1991 BMW 525i Skipping out of Drive

Tiny
CAWTHY360
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 BMW 525I
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 166,000 MILES
My auto transmission skips out of Drive into (I think) 4th gear. I'm thinking it may be the transmission fluid level being low (17 years old), but my model does not have a dipstick to check.
Best Wishes.
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Thursday, January 8th, 2009 AT 1:28 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
DR. HAGERTY
  • MEMBER
When you say skipping out of drive, are you talking about a pendulum shift, where it goes in and out of gear, or it just doesn't stay in converter clutch lock-up? The oil level can be determined from the oil fill port on the right side of the body of the transmission, above the pan and towards the rear. Check it with the engine running and with the oil temperature between 30 and 50 degrees C. It is the plug that is an 8mm Allen.
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Thursday, January 8th, 2009 AT 1:50 PM
Tiny
CAWTHY360
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By slipping I mean the transmission "clunks" out of Drive and into (I now know) 3rd gear and gives me a "trans program" message on the dashboard. I've discovered this is a common problem. The transmission does this as an emergency measure apparently, due to a failing speed sensor, which costs tens rather than thousand of pounds to fix. No need for a rebuilt, just a replacement part. I thoght I'd let you know, to pass it on. Best Wishes.
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Thursday, January 8th, 2009 AT 2:10 PM
Tiny
DR. HAGERTY
  • MEMBER
Did you get this information from the internet? If it is a speed sensor, the pan will need to be removed to replace it. If it is something else, like the force motor solenoid or an internal fault in the shift body, then the replacement of the speed sensor will have no effect. It could also require a replacement chip set for the EGS module. I am hopeful your problem is as you say the sensor, and if it is then cheers mate, and best wishes to you as well.
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Thursday, January 8th, 2009 AT 2:19 PM
Tiny
CAWTHY360
  • MEMBER
Hi. Thanks for reply, and yes, the EGS is involved, but only in order to remove and replace, which reboots it. Also, a check for all connectors between drive and computer, plus battery connections. Looks like a clear case of an inbuilt design fault, since the first response of anyone is to replace the transmission. This doesn't fix the problem, cos the sensor in the new transmission is still likely to fail. You're right too, that I found this solution on the net (New Zealand) but the behaviour of their car was, word for word, exactly similar. My feeling is to consider whether to do this thing or to chicken out and sell it on. I don't fancy getting rid of a great BMW 525i Auto that only cost me (gasp!) 300.
Thanks for your help and Best Wishes.
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Sunday, January 11th, 2009 AT 7:39 AM

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