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SMG Transmission - comments?

Discussion in 'E46 (1999-2006)' started by romanforum, Mar 18, 2017.

    • Member

    romanforum

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    I'm looking at an 04 330 with the SMG transmission and thought I'd ask the community about driving experience and exactly how bad it is with regard to frequency and expense of repairs (which I expect). I'm looking at this because I prefer the manual driving experience but am old enough to have minor hip pain that could get worse in the coming years. Any input on this would be much appreciated!
    -Bob
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    see these:

    http://independentmotorcars.com/2011/01/24/smg-serious-money-gone-on-your-bmw/

    http://oppositelock.kinja.com/an-faq-for-the-commonly-misunderstood-bmw-smg-ii-transm-1593268705

    from ^ : "The transmission itself usually holds up fine, it’s the hydraulic pump, the solenoids, and the relays that fail (and if you really want to get technical, the pumps tend to hold up fine, it’s the motors within that fail). These items can get expensive."

    I recall some posts with the suggested fix being replacing with quotes of $12k-$13k. I can't categorically reject the SMG since I just don't have direct, personal experience - I think the collective is that fixes are expensive, & it would seem are not necessarily a permanent fix. Replacing an automatic BMW trans might be less than 1/2 that, a few years ago it was $5k for my mom's E38, $2.5k for rebuilt trans & $2.5k labor for the swap. Apparently the SMG shifts quite fast, as it's basically an electro-mechanical system doing the same as you'd do with your left leg - as for me, I think I could live with a regular auto trans if need be since replacing that would be about the same as the book value of the car vs. 2-3x book value. Just depends how you value it, what you want to throw money at, & whether you mind the prospect of throwing money at the same thing repeatedly, I suppose.
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    charlson89

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    They are great when they work but are very expensive when they fail. And they all will fail on the hydraulic pumps and solenoids. Like mentioned above by garrison this can be pricy, me personally I would not purchase one.
    • Member

    romanforum

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    Thanks to you both- great input. I'm passing on this one.

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