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Registered User
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1
e36 transmission problem

hi all
i own a 1992 bmw 325i. its an automatic transmission. my problem is that my car is stuck in a higher gear(most probably 3rd) therefore the car is very sluggish. when starting from stand still position the car moves forward in 3rd gear and doesnt uses 1st & 2nd. pl guide me wat to do.
Old 05-05-2007, 04:44 AM
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Jeron's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: DFW (Hurst), Texas
Posts: 4,730
It is probably in limp mode. You could check the fluid and hope that low fluid is causing it. You can also inspect the wires coming out of the tranny for damage. You can pull the engine codes per the instruction in the Tech Info Center, but I don't think tranny faults are stored there. Finally, if you have your radio code, which you need anyway, you can pull the battery cables hold them together for about 30 seconds and reset all the electronics.

However, I suspect you will end up at a repair shop. Use the dealer if you cant find a reputable BMW mechanic.
HPDE Instructor (BMW / PCA / Apex)
Here: 1997 M3/4 Byzanz/Magma ~ 2006 Yamaha R6 ~ 1997 R1100RT ~ 1991 Ford F-150 5.8l ~ 2015 Kia Optima
Gone: 2001 330i Silver/Grey ~ 98 Camry V6 ~ 97 Camry I4 ~ 97 Mazda 626 I4 ~ 93 Sentra SE-R ~ 88 Toyota Truck I4
Old 05-05-2007, 11:59 AM
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Registered User
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Norman, OK
Posts: 1
BMW Roundel I think I had the same problem.

My '95 325i Conv. has an overhauled transmission, now. It started with sluggish and vague shifting, it led to the limp home mode mentioned above. The transmission fault light on the dash was on. It looks like gear cog in yellow and next to the brake pad wear indicator light.

I could take off in 1st gear after restarting the car, but as soon as the Transmission Control Module (TCM) called for overdrive (4th) it would hesitate and then go back to third gear and stay, the light would come on.

The TCM had an electrical fault causing a shifting in and out of overdrive. The overdrive drum had failed as a result. It was both electrical and mechanical failure.

Or so I'm told by the old man that overhauled it (Jack King, Transmission Clinic, Norman, OK). I sent the TCM to Mastercraft for overhaul, where they called to tell me it wasn't even a rebuildable core. What they guessed was that the compartment where it's stored on the firewall right side, had leaked or gotten moisture in it and slowly corroded the circuit board and internals. Once it failed, it was total. DME may be right behind it and next on the list.

I hope yours isn't the same, but it sure sounded familiar when I read it.

Good Luck and let us know what you find.

By the way it's a General Motors Transmission 4L30E, built in France...worse. It's the same slush box as is in an Isuzu Rodeo and a half dozen other RWD vehicles. There is a guy on ebay that has a great deal and a 2 year warranty, you can find it by using 4L30E to search. His tag line is doesn't matter what it goes in, it the same price to overhaul. I think it was around $1400.00. I was about to order one, when I found Mr. King. He had a great reputation in BMWs and was local, so no shipping or core & included install. He did it for $1300.00. Both seemed fair.
Old 05-12-2007, 07:22 PM
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