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2008 328i horrible shifting

Discussion in 'E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006-2011)' started by eKevin, Jul 8, 2008.

    eKevin guest

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    I just bought a 2008 328i h/t convertible with auto-trans about 1 month ago (1,500 miles on it) and am so annoyed by the shifting characteristics that I'm ready to sell this thing!

    Trying to drive mellow to save tires and gas is impossible. For instance:

    1) In "D" mode, it shifts from 1 to 2 before you get across the cross-walk and has a pause where you get that lean forward motion because the car hasn't enough momentum to keep rolling. Downshifts are OK.

    2) In "DS" mode, the up-shifts are OK, but the down shifts has yet another pause between gears where it free wheels for a second or so losing any engine compression breaking that was going on. Quite a scary feeling when coming into a turn and all of a sudden the car feels like it's in nuetral!

    3) And lastly, when rolling on the gas to get on the freeway and you decide to stomp on it, there's another HUGE delay, sort of like turbo-lag - but it doesn't have a turbo!. Holly s#$@! Nice way to get killed wen the car doesn't respond!

    Sure, with example 1 or 2, you drive it like you stole it and it has no problems, but I don't want to drive like that all the time. I hate this tranny with a passion! Anyone experiencing this characteristic or could there be a problem here? :mad:
    • Member


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    I drive a 2007 328i sedan with steptronic and I've had similar frustrations amplified by the fact that I have driven both a steptronic 2003 325i and a 2003 330i manual. The 2003 steptronic was much better than this one in my opinion. I have been told by my service advisor that part of the acceleration delay is a throttle delay with the 2007 because the accelerator "signal" goes to an electronic box that controls the thottle electronically and that this causes a delay in the throttle response that the previous generation 3 series didn't have. My dealer's service department has also wiped the transmission memory clean on my car (this is the adaptive transmission memory that it supposed to learn and recall your driving style and shift accordingly) at one visit and this helped noticeably for awhile but now its back to the same. At a service visit last week my service advisor tells me a software correction is in the works for this problem but is not yet here.

    sandrade guest

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    Thats funny, i took delivery of my 2008 328 Convertible and I don't have that problem whatsoever.. However, prior to delivery, i went to my service advisor and had all of the software updated in the car, idrive, transmission, etc.... I did notice the delay on my demo test drive in another 328 but not in my new one..

    bedtime5 guest

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    Don't use the automatic

    I had issues with my automatic - hated it also. In normal D it is incredibly sluggish and will not downshift unless you floor it. When you need power it isn't there.

    In sport mode you get a few more revs but I noticed under heavy throttle that "weird" things happen. Sometimes it seems to get stuck between gears and can't decide what it wants to do.

    So I gave up. I drive 95% of the time in manual mode and enjoy it. You don't have to use 1st gear at all most of the time if you don't want to. I would recommend to just shift manually and don't bother to go lower than second unless you want some extra acceleration from a stand still or want to enjoy hearing the engine run up. It's a way better experience. I had to learn to somewhat forcefully make the shifts though -- especially downshifts. If you just flick it, it sometimes doesn't respond the way you would like.
    • Member


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    It's a slushbox, whaddya expect? :rolleyes:
    Just get a manual.

    Jakester1168 guest

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    One day all of these electronics are going to bite us right in the "you know where"...how I miss the days of manual everything...:)
    • Member


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    +1000 Buy a Manual, you decide when to shift and how fast!! :cool:


    rbs1941 guest

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    I have similar but apparently less severe promlems with the Steptronic in my '08 328i Coupe. My biggest complaint is the whining sound that the Steptronic makes especially at slower speeds in low gears. Stevens Creek BMW says this is normal and they seem to be right, as loaners I've driven make the same noise and so did my '06 325i. It's not only annoying but distracting as there is always a low=grade whine in the background. Does yours do this, too?

    Zymurgy guest

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    Buy a Sprintbooster on ebay

    I agree with all the commits above on the response of the steptronic tranny. I did alot of research on the sprintbooster. It is a easy hook up and changes the the response significately. I bought it to remove the off the line delay, but what I love about it is the quick downshifts at cruise speed. If I want a quick change before I would try to put it in "manual" mode but was still dissatified with the results. Now cruising at highway speeds I don't hardly ever go to manual because I am so happy with the steptronics response.
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    I had a 2007 328xi and had so many problems with the Steptronic that I traded it in for a 2008 335i. Took a $10,000 loss, but now I am really, really happy with my car. The 328 uses a GM transmission form France and the 335 uses a German tranny from ZF. The ZF tranny is one of the best in the world.

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