filter and filled it according to the specification (I believe it was aroiund 8l of fluid, since the torque converter was new and empty too).

Do you think that the wiring harness may cause such problems? All the sensors seam to work properly, according to INPA's live measurements.

Also, I went to see my mechanic friend that specializes in BMW and he thinks that the transmission is faulty. Since there are no transmission specialists in my country that can properly rebuild it, my only (very crappy) option seems to be to find a used one.

I believe I have read somewhere that a transmission from a 150hp 320d is the same as mine. In my head, these transmissions have to put up with far less torque and, if they are the same, it is more likely to find a good used one. Do you think this is an option?
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Old 08-31-2019, 06:29 AM   #4
tttomttt
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have the fluid level rechecked. sounds silly but it is probably the most frequent cause of transmission woes and the easiest cause to check. plus you would feel foolish if you chased a bigger problem first.
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Old 08-31-2019, 06:50 AM   #5
markusmarkus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tttomttt View Post
have the fluid level rechecked. sounds silly but it is probably the most frequent cause of transmission woes and the easiest cause to check. plus you would feel foolish if you chased a bigger problem first.


I agree. The transmission fluid pan needs to be warn to the touch when checking the fluid level. Start there. What is the specific EGS code?
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Old 08-31-2019, 06:19 PM   #6
Dave1027
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tivanov View Post
I have recently replaced the torque converter along with all of the transmission fluid from the transmission (It was filled with fluid while removed from the car).
This appears to have made the problem worse,
This may be the problem. You cannot fill an auto transmission this way. Your transmission does not have the proper amount of fluid. It must be topped off with the transmission installed and the engine running at idle in park.
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Old 08-31-2019, 06:21 PM   #7
tivanov
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My Ride: BMW E46 330d
Year: 2004
Model: E46 330D
Transmission: Auto
I just finished checking the fluid and the level seems to be correct (temperature 110F, car level, running and in park, a small amount of fluid leaked).
The leaked fluid was dark red and clear, which should be ok.

Since this is my only vehicle I haven't stopped daily driving it and the transmission seams to function properly with the exception of some intermittent hesitation on start from park.

@markusmarkus, I attached a screenshot of the error from INPA (error 32). For some reason, my version of INPA displays error code data in German, but the translation should be something like speed signal not plausible. If you need more data about the error, I can read the code again on Monday with the ICOM interface.
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Last edited by tivanov; 08-31-2019 at 06:22 PM.
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