Hello there and welcome to the BMW Car Club of America.

If you are a BMW CCA member, please log in and introduce yourself in our Member Introductions section.

cold gear changes

Discussion in 'E46 M3 (2001-2006)' started by raucky88M3, Jan 16, 2010.

    • Member

    raucky88M3

    Post Count: 7
    Likes Received:1
    Anyone else have difficulty changing from 1st to 2nd in cold temperatures? Sub 35 F, I can't engage 2nd gear once moving. After about a mile of driving, it seems as though the transmission has warmed up and will accept the 1-2 shift. I have corresponded with Mike Miller but am curious if others have a similar issue.

    Thanks!
    • Member

    rmikus1

    Post Count: 2
    Likes Received:0
    1-2 shift

    I have an '02 E46 M3 with 100,400 miles. 1-2 shift is a little difficult when the car is cold. I've found it helps to "pause" in neutral for a second when this is the case- seems to help a bit.
    • Member

    raucky88M3

    Post Count: 7
    Likes Received:1
    Interesting. I have been through the 'start moving in 2nd gear' and 'shift from 1st to 3rd'. I'll try this, but when you pause, the rpms drop. Do you then blip the throttle to better match road speed/rpms?

    Thanks for your reply!
    • Member

    granthr

    Post Count: 1,583
    Likes Received:2
    BMWs are known for their transmissions to have trouble with the 1st to 2nd shift. Try putting Redline MTL in the trans, it should help somewhat. My E30s have this same issue and sometimes when they are cold they don't like to go into first either when I come to a stop.
    • Member

    rmikus1

    Post Count: 2
    Likes Received:0
    I don't do anything with the throttle on the 1-2 shift except lifting off. Things to try include: double clutching 1-2 when it's cold or allowing the shifter to move into the full neutral position (allowing the spring mechanism to move it to its resting place between 3-4 in my gearbox (2-3 in yours) before engaging 2nd.

    bmwmfan guest

    Post Count: 21
    Likes Received:0
    I concur with this advice. All of my cold weather cars/trucks have been filled with Redline. Redline has much lower viscosity in cold weather as well as better friction coefficient for proper synchro mesh than just general synthetic gear oil.

    csxander guest

    Post Count: 17
    Likes Received:0
    I agree also. I have an E39 and was having the same problem. Just changed the transmission fluid with Redline MTL and it's better, not perfect but better. While I was at it I also changed the differential with Redline 75w90.
    • Member

    TommyBuckman

    Post Count: 16
    Likes Received:0
    I agree with the group above. I have a 2000 M Roadster, and could not hardly make it shift from 1st to 2nd on cold days, just like you are experiencing. Before doing a HPDE, I decided to change the trans fluid. When I opened the plugs, 90w gear oil ran out. A previous owner must have put this in, because the factory trans fluid is not standard gear oil. I refilled with Royal Purple Synthetic Trans fluid, and the problem went away. I have since put Redline Synthetic Trans Fluid in it due to changing out the rear main seal on the engine, and the Redline was readily available. I think if you change to a synthetic, your problem will go away.

    NVS PWR guest

    Post Count: 2
    Likes Received:0
    I run REDLINE DTF4 in both my M's 6 spd & the SMG - NO COLD WEATHER PROBLEMS CARS DRIVEN ALL YEAR
    • Member

    raucky88M3

    Post Count: 7
    Likes Received:1
    Recently did another transmission fluid change as 30k miles have gone by. I used Mike Miller's suggestion of RedLine ATF D4. Seems much better so far, even at temps approaching 40* F.
    • Member
    • Staff

    steven s

    Post Count: 2,259
    Likes Received:71
    I've been using Redline ATF for years. I don't think there is anything magically about it.
    For a few years I had a hard time getting into gear. Problem: Stuck clutch slave cylinder when cold.
    • Member

    raucky88M3

    Post Count: 7
    Likes Received:1
    Interesting. How did you discover the sticking slave cylinder? Why only when cold?
    • Member
    • Staff

    steven s

    Post Count: 2,259
    Likes Received:71
    My indy shop told me. I lived with it for years. Didn't really bother me.
    I had it fixed when the tranny needed to come for other work.

    Not sure why only when cold.
    My guess is there is some kind of lubricant that hardens.
    Just a guess.
    • Member

    smjohs

    Post Count: 6
    Likes Received:0
    My '04 six speed with 59k is stiff to shift when cold as well. However, I am still able to engage 2nd and 3rd with gentle persuasion during freezing temps. We had a couple of weeks of single digit temps in Colorado recently..I drove the 4Runner. Has the transmission fluid been recently changed?
    • Member

    smjohs

    Post Count: 6
    Likes Received:0
    An excellent description of gently persuasion
    • Member

    MGarrison

    Post Count: 2,842
    Likes Received:144
    You dug up an old thread here, but you might try Redline MTL synthetic trans. fluid, which might help. Still needs warmup time though, once the engine temp's up a bit, generally pretty good.
    • Member

    raucky88M3

    Post Count: 7
    Likes Received:1
    I had tried the Redline MTL before Redline D4. There is a difference in the shifting ease using the D4 in colder temperatures. I don't know if there is a wear factor at higher temperatures. I know TMS recommends and used D4 in their E46 M3s without any disclaimer of added wear/shorter life expectancy. I'm glad I changed to the D4.
    • Member

    MGarrison

    Post Count: 2,842
    Likes Received:144
    Yes - I should have said DTF4 too!

Share This Page