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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I have had my 2003 325ci for about five years now. Was told my transmission is done and needs to be rebuilt. I have some trouble believing this and I wonder if replacing TCU would work. Please read on...

About 2-3 years ago, I started experiencing the transmission limp mode. However, I found that simply turning the engine off/on again would do the trick and would last for about 1-3 months before going into limp mode again. At the time, I had a myriad of electrical issues and pretty much dismissed this as yet another annoying thing I'd have to eventually attend to. This continued until this past November.

Last November, my clever little trick stopped working and I could not get it to reset. So, I simply went to my regular mechanic and had him wipe codes (like I said, I've had so many other electrical issues in the past so I foolishly dismissed them). Also, just in case, I had a standard transmission tune up and replaced the fluid. Got the car back and she ran perfectly for another month and a half.

A few weeks ago, it went back into limp mode and wouldn't reset. This time, I brought it to a transmission shop. He ran the codes and basically said that it could completely break down at any moment. He advised me to not reset the codes and that the transmission absolutely should be in limp mode to be safe. He said it would need to be rebuilt for about $3600, which is of course very hard for me to swallow. I don't know the exact codes in number format but the three had to do with:

-Torque converter
-Misfire on Cyl 3
-Overheat

However, once again--perhaps I'm being very stubborn--I have a little bit of trouble believing that it is truly a mechanical issue. If those codes are legit, would I really have been able to continue to consistently drive it problem-free for years after?? Why did that tranny tune-up in November work for 1.5 months after?

I was wondering if I should try replacing the TCU. Could this be a possible solution? Or is my transmission really done?

Thanks
 

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E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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I would love some more detail on the trans code, as in a FC number to go along with the description.
Overheat: Trans oil or engine coolant?
How many miles and was the trans ever serviced before?
 

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2004 325i automagic
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Get the exact error codes in order to be able to make headway. What is that overheat code as well? Transmission temps? Details matter here. The EGS (the tcu in BMW speak) if it sees something wrong will put transmission into limp mode in order to protect it from harm, so conceivably you could get by a few years by resetting until actual damage occurs ... but this is just specualtion.

Somewhat of a longshot here, but if engine isn't running well (misfire code) sometimes that can cause a transmission limp mode, but that seems less likely here because you seem to have a torque converter code.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for responding. I don't really have those details for you at the moment. I can try getting someone to run the codes again. I was told that the trans was overheating.

145k miles and trans wasn't serviced other than that one tune up in November.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I can probably get back to you with the exact codes within the next week. Am I understanding correctly that there is a slight chance that the EGS could be giving bogus codes? If not, is it also possible that it could be a smaller repair than a full rebuild?
The guy I spoke to was all doom and gloom. I guess I'm looking for some hope lol.

Thanks again guys.
 

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You may have a bad transmission. It does happen. But even with codes we on this forum might not be able to tell you definitively. You should get a second opinion from a non-dealer BMW specialist or a transmission shop familiar with your specific transmission (Does OP have the ZF or the GM trans?)

The fact that you were able to reset codes and keep it limp mode for a month but then have it return sounds to me like it was wearing down on the inside. It doesn't sound like something obvious and simple that was always present.

However, I know I would try a used transmission, preferably from a lower-mileage wreck (verfied by a carfax if possible - you will need the VIN), for $500 + labor long before I re-built one for $3500
 

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For $20 and a little PC time you can do a lot of investigating on your transmission. Get either BMW Scanner 1.4 or BMW Standard Tools installed on a laptop to read the real BMW trouble codes, view transmission live data, and diagnose.
 

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E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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For $20 and a little PC time you can do a lot of investigating on your transmission. Get either BMW Scanner 1.4 or BMW Standard Tools installed on a laptop to read the real BMW trouble codes, view transmission live data, and diagnose.
The diagnostician in me couldn't agree more.
The 3 C's: Complaint, Cause, Correction.
Focus on the later two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Everyone, this is what I got on the Transmission Error Memory Report and the Engine Error Memory Report. I'm posting the pdf attachments too if that is easier for you. Can someone please help me make some sense of this? Looked at BMW codes and did some research. Would I be correct that the two transmission codes are for Knock Sensor- Bank 2 and Camshaft Position Sensor? Is the engine code for a misfire on Cyl 3? Thanks

Transmission:
E R R O R M E M O R Y R E P O R T
-------------------------------------
Date: 02/16/21 15:09:54
ECU: GS8604
JobStatus: OKAY
Variant: GS8604
-------------------------------------------------------------
RESULT: 2 errors in error memory !
-------------------------------------------------------------
59 Festbremsdrehzahl
Error frequency : 2
Logistic counter: 32
Error occured 1. times at:
km-Stand 229860.00 km
Schaltung laeuft 0.00 0/1
Gangeinlegen 0.00 0/1
Letzte Schaltung: Rueckschaltung 2->1 18.00 0-n
Getriebeoeltemperatur 12.00 Grad C
Drosselklappenwinkel 0.00 %
Error occured 2. times at:
km-Stand 229930.00 km
Schaltung laeuft 0.00 0/1
Gangeinlegen 0.00 0/1
Letzte Schaltung: unplausibel 0.00 0-n
Getriebeoeltemperatur 21.00 Grad C
Drosselklappenwinkel 0.00 %
Plausibilitaet
sporadischer Fehler
-------------------------------------------------------------
65 Gangueberwachung 4 (ENP)
Error frequency : 1
Logistic counter: 100
km-Stand 229860.00 km
Drosselklappenwinkel 0.00 %
Turbinendrehzahl 1696.00 1/min
Abbtriebsdrehzahl 0.00 1/min
Plausibilitaet
Ersatzfunktion aktiv
Fehler momentan vorhanden
=============================================================



Engine:
E R R O R M E M O R Y R E P O R T
-------------------------------------
Date: 02/16/21 15:11:45
ECU: MS420DS0
JobStatus: OKAY
Variant: MS420DS0
-------------------------------------------------------------
RESULT: 1 errors in error memory !
-------------------------------------------------------------
30 Ansteuerung Zuendung Zylinder 3
Error frequency : 255
Logistic counter: 36
Motordrehzahl 1152.00 1/min
Last 125.28 mg/Hub
Funkenbrenndauer 0.55 ms
Funkenbrenndauer 0.55 ms
aufgetreten vor (rel. BZ) 107.20 h
Funkenbrenndauer zu klein
Fehler nach Entprellung gespeichert
Fehler momentan nicht vorhanden
sporadischer Fehler
Errorcode: 1E A2 FF 24 24 17 00 8A B5 47
=============================================================
 

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See post #19 in linked thread below and read the attachment. You might also reach out to the author of post #19 and see where he's at with this issue:


ps...you can translate those German error codes using google translate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Get the exact error codes in order to be able to make headway. What is that overheat code as well? Transmission temps? Details matter here. The EGS (the tcu in BMW speak) if it sees something wrong will put transmission into limp mode in order to protect it from harm, so conceivably you could get by a few years by resetting until actual damage occurs ... but this is just specualtion.

Somewhat of a longshot here, but if engine isn't running well (misfire code) sometimes that can cause a transmission limp mode, but that seems less likely here because you seem to have a torque converter code.

Would you be able to check the error reports posted above? I'm a little stuck at the moment. I translated the German codes like Effduration suggested but there are no direct translations for many of these words. Thanks
 

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You're going to have to do a little more work yourself.

I right-clicked your posting in my web browser, selected "translate to english" and it translated nearly everything.

You have codes 59, 65, and 30...Although 30 may not have been a "current code"

go to google search E46 error 59, then 65, then 30...and so some research.
Did you look at the earlier post I linked?
--
59 Locking speed

65 Gear monitoring 4 (ENP)
Error currently present

30 Activation of ignition cylinder 3
error currently not available
sporadic error error
 

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2004 325i automagic
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Would you be able to check the error reports posted above? I'm a little stuck at the moment. I translated the German codes like Effduration suggested but there are no direct translations for many of these words. Thanks
I am usually able to copy and paste the INPA error reports into Google translate and get some usable information. The below is what I found out. Code 59 and 65 are clearly transmission related, but the Code 30 for cylinder 3 activation could likely be an independent issue with the engine or just intermittent and thus unrelated to transmission woes ... although sometimes poor engine performance can make the transmission wonky and go into limp mode. That happened to me once when my fuel pump was soft failing and it put the engine into limp mode ... but this only happened while the pump was actualling failing and the engine overall ran horrible and was stumbling due to lack of fuel and this only while the pump was not fully functional.

Note that if I remove the 59 from "59 Festbremsdrehzahl", google translate returns "stalling speed" which seems to be a common translation of that error code. So sometimes you have to play with the translation or at least take it loosely, and get creative with how you search in Google to come up with threads and results. It can be an interative process.

59 Festbremsdrehzahl

Error occured 1. times at:
km-Stand 229860.00 km
Schaltung laeuft 0.00 0/1
Gangeinlegen 0.00 0/1
Letzte Schaltung: Rueckschaltung 2->1 18.00 0-n
Getriebeoeltemperatur 12.00 Grad C
Drosselklappenwinkel 0.00 %

Error occured 2. times at:
km-Stand 229930.00 km
Schaltung laeuft 0.00 0/1
Gangeinlegen 0.00 0/1
Letzte Schaltung: unplausibel 0.00 0-n
Getriebeoeltemperatur 21.00 Grad C
Drosselklappenwinkel 0.00 %
Plausibilitaet
sporadischer Fehler
59 Locking speed

Error occurred 1. times at:
km reading 229860.00 km
Circuit runs 0.00 0/1
Gear engagement 0.00 0/1
Last switching: downshift 2-> 1 18.00 0-n
Gear oil temperature 12.00 degrees C
Throttle angle 0.00%

Error occurred 2. times at:
km reading 229 930.00 km
Circuit runs 0.00 0/1
Gear engagement 0.00 0/1
Last posting: implausible 0.00 0-n
Gear oil temperature 21.00 degrees C
Throttle angle 0.00%
Plausibility
sporadic error
65 Gangueberwachung 4 (ENP)
Error frequency : 1
Logistic counter: 100
km-Stand 229860.00 km
Drosselklappenwinkel 0.00 %
Turbinendrehzahl 1696.00 1/min
Abbtriebsdrehzahl 0.00 1/min
Plausibilitaet
Ersatzfunktion aktiv
Fehler momentan vorhanden
65 Gear monitoring 4 (ENP)
Error frequency: 1
Logistic counter: 100
km reading 229860.00 km
Throttle angle 0.00%
Turbine speed 1696.00 1 / min
Output speed 0.00 1 / min
Plausibility
Substitute function active
Error currently present
30 Ansteuerung Zuendung Zylinder 3
Error frequency : 255
Logistic counter: 36
Motordrehzahl 1152.00 1/min
Last 125.28 mg/Hub
Funkenbrenndauer 0.55 ms
Funkenbrenndauer 0.55 ms
aufgetreten vor (rel. BZ) 107.20 h
Funkenbrenndauer zu klein
Fehler nach Entprellung gespeichert
Fehler momentan nicht vorhanden
sporadischer Fehler
Errorcode: 1E A2 FF 24 24 17 00 8A B5 47
30 Activation of ignition cylinder 3
Error frequency: 255
Logistic counter: 36
Engine speed 1152.00 1 / min
Load 125.28 mg / stroke
Spark duration 0.55 ms
Spark duration 0.55 ms
occurred before (rel. BZ) 107.20 h
Spark duration too short
Errors saved after debouncing
Error does not exist at the moment
sporadic error
Error code: 1E A2 FF 24 24 17 00 8A B5 47

The thread that Effduration seems like a good avenue of investigation if you haven't read it through to the end, although it may not want to be the answer you'ld like to hear since it turned out to require a transmission rebuild because one of the clutch packs was burned out. I think that is what the gear monitoring error code relates to, where the observed input and output rotation does not match what they should be for a particular gear. This also assumes the speed sensors in the transmission, or their wiring, are functional. I'm not a transmission expert, but that seems to be the general idea behind the gear monitoring codes from what I understand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You're going to have to do a little more work yourself.

I right-clicked your posting in my web browser, selected "translate to english" and it translated nearly everything.

You have codes 59, 65, and 30...Although 30 may not have been a "current code"

go to google search E46 error 59, then 65, then 30...and so some research.
Did you look at the earlier post I linked?
--
59 Locking speed

65 Gear monitoring 4 (ENP)
Error currently present

30 Activation of ignition cylinder 3
error currently not available
sporadic error error

Agh, I'm sorry about that. As you can probably tell, I am not very fluent in much of the lingo so some of the info has been a bit of a whirlwind and then I got confused with the translations. Now I see how it obviously relates to my issue. Thanks

Now that I look again at the attachment on Comment #19, I see that this really could be an avenue as my car has hit two deer in the past and not everything is original. Sounds like I may first need to check connections and then try getting a new EGS. Do you have any insight on how the different codes may relate to each other? I'll reach out to that person as well. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I am usually able to copy and paste the INPA error reports into Google translate and get some usable information. The below is what I found out. Code 59 and 65 are clearly transmission related, but the Code 30 for cylinder 3 activation could likely be an independent issue with the engine or just intermittent and thus unrelated to transmission woes ... although sometimes poor engine performance can make the transmission wonky and go into limp mode. That happened to me once when my fuel pump was soft failing and it put the engine into limp mode ... but this only happened while the pump was actualling failing and the engine overall ran horrible and was stumbling due to lack of fuel and this only while the pump was not fully functional.

Note that if I remove the 59 from "59 Festbremsdrehzahl", google translate returns "stalling speed" which seems to be a common translation of that error code. So sometimes you have to play with the translation or at least take it loosely, and get creative with how you search in Google to come up with threads and results. It can be an interative process.

59 Festbremsdrehzahl

Error occured 1. times at:
km-Stand 229860.00 km
Schaltung laeuft 0.00 0/1
Gangeinlegen 0.00 0/1
Letzte Schaltung: Rueckschaltung 2->1 18.00 0-n
Getriebeoeltemperatur 12.00 Grad C
Drosselklappenwinkel 0.00 %

Error occured 2. times at:
km-Stand 229930.00 km
Schaltung laeuft 0.00 0/1
Gangeinlegen 0.00 0/1
Letzte Schaltung: unplausibel 0.00 0-n
Getriebeoeltemperatur 21.00 Grad C
Drosselklappenwinkel 0.00 %
Plausibilitaet
sporadischer Fehler
59 Locking speed

Error occurred 1. times at:
km reading 229860.00 km
Circuit runs 0.00 0/1
Gear engagement 0.00 0/1
Last switching: downshift 2-> 1 18.00 0-n
Gear oil temperature 12.00 degrees C
Throttle angle 0.00%

Error occurred 2. times at:
km reading 229 930.00 km
Circuit runs 0.00 0/1
Gear engagement 0.00 0/1
Last posting: implausible 0.00 0-n
Gear oil temperature 21.00 degrees C
Throttle angle 0.00%
Plausibility
sporadic error
65 Gangueberwachung 4 (ENP)
Error frequency : 1
Logistic counter: 100
km-Stand 229860.00 km
Drosselklappenwinkel 0.00 %
Turbinendrehzahl 1696.00 1/min
Abbtriebsdrehzahl 0.00 1/min
Plausibilitaet
Ersatzfunktion aktiv
Fehler momentan vorhanden
65 Gear monitoring 4 (ENP)
Error frequency: 1
Logistic counter: 100
km reading 229860.00 km
Throttle angle 0.00%
Turbine speed 1696.00 1 / min
Output speed 0.00 1 / min
Plausibility
Substitute function active
Error currently present
30 Ansteuerung Zuendung Zylinder 3
Error frequency : 255
Logistic counter: 36
Motordrehzahl 1152.00 1/min
Last 125.28 mg/Hub
Funkenbrenndauer 0.55 ms
Funkenbrenndauer 0.55 ms
aufgetreten vor (rel. BZ) 107.20 h
Funkenbrenndauer zu klein
Fehler nach Entprellung gespeichert
Fehler momentan nicht vorhanden
sporadischer Fehler
Errorcode: 1E A2 FF 24 24 17 00 8A B5 47
30 Activation of ignition cylinder 3
Error frequency: 255
Logistic counter: 36
Engine speed 1152.00 1 / min
Load 125.28 mg / stroke
Spark duration 0.55 ms
Spark duration 0.55 ms
occurred before (rel. BZ) 107.20 h
Spark duration too short
Errors saved after debouncing
Error does not exist at the moment
sporadic error
Error code: 1E A2 FF 24 24 17 00 8A B5 47

The thread that Effduration seems like a good avenue of investigation if you haven't read it through to the end, although it may not want to be the answer you'ld like to hear since it turned out to require a transmission rebuild because one of the clutch packs was burned out. I think that is what the gear monitoring error code relates to, where the observed input and output rotation does not match what they should be for a particular gear. This also assumes the speed sensors in the transmission, or their wiring, are functional. I'm not a transmission expert, but that seems to be the general idea behind the gear monitoring codes from what I understand.
Yeah that does not sound good. Hopefully I can find a bad connection or just a simple EGS replacement will do it. I'll reach out to that person who had both the 59 and 65. Thanks so much for this. I'll keep you all posted
 
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