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E46 6sp Transmission Problems

Discussion in 'E46 (1999-2006)' started by Len013091, Jul 25, 2008.

    Len013091 guest

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    I figured this would make a good first post on here. I have an 05 ZHP with 330i 37k miles and it is under warranty till September this year. My problems are as follows:

    Well, today was the day. I've had it with my 6 speed. 2nd gear is almost useless during hard acceleration since it takes so long to synchronize. I've been to my dealer three times already to get it looked at. They keep saying it's normal. I bought the car with 31k miles and the transmission was fine. But now, with 37k miles, it feels like crap. I've tried almost every fluid, but none of helps after 500 miles. It just goes back to normal. I've only ground 2nd once, but that was right after I put my clutch stop in and I'd already been having this problem.

    First off, when I went to the dealer, they claimed that my STOCK shifter was an aftermarket one and causing the issue. So, I put in a BMW performance one, which only made things worse. I then went back to the dealer to have them look at it again, this time with the updated part. On the test drive, even the mechanic ground second cause it took so long to sync up.

    So, fast fore ward to today, it was pretty hot out, and I was in traffic. 2nd gear just kept getting harder and harder to engage. Eventually, I just got mad and just gave up on it and started not using the clutch. When I did this, (revmatching, of course), 2nd gear engaged like all the others. It was perfectly smooth. However, this is a BMW, not a Mack-B model, so, I shouldn't have to be that careful to make second engage smoothly.

    I love this car, but this poor gear engagement takes a lot of the fun out of it. It's only on 2nd gear, so, I highly doubt it was caused by me or the previous owner. Has anyone here had their transmissions replaced due to this issue or similar? If so, I would like to know as much as possible about it, because I need to get this fixed and you help could convince the dealer it's not normal. I test drove another 2004 330i and all the gears were absolutely perfect.

    I would appreciate it if any of you guys could give me some advice as to how I should proceed with this problem.

    Autohaus guest

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    Seems like the dealer is looking the other way when you mention this problem to them. Have you contacted BMW headquarters in Woodcliff Lake, NJ about this situation? 800-334-4269 and tell them that the dealer originally blamed you for an "aftermarket shifter" causing the problem. Have you spoken to the service manager? Also, if the mechanic test drove the car and noticed the same problem that you have been having, how come he didn't recommend getting it fixed?!:confused:

    Len013091 guest

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    When he noticed the problem (ground 2nd), he said that it was perfectly normal. I do plan to call BMW NA if the dealership continues to give me the run around about this problem.

    Autohaus guest

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    At times its wise to use reverse pyshology on them (not sure if thats spelled right :confused:). For example, when the mechanic mentioned what he said, you could have said, "Would you let your daughter drive this car knowing it does that"? "Would you let your loving wife drive a car knowing that it has a defect/problem"? You also could mention that you drove a 2004 ZHP and it didn't have that problem. I wonder if BMW mechanics drive BMW's. I bet if they had a problem with their 2002 325i (just using that car as an example), they would have it on their lift and fixed on their lunch hour in no time....:confused:
    • Member

    az3579

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    Agreed. The gear not engaging in time and grinding as a result is not normal in any car, be it American, Japanese, German, English, Korean, or even Russian. They need to get their arses on this case while the car is still under warranty. Sure, some German cars owners (especially for Audi's) have to shift a bit slower than usual to engage 2nd gear, but it definitely shouldn't be so slow as to disrupt normal acceleration. It should take no more than a full second to go from 1st to 2nd and if it does, I would say something is wrong.

    Is going into 2nd gear graunchy at all or is it smooth transition but it grinds regardless?

    Len013091 guest

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    Crunchy is the best way to describe it. It happens at all times, not just during hard acceleration. It gets very pronouced at higher engine speeds. It feels like three or four of the dog teeth grind before it engages. You can definitely hear it.
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    330indy1

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    it's simple. it's a bad synchro. it's drivetrain. it's under warranty.
    get r done!

    Autohaus guest

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    :mad:
    The problem is the stealer is not helping him out here. I suggested earlier that he should contact Woodcliff Lake on this matter and for him to speak to the service manager or go to another dealer. Stealers give BMW a bad name :mad:.

    Len013091 guest

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    I wish it would be that simple, but they insist that it's normal. Would it be out of line to take the manager for a ride in one of the other six- speeds on the lot to show him that it's not normal? I'm going to give that a try first and then its a phone call to BMW NA.
    • Member

    az3579

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    Just don't tell them ahead of time. Some stealers go through great lengths not to do something for you. If you tell em' ahead of time, they'll find a way to get another 330i with the same problem and take you in a test drive in that one. If you can, randomly select which one to test drive (if there is a selection) to make it fair.

    dserauskas guest

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    e46 trans shifting problem

    First that transmission is not under warranty now because you tried different none apporved fluids in it :( . That transmission comes with mtf-lt2 trans fluid it is a syn. trans fluid that has a life time fill rating(or 100,000 miles) Now since you voided your warranty you can remove the lock valve on your slave cylinder. Bavarian autosport sells one for $29.95. This lock valve is used to dampan the engagement of the clutch, to prolonge clutch wear. And BMW techs. do drive BMW. I own an X3

    Len013091 guest

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    It's got MTL-2 in there right now.

    dserauskas guest

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    That valve should fix your problem, just remenber it will void your waranty!! What other fluids have you tried?

    Len013091 guest

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    I've tried Redline D4 ATF, MTL, MT-90 and finally went back to MTL-2 since nothing made a difference. I don't think my car came with that CDV, or maybe the previous owner took it out.

    dserauskas guest

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    The part looks like the stock check valve so just looking at it it would be hard to tell,remove it and look at it. Who did you have change the oil in it?

    Len013091 guest

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    I did all four of the oild changes myself. I checked the valve again, and I can't see anything but the rubber line connecting to the steel solid line at the bracket. Also, how could you blame different fluids for transmission problems if it only affects one single gear, not all the others?

    dserauskas guest

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    I'm not blaming the fluids for the problem, dose the problem only happen when you are hard on it? The only reason it caused the trans to fall out of waranty is because it was not appoved for the use in that transmission, all the fluids you listed I would use in my own car that was not under waranty.

    Len013091 guest

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    It used to happen only while I was up in the higher rpm range, but it's creeping down lower (2000-3000) as of late. It seems like the 2nd gear synchro is slowing grinding itself away. BTW, which BMW dealer do you work at?

    dserauskas guest

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    When you changed the oil did you notice any large metal particles in the oil,You would want to look for brass color particles.It is normal to have small flacks of metal in the oil this is normal, or if the oil is all metal particles this is bad. The dealer would have inspected the oil so i would say it is ok, because if it wasn't you would have a new transmission. Sorry i can't tell you what dealer this is free advice only. just trying to help. I would still say it is this valve and it is located between two steel lines from the master to the slave.I only say this because i had a friend with the same problem he removed this valve and second gear engaged alot better.

    Len013091 guest

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    My dealer has never taken a look at the oil in the transmission. It never gets that far.

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