I have a BMW 330ci Coupe with a steptronic transmission. Recently i have had a problem with the gear selector mechanism. I can slide the shifter into P and R without a problem but the slider does not lock in D. Also when i put the car into S it is very difficult to return to D almost as if a latch or clip is broken inside the mechanism. I have also noticed that sometimes i can change gears without depressing the selector button.
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run the fault codes to check for problem servos and solenoids . Possibly a change of transmission oil would help. At 80mph you should be in OD so there would be no more servo /solenoid operation until you slowed down and the bands and clutch packs are again being used.. A band clutch pack adjustment may also be in order as out of adjustment will also cause jerky / slap on changes.
Steptronic is a option and not all BMW has it. If this manual gate fails,the steptronic shift will not occur.If the switch up switch fails then there will be no up shift response. If the switch down switch fails there will be no down shift response. This device is located to the center left side of shifter. I dont think you have a transmission problem why would I say that because it stall and you had to rev it up till it clears okay there is something that failed and resemble a transmission failure. Okay I found it here is the definate problem cars used to have EGR when they failed it stall and rough Idle the vehicles your is classic you have a EXHAUST CAM CNTRL SOL(VANOS) failure. why is it failing across the land Motor oil type is of wrong use. once the vanos plugs you get a rough stalling idle the fix well a engine oil flush chemical prior to oil change may work. Or it has to come out and clean the screens itself . This device relies on oil temerature sensor if temperature of oil goes above 212 F ecm deactivates solenoid control. by the way you have 2 vanos one for intake and the other for exhaust.
the steptronic is an automatic transmission, and it sounds like you may be having trouble with the torque converter lock up feature, I recommend that you check the oil level and even change the fluid in the trans, retest and see if your problem continues, if it does I strongly recommend you take it to BMW for diagnostic and repair, it will be cheaper in the long run. Hope this helps, let me know
The transmission fluid is not to be checked or touched unless there is a malfunction in the system and the fluid has to be drained to repair it. The transmission is sealed form the factory and the fluid lasts the lifetime of the unit.
How old is the gearbox oil? In some cases, older oil (higher viscosity when old) will be too "thick" in colder weather and inhibit the synchro on your gears from slipping into 1st gear. The reason it only happens in 1st, is 'cause the shifting mechanism on the forward change is finer than that of the reverse change.
POSSIBLE Solution: Replace the gearbox oil with a lower viscosity ie. "thinner" oil.